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Old 06-25-2016, 11:02 PM   #43
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Ok, everyone... Hi! It's been a while since I've posted/ been on the Forums. Just want you to know that my Overlander is still in my driveway and on my mind! My twins are now 2 1/2 years old, so that has been my project lately. But I'm finally starting to feel like I can get back to my Airstream, little by little. I'd like to get her out on the road in a few years.

Although I haven't been working on her, I did install a hitch on my car a few months ago and I've tried to keep up my construction skills by building my kids a giant dollhouse.

Hoping to rejoin this wonderful community, I've missed you!


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Old 03-23-2017, 12:46 PM   #44
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Checking Back In - Again

When I first started reading on the forums (way back when- more than a decade ago), I remember hearing about concepts like "polished turd" (ouch!!), and the palpable disdain true airstreamers had for exuberant new owners who jumped in with both feet, disassembled a vintage trailer, then got overwhelmed and listed it on ebay. I didn't know a lot, but I sure knew I didn't want a turd, or a project that would get away from me.

After years of owning my Overlander, I finally was in a place of stability in my life and had it towed to my driveway in California (at the start of this thread). I began my restoration project, inspired by so many stories and threads and amazing people in this community who felt like friends. Even though I rarely chimed in, I followed them with zeal!

I started the disassembly of my beautiful trailer, gave her a name, and began looking forward. Then, as anyone who read this thread knows, I got pregnant- with twins! Life changed radically.

Free time became nonexistent. Discretionary income became a thing of the past. Airstream dreams were put on the back burner. Well, as I reported a few months ago, I'm still here. Phoebe will be restored, I will NOT be one of those exuberant owners who bites off more than he/she can chew.

This trailer speaks to me. She is part of the family. So this is where things stand right now: I'm pricing Coosa board (since the subfloor is the weak link in these amazing trailers, and I don't want her to have be taken apart again in 40 years). I'm also waiting for a sale on Prodex, and I just purchased some Por-15 products. I'm going to start looking at tanks, as well. All systems are "go" for this resto! I'm going to get back to it, even though I have small children, a full time job, and (because that's not enough, clearly!) I'm two classes into a Master's degree. Life is too short to keep putting this on hold.

I've checked back in on my favorite restoration threads, and they are eerily quiet. I suppose you're all out there enjoying your trailers now. It's a little sad to feel as though I'm alone in this, but it's also incredibly reassuring to have the collective wisdom of this site to draw upon.

When I was 7 weeks pregnant, I attended the Vintage Restoration Rally in New Mexico. I was totally exhausted but I still managed to learn a lot. So I've got the resources from that weekend to draw upon, as well.

If you're following along, it may be slow going but I'm going to check in when I can!
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:56 PM   #45
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You'll still have lots of company and new cheerleaders along with some old ones.

Hang in there your little ones are almost camping ready.

Our threads are quiet and our campers are so agonizingly slow to come along because we bought a project house to park them at.

We do however go camping. So be assured you don't have to have them done done in order to camp. Just road worthy
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:37 PM   #46
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I am happy to see you will be returning to your project. I could not remember if any other restoration threads were mentioned in earlier posts on this thread that you were following. A few of my favorites : PB Sailors thread (1957 Caravanner, and Inside/Out (Birdie) restoration. Also CV65 Overlander restoration.Sorry I have forgotten how to link these but hopefully you already know about them.

Still it is good to review your favorites for inspiration and jog the memory on different approaches to your restoration.

I had to look up that "Coosa Board" that is expensive, yes? I just bought some marine plywood with a fancy name (Hydrotech). The dealer said it was 11 ply (looks like five ply) It looks way too pretty to cut or drill and bolt. Also not as heavy As I thought. Also expensive. The dealer still suggests sealing edges after cutting.
So, good luck with your project, no rush, you have a great trailer.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:08 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
You'll still have lots of company and new cheerleaders along with some old ones.

Hang in there your little ones are almost camping ready.

Our threads are quiet and our campers are so agonizingly slow to come along because we bought a project house to park them at.

We do however go camping. So be assured you don't have to have them done done in order to camp. Just road worthy


Thank you! That's my goal right now (camping with the little ones!). It's time to start making some family memories.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:36 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by safari62 View Post
I am happy to see you will be returning to your project. I could not remember if any other restoration threads were mentioned in earlier posts on this thread that you were following. A few of my favorites : PB Sailors thread (1957 Caravanner, and Inside/Out (Birdie) restoration. Also CV65 Overlander restoration.Sorry I have forgotten how to link these but hopefully you already know about them.



Still it is good to review your favorites for inspiration and jog the memory on different approaches to your restoration.



I had to look up that "Coosa Board" that is expensive, yes? I just bought some marine plywood with a fancy name (Hydrotech). The dealer said it was 11 ply (looks like five ply) It looks way too pretty to cut or drill and bolt. Also not as heavy As I thought. Also expensive. The dealer still suggests sealing edges after cutting.

So, good luck with your project, no rush, you have a great trailer.


The Coosa board is expensive. I contacted RevChem and the pricing is much better than any of the sites I found online. Just waiting on our tax return and I'm going to bite the bullet on it. There isn't a lot of space in our garage, so that should motivate me to get it installed vs. having something pricey gather dust.

My subfloor is 3/4", not 5/8", so that helps (it's a size they stock so no minimum order, whereas the 5/8" has a minimum order of 20 sheets from this supplier).

I'm not familiar with all the different plywood products, but hydrotech sounds great!

PB Sailor's thread is amazing. What a gorgeous trailer and what a sad, sweet story. He inspired me on a lot of levels during a challenging time in my life.

I have a lot of threads saved, but I've only had time to revisit a few lately. That one featuring Island Girl, Moonraker (even though Shelly's trailer is from the 60's, she is so meticulous in her work), and Dark Knight/ Peter and Marie-- but I intend to keep perusing my collection! I have like 50+ threads saved! Eek.

There was a young family who restored my trailers' twin back to original- they were on the forums but also had a blog I enjoyed, I've got to find that one.

Anyway, thank you for the encouragement
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:25 PM   #49
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I am glad you mentioned Shelly's Moonraker project. I should have checked my subscribed threads before posting to your thread. One of the best and amazing work.
Once again glad you are back at it!
Gary
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:00 PM   #50
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So I picked up the Bluewater 20 today... I was home with a sick kiddo, so we made the hour plus drive to pick it up.

First impressions: it is indeed light stuff. I watched the warehouse employee lift six 4x8 sheets onto my roof rack and it really didn't seem to tax him at all.

I wanted to help position the sheets on the rack so he stopped what he was doing to hunt down a pair of gloves for me. He warned me, "you should wear gloves when you handle this stuff, because it will give you splinters"- no joke. I barely touched it with bare hands and did manage to get a few fiberglass splinters. I also feel as though I have a piece of fiberglass in my eye. Just a warning to anyone else who goes this route! I will wear goggles or a face shield when it comes time to saw it.

Other developments- I can't get the belt line loose (it's secured with those ubiquitous 1950's flathead screws, and most of them won't budge). Obviously, this is a problem. I can't work on the floor until I drill out the hidden rivets beneath the belt line. I've tried wd40, I've tried to tape off the area and drill out the screws, I've tried a screw extractor... nothing is working.

But-- I found something I've never heard of on the Yardstore website, it's called a screw knocker/ old man. It looks to be a screwdriver that attaches to a pneumatic riveter- air blasts "knock" the screw loose. I've ordered one and will report back once I've tried it out!
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:45 AM   #51
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So happy to hear things are progressing for you. On May 5, I will have had my overlander FOUR years and we are just now getting to use it--and there's still just a subfloor, no beds, no kitchen, no cabinets, and no dinette. And it's all good! Everyone's project takes a different course. Life happens. Money runs short. It's ok....we have no one to answer to but ourselves. Love ya--we'll camp together someday
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:24 AM   #52
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So happy to hear things are progressing for you. On May 5, I will have had my overlander FOUR years and we are just now getting to use it--and there's still just a subfloor, no beds, no kitchen, no cabinets, and no dinette. And it's all good! Everyone's project takes a different course. Life happens. Money runs short. It's ok....we have no one to answer to but ourselves. Love ya--we'll camp together someday


Thank you! Enjoy your first adventure!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:03 AM   #53
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Do you recall how the front end cap locker was hung? I'm struggling to remember this, and apparently neglected to take a picture of that. It's now time to put it back in, but it just looks like screws held it in. That can't be right. Would love to know your thoughts on this.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:06 AM   #54
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Do you recall how the front end cap locker was hung? I'm struggling to remember this, and apparently neglected to take a picture of that. It's now time to put it back in, but it just looks like screws held it in. That can't be right. Would love to know your thoughts on this.


Mine didn't have a locker in the front... just a little shelf above the gaucho, with the reading lights above. Maybe yours was custom or retrofit later? Do you have a picture of the locker? All of my upper cabinets were pop riveted in place (and then painted over with Zolatone).
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:46 PM   #55
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Does anyone know how to change the name of a thread (lol)- mine is too exuberantly happy and naive to the restoration "fun" that would be on the horizon!

Seriously, though, I never thought that I'd have the products to redo the floor stacked up in my garage for months while I struggled to remove some rusted trim screws!! Grrr, it's getting ridiculous. I think I posted that I've tried nearly everything to remove them- including hand screwdriver, power driver with bit sleeve, set at various torques, putty knife behind the aluminum skin, breaking the screws off from the inside of the trailer, using a rust removal product (Yes, very cautiously and judiciously), attempting to tap them out with a nail set, purchasing a special "screwknocker" tool from an aircraft store... The list goes on. I feel incredibly incompetent as I reflect on all of the threads I've read in which would-be restorers power through every task with the greatest of ease. How??

Anyway, I have now have only two of the initial 24 rusted old screws holding the front rub rail trim on, but they will NOT budge. As I strolled through my local home improvement store this afternoon, something new caught my eye- a heat gun. I've never used one, but there on the package it states that it can be used to remove rusted-in-place bolts and screws.

Obviously, I will proceed with caution. I'm not about to destroy the front panel of my trailer on behalf of two stubborn 60-year-old screws... But the prospect of having them out (and potentially the belly pan dropped/ new floor installed before the next century) does intrigue me.

Of course, I couldn't resist and bought the heat gun, but even once I've researched whether it's safe to use in proximity to aluminum skin and how to do so, I'll need to find the time. I'm hoping it will be a soon, and I can post an exuberantly happy update!
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:08 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Sum75 View Post
Does anyone know how to change the name of a thread (lol)- mine is too exuberantly happy and naive to the restoration "fun" that would be on the horizon!

Seriously, though, I never thought that I'd have the products to redo the floor stacked up in my garage for months while I struggled to remove some rusted trim screws!! Grrr, it's getting ridiculous. I think I posted that I've tried nearly everything to remove them- including hand screwdriver, power driver with bit sleeve, set at various torques, putty knife behind the aluminum skin, breaking the screws off from the inside of the trailer, using a rust removal product (Yes, very cautiously and judiciously), attempting to tap them out with a nail set, purchasing a special "screwknocker" tool from an aircraft store... The list goes on. I feel incredibly incompetent as I reflect on all of the threads I've read in which would-be restorers power through every task with the greatest of ease. How??

Anyway, I have now have only two of the initial 24 rusted old screws holding the front rub rail trim on, but they will NOT budge. As I strolled through my local home improvement store this afternoon, something new caught my eye- a heat gun. I've never used one, but there on the package it states that it can be used to remove rusted-in-place bolts and screws.

Obviously, I will proceed with caution. I'm not about to destroy the front panel of my trailer on behalf of two stubborn 60-year-old screws... But the prospect of having them out (and potentially the belly pan dropped/ new floor installed before the next century) does intrigue me.

Of course, I couldn't resist and bought the heat gun, but even once I've researched whether it's safe to use in proximity to aluminum skin and how to do so, I'll need to find the time. I'm hoping it will be a soon, and I can post an exuberantly happy update!


Haha, forgot to add a few more things I tried (unsuccessfully): drilling out said screws, using a screw extractor- multiple sizes/ two different types failed.? Lubricating the stuck threads with WD40 also failed. So this heat gun could be a lifesaver. I'm running out of ideas and patience!
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