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-   -   Dan's 34' Makeover (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f258/dans-34-makeover-124438.html)

TouringDan 08-24-2014 11:31 PM

Dan's 34' Makeover
 
We bought a 1995 34' in December, 2014. I went to Michigan to pick it up in some wintry weather and made it back to Virginia ok. Here is a link about the trip to Michigan:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...-a-113931.html

I have done a little work on it, but it has basically been sitting in storage for the last 8 months while I have been camping in the Tradewind, recovering from partial knee surgery and doing family stuff. I am now ready to start thinking about doing a makeover on the 34'.

There were some repairs that were needed. These are listed below:

1. Replace the electric jack- completed.

2. Repair the stairs- completed.

3. Replace the refrigerator (RM-3807) cooling unit- on order

4. Re secure the vinyl ceiling covering that is falling down- still in the
evaluation stage.

5. Install 6 new alauminum wheels and tires- completed.

6. Install two new batteries- completed.

7. Repair the tv antenna. It will not crank up and down- not completed.

8. Re attach all of the rubber lower beltline molding that has come loose- not
completed.

Here is a list of items that we want to redo to make this 20 year old trailer like new or at least have it look at work the way we want it to:

1. Replaced the Sony cassette radio with a Pioneer DEH-X6600BT. This is an up to date unit that plays CD's and can play music transmitted via bluetooth from my cell phone or mp3 player. We bought it from Amazon for about $120, a real bargain.

2. Out with the gold and in with the silver/nickel- We are in the process of changing out all the gold light fixtures and replacing them with nickel finish light fixtures. We have started this task but are not finished yet. I am not sure how to change the shower door from gold to silver. Anybody had any luck just painting it? More on this latter.

3. Replace the two skylights with Maxim units.

4. Replace the toilet with china toilet that has a higher seat height.

5. Replace the kitchen counter, sink and faucet.

6. Replace all the blinds. The bedroom blinds are aluminum. The living room blinds are fabric with too much blue. We may go to cellular blinds, like we used in the Tradewind. What have others done that works well?

7. Replace all the drapes- too much blue.

8. Replace the sofa with two recliners- Probably either Villa Lift or Lambright. Covering will probably be ultra leather or real leather.

9. Recover the dinette soft goods to match the recliners.

10. Remove all carpet and hardwood and install new wood flooring. we are planning on installing recycled 1/2" heart pine flooring. It will provide a nice contrast to the oak cabinets.

11. Build a cabinet between the two recliners that matches the other furniture/cabinets (oak).

12. Replace all incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs.

13. Replace the converter. Thinking about going with a Magnum converter recommended by Lewster.

14. Paint the roof white to help seal against leaks and to reduce the interior temperatures in the summer and reduce the air conditioning load.

15. Install a flat screen tv in the bedroom and the living room.

16. Possibly install a door/screen next to the toilet so it is not so visible from the kitchen. Any ideas? What have others done?

That is about all I can think of. So what do you all think? What have I missed that you would recommend doing? Thanks for any and all feedback.

Dan

cwf 08-25-2014 11:43 PM

Great start !

50 amp? Dual ACs? Replace rubber LP HOSES.

Replace window, door and hatch gaskets.

Check for leaks?

Install new King antenna ?

Check/replace waste valves?

Axles and brakes and breakaway switch?

Install LED lighting on top of valence and front upper storage run with LED drivers so you can "set the mood" ...ER... Night lights for grandkritters.

TouringDan 03-07-2019 10:01 PM

3 Attachment(s)
The 34í has been sitting in storage for the past 4 1/2 years. The storage lot is closing up so I decided to move it home. I have started at the front and removed the front gaucho, all window treatments, the front carpeting and the vinyl ceiling. The challenge will be removing the foam and old glue from the ceiling. We will either paint the aluminum ceiling white or install new aluminum over the old aluminum panels. Has anybody installed new aluminum panels on their ceiling? Here are some interior photos.

Regarding the last photo, I removed the tv cabinet. I will install, in its place next to the wall cabinets, the air handler for the mini split heat pump I plan to install.

Dan
Attachment 335154Attachment 335155Attachment 335156

TouringDan 03-09-2019 04:14 PM

Dan's 34' Makeover
 
3 Attachment(s)
CEILING FOAM REMOVAL- After removal of the vinyl ceiling the challenge is to remove the 1/8Ē layer of foam glued to the ceiling. I removed some with a 4Ē wide plastic scraper but it was a very slow and difficult process. I decided to attach the plastic scraper blade to the metal scraper blade using rivets and use my vibrating (oscillating) saw. This worked great like a hot knife through butter. The foam came off in sheets.

DanAttachment 335240Attachment 335241Attachment 335242

TouringDan 03-12-2019 08:42 PM

Dan's 34' Makeover
 
3 Attachment(s)
DISINTEGRATING VENT COVER- The weather warmed up so I decided to do some outside work.

Looking on top, the front plastic vent cover is literally disintegrating! I ordered a new cover from Out of Doors Mart. The caulking job on the cover is terrible! I think this is the original caulking done by Airstream. No QA at all.

I also decided to remove the old batwing antenna. My plan is to install a small omnidirectional antenna in the center area like on the 2019 Classics.

DanAttachment 335514Attachment 335515Attachment 335516

A W Warn 03-12-2019 09:15 PM

The front vent/fan on my 34' was like yours. Most of the caulk was gone, causing leaks that showed up around the front windows. I decided to take that fan and light completely out and put in a new Fantastic. I really like having the extra sunlight.

TouringDan 03-15-2019 09:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I built our home when I was a young man. I wanted a 30í wide parking area to play basketball. I figured 3 cars would fit nicely here also. The basketball goal is long gone and here now sits our 66 Tradewind, 2008 Tundra and the 95 34í. My Golf fits in front of the Tundra and Brendaís Audi in front of the Tradewind. The parking lot is full and it looks good to me.

DanAttachment 335803

Bubba L 03-15-2019 09:43 PM

Dan, I can relate to that. I did the same. Some of the building materials I rat holed for future projects, I canít even lift now. Your parking lot looks perfect.

twobikes 03-16-2019 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by touringdan (Post 2218185)
ceiling foam removal- after removal of the vinyl ceiling the challenge is to remove the 1/8Ē layer of foam glued to the ceiling. I removed some with a 4Ē wide plastic scraper but it was a very slow and difficult process. I decided to attach the plastic scraper blade to the metal scraper blade using rivets and use my vibrating (oscillating) saw. This worked great like a hot knife through butter. The foam came off in sheets.

DanAttachment 335240Attachment 335241Attachment 335242



genius!

TouringDan 03-17-2019 10:18 AM

Dan's 34' Makeover
 
2 Attachment(s)
I cleaned the roof of the Airstream. I have owned it for 5 years and it has sat in a storage facility and has never been cleaned. The previous owner had the Airstream parked in a single location as he didnít have a TV. There is a possibility that he never cleaned the roof, so the roof hasnít been cleaned in at least 5 years and possibly hasnít been cleaned in 24 years. I cleaned the roof with TSP and it really looks good although a bit splotchy, see photo.Attachment 335861
The splotchy silver spots are the silver aluminum showing through. The white painted aluminum has worn thin from either 24 years of weathering or some weathering combined with a healthy cleaning with TSP. Either way I am not sure whether to just leave it or repaint the roof. If I repaint it, I am not sure which product to use. Any opinions would be appreciated here.

The caulking work on the roof is terrible. It is also consistently terrible in all the locations. It looks like it was all applied by the same unskilled and uncaring person without any QA by anybody. Does this look like typical caulking work on your Airstream? Also I was surprised to see sheet metal screws securing the vents. I would have thought rivets would have been used.

DanAttachment 335862

TouringDan 03-17-2019 09:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
3 NEW MAXXAIR FANS- There are presently 3 ventilation fans. The fan up front is the Airstream fan where the cover basically disinterested. It has a large nine bulb light fixture below it. The middle fan is a bathroom ventilation fan and the bedroom fan is a Fantastic vent fan. My plan is to replace all three vent fans with Maxxair fans because we travel with two cute beagles and this seems like the best fan option for us.

DanAttachment 335957Attachment 335958

A W Warn 03-18-2019 08:32 AM

A couple questions:

The exterior of your 1995 looks way better than my 1999. Yours has no bald spots. Has your trailer been refinished?

I see there is a piece of metal, an air deflector I suppose, that is between the fridge vent and the air conditioner. I suppose that it prevents hot air exhausted from the fridge vent from entering the AC coils, making the AC more efficient. Do you know if that is original, or was it added? And, how is it fastened to the roof?

TouringDan 03-18-2019 10:54 PM

Dan's 34' Makeover
 
Alan

I donít think it has been refinished but I really donít know. I bought it from the original owner who died. I believe he kept it outside but I donít know for sure.

I agree with your assessment of the flat plate. It is secured with buck rivets, so I believe it is original.

Dan

TouringDan 04-06-2019 01:47 PM

Dan's 34' Makeover
 
3 Attachment(s)
THE AIRSTREAM WINDOWS HAVE NOT CHANGED IN 25 YEARS!

As I have said before, the outside looks pretty good, but the inside needs a complete makeover! One of the problem areas I want to change is the trim around the small oblong windows that are under the main windows. It is yellowed plastic (see photo) and I want it to be metal like on the new (and some older) Airstreams.Attachment 337469

Well, I had to go to Out-Of-Doors Mart yesterday to pick up some lower rub rail trim. I looked at a new 2019 Airstream and measured the windows and took a photo below.Attachment 337470

I then went home and measured my windows and took a photo. The measurements were the same, the windows were the same and the rub rail below the windows was even the same. The tinting even appears to be the same. No change in 25 years! Remarkable!Attachment 337471

I made a statement in another thread yesterday that I believed that ducted AC was the most significant change to Airstreams in 30 years. Maybe the most significant change before ducted AC was the standard fully opening window. I believe this may go back to about 1984. What do you all think?

Dan

OTRA15 04-06-2019 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TouringDan (Post 2228059)
. . .
Maybe the most significant change before ducted AC was the standard fully opening window. I believe this may go back to about 1984. What do you all think?

Dan

Our used 1985 25' Sovereign had the new windows, very similar to the current 2014 FC20. In construction parlance, these would be called "awning" windows because they are hinged on top. We would not be able to live inside an Airstream which did not have these windows, affording large screened openings for great air flow.

The smaller OEM windows, half of which slides L/R to get the screened opening, are too dinky for air flow IMO.

YWMV. :lol:

Peter

dbj216 04-06-2019 08:28 PM

Hi TouringDan: I stumbled onto your 34 Excella makeover thread. Thought I would follow along. Interesting adaption of your vibrating saw for ceiling material removal. I've read several complaints concerning this material, and you are wise to include removal and replacement in your project.

As you know we have a 34 also. It is 1986 and called a Limited. The Excella was another option back then. Interesting how Airstream marketing changes names through the years. I think your Trade Wind is an International, my Overlander is an International, the Excella name came out in the late seventies, then the Limited. Not long after came the Classic. It is hard to keep up with.

Very good plan with the recliners up front. I think you will love them. I have a small recliner in our Limited, but the gaucho remains. It's my wife's trailer you know; her trailer, her rules.

I will learn more about our 86 as you progress with your project, just like I learned a lot about my old Trade Wind watching you in your Trade Wind project.

David

TouringDan 04-06-2019 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 2228061)
The smaller OEM windows, half of which slides L/R to get the screened opening, are too dinky for air flow IMO.

YWMV. :lol:

Peter


I completely agree. I looked at a 22í Sport yesterday and it has four of those windows where just half of the bottom maybe 8Ē section of window opens. I think it is a huge mistake by Airstream that these are not awning windows that open fully to provide the necessary ventilation.

Dan

A W Warn 04-06-2019 09:52 PM

My 25' Safari has those less than half high awning windows. Very little breeze comes through (except cold breezes in winter)
The solution is two Fantastic Fans to make a breeze in warm weather.

TouringDan 04-09-2019 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dbj216 (Post 2228176)
Hi TouringDan: I stumbled onto your 34 Excella makeover thread. Thought I would follow along. Interesting adaption of your vibrating saw for ceiling material removal. I've read several complaints concerning this material, and you are wise to include removal and replacement in your project.



As you know we have a 34 also. It is 1986 and called a Limited. The Excella was another option back then. Interesting how Airstream marketing changes names through the years. I think your Trade Wind is an International, my Overlander is an International, the Excella name came out in the late seventies, then the Limited. Not long after came the Classic. It is hard to keep up with.



Very good plan with the recliners up front. I think you will love them. I have a small recliner in our Limited, but the gaucho remains. It's my wife's trailer you know; her trailer, her rules.



I will learn more about our 86 as you progress with your project, just like I learned a lot about my old Trade Wind watching you in your Trade Wind project.



David


David

So glad that you will be following along.

I am really excited about this project. As you know I have created our Tradewind so that it suits our camping style. I plan to do the same with the 34í. It will be unique and will also suit our camping style. It will have similarities to the Tradewind- disc brakes, lots of lithium and lots of solar. Also like the Tradewind, it will have a 2,000 watt inverter that will run everything and we donít plan on ever plugging in. Well at least that is our goal; weíll see.

It will have many differences. The interior will be modern like a new Airstream, recliners in front with a cabinet hiding the lithiumís and inverter, three Maxx fans, two sky lights, all led ceiling recessed lighting, a double door fridge (maybe compressor cooled), Oceanaire blinds, reclaimed heart pine flooring, a large shower, porcelain toilet, queen bed, built in dinette and a mini split heat pump that will be much quieter than even the ducted AC.

I hope to have it completed by 2020 when it will be 25 years old and therefore vintage.

Dan

dbj216 04-10-2019 07:50 PM

Wow, Excella off grid. And a glamper at that. AirForums member Kirstrof is building an off grid 76 Sovereign. It is a 24 volt system. I don't understand many of the components selected, but his goal is not to plug in. We have an "off grid" house being constructed in our neighborhood. I don't know how that will all work out either. I guess I'm just an old fashioned kilowatt hour user. I hate it when the power goes out. Water pump quits, heat quits and the like.

It is fun to visit these old miner's log cabin ruins in the mountains around here. Chinked logs, a stone fireplace, maybe a window, about 12' square. They were off grid too.

David


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