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Old 07-20-2003, 11:08 AM   #1
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where do you start??

My wife and I have just rescued a '73 A/S 31' Ambassador. We are not quite sure what we have, but so far have determined that besides not having brakes, there are no running lights or interior 12 V system that works. The 110 keeps throwing the breakers. There are major leaks on the vista view windows as well as both wing windows on the front. The only running water is from gushes, drips and sprays when it's hooked to a water source. I have not checked out the LP gas lines. The floor is solid and intact. It actually, still has the original carpet and floor covering in the bathroom. There are no dents or creases in the skin. The cabiets & counter tops are in very good condition. The only thing I have done is to replace tires and rims to get it home. My question is where do you start? How do you seal all these seams around the windows and top skin panels? Do you drill these rivets out, seal the seams, and then replace with new rivets? If so, where do you purchase these rivets and riveting tools? How do you know what size? I need help, help, help!!!!! It seems that everything I read in the forums applies to our new acquistion. Thanks for anything you guys can do. I fully expect to completely replace the electrical & plumbing systems. thanx..Skip
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:42 PM   #2
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Wow! You got your work cut out! The fact that your 110 throws breakers and you have no 12 V working, I would check the converter first. Sounds like it went bad. The first thing I would do is try a known good 12 volt battery and see if anything in the 12 Volt system works. If it does that may point you in the direction of the converter. Next, I would shut all breakers off, then hook to 120, and turn the breakers on, one at a time, till you can isolate the problem.

As far as plumbing goes, you will be better off to start from scratch, rather than patch. The plumbing system is relatively simple in my opinion, but I am the son of a plumber. If you go with PEX, you will have to buy a crimping tool for around $100, unless you know someone you can borrow one from. If it has the original copper, and someone did not winterize it properly, the copper expands and standard copper fittings will not fit the pipe due to the expansion.

I don't have any experience with leaking windows, but plenty of folk here have, just wait a few, someone will chime in.
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Old 07-20-2003, 03:13 PM   #3
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Thanks Pick,
I tried the battery trick & sure enough,a few isolated bulbs (interior), an exterior light & one each; tail &amber side lights. I will try the breakers as you suggested & go from there. If I can secure power, I'll feel like I'm getting somewhere. The next step is to probably work on the windows & leaks. This A/S was protected from the elements somewhat, but now is out in the open.
thanx..skip & betts
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Old 07-20-2003, 05:02 PM   #4
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"If you go with PEX, you will have to buy a crimping tool for around $100"

I will disagree only to the extent that you do not HAVE to buy the tool. You can use Qest plastic connectors (bulky, don't always hold the first time, but easy to use), or Flair-it connectors (very strong, but a pain to install). Either of these are more expensive, connector for connector than the Qest metal (brass?) connectors. So for a complete plumbing job, the $100 tool may well pay for itself. And I think they make for a better installation.

Mark
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Old 07-20-2003, 05:14 PM   #5
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Skip and Betts

The best way to restore an Airstream is from the bottom up. Make up a master and fix one thing at a time - before long you will run out of things to fix....

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Old 07-20-2003, 06:47 PM   #6
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Mark..
How about CPVC to completely replace the system...except waste lines.
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Old 07-20-2003, 07:27 PM   #7
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"How about CPVC to completely replace the system...except waste lines"

This is what I wanted to use originally. However, a mechanical engineer told me that pvc and cpvc would not take the vibration and movement inherent in travel trailers as well as PEX.

For other opinions, see the thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...?threadid=5248

I do think it is significant that no rv maker appears to use pvc for water lines.

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