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Old 10-20-2009, 09:49 AM   #71
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The utility body makes a lot of sense, though I wonder how it'll look grafted onto the Dodge. In the cab, a white noise generator might help. An old truck is live being bounced around in a tin can.

Humidity—we'll be in Fla. in a couple of weeks and I expect to be taking showers a couple of times a day. People who live in humidity climates don't realize how debilitating humidity really is when you're not used to it.

I came west with a bit more than a truck full, but now I'd need a few moving vans to leave.

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Old 10-26-2009, 05:31 PM   #72
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People who live in humidity climates don't realize how debilitating humidity really is when you're not used to it.

Yes, having moved from Dallas to Corpus Christi I thought I knew a thing or two about heat, but the humidity was another. Now in Beaumont, and CC might as well be Phoenix (as humidity disappears by evening).

As to old truck, yes, sound-proofing well worth while. McMaster-Carr sells lead foil that some of the diesel guys have adhered to all interior panels and then used ensolite (sp?) and better known sound blockers. I have seen ads where FMC and BLUEBIRD motorhome owners have insulated engine compartments with lead-barium products. See ATP and others on this. Lots of carpet afterwards.

Don't forget the triumvirate: N-V-H (noise, vibration, harmonics). My diesel truck isn't loud, overall, but while the noise solutions seem straightforward, the vibration aspects are a little more touchy. I think I will be adding BALANCEMASTER wheel balancers, their driveshaft balancer and a FLUIDAMPER harmonic balancer. The vibrations are such that it leads to fatigue much past six hours.

There are air-ride seats (not cheap) that can be retrofitted. NATIONAL SEAT.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:23 PM   #73
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I'm working on the cab mounts. And since no one makes replacements, I'm "adjusting" some later model Dodge body mounts. Unfortunately, the floor pans are not in great shape and the corners where the cab mounts go have some of the inevitable rust and rot. The right way to do it would be to pull the entire cab, but that's not a luxury I have at the moment. Welding in additional sheet steel has the advantage of adding density. Because the floor is so uneven, I could go "old school" and use some lead filler between the old sheet metal and the new. That would certainly add density and lower road noise coming up from the highway.

The air ride seats are a good suggestion, but not inexpensive. I'm thinking of pulling the bench seat and fabrication "universal" mounts. I have some extra poly washers I could use to isolate the seat framing from the cab floor. I also have given some thought to aftermarket tractor seats. They are relatively inexpensive, very tough and have a spring/shock absorbing system... the poor man's air ride.

Right now, the D200 is kicking my backside... but it does give me something to keep me busy until the Overlander is back home. I'll let you know how it's goes... but I have a hunch the final choice for the big grip TV may be something a bit more modern.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:17 AM   #74
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Have you figured out the cost in money and labor to make the Dodge a road worthy tow vehicle? That's not something I would want to do, but then I wouldn't want to do the job you have, and, furthermore, when I set out to remodel a room in my house, I don't do it either. Another possible cost is the wife factor—will she ride in it and be happy once it's finished?

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Old 11-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #75
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Gene, if I had any financial sense... I would have bought a "same old box" and towed it with my "paid for" Titan.

Honestly, I think I could hitch the Overlander to the old Dodge and drag it from hither to yon. The 318 poly runs pretty strong and the NP435 manual transmission is close to bullet proof. Of course, the terrible bench seat, rough ride, noisy cab and engine smell would make the journey a trifle less than comfortable.

An old truck (not unlike an old trailer), is like a big jigsaw puzzle. It's a chance to plan, think, and use power tools. Putting around on the old Dodge is undoubtedly a fool's errand, but there are worse things to do with my spare time.

As mentioned before, there is something a bit unsettling--for me--in driving a vehicle beyond my comprehension to fix. I like the idea, however misplaced, romantic and patently false, that if something on the old Dog breaks, I might be able to to fix it. Well, let's not get carried away... how about if something breaks, I might actually know what's wrong.

Ah, and my wife... she's amazingly flexible and tolerant, a requirement for living with a curmudgeon like me. She's very supportive of the Airstream project and believes we can make it very comfortable. She likes Camper Special "Ed," and has more faith in my mechanical acumen than I do. She loves the idea of vintage tow vehicle. As with most things, Gene, the question is contextual. Ed would do yeoman duty towing the Overlander to local and semi-local destinations. Do we want to spend our "hiatus year" in Ed? That's another question entirely.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:38 AM   #76
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Well said and your wife sounds great.

I wish I knew how my truck works and would like to know how to fix it if it broke, but it doesn't break. The Airstream is another question—I'm unsure how to fix a lot of things, they are hidden in inaccessible places, and I'm sure they will break.

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #77
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Gene, if I had any financial sense... I would have bought a "same old box" and towed it with my "paid for" Titan.

Honestly, I think I could hitch the Overlander to the old Dodge and drag it from hither to yon. The 318 poly runs pretty strong and the NP435 manual transmission is close to bullet proof. Of course, the terrible bench seat, rough ride, noisy cab and engine smell would make the journey a trifle less than comfortable.

An old truck (not unlike an old trailer), is like a big jigsaw puzzle. It's a chance to plan, think, and use power tools. Putting around on the old Dodge is undoubtedly a fool's errand, but there are worse things to do with my spare time.

As mentioned before, there is something a bit unsettling--for me--in driving a vehicle beyond my comprehension to fix. I like the idea, however misplaced, romantic and patently false, that if something on the old Dog breaks, I might be able to to fix it. Well, let's not get carried away... how about if something breaks, I might actually know what's wrong.

Ah, and my wife... she's amazingly flexible and tolerant, a requirement for living with a curmudgeon like me. She's very supportive of the Airstream project and believes we can make it very comfortable. She likes Camper Special "Ed," and has more faith in my mechanical acumen than I do. She loves the idea of vintage tow vehicle. As with most things, Gene, the question is contextual. Ed would do yeoman duty towing the Overlander to local and semi-local destinations. Do we want to spend our "hiatus year" in Ed? That's another question entirely.
I believe this post is pretty much the best one I've read in regards the love of old cars and/or old trailers. Ever. Anywhere.

(May have signed your own warrant with it, I might add).
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #78
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One of the reasons I went vintage, Gene (aside from the superior build quality, iconic styling, low entry price, sustainabiliy/green angle and overall "coolness factor") was that I wanted to camp in something I could fix. I don't know how they put together modern Airstreams (except to say "not as well as they should.")

I readily admit that the frame welding and repair work was beyond my nearly nonexistent welding ability. And yes, the capable boys at P&S will deliver a refurbished "shell" that includes the great MD-R-200 spray foam insulation test and a new floor. The plumbing, electrical, HVAC and interior furnishings, however, will be my burden to bear. So... I figure if I can get a furnace into the coach and installed... I have a decent change to keep it running. The same is true with the other components. Putting them together... I'll have a better idea of how to fix them. I'll also have only myself to blame for design mistakes... and I expect to make plenty.

I'm an avid hunter. When I was a young man, I was far more excited by "trophies." What I learned--over the years--is that anyone with a fat enough wallet can decorate the den with hellish big mounts (though the "dead animal" motif can be a bit disconcerting if you awake after falling asleep on the couch, trust me.)

You want a world class bull elk? There are exclusive, private places where bagging a trophy is mostly a matter of paying the money. What I've learned about hunting--and it is a lesson I think applies to other areas of life--the real trophies are the one's we carry inside ourselves.

Maybe our Airstream will look nifty when it's done... maybe it won't. Maybe it will be a comfortable home on wheels... and maybe my wife will think of it as an aluminum prison cell after three weeks. Whatever it is, though, will be something I've earned. The same applies to a vintage truck. If someone is kind enough to look beyond the numerous flaws in the trailer or the tow vehicle... I will at least be able to honestly and graciously accept the compliment.

And Nax, thanks.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:02 PM   #79
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I've done the same with a couple of houses—make them my own, learning most of the skills on the way while collecting better tools. After a while friends asked me how to do it and although I wondered about their judgment in asking me since I knew every one of my mistakes, but no one else saw them (or were polite enough to keep their mouths shut). There a lot of pride in making something better than it was and doing it yourself, though the path may be filled with screw ups and much cursing. My wife says she's knows I'm almost finished with a project when the cursing gets more frequent and louder—at that point I just want to get it done and I'm already figuring out the next project.

At the end of all the projects, the houses are worth a lot more than I spent on them if I don't count my time and I get to buy another flawed house and live in another new place. Along the way I got to live in a better and better house.

My father decided to learn how to remodel when he was in his 40's and knew next to nothing. I may have picked up a few pointers from him, but mostly I refused to learn. I eventually did the same thing, though while younger—that first house I never got very far with, but did make a good profit on it. Later on I did much better. The time I decided to install a new picture window while a blizzard showed up and the temp dropped to 10˚ was a "learning experience". The window was installed so badly it cracked in a few years, and I bought a much better one and did it right—and did it while it was warm and sunny.

I've thought about restoring a classic car, but decided to stick with houses. An Airstream, nah, not for me. But I admire those who do those restorations and think we are all doing it for the same reasons.

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Old 11-27-2009, 06:23 PM   #80
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I could learn how to fix almost anything, Gene, if I only could afford all of the mistakes... and all of the tools.

Seriously, I wouldn't mind doing a classic car/truck "right," but right means a real shop with all of the trimmings. In fact, I suspect we mostly work on things as an excuse to buy tools. Even now, I'm thinking it might be less expensive to simply buy a mig welder than job work out. Ah, no siren sings more sweetly than the tool catalog.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:46 PM   #81
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I could learn how to fix almost anything, Gene, if I only could afford all of the mistakes... and all of the tools. Ah, no siren sings more sweetly than the tool catalog.


Yup,

Aircraft
Commercial Construction
Heavy Duty Diesel
Ship Chandler/Marine
Etc.

Don't forget tools we'll never need:

Firefighter
EMT
Police
Military
Telecomm
High tension electrical

And cool stuff galore

Scientific
Oil Field
Marine Salvage
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