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Old 10-13-2013, 04:33 PM   #1
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In Serious NEED of advice/help

1971 Streamline Empress Imperial 29' twin sleeper.
I have owned this since 2006 although it was bought and utilized as a storage unit (paid for itself 100 times over). I am excited to visit the forums as I am now working on it's renovation as it will be my full time residence. I have power and propane works, the refrigerator is shot, I have water (EVERYWHERE) and when I put water and enzymes in the toilet and shower, I walked outside, it was dripping from everywhere at the rear. It has a broken vent in the bath. I just purchased a vent cover, the kind that allows you to leave the vent open when traveling or in rain, which does a wonderful job. Because it was purchased from an estate sale (deceased hoarder) it sat for at least 7 years with no cover, so of course the floor in the bathroom needs to be replaced. Since I'll have the floor out, I'll replace the black water tank and will redo all the plumbing using PEX. I also need a new water holding tank and will most likely replace the water heater as well (42 years is a long time). The holding tank is the original glass lined steel tank which I think is still in good condition. I have no desire to keep it, so would like to know if there is any value in barter, trade, or sale for such. I also need to repair/replace the metal on the rear of the vehicle since it was damaged when I bought it and the haul across the states recently has made it worse.

I have noticed that some of the models had full size beds and this is a twin sleeper. Will I have major issues trying to convert this to a full sleeper? If so, it's not a big deal as it's just for me and my two gypsy cats. Yes, my cats travel very well with me and transfer from truck to trailer and back.

We just traveled 2100 miles from my little ranch in NM to visit family in NC. I'll be wintering here and spend what time I can on the renovation. My first desire is to get the black water, holding tank, and floor done. I have already removed water stained and mildewed paneling, will remove the paneling from the bed areas and plan to replace it with Lauan since it bends and is moisture resistant. I have found floating flooring that I like and will be putting that down once I've finished with the bath. I know Dometic is the original fridge and hope to be able to replace that as well.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. It's a very comfortable vehicle, no leaks, and hauls wonderfully. I have even learned to back it gently with the equalizer hitch and sway bar.

Thanks,
Mischa
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:23 PM   #2
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enosburg , Vermont
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Streamline is a very nice trailer and one I have never disassembled. I'm reasonably certain the floor/frame construction is similar to Airstream, Avion or Silver Streak. You can expect the same issues. You really need to expose the frame and plywood floor perimeter for a visual inspection. Frame rust through and rotted plywood. Probably the best way is to open up the belly pan, which I expect you will have to do to repair your waste tanks anyway. Once the floor/frame is confirmed OK or repaired you have a platform to work with. Luaun can be rough and splintery with very little structural strenght. If your rig originally had birch you're in luck. 1/8 inch 3ply birch panels can still be bought fairly reasonably and it will form contours well. Silver Streak had a neet little trick with twin beds. An additional plywood panel under one that slid out to the other. Slid over the mattresses for a queen.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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I will try to get some pics of the damage in the rear, I accidentally left my camera at a friend's house in Charlotte and won't be heading back that way for a month. The 'bones' of the Streamline seem to be in VERY good condition, although the floor in the rear bath is rotted and can be visually seen through the damage to the rear belly plates. Also, there is a dent on the port rear (left or driver's side) from a backing incident NOT done by me. The shower pan and toilet seem to be in excellent condition, it's just the floor.

As for the twin beds, the issue in making it a full size bed would be the bathroom door is in the middle. I would have to remove the closet in the kitchen area and the closet in the bathroom and that makes me think the 'balance' of the whole would be off somewhat. In looking at pictures of other's, I have a 'pantry' next to the kitchen that hangs over the port bed. I can be removed, but am hesitant as that makes an excellent place to put a microwave. There are cabinet doors for the upper and lower shelf in the kitchen as well as the pantry door in the bedroom. I am leaving ALL of the upper cabinets since they are in great condition, although I did have to put new rivets in one of the kitchen cupboard doors.

The lauan I am looking at doesn't seem to be splintery (also consider underlayment). What I have currently is a grey/white paneling but it's horribly water damaged with mildew which I'm deadly allergic to, so it has to be removed. I will look into the 3 ply birch panels (LOVE BIRCH) but wonder if they come in the 4x8' sheets as the lauan does? Most of what I've found in 1/8" has been filler sheets for cabinetry and they are only 2x4' sheets. The front panel under the picture window has already been removed, the wiring and insulation seem to be in great condition, but needs to desperately be recovered. I also kept the 'shelf' that went along the front to use as a template to make a better shelf out of a 2"x10" piece of hardwood.

The pictures are the before. The first is the hallway to the bath which shows how the twins are arranged and the pantry door is open. The other is the front window area in which I removed the damaged paneling and prior to removing the under layment of the paneling which I have also removed to expose the insulation. I plan to add just a bit more insulation as my ranch in NM is 7400' elev. Just in case I get stuck in an early snowstorm. I do know that at freezing (32*F) that the Streamline is comfortably warm, even with the windows open, as I have camped in it in August where the days are in the 80's and the nights were in the 30's. I was warm, but the dog's water bucket outside had frozen.

THANK YOU for reading and your suggestions. I'm kind of excited to get underway. My main concern is WHERE I would find a replacement holding tank (black water) for this. Is it one that could be found at any RV supply?

Mischa
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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oh, also, in my research of the Streamline, the men who founded Streamline worked for Airstream. They left, created the Streamline (Regal and Imperial are the two classes) and then they had a disagreement and one quit and started the Silver Streak. So, actually, all three of these vehicles are basically the same bones. The disagreement between streamline and silverstreak was about having three base struts (streamline) or four (silverstreak)
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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It seems like you are off to a good start.

You also seem very capable of bringing that trailer back to live. It looks very nice, considering it's age.
If you really want a full sized bed, could you put one up front. You could then turn the twin bed area into a dinette or office, or both.
I would suggest that you read up on winter camping. It is my belief, that it makes sense, to build an insulated shed, in addition of trying to winter in a camper, if even just as a back up. I think trailers were designed with being light and traveling in mind , more than being a winter habitat.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #6
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Thank you, encouragement always helps!!!
I currently have a daybed in the front, I used that to sleep on as I mistakenly bought a dorm twin (80" long) and the twin areas are only 77.5" long. I do have another mattress now that fits a twin and was thinking that same thought, making that area my 'living' room or office/library and removing one of the frames. The hard part is that there are drawers under one, the water holding tank goes under the other. I like the drawers, but feel I can do without them and put a small chest of drawers there instead.

I would not be winter camping at my ranch (7400' elev) if I can help it!!! I have the beginnings of a cabin there with freestanding fireplace, kitchen sink, and a water catch system. If I winter over somewhere, it'll be probably around Tucson, Az where I have many friends and LOVE that town. I also have friends in Florida, so hobo-ing around may be more of my winter ideal. It was a cargo vessel on it's way here, but will be working on it and lighten it considerably for my next journey. Thanks again, but am still in need of WHERE I can purchase the black water tank, fresh water tank, and replacement sheet of metal for the back end.

THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
Mischa
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