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Old 06-12-2002, 07:52 AM   #1
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International AS Medicine Cabinet Latch

As it was delivered, the medicine cabinet in my AS was held closed only by a dime-sized dot of Velcro, obviously insufficient to do the job. I replaced that with a 3" strip of Velcro and the cabinet door still came adrift on the road because the Velcro did not mate firmly enough to attach well because of the design of the door.

I have installed a positive latch as shown in the photo. The latch came from Home Depot. The mounting block is a 5/8" x 5/8" x 1 1/2" block of resin-impregnated pen blank (I turn pens and pencils as a hobby). I chamfered the edges of the mounting block on my disk sander.

I left the fuzzy Velcro on the frame as a cushion and put a small dot of transparent plastic where the latch would otherwise contact the glass.

Operation is perfect. The latch snaps closed automatically. Opening is a one-hand operation; depress the latch with one finger and pull the door open with the others.
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Old 06-12-2002, 08:07 AM   #2
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International AS Table Modification

The dressing table in the AS comes right up to the edge of the bed and has a sharp edge to crack my head against. In addition, access to the cabinet underneath was awkward.

I solved this by cutting off the portion of the table in white (which I have propped back in position for the photo). The table top removed with about 10 screws for the operation. I used my disk sander to sand a nice curve in the edge. I then used a heat gun to remove the laminate from the cut-off piece and bonded the edge laminate back to the cut table edge using contact cement.

The table is no longer a head knocker and access to the cabinet underneath is now a lot better. In addition, it is now quite comfortable to sit on the bed to write or to use my laptop on the modified table. Also, access to the light switch, outlet, and phone jack under the table is now much better; they were completely hidden before.

How do I suggest this change to Airstream?
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Old 06-12-2002, 04:52 PM   #3
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Table change

Ya did real good. Good description of work and good picture. Your post is worth a 10..... Thanks, Frank
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Old 06-12-2002, 05:47 PM   #4
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Cool Thanks

Thanks for the kudo. Maybe some new AS buyer can make good use of this idea. I wish I knew how to communicate it to Airstream.

I just bought the material to solve the problem of things bouncing off the Lazy-Susan pantry. I should have photos and description of that change in a few days.
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Old 06-13-2002, 11:51 AM   #5
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International AS Pantry Modification

The AS has a nice Lazy-Susan pantry, but the trays are only about 1 1/4" deep on the forward side when the pantry is closed. The pantry, being in the extreme rear of the trailer, gets a lot of bouncing. On our first trip, several items bounced off the pantry and were very hard to retrieve. My fear was that the pantry would become jammed some day with no way to reach in and clear the jam.

I needed a flexible material that would wrap around the closed pantry to prevent items bouncing off. After looking at a number of materials, what I found to do the job was a large, commercial-grade waste container. The side was just the right size and flexibility. I cut the side out of the container with my sabre saw.

I made a wire bail of 1/8" wire to hold the sheet against the pantry side. The bottom of the wire bail is bent to be retained in a hole in the pantry side while the top of the wire bail is securely fastened by a Tiinnerman nut. There is about 1/4" between the pantry and the wire bail.

I cut a wood strip to fit in the roll-over at the top of the can side and pre-drilled some mounting holes. The photo shows the pantry ready to be remounted in the trailer. The wire retaining bail can be seen in the photo.

The fix appears to work perfectly. The flexible sheet wraps tightly around the closed pantry and the effective tray side is now a minimum of 3"
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Old 06-23-2002, 12:16 PM   #6
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Nice mods, to bad you had to do all that to a $60,000+ trailer. Sometimes I think the engineers who design these things never use them. After someone designs something like this they should be required to spend a month on the road with it. Maybe they just think differently than we do, or maybe it's just economics, who knows.
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Old 06-23-2002, 12:30 PM   #7
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Not quite $60,000!

Pretty close to $40,000, though!

I spent most of my working life as an engineer after a few early years as a fighter pilot. It is very seldom that the engineer has an opportunity to actually use the product to any degree before mass production has begun.

What most companies do lack is a feedback path so that the initial users can point out problems that can be fixed early in the production run.

Nothing I did would cost more than a couple of dollars on a production basis; most of it would be pennies, at most, but someone has to be made aware of the problems. During early production, every new Airstream (and any other top-grade product) should come with a card with a toll-free number and an engineer's name to provide feedback. Better yet, early users should be contacted periodically for input.
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Old 10-02-2004, 09:27 PM   #8
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Maybe Airstream would let some of their engineers look at this site, or better yet suggest that they do. You can only correct a problem if you know it exists. These guys do a great job at the overall product. Its a lot of fine tuning that seems to get lost in the shuffel. You would think that as long as we have been using cabinets that by now things like fiddle boards and secure closing latches would be standard item. They were standard on boats back in the 30's so its not new technology.
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:42 AM   #9
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Well, you can...

Email the Mfg division of AS. Describe your problem/solution. Attach a link to this thread. Hope they'll look at it.

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Maybe Airstream would let some of their engineers look at this site,
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Old 10-03-2004, 01:27 PM   #10
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We did that in the engineering dept. We would ask the planning yard to correct a problem, they would ask us if we had any idea of how to fix it. Being on site we corrected the problem then made a sketch and sent it to them for approval. They would make it into a plan and get paid for making an inprovement to the original. The bottom line is that we are all interested in a better product no mater what it takes. Most of our concerns are nickle dime compared to some of the problems other owners and manufactures have.

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Email the Mfg division of AS. Describe your problem/solution. Attach a link to this thread. Hope they'll look at it.
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