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Old 03-11-2018, 09:33 PM   #15
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1977 31' Sovereign
Victoria , British Columbia
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11 and 12 March 2018 Update

Wow are we ever beat up . . .

Wonderful weather so we decided to push two days in this weekend. I will not say it was a mistake but it was very tiring. We really hurt Sunday Morning and I went back for more punishment today while Max went for a Kayak paddle with a friend.

The removal of the Fridge was the highlight of the work we did. Max started on the bathroom dismantle which is a tightly congested work area and she being the 5 ft 3 person, she got that job. We bought another generator on sale at Canadian Tire for $379 to run the welder. It produces 4000W and while the Honda is great, it will not handle the MIG Welder. We started her up first pull and charged the battery for awhile to break it in. The sun has been so bright these days that we did not really require much lighting in the trailer so the battery has been doing well especially with the solar on it all week. Back to the fridge.

It is heavy. Really heavy. I was very surprised at that fact but slowly convinced myself that technology really has come pretty far since that fridge was manufactured. Also very surprised at the amount of free (not heated and cool) air was open to the outside behind the fridge and in the cabinet area. The door to the outside basically let cold air into the trailer because the cabinetry was not sealed at all and there are so many louvers in the door. Crazy! The roof vent was another big hole so heating or cooling that trailer was not very efficient. This surprised me because generally everything else is well thought out. I get the propane and the heat channel but the ones I have seen in other trailers are all sealed from the inside. Simple aluminum sheet without caulk does not prevent air from moving around and has little insulating factor.

The wardrobe I removed had a very complex lighting system inside that turned on when you opened the doors. I also found a sword minus a pommel at the bottom of the wardrobe. How odd you say? I agree! There was a wasp nest in the fridge air channel and there must have been a mouse of a bird family living at some time in the AC unit. Should have had a mask and some eye protection on when the AC inner panels came off.

I got the fridge into the pickup by myself (so proud . . .) using a come all and some plywood for sliding. Headed home today early to finish an oil change on the truck and do some house work. We have one more weekend before we leave for our big camping trip to San Diego for 3.5 weeks. Getting excited.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:28 PM   #16
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
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Oh how they come apart so much easier than they go back together. I too removed my fridge by myself and attest to the fact they are rather heavy. The axles are even heavier! The rebuild time is a significant multiple of the disassembly time. Be ready.

The fridge in my trailer drew air from a big hole in the floor and out the plastic flue through the roof. Your louvered door is how all Airstreams are made now.
My Overlander had good seals on the walls of the fridge cabinet. So when you install a new fridge, be sure you seal the cabinet as instructed in the fridge install manual. The new axles are my most expensive purchase so far, the fridge will be the second most expensive purchase. This ain't a cheap hobby.

Most folks keep the stuff they take out of their vintage Airstreams for future reference or restorations. I've got quite a pile of it on my place.

Good job so far, keep it going.

David
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:08 PM   #17
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1977 31' Sovereign
Victoria , British Columbia
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Hey David

My new Fridge:

ISOTHERM Cruise 195 Refrigerator Draw: 2.8A @ 12V (each compressor - 5A total) 6.9cu.ft. (4.6cu.ft. refrigerator; 2.3cu.ft. freezer) 93lbs $2200 USD

I agree! But the draft was unholy. Seriously.

You should see the pile in my basement. We moved last summer and my old house with it's 1500 sq ft 15 ft ceiling garage seems like paradise now. Every weekend after a day of work we have to move everything into my new workshop basement. Yes I need some cheese with that. Feeling Old.

Many things will change but I am learning on the way. Anyone know an easy way of getting the first pane out of the vista view windows?
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:41 PM   #18
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Kent , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristof View Post
My new Fridge:

ISOTHERM Cruise 195 Refrigerator Draw: 2.8A @ 12V (each compressor - 5A total) 6.9cu.ft. (4.6cu.ft. refrigerator; 2.3cu.ft. freezer) 93lbs $2200 USD

I agree! But the draft was unholy. Seriously.

You should see the pile in my basement. We moved last summer and my old house with it's 1500 sq ft 15 ft ceiling garage seems like paradise now. Every weekend after a day of work we have to move everything into my new workshop basement. Yes I need some cheese with that. Feeling Old.

Many things will change but I am learning on the way. Anyone know an easy way of getting the first pane out of the vista view windows?
Here is a link to the thread I used to fix the vista view windows:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ws-113847.html

I think most people remove the inner pane and then reseal the outer pane with new gaskets. (Airstream no longer does the double pane either.) The thread above shows you how to do that. There are two types of windows (I have a 1976 and I had both types!) one that is a single unit and the only way to remove the glass without removing the whole window assembly is to break the inner pane. The other has snap rings that you can remove and take the inner pane out, the inner pane being made of Plexiglas in this case.

For all the stuff you are removing, as I hinted at earlier, I'd just take most of it straight to the dump.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:53 PM   #19
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You have one of those fancy new refrigerators I've read about. I do think they are the wave of the future. You don't need holes in the walls or roof with that unit. You will need good batteries to keep it running I'd guess, but don't know.

David
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:03 PM   #20
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Toilets

So yes I have spent an inordinate amount of time reading about RV toilets today. We have camped a lot and all around the world and what we want is something that is not prone to issues (macerating toilets seem prone to issues) but something that is reliable and not as smelly as the cheaper ones. I can locate the tank right below the toilet so the straight down approach is the best best but you need something to hold the air in the tank (like a double valve).

Opinions?
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:55 PM   #21
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Hi Kristof: Well RV toilets have been around a long time. People say Thetford makes a good one. They are gravity flush with rinse. Yes, they must be mounted over the black water tank. The black tank must be vented to allow water in, and allow water to drain out. Your Sovereign had a vented black water tank when new. A new RV toilet is in the $250 range or less.

I've installed four toilets in 4 different Airstream projects. I'm not a believer that ceramic bowls are need in an RV. I do insist on a "down pipe" between the bowl and floor. One Thetford model (Aqua Magic V) makes the lower half of the toilet a black water tank extension. Other Thetford models have a down pipe.

I've never had order issues with our Airstream toilets and black water systems. I do use a macerator pump to drain the waste water from my Airstream as I find the Airstream sewer discharge port sometimes lower than the campground connection. Dirty water won't flow uphill.

So I installed a new black tank, toilet flange, and soon a new toilet in my rear bath Overlander in their original positions. I'm sure it will work just fine.

David
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:40 AM   #22
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Hey David:

Your work on the welding side looks fantastic. Wish I were so neat and so skilled.

I am not unfamiliar to RV toilets just trying to find the best end state. i like your comments WRT plastic versus ceramic, agree. I looked at the Aqua magic V - are you saying that is an advantage?
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:58 PM   #23
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Max and I are going camping. See you in 4 weeks or so.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:02 PM   #24
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Camping? We have 4" of Colorado powder and still snowing. Airstreams are staying in the garage for me.

I have purchased two Thetford Bravura (sp) toilets. I didn't like the Aqua Magic as they don't have a "down pipe". I purchased one Dometic 310 plastic bowl and didn't like that one as well. It's built like a frying pan, not a pot in my view. And it had a silly plastic pipe thread for water connection. A standard toilet flex hose wouldn't fit right.

David
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:57 AM   #25
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Kris, you have asked me about birch interior and I am happy to reply here.

We have done a total shell-off rebuild. Still finishing up cabinet work. Our old interior skins were pretty beat up and we decided to re-use them and put 1/8" birch plywood (bought at a specialty hardwood dealer) over the old skins. I believe the aluminum skins add significantly to the structural value. The plywood would not do this by itself.

The plywood adds a small insulating factor. While the walls were open we put in two layers of prodex foil-faced insulation, the first kept off the outer skin by using 1/4" blocks of insulation, the second separated from the first by another set of 1" blocks. We did a complete re-wire (both 110- and 12-volt, using boat cable, by the way) and put all wiring between the layers of prodex. We also put a layer of thin (1/8") foam insulation on all the ribs and this has helped keep the heat transfer down significantly at all ribs.

About half way through the application of the birch I decided to start using 5/32" blind rivets (aluminum, which I had to special order through Fastenal), and I wish I had used them on all the birch as well as all the aluminum inner skins. They have significantly greater holding power than 1/8" rivets. Their heads are a slightly larger diameter and so hold the birch better. The 1/8" birch can be a little "crumbly" as you drill holes for the rivets. What to do at the seams? I will be covering them with some thin strips of the same birch, but will have to be careful about the bumps of existing rivets. I discovered copper 1/8" rivets at Hanson Rivet & Supply Co. in California. (They have brass mandrels so as to counteract any galvanic corrosion.) I used these on my end caps. The 1/8" ply is so thin that I won't need to trim out the seams there. I'll be using them on the trim pieces over the seam areas of the birch. Hopefully no more aluminum pop rivets showing!

We picked up a used Isotherm Cruise 200 fridge on Ebay (that's a story best saved for another time) and it works great. We were very happy not to have to cut a vent hole in the newly-installed sub-floor.

All rough framing and some trim was done in redwood. Water-resistant and light-weight. I also used various aluminum extrusions (bar, channel, and angle) here and there for strength, connections, and some framing.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:26 PM   #26
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Wow youngpeck, you did the "full monte" restoration. Maybe some day I will take the opportunity. You are right, the interior skins do add some structural integrity to the body. You are wise to keep them, and clever to cover them with think birch. I bet it looks great.

Have a good trip Kristof...

David
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:49 AM   #27
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ALDE Heating System

Hey Folks,

A note to say that I visited the ALDE USA folks in Vancouver WA on the way back from our camping trip the past few weeks to SOCAL and points in between. I spent some time talking with them, visiting the workshop, talking designs and learned many, many things that will help my project. First I noted that ALDE has steamed with AS and they have packages pre-built that you can get and install with all the parts in one neat design that fits your style and length of trailer. I picked up the latest catalogue, talked about the new 3020 system, learned a lot about how the systems are installed, in floor heating and asked lot's of questions about the systems and how they worked. In the next few weeks i will be posting my design and engineering layout for the ALDE 3020 and am looking forward to moving towards this type of heating and hot water system.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:42 PM   #28
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That will be quite interesting. We have hot water heat in our home. I have a friend with the combination of hot water heat also heating the water for his home.

David
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