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Old 07-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
Newport News , Virginia
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OMG Where to Start

I am a brand new airstream enthusiast and and the enthusiam has gone hog wild. I just started removing all interior and walls on a 1967 overlander do to severe floor damage. Now that all is out of the inside I have found some major problems. 2 Big questions, The roof has a a few holes where air conditioner was removed and also a prior patch from stress damage from a/c. Should I replace the entire aluminum panel on the roof or just patch. The ribs have also in some places become deriveted how should I fix this. Secondly I have the interior walls that have that vinyl covering but some of it has peeled off, can I just strip it and how, then whats best to fiinish it with paint or leave aluminum. Hopefully I will learn as I go, thanks to all of you on this forum for giving me the courage to undertake this project. I am a true newbie and have never done anything like this in my life. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
I have attached just a few pics of what I like to call my little toaster.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
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Interesting project. Have you checked on the possibility of putting fantastic fans in those holes?
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Welcome to the forums and congrats on your new 67. Looks like you jumped in with both feet.

Regarding the roof, I would never replace a whole panel. No need to do that. Just patch the small holes with some aluminum. This is what I did when I removed my old Armstrong AC unit. You might look at a thread I have titled Dans Tradewind Improvements.

I don't have a clue what to tell you on the vinyl.

Dan
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Hi and welcome to the madness!

My advice: If your floor is rotted all over, just go ahead and plan to lift the shell. It may sound like a big deal, but trust me, you are a long way there already, and it will make floor replacement, frame repairs, axle repairs, bell pan replacement, etc., all a hell of a lot easier. I recommend building a couple of gantries out of 4x4s, lifting the shell, and then using the gantries to flip and rotate your frame.

For the holes on the roof left behind from the AC, I would recommend one big patch. Other Forums members routinely do this when replacing AC units because the original units were originally riveted/screwed down around the perimeter, and taking them off leaves a zillion holes that have to be filled somehow. A picture of the stress-damage patch you mentioned would be helpful.

When you say the ribs are becoming deriveted, I would ask for more description--do you mean they are no longer riveted to the skin, or are they not riveted to one another? If they have come off the skin, then you should re-rivet them using buck rivets. If you don't already have a buck rivet gun, you can buy a "starter" kit from Vintage Trailer Supply that has all the gadgets you need to get going.

As for the vinyl peeling off the walls, some folks purposefully peel the vinyl off to get that "CCD" look, but I hear it is a major bear, requires a lot of elbow grease and harsh solvents. The shiny aluminum interior is very fashionable, but the new Airstreams have a coating on the aluminum so that it doesn't show finger prints, etc., bare aluminum, so is a maintenance PITA. You might be able to peel only what has already let loose, and then paint the interior with some kind of textured paint (like Zolotone) to hide the fact that there is some vinyl, and some bare.

Good luck!
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I don't know how many roof vents you have, my 66 TW has 3, but I would only use fantastic fans as replacements for other vents.

BTW my window mounted AC is working fine today while I replace the refrigerator. See Dan's 66 Tradewind Improvements. It is a real easy install.

Dan
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Hello Neighbor!

Every time I think about renovating a classic Airstream - I buy a new one. It's a lot of work, but I've seen some beautiful restorations.

There are MANY many stories here documenting the full monte restore you're doing. First I'd spend a few evenings reviewing these to help you build a task list so that you never have to rip out anything to do work that should have been done first.

Sometime give me a call. I'd love to visit you and admire your work from a safe distance!

Paula
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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1967 26' Overlander
Newport News , Virginia
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Ribs

It appears that some of the ribs have cracked in the center where the a/c was and a hole was drilled for wiring, as for the long ribs running front to back its like the are just there for the interior walls not really connecting to the bows is that normal? should I add support and where can I get that channelled aluminum.
As for the fans I saw where most were putting in fantstic but do they have rounded corners like the original or will I have to cut the roof more.
Any Ideas for that huge skylight that the PO glued a piece of plexiglass to.
Also thought about fixing the roof with big patch to cover all the a/c shroud holes, Buck rivets oh no, now I see I need to go to rivet school.
any locals out here got any clues as to where i can learn to build a plane, sure looks like thats what I need.
see pics of rib close up
I will be pleading later when I finally get to the floor for advice.
If you live in the area and are willing I would love to see your AS
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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1967 26' Overlander
Newport News , Virginia
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I come up to Nelson county alot thats close to you I hope, would love to meet sometime and see and hear about your restoration
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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Howdy neighbor. I'm down in Portsmouth and if you ever want to stop by and take a look at my project, you are more than welcome.

If you look through my blog, you will see that I coated the roof with a white commercial metal roof coating. It does a wonderful job of sealing it all up as well as keeping it much cooler in the mid day sun. You might want to consider something like that for your trailer. It's easy enough to patch any holes up there with spare aluminum sheeting. If you have a compressor, a pneumatic rivet gun is your best friend. Not sure about NN, but there is a place down here in P-town that I can get my sheet AL from at pretty reasonable prices (compared to try and ordering it online). If you want to chat, pm me for a phone number.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
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Weatherford , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teentz View Post
Buck rivets oh no, now I see I need to go to rivet school.
any locals out here got any clues as to where i can learn to build a plane, sure looks like thats what I need.
see pics of rib close up
Check out eaa.org and find your nearest chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association. They are usually friendly folks, and they build airplanes as a hobby. One of them will probably be glad to teach you to rivet.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Riveting is easy--I learned everything I needed to know on Youtube (and several handy tips from the Forums as well).

I would reinforce the cracked ribs--would probably just rivet a piece of flat-stock aluminum to each side to beef it up. For the side channels that don't attach to the ribs, that's normal. They are just there to put some rigidity into the wall and provide something for the inner skins to mount to.
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