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Old 09-26-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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1958 18' "Footer"
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Full Monte or not? I get what I deserve!

Hi all,

I bought a 1958 Traveler in January. It was so cute, I couldn't resist! I didn't take long to realize what a moron I am! I thought this would be a quick, strip the paint, new floor and cushions, and a few minor interior work and back on the road. Well, the next morning when I woke up, I took a closer look, and what do you know. There had been a fire inside, and almost half of the front end cap was missing. Plus the side that was still there looked like it had been shot with a shotgun and many other details, I was too oblivious to notice. This would have been fine, if I had known what I was getting into, or the seller was oblivious or not a well known trailer person, or if it was priced appropriately!!
It has taken me 9 months to think about even gutting it, since I have been rebuilding a canned ham. Now that I am getting into it, I am wondering how far to go? I have it almost gutted today, and will post pictures tomorrow.
At this point, I am planning on taking out all of the interior skin, since so much of it needs to be replaced, I might as well insulate and fix leaks, which I found out as it rained, it rained inside as well.
The question is, do I lift the body off the floor. The floor seems solid, but are things ever what they seem? Or do I just take the belly pan off and look at it from underneath? I would love some advice on this. I am not much of a metal worker, but have to learn fast, so I can fabricate a new end cap!
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:22 PM   #2
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You've got a great trailer and it deserves a proper foundation. The old subfloor is 53 year old plywood. Since you're just about gutted anyway, I'd sure recommend that you keep going--you'll be happy in the end.

Read a bunch of good resto threads. They really help.

Cheers,

Steve
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:24 PM   #3
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Great trailer.
Just make sure you have a plan.
Read, study, gather information before you do any more demolition.
Then, present your plan for critical analysis on this forum.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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I don't have a helpful opinion but just wanted to say it is very cute and I can see why you bought it! Good luck. I hope it turns out like you want.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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As a full monte veteran, I'd definitely encourage you to get a professional consultation, if not a head start on the project. It can save you a ton of time and money!

Uwe Salwender has been a major contributor to this site and, after redoing his trailer, went into the restoration business. See "a 63 for me" thread or listen to him on an early episode of theVap. He seems to have a very good reputation.

Uwe may be a huge help, or there may be someone closer. His business is at Area 63 Productions

pbearsailor had a good thought. Maybe this link will help: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Good luck with it -- it's a sweet trailer!

John
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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Oh, I just love it! You have a big job on your hands, but what a beauty it is!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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1958 18' "Footer"
Danville , California
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Thanks for all those nice comments on the trailer, I feel much better about the purchase now.
It was so easy to take out the interior! I have rebuilt 2 canned hams in the past, and for some reason this seemed so simple by comparison.
I do want this trailer to be the one we use for the long haul, so I guess doing the full monte is the way to go.
I have a pipe fitter friend, who said he would build me a lift for the body. I think I will give him a call.
I have been reading as many Threads on this list as I can, and I am on Uwe's site all the time for ideas! I will try to keep the updates on here, I would love any input as I proceed. This forum is such a great place!!
Here was today's progress. Sorry if the photos are not too great. Tomorrow I plan to remove all of the lower skin panels.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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Today I started stripping the orange paint from the rear end cap, since it is messy and I want to do that before I think about how to replace the floor. I have gone around the whole floor, and it seems really good. I could not find one area that was soft, but I guess it should have a new foundation like Steve said. Then I can POR 15 The frame as well.
I am having a difficult time figuring out how to proceed. To remove the shell I think I will build the interior supports and jack it up as opposed to having my friend build an A Frame with a winch. I will need to work on the frame under the shell a bit, since I am limited on space.
So far I for the next few steps, I think I should:
1. remove paint from interior that I am keeping.
Then for #2. should I A. remove all interior skin that is damaged, or B. remove only the lower panels to remove shell. It would be lighter without most of the interior skin, but would it be stable enough.
Any thoughts? Any threads about this?
Thanks for any advice!
Carolyn
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:57 PM   #9
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On mine, I took all the interior skins off, and with the exception of the rear end cap, stripped all of them outside. It's much easier to lay them on a flat surface outside for stripping.

I'd recommend taking all the skins off, so you can reinsulate and rewire.

My project was done shell on. It's no problem doing the subfloor with the shell still over the frame. To me, the biggest advantage to doing a shell off is that the bellypan work is far easier that way. Hated that step on mine.

Something you might think about on replacing that shot riddled interior endcap would be to redo it as a 13 panel. That way you could use flat pieces of aluminum instead of the shaped pieces of the 7 panels.

You're making good progress. One day at a time. .

cheers,
steve
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:11 AM   #10
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1958 18' "Footer"
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Eeek!! The 7 panels are not flat pieces! If that is the case, then I will get creative with a 13 panel I guess. I was just going to post that I have seen that David Winick did the floors in his book Airstream Interiors with the shell on.
This is something I am very interested in learning about. The thought of drilling out all of those rivets along the belly pan is not appealing.
How difficult was it to fit your floor back in? I will read your thread to see what you went through.
My belly pan seems to be alright. I might need a few patches, but I would love to save the expense of buying all new skin.
Thanks!!!
Carolyn
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:51 PM   #11
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1958 18' "Footer"
Danville , California
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Well, finding out that the floor tile that I had started to pull up has asbestos in it is putting things on hold for a bit while I figure out how to proceed! I had been under the impression that asbestos flooring was hard. My mistake, since this is my third trailer, I am sure I have pulled up and cut up two other trailers with asbestos flooring! Just what I need!
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:59 PM   #12
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You may also want to consider option of parsing out the job and subcontracting the sub-floor/frame check/plumbing updates, and then resume your own resoration for skins and interior fittings and cabinetry, etc.. Some of the heavy lifting for shell-off restoration takes more than a driveway and a friend... (Ask Ingrid...)
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:48 PM   #13
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1958 18' "Footer"
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Well this certainly made up my mind about replacing the floor. Now I am going to take the shell off and try to remove the floor without disturbing the flooring any further. Then I will really have a clean start! I am going to try to do it myself in my side yard. If I need help, well I will pester my handy neighbors and husband. I will post the pics soon.
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