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Old 08-06-2012, 01:20 PM   #21
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1961 International Overlander - My new project

Greetings photomikey!

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I don't have an awning, so it'll still be hot outside!
There are several methods to create shade on the side of your Airstream. During the vintage era, the most usual approach was a "rope and pole" awning that was designed with a bining that slid into the awning rail along the top edge of the sidewall with poles and guy-lines to stretch and support the awning fabric. Sometime in the early 1960s, permanently attached side awnings became available for Airstreams . . . the most well-known being Zip Dee that still supplies awnings today (A & E, Carefree of Colorado, and a few others made retractable awnings for Airstreams between 1960 and 1980 +/-). Some owners utilize free-standing "pop-up" shelters for shade.

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Newer A/C, Newer Water Heater (never used by my friend who has had it for the last several years, but apparently new when he purchased it), new fridge, which apparently runs AC, DC, or Propane. Looks expensive. I didn't ask.
The refrigerator appears to be a Dometic, and if it operates on AC/DC/LP it is referred to as a 3-Way RV Refrigerator. I have a similar age Dometic 3-Way Refrigerator in my '64 Overlander, and it was around $1,400 installed when I purchased mine through my Airstream dealer. It is an excellent refrigerator and permits traveling with the LP tanks shut off . . . something that I have always done. When the original Dometic in my Minuet expires, it will definitely be replaced with a 3-Way RV Refrigerator . . . and if not that, it will be replaced with a Norcold RV Refrigerator with 12-Volt Compressor.

I don't know how great the problem is in your region, but here in the Midwest, a water heater that hasn't been used should be checked for the presence of spider/insect nests. Spiders seem to like to nest in the air intake or in close proximity to the gas valve. Mud daubers will build almost anywhere they can find room. Spiders have been my most frequent problems with their nesting habits.

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Water still uses the pressurization system. Don't know where the tank is yet, but much of the trailer has been re-piped - the waste system with ABS, the water and propane with copper. The freshwater system included a de-pressurization valve under the trailer, connected to 1/4" copper line, so you could drain the system. Who knew that a valve under a trailer connected to a 1/4" line would bend and eventually snap the 1/4" line? (*roll eyes*). So the freshwater won't pressurize until I cap or add a valve to this mangled 1/4" line.
There were two places where Airstream typically located their freshwater tanks in the early 1960s. The location for earlier models was often under the front window below the lounge. By 1964, the usual location had changed to the compartment below the streetside bed. The tank was usually behind and just below the exterior water fill device. It does sound like someone has modified the freshwater plumbing in your coach as the models that I have seen had their freshwater tank drain valve mounted inside of the coach beside the water tank.

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If the big guy up above (God, or Byam... either one) is on my side, they will have replaced the freshwater tank. But they didn't replace the blackwater tank, so... I don't have my hopes up.
I would be surprised if the freshwater tank were replaced as the galvanized pressure tanks are quite uncommon today, and have been very difficult to find in sizest to fit Airstreams for at least two decades. In most cases, if a pressure water tank was replaced during the last two decades, its most likely replacement was an acrylic/plastic demand type tank.

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Still is dual-wired for 110VAC and 12VDC. Most of the 12VDC bulbs are missing. Where does one acquire these 12VDC Edison bulbs? I would like to replace some of them with LED. Any suggestions?
Tweety's offer a rather large selection of 12-Volt incandescent bulbs as well as LEDs at competitive prices. I have had good luck with their 12-Volt standard base incandescent bulbs in my porch light fixture on my Overlander.

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Gas will pressurize, but I haven't lit any appliances yet. That gas lamp in the galley looks like a deathtrap. Do people still use stuff like this?
Gas lamps were standard RV fare through sometime in the 1970s, and the lamps continue to be available today. When properly maintained with the correct mantle, they are considered safe for their intended use. The one thing to keep in mind is that they produce a tremendous amount of heat so they are much more pleasant to use during the cool weather months. Lehman's offers a number of gas lamps as well as parts and supplies.

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I think my furnace is missing some parts, the most notable one that I can guess at without having seen a working furnace is a big relay. I will take some photos when I start to worry about the furnace, which will be a while.
Your furnace might be an International Oil Furnace, and if it is, these furnaces were known for a number of problems. The heat exchangers were noted for failing due to rust allowing cabon monoxide gas to enter the interior of the coach. There were also problems with the fuel supply. The International Oil Furnace in my Overlander was condemned by three technicians before I made the decision to replace the unit without having attempted use of the furnace. I haven't regretted making the change as the new furnace has piezo automatic ignition so there is no cantakerous pilot light requiring gymnastics to light . . .

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #22
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This is the water tank. If it hasn't been replaced, is this something you would replace? On one hand, it looks solid - on the other, a steel tank with water splashing around inside it for 50 years makes me a little uneasy.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #23
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The pressure system is pretty nice because it is quiet. But I have not seem many of these that are not full of pin holes and leaking in addition to being full of nasty sludge from years of use and corrosion. I'd lean heavily towards replacement with a new tank and on-demand pump. Tough call though. You really should see if you can pull it out and do a thorough inspection of the tank as well as the floor underneath the tank (not an easy job, so I would be the last to criticize you for leaving it be for a while). The pin hole leaks that develop in these tanks can often rot out the floor underneath.

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:48 PM   #24
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Not much progress today. Busy days at the photomikey house.

Started cleaning various parts today, mostly throwing out junk from the closets.

Considering getting rid of the dividers between the galley and the bunks, and the bunks and the lav. They are in pretty good condition, but ugly, and I'm thinking of a curtain with a magnet to keep it shut. Any reason I wouldn't do this? Do those curtains have any value on this board?

Cleaned some windows today.



Noticed that both my twin bed windows and the window that faces the hitch are fogged. Is this a factory deal, or did a previous owner do this? Is there a way to fix it? If I have to replace the glass... anything I should know?





The decent looking windows have the rubber gasket (?) missing in places, which has cleverly been sealed with some goopy black stuff. I'm assuming the gasket can be replaced with something specific, and probably expensive. What's the de-facto place to order this from?





Should have most of the day tomorrow to do some cleaning and setup of the beast. Will post a better update tomorrow.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomikey View Post

Noticed that both my twin bed windows and the window that faces the hitch are fogged. Is this a factory deal, or did a previous owner do this? Is there a way to fix it? If I have to replace the glass... anything I should know?

The decent looking windows have the rubber gasket (?) missing in places, which has cleverly been sealed with some goopy black stuff. I'm assuming the gasket can be replaced with something specific, and probably expensive. What's the de-facto place to order this from?
Check out Vintage Trailer Supply for window seals. They should have everything you need. And you can find great info on window restoration on Frank's Trailer Works's blog here

Windows are a great thing to restore early on. It's not terribly expensive and you can do them all in about 8 to 12 hours. I spent about $250 for everything including tempered glass, new glazing tape and all new seals for all my windows. I think it was the best dollar-for-dollar benefit of my whole restoration.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #26
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Photomikey,

Congratulations on your new Airstream. We have just started the process of looking for our first vintage trailer. How did you find yours and how did you determine it was a good one? Any tips and hints to finding a good one would be appreciated. Also, if you don't mind sharing, I would love to know how much you paid for it. That would give us a indication of ballpark pricing.

Thanks

Chris and Mirissa Dunne
Santa Clarita, CA
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #27
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Looks like a great find! Very little to do aside from the axle to make it a campable trailer. You don't necessarily NEED a black tank or gray tank, it just makes it a lot easier.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #28
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Welded or Bolted?

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Your axles are dunzo. They are not too hard to replace. I did mine all by myself (I recomend you bribe a friend with some beer) the hardest part was busting the frozen bolts loose.
I am really curious about this, as I have my eye on a '61 as well. I know '61 was the first year for torsion axles, but I could have sworn that Colin Hyde said on a recent episode of theVap that the axles were actually welding on in '61, not bolted. This inquiring mind wants to know.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:28 PM   #29
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Long time, no see.

Finally finding some free hours over the holiday to work on the Airstream, have actually made a lot of progress (pictures soon), but have a few stumpers I'd like to share.

In the livingroom of the trailer is this vent hatch.



Looks like fiberglass. First problem is that it's ugly. Any ideas on what I can do to de-uglify it?

Second, it rises on two of these crank risers:



That fits into this doohickey:



The one I hold in my hand is working, the other one was destroyed while trying to un-freeze it. It does not appear these are still made. Is there a source for them? Is there an alternate way to keep this closed?

Third question relates to the kitchen vent fan:



I assume that it is powered by this plug hanging from the wall, that plugs into this outlet, that is controlled by the switch.



There have been some wiring "changes" over the years:



And I'm about to dig into it.

My main question is... can I remove the fan? If I could, I would run a new length of romex and wire it back in. If I can't, I am pretty much stuck with what I've been left by the PO.

I don't see any screws to remove the fan housing. There are some screws that seem like they could remove the fan motor, but I don't see a way to get into the wall.

Any advice on these matters are appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:58 PM   #30
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The fiberglass vent cover is called an Astrodome, i know Inland RV and VTS sell new versions that are made of lexan I believe, $150. There are 2 models available for different years. I'd paint the inside and outside of what you have. As far as the lifters, I see them for sale on ebay from time to time. I think Inland offers a new version of those as well. I'm on my phone or I'd post those links.
Have fun with your sweet trailer!
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:29 PM   #31
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Welcome back.

I haven't tackled mine yet -- it's a well sealed piece of galvanized metal right now. Here are my bookmarks for planned work:

Lifter Repair: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f455...ent-16271.html

Astradome Replacement: Airstream Astradome

I found some good gasket at home depot that should do the trick on the upper seal.

John
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:08 PM   #32
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In my opinion the astrodome is pointless. I got a maxim skylight made for 200.00


Now I can look at the stars while I lay in bed. Well, assuming I ever complete the trailer and get to that point. I did abandon the lifters and will be trimming it out with wood.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #33
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I agree, I really like the maxim product, will definately be installing in my trailer!
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:45 AM   #34
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Well I like the Maxim skylight idea as well. Sounds like its a made to order type of deal.
Anyone want to buy a brand new Astrodome?
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:14 PM   #35
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The maxim skylight has three layers of lexan. It keeps the heat out / cool in. They are custom made. Great people to work with. The quality is top notch.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:18 PM   #36
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Thanks for the tip on the skylight! I will earmark that. Also solves the dilemma over what to do about the lifters. For now, might just give the existing one a good scrub and a coat of white spraypaint, see how it looks. Even unattached it doesn't let in water, and doesn't seem to want to blow away (in the driveway).

I had two windows that were plexi instead of glass:





Removed both of the frames from the body, and then removed the plexi from the frames. Will take it to the glass shop on Monday and see what they can do to cut me some new glass. Having a heck of a time getting the rubbery, goopy black stuff to release from the frame. Might take a trip to Home Depot and see what they can sell me. I am open to suggestions.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:10 PM   #37
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Thanks for the tip on the skylight! I will earmark that. Also solves the dilemma over what to do about the lifters. For now, might just give the existing one a good scrub and a coat of white spraypaint, see how it looks. Even unattached it doesn't let in water, and doesn't seem to want to blow away (in the driveway).

I had two windows that were plexi instead of glass:





Removed both of the frames from the body, and then removed the plexi from the frames. Will take it to the glass shop on Monday and see what they can do to cut me some new glass. Having a heck of a time getting the rubbery, goopy black stuff to release from the frame. Might take a trip to Home Depot and see what they can sell me. I am open to suggestions.
You can use MEK if you can get it in your state. I just used Industrial Stripper and carefully scraped up the butyl tape. Just rebuilt the last four windows on my trailer, glad that is in the books!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #38
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Just posted a question about new tires in the tire subforum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...on-100925.html

Interested in the $0.02 from the crowd here, as well!
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:31 AM   #39
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Anybody have an extra Astrodome they're interested in selling? Mine blew off driving around town the other day...
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:29 AM   #40
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I made my own out of flat congregated Lexan sheet. It is flat on the outside, but has air tubes (like thicker cardboard) in it which diffuse the light and stiffens the product, Put a 1 inch aluminum L channel around it for rigidly and rain proof. Total cost $15 and 2 hours work. It went through a hail storm without damage, which broke most of the production acrylic vents and skylights at that Keiler, WI Airstream rally.
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