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thumbelinadj 10-07-2014 04:42 PM

'65 GT 20' my winter project
Hi, I am happy to meet my fellow AS owners. Live in North Seattle. Purchased last week out of Gold Beach, OR. It's in great shape. Known for my great vision, lacking skills and tools. Some work I will do on my own, other will be hired out.

The first thing I want to do is fix the hitch and tongue. Next would be electrical and wheels/tires. Guidance on RV repair experience. People you may have dealt with.

Thank you!

thumbelinadj 10-14-2014 12:30 PM

Reading all the posts thoroughly. What a great knowledge base!
I have two repair shops I am going to start working with to see how they work with me.

This week I am taking the GT in for the hitch, wheels, tires, electrical, brakes and door repair.
Next week I am going to a truck wash to have them prepare the proper acid wash. It was living near salt water at Gold Beach, Oregon for 12 years. They will evaluate the skin.

One thing that is coming to mind that I see frequently in the forum is a reference to Axel replacement. Thinking not a bad idea since I am trying to be safety minded. How crazy is the replacement cost? Low compared to the consequences I know.

With that said my second concern, I have an F-150. I have seen someone say its ok others not. I have 2940 lbs.


Stefrobrts 10-14-2014 01:08 PM

Hi, and congrats on your awesome find! A GT is a perfect size for adventuring :)

First off, your F-150 should be just fine. I towed our Caravel, just slightly lighter than your GT, for years with an E-150 with a towing capacity of 6600 lbs. Now there's some caveats, like if your truck is lifted, that would be bad for stability. You probably still want a hitch with some sway control (look up friction sway control). If you want to carry a LOT of heavy stuff in the truck, you could eventually exceed capacity. But really, that truck is bordering on overkill. And yes, lots of opinions about towing, the next person to post will probably suggest you need something bigger ;)

Axle replacement is pretty important. If you think about bouncing down the road and trusting your trailer to a 50 year old axle, it only makes sense to get it replaced as well. You can get a complete axle with new brakes. We had a shop install ours, but I can't tell you how much it cost because the bill was mixed in with a bunch of other stuff I had them do at the same time like new propane lines. I can tell you it was worth every penny. Going down the road was tearing my trailer apart before I replaced the axle, now it just glides along behind us, no trouble at all.

We have a lot of NW forum rallies during the summer, I hope we get a chance to say hi in person someday! There are a LOT of us in the NW :)

thumbelinadj 10-14-2014 01:25 PM

Thank you Stephanie! Just getting the hang of this forum. How do i edit my typo? Yikes. Yes the Axle is a must do. I don't want to hear a bunch of noise in the back. My first trailer is a 1962 Aloha. It tows with my Mercedes ML350 like a dream.

I do hope to meet you too!


Stefrobrts 10-14-2014 01:39 PM

Posts can be edited for a few minutes after they are posted. If you find an edit you need done after that just ask a Moderator and we're happy to help.

When we first got our trailer after a trip we'd go in and the pillows would be on the floor and the cupboards had shook open and we were losing rivets on the outside. The ride was so rough it was just getting tossed! After we got the new axle you could leave stuff on the counter and it would probably still be there at the end of your trip. HUGE difference.

thumbelinadj 10-14-2014 02:24 PM

The longer I sit on the this site, the crazier it gets. Frame off.
So then I go to where I can start doing some of my own work. Do I risk the asbestos and rip it all off? Common sense I know that if the sub floor is bad I need to replace. Then when I put the flooring down, do I do the whole floor? Then I can just caulk the gaps when I install cupboards and such?

Pretty sure I am taking the gaucho and turning into a dinette. My model has the old heater directly in front when you walk in. The right dinette is not a full bed to sleep on. I have shared pics in the gallery.

Getting braver.

Stefrobrts 10-14-2014 02:42 PM

Don't go crazy if you don't have to. I had a lot of bad spots in my floor, I just replaced the front half. I did not take the shell off. And I used it for a year before I dug in and did the fixes over the winter so we wouldn't miss any camping. Also gave me a chance to see how we really liked it. Of course you already have another trailer, so maybe you're more confident. I just know shell off is a HUGE project. I wouldn't be eager to dive right into it!

thumbelinadj 10-14-2014 07:43 PM

I keep saying, just get it road safe and cleaned up. Hang out, chill out. it all will come to me! You are right, I have my 62 Aloha to use!

mimiandrews 10-14-2014 09:58 PM

Acid wash might be a really bad idea. This is not a welded aluminum truck tank, it's a riveted Airstream shell. Acid will penetrate the seams and cause corrosion problems. I would never let anyone acid wash my trailer!

thumbelinadj 10-15-2014 12:18 AM

Hi Mimi, There are grades to get it done properly from the research I have done. Q: Can you acid wash the external skin instead of polishing?
A: It can be done, but if you don’t get the acid completely removed, it has the potential to be a perpetual leaker. The acid may get under the rivet heads and may not get rinsed off properly. The acid may reactivate and will continue to eat away at the aluminum underneath the rivet heads. Even so, many commercial and respected restorers use this method. Once etched, you then polish conventionally using coarse to fine polishes. More info on the Perfect Polish website.

dbj216 10-15-2014 02:35 PM

A new axle for your trailer will be in the $800 range. Installation takes 4 to 6 hours my guess. You will likely have some modifications required to the frame, like new mounting holes. Not a big deal, but time consuming. Figure $100/hr at a RV shop and there is a ballpark price. ($1500).

Buy your axle with new brakes and bearings. Well worth the extra cost. Inland RV in California and Colin Hyde in New York are very good axle suppliers.


thumbelinadj 10-15-2014 03:30 PM

Thank you for the tips on the Axle. It is a must do indeed.
The hitch is giving me trouble. Tonight we are dropping off at Evergreen RV in Seattle. I will get a bid from the on the Axle as well as Ryan's RV.

I just need to slow down and watch this unfold and not be in a hurry to fix it all at once.

Stefrobrts 10-15-2014 03:53 PM

Take your time! Winters coming anyway :)

thumbelinadj 10-16-2014 01:04 PM

A bit more details about the GT in the photos here in my flickr link.
The photos are high res and I have to figure out the tool to reduce size and place in the gallery.

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