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Old 02-05-2011, 07:28 AM   #1
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Where to find detailed restoration info

I'll be starting a complete refurb of a 66 Globetrotter when things finally thaw this Spring and could use as much information as possible while planning now. Ideally I'd like to find sources that walk through the entire process with images and / or video. I've seen the series on DIY channel - looking for a bit more detail about shell removals, floor replacement, belly pans and riveting than that had.

I know we've got folks here that have blogged, or videoed their process and others that maintain threads or web sites. I'm getting fantastic bits and pieces throughout the forums, but a beginning to end process that's documented with a fair amount of detail would be really helpful. I know they exist but I'm having a heck of a time finding them.

If you know of good examples I'd really appreciate responses with links.

Thanks
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:17 AM   #2
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You should fly out to the restoration rally we have in June of each year in Albuquerque - we cover it all...........

Ken J.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:32 AM   #3
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Here is one of my favorite web sites: Vintage Airstream Home

Or you could visit some of the threads under restoration/repairs/floors and frames. Specifically "the fun begins" and "slow floor replacement".

Good luck with your restoration. We look forward to following your progress.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:15 AM   #4
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Thanks, That's a good start. Had found a couple of those and they've been helpful. I'm really looking for the complete process being documented rather than trying to find single subject posts.

I also found this thread on another forum which was great - I'd like to find a few more like it. The two you referenced are also similar. I've gotta believe there are more like this around here and on member blogs & websites that I haven't found yet.

Links to additional gems appreciated!
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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It would be nice to have a comprehensive tutorial or some such on a complete restoration. I haven't seen one.

I think that the problem, and the same reason there aren't any sticky threads that address even one area, is that there are so many individual circumstances that would cause one person to do something differently than another person.

The bottom line, in my view, is that it is not really complicated. It is just hard to get straight answers to what should be simple questions.

Each stage of a restoration generally is specific to one area. Frame, running gear, floor, shell repairs/sealing, windows, plumbing, electrical 12v/120.

There are nagging little issues that come up that need to be investigated and thought about and that is inevitable. The major issues that I have run across, and these are the red meat for this forum, are:

How to get the shell off and support it.
For the frame it is repair or replace. What metal to use. Involves steel and welding.
For the running gear it is replace all or parts, and for axles it is what kind and size.
For the floor it is what type of plywood to use and how to seal it.
I haven't gotten to the shell repairs and windows yet so I have to leave those off.
For plumbing it is what to replace the fresh water lines with. What Pex connectors to use.

All of these areas/issues are subject to a lot of opinions.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftless View Post
Here is one of my favorite web sites: Vintage Airstream Home

Or you could visit some of the threads under restoration/repairs/floors and frames. Specifically "the fun begins" and "slow floor replacement".

Good luck with your restoration. We look forward to following your progress.
RJ dial's website is a great resource....

Also start reading these threads:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

THEVAP.COM listen to the podcasts
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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I've never seen the kind of documentation you're looking for, though it's certainly possible it exists. A complete end-to-end process, photo- or video-documented would be great, so if you want to document your own reno that way I'm sure that many would find it extremely helpful.

If I were you (and this is precisely what I did before beginning my own major renovation), I'd read slowly and carefully through all of the threads on Major Renovations here on the AirForums, which can be found here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Many of them are quite lengthy, but I find them to be incredily informative and inspiring. And since so many posters here have a great sense of humor, they're often quite entertaining as well. I've read all of them at least once all the way through, and several of them multiple times.

If you're going to read just one, though, this would be my recommendation (it's the very first one in the above links):

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ler-11687.html

Tons of detail in method, ideology, and photos in that thread.

I consider ALL of the above to be required homework for anyone who is about to undertake a major restoration/renovation.

Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
If you're going to read just one, though, this would be my recommendation (it's the very first one in the above links):

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ler-11687.html

Tons of detail in method, ideology, and photos in that thread.

I consider ALL of the above to be required homework for anyone who is about to undertake a major restoration/renovation.

Good luck!
-Marcus
So true, Marcus.

I still go back and read Uwe's thread, and JP's and Carlos' as well, even though I'm getting into the home stretch with mine. There are still ideas in there that I pick up.

When you start doing one of these things, you can't know enough to ask the right questions, but the answers are usually in those threads.

Helps to read different threads, too, since everyone has slightly different ideas and different ways to getting things done.

cheers,
steve
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Thanks for the suggestions folks. I guess I'll have to piece-meal it.

I do plan to do a thorough documenting of my process, however I expect it to be at least a two year process due to the fact that I don't have much spare time.

Near term focus is getting the foundation stable. guts out - shell off - frame solidified - new axle - mechanical systems in place, new floor, shell back on and everything weather tight this year (I hope). The interior and everything else next year.

I am a planner at heart. I work much better when the plan is thought out (even if there are surprises) rather than trial and error and error. So I tend to research a lot before digging into something like this. I'll continue to search, but these forums have been a great resource already.

Thanks again - and if you happen to come across any end-to-end stories, please post them here.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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Truth is there are usually more than one way to do most any process involved.
For my part, I think at least a third of my time was spent doing research
And searching for alternative parts (which most always causes a change of plans).

The most important asset you can be gifted with is the ability to improvise - and that
Is something you can't document...
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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Another "problem" with documenting every minute step of the way is that it takes so much time! Especially to stop doing what your doing to take a picture then to download all the pics & write up the narrative. Even then, you miss some shots along the way...having been through 2 restos, and trying to document them both, it's hard. I would say to do a thorough job of "documenting" you'd have to have a clone or shadow for every step of the way...it would double or triple the length of time for the restoration - easy. And then, each year/model trailer has it's own peculiar idiosyncrasies and history.

The list of threads posted earlier give different perspectives & conditions to consider. The forums in general are a great tool! Read through the threads, jump into your own project and ask questions along the way...those that have "been there, done that" will jump in and coach you along the way. No "one person" has all the right answers for every project IMO.

Good luck, and welcome aboard!

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Old 02-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #12
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Thanks again for the thoughts folks. A couple of points:

-I know everyone doesn't document every step and that there is a time consideration in doing so.
-At the same time, some have done it - and I plan to do it. So it does happen.
-I know that each approach and situation is different
-This is exactly why I'd like to find more examples
-I know unique issues arise with any project like this regardless of how much one plans
-That doesn't negate the benefits of having a plan that's well researched. In fact the more research, the more variations that are seen and the more issues that can be planned for and avoided or addressed - the whole point in the first place.

I'm the youngest of four and I avoided innumerable problems, bouts of trouble and the like by observing my older siblings. I still had my issues but I learned from their mistakes. It works - and it's become an MO that's been very successful for me.

I know more examples are out there. It's just a matter of locating them. I've got two months to plan then it's off we go into full-monty refurb!
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Another "problem" with documenting every minute step of the way is that it takes so much time! Especially to stop doing what your doing to take a picture then to download all the pics & write up the narrative. Even then, you miss some shots along the way...having been through 2 restos, and trying to document them both, it's hard. I would say to do a thorough job of "documenting" you'd have to have a clone or shadow for every step of the way...it would double or triple the length of time for the restoration - easy. And then, each year/model trailer has it's own peculiar idiosyncrasies and history.

The list of threads posted earlier give different perspectives & conditions to consider. The forums in general are a great tool! Read through the threads, jump into your own project and ask questions along the way...those that have "been there, done that" will jump in and coach you along the way. No "one person" has all the right answers for every project IMO.

Good luck, and welcome aboard!

Shari
Yea, What Shari said!

If one restoration thread could address most of the questions you will need will probably be covered in Shari's massive "Birdy" project thread. This is a pure restoration that keeps true to the original ideal of the vintage trailer. One of the very best!

I myself was fortunate enough to have completed most of the major work on my Safari before discovering Airforums. Reading the many tales of the good, bad and OMG would have added years on to my completion date.

But don't settle for just one source of information....and try to stay true to the original idea of your 66' GT.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:38 AM   #14
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I thought about creating that kind of documentaion and writing a book. But then considered how few people would be potential buyers of such a book and decided my return on investment would be in the red.

I, like most everyone else, launched into the restoration because I wanted to be partaker of the end results, and delaying my goal by two to three times to create documention that I could not profit from simply was not part of my objective. Further, having watched others on the forum offer their experience just to find themselves subject to extreme debate, I lost all interest.

Having observed the number of 'gutted' Airstreams for sale over the years, it becomes clear that may people launch head-long into the process without realizing what they got themselves into....

If I could offer any knowledge it would be to have a forest view of the project as a whole and divide the project into manageable - size phases. Focus on each phase with the highest level of detail until it is complete. Your forest view should keep you from getting through a phase just to realize afterward that you forgot something like installing wire for the Microwave before you put the skin back on the wall). Completing each phase before starting another gives you the ability to not feel overwhelmed.

Don't start the project if you have a restricted amount of money: even if you had a god-like ability to know every part you need to finish the project in advance, it is extremely unlikely one could forecast what those parts cost when you go to buy it.

Lastly, take the amount of time it should take to complete the project and double it. Take the amount of money you think it will take and double it to compensate for the parts you didn't realize you needed, then double that amount to compensate for errors and the worsening economy.
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