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Old 04-23-2019, 10:00 AM   #41
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1955 22' Safari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
Many but not all 1950s and 1960 Airstreams had their fresh water tank across the front under a gaucho or dinette, but a 1955 Safari was not one of them. The 1955 Safari original fresh tank location was under the front bench of the side dinette across from the door. Of course that was all changed on your trailer when some prior owner radically modified the floorplan. Not sure where that owner relocated the tank.
Pictures...
The water tank is in approximately its original location on the side, where the dinette would have been.

The original water tank fill line has been disconnected and a hose bibb type fill line was installed by PrevO.

There is a fitting with a completely corroded pressure gauge, I guess for adding pressure to the water tank.

Are there any downsides to relocating the water tank to the front?
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:31 PM   #42
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fun with rivets...

While removing indoor panels I did not expect to be dealing with [B]buck rivets[B]. However...
I discovered that the door frame is riveted to the surrounding indoor wall panels with what I assume are buck rivets.

Pictures are below showing both ends and a side view of one of these rivets.

One of the pictures was taken outside where exterior panel rivets can be seen near the back side of a door frame rivet. The heads look the same.
May I assume these are buck rivets?
Is that a faint dimple on the rivet head? Possibly useful as a drill set point?

(the gasket around the door frame has crumbled away...normally the back side of the door frame rivets would be covered.)

What is the recommended way to remove buck rivets from around the door frame?

I wish to be very careful since I am dealing with the door frame.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:44 PM   #43
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Yes, the door frame is buck riveted to the inner skin on every vintage Airstream I have ever seen. The rivets can be drilled out, but I would recommend reattaching with bucked rivets rather than pop rivets in order to maintain the original strength.

The dimples are useful for drilling, but I have been told that the presence of a dimple actually indicates it is a hardened rivet. Supposedly a rivet with no simple is softer. I do not know if dimpled rivets are available anymore.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:09 PM   #44
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I have been told that the presence of a dimple actually indicates it is a hardened rivet. Supposedly a rivet with no simple is softer. I do not know if dimpled rivets are available anymore.
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Thanks 66Overlander....
Yes, the rivets seemed to be harder than aluminum when I brushed/scraped old paint & gunk off the rivet head.

I have seen a "split head" drill bit recommended for removal of the buck rivets.
What diameter drill bit is recommended?
Are the buck rivets 1/8", similar to the pop rivets?
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:25 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by fiftysafari View Post
I have been told that the presence of a dimple actually indicates it is a hardened rivet. Supposedly a rivet with no simple is softer. I do not know if dimpled rivets are available anymore.
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Thanks 66Overlander....
Yes, the rivets seemed to be harder than aluminum when I brushed/scraped old paint & gunk off the rivet head.

I have seen a "split head" drill bit recommended for removal of the buck rivets.
What diameter drill bit is recommended?
Are the buck rivets 1/8", similar to the pop rivets?
Interesting question. I have done a lot of buck riveting on both my previous 1955 Safari and my current 1962 Safari. I have not removed the door frame rivets in either case so I can't talk about those specifically, but I can say all other buck rivets were 1/8", so I suspect the door frame rivets would be the same.

You definitely do not want to oversize the hole, so use a 1/8" drill bit to remove them. To ensure a good repair joint, you can use "modified brazier head" rivets that are available from Vintage Trailer Supply, and probably other sources, that have the normal head size of a 1/8" solid (buck) rivet, but a 5/32" shank. These work well if the hole gets "ovaled" during removal of the old rivet. Just clean up the hole with a 5/32" drill bit. Any place I replaced rivets I did this, but where I added new rivets I used normal 1/8".

There is much more to learn about buck riveting, but too much to type here. You can read a lot online to educate your self to things like rivet length relative to the thickness of the materials being secured together, the height and width of a good bucked rivet end (opposite the rounded head), etc.

Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:17 PM   #46
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I have removed bucked rivets with the "rivet removal tool" linked below. It is a tool that captures the OD of the rivet head and locates the drill bit dead center in the middle of the rivet. It has worked well for me.

It might be something that would make your job easier.

David

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-497.htm
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:35 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I have removed bucked rivets with the "rivet removal tool" linked below. It is a tool that captures the OD of the rivet head and locates the drill bit dead center in the middle of the rivet. It has worked well for me.

It might be something that would make your job easier.

David

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-497.htm
That's a really good tool to own!
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:20 AM   #48
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55 Safari roof vent fans...

My 55 Safari has 3 roof vents. Two have 120V vent fans and the third looks to have a wire but no fan.

I plan to install a 12V vent fan system to complement the 120V vent fans. However I am unsure whether to keep the two 120V fans in place and add one 12V fan at the third roof vent, or to have only one 120V fan and two 12V fans.
Alternatively should I go with all 12V vent fans or with all 120V fans run off an inverter?
I am going to install a 12V solar/battery system as an addition to the re-wired 120V system original to the 55 Safari, so I will have 120V and 12V available.

Picture shows existing 120V roof vent fan and adjacent 120V fluorescent light.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:37 AM   #49
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Picture of my 55 Safari developing electrical schematic for 120V and 12V systems.

I plan to keep the 120V shore power and the 12V solar power separate, except for a converter/charger when on shore power and an inverter for a couple of outlets when on battery power.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:07 AM   #50
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Best of luck! follow my signature link to my restoration efforts, they may be helpful.
Prairieschooner, you are too modest. that your posts "may be helpful" is quite an understatement. Thanks!!!
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:19 PM   #51
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I'd recommend keeping the vent fans 12v only. This is standard practice anymore. Modern fans move lots of air with 12v. The 120v is for the AC and outlets, and maybe a microwave. Airstream came out with the "univolt" system in the early sixties. Wally wanted the whole trailer to run on 12v, and charge up the batteries with the tow vehicle or while on shore power. Thus the converter was born.

Since you are going to rewire the whole trailer, rewire it as a "univolt" system.

David
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:40 AM   #52
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Since you are going to rewire the whole trailer, rewire it as a "univolt" system.

David
Thanks, dbj216.

So "univolt" it shall be

I still wish to maintain the original 120V light fixtures (the round fluorescents) and several 120V outlets for use while on shore power.

Should the original 120V light fixtures be connected to an inverter for powering from the proposed 12V battery system?

I guess that will not be strictly a "univolt" system but I do wish to maintain these original fixtures.


I am thinking to install a 30 amp panel with a circuit dedicated to a 12V converter while on shore power, with the option to switch to solar panel charging when away from shore power.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:54 AM   #53
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In my 55 Safari I have eliminated all 120 volt lighting in favor of 12 volt. They provide plenty of light and will run regardless of power source (battery, solar, generator or shore power). Same with fans. The only thing requiring 120 volts is the A/C. Water heater and fridge have 120 volt option but run on LP when no shore power is available. Keeps things simple.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:17 AM   #54
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In my 55 Safari I have eliminated all 120 volt lighting in favor of 12 volt. They provide plenty of light and will run regardless of power source (battery, solar, generator or shore power). Same with fans. The only thing requiring 120 volts is the A/C. Water heater and fridge have 120 volt option but run on LP when no shore power is available. Keeps things simple.
Keep things simple...best advice ever!!!

Thanks,
David
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:53 PM   #55
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Work continues on my 55 Safari...

Removed the water tank and the Hydro Flame heater in preparation for interior wall panel removal under the panoramic windows.

The Hydro Flame space heater was a bit of a struggle to remove and I managed to beat the vent up a bit.

Now on to the Bowen water heater removal.
I have been analyzing (and struggling with) the Bowen removal.
The panel lock catches are corroded so I will need to drill/chisel away at the bolts.
Disconnecting the water heater chimney from the vent cover may be a problem, but on I go.

Pictures of progress:
The Hydro Flame space heater. Here is hoping it will be serviceable.
Water tank, which I plan to move to the front of the Safari.
Bowen water heater, still to come out.
Interior wall panel, showing hole for Hyrdo Flame vent.

I am off to historic Gettysburg, PA for the weekend (B&B trip, not Safari...yet)
Back to work on Safari project next week. Oh, what joy the retired life is!
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:19 PM   #56
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Interesting to see the old appliances Airstream installed back then. New ones will work much better.

Have a good trip.

David
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:37 AM   #57
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Interesting to see the old appliances Airstream installed back then. New ones will work much better.

Have a good trip.

David
Hi David, Neither the water heater nor furnace pictured are original to a 1955 Safari. They must have been added when the interior was customized.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:08 PM   #58
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Thanks Joe: I'm always learning new things from you. I know the "whale tail" body shape of the mid 50s and the 3 big windows street side of the Safari. I know more about mid sixties trailers, and the same about mid 70s.

David
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:16 PM   #59
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I once owned a 1955 Safari. The 1954-56 Safaris are a neat trailer. I probably know more about that model than most other 50s Airstream models.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:25 PM   #60
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55 Safari serial #...

for all the Safari fans out there, my 55's serial # is 06092.

she is a pretty thing for sure, yearning for me to get to work so she can shine again.

I call her THE LORILU
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