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Old 01-18-2004, 12:30 PM   #1
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1968 22' Safari
1976 27' Overlander
Newport , Washington
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Cool 1st A/S owners need advice!!!

My partner and I bought our first A/S one week ago today. I have been on the computer checking out restorations ever since....it's like a cult in here, and we're happy to be a part of it!

We bought our 22' 1968 Safari to resell. Purely investment, as I maxed out every loan/credit line I have to buy her. We fell in love when we walked in the door, and by the time we brought her home, she wasn't going anywhere. We love it

After spending the week cleaning up the almost perfect interior, we have run into the following problems (mind you, we have ZERO camping experience, and knew nothing of what we were doing when I pulled up to see the A/S sitting in a field in Southern MO.)

1) there is barely any propane flow. The stove parely lights, and we cant test the water heater, or furnace to see if they work either. What might be the problem? The former owner (who was SO MUCH HELP TO US...what a guy!!! Thanks JOE!!!) said he used the stove furnace regularly before purchasing his new one. ( I hate to call and ask him, he was so sad to see it go.).....

2) after two days of rain, there are three small leaks inside. two of which are within 12 inches of the two exhaust fans. I purchased caulk yesterday to caulk around the fans when it drys up. Does that sound like the right thing to do?

3) All of the windows have been replaced with plexiglass, where can we have them replaced with glass??? I know that will be costly. So that will happen in time...

4)Our fridge is in mint condition inside, but the former owner said it didn't work. We'd like to have it fixed instead of replace it. What is the general thought on that? worth it, or not? Remember, we're poor now.

5) where is the CHEAPEST place to buy new propaine tanks? Ours are old,and of course no one will fill them. One is still full though, so not toooo urgent.

We would appreciate all of your help...We are so excited to be a part of this wonderful group.

We are buying a 27' (we think that's the length) 1978 Overlander tomorrow. TWO AIRSTREAMS IN JUST OVER A WEEK!!!! My aunt in CA is funding our (very new) dream to rehab airstreams. This one is a wreck inside, but the body is perfect, accept for a few window seals, that are missing. Oh, and the door is held closed with a screwdriver.... . So we will be asking MANY more questions about that one, as we will be using someone elses funds to rehab, so it will happen much faster than our '68 Safari.

Hope you all can help us, and hopefully we will be a regularly recognized forum name too....

Ron and Tony in St. Louis MO
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:35 PM   #2
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1968 22' Safari
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P.S. how do we post a picture???

P.S. how do I post a picture under our name, as so many of you have. It's not as pretty as yours but we are proud of her!!
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:14 PM   #3
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"there is barely any propane flow"

Could be a bad regulator. Could be a shut off valve not open fully. Could be sludge in a line or oriface. This problem has a thread on these forums, but it may be hard to find.

"purchased caulk yesterday to caulk around the fans when it drys up. Does that sound like the right thing to do?"

No. There are a limited number of sealants you want to use on aluminum. None of them are silicone. Never, never, put silicone on aluminum - it manages to adhear tenatiously without being waterproof.

Check for bad gaskets first. Particularly around the plumbing vents. If bad (and they almost certainly are) they need to be replaced. Airstream dealers have or can order these. The two sealants most recommended for your Airstream are Vulkem and Parrbond. Do a search on both these items for more information.

"All of the windows have been replaced with plexiglass, where can we have them replaced with glass"

Some can and some cannot be as there are no glass replacements made. I'll let some of the 60's owners give you more on that.

"Our fridge is in mint condition inside, but the former owner said it didn't work. We'd like to have it fixed instead of replace it. What is the general thought on that?"

They can have very inexpensive things go wrong. Search on "refrigerator" for more on this. There are rebuilders but expect to pay $500 or so to rebuild one.

"where is the CHEAPEST place to buy new propaine tanks?"

Take your tanks down to one of those places that trades out full tanks for your empties.

You are really going to like the price of a replacement lock for your '78. Let me suggest you do some serious digging in the archives as everything you mention is dealt with in far greater detail than I can relate here.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum.

Mark
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:31 PM   #4
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Welcome Ron & Tony!

Let's walk through the picture under your name (avatar) issue. Beyond just using the search function, click on the Forum tab at the top of this webpage. There are quite a number of subsections devoted to specific aspects of ownership, repair, this website, etc.

Then click 'About these forums, How-To's & more..." The 4th topic down will answer your question. Be sure to size down any photo to approx 100 x 100 pixels. This can be done in photo editors for digital cameras, though not with the software that came with my mini-Canon... I think the size limit for an avatar might be violated by bitmap format, so stick with jpg or gif files (tho I can't say this for sure).

There is a limit on the number of threads you will see when you go to a topic area from the Forums page. Note the line just below where you can change the number of threads, date span, etc, -- good for browsing purposes. The content of many threads will go places the thread name doesn't suggest -- some more, some less, some better. This is where the search function will probably remain your best tool.
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:42 PM   #5
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Lightbulb Whoa...

tin can luv
Welcome~!
Congrats on your new units~!

Quote:
5) where is the CHEAPEST place to buy new propaine tanks? Ours are old,and of course no one will fill them. One is still full though, so not toooo urgent.
Do you by any chance have the "aluminum tanks"?? If so, you could have retrofited with the new OPD.
Aluminum tanks are very expensive to replace new. The old ones are worth keeping~!
If they're just steel tanks, then I'd do as was suggested by J54mark..

ciao
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:40 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Thank you much!

Thanks for the usefull info, just found a great thread on sealants...
We look forward to more usefull information.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:37 PM   #7
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1st A/S owners need advice!!!

Greetings Tin Can Luv!

Welcom to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership.

Quote:
1) there is barely any propane flow. The stove parely lights, and we cant test the water heater, or furnace to see if they work either. What might be the problem? The former owner (who was SO MUCH HELP TO US...what a guy!!! Thanks JOE!!!) said he used the stove furnace regularly before purchasing his new one. ( I hate to call and ask him, he was so sad to see it go.).....
There are two possibilities. My first suspicion would be that the LP regulator has malfunctioned. On both of my Vintage units that was one of the first LP related malfunctions on the coach. There are any number of places to find a replacement from your local LP supplier to an Airstream dealer - - the service department at my nearby Airstream dealer replaced both of mine.

You also might want to check that the supply valves are full-on for each appliance in question. There are likely two supply valves on the range (1 for the range-top burners and a second for the oven burner), and there are also usually valves near each of the other LP appliances. The ones on the range can be the most difficulty to identify - - depending upon model of range the top might lift-up to reveal the burners and the valve in questions on others, it is accessed by reaching beside one of the burners to change its position.

Quote:
3) All of the windows have been replaced with plexiglass, where can we have them replaced with glass??? I know that will be costly. So that will happen in time...
Your '68 model would be the last of the three-year model cycle for Corning Glass windows. These elegant curved windows are very difficult to replace - - there have been attempts at having them reproduced, but I haven't heard of any that have materialized - - the window glass is no longer available from Airstream - - once in a great while, one or two windows have appeared from a dealer's New Old Stock.

Quote:
4)Our fridge is in mint condition inside, but the former owner said it didn't work. We'd like to have it fixed instead of replace it. What is the general thought on that? worth it, or not? Remember, we're poor now.
While there are at least two shops that I have heard reports of rebuilding the Dometic RV refrigerators, they are distant from the Midwest. The one that is most often mentioned is located on the West Coast and I believe that the second is located on the East Coast. Due to the chemicals involved in the RV refrigeration process, this is not a do-it-yourself proposition so it becomes one of finding a repair/service technician who would be willing to work with the company that rebuilds the cooling units - - not all dealers in my experience are anxious to help in these situations. I know that I have already decided that when the original refrigerator in my '78 Argosy Minuet fails - - its replacement will be a new Dometic 3-way refrigerator in the nearest then-current size.

Quote:
5) where is the CHEAPEST place to buy new propaine tanks? Ours are old,and of course no one will fill them. One is still full though, so not toooo urgent.
Before making the decision to replace your tanks, it would be wise to first determine if they are Aluminum (often bearing the manufacturers mark for Worthington Aluminum). If the tanks are aluminum they are likely well-worth the cost of refitting and recertifying. I recently had the original aluminum tanks on my '78 Minuet re-valved and re-certified at a cost of less than $75 for a pair of 20 pound tanks. Before selecting a shop for this process, you might want to be sure that they have the specification sheet for aluminum tanks as they take a different valve (dip-tube length is different) than similar sized steel units - - my local LP dealer didn't want to work on aluminum tanks so I asked my Airstream dealer to have his usual LP service technician perform the installation and testing.

Good luck with your projects!

Kevin
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:16 PM   #8
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Before you go to the expense of a new fridge, I'd inspect and make sure the problem is not as simple as a dirty clogged burner.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Now owners of two A/S in one week!

OK, we just returned from a hellacious transport of our second airstream. Our first A/S we purchased last week towed like a dream! THis nightmare of a 76 Overlander may have been a bad idea. All the more reason to rip it up and out, and give this one a new facade!!!

You guys have been great! Keep sending more info on everything there is to know about 76 Overlanders and 68 Safaris.

Oh, did I mention that the we thought we were buying a 78 overlander, until I signed the title???? Crazy.
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Old 01-31-2004, 08:27 AM   #10
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If you decide to repair your fridge, you have a place just a couple of hours south of you in Benton, KY. I have some friends in Paducah, KY that used them and they were pleased with the results. They even have a web site.....

http://www.rvrefrigeration.com/

There is also a company in that general area that advertises in the Blue Beret (the magazine of the WBCCI) that claims to specialize in Airstream interiors - carpet, curtains and upholstery. I have no personal experience with them, but I know how hard it was to find someone around Atlanta to recover the sofa in my Aistream. They are Fowler Interiors and their number is 270-851-3257.

Good luck with all your trailers!
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Old 01-31-2004, 12:29 PM   #11
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Tin Can Luv,
We had 2 very old propane tanks on the Argosy, and we took them to walmart, and they exchanged them. I don't remember the cost, but I think it was 20.00 each, or there abouts. Ours were from 1972, and the clerk didn't question it, just exchanged them. Of course they were busy at the time!
Good luck with your double acquisitions!!
Marie
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Old 01-31-2004, 01:32 PM   #12
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1st A/S owners need advice!!!

Greetings HP9K!

Quote:
There is also a company in that general area that advertises in the Blue Beret (the magazine of the WBCCI) that claims to specialize in Airstream interiors - carpet, curtains and upholstery. I have no personal experience with them, but I know how hard it was to find someone around Atlanta to recover the sofa in my Aistream. They are Fowler Interiors and their number is 270-851-3257.
Arlene and Henry Fowler of Fowler Interiors are true craftspeople. They have completely refurbished the interiors of both of my coaches - - for the quality of their work, the price is reasonable - - Arlene is a perfectionist when it comes to the upholstery and interior finishes, and Henry is a perfectionist in bringing the woodwork up to standard (he custom built a new oak top to replace the original Formica top on the Overlander's drop-leaf dining table and rebuilt the Credenza table in the Minuet using solid oak - - both turned out as beautiful additions). They also replaced the tambour in the upper lockers on the Minuet with white birch veneer tambour that was piclkled to simulate the original plastic laminate tambours. Their workmanship on both coaches is beyond reproach, and I would not hesitate to recommend them. They are located just a few minutes East of Paducah, Kentucky - - about 80 miles East/Southeast of Carbondale, Illinois.

Kevin
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