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Old 01-25-2005, 10:28 PM   #1
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gutting interior feeling helpless

Hi im new here. I just picked up a 1970 overlander. An old man and 2 cats were living in it for 10 years. I dont believe he knew what cleaning supplies were. Had to trash the gauchos, countertops, carpet. Im have never seen so much dirt and grease inmy life. WHen I sanded the cabinets I think I sanded more grease then I did stain. But there is wonderful potential here. anyways im definilty going to use it and enjoy it. (even if it kills me) So my remodel job is not going to be restoring to original condition. Its going to be to my likes. I had a few questions and was wondering if I could get some feedback. Im pretty set with replacing the tambour doors with regular door and making new sleeping areas with light weight materials. I would like to remove all the inside skin and replace with 1/8" 4x8 sheets of nice hardwood. I know it isnt original but has anyone done this? also going to install a pergo floor. main reason is that it just so dirty and I would prefer the wood look. Ive been doing demo and sanding for 4 days now and am feeling in over my head. I have a fairly decent budget so I think I can do everything I want to do. the stovetop is beyond disgusting. Does anyone know if there is one very close to the same dimensions as I would prefer to not completly redo the kitchen cabinet. Im trying to hire a master finish carpenter as this is tedious work. Thank good ness im a contractor so I have some resources to tap into. Might be overkill on the wood. but I was going to skin the fridge with AL and the wall behind the stove to break it up. Oh the ceiling fan and the screen that covers it is caked with grime. I mean I dont know how this man lived like this. I can say that the smell is gone now. but its one of those smells you will always remember
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:34 PM   #2
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Thumbs down Don't do it!

Quote:
I would like to remove all the inside skin and replace with 1/8" 4x8 sheets of nice hardwood. I know it isnt original but has anyone done this?
The interior aluminum skin is part of the 'monocoque construction' of an Airstream...in otherwords they are intregral to the structural integrity of the trailer. 1/8" hardwood is not going to be as stable or strong as the aluminum panels.

What you can do to get the wood look is, veneer over the aluminum panels. Either remove them, veneer from edge to edge and then re-rivet them back in place. Or, if you dont like the look of the exposed rivets, you can leave the panels in place, veneer them to the rivet lines then apply a solid wood trim (routed on the back) to cover the veneer edges & rivets.

I think in the long run, with all the curves and trim pieces, it would be easier to take the panels off and re-rivet them back on leaving the rivets exposed.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do ~

Here's a fine example of a '61 Globetrotter that has been restored to 'better than new' with a beautiful maple-clad interior.

Shari
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:01 AM   #3
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If you should remove the interior panels you must support the coach from end to end so that it does not sag.

Mark
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:14 AM   #4
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The long inner pannes are structual as Shari pointed out. Got to keep them. The caps are minimal stucture and you can change them without much adverse effect.
For wood Shari's recomendation is the way to go and a thin veneer is going to add minimal weight.
Paint stripper will take it back to aluminum. just be carefull around the end caps. They will be ABS or Fiberglass. Then repaint in desired color is the other option.
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for the info. All my interior panels are back in place. Now I can move forward tomorrow after work. If I go to work. Im sure I will need more advice as it comes up. I think the veneer over the panels is going to work perfect.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:05 AM   #6
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stovetop

Yes, there are "modern" replacements. Is there a Camping World nearby? Alternatively, search the forums under "cooktop" or "stovetop". "Thenewkid" aka Brett inserted a new two burner cooktop ordered from HomeDepot that looks slick (but no oven - but one could put a microwave in it's place too). Modern facets also dress up the sink areas well too.
Have fun!
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:09 PM   #7
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things are looking alot better

Thanks for the info you all posted.. things are looking up now. I have my cabinets completly refinished. I bought some formica that my wife picked out. looks like granite. Using on the kitchen counter and the counter above the fridge and the dinette table (that I havent built yet) There is metal fabricator in the same complex as my office. im putting brushed stainless on the fridge door and the wall above the sink. All the way up to the upper cabs. I thought it would break up the wood a bit. As I was able to put up one piece of red oak veneer on the ceiling after work today. Im pretty excited. Someone told me to slow down. But my thoughts are im going to do a bit everyday until I can take her camping. after the first trip I will start the exterior polishing. Seems to have become an obsession. But a good one...Keeping me out of trouble and out of any casinos.(I dont belong in them but I go anyways im going to take some pics to show the progress im making.
thanks again for everyones help..
Ed
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:57 PM   #8
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Fun With Birch Plywood

Ed,

I have felt your pain.

There are all kinds of things you can do once you've been freed from the concerns of keeping it original.

Our '72 Overlander had a bad bathroom floor (complete bath restoration), not enough sleep accomodations (new bunks in place of desk & wardrobe , soon to go for sale on ebay), and a too-small dinette (now replaced with a wrap around dinette...still in progress).

While it may never be original, it'll be customized to your own needs and tastes!
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:18 PM   #9
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moving along

Well Slapping up 1/8" 4 x 8 sheets of red oak. goes alot slower than I thought. next time Im getting an air rivet gun. I have one piece left and the one above the door. Have no idea how im going to cut it to fit as a roto zip wont do it clean. no room for the router. I have had the overlander for 15 days and have worked on it everyday somedays into the late night. I could have purchased an excella that was ready to go camping.. But no I had to have a project. Everything comes out so easy but sure is harder going back in. Im thinking 2 more months and I will be camping, taking it easy at the beach. That is if I survive the restoration. Funny im a contractor and have tons of business ass. and friends who are master carpenters and not one them can spare me a day hehehe. We will see how fast I send them guys for there drywall repairs next time. Red oak isnt like drywall. When I used to work with the tools I would hang it really fast and then pack all my screw ups with mud and tape before anyone came by to see it.. Cant do that with wood heheh.. But I did find a cool flexible trim piece of red oak that I will be putting over the seams.. looks good to me.. Anyways once I finish the veneer and the new upper cabinet doors (another nightmare) then I can work on my new formica counter tops and stainless steel panel im putting on the wall over the sink. Should look nice.
Wanted to thank everyone for all of there ideas they have posted on here. I removed the front goucho and saw a very cool wrap around dinette that will work perfect for my family...Anyone tried to polish the frames of the screens? or am I getting out of hand. Did one today was a major pain but looks alot better..
Ed
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #10
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Wrap Around Dinette

I'm in the middle of finishing my wrap around dinette in my '72 Overlander. You want me to draw up some plans while the patterns are still hot?

Also, I'd like to see pics of the red oak as I'm slowly replacing all of the fake dark walnut formica as I add new pieces of furniture.
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:54 PM   #11
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21 days into working on my AS

I just took some pics hope I can upload them as I had to make them small enough to get on here. I started with an original 1970 overlander I wouldnt have done what Ive done but the man living in the trailer for the last 10 years with his 2 cats. It was disgusting.. I didnt make any changes except remove the gouchos. Im going to start a dinette next week. but I skinned the interior in red oak and refinished the cabinets. All the tambour doors were ruined so I made regular door out of 1/2" plywood and laminated them with the 1/8" red oak. I know im doing too much at once but..... I have some brushed stainless for the fridge door and the wall above the sink. the cooktop was disgusting but since it was stainless im having it polished.. I was promised better looking than new. I hope so because to do the sink,cooktop and apply baked enamel or ceramic to the grates is costing $400...My wife picked out a very cool looking formica that im using on the counter tops and table im making. the credenza top will be shorter as I removed the fold out table. the dinette will extend to the credenza on that side of the trailer. right below the vista view window. The last piece of veneer went up today it was the peice that went around the door.. The harderst one.. Im glad to say it came out really nice. I havent stained what I put up today yet... Im exhausted. Im a contractor and non of my master carpenter buddies have came by to help. I have been working on it everyday since I bought it. I even went to inland RV 106 miles each way and still worked on it until dark that day. anyways I will post more pics as I make more progress.. I suppose the last thing I will do will be the floor. like the rest of my AS it will be wood.. but not sure what kind. Might use pergo.. Will want a lighter color because the wife had me make the walls so dark.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:04 PM   #12
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one more pic

Here is one more pic of the ceiling.
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:38 PM   #13
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Looking beautiful
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:49 PM   #14
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WOW! My husband and I like the warm look. Beautiful and well done!
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