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Old 03-29-2010, 07:13 PM   #309
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Restoration Days


On Saturday I got a call from the guy I had sold my 63 Tradewind to. He was telling me that his 12v power had gone out abruptly. As I sat on the phone going back and forth, I decided it was best to just drive down and help him out. His wife watched Collin while we spent the next seven hours working.

With a few calls to Melody Ranch from AIRforums, we finally figured out the issue. The old wiring had cracked sleeves, and was shorting itself to the frame. We started in on figuring out his umbilical wiring issue, but day rapidly turned to night.

The next day, Brian came out to assist me on my trailer. Brian is a contractor, and is much better at alot of things when it comes to his approach on Airstreams. We decided to buck rivet both sides down, and attach the trailer to the wheel wells. The previous owner had placed large wheel well flares over the side skin due to a blow out. I like the look of the flares, so I kept them. We applied a liberal amount of sealant between the wheel well and the exterior skin as well, to ensure we didn't get water penetration.



Curbside Riveted




Street side Riveted

It wasn't all rosy. We had to remove the rear corner belly skins that were hastily installed. The relief cuts were far too long, and were showing under the shell. This is a huge problem on the front of the trailer as well, but with everything riveted together up front, I am reluctant to remove everything to redo it. We will also have to cut a large portion of the front belly pan out that is buckling due to improper installation. When this was installed last fall, I was complacent, and in a hurry. That will end up costing me on overall quality of a job, and I am sorry about it.

To end on a positive, I found not one, but two of the Yankee 70 glass lenses that I had broken. One of them even came with the fixture and bezel (Impossible to find). I got both of them for less than $20. Kings to me!


Steve
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:52 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by soldiermedic View Post
It wasn't all rosy. We had to remove the rear corner belly skins that were hastily installed. The relief cuts were far too long, and were showing under the shell. This is a huge problem on the front of the trailer as well, but with everything riveted together up front, I am reluctant to remove everything to redo it. We will also have to cut a large portion of the front belly pan out that is buckling due to improper installation. When this was installed last fall, I was complacent, and in a hurry. That will end up costing me on overall quality of a job, and I am sorry about it.
Steve
Do not be so hard on yourself. This is part of the experience. You will not hit a home run every pitch. Not even close. You are not the Albert Pujols of Airstream restoration. (go Cards)

What you describe I have experienced as well. If all told the truth you will find many more with similar stories.

In no way does it distract from your efforts and your satisfactions.

Of course I say most of this to make my self feel better about the same things you lament about.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:05 PM   #311
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As I said, I was in a hurry, and I let it go as it was. As I was outside the other day, I have decided to redo it. Many people run into the same issues due to inexperience, and the same result is the same.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:12 PM   #312
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Its a delima. Should I redo this? I can make that better. It is time, material and money.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:43 AM   #313
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Do it right on the 3rd one... that's what I say. :-D

The wheel flares look great! Are you going to add some "J Molding" to the edge? It really cleans up the look, I think. I did that on mine.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:40 PM   #314
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Off with the door, paint on the floor


Today was an absolute beauty of a day. Originally I had not planned on working this weekend. Amy has been in Washington State at Fort Lewis the past 16 days. We spoke maybe 30-45 seconds every other day, and she was scheduled to be home at 0930 after 10 hours of flights overnight. She was able to get an earlier flight, and it have us more time to take care of things.

When I first picked up my flying cloud, I noticed that like many Airstreams, the door had flown open while traveling down the road. This put large dents in the door within a door, the main door, and cracked on of the jambs on the main door.




Both main and inner door dented.

In order to rebuild the door correctly, I need a large break to make a new main jamb. Since I don't have a brake, I enlisted the help of forums member oh2becarefree. They have a 48 Curtis Wright trailers. Mike is a contractor and former metal worker. Most importantly, he has a large metal brake.

While the door is being rebuilt, I have a few new additions. I ordered new stainless steel hinges from Vintage Trailer Supply several months back to replace the rusty steel ones currently on the trailer. I have also decided to completely change the door latch. You can see in the picture above that the door had a simple round knob, and a Yale deadbolt that never worked or had keys. I wanted a latch that was low profile, included a deadbolt, and was chrome. I found a FASTEC latch on ebay that fit everything I was looking for. I now just needed to ensure it would work.

After viewing hundreds of vintage trailer pictures, I came across a 58 flying cloud with the latch I had been looking for. Here are pics from the interior and exterior of the latch I chose on a door within a door.




Interior





Exterior

So back to what I was doing today. Since I need to take the door to Mike this week, I drilled out the rivets holding the hinges on. Once the lower hinge was drilled out, I used clecos to hold it in place while I drilled out the top hinge rivets. What I found under the top hinge was unsettling. With the difference of metals between the hinge and skin of the trailer, I had bad galvanizing corrosion. The corrosion was so bad, that the clecos wouldn't even hold the door hinge to the trailer. I had seen something similar to this on Bill Kerfoot's 54 Liner. I will likely use the same fix that Bill used, and rivet on a long piece of Alclad down the rear edge of the door.



Upper hinge area on skin (Bad)





Lower hinge area on skin (Good)



Door removed (Good)

The other item of business I had for the day was to get a coat of oil based paint on the floor. The flooring is already extremely moisture resistant (currently the lowest moisture absorption in the field for OSB and plywood), but I wanted to ensure that my floor will have more protection that it needs. The paint I used is oil based and made for house siding, decks, and patios. It is waterproof with a 15 year warranty. I brushed around the edges of the C channel, and then used a roller across the rest of the floor.


Before paint



After paint

Good day in all. I may throw another coat of the paint on tomorrow depending on my schedule.

Steve
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #315
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I used the same type latch on my GT to replace the KT latch I had. I bought it at a local camper dealer for 41 bucks, including some for the Governor.

Kip
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:52 AM   #316
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Kip,

Nice looking job. I bet sure that aluminum bar really makes the door rigid compared to what it was originally. Any special tricks or info I need to pass along before having Mike take the door?

Steve
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:50 AM   #317
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Just make sure that there is no droop in the door before you install the latch. There was not alot of extra room in the striker plate to adjust the door up and down, in my case as I used the stock AS striker.

Kip
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:11 PM   #318
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Just finished up with another coat of sealant on the floor, and boy it looks good. I noticed water the last time it rained under the fantastic fan, and this floor covering will help. This fan was installed last year, and has never been hooked up. With the floor still drying, I climbed up on top of the trailer to cover the fan with some plastic. There were no less than three cracks on the frame of the fan unit. The only thing that I can think would have caused this would be the screws may have been installed too tightly. I installed it with the foam gasket per the manufacturers instructions, and had my wife push up on the skin from inside the trailer as I installed the screws. I have heard of some people using olympic rivets on these fans instead of screws, but think that once my new fan arrives, i will install with screws, but not that tight.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:34 PM   #319
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Talking

SWEET PROGRESS!!!!!!

Gotta ideer for those worn out holes of yours.....NO, the ones on the trailer......
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:44 PM   #320
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Steve, I think this was a Colin Hyde suggestion on the VAP on mounting the fantastic vents: use a large flat washer and pan head screws so that you don't tighten down hard into the screw holes in the plastic. Seems to have worked fine on mine and I used gray silicone instead of Vulkem without the supplied gasket. No leaks so far and lately we've been testing it every day.

Floor looks great.

cheers,
steve
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:57 AM   #321
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Water heater decisions

With the FC moving along, I need to make a decision on my hot water heater. The trailer was a park model, and only had a 110v only heater with no access to the exterior. This is completely impractical for our family, and we will be going new. The question now seems to be Atwood vs Suburban.

I have found Suburban water heaters to be a bit cheaper than the Atwood heaters of the same features and capacities. I decided on a 6 gallon with direct spark ignition so we don't have to go out in the cold or bad weather to light our heater.

Since there was no exterior hole cut for the water heater, we will need to cut a hole. This is what I am looking forward to the least. The suburban installation guide states it needs to be mounted on the floor. I would think that the C channel would get in the way of floor mounting. I would hate to remove C channel, and an entire line of structural rivets.

Does anyone have any pictures of installing their water heater? Does anyone have an opinion on one brand vs the other?

Steve
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:35 AM   #322
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Steve, maybe you could mount a small platform the height of the c-channel, and mount the heater on that? Then you could cut the opening just above the c-channel and still maintain that strength. On my Suburban on the Argosy, it's just a square opening the size of the inside flange frame of the heater. It slides in from the outside, and the flange of the heater screws into it from the outside. Don't get rid of the foam that comes around the heater in transit... that's the insulation!!

One advantage of cutting your own hole is that you don't have to patch the opening of the old bigger waterheater.
Marc
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