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Old 09-06-2004, 07:19 AM   #1
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1950s fan travel trailer

I have a 1950s fan travel trailer that needs restoring. i am new to this but i think i can do most of the work myself. i have been stripping the paint off the outside to find some areas that have been patched with bondo. I don't know what to do to make these areas like aluminum. Any ideas? This trailer also has ridges on the outside and its been difficult to strip in between them. I have been using a soft brillow pad that has scratched slightly and it seems to take forever. Any ideas on this? Now that its almost down to bare aluminum whats the next step in getting the aluminum clean and shiny. What tools do i need for this process? I am not a perfectionist,i do not need the best,i am just a girl with a dream and i need some good advice. Hope you can help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:35 AM   #2
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hello farmgirl and welcome. first thing to do is run a search on this forum. there are many articles on polishing and interior panel replacement i suppose. when we polished the exterior of our trailer we used 2000grit wet n dry sandpaper after using scotchbright pads ? rather severe for severe areas. look into the purchase of a variable speed orbital sander and use compound and sheepskin pads with it, you may be suprised at how nice a job it provides. we used nuvite S grade compound. do the forum search first, compound second.
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Old 09-06-2004, 05:36 PM   #3
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FarmGirl,
Welcome. You've come to right place for friendly advise. Can you post some pictures of your trailer? I'm not familiar with the Fan model. You may need to replace the panels that have Bondo on them unless there isn't much. If the areas with Bondo are few and down low, you may be able to paint a graphic stripe or shape to cover them up. Some of the older trailers used this, red comes to mind, but some were a light blue. Pictures would certainly help.

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Old 09-09-2004, 08:21 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responce and advice. The restoration project is under way. My dad and i thought restoring old travel trailers would be a rewarding part time job. Plus, we feel there is a demand for this style in upstate(Rochester NY) These forums will be extremly helpful. Thanks agian.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Fan Travel Trailer

Farmgirl, By now you must have made progress on your FAN Trailer.

We recently purchased a FAN. And we are located in New York State about a couple of hours from Rochester, NY.

Our FAN was never painted. And the exterior is in excellent condition.
We lack water tanks and interior work needs to be done.

Progress will be slow. Aria
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:04 PM   #6
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1961 FAN Travel Trailer

Our new purchase. flyfshr, and ALL her is a photo. We need gray water tank.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:17 PM   #7
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No polish?

What? Floyd "I've got nothing to do" doesn't have that thing polished yet? What's he doing - except sitting down at the local coffee hangout bragging of how he's Mr. Trailer Trash? Nice find guys!
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:17 AM   #8
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Probably the best easiest and cheapest fix is to simply replace all the exterior aluminum.

It is impossible to repair the damaged areas nice enough to polish. Any replacement aluminum you use, will make the old stuff look like hell.

You can buy suitable "retro look" siding in polished aluminum or painted. Much better and easier than dealing with the old stuff.

Sorry I can't give you the name of a supplier. A web search should turn up something. I know the material is available because I have seen restored trailers on "vintage" dealers and restorers web sites that featured the new skins.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:44 AM   #9
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The phot may not reflect....the exterior just needs clean. No dents, no dings...just very dirty.

Hey, Rob....this one YOU can polish. Not Airstream Aria. This is FAN, Aria Too.

Floyd does have the door handles out and working on them. There were no keys. The front door had a pad lock. The other side smaller door had a handle with key tumbler but no key. He removed both fixtures. Put the side soor with key on the front and the front on the side (where it can be locked from the inside). Took it to a locksmith to have a key made.

He has the table down. And there are 4 original 9x9 tiles to remove in the front kitchen area. He will remove 4 tiles from under the twin bed and switch. For now
that is most of the progress made.

Roof leaks. We have a tarp coverning. Come Spring he will re do roof. Your suggestions for best material to use? And there is one kitchen cabine needs work. He is planning to work this Winter. He has electricity and a heater ready.

Rob will be in charge of the polishing. Aria
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:07 PM   #10
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Aria, We have your trailer's little sister, a 12'. We have the inside almost gutted for a extreme makeover and will also change exterior. We are going to add a small bathroom for a stool and place kitchen in the front. Sides are in good shape, but front needs aluminum replaced, since we are removing the window, also jhas a couple of large dents. Back is in better shape, but hubby is going to tackle wiring too.

Any tips on polishing for when we get there. What works best. Aluminum is bare, appears never had any paint. Also any idea where to get a replacement emblem/tag?

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by countrylife View Post
Aria, We have your trailer's little sister, a 12'. We have the inside almost gutted for a extreme makeover and will also change exterior. We are going to add a small bathroom for a stool and place kitchen in the front. Sides are in good shape, but front needs aluminum replaced, since we are removing the window, also jhas a couple of large dents. Back is in better shape, but hubby is going to tackle wiring too.

Any tips on polishing for when we get there. What works best. Aluminum is bare, appears never had any paint. Also any idea where to get a replacement emblem/tag?

Thanks!
I want to see a picture of this little baby!!
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:39 AM   #12
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Cool 12' Outside views

- Photo Gallery


It took me a while, but I did get the photos posted on the site. We have had about 5 years, but it has spent the last 3 or 4 wasting away by our pond. Just decided to go get and finally do something with it. I found the forum search for other FAN trailers. I also like the Airstream interiors, so the revamp is based on a version of the Bambi.

The 12' is inside length 74" x 12'. Just cozy enough for 2 - although designed for 4 with dinette, 48" x 74" bed and upper bunk in back. Now that's togetherness!


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Old 11-21-2010, 04:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by countrylife View Post
- Photo Gallery


It took me a while, but I did get the photos posted on the site. We have had about 5 years, but it has spent the last 3 or 4 wasting away by our pond. Just decided to go get and finally do something with it. I found the forum search for other FAN trailers. I also like the Airstream interiors, so the revamp is based on a version of the Bambi.

The 12' is inside length 74" x 12'. Just cozy enough for 2 - although designed for 4 with dinette, 48" x 74" bed and upper bunk in back. Now that's togetherness!


I will look forward to seeing more pictures as you work on it!
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