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Old 11-25-2015, 09:51 PM   #21
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1968 22' Safari
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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EscapePod: Whoa! Nice CC. MY SU loves you. She needs addresses and telephone numbers.

Ha! Schkidding. This isn't THAT kind of forum.

Did you have pitting on the panel surface? If so, you sure remedied it. How?

Jay and Lisa
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:18 PM   #22
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Greetings splyb from Tulsa! Welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. You picked exactly the right spot for your "and so it begins" tread. Some say the Safari is one of the best models, and some say 1968 is one of the best years. It is the last year of the "twinkie" body style, and the last year of the Corning curved glass windows. These windows were only used in years 66 through 68. Airstream went a different direction in the all new 1969 trailers.

I have a 66 Trade Wind that I've been working on. It is similar in design to your Safari. It is a 24 foot dual axle instead of the Safari 22. Mine is a twin bed layout. Mine had all kinds of problems as you can well imagine. But I have achieved "travel ready" status and have taken it on three trips. So far, so good. It's been fun, and like you, I enjoy working with my hands and getting really, really dirty.

My advice is you access your trailer's needs from the bottom up. You already have a feel for the electrical system and the control center. Do the same for bearings, brakes, tires, axle, frame, subfloor, plumbing, appliances, windows, leaks, et al. Then develop your plan of attack based on your desired use.

My trailer had a rotted out rear bath floor, no plumbing and no appliances to except the stove. But the trailer had pretty good care through the years and the body was in pretty good shape. I rebuilt the rear bath, added waste water tanks, replumbed the trailer and added new appliances.

Your interior skins have this very neat vinyl coating that is very durable. Mine cleaned up quite nicely. Interior skins are pop riveted to the formers and are not difficult to remove and replace if you label each one. I did not do this on my trailer as I didn't have a compelling reason. But the aluminum wiring is a major concern.

You will find plenty of us Airstreamers who have a similar interest and are willing to answer questions during your project. Air Forums certainly helped me with mine. So welcome, and keep us posted.

David
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:44 PM   #23
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1968 22' Safari
Smith Mountain Lake , Virginia
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Jay and Lisa,
We had very little pitting on the control panel. My panel is covered with wood grain contact type paper and the gold foil labels are paper backed. The wood grain is curling slightly around the edges and the foil had some mildew stains. I carefully cleaned the whole surface with a cotton ball and isopryl alcohol. That made it look great if you don't look too close.
We still have leaks on the front side windows. We got new sealing rubber from Vintage trailer supply and removed all the old stuff, replaced with new and used silicone along the top of the hinge for each window. This is the only place to use silicone. It prevents water getting in at the hinge but flexes enough to allow opening with no problem. Our leaks now seem to be at the two small fixed panes below the curved panes. The tray below the window fills up. We have bar towels in the trays during rain. Will have to bite the bullet and remove those two panels and reseat and seal them. Hope that works.
Our trailer also has the textured vinyl covering on inside walls. It cleaned up nicely with some non-amonia based cleaner and sponge and water rinse.

Have fun!
Jim P.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:22 AM   #24
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1968 22' Safari
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Those window problems sound eerily familiar. I've ordered the rubber gasket material, too, and will make getting those things watertight my first priority.

Some have asked for pics of our "project". Let's see if I can accommodate:
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapePod View Post
Jay,
We managed to clean up the Control Panel outside as well as check all connections on the inside. Replaced the outlet, disconnected the polarity light (it was causing a ground fault leak). The ammeter works for battery level, but the tank status sensors were not connected. There is only a black tank and you can look at level through the toilet with a flashlight.

We wanted to put a flat screen in so I replaced the 1/4 inch end panel for the galley with 3/4 inch walnut ply to beef it up. We replaced the old refrigerator with a new gas/electric Dometic and lost about 30 pounds that made the heavier plywood panel possible without adding more weight. Oh and I also disconnected the old tv antenna and ran coax cable to a connector block on the outside behind the refrigerator and into a cable outlet on the new 3/4 inch plywood panel. Will attempt a picture or two.
Jim P.
68twind has the same Airstream Central Control panel in his trailer.
Those were really inspred by the "space race".
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:39 AM   #26
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1967 22' Safari
West Fork , Arkansas
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[QUOTE=EscapePod;1718986]Jay and Lisa,
Our leaks now seem to be at the two small fixed panes below the curved panes. The tray below the window fills up. We have bar towels in the trays during rain. Will have to bite the bullet and remove those two panels and reseat and seal them. Hope that works.

We have the same issue with the fixed panels, which a PO replaced with acrylic. One quick fix is to drill or redrill the small drain hole allowing the tray to drain to the outside. That works but like you we need to replace and reseal these panels.
Jim
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:56 AM   #27
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1968 22' Safari
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Well, it's been awhile. Here's an update.

Soon after starting the gutting, I decided a new floor was probably needed. I'm a shower pan away from completing the gutting and now KNOW I need a new floor, so I'm spending a great deal of time in those forums and in those threads. Shell off? Shell on? IDK, yet.

But I have a couple observations and questions for this thread.

In removing the kitchen, it became apparent that there were two major leaks in the area. The worst was around the refrigerator vent cowl. The bulkhead under that is completely rotted and the floor is so bad I'm surprised it didn't collapse under the weight of the fridge. The other leak was around the cowl covering the vent fan above the cooktop and oven. It wasn't as bad as the other but, together, the damage in that area was profound. I could poke my forefinger through the fiberboard countertop and the floor was just horrible.

So, I'm gutting the whole thing and am now 95% done. I'm struck by something. The perimeter of the floor is rotten just about everywhere. For instance, the area above/around the curbside gaucho showed no signs of leakage. The interior skin there is spotless and the gauchos wooden frame was like new. But the floor under it showed water damage. The closer to the outer edge (the c-channel), the worse it was and that is true virtually everywhere regardless of whether there is any other evidence of shell leakage. Is that normal? Can anyone venture a guess as to how/why that is so?

As for the electrical, under the rear vanity is the Univolt, a 120 breaker box with three 20 amp switches and, curiously, two traditional glass fuses. I haven't figured that out yet. It appears that the 12 volt system is distributed from the "Airstream Central Control" above the fridge but there's some 120 in there, too. And, yes, since it was immediately under the above-referenced leak, that box is completely rusted through. It barely holds together at all.

Attached are some pics. Can anyone weigh in on what I'm seeing here?
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:15 PM   #28
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1986 34' Limited
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Ahhh, the slippery slop of vintage Airstream restoration. Sounds like you may be in for the "full monte" shell off process. Maybe you have pulled down the belly pan and took a gander at the frame? Anyway, don't be surprised if you find corrosion damage to the frame members. Airstreams need a solid frame, subfloor, and shell. All three work in concert for lightweight strength.

It is very common to find subfloor rot around the perimeter of the interior. I believe this comes from rainwater leaking through the outer skins, migrating down to the "C" channel, and then continuing to the subfloor. You may never see the leak on the inside of the trailer. Many folks use a moisture meter to probe the perimeter of the interior looking for dampness. All Airstreams leak, or are going to leak. Carefull maintenance is required to prolong life.

When you put your new subfloor down, you will probably seal it in some way to add life to it, especially the cut ends.

Your electrical looks different than my 66 Trade Wind. There was a significant revision to the 67 trailers, including the control panel and rear bath. I hope other experienced Airstreamers will help you identify components. I do know 67s were built with aluminum wiring. So while you're at it, replace the 115v electrical system including the wiring.

There are a lot of Airstream enthusiasts who have rebuilt the mid sixties Safari. You can join them. Their threads will help you.

David
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:35 PM   #29
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1968 22' Safari
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Correctamundo, David, and thanks for the response.

The aluminum wiring for the 120 is noted. Consider it gone, along with all electrical components, all plumbing, all propane and all appliances. We're keeping the gauchos and most of the bathroom, though the work you did on the back of your 66 looks fantastic. Some more pics of that would be appreciated.

Frankly, I won't see the frame until the subfloor is up. Then, while I'm eyeballing it, I'll ask you to define "corrosion" as opposed to, oh, say, a little "surface rust". I haven't had the nerve to approach that from the bottom.

Onward into the fog.

Jay and Lisa
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:08 PM   #30
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I had a 1964 Alfa Guilia back in the 70s that was quite rusted underneath. When I jacked up the front of the car, I could no longer open the doors! That's serious corrosion.

My 66 Trade Wind had lots of surface rust, but no holes through the metal. The pan holding the black tank up was completely rusted away, see first photo below. But even the rear most cross member on my trailer was still solid. I spent several afternoons with my rotary grinder and a stiff cup wire brush attachment grinding off the surface rust. Messy hard job, photo 2. Then I brush painted the frame with POR 15, another messy job, photo 3. Maybe my frame will last another few years. I hope so.

Thanks for the compliment on my bath remodel. The original one was designed pretty good, with the sink over tub affair, and the "console hidden toilet". But my pieces were in pretty bad shape so I elected to rebuild instead of restore. I consider my bath functional, but not beautiful. Airstream was just beginning to use plastics and fiberglass in their trailers during the mid sixties like a lot of other people. Photo 4 is my "blueprint" of my bath layout.

Spend an afternoon taking down your belly pan aluminum and old insulation. All you need is a 3/16" drill to remove the rivets, well and wrenches for the propane lines. You can count how many rodent skeletons you find. This too is a dirty job, but you can inspect your frame and likely repair if it need. Then you can paint it, insulate the new subfloor, and hang new belly pan aluminum.

Ain't it great that I'm not minding my own business?

David
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:10 AM   #31
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1968 22' Safari
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Don't start minding your own business now.

The pics are very, very helpful. Thanks.

I presume you didn't remove the belly pan laying on your back? How did you get the unit high enough to do that work? Jacks?
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:28 PM   #32
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I was fortunate to have level concrete in my rented garage space. I jacked up the trailer about 12" carefully, 3" one side, and then 3" on the other. My trailer weighs about 4400 pounds. The trailer weight was on two jack stands and the tongue. I also positioned two other jack stands for safety, although no load on them. It was high enough I could work on my back on my creeper. I used concrete blocks so I didn't have to extend the jack stands very far which I felt added stability.

I dropped the axles before I removed the belly pan just for convenience and since I was installing new axles later on. I also removed the propane distribution piping at the same time.

The trailer was stable on the jack stands all winter with me underneath of it wire brushing, painting, installing the new subfloor in the bath area, waste water tanks, insulation, new belly pan material, new axles, and new propane piping. I wore my creeper out!

David
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:23 PM   #33
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Update

Well, everything's out except for the water heater, which should be no problem.

I'm a bit perplexed. When we first retrieved her, I could see that the rear edge of the floor was badly rotted, but could only see the curb side. I was dying to see the other side. Was it as bad? Would it go all the way back to the C-channel? If that side was equally rotten, how far fore did that go?

To my surprise, once I was able to see the floor's rear edge, the rot on the left was confirmed but the right side appeared to be pretty much intact - an even edge - but appears to stop 6 inches short of the rear C-channel or, at least, what I think is the rear C-channel. Does the floor not extend to, and is it not joined to, the C-channel 360 degrees?

Take a look at these pics. There's a bunch of plumbing in the way, but it appears to me that the rear edge of the subfloor stops well short of the interior skin. Is this right? Toward the right, just right of the rusted piece of battery box, you can see the rear, un-rotted edge.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:36 PM   #34
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1968 22' Safari
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Also, inspired by dbj, i crawled under her today. The axle looks exactly like yours, dbj - that evenly-mottled rust, completely covering the axle, the brakes, the shocks and the visible part of the frame where the axle attaches. The pan appeared to be in real nice shape. I was surprised to see that it is almost all one piece - one very large piece - of aluminum.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:41 PM   #35
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By design, the 5/8" thick plywood subfloor goes under the C channel all the way around the perimeter of the trailer. There are bolts that go through the C channel, subfloor, and outriggers all the way around. The shell is riveted to the C channel. These three members; frame, subfloor, and shell all connected together make a lightweight, strong structure. It is called semi monocoque construction. An old style airplane fuselage, usually oval in shape, is full monocoque construction.

So I think your pictures show a classic example of floor rot at the rear of the trailer. I have some pictures for you. The first is the big rotted hole at the rear of my trailer. The second shows the "sandwich" of C channel, then a gap where the subfloor was, and then the rear most angle iron cross member supporting the floor. The third picture shows the replacement subfloor under the C channel at the rear of the trailer.

The rotted sections of subfloor need replaced. It's worth the effort. The 68 Safari is one of the best vintage Airstream years and models in my view. A good one is worth quite a bit.

Still having fun?

David
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:24 AM   #36
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Fun? More or less, but it's not weird enough for me yet. No doubt that will change.

That's what I thought: the subfloor is connected to the shell all around, including (presumably) across the back. So, if that's the case, how is it that the existing floor we have appears to stop well short of the C-channel crossing the back end?
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:16 PM   #37
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Hi splyb, I can't tell exactly from the photos, but it almost looks like there is subfloor plywood under the old plumbing. It is clear the floor tiles stop short, but it looks like old wood under the plumbing. You'll know for sure when more stuff is taken out. Of course, rot due to moisture may have disintegrated some of the floor around the rear just like it did mine.

David
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