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Old 06-24-2021, 09:14 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
Eleanor: Full Reno Blog

This Air forum community has been so welcoming. Thankyou to everyone who has already given me advice and help. This is my first attempt at ever blogging one of my own projects. Usually my wife takes a few pictures of whatever we are working on and posts them on social media, but this project is unique. I am a greenhorn in the Airstream community and I'm always open to learn something new. I expect to make mistakes, so If you see me doing something really dumb I hope you'll correct me!

I'm a very adaptable person and I expect my plans and ideas to shift as I work; but I will make one commitment right now. This isn't a partial reno or a simple gut job. You will not see this trailer shell listed for sale in a month when I realize I bit off way more than I can chew. If I have to sleep on the rusted frame as I pinch pennies for months (years?) to afford this project, it's what I'll do.. I won't quit.


That said, hoo boi this project intimidates me. I've renovated an enclosed 16 foot hauling trailer, and I've renovated a home, but this Airstream's unique combination of the two seems like an entirely new journey. After finishing the renovation on our mountain property in Colorado, my wife and I decided to rent out the house, get a trailer, and hit the road. I look forward to the road part, but for now it means undertaking a new and unique project/investment/lifestyle.

So, we purchased a 1978 Land Yacht Tradewind from a friend about 3 weeks ago and named her Eleanor. I had done enough research beforehand to know that there was a serious likelihood that El would need major work down to a full shell off, but I still had hopes that maybe.. just maybe.. I'd pull out the bad flooring and broken cabinets and find a lovely subfloor with a solid frame underneath and all the appliances working. Not so. Much as has been described by others, each thing I pull out reveals a new exciting problem to take care of. Truth is, deep down I really wanted to make this Airstream our own special and uniquely designed home on wheels; so anything short of a Full Monty Reno would have probably left me unsatisfied.

I'm already a few days into this reno and need to catch this blog up so I'll quit blabbering and put up a few pictures of Eleanor when we got her. Hopefully some of you enjoy following along and I can learn from this community's depth of knowledge and experience.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:32 PM   #2
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1958 26' Overlander
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Look forward to following your progress.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:34 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
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Glad you started a reno thread so we can follow along. Looks like some good bones to work with. It may seem like you’re about to climb a mountain. But I’ve never seen anyone climb a mountain without taking one step at a time. Everything will fall into place once you get farther into it. You have some very experienced Streamers around the Denver area. Tell Conifer David to get over there and go through it with you. He knows. Take care and take it one step at a time.
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:30 PM   #4
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
Deconstruction Phase

Tools Used

- 1/8th" drill bits
- Drill
-Hammer
-Pliers
-Screwdriver
-Wonder bar

Materials used

-Rags
-WD-40
-Dawn dish soap
-Multi-purpose cleaner
-Oven degreaser/cleaner


The First few days of work are more of a deconstruction than a demolition. I refuse to refer to this as demo days. In a home renovation the demo day is fast paced and somewhat destructive. Sledge hammers and crowbars quickly remove old and dated interiors often leaving damaged walls that are inconsequential since the home is going to be drastically renovated anyways.

Taking apart a trailer is more akin to dismantling a lego set. If you do it methodically and piece by piece you can learn how it was built in the first place as well as possibly reuse the good parts in the future when it is time to rebuild. Additionally, I hope to keep each panel and piece of aluminum that can't be reused as a pattern that I can use as a stencil when I am cutting out curves in new wood/metal during the rebuild.

In this vain it took us about 4 days to fully gut Eleanor. Abbie set her sights on cleaning and reviving the old stove/oven and Laura picked up a rag and some dishsoap water in a spray bottle and began making a first pass at wiping down walls and cabinets as I pulled things out.

Meanwhile I made a post here in the forums asking a question about removing the black tank and David from Conifer reached out to me with a helpful response as well as an invitation to come take a look at his 3 (what I would soon find out are gorgeous) Airstreams nearby.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:13 PM   #5
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Well Bubba L: I did reach out to T Vagabond and he and his family came over and took a tour of our Airstream trailers. Very nice folks. They were polite enough not to giggle at my workmanship. Actually, they rather liked them and I think we had a good discussion about renovating vintage Airstreams. I did attend the Region 11 vintage Airstream rally in Delors Colorado. I saw some magnificent trailers. Let's just say my Overlander didn't win any ribbons.

T Vagabond is rather amazing individual. He invited me to his place and gave me a tour of the huge home he renovated by himself while working fulltime and living in the place. It is spectacular in my view. Many nice features and the amount of work required makes an Airstream renovation seem rather small.

His 78 Tradewind is typical late seventies "viel of tears" as someone once said. Bad cabinetry, bad subfloor, and rusty frame. But the Vagabond is undeterred and working hard on it like I imagine he does everything. The body is in pretty good shape. A broken battery box frame in front is the only noteworthy item. At least Airstream saw the light and moved the battery over the A frame instead of having it in the rear like it was on my Overlander.

I was surprised to find the 78 Tradewind had a cast aluminum fridge vent door. I had never seen that before. It also had a molded plastic box for the converter up front. We discussed the frame rust. The outriggers are pretty rough, and the front cross member just behind the A frame is rusty. Otherwise I've seen worse frame rust, including my Overlander. I know we can fix the frame.

The subfloor will likely get replaced with 3/4" plywood for strength and rigidity. T Vagabond doesn't build weak.

The axles are flat and need replaced. So what's new about that?

You vintage Airstream renovators gotta follow along on this project. I believe it will be rather interesting.

David
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:30 PM   #6
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVagabond View Post
Tools Used

- 1/8th" drill bits
- Drill
-Hammer
-Pliers
-Screwdriver
-Wonder bar

Materials used

-Rags
-WD-40
-Dawn dish soap
-Multi-purpose cleaner
-Oven degreaser/cleaner


The First few days of work are more of a deconstruction than a demolition. I refuse to refer to this as demo days. In a home renovation the demo day is fast paced and somewhat destructive. Sledge hammers and crowbars quickly remove old and dated interiors often leaving damaged walls that are inconsequential since the home is going to be drastically renovated anyways.

Taking apart a trailer is more akin to dismantling a lego set. If you do it methodically and piece by piece you can learn how it was built in the first place as well as possibly reuse the good parts in the future when it is time to rebuild. Additionally, I hope to keep each panel and piece of aluminum that can't be reused as a pattern that I can use as a stencil when I am cutting out curves in new wood/metal during the rebuild.

In this vain it took us about 4 days to fully gut Eleanor. Abbie set her sights on cleaning and reviving the old stove/oven and Laura picked up a rag and some dishsoap water in a spray bottle and began making a first pass at wiping down walls and cabinets as I pulled things out.

Meanwhile I made a post here in the forums asking a question about removing the black tank and David from Conifer reached out to me with a helpful response as well as an invitation to come take a look at his 3 (what I would soon find out are gorgeous) Airstreams nearby.
Looks like you’ve got it going your way. I wouldn’t have made it though our renovations without the interest and involvement of my wife. Seems yours is the same way. You seem to have everything well organized. Way to go. Keep the progress and pictures coming. Glad you caught up with David. Take care and be safe.
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:27 AM   #7
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
The Onion: Peeling back another layer

Tools Used
-Drill
-1/8" drill bit
-Screwdriver
-Pliers
-Wrench Set
-Wonder Bar
-Circular Saw



Materials Used
-Work gloves
-Face mask
-tarp (for storing insulation that might be re-used)



After removing the cabinets, dividers, furniture, and appliances it became clear that my hopes of spot patching the "soft spots" on the sub floor were not realistic. The front of the trailer was more springy than the 14 foot trampoline I broke my ankle on as a kid, and the back under the rear bath had completely rotted through in a few places.


Over the next 3 days I removed the plumbing, holding tanks, electrical, lower half of the internal skins, and the sub floor.


The skins all overlap some so it took some investigation in order to determine which skin I should remove first in order to efficiently work my way around the trailer without applying any undue stress to a skin. This is probably fanciful.. but at the moment I'm still hoping to possibly leave the top skins in. I don't even really know what I gain by leaving them installed other than a few hours of work and the mental victory of feeling like I saved time/energy/ and money by being able to keep a small portion of Eleanor assembled.


As I removed the rivets and pulled out each panel most of the insulation in our walls was still in good condition, so for the moment I am storing the insulation in a large tarp with the possibility of reusing it during the re-assembly. I will not be re-using the pink insulation that was under the belly pan as that was a bit more gross, and I have heard that this insulation does a poor job in the belly pan due to moisture.



After setting the circular saw to the same depth as my half inch sub floor I proceeded to cut out each sheet of rotted plywood leaving a small sliver of the sub floor inside of the C channel between the frame and shell. Each of the bolts used for holding the plywood down were heavily rusted and stripped so I utilized a method I have seen elsewhere as well as in this forum of cutting around each screw and leaving a small chunk of the rotted plywood floor around each screw.


It quickly became clear that removing the entire sub floor was the right choice as the frame that was gradually exposed was heavily rusted and the strength/dexterity was compromised in multiple areas. Nearly every outrigger was completely rusted through and a few cross members looked like they needed to be replaced. Properly repairing the frame was the only appropriate option moving forward so I accepted the reality that I had been shunning and set my sights on preparing for a total shell off renovation.



Meanwhile, my spirits were lifted over the weekend as we took a break from working on El while the Evergreen Rodeo rolled through town. We meandered through town watching the parade and interacting with our small community and had some friends out to enjoy watching all the rodeo events.



The three of us also took the opportunity over the weekend to follow up on a local air-forum invitation from dbj16 to come take a look at his Airstreams. He welcomed us warmly into his shop where we proceeded to spend 3 hours touring each of his lovely renovations and asking numerous questions along the way.



I can't explain how unique and powerful it is to so quickly be welcomed into this community where I can not only receive advice and wisdom from others more experienced than myself, but where the relationships formed online so easily spread from screens into real life and face to face interactions. By the time we left I felt as though I had made a new long time friend and mentor. I am very warmed and encouraged by the kind words he has already shared here, and his immediate kindness and generosity in gifting us some airplane stripper for the exterior as well as another little surprise gift that he brought over just a couple days later when he visited to consult on my frame. But that's a story for next time.



dbj16 I just realized I hadn't taken any pictures while we were touring your shop, so feel free to post a few of your projects here so others can also see your workmanship. While David is humble enough to act as though his renovations are merely sufficient, it was quickly apparent that he has an incredible depth of knowledge for all things Airstream, and each of his repairs is purposeful, well-thought, and efficiently executed. It is refreshing to see someone that has opinions based in years of experience, that while offering doses of reality for the scope and cost of work ahead, didn't crush my spirit and would still allow my naive mind to wonder, rant, and imagine silly ideas and notions; such as possibly using trees in my driveway as a natural gantry for my shell off.
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:26 PM   #8
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Trenton , Georgia
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Following with interest and good luck ��
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Old 06-27-2021, 04:59 AM   #9
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2019 27' International
Rogers , Arkansas
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Good luck with your project. Looks like you are off to a great start. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
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Old 06-27-2021, 07:04 AM   #10
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
Cleaning up the Frame

Tools Used
-Angle grinder with different rust removal brushes
-Drill
-Pliers
-#3 Philips head screwdriver


Materials Used
N/A


Rodeo weekend came to an end and I jumped back into Airstream Reno mode.

I know and love wood. Metal is a foreign substance/material to me and I have no experience working with it in any capacity. Before researching Airstream renovations I didn't really even know what a rivet was, and the only time I have ever worked with metal was during a basement finish where I used relatively shoddy craftsmanship to cut and install simple HVAC ventilation that would pass inspection.

After removing El's sub floor and seeing the rusty frame I immediately understood why so many others have quit on these renovations. After 2 weeks of work I had what felt like an irreparable rusty frame and a very large empty aluminum can that had cost me every spare penny I currently had. But, a little discouragement and challenge has always acted as a motivator for me. When the going gets tough the tough get going.. or something like that. At least that's what I chanted to myself at night over the weekend as I tried to fall asleep while mentally adding up the mounting expenses that loomed ahead.

I made the mistake of contacting a mobile welder from Denver who admitted he knew nothing about Airstreams. He showed up, looked at the frame for 30 seconds and Suggested a $3k (+-) 2-3 day project where he would rebuild the front half, replace the outriggers, and make other repairs as needed.

To cheer myself up from what I considered quite bad news, I decided to buy a tool. So I downloaded a 20% off coupon, drove down to my trusty Harbor Freight, and bought a cheap angle grinder and brushes. This was my first tool/material expense on the project outside of the initial cost of the trailer. 60$ later and after a few Youtube videos I was back home and out in Eleanor removing the plywood chunks and screws from her frame using my drill and pliers and then grinding down some of the surface rust.

Rust is a scary thing to someone that doesn't know metal. All I could imagine was useless steel flaking away endlessly with my bank account. But out of nowhere when I put that grinder on the frame, that brown powder started falling off, and like magic, left something behind that actually resembled what I imagined a frame should look like.


By the end of the day my spirits were starting to revive right along with El's chassis. The next morning I put that grinder to more use and went to town.

By Thursday morning when Conifer Dave came by to give me an educated opinion on the frame and to consult some of my reno plans, I was already in better spirits. I had seen the metal start to come back to life similar to the magic that happens when I hand plane an old weathered piece of barn wood and what once appeared as useless and rotten takes on a new and beautiful character.

Dbj216 was able to quickly evaluate the areas that would need to be repaired/replaced and the tune he sang was quite a bit more lovely and encouraging than the Denver welder 3 days earlier. There would still be some serious repairs and cost, but the extent of the frame work was not as expansive as what I had feared.

To make things even better, he surprised me and took one of my looming expenses off the table. During our interaction the previous Saturday, it became clear that it would be wise for me to eventually get a weight distributing tow hitch. I had marked it on my growing budget list as a future purchase.

Apparently throughout his multiple renovation projects, one of his trailer purchases had left him with an extra unused hitch, and out of the kindness of his heart (or perhaps pity for a young and ignorant guy that appeared to be in over his head) offered it to me free of charge. I truly can't express how this not only provided for a real need, but also lifted my spirits in the moment and inspired me to conquer this phase of the reno I had been dreading. I'm still new to these forums and he'd probably be irritated that I just revealed his generosity so publicly, so I won't belabor the point, but suffice it to say that the Airstream community and this forum has already left its mark on me and I am grateful for the genuinely thoughtful care I have been shown. I hope to one day pay it forward.
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Old 06-27-2021, 07:30 PM   #11
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi T Vagabond: Your Trade Wind frame is not nearly as bad as some folks have. It will be good as new in no time. We will need some steel. And we do need to replace a lot of rusty outriggers. They hold the body down, or is it up? Anyway, maybe we can find a way to make new ones cheaper than retail.

You are most welcome on the old hitch. I had no use for it. It works good as I pulled my 75 Overlander back from Louisiana with it. I'll help set it up with you when the time comes. It will keep you safer than just towing on the ball.

I'm retired, I enjoy playing around with these old Airstreams, and I am happy to "consult" with you during your project. I think you will find the Airstream owner's community helpful and friendly. I met may great Airstream folks at the vintage rally the first week in June in Delors, Colorado. And I saw a lot of spectacular vintage Airstreams. Expertly done.

David
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:15 PM   #12
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
We Have Lift Off

Tools Used

- Sawzall/metal blades
- Drill/bits
- Angle grinder
- Floor Jack (x1)
- Wrench set
- Wonder bar
- Pliers

Materials Used

- 26' 3300 lb Cargo straps (x5)
- 16' 2x4 (x2)
- 10' 2x4 (x3)
- 10' 2x6 (x3)
- Box of 2 inch wood screws
- 26 cinder blocks




Today I lifted the shell.

One of my priorities/necessities in this project is keeping a reasonable/low budget, on a decently swift timeline, while not sacrificing on the quality of the total renovation.

A unique challenge in this endeavor is lifting the shell. In my research I have seen many complex internal wooden frames, expensive gantrys, or the use of multiple pole and/or floor jacks.

I needed a method that would be structurally effective, cost efficient, timely, and primarily accomplished with 1 manpower.

1st I decided to secure the shell with a frame that would provide a similar type of temporary structural integrity as the metal frame it was designed to sit on. This seemed much simpler and cost effective (lumber prices are unbelievable right now) to me than attempting to build an entire internal wooden skeleton or the cost of lumber and hardware as well as the time necessary to build an entire gantry.

In order to accomplish this, I decided I could pass three 2x6's across the belly of the shell (front, middle, rear) between the shell and frame and screw the shell into the lumber using the old elevator bolt holes in the C channel.

Then, for a little added strength on the inside I placed three 2x4's inside spanning the width of the shell and screwed them above the 2x6's. I left all of the upper interior aluminum skins installed for added structural integrity and strength.

On the exterior I used two 16' 2x4's to span the length and connect all 3 2x6 cross members. I then utilized four 26 foot cargo straps to strap the shell securely to my wooden frame/Palanquin.

After seeing the original Airstream videos and how "light" the shell is, my initial thoughts were that I could rally up 3 other strong friends and we could simply lift the shell on these wooden cross members like the ark of the covenant and walk it over to a flat area to set down.

Unfortunately, the shell isn't quite as light as the promo videos make it look and I decided it would be a bit too heavy for this to be done safely; so instead, I used the floor jack and jacked up each corner about 4-6 inches at a time (so as not to cause any unnatural stress on the shell). After jacking up a corner, a cinder block or pieces of scrap lumber would be slid under and I would rotate to the other side and jack it up the same height. Rinse and repeat for a couple of hours with some extra help from a good friend and eventually you end up with a frame sitting up on 4 cinder block columns high enough to roll the frame out from underneath.

There were a few 2x4's laying around leftover from house renovations and I was able to purchase the majority of additional wood required from the 70% off scrap pile at Home depot. To be fair I made most of the design for the Airstream Palanquin based on the various sizes of lumber I found on the discount pile. I only needed to purchase 1 full price 16' 2x4. The wood ran a total of 60$, the new cargo straps were $8 a piece and rang in at 40$. There were already a large number of cinder blocks on our property so I only needed to spend 20$ on a few extra.

With only 1 floor jack, I opted to spend a little more time on the lift process rather than incur additional costs to buy another jack. In the end, the shell is off after about 2 days of work and it ran a total of $120. I should be able to easily re-use/re-purpose any of the lumber/straps purchased. Hopefully nothing tragic happens and we can call this a successful shell off in a couple weeks.

About halfway into jacking up each corner of El a hailstorm rolled in, so I raced to strap the entire shell to two trees on either side of my driveway for a little added stability (see last 2 photos for my temporary mid storm stabilization set up)

Hopefully I will be able to repair the frame, install tanks/plumbing/and sub floor and reinstall the shell without having to keep this monocoque separated from its sub floor and frame for too long.
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:31 PM   #13
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Way to think outside the box in lifting the shell. Being resourceful takes some thought. You’re well on your way and it looks good.
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Old 07-01-2021, 05:44 PM   #14
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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You have now earned the "Full Monte" vintage Airstream merit badge. Bubba L will send it out to you soon. Not many vintage Airstream enthusiast earn this merit badge. I've never pulled out a frame. I like working on my back on a cold, wet concrete floor.

I think T Vagabond could live off the land in the mountains to search for gold or something. He could build a log cabin with an axe. He would discover gold and stake a claim, then dig a mine with his axe, catch a trout with a safety pin and string. Very resourceful guy. Separating a shell from the frame all alone is a big challenge.

The outriggers look worse than my friend,s Sovereign. I can't figure out why the outriggers get so rusty on 70s trailers. Where is that moisture coming from?

David
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Old 07-01-2021, 07:27 PM   #15
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1995 34' Excella
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TheVagabond- My compliments to you on being creative in lifting and removing the shell with a minimum of materials and manpower and securing it to the available trees to make it safe through the storm.

One of the best things about owning a vintage Airstream, or any Airstream, is certainly the wonderful people you meet.

Our son and daughter-in-law (Fort Worth) have a 78 Caravanner that I am helping them renovate from afar (Virginia). It started as an aluminum tent but now at least has working cold water and a minisplit heat pump. They just completed their first camping trip with working plumbing and AC with their two dogs this past weekend.

We have a 66 Tradewind that we love.

Welcome to the insanity. It is great that you and your family are starting young.

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Old 07-01-2021, 08:31 PM   #16
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
Thanks guys the encouragement means a lot coming from folks with all of your experience.

Dan I see you are in VA. I was born and raised in the NOVA area and have a few friends that still live down in your neck of the woods. We are excited to "start young". I like to say "if its worth doing tomorrow its worth doing today". No idea how original that really is since everything I know is just a cluster of information I've picked up from others, but, it represents how we as a family choose to live each day. Hopefully we cross paths in our adventures some day
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Old 07-06-2021, 09:53 PM   #17
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 18
Frame Diddy Doo

Tools Used

- Angle Grinder/metal cutting disk/brushes
- Steel Brush

Materials Used
- Rustoleum Rust Dissolving jelly
- Rustoleum Rust Reformer spray paint (1 can)


Once the shell was off, I used the angle grinder and brush heads to grind off some more surface rust in order to better evaluate the frame's overall condition.

My friend dbj216 (random observation: one day I'll have to ask him the significance of the number 216... as that is my birthdate 2/16/87) came by for what I thought would be a 1-2 hour project. Together we were able to evaluate the trailer frame from head to toe and determine which cross members would need to be repaired and replaced and what lengths and sizes of steel would be necessary to make the repairs.

Additionally we determined the areas of the frame where we wanted to reinforce the frame. The following are additional features being added.

-The large gap under the gaucho in the nose of the trailer that was designed to hold a spare tire is far too large. Since I will be adding a dinette in the future in leu of the old gaucho, we decided to ad 2 additional 2 inch cross members spanning the frame's full width in order to support this new/added use.

- In front of the trailer door we are adding a 2 foot cross brace in order to support this high traffic space.

- In the middle of the trailer under what will be the primary central walkway within the trailer we decided to ad another 2 foot cross brace to the frame design.

- I will be moving the bathroom from the rear to mid and placing the bedroom in the rear. In order to support the rear bedroom (as well as any added storage under the bed frame) we added 3 additional 2 foot cross braces to the rear frame design.

Moving forward we then evaluated the outriggers. I'm a glass half full kinda guy so I'll put it this way, I GET TO KEEP 4! Once we had compiled a list of the steel we needed and their lengths, my friend offered to drive me downtown to a metal supplier in order to place an order and what had begun as a 2 hour project turned into a whole day event.

When it comes to getting deals, I CANNOT stress this one tip enough. In general it can be hard to know every promotion, coupon, special, discount, etc. that might be available at any given time for any particular store. I have found that if I kindly and genuinely interact with whoever is checking me out at the register I can usually slip in a "joke" right around the time when a total is being rung up. "I heard there's a 10% discount if I brought a smile to your face today" , "Isn't there a deal where I get 20% off since it's a Tuesday?" etc. Quite often (I'd say a solid 40% of the time) whoever is ringing me up might happen know about a current promotion, or coupon/discount and will play right along with my little "joke" and give me a discount.

On this particular occasion I wasn't really expecting it to work since steel prices are at an all time high, but sure enough, just as my total was being rung up, I tossed out my flyer "joke". She laughed momentarily and then walked away. When she returned she was whispering something to a supervisor who silently/happily entered her authorization code and gave me an additional 10% off no questions asked. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised to have purchased all the steel (minus the outriggers) necessary for the frame's repair for a mere $224.

Afterwards, my friend took me to a local metal fabricator. We brought an old outrigger which I had cut off, as well as a rudimentary blue print we had drawn up. The fabricator promised to beat the prefab online costs (not to mention the savings on shipping) and we placed an order for 14 new outriggers. (I'll get that total when I pick them up in a couple days)

Finally, I placed an order online for the right and left doorstep outriggers at a cost of 64.00 including shipping.

With steel ordered and being fabricated, I turned my sights to cutting off the remaining outriggers and grinding more rust. After removing most of the surface rust in the areas I could fit my grinder, I applied Rustoleum Rust Dissolver (7.99) to the heavier rusted areas where I couldn't fit the steel brushes. I let the jelly sit about 20 minutes and then washed the frame well. After washing the frame I quickly dried it with rags to prevent any flash rust. We have been getting an abnormal amount of rain in Colorado this year, so even though I intend to properly paint the frame after the welding is complete, I went ahead and purchased an 8 dollar can of Rustoleum Rust Reformer spray paint and spot painted any areas of the frame where there was exposed metal from my grinding and jelly treatment.

I happen to have a can of white Rustoleum primer spray paint in my shed so I sprayed the frame where I had removed each outrigger just to be sure one doesn't get missed when the welder gets to working. I'm hoping the outriggers are finished and we can get this frame finished up at the welder (side note: saving some time/money by taking the frame to the welder vs. having the welder come to me) within the next few days.
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Old 07-07-2021, 05:23 AM   #18
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2019 27' International
Rogers , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 498
Rebuilding is in full swing. The fun and beauty is about to begin. Good luck. I hope it is all what you have envisioned.
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Old 07-07-2021, 10:40 AM   #19
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1956 22' Safari
1962 28' Ambassador
Williston , Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 373
Just found your thread and looking forward to following along. You're making great progress. I don't know how David does it keeping the shell on. So much easier working on the frame, axles and belly pan without the shell in the way. He's just tougher than me.

Have you ordered your axles yet? Call Colin Hyde and he will get you setup. Not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be. Suggest you do it know as I ended up having to replace my axle attachment plates on the Ambassador. That would be very tough later in the assembly process. - Mark
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Old 07-07-2021, 11:23 AM   #20
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2006 22' International CCD
Pleasant Shade , Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 49
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Nice job, look forward to the progress and photo's. Some trailers just need a redo and it seems your doing it right. The early photo's remind me of one I purchased which had to be taken down to floor and someone purchased it before I could even remodel. If I could make a suggestion, don't put the bath in the back, after 7 different AS the mid shower/toilet is better with kids
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