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Old 02-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #15
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: May 2011
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Putting everything back together.

A lot of time has passed since my last post. I had misplaced my camera which made documenting a bit more difficult. But late is better than not at all I say. Hope some of you can benefit from my experience.

The trailer frame made it back to the shop in good order. There was some noticeable noise coming from the trailer on the return. Turns out the wheel bearings were tightened too much which prevented the bearing from spinning. Just a minor set back and added expense to replace them. All’s good now. Also pleased to find that the magnetic brake are in near perfect condition. That was something on my mind down the road, but now can check that off the list.

Was very anxious to get the floor down and have the shell back on the frame. The flooring is Georgia Pacific ¾ inch tongue-and-groove plywood with a water-proof impregnated surface. The brand is Plytinum Dryply and what I like about it is that the impregnated surface could be a finish surface. The coating will also hopefully reduce any rot to the subfloor when I forget to close the vents. The sheets laid down really easily and fit super snug. Plenty of glue along the joints and screws every four inches through the frame cross members and outriggers really stiffened up the frame. There should be no squeaks.

Once the floor was down, the shell was moved back over, centered, and the bottom of the shell traced over the flooring. There is a reason they say measure twice cut once. A small gaff with the wheel wells when they were cut too far inboard. Thank goodness there was extra wood to move the wheel wells out. Far easier to add wood than it is adding metal. Thank goodness the outline was cut a little rich to accommodate the expansion. With the bottom channel again fastened to the floor, and the front plate bolted to the frame cross member, just minor adjustments were needed to tweak the symmetry.

Now so many projects to do and so little time. Weather has improved and I am anxious to get this thing on the road. Fundamental wiring for the running lights, brake lights, tail lights and the like were run. Then I remembered it might be best to put the 5/16 Reflectix on the inside surface of the panels before hand. I want to thank those in this and other forums who discussed insulation. I am hoping the Reflectix sheets will provide added insurance if a seam leaks and will protect the fiber insulation to follow. At the cost, they better provide a great benefit. This stuff was far more costly than the fiber insulation. Time will tell. The Reflectix was adhered with 3M Super 77 spray adhesive right up to the spanning rib below so that any leaks should continue between the rib and the outside skin to the small gap provided about the floor. I will probably be long gone before any deterioration there will ever be noticed.

Between jobs, attention was directed elsewhere. The hinges to the double door showed signs of rot beneath the skin. So the door was disassembled, the hinges remove along with miscellaneous external hardware. The taillight bezels were completed rusted, so much so that I cannot salvage them. The porch light housing was severely pitted and needs to be buffed and hopefully re-chromed. And I began to give serious thought to the interior and what to do with the extra space now available where the heater used to be. As it stands, all the hardware has come off. Right now, trying to find a good place to have things chromed for a decent price. Last quote for a faucet, hinges, the porch light, and door handles was more than $700.00. I will defer those costs for now. As far as the bezels are concerned, I will turn new ones out of aluminum. If anyone else is in need of a bezel set for a No. 6 tail light, now is the time to let me know. It is much easier to turn everything at once on the lathe.

I forgot to mention that I have elected to move the water tank from inside the cabin to below the floor. This freed up some space below the right front seat for the dinette/bed. I still want to have the bed expand to create a sleeping surface, so I felt it was best to adopt the drawer system used beneath the opposite seat. You should be able to see the new frame for the drawers in the picture.

In the process of removing the shell, somehow managed to poke a small hole in the skin. Hopefully the patch will not be too noticeable. I also elected to cover up the holes in the skin at the front that were connected to the water tank formerly under the front dinette seat. Elected to also remedy a hole created by a previous owner. This area is below the kitchen sink and is where I am going to put an exterior shower and the connection for water when at the park. Elected to use an exterior shower from a newer Airstream which is pre-packaged. I expect that to arrive shortly.

Overall this project is much more than I anticipated. Right now so many things that need to be done. It is hard to stay keep a focus. It seems one can flutter from one project to the next.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #16
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: May 2011
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Re-assembling the Interior

Where I left you last we were insulating the interior of the shell and just at the very beginning of running the wiring. As you can see below, insulation has been finished. I have to say, between the Reflectix and conventional insulation, I am well over budget. The Reflectix was far more expensive than I had budgeted. The good news is I have some I can return. I will keep the last partial roll in just in case.

Wiring was run everywhere to try to anticipate every conceivable change. I am contemplating installing a roof-mounted heat pump later so we terminated power adjacent the center roof vent. For the time being there will be a Fantastic fan in that opening. Wiring was also run for 12V LED lighting in the ceiling. I am also converting the 110V wall sconces to 12V as well. Additional 110V outlets are required for the new refrigerator and microwave. The power converter and circuit breaker box are going to be located in the back under the bed in a “utility room”.

Remember that gash I had in the street side above where I thought about installing an exterior shower?. The box did not quite take up the entire tear so a trim piece was added. The location on the interior is directly below the sink so plumbing shouldn’t be an issue. You can see the interior of the shower box in the photos.

With the insulation and wiring pretty much in place, the interior skins are going back on. The skins were all sanded down when off of the trailer in anticipation of painting. I had concerns about peeling since the PO applied what appears to be house paint over the original Zolatone. After substantial sanding with 80 grit, adhesion appears good and the texture has been knocked down quite a bit.

You can also see the new 6-gallon water heater installed just aft of where the shower will be and below the rear bed. This was something that I wrestled with for a long time as well. It just made sense to keep everything as close together as possible and the utility room seemed like the logical location.

The interior sides of the wheel wells were covered with a fibrous insulation. I recall the wheel wells were seen and exposed in the cabinets and closets. I decided that it would be better to wrap them in aluminum and paint them the same as the interior just so they wouldn’t be so unsightly. One thing that was not able to be done easily was to cover up the gap cut for the wheel well by the factory in the wall skins. If the wheel well covers were made larger, they were going to interfere with the cabinet frames. A bit of Urethane foam allowed to dry and trimmed did help a bit. You can see the new wraps in the photos. Scuffing, priming and painting shouldn’t be such a problem. A ¼ inch underlayment for the floor will butt up against the covers and provide a more finished appearance. New window frame trim was also made at this time and riveted in place. Another surface that needs to be scuffed for the primer.

The skin is now all back in place. Some accommodations needed to be made because the rivet holes were made a little larger when the skin was drilled out and removed. Some wrinkling and buckling did occur, but with a little gentle urging, most were worked out. More clecos would have been helpful to float the panel in position before riveting. But as it stands it is hardly noticeable and a good portion will be concealed by the woodwork.

Now as you can see the old cabinets and frames are brought in and out to make sure clearances still exist. A new cabinet was built to handle the new Dometic refrigerator. Because we are using a new refrigerator, the new cabinet had to be a little deeper for the unit, and to accommodate the vents. I hate piercing the skin once against since it was not original, but it is a must. We are using a modern Airstream roof vent to try to incorporate as much of the old stack hole for the Panel Ray heater above the door. I foresee yet another patch around the vent to try to conceal that hole.

I personally struggled with the paint. I have never agonized over something that seems so simple. Our original idea was to re-paint the interior with the exact Zolatone pattern. I later learned Zolatone discontinued that paint. To make matters worse, the samples Zolatone provided did not even look close. The splatter-size was far too large for my liking and that of my wife. Now my wife is in charge of the décor. She will attest I have no interior design skills whatsoever. So getting the right paint color was a must. We couldn’t find anyone who had experience applying Zolatone. So rather than take a flyer on something unfamiliar, we went to the home improvement store and purchased a metal primer and an interior house paint mixed to the color selected by my wife. But in one last ditch effort, we found someone who was familiar with Zolatone and who assured us those giant splatters in the sample could be reduced in size to be consistent with the original finish. We took the leap of faith and purchased three gallons of the Zolatone. We chose the 20 Series 20-11 (Apollo Grey). Just this morning a sample panel was sprayed at 30 PSI using a HVLP gun. The results were nearly perfect. By this time next week, I should be able to post pictures of the interior completely primed, and later with the final painted interior.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #17
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Looking great Kaneable, you're about 6 months ahead of my 55FC and this is just the inspiration I need to brave the snows and keep working.
BTW i had also decided to put an exterior shower in the same location- just makes sense. Great minds think alike Not really happy with the white plastic though, so I might try to fabricate out of stainless and aluminum. Worth a try.
Tim
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:53 PM   #18
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Grand Rapids , Michigan
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White for modern covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
Looking great Kaneable, you're about 6 months ahead of my 55FC and this is just the inspiration I need to brave the snows and keep working.
BTW i had also decided to put an exterior shower in the same location- just makes sense. Great minds think alike Not really happy with the white plastic though, so I might try to fabricate out of stainless and aluminum. Worth a try.
Tim
Tim:
Thanks for the input. In addition to the exterior shower, I have white covers for the new water heater and the new refrigerator. Each of these have been sprayed silver grey to blend in with the exterior as much as possible. I'll try to snap some pics and post here. I looked at having doors fabricated but could not figure a way to get the drawn radius corners.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:35 PM   #19
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
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After painting and installation of lighting and other things

As promised, here are the pictures of the trailer interior after painting with the Zolatone. The images look a bit like it has streaks, but that is an shadow artifact caused by the grill on the front of the work light. The Zolatone was sprayed using an HVLP gun set at 30 psi to create a fine-grained splatter. We are really pleased with the results.

We also had the Marmoleum floor installed this last week by the flooring company. This was the only way they would guarantee the work. It was obvious they have done many trailers. They installed a new sub-floor over the frame floor and floated all the seams. The Marmoleum we selected is from the Piano group, color 3607 aka Grey Dusk. It looks great. You can see portions of the floor beneath the back bed platform and where the utility compartments will be located. You should also be able to see how the chase was arranged from the converter to the breaker box that will be disposed just beneath the bed.

The cabinets are still in the midst of refinishing. The woodwork has been stripped, sanded, and prepped. A lot of effort was made to match the new stain as close as possible to the original finish. We were lucky there were a number of areas that were covered and preserved from fading and water to give a great reference point. You can see some of the results in the images. Right now switches are being attached and fixed in their final locations. The front and rear wall sconces are up and the over head LED lighting is all working. I think the hammered paint finish given to the wall sconces blends in real well with the light grey wall color, but I might be a just tad biased.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:44 PM   #20
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
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Exterior shower enclosure and access door

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
Looking great Kaneable, you're about 6 months ahead of my 55FC and this is just the inspiration I need to brave the snows and keep working.
BTW i had also decided to put an exterior shower in the same location- just makes sense. Great minds think alike Not really happy with the white plastic though, so I might try to fabricate out of stainless and aluminum. Worth a try.
Tim
Tim:

I promised I would provide photos of how we elected to treat that white color of the access doors on the exterior. Rather than go to the time and expense of making OEM looking doors (which I really wanted to do), I thought it was best to use the panels that came with the new items, and just have them painted to come close to the exterior finish. I can then spend the extra time to locate covers, panels, etc. that can be used to replace them and make it look more "period." All three of the breaches through the shell are new, one to repair the gash, and the other two for the new water heater and the new refrigerator. As far as progress, you shouldn't be concerned. There is a crew working on my trailer and it is still taking more than four months to get where we are now.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #21
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Grand Rapids , Michigan
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Well here is the final update on the status of the frame-off restoration of my ’55 Flying Cloud. It left the shop this week ready for the season. This will be the first time this trailer has seen the road since 1963.

The last several weeks have been spent refinishing the wood, building new cabinets to accommodate the new refrigerator, installing a new stainless steel shower pan and aluminum shower, running the plumbing, and overall finishing touches. Also had to install the new fresh water and grey water tanks, run the plumbing for those, and then close up the underbelly. Lastly had to run the gas lines to the hot water heater, the refrigerator and the stove (was refurbished over the winter).

Encountered a small problem when the delaminated wood was used as templates for the cabinets. The new refrigerator requires a deeper cabinet than the old electric refrigerator and venting created a small depth issue above. Rather than making new sides plates, it was decided to simply extend them into the centerline a bit to accommodate the new refrigerator. The only problem was that the upper edge was positioned further than the ceiling skin, creating a larger gap than planned for. But hardly noticeable.

Fabric and upholstery is also back. The red modern/rocket ranch fabric is a good fit for the style and blends well with the other colors. Draperies were also completed and installed.

Another bugger of a problem was installation of the new shower shell. We chose to have the shell made off-site by a sheet metal company who used a unique seam along all of the joints to make them essentially waterproof. Clearly the older style joints for the aluminum walls was just not good enough as this was a location of the wood floor that had the most obvious water damage. I opted for an 8-inch tall shower pan made from stainless steel. The black water tank sits on top of the shower pan so in the unlikely event there is a leak, everything will be contained. I also chose to try to hide as much of the PEX plumbing lines as possible with shrouds and an enclosure below the sink.

So nothing more to do than show the final pictures. If you have any questions about how we addressed an issue, let us know. Otherwise enjoy the pictures.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:40 PM   #22
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Wow.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:15 AM   #23
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Kaneable, could you please post more photos of your wet bath? I am very curious as to the layout of the space.

Good work!

Hank
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:23 AM   #24
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Looks really nice.

Congratulations on a job well done.


Maggie
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:20 AM   #25
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Gulfport , Mississippi
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Wow! Looks great! Thank you for posting this thread. Did you also restore the windows and screens?

I purchased a '55 Flying Cloud a few weeks and it needs a total restoration like the one you just did. Your information will be very helpful because, like you, I would like the original floor plan and the original stove.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:27 AM   #26
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Stunning, light filled, tastefully so. Enjoy.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:06 AM   #27
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
mapleton , Utah
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Looks great! As i am my own crew (with a little help on occasion) mine will take a bit longer but I hope it turns out as well. Enjoy
tim
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #28
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
1977 23' Safari
1986 34' Limited
Idaho Falls , Idaho
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Originally Posted by hjlairf View Post
Kaneable, could you please post more photos of your wet bath? I am very curious as to the layout of the space.

Good work!

Hank
X2 on the great work! It is stunning: materials, finishes, design, all of it, just beautiful.

We also have a 55 FC, and haven't started on it yet, so would REALLY REALLY appreciate anything you can post/send on your shower stall: plans? materials used where? etc. ANYTHING, please.

Did I see correctly that you are in Utah? We're just north of you in Idaho, if you come this way we can offer parking with water and electric in exchange for a tour!

Hope you enjoy your gorgeous baby.

Vivian
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