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Old 11-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #29
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
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Hey brother I am right there with you just add daughter grandchildren and anything else Murphy can throw in there! I would however grab one of those mayo covered dark and light mix sandos add a little salt for taste and think about what Colin is saying ! Not too much more than you have invested and it will allow for better sleep in the future. You are doing an awesome job as it is and if you feel good about the way your doing it then I am all over it! Now let's get real...... Where are the doggone pictures??? Add a few of the frame in there so it does not look like I am a food nut! Texas toast right?
Later cliff
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #30
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Well, the flap section up front will most definitely be sealed, as will the area just in front of the axles. There's another post that describes this, but the spacers straddle the axle, creating a kind of channel over it. The belly skins above the axle are attached directly to the frame. This gives her her 'fat body' which I really like--worthy of the Flying Cloud name. Definitely going to mull over what you were saying, Colin, about the additional supports. I misunderstood what you were suggesting to be a total de-boning of the original frame. I'm lucky enough to have a couple cousins who've rebuilt Airstreams as well as an uncle who's an engineer so I'm sure this will make for some good Thanksgiving table banter!

I'm definitely taking your advice, Cliff, about the Texas toast! I'm kicking myself for never using it before. Scrumtrulescent! And I will post some more photos to illustrate the above. Promise!
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:51 AM   #31
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Fun with Flooring

So what's been happening these past weeks? Holidays, work trips, bachelor parties, short days and not nearly enough time spent with the old aluminum lady. Which isn't to say that I've been totally slacking. In any case, here's an update--

As I continued to move aft-ward with the floor removal back in November I got a good look at the assembly of the step and the step itself. Basically (as you can see in the photos below) it's a thick wooden plank (somewhat rotten) held up by two of the aforementioned aluminum spreaders (very corroded) that attach the belly pan to the the frame. Not a recipe for long term success. Obviously the whole arrangement had to go, and go it did along with the section of belly pan to which it was bolted. The belly pan set up is constructed of one wide center sheet between two narrower sheets, so the good news is we only lost the outer sheet on the starboard side in the process. With the step removed phase two was hiring a welder to weld in the support for the new step as well as a gray water tank support rack in one of the aft bays, replacements for some of the damaged aluminum center spreaders and (after consulting Barry's thread) a center rail to help support the floor once it's in. Naturally, the only days it's rained here this winter were the days the welder was supposed to come which set us back a couple weeks. But this past Saturday all the frame mods went in with only a couple hitches not worth mentioning here.

With the new center spreaders in place, we proceeded to bolt the surviving belly pans to them. We're pretty happy with the result, and happy that we've given her rock hard abs...er...belly skins.

Next up: Building a new step (gonna be wood like the original), replacing the four corroded aluminum spreaders around the wheel wells, replacing the front window and FINALLY getting all these beautiful forward plywood floor segments I've been cutting and sealing in their new home. Then the gray water tank, then the tank vent stack, then the rear floor, then the new LP system, then the appliances, then the electrical, then the insulation, then the inner skins, then the...the...well everything else and all the stuff I forgot in between. It's a good, exciting kind of yikes, but it's a yikes nonetheless.

Thanks for hanging in there with us!
-Tigh

1. Step in place
2. Step out
3. Welding in the new floor supports
4. Shoring up the belly pan
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:17 AM   #32
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
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Looking goo!! You might want to insulate then wire, it will make it easier if you ever have to make a change/add on/correction
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:19 PM   #33
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Resuscitating our '51 Flying Cloud

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Some days, it's all about the small victories.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:50 PM   #34
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I hear that! Just keep moving forward...
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #35
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After several missteps (rimshot!) finally got the new step built and installed. Turns out the welder welded the new bracket about 1.5" higher than the original was set, so my faithful reproduction was too high for the door to shut. I built a new step with a thinner (3/4") piece of wood and added some bracing under it to reinforce it. All sealed with Le Tonkinois Parquets, of course.

As the original was held in place by the spacers, just having the new step on the new bracket would create a gap at the sides which would've opened into the belly pan. So I took a couple salvaged spacers from around the wheel wells (had replacements fabricated out of thicker material, but that's another post), sanded off the corrosion and primed them. I then cut out their bottoms so they would fit over the new brackets and slid them in place (as seen in the photos below). The new assembly looks like the original and the door fits as intended. All in all, another learning experience!
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:33 PM   #36
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So floor replacement is going smoothly (halfway there) and I'm about to order a grey water tank from VTS to go in under the subfloor. Keeping in mind the fittings on the tank are 1 1/2", does anyone have any suggestions on dump valves? Also, I'd like to install the valve in a hatch in the belly pan so as to keep the original silhouette intact, so the smaller the valve the better. Any insight is appreciated, thanks!
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:30 PM   #37
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The subfloor so far... Click image for larger version

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Old 07-29-2014, 09:58 PM   #38
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Great, another 15 panel Flying Cloud!! We own 7099. It's a project in waiting. Need to finish our Around the World Overlander which was a rotted disaster with one wheel in the landfill. Can't wait to start. Great progress and photos. Ours has a bent axle resulting from an axle U -boot snapping.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:26 PM   #39
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Very cool! Only 7 trailers between our FCs. I'm all about 15 Panel Fever. I started a 15 panel registry the other day here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f526/1951-15-panel-registry-122888.html

Add yours to the list! Love to see some photos.
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:30 AM   #40
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What's Happening

Well, I've obviously been slacking on updating this thread, but things have been progressing steadily albeit slowly (remember, for the most part I'm a one man band!). Short days and full weekends have definitely slowed the process. In that time I've hit a couple milestones, but none more unexpected than finding a new front window frame and glass! Really makes the trailer look like she's supposed to. Turns out these are the same windows used on Spartans and other trailer of the era and were not made by Hehr (Airflite, I think?). In any case expanding the search outside Airstream specifically was the key. For the time being it's held in by a couple clecos to be put in in permanently once it's time for the ceiling panel (which we dropped and removed) to go back in. But wait, there's more...
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:56 AM   #41
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Installing the Gray Tank

As this was a park model (not sure if there were any other kinds in this era) the only waste water system it came with was a pipe that ran from the galley sink drain, through the floor and belly pan and on to the ground. I got a VTS low profile gray tank and mounted it in the aft-most frame compartment. I realize this is potentially putting some weight pretty far back on the rig, but, as has been discussed at length on this thread, the 1951 frame is a little unorthodox and this was the only compartment aft of the axle that would accommodate the tank. The plan is to put in a rear bath with a shower I won't be able to fit in (I'm 6'5") and composting head, so no black tank required.

The main challenge was to find a way to incorporate a dump valve that had a minimum impact on the outer lines of the trailer--love that clean, vintage look. The other concern was, since I have those aluminum spacers between the frame rails and the belly pan, not having the dump valve obliterated in the event of a blowout. The solution I came up with was putting a Valterra blade valve inside the trailer itself, just under the sub-floor. When all's said and done, it will be out of sight under the curbside gaucho. It gravity drains out through a capped 3/4" marine hose fitting on the bottom of the belly pan. Discreet, and since it's inside the frame rails, hopefully protected from blowout events.

Reading the many fail stories of these valves, I left enough space in the sub-floor to make it accessible and removable. I wouldn't say it's an easy procedure, but I preformed it a couple times before permanently installing it to make sure.
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:20 PM   #42
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Houston, We Have A Sub-Floor!

After I drove in the last tek screw, I laid flat on my new sub-floor and nearly wept. Such a good feeling to have it finally done after all this time and to finally have achieved the coveted 'aluminum tent' status. Floor is bolted down at each frame outrigger and also at the base of each rib. It's also bolted at the inner perimeter of the rear sections. Tek screws hold down the center of each section. Splices run along the frame rails and are filled with epoxy. Getting to the perimeter bolts was a piece of cake thanks to the, um, 'interesting' shape the rear belly pans were in (see next post for detail). Each section is 5/8" CDX outdoor plywood sealed with Le Tonkinois Bio Impression and Parquets. Tek screws and bolts were both each set in the latter.

Gray tank will eventually sit under the rear bath's raised floor. You can see the dump valve and its removable access hatches on the curbside (the other PVC fitting is the shower drain). Again, this will all end up being under the gaucho.
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