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Old 03-11-2018, 12:59 PM   #141
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1963 26' Overlander
Dallas , Texas
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Hey everyone. It's been a few years since I have been able to work on the Armadillo. Work changed and it became less of a priority. Life always seems to have ideas other than those of our own. I think Robert Burns had something to say about that.... Even the best laid plans of mice and men... Life has changed again and brought the Armadillo back into focus. Fortunately I can pick up right where I left off and nothing is worse for the wear.

Over the last few months I have been able to get quite a bit of work done. It's funny how much progress can be made when it's broken down into little pieces. I have all the new window frames fabricated, glass cut for them all, installed the fridge exhaust, started insulating, nearly finished with the wiring, started on the air conditioning system, and a few other things.

The AC system is one that I'm rather proud of. I couldn't bring myself to put a rooftop unit on. It just takes so much away from the graceful lines on a vintage trailer. I considered going with one of those mini split house units that Mitsubishi and LG makes, but even that has issues in my opinion. Instead I bought a 1.25 ton window unit and split it into two separate units. The condenser and compressor will go under the kitchen cabinet street side. It will draw air in from underneath the trailer and exhaust the hot air out through a louvered vent in the shell. The evaporator will go curb side above the wheel well and will be ducted up to the ceiling and go through a trunk line that runs the length of the trailer. I'll provide pics of that as I progress, but I have to get the interior skins back in before I can do that.

Attached are pics of the evaporator unit. I mocked it up in foam board and am fabricating it in aluminum that will then be covered in foam board for insulation. Some of the panels aren't in the pic so that you can see inside it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:07 PM   #142
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I've also cut holes in the shell for the new windows. No more "Ja-lousy" windows! Man I hated those windows. haha.

I still need to polish the frames and adhere the glass into them. Hopefully I can do that today and tomorrow and get them riveted in the week. The green in the pics is masking take that I used to mark where I needed to cut the hole and to protect the skin from my saw. I read that you can cut aluminum sheet with power tools as long as they are carbide tipped. It worked like a dream, and it was so much easier than aviation snips.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:08 PM   #143
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Here's a full length shot of the curbside without the Jalousie window.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:10 PM   #144
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Here's the louvered exhaust vent for the AC condenser.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:12 PM   #145
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Here's the new fridge exhaust vent.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:21 PM   #146
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I’ll be interested in the progress of the AC installation. We’ve been kicking around different AC ideas and products for about six months. We’ve looked at the mini splits, but even though they’re quiet and efficient, there are drawbacks. We even mocked one up with a side hatch for the condenser to slide out. But you still have the honkin big air handler inside. We looked at the Dometic that Finn21 installed under his rear gaucho, even though it’s a great and efficient unit, my wife felt the decibels were too high. A rooftop unit is not an option. There are several threads showing how some have modified and installed window units. But none that have split a unit. Looking forward to see what you come up with. Good luck. Bubba
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:59 PM   #147
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Thanks Bubba. I'm really looking forward to how this part of the project will turn out. It could easily be a great idea or end up as a money pit. Luckily I have an AC guy helping with little things that I may over look.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:24 PM   #148
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Nice work you are doing Cardinal283. We have a 5k window unit we install when we need it which is rarely. Looking forward to seeing how your A/C design works out.

Dan
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:31 PM   #149
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Nice work. Tell us more about fabricating the windows.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:08 PM   #150
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The windows took some time to get right and even now there are some things that I would do differently. I couldn't find an extrusion in the shape I needed so I formed a long piece of aluminum sheet using a metal break. Unfortunately I didn't take pics of this part of the process. These are cut to length and then welded together to make a frame.

This worked great for the front and rear windows since they don't have a radius to them. However for the side windows I used the same "extrusion" for the top and bottom sides of the frame, but had to get creative for the sides. I basically made an "extrusion" with a taller side and no flange. Then cut the tall side to match the radius of the exterior skin and welded a flange on. They fit the shell really well!

The glass is smoked 1/4" tempered glass. This is then adhered to the frames with windshield adhesive. The glass has a 1" frit band around the outside. This protects the adhesive from UV and also makes it look nicer. I didn't do this on the front window and kicked myself for not doing it.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:10 PM   #151
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:12 PM   #152
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With all the welding and grinding I now have to get all the marks out of the frames. So I started with 220 grit sandpaper moved to 320, 400, 600, 800 and so on. I also have 1000, 1500, and 2000 if I need them. I think I only went to 1500 on the first frame but that was about 2-3 years ago that I did that one.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:47 PM   #153
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I installed two of the frames with glass today. Wish I made the flanges on the frames a little wider. 1.5" instead of 1". It would have made lining everything up a lot easier and given a lot more room for error.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:21 PM   #154
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I've got a question for everyone. In my last pic there's green tape over a hole for the original porch light. What is the logic behind this light? It seems like a porch light would be near the door, above the window and shining down. Not 3 feet from the door, down low, and shining out. I'll probably ask this in a new thread as well if no one knows.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:34 PM   #155
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Perhaps an old “scare light”?
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:13 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal283 View Post
I've got a question for everyone. In my last pic there's green tape over a hole for the original porch light. What is the logic behind this light? It seems like a porch light would be near the door, above the window and shining down. Not 3 feet from the door, down low, and shining out. I'll probably ask this in a new thread as well if no one knows.
Don’t know why Airstream placed the scare light in that location on those models, but they did. Ours are located forward of the top of the door at an angle on the 55. Don’t know if that’s not a bad idea to have it low. It may beat the huge beacon up high. We rarely use ours on the 66 because of the brightness and concerned aircraft may think it’s a landing strip. Your project is looking great. Keep it up. Bubba
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:14 PM   #157
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Hello from Colorado Cardinal283. I hope you are enjoying working on your old Overlander again. I'm working on a 75 this winter. I'm retired so it gives me something to do. Otherwise I would go nuts, or at least nuttier than I already am.

I'm interested in your louvered exterior panel you made for your AC. Are there shops that can form louvers in aluminum sheet. I ask as I would like a side wall air intake for the fridge in my trailer, instead of the hole in the floor. I think the ventilation would be better. Others think so too cause that's the way most Airstreams were built after 1980 or so.

Here is a photo of a 59 Overlander single axle that I appraised for possible purchase years ago. I passed on it as I didn't like the single axle arrangement. But note the light on the curb side by the window. It looks like a marker light or something.

David
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:09 PM   #158
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That 59 looks to be in good condition! I wanted a tandem axle too just because I feel it's safer in case of a blowout.

Most sheetmetal shops can form panels with louvers. I don't know any in Colorado specifically that can do louvres but there is a great shop in Denver that can do all kinds of things. They may be able to do that.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:10 PM   #159
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I'm really not a fan of that light. I'm thinking that I'll try to come up with a cool porch light that illuminates the area around the door instead of the area across the street. Haha
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:09 PM   #160
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I can't recall if it was Aerowood or Zep, but one of our resident experts made a louvered panel to go over the scare light and reflect the beam downward.
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