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Old 11-09-2016, 09:29 PM   #61
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
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Here are 3 more photos. The first photo shows the 4" penetration through the left rear of the Tradewind. I have this part if anyone would like it. I would be happy to send it to you.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #62
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Hi touring dan. Nice to see some more improvements made to your lovely old Trade Wind. They make perfect sense to me.

I chuckle at Airstream's 1966 idea for a "one stop service center" where you can string the shore power cord through a hole in the bottom of the trailer, and connect the sewer line through a hitch on the bottom of the trailer. You can also water the battery and replace a fuse. The idea didn't last very long.

So I did a similar thing where I ran the shore power connection to the side of the trailer. I'm still 30 amp due to the old air conditioner and our microwave. And I ran the sewer connection to the side of the trailer too.

We're thinking alike on our Trade Winds.

David
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:04 PM   #63
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Thanks David. I put the electrical connection in the back because it just made sense to me.

I may not even install a city water connection because we just usually boondock and that is what we are used to. I don't mind the noise of the water pump and it makes me more aware that we are using water and filling the gray water tank. We don't have a black water tank as we have the "Curve" portapotty that works fine for us.

Some of the changes we have made make things simpler and lighter. For example having just a gray water tank, the Curve portapotty that only weighs about 7 lbs, no heavy 30 amp cord, the 5,000 but/hr air conditioner only weighs 40 lbs, the 40 amp three stage converter is much lighter than the original. Ok I do have 2 heavy golf cart batteries that weigh about 120 lbs. They will be replaced with a 30 lb lithium battery down the road.

Dan
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:23 PM   #64
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Here is a change I made last summer. I'm not sure it is an "improvement", but more of a change due to my preference.

Your Excella probably has one of these folding tables like our Classic did. I removed it some years ago as we never used it.

So I installed it under the window by the gaucho. I didn't care for the table on the curb side kinda half in front of the door. This folding table allows for seating of 4 for dinner. Four smaller people that is.

I put two folding chairs where the old table used to ride. Now I have a bigger window to look out while enjoying a bowl of corn flakes.

I don't know, we will see if it works. Like you, I enjoy projects on this old Trade Wind. By the way, my trailer's original owner was from North Carolina. They participated in caravans and rallies. They had the trailer for over 25 years. Here is a lousy photo of some of the rally stickers they collected and put on the entry door. They even went to Mexico with it! We're going to use ours to explore the Rocky Mountains. The big Classic is too big for mountain state parks and the like.

David
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:19 PM   #65
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Installation of 1,000 watt inverter

I installed a Zamp 1,000 watt pure sine inverter in my 66 Tradewind. Because of Air Forums I was made aware of a 60% off sale on this inverter at Lowes. I believe I paid only about $132 for the inverter. I was hoping to operate a small microwave using this inverter, but I have not been able to find one. I did find a 600 watt inverter that was suppose to use only 825 watts but it actually required over 1,000 watts so it would trip the inverter when I tried to operate the microwave. I can't operate my microwave but I can operate a lot of over stuff- hairdryer, toaster, oscillating fan, TV, dvd player, laptop computer, vacuum cleaner and blender.

The inverter came with 2 ft long cables to connect to the batteries. I was able to install the inverter right behind the batteries (two 6v golf cart) using the 2 ft cables (see first photo).

Electrically, when I do not have shore power connected or my 1,000 watt generator connected the panel box is supplied from the inverter. I do this with a simple 3 way switch. Photo 2 shows the 3 way switch down which means shore power is connected and the converter is also plugged into the receptacle so the batteries are being charged when needed. If shore power or the generator is not connected, the 3 way switch must be up, the converter unplugged and and the inverter turned on. Now power to the panel box is being provided by the inverter. This is shown in photo 3.

Dan
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:28 AM   #66
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Hi TouringDan, it's been a while... We tried boondocking off the grid last summer for just two nights. We were mostly out of battery power when we checked out. I was glad the batteries had enough power left to lift the tongue with the tongue jack. We decided we really like our electricity! It would take us a good long while to get used to living without it. I guess I'd have to go back to back packing and tent camping which develops a mindset that your flashlight is all the electricity you've got. But sitting an an Airstream with a laptop, furnace and microwave that is not useable was frustrating for us.

So your inverter install helps take that anxiety away a bit. I've read about expensive solar, battery, and inverter installs in Airstreams so you can be "off the grid" yet be your own power plant. Me, I just rent a campsite with electricity and plug in, or maybe someday spend for a quiet generator to charge my batteries.

As usual, you did a great job on your new "improvement". It's fun to see how independent and comfortable a guy can get while parked in the middle of a COE woods somewhere. Wally Byum at his best.

My Trade Wind sat all winter with no improvement projects completed. The wife has nifty "yacht" like curtain material in her sewing room with the vision of making curtains for it some day. I can't sew, or they would be done by now.

I did work on the 86 Limited. I had a plumbing leak below the subfloor and above the fresh water tank. A big job, but now our trailer is all PEX, no polybutyl at all. I also fixed a soft spot in the OSB subfloor where our tail light fixture was leaking. And I did quite a bit on the son's 69 Globetrotter. But my favorite Trade Wind sat.

David
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:47 PM   #67
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1966 24' Tradewind
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David

I really love to boondock. I like the independence and freedom that it gives you. I know of a beautiful COE campground where you can just drive in on a Friday and get a very nice campsite if you don't need power. Our favorite local campground has a few beautiful sites that I can get into just fine. No power, but the sites are large, level and very private. Here is a photo.

I have two golf cart batteries. I can easily go 4-5 days without having to charge my batteries. Charging phones and computers, LED lights and judicious use of a cooling fan when it is needed really does not use that much power. I usually start out with the voltage at 12.8 or so. After a few days it is usually not any less than 12.3v. Now if it is cold enough to operate the furnace than that is a different story. In that case then I may need to run my little 1,000 watt Honda generator. It uses very little fuel, only weighs 28 lbs and is very quiet. I usually carry it with me as an insurance policy.

A large bank of batteries, lots of solar and a high powered inverter with sophisticated controls can get very pricey. My system is very simple and very economical.

My inverter does have a hard wired remote control on/off switch (see photos). I have mounted it on the inside of the bathroom closet door. When we are boon docking this allows me to keep the inverter turned off except when I need it. After I am done using the AC power, then I just turn it off so it doesn't use any of my battery.

BTW, I found another item that I can power with my inverter- my oscillating saw. It takes less than 300 watts.

I was really hoping to find a small microwave that I could operate with my 1,000 watt inverter. I failed. Some time down the road when I go to Lithium Ion batteries that are smaller and lighter, I will upgrade to a 1,500 watt inverter that I will be able to install next to the batteries. Then I will be able to operate my microwave.

Dan
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:48 AM   #68
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You have really engineered your Trade Wind to suit you and your family's style of camping. Your picture could be in an Airstream brochure. I have a friend who also enjoys the solitude and beauty of back country COE camping. He has golf cart batteries too.

I wish my Trade Wind had an awning. Maybe someday I can get this improvement.

David
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:25 PM   #69
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All

My gray water tank has had a small leak for a while now. I have not been too concerned about it since it is only gray water from the shower and sinks.

Now let me explain how my gray water tank works. This is a 66 Tradewind and as such it came from the factory with only a black water tank. The waste water from both sinks and the shower ties into the single waste outlet downstream of the black water tank dump valve. See photo 1. The original design just allowed the gray water to dump onto the ground. When it was time to empty the black water tank the single dump valve was opened. We elected to replace the toilet with a Thetford "Curve" porta potty, so we sealed off the top of the black water tank. Now this tank becomes our gray water tank if we keep the dump valve open and just put a cap on the outlet of the dump valve. So instead of adding a gray water tank like most folks have done we just turned our black water tank into a gray water tank. All I can say is that this has worked very well for us. We only pea in the porta potty. We empty the tank about every 4-6 days.

Now back to the gray water tank leak. When we came back from Florida a few weeks ago I noticed that the gray water tank had dropped down slightly. See photo 2. Well I figured it was time to drop the belly pan under the gray water tank and see what was up. Jeez, what a mess after I removed the patch just in front of the dump valve. See photos 3 & 4. Photo 5 shows where the leak was. It was in the connection between the dump valve and the attached fitting. The good news was that there was no leak in the tank at all. The tank was fine- basically just like new except that it is 51 years old. Next I took the belly pan down. This showed that the steel pan was self destructing due to water damage. See photo 6. The steel pan coming apart was what was allowing the gray tank to drop down, which caused the water leak to get worse. I finally understood how the gray tank was supported. Airstream fabricated a sheet metal box and secured it to the floor using elevator bolts. They put styrofoam between the box bottom and the tank to insulate the tank and support it. Once I removed all the sheet metal box and the styrofoam insulation, the tank was left and looking at photo 7, it looks darn good. As I was removing the box, I figured that I would need to have somebody fabricate another box. Then I realized that the function of the box was mainly to hold up the tank. Looking at photo 7 you can see that there is a 1" flange all the way around the tank. So I figured that I would just secure the flange to the bottom of the plywood floor. I used #10 1" wood screws and a fender washer to distribute the force on the plastic and spaced them about every 4-5". Additionally I installed them with Gorilla glue to make sure they stayed in the wood. See photo 9(photo is upside down). I think these screws should be adequate to secure the tank for the next 51 years. It should be about 25 lbs lighter also. Anybody know what the white metal pan is for that is attached to the bottom of the plywood floor in photo 8? I still need to replace some snall pieces of floor that are rotted/missing, scrape and paint the rusty metal, insulate the area under the tank and install a new rear belly pan.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:31 PM   #70
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This is photo 1 for the previous post.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:17 PM   #71
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TouringDan: You are bringing back nightmares! My 66 had the same rusted out tank pan as yours. The dump valve was stuck closed. And the original toilet was leaking like a sieve and had rotted out the floor under the toilet. Nightmares!

The white pan is a low cost shower drain trap cover. It has insulation stuffed in it.

I went a different way than you. But both of our trailers are 'travel ready" although yours is more original than mine.

Here are some photos from my nightmare: Actually I enjoyed the whole bath remodel project in my trailer. It took more time than I anticipated, but doesn't everything?
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:02 PM   #72
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Interesting, will follow. thanks
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:15 AM   #73
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I am happy to come across your thread, as I have a 66 Tradewind (Pearl) that I love. I may be replacing my black water tank soon, need to have new aluminum belly covering in that area. Was wondering what you thought about having a grey water tank installed at that time? I see Vintage Trailer Supply has them. Also, I replaced a couple of 12 volt bulbs with LED. Which brand did you use?
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Old 05-27-2017, 10:10 PM   #74
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Rear Floor & Banana Wrap Repair

All

Post #69 explained removal of the rusted box supporting the gray water tank and securing the gray water tank to the floor using wood screws and fender washers. After I completed this I looked at the task of replacing the 10" of floor that was rotted away due to the poor design of the bumper cover that feeds water directly to the bottom support of the floor resulting in a wet plywood floor that eventually rots away. Photo 1 shows the missing 10" of rear floor on the right side. I realized that replacement of the floor with the gray tank in place would really be impossible, so I elected to remove the gray tank completely so that I had at least a chance of being able to replace the missing section of floor. I looked at the missing floor section that was under the tub/shower and realized that to replace this I would have to remove the piece of trim and the right rear banana wrap. Photo 2 shows the right rear view of the Tradewind with the trim removed. I also wanted to remove the right rear section of banana wrap to repair the crease in the banana wrap. Photos 3 & 4 show the damaged banana wrap with the rivets removed. I am hoping that I can now remove the banana wrap because I am hoping that there are no more fasteners (rivets) holding it in place. Does anybody know if this is possible? Has anybody listening done this before? I would appreciate any help or ideas.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:14 AM   #75
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Hi Touring Dan: Sorry for the slow response. I've been away for a while

The more you fix, the more there is to fix. A classic vintage Airstream happening. The next thing you know you will be doing a shell off "full monte".

I removed the rear banana wraps on my Trade Wind to get at the rotted floor. I think mine was quite a bit worse than yours. The rear banana wraps are a work of art. I thought I could make new ones and I was very poor at it, even with the old ones as a pattern.

The rear banana wraps are a piece into themselves. Here is a photo of them laying on the garage floor. They are tucked up under the exterior skins. Mine had no support or rivets on the frame rail side. And they were riveted to the outrigger behind the rear wheel. It takes some prying and cursing to get them down. Cursing in the privacy of the garage of course!

David
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:25 AM   #76
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By the way, I found banging out dented banana wraps was not too bad using a big bag of sand and a small, flat nose hammer. I put the wrap on the bag of sand and gently tapped the dented or creased area. It is a slow process, but it worked good enough for me. Here is a photo of the front banana wrap after banging on it and reattaching it. This piece is even harder to get down due to the sealant used between exterior skins and the banana wrap.

Or you could go buy an English Wheel and make new ones.

David
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:14 PM   #77
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David

I was hoping that you would chime in and that you had some experience removing your rear banana wraps. I played around with it some yesterday and could not get to first base removing the rear banana wraps. I new that I had so get some downward force on the top of the wrap that was behind the side panels. I figured that I had all the rivets out and that only caulking was holding the banana wraps in. I came up with the idea of drilling 2 1/8" holes in the end of my oscillating saw blade and attach a couple of rivet washers to the blade. See photo 1. I would then stick this up between the banana wrap and the side panel and pull down on the top of the banana wrap. It did not work to well with the saw turned on; I felt like I was damaging the aluminum and I sheared off a couple of rivets. I then tried it with the saw turned off and that worked much better. I started at the rear and worked my way forward (see photo 2). Of course there were a couple of blind rivets that I was not aware of. Those needed to be sheared off along the way. Photo 3 shows the floor area under the banana wrap. It became obvious now that I really needed to remove more of the belly pan so I could remove the insulation, wire brush the frame and outriggers, paint the frame, install new insulation and install new belly pan material. Photo 4 shows the insulation and frame with more of the belly pan removed.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:41 PM   #78
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I was actually amazed at the condition of the wood floor, the frame and insulation (photos 1, 2 & 3). I found only surface rust on the steel frame. The insulation was in pretty good shape also. However I will still remove the insulation so I can wire brush the frame and paint it with Rust Bullet. BTW I have never used Por 15, but I really like Rust Bullet. Photo 4 shows a small amount of rot and I will replace this section of floor. It also shows some wiring going through a hole in the frame that is not protected by any kind of conduit. I will replace this with new conduit. Looks like QA missed this defect. Fortunately it was never a problem in the last 51 years.

I was not going to mess with the banana wrap on the left side because it is in pretty good shape and I figured I could replace the floor from the top. However looks like project creep is taking hold and I think I will now replace the banana wrap on the left side. It has the 4" hole in it for running the power cord (that I have done away with) and connecting city water (which we never use). This way I can also clean and paint the frame and install new insulation.

Dan
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:43 PM   #79
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That 4" port on the left side is a bad joke. Airstream called it their "one stop service center" or something like that. Everyone enjoys getting on their hands and knees in the dark on a rainy night to connect electricity and city water. And then doing it again to drain the black tank.

You are wise to plug it up. I did the same thing, except I routed water and power to the left rear side of the trailer where normal people would look for it. Ain't original, but seems to work well enough.

Your frame and floor looks much better than mine did. Maybe yours was a dry southwest trailer that someone moved to the lush southeast. Mine was a Minnesota trailer stored outside. My frame was "good enough" in my assessment. My floor was mostly "good enough". I did paint it with POR 15 with considerable difficulty. It has held up well enough these last 4 years. But I'm going to look for something better next time. My frame was originally black, but it's silver now.

I wonder if that wire bundle going through the "C" channel is the exterior lights? At least I had one on the curb side and it too did not have a grommet or conduit protector. The right side is the 12v side, and for me the left side was the 115v ground wire. I thoroughly derusted both ground attachment points.

By the way, I used pink foam board insulation even though plenty of Airstreamers advise against it. My insulation in both the 66 and 86 was soaking wet is places, and had mice nests in it. Foam board doesn't absorb water, dries better in my view.

David
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:13 PM   #80
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,616
I mentioned earlier that my floor (except for the last 10" by the rear trunk) was in great condition as well as my frame and insulation. The first photo below is typical of the insulation condition. It is not that thick, maybe 2-3 inches. Airstream covers the entire frame with the insulation and then installs the floor on top of the frame with the insulation being compressed between the floor and the top of the frame. One advantage to this method is that it keeps the insulation supported and possibly allows it to dry out if/when it does get wet. My insulation was completely dry except by the gray tank due to a leak. So dry insulation, a floor in great condition and the frame completely solid with only a small amount of surface rust. I consider myself very fortunate. This can be seen in the second photo that was taken with the insulation removed. My plan is to remove all the insulation, wire brush the frame (only the back half for now), paint the surface rusted sections of the frame using Rust Bullet Silver and then paint the entire frame using Rust Bullet Black Finish. I will then install new insulation and the new belly pan.

Dan
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