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Old 03-04-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
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Austin , Texas
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'66 Airstream Globetrotter Photo-Studio conversion in Austin

Hey there,

I'm glad to finally be on the forums with something to post, and I've got some questions that people can hopefully help me figure out before I go making mistakes that cost me far too much money. Forgive me if some of these questions are super basic, or if others are very complicated.

To give everyone a basic idea of what I'm trying to do here. I've taken the 20ft, 1966 Globetrotter and I am attempting to renovate the interior into a studio-quality photo booth for weddings and events. Inside I plan on removing the kitchen elements, and everything else back to the bathroom, which I will leave in tact. Just in front of the bathroom area I'm putting a wall, behind which will be all of the equipment I need to run the photo booth, and opens for the computer screen, the printer slots, and the flashes and cameras themselves.

Outside is going to be interesting, I want to take it to a mirrored finish, and the front of the Air will have a led style back lit sign where the front window used to be... since the previous owners removed it and replaced it with an in-window air conditioner. I've ordered all of the replacement glass though, which for this year was quite a tricky situation.

Anyways.

My first, hopefully simple question is, for the interior rivets that are holding up things like cabinets and the like, what size drill bit do I need to droll those out?

Does anyone know of people in Austin who do the polishing as a business? I've found one person online but I get the impression that he might be a bit high end. If he's not... then that's a simple question.

Does anyone know what tail lights were in the 1966 Globetrotter are and if Vintagetrailersupply carries them? I wasn't sure at first because of the weird matching of holes, which you should be able to see in the attached image.

One of the windows I'm replacing would normally be held in at the bottom by two clips. I've purchased replacement clips, but that specific window is also missing the piece which bolts to the window frame at the bottom. I've included a photo of what it should look like. Any solutions?

Does anyone have any decent ideas on what to do with the built in step? It won't stay down, and is fairly rusty and wobbly anyways. I'm alright with sealing it up and using something that sits on the ground like a stool, but I'm not sure how I would secure it up there exactly.

With one of these older Airstreams how would you do the AC in general, I could place a wall unit inside the bathroom area that is vented and drained, but I could also just use one of the roof vents. I'm not sure which will look better in the end but AC is absolutely necessary because this thing will be running in the hot central Texas summers.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:03 AM   #2
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1967 20' Globetrotter
denver , Colorado
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I can answer just a couple of questions for ya. The interior rivets can be removed with an 1/8" drill bit and the rear taillights can be replaced from Vintage Trailer Supply. My screw holes didn't match up well either but it will work!

Good Luck.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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If that step is unstable I would for the most part, bypass it all the way...you don't need to be wondering all the time if it's working or not. If you are not going anywhere I would make a nice sound step up for outside. If the original step were to ever let go when it broke- you would have about three seconds to to wipe out on the hard ground outside there.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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tail lights

We finally found some "new old stock" lenses for our '66 Globetrotter at AJ's Classic Lenses. I had been on the waiting list for lenses from Vintage for several weeks.

AJ's website is "lights@taillightking.com. Shipping and handling were a little high, but the lenses arrived quickly and in perfect shape.

Some of the holes in the lenses line up with the rivets that mount the back plate to the body of the trailer, can't say why exactly, but that's the way the originals were made.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Welcome! Vintage Trailer Supply, Inland RV are both very well stocked with all parts vintage. Also Lance (Top on the forums) is in Texas and can answer questions you may have or order big parts like A/C or Axles. Make sure to re do those window gaskets, vent gaskets etc. Water damage is a beeeootch! I am putting a roof top a/c on my trailer next. I am going with a 15k Penguin II, sounds like you will need at least that much power for Texas.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help so far. I wasn't sure on the lights but that's good to know.

If I want to forget about the current step, how would I secure it in place? That may not normally be a problem, but this one seems to have lost whatever was originally there to keep it from flopping down all the time, and when driving needs to be held up with bungee cords and wire connected to the door knob. I'm not positive how to lock it in place.

I actually ordered the glass replacements from Inland RV earlier last week, so I'll be able to work on replacing those windows and gaskets, I'm still not sure what to do about the window next to the door that is missing the lower left "clip holder" though.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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The window holder is no longer available. You can remove the center holder from one of your large windows (provided it has three) and use it on the one that is missing.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:09 AM   #8
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Thanks donh1, I hadn't actually thought of that. I'll have to drill out and re-secure one of those holders. Do you know what the size on those rivets are off hand? I'm not sure if they're the 1/8th that the interior is.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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hello...i'm in the process of searching for my own airstream but wanted to comment on your post. i'm a fashion photographer here in seattle wa. and have thought about the same idea of using an airstream as a location studio for small portrait type shoots. maybe even set it up behind our house.

i'd be curious to find out what you think of your 20 footer and whether its sufficient enought for the task??

i've been looking for a much larger model(29-31') which i feel would give me room for a small desk set up as well as shooting area.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #10
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I would never use an Airstream, or any trailer for that matter, in the way you're thinking about it. You'd never get enough variety or depth from your lighting for portraits that would be worth it.

On top of that, I'd never go larger than a Globe Trotter, or a Safari at most because of the issues with maneuvering the trailer into spots that people would want, mobility is key. A Safari even pushes the size limits for certain situations.

The issue is size, but when it comes to photography you need more height and more width than a trailer could provide. I don't honestly see the way you're anticipating to use an Airstream working that way unfortunately. I'm using this for more event style photography, which works fine when your strobe is essentially on camera, but it would be nearly impossible to achieve rembrandt or loop style portrait lighting due to the width of a trailer.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:32 PM   #11
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yeah i looked at the trailer for the 1st time yesterday. it will be used more as an office and guestroom. the idea of doing some shooting in it does become a problem because of the width however shooting young kids would be no problem. i mainly shoot kids these days

i shot this one in my friends airstream 2 months ago and that sparked my interest.
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