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Old 06-17-2009, 05:10 PM   #15
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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I have been scratching my head over this construction detail for some time now. Is it just a case of built-in obsolesence? On my Safari the rub rail was just removed a couple of weeks ago after 45 years of service. There was no sign that it had ever been sealed to the shell at all. It makes sense that it was assembled this way due to the order of procedures at the factory at that time, but to those of us who are restoring and rebuilding these today, we are looking to improve upon the construction to extend the service life of these beauties. We are not necessarily rebuilding them in the same order as they were done originally. It seems to me that the longevity would be better and the maintainence would be reduced if we were to alter this detail. The banana wraps were not put on over the upper panels to make them easy to replace, they were put on last because it was convenient to do so in light of the order of assembly. This is also a place where you would never see a leak anyway. so chances are it would not be addressed as it would need to be to keep it in good shape.
Rich
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #16
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Fort White , Florida
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belly wrapping and the the seam

Being that the belly wrap butts up directly to the skin I will not be removing all the rivets of the skin to slide the belly wrap under, what works best for my situation is as follows;
First I smoothed off all cut rivets and cleaned the area to lay down a 1/4" wide by 1/8" thick bubble gum tape and then removed the paper, then, using a hand jack and a 1x6 piece of wood, I adjust my belly wrap in place, next I pushed tight the new belly wrap into the gum, flush butt to the skin, I use a rubber mallet where needed to make a very tight seal, I used the 3/16 medium rivets, next I rivet on the rub rail, I finish by running a clean bead of Aluminum/ metal roof 100% silicone along the top edge of the rub rail. I am in no way a pro at all this, but for me its cost effective and serves my purpose, In my pictures you will note the supply's, gum tape, silicone, hand jack, and a can of Ensure plus to keep your energy up,
John123
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:41 PM   #17
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That is interesting. I don't think I have seen one that the belly doesn't go either under or over the skin above. I guess my first question would be what are you riveting it to? Is the C channel capturing both pieces even though they don't overlap each other?
On mine, the upper skin covers the entire side of the C channel, so if I tried to butt it like you show there would be nothing behind the bellywrap to rivet it to.
It may just be a difference between our model years or something.
Thanks for the input,
Rich
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:44 PM   #18
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Floor Channel

looking at my 1973 Airstream service Manual, the side of my floor channel takes the skin, then under this one peice channel there is a slight lip stepped back about 1/6th of an inch, makes the skin and the wrap flush, covers the edge of the plywood down 3/4 of an inch then turns 90 degrees that covers about 3/4 inch of the bottom of the wood floor,
as I drill, at times, I am going into the wood floor, and the rivets are holding very well, I see no problem with doing this with my tape and sealer system with my restore, as a matter of fact, I might try some small self tapping screws to save the work from the drilling and riveting being the seam gets covered up with the rub rail, what do you think, thanks John
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by floridartist View Post
looking at my 1973 Airstream service Manual, the side of my floor channel takes the skin, then under this one peice channel there is a slight lip stepped back about 1/6th of an inch, makes the skin and the wrap flush, covers the edge of the plywood down 3/4 of an inch then turns 90 degrees that covers about 3/4 inch of the bottom of the wood floor,
as I drill, at times, I am going into the wood floor, and the rivets are holding very well, I see no problem with doing this with my tape and sealer system with my restore, as a matter of fact, I might try some small self tapping screws to save the work from the drilling and riveting being the seam gets covered up with the rub rail, what do you think, thanks John
Self tapping screws?? No way.

Rivets hold an Airstream together, not screws.

Tape and cheap sealers are used in box trailers that are held together with screws and staples.

Trying to improve on the sealers that Airstream has used for years, is a huge gamble, that quite well, will prove very disappointing.

Trying to reinvent the wheel, came to an end many moons ago.

Staying with the materials that the Mother ship uses, is not taking any gambles.

What you propose to do, is a big gamble and you have no history to rely on for your choices of materials and methods.

Staying with the "known" pays dividends.

Researching with the unknown, with your Airstream, will most likely cause you to have gray hair, early in your relationship with it.

Sorry, but you asked.

Think twice before walking too far out on the diving board.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:31 AM   #20
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I will stick with the rivets, my sealers and tape, since the day my 1973 Airstream rolled out of the factory, rain water leaked behind the rub rail is distroyed the floor and frame, Now it is my turn to correct the leak problem, this is not gamble, this is not an invention, its a repair, other then I am not purchasing the same way over priced Airstream sealers and the same over priced Tape that Airstream sells, I saw it on there shelves. Andy, I can uderstand that you are a commercial vendor and you must promote your Airstream products and lobby for sales, your fear mongering wont work for me. Like Obama says, we shall make change,s from the bottom, Up, thank you, John
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:13 AM   #21
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I will stick with the rivets, my sealers and tape, since the day my 1973 Airstream rolled out of the factory, rain water leaked behind the rub rail is distroyed the floor and frame, Now it is my turn to correct the leak problem, this is not gamble, this is not an invention, its a repair, other then I am not purchasing the same way over priced Airstream sealers and the same over priced Tape that Airstream sells, I saw it on there shelves. Andy, I can uderstand that you are a commercial vendor and you must promote your Airstream products and lobby for sales, your fear mongering wont work for me. Like Obama says, we shall make change,s from the bottom, Up, thank you, John
Our quotes and recommendations are from 43 years of personal Airstream repair experience.

Of course we do make mistakes too.

Andy
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