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Old 04-28-2017, 07:52 AM   #1
Rivet Polisher
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 53
Tin Can Dreams - aka "What have we gotten ourselves into?!?!"

Howdy all,
My wife and I have renovated houses for years and thought that taking on a vintage Airstream would be a "piece of cake' - but we have learned that is not the case! Here are pictures of our progress, I will try to keep everyone updated as we go.
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:22 AM   #2
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1957 26' Overlander
Winston Salem , North Carolina
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Lookin' good! Can't wait to see the progress.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:49 AM   #3
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1965 24' Tradewind
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
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We'll you look like you are doing just great. Love that first picture, nice composition.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:28 AM   #4
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Do you have the original interior? If so, did you record how much weight came out of what section of the trailer?

If not, then I hate to break it to you, but if you think you're at the hard part; you're not.

Rebuilding a trailer is far more science, than design. You almost have to have scale pads under both sides of the axles and tongue to accurately measure how much weight you're placing back into the trailer and where. If the trailer is not balanced properly, it will prove very difficult to tow and possibly very unstable in cross winds or passing trucks.

The other really hard part is to make things (gables, cabinets etc) as lightly as possible. My cabinets for example have no bottoms, no backs, interior gables only long enough to support hardware and my counter top is the top of the cabinet. Basically just a face frame, small gables and that's it.

Trust me, you haven't got to the tricky bit yet.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:53 AM   #5
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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Tony is over thinking it. IMHO
My Argosy has all of the heavy stuff; water heater, battery, refer and closet space on the street side. Only the sink on the curb side. FW tank is up front, grey and black water tanks are in the rear.
It tows great.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:00 AM   #6
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Solon , Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildhorses View Post
Howdy all,
My wife and I have renovated houses for years and thought that taking on a vintage Airstream would be a "piece of cake' - but we have learned that is not the case! Here are pictures of our progress, I will try to keep everyone updated as we go.
Your progress is great! You can do this!! Do you have a Instagram account?

Mine is: @AirstreamLoving

I also am in the process of renovating and I would love to follow you or anyone else in the Instagram community of Airstreams!

Please Le me know your account and GOOD LUCK!
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:42 PM   #7
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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I hope you are younger than me.....I am wondering if I will finish my model AV8...
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:42 AM   #8
Rivet Polisher
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 53
Thanks! We have done numerous house renovations over the years so I know that even when we think we are 80% done there is 80% left to do! We are mid 50's, empty nesters and plan to simplify the layout to suit our preferences, so it should be lighter.

Our next issue is tanks - fresh water, black water, grey water...? We used to have a Bus motorhome that piped the grey water & black water into one tank.

Is there any advantages to separate tanks (black & grey) or is one tank good enough?

Also, where's a good source for the tanks, toilets and instructions on how to plumb it all?


PS. I do have an instagram account but don't know how to use it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:08 PM   #9
Rivet Polisher
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 53
My Instagram account is @Wildhorsesracing -

Does anyone know where to get these wire clips?
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:12 PM   #10
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildhorses View Post
My Instagram account is @Wildhorsesracing -

Does anyone know where to get these wire clips?
Vintage trailer supply has them. Product code VTS-118.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:45 PM   #11
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Good sources for parts are:
Vintage Trailer
Out-of-Doors Mart
Inland RV
There are others, but these are the ones we used the most.
Grey tanks fill faster than black tank. We plumbed the bathroom sink into the black tank, and the rest into grey. Hubby built our black and grey tanks, taught himself plastic welding. It's definitely cheaper than buying them. Fresh tanks are better bought, because of the grade of the tank.
We, too, had done many home renovations prior to the Airstream. We put back major components into the same space they came out of (frig, furnace). It's not too difficult to balance things from our perspective. You just need to pay attention to them. Cabinet frames were built from basswood, face frames and other woodwork from red alder - light weight hardwood.
Good luck and post progress!

Kay
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:44 PM   #12
Rivet Polisher
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Good sources for parts are:
Vintage Trailer
Out-of-Doors Mart
Inland RV
There are others, but these are the ones we used the most.
Grey tanks fill faster than black tank. We plumbed the bathroom sink into the black tank, and the rest into grey. Hubby built our black and grey tanks, taught himself plastic welding. It's definitely cheaper than buying them. Fresh tanks are better bought, because of the grade of the tank.
We, too, had done many home renovations prior to the Airstream. We put back major components into the same space they came out of (frig, furnace). It's not too difficult to balance things from our perspective. You just need to pay attention to them. Cabinet frames were built from basswood, face frames and other woodwork from red alder - light weight hardwood.
Good luck and post progress!

Kay
Awesome, thanks! Where did he find out how to plastic weld? I would prefer custom tanks that fit better.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:16 AM   #13
Rivet Polisher
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 53
Had a slight delay on the work at one end until the current residents move out.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:17 AM   #14
Rivet Polisher
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 53
Had a breakthru today! - literally broke thru the subfloor when I stepped on it. We are thinking about leaving it off as it would be easier to do repairs. Has anyone run the 110v wiring under the floor?
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