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Old 05-20-2017, 01:50 AM   #1
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
Join Date: Mar 2017
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New to us 1958 Flying Cloud

We have a project! This is our new Flying Cloud. There is nothing inside.

We just removed the floor and found that the frame has some badly rusted channels and the tube is rusted through in the front. If anyone has experience fixing a frame, we would appreciate any advice. Our instinct is to take the trailer to a local shop that builds farm trailers, and have them do the repairs.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:38 AM   #2
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
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good instinct

Do not be afraid to do that. If your trailer shop has a good welder, you can do those stringer replacements without a shell off . The main rails is a different story....there you can do some repairs but probably not major sections. If it comes out you need to do major replacements , a shell off is the best route and then...have that welder build a copy of your frame...no big deal for the welder. Now your into a lot different project. Also, use that trailer shop for many of your other needs... they will have all the basics a LOT cheaper than most RV shops.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:41 AM   #3
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1957 22' Caravanner
1965 26' Overlander
appleton , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airspry View Post
We have a project! This is our new Flying Cloud. There is nothing inside.

We just removed the floor and found that the frame has some badly rusted channels and the tube is rusted through in the front. If anyone has experience fixing a frame, we would appreciate any advice. Our instinct is to take the trailer to a local shop that builds farm trailers, and have them do the repairs.
You might want to do a little more research on your project. Yours looks exactly like mine. I don't believe it is a flying cloud. In fact I would say it is a Caravanner. The windows give it away. Also, from what I have gathered, they stopped making 13 panels in mid year '57. You clearly have a 13 panel.

Great find!
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:29 PM   #4
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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We have been wondering about the model. The plate on the side says Flying Cloud. Now that we have the wheel well covers off, the second set say, "Fly Cloud." Having said that, it does look like pictures of Caravanners.

As for the year, the title says '59, but based on the serial number, we thought it was a '58 so that fact that it may be a 57 is a bit of a mystery. One explanation is that they sometimes put the year sold on the title. The VIN/serial number is 03459
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:32 PM   #5
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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Thank you for your thoughts on the trailer shop. We finished getting the floor out today. I am very proud of myself as I learned how to grind out bolts.

It is looking more and more as though we may have to do a frame off renovation. I will post more pictures of the frame a bit later.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:52 AM   #6
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airspry View Post
Thank you for your thoughts on the trailer shop. We finished getting the floor out today. I am very proud of myself as I learned how to grind out bolts.

It is looking more and more as though we may have to do a frame off renovation. I will post more pictures of the frame a bit later.
Looking at your frame I would say that a shell off it the only way to go. I would go to the trailer guy and get an estimate, and if it fits your budget go for it. Knowing what it cost me, I would guess you should be somewhere around 1k with parts and labor. You can buy a lot of those parts on line and not worry about some one fabricating every single thing.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:34 AM   #7
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
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1958 22' Flying Cloud

Hi Airspry: This reply is going to be one big jumbled run-on mess because, apparently, this web site no longer recognizes formatting instructions such as paragraph breaks from as computer software program as opposed to an app. So as a work-around I will indicate where each new paragraph should begin by using a long dash, such as this ----- Your trailer's serial number, O-3459, is for a later 1957 22' Flying Cloud trailer built in Airstream's Ohio plant, hence the O[hio] prefix to your numerical serial number. But Airstream's 1957 model year for its Ohio-built trailers was unusually long in that it ended in April 1958 rather than the fall of 1957. So your trailer may have been built in late 1957 or in the first few months of 1958. It is difficult to say because we do not know the ending s/n for 1957 Ohio-built Flying Cloud production. Incomplete records show Flying Cloud s/n O-3460, one numeral higher than yours, is known to exist. -------- As you acknowledge, some states titled trailers in the year they were first registered rather than the year they were built, so the 1959 on your trailer's title may have been the year it was first registered with a state by the initial purchaser. Your Flying Cloud definitely is a Flying Cloud model and not a Caravanner, which its window arrangement resembles. ------- I would post here a two page flyer for the 1958 Flying Cloud showing its exterior and floor plan, but I can no longer figure out how to do what I have done for decades on this web site. I am posting from a vintage Windows 10 computer, not from a modern smart phone or a tablet, and the Attach Files box at the bottom of my Reply to Thread area is a entombed dead zone which does not link to anything except rational emotional frustration. ------- A quick advanced search for How to Post a Photo on this web site reveals nothing useful for us vintage computer users. I apparently still have software on my vintage computer as opposed to an app, and my software does not include any visible paper clips (which induce bad flashbacks to Windows XP) or any Manage Attachment box. Grrrrrrrr. ------- Anyway, if someone could tell me how, in 2017, to simply post a .jpg photo from a computer to this web site, I might attempt to help you out further by posting the Airstream sales flyer for a 1958 Flying Cloud. In the meantime, Good Luck and Success with your restoration!
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:10 PM   #8
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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Hi Fred,
Thank you for your detailed answer. It is wonderful to have the mystery of the year and model resolved. It is also great to know that the first digit of the serial number is actually a letter.

This information will help us figure out appropriate parts as we go through this renovation. I hope that we will meet at some point so we can thank you in person.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:31 PM   #9
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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Hi IslandTrader,

Jim will take it to the trailer folks tomorrow so we will know more soon.

Thank you for sharing your rebuild page. It is helpful to see images of the process. We are working outside so have to get everything sealed up by September. The good news is that in Utah, we will have 2-3 months with almost no precipitation.

Ariel
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:48 PM   #10
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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Her shell is off

I am sure that those of you who have done this before are not surprised. We did take the shell off the frame. The local trailer shop did a great job replacing the axel and repairing the frame for a fraction of what it would have cost had we taken the trailer to an Airstream shop.

Our solution to remove the shell was to put a chain hoist in a big tree. The pictures show our custom crane: cool: The one lesson we learned from that is to make sure to lower the shell to rest on the ground rather than on the branch. When a big wind comes up and the branch sways, it is a bit risky for the shell. We rarely get big wind, but I was fortunate to be home when it happened and our shell escaped unscathed.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:54 PM   #11
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Great job. I really like the bank of windows. The window layout looks similar to the Ohio built 55 Safari a friend of ours just purchased. I'm working on our 55 belly pan now, so don't toss your old belly pan in the event you need patterns for the corners as a starting place. Just think, in no time you'll be reattaching the shell to the chassis.
Good luck, Bubba
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:44 PM   #12
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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Updates on our project

Hi Everyone,
I apologize for going MIA. We had some health challenges and so our project came to a halt. However, we did make some progress. The trailer shop did a great job on the frame. It is now completely repaired and treated/ painted with POR. The parts that will be exposed to the sun are now painted with a silver coat.

Progress came to a halt as we were working on the floor. Instead of replacing the belly pan, we are using 2 layers of marine plywood with foam insulation between them. That way we get a strong, light floor without providing rodent housing. The current plan is to paint the underside with something water resistant (TBD) and to cover the whole floor with linoleum. If any of you have hints for that plan, we welcome your ideas. You can see in the picture that we chose not to reuse the original wheel wells. They were rusted and by rebuilding them with a flat top, we gained a bit of space.
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:18 PM   #13
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Providence , Utah
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Should we replace low window by the door?

Our trailer had two missing windows when we bought her. We had no idea how diffficult it might be to find replacements. Thanks to encouragement here, I have been searching on eBay. A window came up that was the right size. It had paint on it that I now know is a sign of potentially bad corrosion. Ignorance was bliss and I went ahead and bid on the window. It arrived as promised and after some significant cleaning, I am now waiting for the tempered glass. The picture (on the left) is pre-cleaning.

We are still looking for a window for the lower of two on the curb side just in front of the door. If anyone knows of one, please let me know. The measurements of the window itself are approximately 17.5" h x 17.75" w. Another option is not to replace the missing window and instead just to fill in the space. This option of not replacing the window is appealing in that it gives us more space to put storage. Due to the number of windows on the street side, we are somewhat limited in where we can put cabinets. We would love thoughts on this decision. Has anyone else opted to cover this low window by the door?
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:19 PM   #14
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Airspry, as far as covering the lower window, whatever makes you happy. Purists would say no, whereas realists would say yes. When Ohio was producing the 22 footers in the latter 50s, the only way you knew what model you got was by reading the name tag by the door. Maybe since you posted this the window you need will appear. Good luck, Bubba
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