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Old 10-13-2004, 10:06 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1973 25' Tradewind
1964 19' Globetrotter
Centerville , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 65
Images: 7
Let the adventure begin!

Finally purchased a '73 Tradewind a week ago. It's in excellent shape, both outside and in...however I'll be redoing the interior...stripping the vinyl off, new cabinetry, etc....I'm not too keen on green plaids and fake wood. Oddly I'm just as enamoured by the Users and Service Manuals that came with it as I am the trailer itself! I've spent the past few days discovering how much work lies ahead of me. Truly can't wait to get started! A few questions:
1. Black tank leaks, ("everything works".....riiiiiight) I'm thinking replacement, perhaps retrofiting a larger size. Also adding a gray tank while I'm at it. I don't think the under belly has ever been off. Is it better to drop the whole thing or cut it half way?
2. Very faint smell of propane inside when the gas tank is opened, yet all the appliances are turned off, even the furnace valve. I replace the gas lines with copper again, or something else? Another thread suggested aluminum. Thoughts?
4. A few of the screens look like water has run down them....bad sign? Maybe just need to re-chalk above the window, or could it be a leak higher up?
3. Now the stupid question: There's three light switches to the right just inside the door: one for the light above the door; one for the spot; and what the hell is the other one for?
That's it for now. This forum is extremely informative and I spend WAY too much time here! I'll get some pics going when I get a minute.

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Old 10-13-2004, 10:18 PM   #2
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RivetED's Avatar
2005 25' Safari
North Central , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 652
Best of Luck with your new-to-you Airstream. Post pics when you have 'em.

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Old 10-14-2004, 02:22 AM   #3
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,819
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
Hey Stormy, congrats on the new toy. I had to chase down some leaks in my vintage trailer. I resealed the exterior seams with parbond and did the big seams with vulkum where needed. You'll find lots on the forum about doing this. It's a regular maintenance item that gets neglected sometimes and can cause leaks, but it's pretty easy to fix.

As for the leaks, I recommend you find a good RV dealer and have them check out all your appliances and find the culprit. It might not be leaking from a pipe at all. Either way I'd let the pros handle that one before you light anything up. Then get an LP, CO and smoke detector before you start living in it. Also, I recently replaced my old propane lines with new copper ones, and the outside ones are insulated with plastic sleeves to protect them from road debris.

Can't wait to see the new aquisition - good luck!

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Old 10-14-2004, 08:24 AM   #4
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1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,476
Images: 260

welcome...I have a 73, as well. the switch by the door is a bit "un-intuitive". its not quite a 3-way switch. what it does is turn power on to the light fixture that is over the sink. when its in the off position, that light won't work at all, no matter what you do with the switch. when its "on", you can turn the galley light on and off with its own switch. I think the idea is that if you want, you can leave the galley light "on", and activate it from the doorway....that is "code" for house-building. when you're entering the trailer in the dark, you don't have to fumble around for one of those other overhead lights. just flip the switch at the door.

black tank: not sure if you can actually fit anything bigger in the allotted space, but let me know if you can. So far, we've found the 13 gallon tank to be big enough for our weekend outings. I've done quite a bit of investigating on the grey tank far, the hardest part seems to be finding a pre-fab tank that will actually fit, and still be of useful size. You can have one custom made, of course, but its REALLY expensive. I got a quickie-quote for >$400, and I'm not sure its really worth the expense. But there IS space in is a "do-able" project, I'm sure. search around on the forum for lots of threads on the subject.

dropping the belly pan is not too difficult...more of a PITA, than anything. I had mine down earlier this year to "investigate", and what I did was drill out the rivets up to the x-member just aft of the rear axle, and then just rolled the sheet metal gently toward the front of the trailer. when I was done, I just rolled it back, and re-fastened it.

Now, what I found when I was under there was that the rear edge of the plywood floor had pretty much disintegrated from past leaks. you can't really see this area from inside the trailer, due to the layout of the bath. I've done some temporary repairs, but at some point, I will need to remove the bathroom entirely to do a permanent repair. If your tank is leaking, you may have the same problem. I'm still not sure of the source of my leak. It may have been multiple different leaks that have come and gone over time...but the plywood was still wet when I found it last spring. It doesn't appear to be the tank itself, though. I just had it filled w/ water and black-tank enzymes, to give it a thorough year-end cleaning/flushing. water level in the tank stayed the same for 2 weeks.
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
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