Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-22-2016, 11:44 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1970 27' Overlander
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 8
runaway project

Hello, my people! I bought my 1970 Overlander a few months ago and finally found someone willing to tow it to a highly-recommended repair place. While I was introducing him to my AS, he convinced me he could repair it himself if I brought it home (he lives nearby). He has a serious background in custom auto body work, but no experience with Airstreams.

I'm having to stay in my rental as long as I have the Overlander in the driveway, so I'm motivated to have this repair move along. That said, my friend is proposing repairs faster than I can research them. He wants to drill out the lights (the little ones above the rear window, which are missing their lenses and maybe more), replace the flooring (he took up the carpet and found some soft spots), pressure wash the exterior (he's so excited about producing a mirror finish, I find it difficult ... but necessary ... to tell him I'm keeping the patina for now). I've read things about ASs (not specifically Overlanders) that make me think the plywood is structural and not just a base for the carpet? He's talking about treated plywood with caulk all around. I'd like to top it with cork flooring.

He's had an A/C guy come out to look at the rooftop unit, and while he was there the guy suggested some foam-based cleaning operation that could also be used on the fridge. I need the propane tanks & regulator replaced, and we haven't yet found the battery. Does it live on the curb side behind the tires, or somewhere else? He says the fridge won't work (even on propane) without the battery, and from what I've read I believe he's right.

He wants to have all the plastic windows replaced at a glass shop, and from what I've read in other posts, that's a good plan.

My priorities in this are safety, comfort and economy. I'm planning to live in it while I build a house out in the country, so shocks and axles are low on my list. Is there any reason I should revise my thinking on that?

I hope to be able to operate using solar with a generator back-up. Is there anything I should have him do while replacing the battery and checking the wiring that would make solar go easier? For instance, is there any reason I should or shouldn't go completely DC? I don't have all the terms down - I'm foggy as to what the Univolt does and whether it's wise to mess with it; I'm unsure about charging, controlling, inverting ...

Please give me your thoughts before this project gets away from me? I make my decisions slowly after research, and this guy just retired and wants to go go go! Which I love. He's not online, btw, or I'd have him poring over the forum himself.

Thanks everyone! I'm so excited about this! Please give me your thoughts? I'd like to avoid any costly mistakes.
__________________

__________________
OhLook_SHINY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 12:22 PM   #2
Rivet Puller
 
SeeMore's Avatar
 
2004 28' Safari S/O
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,138
Images: 3
Cleaning the cooling fins is an easy DIY project and the product below works well; including on your home HVAC unit and truck/auto radiator fins:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/AC-Safe-A...-920/100599017

Before you proceed with any solar decisions read all the material here:
www.amsolarrv.com/rveducation/

There is an unbelievable amount of information on the forum but finding it is tough using the site's search engine. Try reading up on how to use the advance abilities of Google to more easily narrow the topics and answers to specifically what you need.
support.google.com/websearch/answer/134479

Hint: Using the google site be sure to add the phrase site:airforums.com to your query so only the forum is searched.
__________________

__________________
"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."

Sirs Gawain & Galahad
Air #48582, S/SO #003, WBCCI #4584
SeeMore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 12:34 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,903
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
If your refer is the original there is no 12 volt requirement.
Upgrading the Univolt is highly recommended.
If it will be parked with shore power. Then a battery is not required if a new multi stage converter is installed. You will need a battery with solar in order to store the energy.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,051
My responses below in Blue:



Quote:
Originally Posted by OhLook_SHINY View Post
Hello, my people! I bought my 1970 Overlander a few months ago and finally found someone willing to tow it to a highly-recommended repair place. While I was introducing him to my AS, he convinced me he could repair it himself if I brought it home (he lives nearby). He has a serious background in custom auto body work, but no experience with Airstreams.

I can't help discouraging anyone from mixing friendly relationships with "business," so to speak. It just seems like there is a big opportunity for hard feelings if things don't go right, project runs too long, too expensive, etc. If you are dealing with a business, then if things get ugly, you can always take your business elsewhere.

I'm having to stay in my rental as long as I have the Overlander in the driveway, so I'm motivated to have this repair move along. That said, my friend is proposing repairs faster than I can research them. He wants to drill out the lights (the little ones above the rear window, which are missing their lenses and maybe more), replace the flooring (he took up the carpet and found some soft spots), pressure wash the exterior (he's so excited about producing a mirror finish, I find it difficult ... but necessary ... to tell him I'm keeping the patina for now). I've read things about ASs (not specifically Overlanders) that make me think the plywood is structural and not just a base for the carpet? He's talking about treated plywood with caulk all around. I'd like to top it with cork flooring.

The plywood subfloor is a structural member, and is sandwiched between the shell and the frame. If you want to replace the entire floor, it is easiest to do as a "shell-off" or "full monty." The floor can also be replaced with the shell on, but it is harder to do. The rotten spots can also be patched, but the patches have to be tied into the remainder of the floor properly, and fastened under the walls correctly. Do not use treated plywood for any of this, as it has nasty chemicals that may prove unhealthy to the inhabitant of the trailer, and corrosive to the aluminum. Do a google search for "airforums full monty" and you should find several lengthy threads about shell-off rennovations. Shining the shell should be the very last thing you worry about.

He's had an A/C guy come out to look at the rooftop unit, and while he was there the guy suggested some foam-based cleaning operation that could also be used on the fridge. I need the propane tanks & regulator replaced, and we haven't yet found the battery. Does it live on the curb side behind the tires, or somewhere else? He says the fridge won't work (even on propane) without the battery, and from what I've read I believe he's right.

The battery might be in a compartment that is only accessible from outside. It will be low, and probably toward the rear of the trailer. Not all fridges require 12V. Usually the older it is, the less likely it will need the 12V power. It should be clear by looking at how it is wired up as to whether it needs 12V. A typical RV fridge does not have much for "fins" like a conventional refrigerator does. You can usually clean up the cooling unit with a shot of compressed air.

He wants to have all the plastic windows replaced at a glass shop, and from what I've read in other posts, that's a good plan.

It is a good plan, but might be easier said than done if you have side windows that need to be replaced. The side windows are all curved. Only the front center and rear center windows are glass.

My priorities in this are safety, comfort and economy. I'm planning to live in it while I build a house out in the country, so shocks and axles are low on my list. Is there any reason I should revise my thinking on that?

You might have a hard time getting safety, comfort, and economy, as economy tends to suffer the more safe and comfortable the trailer becomes. Your mention of postponing the axles makes sense, but in the big scheme of things, the axles are relatively inexpensive. If you have to replace your AC or your refrigerator, you are looking at close to $1000 each.

I hope to be able to operate using solar with a generator back-up. Is there anything I should have him do while replacing the battery and checking the wiring that would make solar go easier? For instance, is there any reason I should or shouldn't go completely DC? I don't have all the terms down - I'm foggy as to what the Univolt does and whether it's wise to mess with it; I'm unsure about charging, controlling, inverting ...

your trailer has both AC and DC systems. The AC system powers your 120V outlets and the converter (univolt--replace this, by the way--it will boil your battery), which charges the battery to supply the 12V systemand the air conditioner. Your lights, water pump, and some appliances use 12V. A solar system is just going to charge your battery. One word of caution is that you are not going to be able to run your air conditioning off of a 12V only (even with solar) system.

Please give me your thoughts before this project gets away from me? I make my decisions slowly after research, and this guy just retired and wants to go go go! Which I love. He's not online, btw, or I'd have him poring over the forum himself.

Go to the "portal" tab and find the "buyer's inspection checklist," then go through the entire list. You will then have a task list which may help you to decide the scale of the job at hand. If it boils down to just a bunch of small repairs, then your buddy down the street might be the perfect guy to tackle it. If you end up with a complete subfloor replacement, then maybe an experienced repair shop or at least a good bit of self-education is in order to prepare for it. It is easy to get carried away and rush into these jobs, thinking you have a few superficial fixes, but then as you dig deeper, the project explodes. This is why you can find so many gutted trailers for sale.

Thanks everyone! I'm so excited about this! Please give me your thoughts? I'd like to avoid any costly mistakes.
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 05:01 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
1970 27' Overlander
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 8
great suggestions

Thanks! I'm hoping to not need "normal" shore power - just solar (eventually). So batteries will definitely be involved. The one my friend was planning to get is a marine battery, but it sounds like lead acid (he mentioned "plates," and said it wasn't gel). I was wondering if this would be the time to jump to something different, or whether it wouldn't matter because I'll likely be buying a bank of all-new batteries when the time comes?

SeeMore, I'll follow your recommendations! Excellent suggestions!

I'm in the hot and humid south, btw.

Does anybody have suggestions about vapor barrier for the floor? He's wanting to add felt paper. I'd never thought of that before.

Thanks, again! keep the ideas coming, I really appreciate it! This is a little overwhelming, all of a sudden ... working, packing ... planning for yard upkeep and house building and a 90-min commute after living a mile from work for 10 years ...
__________________
OhLook_SHINY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,051
So...what is your target date to move into the trailer full time, and what is your budget for the project? Also as mentioned, in the hot and humid south, you run an airconditoner 24/7 seven months out of the year. You will need a massive amount of batteries and an acre of solar panels in order to not need a hard wired 110V AC connection.

Lead/acid batteries vs. AGM batteries makes the biggest difference when it comes to where they will be stored. Any lead-acid battery will need to be vented to the outdoors. AGM batteries (much more expensive) can be inside the sealed living space.

good luck!
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2016, 08:59 AM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
1970 27' Overlander
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 8
Wow, Belegedhel! thanks so much!

I try not to involve business with friendship, because I am always trying to get the absolutely best deal and my standards are high. But so far this guy is doing a fabulous job. He hopes to keep the entire reno under $3k.

I've got 5 acres, so plenty of space to have a crazy big array (which I'll use for the house when the time comes). I can also run a generator when needed, since there's nobody nearby to hear it. I'm hoping to get the Tesla PowerWall, but I haven't heard anything recently about when it will be available. My friend mentioned that there are businesses in the country who drive around refilling propane tanks, which gave me the idea to run my future house on propane, with one of those big tanks.

I've got a place to stay midway between the property and my job (so 30 miles from my job, which is 60 miles from my land). This is another friend's place, and someone may be coming to occupy it in January or so, so January would be when I'll move into my AS.

I'm really not an a/c person. I have the lowest electrical bills in the summer of anyone I know. As long as I can get it cooled off enough to sleep at night, I'll be alright.

I picked up some gorgeous hardwood floor at the Habitat Restore over the weekend. The carpet's up, and now we can see that the soft spot near the door was patched in the past. I think we can remove that patch and replace it without doing any further harm. Thanks for the advice on the treated plywood. What about the sealants I've seen recommended? Thompson, 3M 4200, CPES? I'd like to avoid toxins as much as possible. This is termite country, though.

Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions!
__________________
OhLook_SHINY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2016, 09:20 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,051
I just coated my subfloor, top and bottom, with about 3 coats of polyurethane. Of course, I replaced my entire floor in a shell-off, so was able to get at the edges of the sheets, which are the most vulnerable to water. It seems that UV and weather have the biggest destructive influence on finishes, and as my subfloor will never again see the light of day, I figure that a super high-tech finish is probably overkill. Poly cures to be about as inert as anything, so it should minimize toxins.

good luck!
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2016, 04:49 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
1970 27' Overlander
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 8
polyurethane

polyurethane sounds good to me! thanks!!
__________________
OhLook_SHINY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2016, 10:01 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
drboyd's Avatar

 
1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,425
Sounds like he's trying to sell you on the things he wants to do or can do, as opposed to the things you actually need most.
__________________

__________________
"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case
drboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1961 Caravan project new2me General Repair Forum 3 03-19-2003 08:35 PM
Project for much ' Better men' than I. hex Off Topic Forum 4 01-29-2003 07:26 AM
Update of project 31ft MH Donald B Graves Airstream Motorhome Forums 8 01-28-2003 11:38 AM
Restoration Project xtrm69 Our Community 5 01-14-2003 06:24 PM
Picture of my project 74Tradewind 1970-79 Tradewind 1 12-21-2002 09:14 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.