Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-24-2021, 11:19 AM   #141
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Home safe

We made it home in one piece (minus the pieces we threw away after the fire). We have a big list of things to do before the next trip, mostly centered around switching out all the propane stuff. I understand that propane can be safe and even safer and more convenient than electric for many things but we are going to do this anyway.

Lowe's store manager was gracious enough to take back the 2-way fridge at a 25% markdown and they will put it on their floor and try to recoup some of their money. We'll get a much cheaper 12v fridge to replace it. I'll have to get a new induction stove and new hot water heater and amp up the solar and increase the battery storage (those were in the plans already). In another thread it was noted than at electric water heater and A/C would require 50A service but we don't have an A/C so that's not an issue at the moment.

Other basic learnings:
Tank ventilation
All the new tanks need better ventilation. I removed the old ventilation from the black tank and replaced it with a flexible tube routed under the trailer. Since the black tank only captured the liquid diverted from the composting toilet it meant that the rear end and bunk room frequently had a strong pee smell. Yuck. I also had no issues draining the shower (pictures to come, david) after I drilled a hole in the grey tank. Since we don't have tank sensors I did get it overfilled once at a campground and embarrassingly had a wet spot under the airstream. I need to plumb a vent to that hole and also put sensors on all the tanks. I'll probably send the grey vent under the bunk and have it tee over the blank tank and go straight up there. We will build a dresser there so it will be hidden at least for the first few feet.

Tank sensors
Some of the wiring from the freshwater tank still works but I'm just going to standardize the sensors on all of them and bring them to one place. Unfortunately, the main control panel has some wiring issues that I haven't resolved and I had to hard-wire the freshwater pump using the always-on 16?-gauge pink wire that used to go to the furnace rather than orange wire that came back from the water pump switch in the control panel. And a couple times we ran so low on water that the pump would go non-stop so we had to dump a quick 5-gallons in the tank or disconnect the wire and reconnect it later.

Bathroom door
We had not finished the bathroom door (we have a pass-through mid-bath) but changed our mind about how it would work. Rather than a door on the toilet room, we'll put two sliding doors across the bathroom.

Lights
We knew we wouldn't have lights in the shower or bathroom - it was an oversight earlier on in the construction so we made do with flashlights. At some point we'll put lights in there.

Shower
Leaked around the edges. Not such a huge deal since we avoided the cold shower without hot water. Not 100% sure how I'm going to remedy this without a major re-design of the shower. The flexible plastic is in some ways easy to work with but then not firm enough to maintain the seals where it ends and merged with other parts like the shower base.

Dinette Storage
Really a pita to get stuff in and out. Going to put more doors on those so there is access from the side rather than above. And at least one of them I'll turn into a giant trunk 4' across rather than 2 trunks 2' across. Other than that they were great functionally! One annoyance is that the trunk door footprints do not match the cushion footprints so you have to take more cushions off to get access to one trunk. I may re-design the trunk doors to better match the cushions. The way the trunks were designed the dividers can be extracted and moved from side to side. Not easily, but once I extract them I can make them more easily moved in the future.

Office
I never used my office so we will try to make that space more adaptible with storage

Electric/Solar
The electric system was great. The solar was a huge star, producing electricity even at dusk with clouds. Incredible. I can't believe the panels are just held down with VHB tape. I knew at the time I was wasting a lot of space with the electric layout so I'd like to get back to that, reconfiguring that and creating good closet space.

Leaks
It took a 2" hailstorm at Bryce to find the leaks we hadn't found in Tucson and it's no surprise. The PO had put silicon around a bunch of windows and those had obviously been leaking and are still leaking, or at least leaking again. At some point I'll be taking those off.

Doors/Hatches
The main door is great but I fear the day when that KT lock gives way and we can't get out (we can get out the hatch in the back or a window I'm sure). The insects were vile in some places and I'd like the screen to close automatically. I couldnt get the T-bar press-in camlocks to work on some things so I put new locks on all the hatches. They are pretty ghetto but they stay in place. I'll show photos at some point. /shrug

Better fans/lights
It's pretty dark and there's no air movement in the bunk room. Since kids sleep on top it gets especially warm up there so I'd like to get a fan back there. Would be nice to have reading lights for bedtime, too, rather than just the main overhead light. As described above, need shower and toilet lights.
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2021, 11:51 AM   #142
Rivet Master
 
Hittenstiehl's Avatar
 
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
1962 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,131
Images: 9
Is sounds like a successful first trip. Lots of good memories and a scary one.

Although folks might continue to encourage you to use propane nobody blames you for changing your mind after what you all witnessed. That was a major disaster that you all came away from safely.

As I said keep your notepad handy because the "to do" lists afterwards are almost as long as the ones you make when you're packing.

For temporary lights you could always use a small rechargeable light bar. We have a couple magnetized in the bath and hallway and recharge them with a quick plug into the goal zero or jackery. They have multiple settings and can be set on motion sensor when you enter the bathroom. We also have a couple of Ikea solar lamps that we set outside in the sun for a recharge.

Check out Tiny Shiney Home online. They're a family of 6 living in a trailer near Benson now but they traveled for several years. They have lots of good storage ideas.

You are doing it and doing well.
__________________

Hittenstiehl
Hittenstiehl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2021, 06:19 PM   #143
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,145
Images: 1
Welcome back home safe and sound. There is nothing better than a long list of project to make your Airstream even better.

I've installed 4 SeeLevel water tank level indicators through the years. They are stick on circuits at each tank and then "daisy chained" together with the same two conductor cable. The read out needs 12v power supply and a convenient place to mount it. It also reads battery voltage which is handy at times.

You might want to check it out, and then again, maybe not.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1404 Waste Tanks See Level Senders (Mobile).JPG
Views:	11
Size:	58.6 KB
ID:	402600  
__________________
WBCCI #8607 VAC Region 11
KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2021, 10:21 AM   #144
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Welcome back home safe and sound. There is nothing better than a long list of project to make your Airstream even better.

I've installed 4 SeeLevel water tank level indicators through the years. They are stick on circuits at each tank and then "daisy chained" together with the same two conductor cable. The read out needs 12v power supply and a convenient place to mount it. It also reads battery voltage which is handy at times.

You might want to check it out, and then again, maybe not.

David
David, thanks for your suggestion and all your help through this process. I'll definitely check them out. Is this something you would recommend: https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Garne...-p/709-p3.htm? With the three tanks I'll probably just run 16-gauge from the rear black and grey tanks and the mid-water tank and bring them up to a new console in the shelving directly over the water pump with a new pump switch.
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2021, 10:28 AM   #145
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Is sounds like a successful first trip. Lots of good memories and a scary one.

Although folks might continue to encourage you to use propane nobody blames you for changing your mind after what you all witnessed. That was a major disaster that you all came away from safely.

As I said keep your notepad handy because the "to do" lists afterwards are almost as long as the ones you make when you're packing.

For temporary lights you could always use a small rechargeable light bar. We have a couple magnetized in the bath and hallway and recharge them with a quick plug into the goal zero or jackery. They have multiple settings and can be set on motion sensor when you enter the bathroom. We also have a couple of Ikea solar lamps that we set outside in the sun for a recharge.

Check out Tiny Shiney Home online. They're a family of 6 living in a trailer near Benson now but they traveled for several years. They have lots of good storage ideas.

You are doing it and doing well.
H,

Thanks for your suggestion. I've thought a motion sensor light would be pretty helpful since the walls are thin and I hesitate to bring a double strand of 16-gauge along the otherwise clean wall for a switch. We had some solar lights as well. Maybe they were too cheap but they were never very reliable so we stopped trying to charge them and left them in the truck by the end. But we had nice LED flashlights for each of the kids and those were used as night lights and we ended up doing our poops in the dark usually, which isn't so terrible, I suppose :-)

We have looked at the TinyShinyHome content a lot when we were planning but I hadn't realized they settled down. They have incredible energy. One thing I didn't expect personally was how rich the kids experiences would be with other kids at campgrounds. I've always had more of an isolationist mentality--that is, you camp to get away from everybody else--but at some of the campgrounds they made some great friends that were doing similar things. Definitely something to consider for future adventures. I know not all places are the same--like the Yellowstone craziness is one extreme but Capitol Reef was just so wholesome in terms of the people and the atmosphere.
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2021, 07:03 PM   #146
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,145
Images: 1
Hello: My internet service is back! Yes, the Garnet Seelevel system works very well, and they have a good tech support system. I used 20g two conductor "bell wire" or "speaker wire" for my runs between the stick on circuits to the instrument. 16 ga is plenty big in my view, but it would work. You also need a good 12v positive and a good ground to the instrument. No converter "noise" allowed. But the system is easy to install if the deep end sides of the tanks are visible.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607 VAC Region 11
KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2021, 09:30 PM   #147
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Starship SN72 Restoration Thread

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9961.JPG
Views:	7
Size:	475.2 KB
ID:	405817
on the road again!

started to prep for the all-electric conversion but Mrs Starship is coming back around on propane. that said, i returned the fridge and the battery since i was planning a 24-v conversion and the renogy battery wouldn’t support it. the new battleborn arrived just in time but no fridge so off we go with ice chests.
total damage to fix the fire damage to the back of the truck was $6500. but now it looks better than when we got it. first night at buckskin mountain, AZ, on the Colorado River.
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2021, 11:49 PM   #148
Rivet Master
 
Hittenstiehl's Avatar
 
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
1962 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,131
Images: 9
Yay!!!
Buckskin is very nice! Ice chests are annoying but quite doable until you get the fridge back up.
__________________

Hittenstiehl
Hittenstiehl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2021, 03:25 AM   #149
Rivet Master
 
Silvr_Bullet's Avatar

 
2017 16' Sport
Great Town , US
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 893
Starship SN72 Restoration Thread

Terrible accident that you and you’re family endured. Sorry that happened. It sounds like your making good progress on repairs. I use one of these lights in the bathroom and have one under my tonneau cover in the truck, simply held on with Velcro.
) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7TZNR7...ing=UTF8&psc=1
Silvr_Bullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2021, 06:46 PM   #150
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,145
Images: 1
Very nice to see your trailer back on the road again. Glad the truck was repaired as good as new, and so glad no one was burned in the fire. But that is all now just a campfire story, nothing more.

Enjoy your trip. Keep us posted.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607 VAC Region 11
KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2021, 05:53 PM   #151
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
well, things are going well. Have definitely noticed an increase in people who pass me on the double yellow of late... Made it to CA and are parked on the beach at Del Mar. It's pretty chilly and I've got the home office running. Only issue is the pee smell has gotten pretty strong.

Recall we put in a composting toilet and plumbed the urine to the black tank. I had a lot of trial and error in getting the tank hookup right and I finally settled on a shower flange fitting which was clamped and glued onto the 3" tank opening. The interior of the shower flange I think is 2" and I put an elbow and reduced it to 1.5" ABS. We have been dealing with a minor smell for awhile and I always figured it was because I didn't vent the tank well, so before we left on this trip I installed a new vent and vented it over the toilet. I also removed all the stuffing I'd put around the vent and the waste entry hole in the floor that separated the black tank compartment from the rear of the trailer. Anyway, the smell is back with a vengeance since I have removed the barriers.


Last night I got in there with a flashlight and see that the flange is leaking and so the smell is actually urine sitting on top and probably on bottom of the tank itself. Unfortunately, it's very inconvenient to get the flange removed and do anything more proactive so we will have to just keep stuffing it and deal with it when we get home.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7634.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	230.0 KB
ID:	406199  
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2021, 05:37 PM   #152
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvr_Bullet View Post
Terrible accident that you and you’re family endured. Sorry that happened. It sounds like your making good progress on repairs. I use one of these lights in the bathroom and have one under my tonneau cover in the truck, simply held on with Velcro.
) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7TZNR7...ing=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks for the link, Silvr. That looks promising!
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2021, 05:41 PM   #153
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Yay!!!
Buckskin is very nice! Ice chests are annoying but quite doable until you get the fridge back up.
H, the site was really nice at Buckskin. It was really nice around 5am before the speedboats got revved up. We spent the next night at Island River SP a couple miles up the road. The cove there was much nicer for the kiddos to play and swim in since it's just a big eddy and you can float around on it. The kids didn't catch anything there but did catch a few smallmouth bass at Buckskin.

Still not sure whether we'll do propane fridge again or DC. Would need another battery if we did the DC though because I think the draw would drain an full battery in 24 hours without a good charging source. Wife wants something smaller than the 9.7 cf that we had before.
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2021, 05:46 PM   #154
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hello: My internet service is back! Yes, the Garnet Seelevel system works very well, and they have a good tech support system. I used 20g two conductor "bell wire" or "speaker wire" for my runs between the stick on circuits to the instrument. 16 ga is plenty big in my view, but it would work. You also need a good 12v positive and a good ground to the instrument. No converter "noise" allowed. But the system is easy to install if the deep end sides of the tanks are visible.

David
Still would be nice to see the tank depth. This is the first time we've stayed at places that provide full hookups so I just dump every day now. A lot of folks seem to have set their slinkies up to continuously dump.

Continuing to see a few airstreams here and there where we camp but they are almost exclusively late-model. And the 31-foot Sovereign which felt so large feels tiny with the size of the trailers around here. I think they are taller than semi trailers and almost as long...

Also, with 50A service, why are people still running generators in the morning? I have been embarrassed to ask...
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2021, 06:26 AM   #155
2 Rivet Member

 
1973 31' Sovereign
Poland , Maine
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 43
aaryno- I guess you never know what a day on the road, or a morning on Airforums will bring. Reading about your propane fire was really freaky, and I'm so happy to hear that no one was hurt. And you had the where with all, to assess, fix what you needed, and continue the journey. Read one poster who commented how many millions of miles, thousands of AS trailers roll along without an incident, and I take it as you got stuck by lightning. It happens a million to one, but by all odds, you are super aware now, and lighting proof from here on out. Since you're a math teacher, you get it...

I found your thread today, and was totally excited to find it. I just started my renovation on my '73 31' RB Sovereign. I've been looking at your pictures and our trailers are almost spitting images of each other, even after 45 years since birth.

My thread is "Hasty Mouse to Mighty Mouse" a kooky title yes, and wishing I chose a different more simple one like yours "Starship".
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f186/hasty-mouse-to-mighty-mouse-228156.html

I have about a week to go on my renovations before I leave town until next spring, but hope to post some pics where I'm at soon.

I have so many questions for you, but don't know where to start. Maybe here. My plans for spring are to replace the axles, mine are shot. The trailer is in Maine. Now that you've experienced quite a lot of time working on your Starship, had you to do it all over again, would you do this job yourself next time? I got quotes from Colin Hyde for $875 per axle plus shipping. So the price tag is high from the start...I'm leaning towards doing it myself.

I also wanted to know about the status of your belly pan. Mine is like a condominium for mice. Open doors facing the ocean, beautiful views of neighbors. I need to replace at some point, and wondering if I should do it before the install of the axles. Was your belly pan pretty much intact?

Here's to a safe, happy future of adventures!

Scott
Shapmaui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 11:42 AM   #156
3 Rivet Member
 
aaryno's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shapmaui View Post
aaryno- I guess you never know what a day on the road, or a morning on Airforums will bring. Reading about your propane fire was really freaky, and I'm so happy to hear that no one was hurt. And you had the where with all, to assess, fix what you needed, and continue the journey. Read one poster who commented how many millions of miles, thousands of AS trailers roll along without an incident, and I take it as you got stuck by lightning. It happens a million to one, but by all odds, you are super aware now, and lighting proof from here on out. Since you're a math teacher, you get it...

I found your thread today, and was totally excited to find it. I just started my renovation on my '73 31' RB Sovereign. I've been looking at your pictures and our trailers are almost spitting images of each other, even after 45 years since birth.

My thread is "Hasty Mouse to Mighty Mouse" a kooky title yes, and wishing I chose a different more simple one like yours "Starship".
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f186/hasty-mouse-to-mighty-mouse-228156.html

I have about a week to go on my renovations before I leave town until next spring, but hope to post some pics where I'm at soon.

I have so many questions for you, but don't know where to start. Maybe here. My plans for spring are to replace the axles, mine are shot. The trailer is in Maine. Now that you've experienced quite a lot of time working on your Starship, had you to do it all over again, would you do this job yourself next time? I got quotes from Colin Hyde for $875 per axle plus shipping. So the price tag is high from the start...I'm leaning towards doing it myself.

I also wanted to know about the status of your belly pan. Mine is like a condominium for mice. Open doors facing the ocean, beautiful views of neighbors. I need to replace at some point, and wondering if I should do it before the install of the axles. Was your belly pan pretty much intact?

Here's to a safe, happy future of adventures!

Scott
Scott,

I'll follow your thread and try to keep my answers there, in context, but to answer your questions about the axles and the belly pan.

I paid about $5k to have my axles done and a lift installed. I wish I had gone the Colin Hyde route and done it myself. Others here have more experience and are more mechanically experienced but AFAICT it is as simple as jacking up the trailer, unbolting the old axles, and bolting in the new ones. Probably more complex than that, but maybe not. The measurements have to be perfect or you'll get uneven tire wear. I think putting in a lift is harder but I'm sure you could do that, too. Even with the lift I have bottomed out coming out of a parking lot in Santa Fe.

I never completely removed my belly pan; just from behind the axles. It was a slow ripping bandaid but necessary in order to install the gray tank. Does yours have a gray tank?

As far as how to do it, you have to drill right through the center of the rivet and through the neck. It requires having the right sized bit as well as hitting the neck in exactly the right spot. Some people use extra tools but I think a drill bit is just fine. This is what I used:

3/16" https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B08KWJM578
1/8" https://www.amazon.com/BAIDETS-Strai.../dp/B089SX9S8M

Wear an N95 mask for the mouse poop and dust and eye protection for the aluminum shavings coming off the bit.

The belly pan will be a flat aluminum sheet stretched between the frame rails. There is also a curved section of outer skin between the frame rail and the rub rail (the aluminum thin piece at around the bottom of the sides. To remove the curved section you will have to remove the rub rail first, and then remove the rivets holding the outer skin in place. You may have to remove the rail around the wheels as well.

For the bottom, drill out the center rivets first, since you don't want to be under the middle of the belly pan when you drill the last rivets since it will fall on you. You'd much rather be dropping the belly pan from the side than from under it when you drill out the last rivets.

Get the right drill. I'm not sure what the right drill is but having a variable speed with high speeds would be helpful. I mostly used a cordless DeWalt and used 6Ah batteries.
aaryno is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starship :: 2009 Airstream International Hieboig Airstream Registry Discussions 0 07-01-2018 01:57 PM
Starship Traveltime :: 2014 Airstream Classic dmnichols Airstream Registry Discussions 0 08-17-2014 08:10 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.