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Old 04-21-2015, 08:54 PM   #141
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Starting the Belly Pan

I used cardboard to create the new belly skins, using the originals as a starting point. Unfortunately, I could not copy the original skins as an exact template because I changed the depth of the main frame rails, and thus the geometry of the compound curves on the corners. I also changed the shape of the rear part of the belly pan due to the addition of my bumper trunk.

My overall scheme for the belly pan is to install the outer periphery of the belly with all the compound curves, and then install the central rectangular portion in one or two large pieces. The center portion is wider than 48Ē so I will need to find a source for sheet aluminum wider than that. I think I have such a source, but it will require me to use 5052 alloy .055 thick or so. However, this will allow me to have easy access to the tank area in the frame for working and installation of the tanks and plumbing.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:29 PM   #142
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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More belly pan

More on the belly pan. I used the original pieces for a template, but ultimately needed to adapt the corner pieces because I made the frame deeper. As a result, each piece took several hours to cut to shape and re-position, and retrim, and reposition, and finally to rivet in place.

Using 6061 for some additional stiffness and resistance to road hazards, and setting up the belly pan sections so that the middle can be one large rectangular sheet. Hopefully I still have a source for 60Ē wide sheets. The idea is to use one large sheet for ease of shaping and setting in place. Also, if I need to get access later to the tanks, it should be easy to take down and put back up.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:02 PM   #143
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Bumper trunk

When I redesigned the frame, I had the welder add about six inches of length in order to support a bumper trunk. I wanted the bottom of the trunk to be diamond plate, but I was not able to find any thin enough or flexible enough to bend to shape to fit the trunk. And, the main frame original depth was slightly more than the bumper. I needed a way to enclose the bottom, and still include the diamond plate.

Using a metal brake, I bent some of the 6061 sheet in a Z pattern to facilitate attachment to the bottom of the frame, and still slide in on top of the bottom portion of the C-frame of the bumper for support. The thickness of the diamond plate was just enough to take up the space needed to make the supporting sheet match fit evenly. I clamped it into place and riveted with 3/16Ē blind rivets.

The difficult part was cutting the diamond plate. The metal shears from Harbor Freight held up well. Unfortunately, the cutting thickness of the diamond plate was at the absolute limit of the shears, and was too thick for the shears to push the cut line out of the way. After an hour or so of fighting through it, vice grips came to the rescue to allow me to pull it out of the way.

The lid will be made with another flat piece with another break and piano hinge.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:06 PM   #144
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Looking good
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:56 PM   #145
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Side belly pan

The side belly panels were also more difficult match than I expected. Between deterioration, changes I have made, irregular original fitting, and general awkwardness to work with, it was another custom fitting exercise of approximating the original, test fitting, adjustment and trimming, test fit, realign, try to clamp, adjust a little more, clamp better, etc, etc, etc.

Getting the 6061 to bend and flatten over the C-Channel on the edge of the sub floor was the last painful step.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:59 PM   #146
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Shop Construction

OK, the biggest reason for the long delays in my restoration progress. Having retired from the Army, we bought a new house and moved. (Had to drop the shell back on before I could do that, but more to follow in that regard.) One of the conditions of the new house purchase was that it had a workshop/barn, or that we get it at a price point where I could afford to build one. We ended up with the latter.

The first picture shows where we started with the empty area in the lot. After a great deal of hoops to jump through with the local county government to get permission, we got going. Dirt work, new driveway culvert, and so forth. Finished up with moving everything in, building shelves, driveway, planting nearly an acre of grass to cover the dirt work, etc, and finally working again. I also took the time to get my Land Rover engine rebuilt, and restored the interior. And since itís a Land Rover, there is always more to fix. Now it houses the 2012 and 1955 Flying Clouds, and also my two vehicles and a cargo trailer.

At which point, I realized that I still was not done working on the windows. They are the never ending story. And I am really hoping that I still have everything after the move. I also hope these windows are done eventually.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:39 PM   #147
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That outbuilding looks great. We hope to do a similar building sooner than later.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:44 PM   #148
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Tank Valve Compartment

I am hoping this will be a clever little addition to help keep the lines clean on the trailer, and add just a bit of storage for a specific purpose. Using the gap between outriggers on the street side just behind the wheel well closest to where the holding tank drain, I am creating a storage space that will eventually receive a radiused door. Using an informal system of square metal tube as a metal brake, I created two Z-pattern covers for the sides (with one end radiused), along with top and bottom pieces to keep the compartment squarish. The intent is to eventually run the valve handles through the frame rail to drain the holding tanks. I will also put a short rinse hose for the stinky slinky in there as well. Donít know about you, but I like to keep a short length of otherwise scrap hose to use to rinse then end of the stinky slinky when not in use. It seems more sanitary than using the drinking water hose to rinse.

Hope this works out, felt pretty clever when I came up with it. Please donít take offense if youíve done a restoration and done it this way, but I just feel that seeing the tanks hanging down below he belly, or a compartment hanging low with the drain plumbing on these 50s trailer simply looks like hell. Which I why I was willing to pay a premium in money and effort to redesign my frame. Thoughts?
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:57 PM   #149
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I did the tanks below frame in my previous airstream This time around I'm doing tanks all above floor with valves etc all in the side belly pan (that's the plan right now anyway) I also plan to have a sealed access port to the valves from above too for instal and maintenance. I like you plan
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:59 PM   #150
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More pictures of the tank valve compartment

A few more pictures.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:12 PM   #151
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Positioning the shell to replace

When we bought the new house, we needed to move out of the old one, and that meant it was time to get the trailer out of there. It also coincided with the completion of the C-channel and the outer portion of the belly skin.

Due to the historic nature of the old house, it had no attached garage, only a carport about 25 yards up the hill. In that carport, my shell had been sitting for about six months while I finished the frame work.

Ironically, it moved most easily with the boysí razor scooters up front and skateboards in the back. This, with two to steer up front and one to slow in back got it down the hill safely to the driveway. A few friends helped me to get it into place. I set up the gantry again, and hoisted it into the air. Then backed the trailer frame in underneath.

A lot of speculation about how it was going to come down into place, and a lot of concern on my part about the fit.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:55 PM   #152
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Shell comes down

I was expecting to wrestle the shell into place for a couple hours, with it fiddly and tough to get positioned properly.

I was wrong. Thankfully.

I wasnít wrong at first. When it first came down it fit over the C-channel fairly smoothly, but not properly. I couldnít get both ends to quite match up simultaneously. Apparently itís quite true that the frame and floor flex a little too much without the shell. I suspended the frame and subfloor in the same way it was during the frame modifications and the floor installation, and it went into place almost perfectly.

There might be just the barest hint of the shell being slightly bigger, but with the planned replacement of several body panels that will allow me to take up that extra eighth inch or so if needed.

I put cleco fasteners to hold it in place, and drove it slowly to the new house with temporary lights. No issues. No signs of strain after the 15 mile trip.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:00 PM   #153
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More Shell down photos

Some additional photos of the shell going into place. I am continually shocked at how well it fit with the wheel wells and aligned with them and the C-channel.

A good look at the C-channel and sub-floor prep with the perspective of other things coming down into place..
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:56 PM   #154
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More window sills

If you have followed this thread, you are probably bored with the windows posts. I have spent at least half of my time spent on this trailer on the windows. They seem to be endless. But they were in rough shape. I have replaced all of the glass, several of the retention brackets and made a number of small repairs. They were filthy, nasty, corroded, boogered up, bent, just horrible. The window sills were just one more fiddly part of this.

Some of the corners had corroded apart, some had worn rivets, some just werenít connected properly at the factory. With the correct rivets and tools I was able to make a few repairs. Then using a two step process of a sisal wheel with brown greasy Tripoli, and then a treated cotton spiral wheel with black compound, I cleaned out the crud, and gave them a basic shine.

One a couple of these I simply fabricated a crude bracket to use to attach around the outside. They will be hidden by the window frame when in place but will add some rigidity during re-installation.
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1955, air conditioning, axle, door, flying cloud, frame, holding tanks, polish, restoration, shell off, tank heater, window


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