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Old 02-01-2016, 06:39 PM   #1
A2F
1 Rivet Member
 
1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Question Are these parts original to the 1955 Flying Cloud?

Hello fellow enthusiasts!

I have a newly acquired 1955 Flying Cloud that I believe has mostly original parts. I am still learning about my lovely tin can and hoping I can pick your brains about what should stay. I do want to give it a bit of a face lift to fit my taste, but at the same time I want to keep the trailer in tact as much as possible.

Since I am new and will most likely have a lot of questions... what is the best way to use the forum? I know the first thing is to try and find your answer among the threads, but if I can't find it, do you stick to one thread you have created or do you start a new one with each question? - Thanks!

I have attached images of the questionable parts.

1. Bumper - It has a plastic hose inside.. not sure what that is about? I think they all have this metal bumper, but my bf says it doesn't look factory made.

2. Metal box on the side that covers some sort of tank or heater? Not sure if it is for the sink or stove (still need to do more research to find out what is where haha). But does it need to be that box thing or could it be a piece flush with the outside skin?

3. I don't have a pic of this.. but there is a magazine rack made of wood (same as the cabinets) above the dresser in the back by the bed.

4. Spice Rack

5. Dixie cup holder and paper towel holder. While the Dixie cups have some charm in their own right, I kind of want it to go.

6. Furnace - not a great pic and also missing the knob. If this is original, does anyone know where I can get a replacement knob? We still need to see if it is working.

7. What I believe is a hand towel rack?

8. Coleman kerosene lamp on kitchen wall. I am confident this is original, but can't possibly be safe. What does everyone typically replace this with?

9. Curtains - red and white checkered

10. The fridge - It seems to stick out more than others I have seen in Flying Clouds. I forget the make off the top of my head and I can't make it out in the pic. I love the inside... but wondering how to refinish as it's chipping/flaking.

Also, the cabinet closest to the door with the furnace is warped. If this one piece on the side needs to be replaced, is it no longer considered original? Also, if anyone knows what type of wood that is off the top of their head, that would be great. Otherwise I will search the forums for someone who has probably done this.

Oh! And we technically have the original rims, but because they are the split rims, we have decided to replace them. Is this something I should keep in case I ever sell the trailer and someone else wants to restore it completely back to factory or let go?

My thought was to keep a "box" of the original things I do not wish to keep in the trailer, but might be valuable for someone else later down the road (although a very long one because I don't plan on giving it up in my lifetime haha).

Any insight would be much appreciated!! Thanks again! And if you have a restoration project of a flying cloud I would love to see it!
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:10 PM   #2
in the rising sun toaster
 
1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
Wimberley , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 52
Archive of AS photos here:
http://vintageairstream.com/photo-archives/

There's a range of 50s photos showing lots of original parts and configurations but many pics are incomplete a/o much changed from when new so ask away if still in doubt. As for your photos...
1. Your Bumper is not original, however, you will likely find it handier than the original non-utilitarian channel-iron bumpers of that era because yours can hold gear, typically the hose to drain sewer tank.
2. Not 100% sure but likely is for a gas water heater. Open it up, take pic, repost. Also post a pic of inside cabinet under sink as this is the inside where your metal shroud pic is.
3. Magazine racks of that era typically had a metal mesh screen front, 2 wood sides and 1 wood bottom.
4. Spice rack not original.
5. Paper cups holder not original. Paper towel holder ~looks~ original but this model was also widely available, and for decades, at any local five and dime store. On the wall behind your paper towel holder is the power switch (with a indicator lamp and an outlet) for an electric water heater.
6. Furnace/heater: post complete pic top to bottom and its data plate, but almost certainly not original to this trailer. Be very cautious w/ all gas appliances - leak check safely, or better yet, leave the appliances' evals to a pro - this also goes for weater heater, range, propane lamp, fridge, gas bottles & pigtails, regulator, and all gas lines/fittings. If this heater is as old as it looks (it looks to be a early 60s model house-bathroom type), and if you need a wall-installed heater (vs. a portable floor-standing propane heater or similar non-installed solution), then you'd be well served to replace with a small modern ventless catalytic propane heater with safety shutdown systems.
7. Towel rack not original.
8. Coleman propane (not kerosene) lamp is not original. Humphreys (the brand used) propane lamps were original and if properly maintained are very useful at providing both light and taking the chill off, especially when we're dry camping.
9. Curtains - not sure but very likely not original but easy enough to keep pending someone's more knowledgeable answer.
10. Fridge also probably not original but post more info about it w/ photo of its model/serial plate (backside) and describe its capabilities as you learn them, e.g. can it run on propane? or only 120V electric?

Wood is almost certainly birch and birch ply. Split-rims can be kept if you want but don't ever actually use them; not many technicians left who will even work on these any more due to lacking the safety cage needed. I ~recycled~ my splits rims 30+ years ago.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:25 PM   #3
A2F
1 Rivet Member
 
1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsjmcg View Post
Archive of AS photos here:
http://vintageairstream.com/photo-archives/

There's a range of 50s photos showing lots of original parts and configurations but many pics are incomplete a/o much changed from when new so ask away if still in doubt. As for your photos...
1. Your Bumper is not original, however, you will likely find it handier than the original non-utilitarian channel-iron bumpers of that era because yours can hold gear, typically the hose to drain sewer tank.
2. Not 100% sure but likely is for a gas water heater. Open it up, take pic, repost. Also post a pic of inside cabinet under sink as this is the inside where your metal shroud pic is.
3. Magazine racks of that era typically had a metal mesh screen front, 2 wood sides and 1 wood bottom.
4. Spice rack not original.
5. Paper cups holder not original. Paper towel holder ~looks~ original but this model was also widely available, and for decades, at any local five and dime store. On the wall behind your paper towel holder is the power switch (with a indicator lamp and an outlet) for an electric water heater.
6. Furnace/heater: post complete pic top to bottom and its data plate, but almost certainly not original to this trailer. Be very cautious w/ all gas appliances - leak check safely, or better yet, leave the appliances' evals to a pro - this also goes for weater heater, range, propane lamp, fridge, gas bottles & pigtails, regulator, and all gas lines/fittings. If this heater is as old as it looks (it looks to be a early 60s model house-bathroom type), and if you need a wall-installed heater (vs. a portable floor-standing propane heater or similar non-installed solution), then you'd be well served to replace with a small modern ventless catalytic propane heater with safety shutdown systems.
7. Towel rack not original.
8. Coleman propane (not kerosene) lamp is not original. Humphreys (the brand used) propane lamps were original and if properly maintained are very useful at providing both light and taking the chill off, especially when we're dry camping.
9. Curtains - not sure but very likely not original but easy enough to keep pending someone's more knowledgeable answer.
10. Fridge also probably not original but post more info about it w/ photo of its model/serial plate (backside) and describe its capabilities as you learn them, e.g. can it run on propane? or only 120V electric?

Wood is almost certainly birch and birch ply. Split-rims can be kept if you want but don't ever actually use them; not many technicians left who will even work on these any more due to lacking the safety cage needed. I ~recycled~ my splits rims 30+ years ago.
Thanks rsjmcg for the reply! The trailer is parked about 40 min away and I have a busy week, so I will not be able to take more pics until this coming weekend. I assumed there was more original parts because I am the second owner, but it looks like they already modified a few things.

That makes me feel better about removing certain things!

So if I have everything checked by a pro, and they find faulty wiring.... does this automatically mean interior walls must come out to reach them? I mean I wish I could quickly pull everything out, replace all old wiring and tanks, etc and put back together, but I think we were going to wait about a year and use it first before tearing it apart. My fear is we will start and it will stay in pieces for years. eek!
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:05 PM   #4
in the rising sun toaster
 
1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
Wimberley , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 52
Before pulling any panels, or doing shell-lifts, or anything at all really, I recommend you first locate a reputable and LONG experienced pro. Getting a thorough survey/report of all its systems and their conditions will be money VERY well spent and you will know at that point exactly what needs to be done NOW to ensure you at least have a minimally safe camper, what you can choose to do yourself, or must pay others to do for you, and what repairs and upgrades aren't safety-related so can actually be deferred for your later leisure and interest. Using and maintaining a vintage Airstream is not unlike continuing episodes of "this old house" with their many systems and an on-going need to make parts, adapt parts, or change things to new parts as you see the need, and you'll learn all this while you enjoy camping in it.

Botomline: Enjoy it, but *FIRST* you should ensure its systems' current conditions do not put you or others at risk, then, ENJOY it! So what if it isn't perfect or isn't restored to factory original! It's YOUR trailer and you can do whatever you want with it - it's 60+ years young at this point and appears to have many more years of camping life left in it (anyway there's not a 60 year old travel trailer anywhere that is perfect, just a few owners here and there who wish they were).
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:52 PM   #5
A2F
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Very good advice, thanks!
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:46 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
1950 22' Liner
1980 31' International
1962 19' Globetrotter
Naples , N. Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 19
original equipment

The water heater box on exterior is original and worth saving for future sales even if you don't like it. It is a well built piece of useful art. the fridge,spice rack and the dixie cup holder are probably not original. The bumper may not be original but useful for sure and protective. just let someone run into that and see how they fare and how well your trailer does also. Remove things you don't appreciate and use what you like.
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