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Old 11-25-2015, 07:48 PM   #101
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1986 34' Limited
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It does take much more time than you think when you are building a new interior in these old Airstreams. Take your time and enjoy the project. Your fridge cabinet looks fine. Making that fridge vent from scratch is a lot of work for sure. Will your new fridge need a propane line? I assume there is a louvered vent door on the exterior of the trailer for incoming air. I installed one of those cooling coil 12v fans on the back of my fridge to help exhaust hot air out the roof vent. I need 12 volts for that as well as the fridge itself. And I needed 115v with an outlet on the wall so the fridge would "cook" on shore power. Seems like there are a lot of "utilities" needed to run one of these gas absorption fridges. The fridge seals against the wood cabinet to keep fumes out of the interior. Maybe yours will be one of these new fangled compressor types.

I had trouble connecting the propane line due to tight spaces behind the fridge. And I had trouble attaching the fridge to the floor for the same reason. There was only 2" between the trailer wall and the back of the fridge.

David
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:18 AM   #102
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David,
Your wise replies are always appreciated.
Our refrigerator is a marine type Isotherm DR65 Frost Free using a Danfoss compressor. It does not use propane. Lew Farber, a.k.a. "Lewster", a master RV technician, recommends units with this compressor for efficiency. It still needs ventilation and Isotherm diagrams show air flow using cabin air but ours has outside intake and discharge. Adding a 12V fan to increase flow would probably increase efficiency; although I have not done that yet, I do have the converter with its fan using the same air supply and discharge. I think this design will also minimize compressor and condenser noise inside the trailer.
With winter ahead, having some work to do inside might be a good thing but I'll still proceed slowly.
Jim
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:42 PM   #103
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Thank you Jim. I'm just an average Joe who enjoys working on and traveling with these old Airstreams.

Very neat that you selected one of these new fridges. I believe they will replace gas absorption in the next few years like LED has replaced incandescent filaments.

Happy Thanksgiving! Our family spent a lot of Thanksgivings in northwest Arkansas. Beautiful country, great people.

David
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:03 PM   #104
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Smile progress update

Recently my major project has been the cabinet for the refrigerator and control panel. When I was not sure how the controls should be incorporated, I worked with the design on SketchUp, see attached. In this process I added a place for a Keurig hot beverage machine on the right and a mug holder above.

The actual construction had to address my shortsightedness in making wiring for battery monitor in the lower left too short. Instead of the neatly organized controls in the design drawing, I squeezed the monitor in at the top left of the AC outlet. To cover the hole for this monitor, I added a laugh button with appropriate sound when pushed. Let's celebrate our mistakes!

Today with a bunch of help from Brother-in-Law John, we completed propane piping. Taking advantage of the added height below frame from the new axle brackets, this 1/2" main line runs between belly pan and axle versus bending below. We added plastic tubing around all the flared copper lines to give it separation from dissimilar metals.

We wish all of the great folks in Air Forums a great 2016 and hope to see you down the road.

Jim & Jane
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:53 PM   #105
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Happy New Year to you too. I like your SketchUp design tool. I've got to try that. The new cabinet looks nice. Maybe your trailer will be travel ready during 2016?

David
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:34 AM   #106
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David,
We have foolishly signed up for the Air Midwest Spring Rally in Eureka Springs in April. That gives us a target to at least get it road-worthy and try it out. Minimum improvements are to add new tires and AGM batteries but we intend to make progress with interior finish out. Jane wants the bed finished so cushions could be ordered.
Jim
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:50 PM   #107
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I can't think of any flat ground around Eureka Springs large enough to park a camper. Maybe the old Hotel parking lot? It's a fun place to visit though. I loved the old trains, the old courthouse, the old Hotel, the springs, as well as all the hill side buildings and homes. We had many good meals at Rogue's Manor. Lovely town in my view.

You can always take your trailer as an aluminum tent. It will at least keep you dry at night.

David
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:55 AM   #108
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I'm impressed with your SketchUp designs you posted below. I've started to do some research on 3D modeling and design using Sketch Up. I see a thread on Air Forums by NorCal Bambi that is quite helpful.

Are you a regular SketchUp user? How long do you think a rookie would need to get an interior design modeled? It appears there are vintage Airstream interior models posted in the SketchUp warehouse. Maybe these are accurate enough with door, window, height, end cap features so a guy could design a dinette booth.

It looks like fun. But I bet it takes several months of experimentation and training to get reasonably proficient at it. I remember our engineers in the factory taking months to learn 3D design software like Pro E, etc.

David
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:20 AM   #109
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David,
There is an RV park in Eureka Springs with level sites: http://www.wanderlustrv.com

I enjoy using SketchUp at a conceptual level but have also used it with great detail to, for example, build the guest cottage structure where our AS is parked. The best way to learn this program is to have a project to design. NorCal Bambi is an excellent source for advice and examples. The SU website offers free tutorials and I took the first 3 to 5 before starting my own project. I was able to learn enough to do something productive in 10 days or so but everything I do with it lets me learn more. I found AS models on the SU warehouse and then modified dimensions and features enough to get a shell reasonably close to our trailer.

One caution, once you have started a model, make a copy of it or save it as a new edition because it is easy to screw it up or unknowingly erase the original model. Once you have SketchUp I could send you what I have done if you let me know which version you are using. Currently I have SketchUp Pro 2016.

I confess to being an architect emeritus so have used it in my profession.

Jim
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:17 PM   #110
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I did not know of this RV park in Eureka Springs. Last time we were in the area (3 years ago) we stayed in the Rogers area at a place called Cave Springs.

I'm thinking it would take longer to learn SketchUp that to just do a sketch with a pencil in 2D and a tape measure. I'm making a dinette booth with a pedestal table that will convert to a fairly big bed. The Globetrotter is smaller than your Safari, so you know the necessity to be very efficient with space utilization. Every cubic foot needs to have a purpose: sleeping, sitting, eating, storage, etc. I may take on a project to learn SketchUp in the future.

Thanks for the info.

David
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:57 PM   #111
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Our latest baby steps were to put the front on the bathroom closet and install the sliding door to the bath.
Since we are using an on-demand water heater, space was freed up for a small electric heater when we are on shore power, which is almost always. Above is a shelf for towels, etc. Doors from the original trailer were adapted for closet and lavatory cabinets.
The sliding door has a couple of guides on the floor out of the walkway and the door will ultimately slide behind a dinette bench on one side and the kitchen countertop on the other. Small round 6 pound magnets keep the door closed or open.
The signal pendant on the kitchen side is from the Progressive Industries AC power monitor and controller.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:47 PM   #112
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It is looking very nice indeed. Good work.

David
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:47 PM   #113
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JRFO - looks very nice. Where did you get the hardware for the sliding door? Also, what kind of trim did you use where the bulkheads meet the walls?Thanks so much,Greg
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:04 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1410 View Post
JRFO - looks very nice. Where did you get the hardware for the sliding door? Also, what kind of trim did you use where the bulkheads meet the walls?Thanks so much,Greg
Thanks Greg. I ordered the sliding door hardware from lockshowroom.com. It's a 100 pound pocket door kit that I mounted as a surface slider. This exposed the hangers to view but I prefer that look and it allowed construction of a more sturdy wall in the available space. I think the manufacturer is Johnson Hardware.
Aluminum 3/4" channel around the door came from Lowe's. The door is a 1/2" and 1/4" birch plywood glued together so that stain grade faces in both directions.
Wall bulkheads were reused original. I had tried to use the bulkhead wall trim from VTS but found it too difficult to bend.
Jim
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:39 PM   #115
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progress update

Now we are fabricating kitchen cabinets and working on window screens + drapery.
Attached are a few shots of recent progress.
  • Propane lines below belly pan are 1/2" OD & 3/8" OD with clear plastic tubing for protection and isolation of metals.
  • Roller skids are brother-in-law welded to help protect bumper from damage again although with the added clearance, probably not necessary.
  • Lifeline AGM batteries are connected in parallel, monitored with a Trimetric 2030 RV and recharged via a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C converter. Hey, it's working!
All the DC items are connected and operational except water pump. Lights are all LED except for trailer towing and the porch "scare" light. Is there an LED option for the latter?

All AC outlets are working expect one not yet connected.
Jim
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:42 PM   #116
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I must not have hit the upload button. I'll try attachments again.
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:11 PM   #117
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You're moving forward. All the things you mentioned are significant projects. Airstreams take a long time to build.

Thanks for the photos of your projects.

David
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:11 AM   #118
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Latest thinking about kitchen design attached.
Jim
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:23 AM   #119
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Jrfo

I really like your direction. Love looking at the sketches. Doing nice work.

I was looking at it for my own purposes and wondering how I would use it during our own prep, cook and clean up.

I like counter space and might slid them (sink and stove) all the way left or right. Having said that I wonder how it would work to have the counter space free in the middle and stove and sink on each end.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:38 PM   #120
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I wish I knew sketch up, but I'm too lazy to learn it. It would make designing interiors easier and more accurate. I wonder how Airstream designs their interiors. I speculate that Thor has improved Airstream's interior designs and cabinet fabrications. The new trailers are very good, and very space efficient.

One thing Airstream has done is place the kitchen sink in a round cabinet somewhat in the aisle. This created a bit more counter space. And they only use one sink. My 66 has a double sink (although quite shallow) and so does my 86. The 66 has sink covers that create more counter space. And my 86 has a pull out cutting board that is quite handy.

Your galley cabinets are going to be time consuming to build. And they will require some cabinet making equipment I imagine. It will be nice when done.

I am building a "U" shaped dinette in the son's 69 Globetrotter. It uses a pedestal table that collapses into a bed support creating a 90" by 56" sleeping berth street to curb side. The dinette will seat severn (using a chair at the head of the table). But the 21' trailer only sleeps 3 at best. We have about 10 cushions to sew up. That will be time consuming too.

Your old Safari will be one sweet trailer!

David
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