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Old 07-24-2009, 04:37 PM   #61
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Looks good Steve. It must be nice to to have so many things get done all at once.

On another note, are you following Truckasaurs' thread. He posted a question about how to re-attach the rub-rail. I'm curious about your rub-rail. Is it rivited on like Marcus'? I'm pretty sure mine is just held on with screws.

Norm
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:39 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
The only thing that could make them any cooler would be a whale tail, but my understanding is that Caravanners were only made in Ohio, and so there are no whale tail Caravanners out there.
-Marcus
Come on Marcus, you could slap together a whale tail conversion in a couple hours.

Seriously, I wonder if you could fit a whale tail off a salvaged FC of the same year.
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:49 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by nmbosa View Post
Looks good Steve. It must be nice to to have so many things get done all at once.

On another note, are you following Truckasaurs' thread. He posted a question about how to re-attach the rub-rail. I'm curious about your rub-rail. Is it rivited on like Marcus'? I'm pretty sure mine is just held on with screws.

Norm
Thanks, Norm, it does feel good to be moving forward after a what seems like a long time of ripping apart.

I'll head over to Truck's thread. My back one is off after drilling out one impossible screw and this morning I went after the front and it had 2 hopeless screws that I'll drill out tomorrow. I'm planning to replace them with stainless screws.

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #64
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Looks great Steve, looks solid enough to last another 50+ years.

I'm not sure if I've said this before on the Forums, but the '56/'57 Caravanners are my favorite of all vintage Airstreams. I love all those windows, and I love the 13 panels. They're just very cool trailers, and someday I will have one, oh yes, I will have one!

The only thing that could make them any cooler would be a whale tail, but my understanding is that Caravanners were only made in Ohio, and so there are no whale tail Caravanners out there.

Anyway, keep up the good work, looks good!

-Marcus
Thanks, Marcus. I do love the look of my trailer. Lucky to find one of the last of the 13 panels as they switched to 7 mid year in '57. Colin Hyde told me, when we were discussing axles, that the 7 panel '57's are also a little wider. He thought my axle measurements were wrong until I told him I had 13 panels.

I'm going to try 13 panels in birch on my inside front endcap (it's crappy fiberglass now). Can you do a whale tail in the front?

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:59 PM   #65
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That'd be a "whale snout" I believe....

Steve, the trailer looks great! I know you're used to tight clearances of a boat, but man, you really lucked out with the shocks ... JUST works! Those rims look GREAT by the way! Did you go with a higher angle than 22 degrees? I'm trying to figure if 22 will give me enough changing clearance... your angle looks just right....

I finally got back to my trailer today (can you believe it's been since I saw you that I have had a chance? Time just flies by...), it's so relaxing to be working on her....

Picked up some wood to redo the front ... finally got my door re aligned enough to shut.. had to jack up the shell on the frame a bit, and then put some 3/4" scraps in till the wood that I bought is dry from the weather treatment I'm putting on it.

Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:40 PM   #66
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Whale snout, yes, you are right. I dunno, not sure I wanna go there.

It's got to be hard finding time to make the drive up to your trailer, especially in between rides to Portland on your bike! Mine was only about 10 miles away when at the welder, but it seemed like a long way.

22 degrees on the axle, but it's what Axis calls their "hi profile" axle. That's only supposed to be good for another inch. No way to know how much my springs had sagged either. I'm happy with the height, but wouldn't want it to be any higher or it would start looking weird.

Wouldn't have those wheels if it weren't for you, Marc. I do like them.

cheers,
steve
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:31 AM   #67
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13 panels in birch looks amazing. I'm sure you've read Carlos Ferguson's thread on his 62 Safari, and if not, man are you in for a treat.

-Marcus
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:44 AM   #68
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13 panels in birch looks amazing. I'm sure you've read Carlos Ferguson's thread on his 62 Safari, and if not, man are you in for a treat.

-Marcus
I have many idols around this place, but Carlos is mighty high on the list. Whenever I get down about the amount of work ahead, I read his thread start to finish and I always feel better.

Sorta like that thread by that guy in Austin, too.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #69
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Por 15

Today was one of the days that I get a few hours away from Alzheimers when Charlene comes and watches Pam for 6 hours. That made today the day to paint the frame with POR 15.

I've been spending the last several days getting the frame ready for the paint. Some grinding, quite a bit of wire brushing, cleaning with Marine Clean and etching with Metal Ready got me to yesterday when I got it masked off. My trailer shell has been supported lately by the steel plate riveted in front and several strips of 3/4" ply placed under the C channel and on top of the outriggers, held by C clamps. Those strips really needed to come out for the paint, but the shell still needed some support.

Decided to try supporting it with a couple of 2x4's with a short piece of 2x4 on top in a T and cut to follow the radius of the inside top of the shell. I lifted the shell using the 2x4's and a couple of floor jacks. Just raised the shell enough to unload the 3/4" plywood strips. Don't want to leave it very long this way, but it gave me access to all the outriggers for paint today and the strips can go back in tomorrow.

Like many have said, POR 15 is just amazing stuff. Flows really well, sets up fast. I got two coats on all of the frame, including the bumper and the tongue. Did one coat in grey and one in black so I could see where I'd been. Ran out of time for the Sterling Silver, so it'll get done tomorrow. Seems like most guys have been less happy with it and the way it goes on, so I'll see tomorrow.

I'm actually thinking about putting the subfloor back in now--that's exciting stuff.

Sorry for the poor pics, the photographer was tired.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:26 PM   #70
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Oh yeah! Nice work, I never get tired of seeing pictures of freshly painted Airstream frames. I mean that. It looks fantastic!

And now you know what we're talking about when we mention how nicely the POR15 goes on. Just a truly remarkable product.

I know I am one of the ones who was less-than-pleased with the Stirling Silver, but there are others who like it a lot. I'm sure operator error had something to do with it, so just read the directions and make sure you use a quality brush or roller or sprayer, whatever system you're going with.

Very nice, those floor boards will be going in in no time.

-Marcus
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:36 PM   #71
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Looks better than new! Actually, you might not need the topcoat since the POR15 will be hidden from UV... the directions say to try to coat it as it drys to "tacky".. so it will stay on better. I don't have that much time in the day.. so I'm just leaving my POR 15 as is.

That endcap looks shiney too!

Glad you had some therapy time..
Best!
Marc
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:40 PM   #72
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Lookin good Steve.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #73
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Thanks, everybody.

Do you guys think I can still use the Stirling Silver over the POR 15 after an overnight dry or am I going to need to get a can of their etching primer first? I was hoping I could get the silver on today as well, but I just flat ran out of time. Hate to have to wait for a can of that primer to get here from VTS. I'm just planning on the Silver for the visible stuff, coupler, bumper, steps.

BTW I used one quart of gray and one quart of black POR 15 for my 22' frame. It was enough, but I sure didn't have any extra left over, either. Do have some extra metal in my frame and the brackets for the tanks and stuff, however.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:42 AM   #74
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Looks great. When I spoke with the POR guys about applying a coat a day later I was told it was a no. I've left mine in marine grey and it has sure aged fast where it's exposed but I quite like the "vintage" look.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:27 AM   #75
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Looks great. When I spoke with the POR guys about applying a coat a day later I was told it was a no. I've left mine in marine grey and it has sure aged fast where it's exposed but I quite like the "vintage" look.
Thanks, Truck. I think I'll break down and get their etching primer and prep it correctly before I do the silver. No point in doing it the wrong way. Stuff is too expensive not to put on correctly.

I was disappointed I didn't get the silver on yesterday and thinking I'd be delayed a week or so waiting for that little can of primer to show up from VTS, but I realize this morning that it won't really slow me down. I can go ahead and start putting subfloor in as most of it won't be over areas that will have the silver top coat anyway.

I will be wearing several patches of gray and black POR 15 on my arms for awhile. Thought I was in pretty good shape, but it went through my coveralls and marked me. They're really not bad colors. . .

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:19 PM   #76
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The start of the new subfloor

My Chevy Tracker is not the greatest vehicle for hauling plywood, but my buddy Darrell offered to make a plywood run with me on Monday to pick it up. Really hoped to be able to go see the trailers at the rally at Deming that day, but just couldn't pass up the offer of a big truck on a day that I had respite care in for Pam. I've got to cut and fit a bit to get over the area where I've added mounts for my tanks, so I got a little extra, 6 sheets of 3/4" ACX and also tempted myself for the future with 2 sheets of 1/8" Baltic Birch and it is lovely stuff.

I went with ACX instead of marine since I knew I'd be coating both sides with epoxy. After cutting the plywood, I put a small bullnose on the edge with a router. I'm also going to wrap 6" of fiberglass cloth over the edge in an attempt to seal the edge of the subfloor a little better. I ordered a few yards of this stuff from Aircraft Spruce RUTAN FIBERGLASS CLOTHS from Aircraft Spruce the Bi directional Rutan cloth that Pam and I had used years ago when we built our little homebuilt airplane, a Long EZ. This cloth is really good at going around corners but it's a little tricky too as it distorts easily. I cut the cloth on a 45 degree angle in 6" widths and used System Three epoxy. The lighter colored strip in the pics is dacron peel ply that smooths the ragged edge of the cloth and also lets me add the layup on top later without having to sand the edge.

I coated the bottom of the plywood full width and will later do the same to the topside. I'm planning a layer of cloth on the subfloor inside all the cabinets, all the areas that won't be covered by my finish flooring, likely bamboo from what I've seen so far.

Just done the rearmost piece so far. I made templates out of cardboard before I ripped the original floor out and gave myself about a 1/4" of wiggle room for getting it in. My templates are the same, front and rear, so at least on my trailer, the curve is the same on both ends.

Since I ran out of time before I got the Stirling Silver over my POR-15, I ordered the self etching primer from Vintage Trailer Supply and it arrived today, so I also got the rear bumper painted. It went on OK, not as nice as the way POR-15 flowed, but ok. Tomorrow I've got to get the glass in the last two windows, frames are polished already, and get the windows back in. Rain is in the forecast and I don't want to be getting my new subfloor wet already.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:53 PM   #77
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Looking more than great. I haven't done anything to my windows yet and wanted to ask whether you took yours out to clean and polish them? Short of dragging the whole caboodle to a soda blaster I can't think of an expedient plan to get the grime and corrosion of them.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:27 PM   #78
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I decided to do mine in two stages, William. Figured I'd run out of time before rainy weather hit again if I drilled out all the rivets out on the backframes and pulled them all out. Plan on doing all the backframes next summer.

Mine are the old Hehr standards, 9 of them on a Caravanner, and they aren't hard to do, but they take an unbelieveable amount of time. I've done new glass, clean, and polish on all 9 of the window fronts now, well except for the two that still need the glass dropped in, but that's quick. My windows were even in really good condition, only really mucky on the bottom where the wet stuff collected. I used a wire brush in my drill, some sanding wheels in same, and worked up through various grades of sandpaper up to 400 and then used the compounder. I'm happy with them, they shine, not like the skin on the trailer, but have a nice sheen.

I'd do them again the same way, by hand. Not sure about yours, but the Hehr standards are hard to find, so I was always conscious of breaking the things while I was working on them. I'd guess a soda blaster might be ok, particularly if your were really crummy, but I don't have any experience with them.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:50 PM   #79
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Thanks Steve, I think I'll have to go with a two stage approach too.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:47 PM   #80
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Got the last two windows slid back in their hangers today, so all 9 windows have been redone with new glass in all of them. Didn't have a lot of time, figured I'd regret trying to get that first piece of floor back in now instead of waiting for another day when I had more time. Couldn't stop myself.

Used the same method for supporting the shell that I used while painting. Put a floor jack under a vertical 2x4 with a radiused T on top and jacked it up until the back end of the shell lifted up. I'm planning to use a biscuit joiner and a plywood doubler at most of my seams and a few of those seams are dictated by the mounts for my tanks. Because of this, the first piece for the rear worked out to 37", so I didn't have to put in a completely full sheet.

Popped right in, fit just fine, and while it's not fastened down yet and only held in position with a couple of C clamps, my floor is starting to go back in! I'm still expecting a tight fit on the front piece, since the steel plate up there is still riveted to the shell (and I hate to drill it out fearing I might not get the holes lined up again), but the floor jack should let me get the rest of the pieces in ok.

Exciting stuff for me. Since I started this in February, my goal has been to get the subfloor back in before our cold and wet Northwest weather came back. I know I can get it done in time, now.

cheers,
steve

BTW, the blackberries are just thick in the back of the storage yard where we keep the trailer. Pam and I did a little picking today (well, she ate, I picked ). They're really good.
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