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Old 04-24-2004, 07:20 PM   #15
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As said many times this is a fabulous site with so many experienced forum members of have "been there done that" - that are just a wealth of knowledge to us newbies!

I think the FAQ idea is a great one - but it will take alot of time to prepare.

As rog pointed out how do you wade through it all - many of us get really excited about our A/S's and add lots of colour to many simple questions - that is just human nature...

But as a Newbie tackling our first A/S one system/step at a time can be a bit overwhelming. Expecially if we can not find the answer in the Owners manual - or the Service manual that came out 4 years after our A/S was built (however does have a lot of relevant information)

I spend hours reading threads where one person asks a question and there are 5 other posts not related to the question - or additional questions then interjected - sending the thread in several different directions - such as what we have done here in this thread.

Rog's start is a fine one - but hypothetical - but due to the start of this thread it brings up a very real and valid issue - trying to get answers to many simple technical and procedural questions in operating and restoring Vintage A/S's from a multitude of forum members. And again it is human nature to when reading to go with what you understand....So like Shari my answer to the first post is sit in my new 70 Tradewind - 25' and imagine what it would be like to be sitting in a 69 Globetrotter

FAQ is the way to go - and If I can be of any help in supplying questions please count us in!

Rog - I think you have a fine 1970 - 25' and logical approach - I would ad more emphasis on stop the bleeding so that you can work on all the other parts - so sealing and window issues would be first for me.
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:15 AM   #16
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If you understand construction or building and can use tools and have done some house remodeling you can work on an older Airstream. The forums are very helpful in fulfilling some tough problems. Most Airstream repairs are common sense. Appliances can be a challenge. I have learned a lot from these forums and I thank the people for their support and being so helpful.
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Old 12-11-2004, 06:47 AM   #17
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It would be great to see the "family tree" idea carried through to a poster,(24"X36"?)with a picture of the model year and a listing of the changes. Something that you could frame, hang on the wall and refer to.
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:16 AM   #18
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Funny thing, we had considered doing something very much like Craftsman described, as a special insert to Airstream Life magazine. I was envisioning a pictorial family tree, but realized that with all the different models produced, we would have to break it down separate posters for each major era, or print a huge poster.

It's still on the "wish list." If anyone wants to volunteer to provide resources to such a project (graphic design, photography, research, etc), let me know. Perhaps we can work something up as an Airstream Forums community project?
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Old 12-11-2004, 07:22 PM   #19
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Lightbulb Idea for family tree

I don't see any possible way to make a thorough poster depicting all of the years and models, but how about if we add photo links to Shari's matrix like in the attached illustration?
The camera icon would be a hyperlink which opens a photo page of that particular model.
I believe that a chronological chart with comments and photos like I'm suggesting would be the most thorough database of it's kind anywhere.
I've owned eleven different vintage models and years and I have photos galore which I'd gladly contribute.
Sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile community project to me. Your thoughts?
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Old 12-11-2004, 08:34 PM   #20
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Just a point of view from a new Argosy owner. I would like some "simple" answers to questions if possible. All I wanted to know was what battery to buy for my "new" older 1978 24ft Argosy. I couldn't understand most of the battery information on the forum. Talk about technical. I'm more confused than ever. I know these people knew what they were talking about and what each other was talking about, but I surely was lost. It would be nice if some simple suggestions could be given for the novice owner who will not be living in their AS, but wants to do the right thing to keep a week-end toy in good shape and safe. I love this sight, but sometimes the information leaves me out of the loop completely.
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:02 PM   #21
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I understand your desire for a simple answer. But what seems to be a simple question is like asking "what car should I buy?". A lot depends on how you intend to use it. If you give a little more information you will get a more complete answer.

Do you use your trailer for boondocking, or mostly at RV parks with full hook-ups?
What 12v appliances do you have and how much so you use them when not hooked up to 120 volts? How often do you use the trailer? How much do you want to spend?

The simple answer is: any 12v deep cycle battery that will fit in the box, the cheaper the better. This assumes you do not want to spend a lot of time on battery maintenance, and will replace the battery every 12 months.
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:50 PM   #22
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Lightbulb I have a couple of thoughts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
I don't see any possible way to make a thorough poster depicting all of the years and models, but how about if we add photo links to Shari's matrix like in the attached illustration?
The camera icon would be a hyperlink which opens a photo page of that particular model.
I believe that a chronological chart with comments and photos like I'm suggesting would be the most thorough database of it's kind anywhere.
I've owned eleven different vintage models and years and I have photos galore which I'd gladly contribute.
Sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile community project to me. Your thoughts?
I'm glad to hear some of you are finding the 'Vintage Airstream Matrix' helpful. While I think photo references would be a nice addition...there are several 'hiccups' that would have to be overcome. First being, with all the options that were/are available (ie. Land Yacht, International, Custom layouts, owner modifications, etc.) and the California vs Ohio differences that exist, what exactly is a 'typical' representative of each year & model? RJ Dial has a great collection of photographs on the 'Vintage Archives' at vintageairstream.com that I know has taken years to gather, so a pictoral reference already exists. You can get an idea of how involved it could get to combine all this information into one location...not to mention the time & effort that it would take to collect and maintain this database and the server space to host it....it could easily be a full-time job for awhile.

The intended purpose for the matrix I created was to have a quick reference tool to help identify gross differences, design changes and transition years, which could be used hand-in-hand with RJ's existing vintage archive photographs or the AirstreamForums.com photo references as they grow, in an effort to narrow down the age of a 'mystery Airstream'. At times, I've found it cumbersome to search through all the photos looking for the distinguishing features without an idea of where to start, thus the simple matrix was 'born'. It can be printed out (20+ pages) and tucked into your trailer or car for a reference tool when on Airstream sighting excursions. Photo references couldn't really be incorporated unless a major book effort was undertaken...

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Old 12-11-2004, 10:33 PM   #23
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Why not a FAQ by model and year?

Why not make a "sticky" FAQ list at the beginning of every model thread? Besides, of course, the fact that it would be a major pain to do.
It can be as model and year specific as needed, stay where a new user could find it, and maybe cut down some on the redundant posts.
Things that are common could be cookie-cuttered into the FAQ, with specifics following.
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Old 12-12-2004, 06:49 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craftsman
It would be great to see the "family tree" idea carried through to a poster,(24"X36"?)with a picture of the model year and a listing of the changes. Something that you could frame, hang on the wall and refer to.
I would suspect the "poster" would need to be several maybe one for each major body change? RJ's website has been invaluable for comparison. Any time I have a question about what a particular model may or may not have had or looked like it is the first place I head. Second place is AirstreamForumsPhotos, but the searches there are somewhat cumbersome because of the way people have keyworded or not the pictures. JMHO BTW someone let me know when they find a LEAK FREE 70's vintage anything

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Old 12-12-2004, 07:23 AM   #25
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Simple answer

Thanks Don, now that was a "good answer". Actually I haven't used my Argosy yet and I don't have any 12V appliences that didn't come in the coach when it was built. I will try to give more information when I ask questions in the future. Of course you kinda have to know the questions to ask, and I guess I don't. I want a good battery that I could do a little RV park-boondocking type combo if the spirit moved me. I'd like suggestions from cheap to excellent. You know that kind of Good to Very Best type of thing. Then I wouldn't have to let everyone know whether I was really checp or not. Thanks again for taking the time to help me.





Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I understand your desire for a simple answer. But what seems to be a simple question is like asking "what car should I buy?". A lot depends on how you intend to use it. If you give a little more information you will get a more complete answer.

Do you use your trailer for boondocking, or mostly at RV parks with full hook-ups?
What 12v appliances do you have and how much so you use them when not hooked up to 120 volts? How often do you use the trailer? How much do you want to spend?

The simple answer is: any 12v deep cycle battery that will fit in the box, the cheaper the better. This assumes you do not want to spend a lot of time on battery maintenance, and will replace the battery every 12 months.
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Old 12-12-2004, 08:19 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
I would suspect the "poster" would need to be several maybe one for each major body change?
That was exactly the idea. We were thinking up to 10 posters, one for each major "era". Unlike RJ's website and Shari's matrix, the posters would just be a general pictorial view of the major changes in Airstreams over the decades. It would leave the detailed differences (CA vs OH, Internat'l vs Land Yacht, etc) to the fine web resources that already exist.

The plan was one poster for each "era" or major body style. The exact dates are debatable -- and historians like Fred Coldwell would know much better than I which breaking points make sense -- but you can see how each poster could be part of a very collectible series going right up to the present day.

I still think it would be a valuable and fun resource for buyers of used and vintage Airstreams, but it would take a community effort to do it. It wouldn't answer the questions posed by Juel but I think it would be worthwhile.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:13 AM   #27
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A LEAK FREE 70's vintage anything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
.... someone let me know when they find a LEAK FREE 70's vintage anything.
All:

Aaron (Wahoonc, above) posted an astute rhetorical question... the "hidden leak damage" is one that should take on more and more importance as the price of "vintage" units continues to climb. I would suspect that only trailers that had spent their entire lives either in desert conditions or that have been garaged full time truly have no water (rot) damage...if you look for it (damage), it (rot) will be there.

What to do?

I wish I had an easy answer - each time someone asks me in person, or posts here on the Forum ... "I am looking at a 19?? Whatever..., how much is it worth?".... I cringe - so many variables. I would suspect that the best way to truly establish the "soundness" of a trailer (or Motor Home) would be for the owner (soon to be seller) to document (both in writing and with pictures) any repair or inspection done to the trailer so the prospective purchaser has a bit more to go on that the seller's comment "everything is OK".

I did a one hour inspection on the '78 Sovereign prior to putting it on the hitch...and now, after removing all of the furniture for cleaning, have discovered that both the front AND rear plywood floors have issues around the "C" channel - the damage is not unexpected (remember the title of this post), I am only pointing out that the damage would not have been discovered without the removal of all of the furniture. The damage (rot) was situated in places impossible to access (see, feel, or stick with a pointy object) with the furniture in place...

Having said that, put yourself in the position of a seller - and a prospective purchaser wants to disassemble your pride and joy to look for "rot" that you (the seller) does not think is there and really does not want to find - a tough situation for both parties - but if I were a seller, I would not want just anybody removing furniture from my "ready to sell" trailer.

One solution (to assure that everything would be properly reassembled after inspection) would be for the prospective purchaser to pay for a certified AS repair station to disassemble and reassemble at the purchaser's cost...I would suspect a minimum of 10 hours at a minimum of $50 per hour. A pretty steep "entrance fee" just to determine if the trailer is sound.

Given Barkingspider's problems in finding an AS service facility to properly repair his front floor repair, and eventually having to do it himself, (http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=11903)
I would really doubt the ability (at least here in the Houston area) of any given repair facility to be able to remove all of the furniture, inspect, and replace the furniture properly and with no collateral damage (put yourself in the shoes of a Shop Manager here - this is a job you are going to give to the "New Kid" in the shop - save the Gray-Beards for the "difficult" repair jobs).....


Again, what to do?

One possible solution would be for the seller to disassemble (for the purchaser) all of the furniture, at a fixed cost payable by the purchaser whether or not a sale ensures – this would allow the purchaser to investigate “hidden” areas, and would insure to the seller that all will be reassembled to the seller’s satisfaction. The cost of the teardown and inspection would have to be born by the purchaser, and written off as part of the “cost of purchase” – just another part of the cost of travel/inspection/hauling inherent in the purchase of a trailer.

In summation, everyone, (especially Newbies), should be aware of probable hidden damage in “Vintage” trailer purchases, and adjust perceived value accordingly.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:39 AM   #28
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Exclamation Thanks for the clarification

Dennis,
Very well put!
We knew we had rear end floor damage in our unit and negotiated the price accordingly. However! we were not aware of the front end rot, until I pulled the gaucho to do some metal repairs to the gaucho frame, that was when we discovered rot right at the edge of the interior wall, further investigation and removal of the interior panels revealed that the two main hold down bolts were rusted; one was completely sheared off. The visible damage prior to removing the interior fixtures and panels was minimal and limited to a few missing rivets and some minor mis-alignment of the panels in one area near the hitch. Another hint that I mis-interperted was the corrosion on the belly pan at the seams. The unit had spent time near the coast and I made the assumption that was where the corrosion came from, it actually came from the inside where the water had been running along the frame to the belly pan seams. We were also not aware of any active leaks at the time of purchase but discovered several as the repairs went along, including one that I am still tracking down in the front window area. Another item that showed up was the "cuts" at the frame outriggers in the underwrap behind the banana wraps, again a concealed item that can only be seen by partial disassembly. Poor PO maintenance or lack of maintenance led to most of the issues I have been dealing with. Another item that was partially missed was the ungodly amount of silver silicone used to seal everything in sight. It looks like parabond, until you dig at it. If I were to purchase another unit with this amount of silicone on it, I would be very wary of a multitude of leaks and demand a reduction in price.
Another option that comes to mind would be to take the unit and have one of the new Leak Testers ( the one that pressurizes the unit) used on it with the understanding that I get to observe the entire process. These seem to cost in the $150-$250 range based on size of trailer and locale. This might be a selling point if the seller is interested in providing a clean bill of health for the unit. Other than that I don't know of any way to locate hidden problems, other than by dissasembly. It also helps to know the real history of the unit. I would be willing to pay more for a unit with a full documented history than one with a unknown or partial history...like mine.

Aaron
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