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Old 08-24-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
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Reproduction astrodome vent cover

I installed new reproduction Astradome vent cover from VTS. Although it is heavy duty and well made, it is not as translucent as the original. No where near as much light comes through. It appears to have random brown, almost burnt looking areas 4-6Ē diameter when sun light comes through.

Has anyone else installed one of these and how did it look from inside in daylight?
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari64
I installed new reproduction Astradome vent cover from VTS. Although it is heavy duty and well made, it is not as translucent as the original. No where near as much light comes through. It appears to have random brown, almost burnt looking areas 4-6Ē diameter when sun light comes through.

Has anyone else installed one of these and how did it look from inside in daylight?

Our astrodomes are milk white and solar gray.

Most owners chose the solar gray because it let in a lot of light, but no more UV than the white.

Solar gray is a soft light, and the milk white is a little on the harsh side.

Andy
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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I have installed one of the astradomes from VTS on my 61 Caravel. Mine replaced a homemade styrofoam and rusty metal concotion that let in no light, so I am getting more light. I haven't noticed any splotches like you describe. I am going back to the trailer over Labor Day weekend and I will look at it carefully.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help
Seems what I wanted was Andy's Solar Grey. Expensive learning curve.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Safari64
Thanks for the help
Seems what I wanted was Andy's Solar Grey. Expensive learning curve.
Modern ceiling vent cover should let in some light.

White light is good.

Solar gray light is superior.

Brown light is a bummer.

Andy
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:12 PM   #6
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Reproduction astrodome vent cover

I purchased a solar grey one from Andy. It was easy to install and made a nice difference in the amount and type of light coming into the coach. And, I like being able to see the stars at night.

Steve
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:35 PM   #7
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Would this one work: eBay Motors: RV Revcon Airstream vent lid fiberglass replacement NEW (item 190145770726 end time Sep-05-07 09:57:42 PDT)
?
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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I think the dome the original poster was referring to was the oblong front dome. The one in Siffy's posting is a square dome. You can get the squre ones at any RV shop. The oblong ones are not available except thru Andy at $ and are acrylic based. The VTS ones, I think, are made from thin fiberglass. Polyester fiberglas does have a brown tone. I chose to make mine out of corrigated Lexan polycarbonate which has much better impact resistance and insulation qualities. It is not as pretty or like the original but much cheaper. They use it for green houses.
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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15" X 25 1/2" is not square.
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:41 PM   #10
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I've got one from VTS and love it. I tried two of them from Inland and they both cracked ; good thing about the VTS one is the metal reinforcement in the area where the operator is attached. My experience puts me in favor of the fiberglass.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:15 PM   #11
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$137.95 + shipping VS. $39.90 + shipping & seal
That's a big difference in price.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:24 PM   #12
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Thanks,

63Air, do you have photos from inside? Is it at least uniform in color?
Mine sure looks brown in spots. I'll try to post photos later.

I wrote VTS...no response

Unhappy camper

I need daylight
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:10 PM   #13
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S64 , I'll have to look at the color, I've never really noticed. I was more concerned with the outside look and how it funtioned, especially after my two from Inland failed. I suppose since it is fiberglass you could just paint it. Never really cared about light getting in.

Surprised you have not heard from VTS as they are very customer friendly.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #14
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Greetings Astradome people,
I fabricate the Astradomes for Vintage Trailer Supply at my Airstream Restoration shop in Upstate NY. After a great deal of searching, we used an original (Ohio production) dome to create the tooling & to determine the construction method. The shape, materials, opacity & overall look are identical to the original used from 57 through the early 60's. We believe that the factory switched to an injection molded part at some point in the early 60's through about 66 in order to cut costs. These have also all failed by now. California production trailers received a slightly different design of Astradome that was slightly higher in the central portion & did not have a gelcoated surface. The surface on these ones broke down quite quickly due to UV's as well. Our Astradome is fabricated by hand from fiberglass mat, cloth, gelcoat & resin. The gelcoat is sprayed into the mold & is the white surface you see on the top side of the dome. White gelcoat was not & is not intended to be tranlucent however due to varying thickness of the gelcoat, there is a certain amount of light penetration. This is why you see darker areas. We added stainless steel inserts between laminations in the fastener area to strengthen the surface where the ladeau lifters attach. The domes were originally pop riveted to the lifters & overtime would pull through the glass/mat matrix. We recomend using stainless steel machine screws & nylon insert nuts to install them now. As I'm sure you are all aware, the plastics industry has made great strides in the last 50 years & what was once very prone to UV failure can now be replicated out of UV resistant resins & gelcoats. These are the only differences compared to an original. As Wally once said "make no changes, only improvements". We chose to work with Steve @ Vintage Trailer Supply on this project & many others because of his outstanding approach to customer service. If you have any questions or concerns about any of his product line, you should call or email him. We have also decided to add a 5 year warranty to these Astradomes, so if they fail due to constuction defects, it will be replaced no charge. The other alternative would be to fabricate one yourself or to purchase one from Inland RV. Although this product looks good overall, it has several design flaws in my opinion. The first one being the material it is made out of. It is fabricated out of Acrylic (commonly called "plexiglass") sheet which is thermoformed into the shape. Another piece of acrylic is bonded into the inside of the curved dome surface. If you have ever worked with Acrylic, you will know that it cracks very easily when drilled. The second one is that the two parts have an air space between them and do not come completely together in the area where the ladeau lifters attach. A number of our customers have commented that after purchasing one of these domes, due to the stresses induced during drilling or inserting pop rivets in order to fasten the ladeau lifters, the domes cracked & were no longer usable. If Polycarbonate (commonly known as "Lexan") had been used & the air space had been eliminated, this product would probably be acceptable. Polycarbonate is very user friendly & workable however it is approximately double the price of Acrylic so I suspect that is the motivation for the material choice. Vintage trailer Supply sells our version of the Astradome for $169 & Inland RV sells it's version for $179 however they are on "sale" right now for $137.......a "sale" that never seems to end.
Both Steve & myself are very active in the Vintage Airstream community & believe that creating faithful reproductions of components using the best materials available today will only enhance the value of your trailer & ultimately bring other devotees onboard. My wife & I, along with our 5 year old son have logged over 10,000 miles on our 59 Ambassador International since February this year, going to rally's all over the country. We meet & discuss many of these issues with other vintage devotees in order to better understand your needs.
Hopefully this has given everyone a better understanding of what goes into product development.
Thanks,
Colin Hyde
VAC Technical Advisor

PS I'm not so sure that "brown light" exists in the color spectrum.
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