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Old 03-07-2015, 01:01 PM   #43
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
Sacramento , California
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Shoring Up the Belly Pans

As stated earlier in this thread, I made the decision to keep as much of the original belly pan as I could. Dirty? Yes. Will anyone outside of dirty old men with mirrors on their shoes see it? No. As I got into it, though, it became clear that some work would have to be done along the rear quarters. At some point in my trailer's life, she suffered a major blowout. The street side wheel tub's back end had been torn and repaired and the belly pan behind it was dented and beat to hell (there's also some TV bumper-made fishtail dents on the front skin). The major repair had been to where the belly pan attaches to the shell and 'U' channel. On these trailers there isn't the traditional 'C' channel. Rather, the belly pan curves up and slides between the 'U' channel and the bottom panel of the shell. Apparently the repair made after the blowout included cutting the belly pan along the shell line and installing a thick (at least .063) aluminum plate which attached the belly pan to the shell. All in all, it was a really nice repair (judging from how the aluminum was curved it looks to have been done professionally) and added a lot of strength to the rear quarters. Only downside was that the seam between the plate and shell hadn't been sealed, and while they looked good from the outside, they were nearly corroded completely through on the inside. This made the original plan of removing them to tighten the sub-floor bolts and then just putting them back on a no-go.

So, I decided to repair them close to the way they came out of the factory and attach new aluminum to the belly pan, slide it between the 'U' channel and shell and get a shingle effect to keep water away from the sub-floor. The only issue was I had two sets of rivet holes--the originals and the ones from the repair. So I had a patch made at my friendly neighborhood metal shop to run along the rivet line. I sealed it with Trempro and lined it up the best I could with the original rivet holes. I also added a vertical strip of .063 along the back of the wheel wells for extra support in case of another blowout. I think the end result looks pretty good.

1. Original repair
2. Twice the rivet holes/original belly pan (cut)
3. Lining up the patch
4. New rear curb side quarter
5. New front curb side quarter
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:09 PM   #44
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I like the idea of the extra thick aluminum reinforcement in case of blow out. That's always been a concern of mine. Hopefully you never have to test it out.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:08 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal283 View Post
I like the idea of the extra thick aluminum reinforcement in case of blow out. That's always been a concern of mine. Hopefully you never have to test it out.

Yeah, I doubt it will be bulletproof but better than stock, for sure. Hoping I don't have to find out either!
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:33 PM   #46
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I've looked at 15 panels from both sides now...

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Old 03-16-2015, 11:44 PM   #47
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On the inside of the end cap--'150'. An inspector number or a reference to the 15 panels? Any thoughts?Click image for larger version

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Old 07-06-2015, 08:41 PM   #48
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Insulation and Mounting Solar Panels

Got the rear end cap stripped last week with Citristrip. Took a lot to cut through the two layers of latex house paint, Zolatone and primer, but got it buffed out.

With all of the interior panels removed, it was time to hang the insulation. Definitely an improvement and makes working in the trailer on these 90*+ Sacramento days slightly less miserable. I used Reflectix and sprayed the ribs with Rustoleum Leak Seal to act as a thermal break. We'll see how that works, but so far it's passed the touch test (cooler with it than without).

Also got the solar panels mounted--two 50w flexible panels from Renogy stuck on with VHB tape. Not a lot of power, but the only panels I could find that between the roof vents. Last year, I mis-measured and ordered two rigid 100w panels that don't fit. Thinking I'll use those as a remote array for boondocking (wired into the solar controller using a through-hull plug, and, since solar is only as strong as its weakest panel, hooked to a marine battery switch to cut the roof panels out of the system, but I digress...). Since we don't have a reefer vent, I grit my teeth and ran the wire right though the roof (through rubber grommets, sealed with Sikaflex and capped with marine through-hull clamshells which were filled with more Sika for good measure). It passed the hose test, as well as a thunder shower last month, but still hate the holes in the roof.

Finally, the new Fantastic Fan is up and in place, replacing the el cheapo astrodome a PO had installed. The other two vents are original, so we'll be keeping those.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:59 AM   #49
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Items continue to get crossed off the punch list. Never feels like much, but when you stand back and look at it we're making progress, slowly but surely.

With the rear end cap interior walls stripped and reinstalled, we got to stripping center ceiling panel. Like the end caps we had strata of house paint/zolatone/primer to cut through. The primer was the real bear and took multiple passes of Citrustrip and mineral spirits to fully remove. The plan was to leave the aluminum bare after it's reinstalled but, after seeing the panels stripped, I may reconsider. The ceiling is made of three aluminum panels, and while the two side panels are alclad, the center is milled. Definitely no hiding the difference. There's also a variety of stains and small, putty filled dents on them (apparently Airstream used damaged and dinged aluminum for the interior as they'd just be painted over). We got the panel back in the trailer and the plan is to get it up and see how it looks before making the call on whether to paint it or not. Hopefully the contrast between the different aluminum isn't as jarring once it's up.

Also got the taillights reinstalled. Took off the ratted out Traillight wedding cakes ad replaced them w. NOS Bargmans we picked up at a yard sale. I also found a replacement Nite Owl center/plate light to replace the missing original. This was totally stripped, repainted and rewired last winter.

Next up: running the DC wiring for the interior lights, etc., finishing the insulation and installing the front window.

Halfway through stripping

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Stripped and mismatching

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Back in

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'New' tail lights

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Old 02-03-2016, 12:13 AM   #50
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Running Electrical & Finishing Insulaton

With the endcaps and the center ceiling sections stripped and ready to go back in, these past few weeks have been dedicated to running wiring for the electrical system and buttoning up the insulation. Ran #12 stranded copper for the AC/shore power system and the longer DC runs (the shorter runs got #14). No need in going through all the future accessories they'll run to--nothing exotic or very interesting (no massage chairs or Jacuzzis, I'm afraid).



As I wrote earlier in this thread, I ended up using both Reflectix radiant barrier and R-Tech solid foam insulation. With the Reflectix attached to the inside of the outer skin, I 'framed' each of the sections between the ribs with thin strips of 3/4" R-Tech. with these in place, I placed panels of 1/2" R-Tech in the sections. The 'frames' keep the 1/2" at a distance from the Reflectix and give me my dead air space. Seems to work well so far (a small heater gets the trailer nice and toasty). Ready for the interior skins to go back in--very exciting!
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:25 AM   #51
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Exterior Additions

Got some of the goodies I got at VTS up as well, including the porch light and the AC shore power inlet. The latter fit right in the original's hole so well that the screw holes even matched up. Also got the terrestrial and satellite radio antennas on the roof. The satellite I ran through the aft roof vent. The terrestrial is a shark fin which I thought was too cool not to use even though it's definitely not period correct (I wonder if anyone will mistake her for a Beamer?). Both are held on with VHB tape.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:50 AM   #52
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Our 'from scratch' rear bath is done! Repurposed one of the original cabinet doors for the vanity and one of the closet doors for the entry. Toilet is an Airhead composing toilet so no black tank (I plumbed the 'No. 1' drain directly into the grey tank). I was lucky enough to find era-appropriate matching fixtures for the sink and shower and the basin is a repurposed mixing bowl. The counter top material is new and came from the orange box store, surprisingly. Again, really trying to keep the look as period appropriate as possible. All the wood is Baltic birch finished with Letonkinois varnish and frame w. aluminum angle.

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Old 05-24-2017, 10:54 PM   #53
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Resuscitating our '51 Flying Cloud

Got the original closet stripped, refinished with Le Tonkinois spar varnish (with a little help) and reinstalled. I boiled the hardware in a water/baking soda bath to get the paint off. I also decided to line the inside with 1/4" cedar planking.
I also replaced the water damaged shelf with cedar. Looks and smells much better now!

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Old 05-24-2017, 11:14 PM   #54
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Resuscitating our '51 Flying Cloud

I was able to score a period correct icebox made by Modern Metals Mfg. in Southern California. Just took some cleaning, stripping and painting and it looks good as new. We wanted to add counter space so I built a small maple butcher block which went on top. Since we're keeping the original Formica counter in the rest of the galley (and the 66 year-old pattern is impossible to find) this was the best option. I rebuilt and extended the fender guard to accommodate both the icebox and the original Autocar stove/oven. I also installed a quilted stainless steel backsplash around the entire galley footprint, the back of which was sprayed with Rustoleum bed liner to mitigate corrosion.

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Old 05-25-2017, 05:09 AM   #55
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The icebox is beautiful. Nice find.
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:13 AM   #56
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Could you post a link to the icebox site. I couldn't find modern metals. Thank you!
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