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Old 05-21-2018, 08:23 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 7
What a shiny can of worms! ('78 Tradewind)

(I'm hoping this is the proper forum to chronicle our repairs as we go along. Those are my favorite threads to read through and learn from, so I wanted to go ahead with one as we get started).

The kids settled on naming her the Roller Toaster, complete with giggle filled visions of cardboard cutouts of toast to mount on the sides of the ac unit :-)

As we've learned in the last two weeks since taking possession, oh, what a ride this will be. . .

A good airing out and ditching all the smelly curtains and futon, and we were pretty happy with how things were.

We managed to get the awning open one day (which the previous owner hadn't ever used in 9 years), and found it in mildly okay shape. Needs a serious cleaning, which I'm all ears on how to gently do that, but it will maybe hold up until we get to that part of the priority list of replacements.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:47 PM   #2
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1978 25' Tradewind
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 7
I got to spend some time on Mother's Day fiddling with odds and end of the trailer.

Taught my daughter righty-tighty, lefty-loosey and let her get the old brackets off the tongue so we could start prepping it to paint with POR-15 and spraying it silver again before installing our new weight distribution system.

Then I decided to test out how we're going to get the clear coat stripped off. The trailer sits right on a side road in our neighborhood, so it's seen by everyone. We figure there will be a little less consternation if we can at least tidy up the outside appearance and get rid of the dappled gunk. I tried Citri Strip on the bottom part of the door. Only about 50% impressed. It worked okay, but I'll have to figure out exactly how long it needs, because I couldn't quit get everything off near the bottom. I'm thinking maybe that it needed longer to cut through the grime. I also tested it on a tiny bit of clear caulk that was around the window and it ate that right away. How do I keep from disintegrating the seals? Painters tape and a prayer?
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:03 PM   #3
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1978 25' Tradewind
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 7
We've had a week of monsoon rain here and it wasn't until yesterday that we went back out to do anything in the trailer. Upon opening the door, this wall of wet funky smell just smacked us in the face. The carpet was sopping wet and I was sure it was because the trailer was leaking all week and everything was terrible ....

Turns out, yes, things are a little terrible but we found the reason.

Some time over the week, some thing caused the brittle plastic over the vent to crack and it had basically just been raining in for who knows how long.

Replacing the vents just moved WAY up on the list.

We pulled all the carpet out and got the box fans going. As of right now, it's pretty dry but the floor is not looking too good. A little old damage by the door and in the front corners, but going swimming now did in the rest. Instead of our original planned patching, we're going to do as much as we can get to. The kitchen is coming out, along with the bedroom pieces, so I'm hoping it won't be too bad?
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:17 PM   #4
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Hi - not sure how I missed this thread. Looks like you started it 4 years ago, replied 2 years ago and again tonight - with no other responses! I personally have no wisdom to share but am hoping others who know your trailer and have some skill might step in and offer some words of advice.

Are you saying it's been sitting for 4 years and that cracked vent cap might have been damaged (say by hail) years ago? If so - I wonder if the subfloor has been waterlogged and damaged to the point of requiring replacement.

Best of luck here!!
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:33 PM   #5
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1978 25' Tradewind
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 7
Oh, no, we've only had it two weeks. I know the vent cap was intact a week ago, we had them all open to check the cranks and such and then had a look from the ladder to make sure they closed right. I still can't figure out what broke it unless it was just so fragile that our moving it and then the force of the rains we got was enough. I don't think we had any hail, and the branches don't come close enough to have whacked it. Maybe it was a particularly chubby squirrel leaping off a branch, who knows!

(No idea why the dates on the thread look like that, I just started it today)
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:50 PM   #6
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
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Oh - I'm just an idiot! I interpreted 48m as 48 months ago

I am such a dipstick sometimes! Glad you haven't been hanging out there 4 years without any help!

Uhm - I gotta go now
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:06 AM   #7
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1967 17' Caravel
Stayton , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 21
Citri Strip

When using Citri Strip it worked for me by covering a 2' by 2' area,then covering that with plastic (think painters drop cloths the cheap ones) tape in place loosely with blue painters tape and leave for 20 min. or so. The stripper won't work if it dries out.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:06 AM   #8
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belen , New Mexico
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you've got a PERFECT and much needed sense of humor!
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:41 AM   #9
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffTheTrail View Post
As of right now, it's pretty dry but the floor is not looking too good. A little old damage by the door and in the front corners, but going swimming now did in the rest. Instead of our original planned patching, we're going to do as much as we can get to. The kitchen is coming out, along with the bedroom pieces, so I'm hoping it won't be too bad?
Oh, I wouldn't say that your floor looks so bad... I'm guessing that at least half of the folks on the repair side of Airforums would have happily traded floors with you! Many folks can see daylight through the floors on their newly purchased vintage Airstreams, so you're doing fine.

Keep us all in the loop as your project progresses!
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:04 PM   #10
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
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Just a point that may or may not be needed and is certainly NOT a "drop everything and deal with" thing .... the picture of your awning extended (in your first post) reveals that the awning is not deployed correctly or fully. The bars with the hooks should be positioned at end of the awning and locked. You may have already figured this out ... (the awning is not particularly intuitive and can be very frustrating) ... but if not, the following "how to" for Zip Dee awnings will be helpful. There are other YouTube videos on this subject as well. (Your year of trailer may or may not have a different locking mechanism to keep the awning in the closed position.)

Good luck with everything ... you will have a great time with your new toy!
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:06 PM   #11
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1979 25' Tradewind
Newcastle , Oklahoma
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 66
Deja VU

Nice Trailer
Last year I purchased a 1979 Tradewinds that was in about the same shape as yours. If you leave it in the open very long you will probably get multiple offers on it from people passing by. I finally had to move mine into my shop.

Suggestions: Ditch the plastic box in front that holds the converter. Cover the hole in the floor and set the new converter in the same spot. Look at the Boondocker converters for a replacement. Look real hard under the bathroom sink and shower. My floor was completely gone in back. I gutted the bathroom and cut that piece out and replaced it with one solid piece. Unbolt and remove the gray water tank panel in the back and you can get a real good look at the rear frame and floor. Switch the clearance lights out with LED lights. Just cut the wires off right at the old light and hook the new light on and go. Don't let one of the wires slip down into the wall because it is tough to get out, Trust Me I Know.

I removed all the interior walls and components but not the inside skins. I did not want to go that far. I am not finished but I don't work on it full time. I work on it for a few months in the evenings. Then I get burned out and take a month off. I got mad at the trailer a few times and put it up for sale, but after a few days I take it back off the market and get back to work. It is a Love/Hate relationship!

PS: Axles will be my last step here in a few months. Be sure and check your axles out.

Good Luck & Have Fun
MC
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:38 PM   #12
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1978 25' Tradewind
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 7
Clear coat getting the best of me!

It's been a slow, slow start thanks to summer with five kids needing to be entertained and fed and kept alive and all 😂

Thanks so much to the pointers on the awning. Once my attention was called to it, the proper way made so much sense.

I've been chipping away at getting the interior out. It's amazing how unlike any regular demo this is. No flinging hammers, just lots of methodical hours drilling out rivets!

After putting on new tires, repacking the brakes, and working through a serious wiring issue, i recently towed it 400 miles to my mother's house where we have been staying. Huge driveway to park and work in - it's awesome.

Part of what I've recently been trying to tackle is the rest of the clear coat. I'm ready to throw in the towel I'm so frustrated though. I've been using CitriStrip and have figured out a good system, however ... there are sections of the trailer that it just doesn't seem to do a thing to. The lower side panels have come out nice and shiny. The front and back and roof though ... those are completely different. Could they have already been stripped and I'm just not realizing it? Or something else, stubborn clear coat, someone put a different coating on? I see typical balding spots but the clear line of where the stripper will work and where it doesn't do a thing is really suspicious.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:45 PM   #13
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1993 25' Excella
Early Bird , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 211
Images: 11
nice find........

dont give up......keep plugging along and you will be a happy
family. trailer would look great polished, he he !

I started on my trailer about 4 months ago....this is how far I have gotten
hmmm, dont laugh, heres a few pic

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Old 07-20-2018, 09:48 PM   #14
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1993 25' Excella
Early Bird , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2018
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few more

anyway have fun.....
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