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Old 03-03-2020, 09:24 PM   #421
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1966 24' Tradewind
Olathe , Kansas
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Smile End Cap

Before I boldly went where everyone else has already gone before

Bill, I don't know about that end cap but I sure love that line! Had a good chuckle.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:44 AM   #422
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
Bill I used some plastic wiremold boxes to add some more depth. I thought I got them at HD, which included the outlet and cover, but I don't see them on the website.

I wouldn't recommend the metal ones as they don't conform to our curved walls very well. Plus the plastic base is much easier to modify for deeper outlets such as GFCI.

Here's one I found on line at Grainger.

https://www.grainger.com/product/26Y...g!398785985693!

They're about 3/4" deep.

Attachment 362030
Hey 57Vintage. Thanks for the lead. I ordered one to try.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:13 AM   #423
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For your end cap using fiberglass on the back side will work quite well. Just keep in mind the additional thickness you create on mounting areas. For any cracks I would suggest using JB Weld 2 part epoxy. I'v used it for years on all sorts of plastic. It sands easily and will hold paint. I used it to piece my frig door interior panel back together.

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Two thoughts on your question of using automotive paint. If you do I'd recommend adding the flex agent used on bumper covers, especially if painted prior to installing. If you paint it installed (and spray it on) you'll have to mask off the entire interior to keep overspray off interior surfaces. Get a very good respirator to use whether inside or out.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:25 PM   #424
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1978 31' Sovereign
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I haven't done a great job of keeping up with my posts. I'm putting in long days lately trying to get all the insulation and skins installed so that I can work inside Faith with air conditioning as the weather continues to get warmer.

I was sailing along, installing interior skins, when I realized that the front and rear caps had to be installed before the mid and upper wall skins could be installed. Which means I had to address cracking issues with the rear bath cap, and to figure out a way to construct a front cap.

Rear Cap

In my last post I discussed the potential of fiberglassing parts of the cap that were cracked. After encouragement from Harold (57 Vintage) and others, I employed my son who makes his living building surfboards with fiberglass to give it a whirl.

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He glassed the entire leading edge on the backside and used a clear filler to fill all the holes. It turned out awesome and is super strong. I used a small amount of framing to stiffen up the cap before my son installed the fiberglass.

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Here is the cap installed with clecoes.

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That took care of the rear cap. I am going to paint it in the camper. Will use single stage auto paint, with an additive that is used on auto bumper paint.

Front Cap

I didn't have a front cap. Mine disintegrated when I attempted to remove it. I just crumbled. In a thread I came across, a guy used aluminum strips 11.5" X 51" (10) and one 11" X 51." He installed 1 3/4" blocks randomly around the cap, then fanned these aluminum strips out in this really cool pattern. He also used just north of 500 Olympic rivets to mimic the rivet pattern. Considering rivets at $.34 per and a sizeable amount of aluminum, creating a cap out of aluminum would run between $300 and $500 depending on how much you pay for the metal.

I went to HD and looked around for an alterative that wasn't so expensive and I found Poly Wall, a polyethylene sheeting for $20 a sheet. I'm going to paint the front cap so it wasn't important to use aluminum if I could find something else.

So I cut the poly board to the above dimensions and experimented. My first effort failed, but it worked well enough that I was encouraged to give it a second try.

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I started laying the strips up and then the finished product. I spaced rivets every inch to give strength to the poly strips

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There are pros and cons to this method. The pros are that the material is inexpensive, paintable, holds a 1/8th X1/4" pop rivet and is easy to work with - you can cut the sheeting with a pair of scissors. Also, while each of the strips is flimsy, when riveted to another they becoming fairly strong.

There are cons. You can't install 500 plus pop rivets without having connection failures. I have three or four failed rivets that that got past me that need to be redone. If you try to drill them out they spin, build up heat and can scar the poly board. The only way to remove them is to pull them out without damaging the poly. That takes a lot of patience. As I said, I have three or four of these to repair and are visible in the picture.

Also, I developed a small buckle in the center panel. This is in an area where distance between structural members is the greatest. Although I know it is there, it isn't that noticeable. If your wondering what the blue tape is for, it is like a warning track. On my first try, it was hard to tell where the underneath panel was, and some of the rivets didn't find a home.

But I like the way it looks. And this is an $80 project. Once all the pieces were cut (2 hours), it took 6 hours to install.
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #425
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You are forgiven for being a bit behind in your progress posts. This post is very interesting. It is the first time I've seen this poly wall material. I've used FRP material before, but not this stuff. I must look for it as I bet it has a lot of different applications.

Aren't sons great! They help us grampa types out a lot. Mine helped me carry axles a few weeks ago. No injuries to report.

David
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:25 PM   #426
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David

The poly wall material could be used to line shower walls.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:46 AM   #427
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Headliner looks very nice!
Our front headliner has developed a crack. We're considering what to do with it at this point, probably cover it with a strip of aluminum to mimic what we've already got there. But your solution looks great!

Kay
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:34 AM   #428
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Iíve reached a milestone. Excepting the center ceiling panel, the end caps and interior skins are now installed.

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All throughout the rebuild, the question on how to reinstall the end caps and the 20 foot ceiling panels has been on my mind. From reading about the experiences of others, and their claims of how difficult it was, it turned out to be relatively easy.

I hung the long ceiling panels from the ceiling like laundry and pushed them into place. Using this method, I was able to install without help.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:24 PM   #429
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I am now 15 months out from the start of work on Faith. About this time last year, I had lifted the shell off the frame with gantries and hauled the frame to Umatilla, Florida to have a new one made from scratch. Working alone, the work has been slow, and I have made steady progress following my spouses advice, “Don’t look at all you have to accomplish. Just focus on the next thing.”
As I shift gears toward building the inside up I’m led by the following goals:
Try to reuse some of the AS interior parts to retain some of the original feel.
Where I have the opportunity, open up the interior so it doesn’t feel so closed in.
Dramatically lighten up the interior, so it isn’t so dark.
Keep it low tech and simple. The more complex an RV is the greater the opportunity for problems.
Upgrade where it makes sense. Examples are: new frame, new axles, larger holding tanks, LED lights, heat pump AC, etc.
Except for the shell, make everything new.
Try to retain some of the antique feel on the outside.
Stay within a reasonable budget. (I say that with my tongue in my cheek.)
As for the Coronavirus, I feel fortunate that I have Faith to work on to keep my mind off all the bad news.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:31 PM   #430
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Headliner looks very nice!
Our front headliner has developed a crack. We're considering what to do with it at this point, probably cover it with a strip of aluminum to mimic what we've already got there. But your solution looks great!

Kay
Thanks Kay. I found the poly board easy and forgiving to work with. Where a pop rivet didn't set right, it was easy to remove and replace without drilling out the hole. It solved my problem.

I mentioned in my original piece on the headliner, that I had a bit of buckle in the center of the ceiling. While it didn't show, it bothered me, so I removed three of the panels and replaced with new. I reinforced the center panel with a strip of .032 aluminum. That fixed it. I am very pleased with how it came out.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:48 PM   #431
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I too am happy I can work on an old, dirty Airstream instead of thinking about all of us being so terribly hurt financially during this "social distancing" to "flatten the curve". It will take a long time to recover. I am refusing to get covid 19. So there.

I like your goals for Faith. We are following some of the same principles with this 76 Sovereign my friend and I are working on. The off white interior does brighten things up a bunch. We kept the old bath plastics, the aluminum cabinet framing, the bed frames and the look of the galley once we start on it.

Great job on hanging all that floppy aluminum like so much laundry.

David
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:49 AM   #432
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1978 31' Sovereign
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We have been making good progress since my last post.

Rear cap

A local auto paint store recommended using a polyurethane paint on the bathroom plastics. This is a single stage paint that you add a catalyst and hardener to. The store also recommended an adhesion promoter that you can-spray on ten minutes before applying paint. Although the pic below doesnít show up well, we are pleased with how it turned out.

Front cap

If you will recall, we experimented with using polyethylene sheeting to fabricate a new ceiling cap for up front. I couldnít be more pleased with the finished product. The pic below shows the cap with a final coat of paint. This is really an economical solution for replacing the old crumbling front cap in many 70s vintage trailers.

Painting

We are finished priming all the interior skins and halfway through putting the top coat on. I was skeptical that a primer would adhere to the vinyl coating on the interior skins. I tested it by applying masking tape to a dry, primed surface and then pulling the tape off. No issues noted.

Heat issue

We have had a spate off near-ninety weather lately and we have had the opportunity to judge the effectiveness of insulation we installed. The results were disappointing at first. Faith has single pane windows, and two vista views on street side. I removed the one on curbside. At this stage the interior is bare.

With the 15k air running full blast, during certain times of the day the AC was struggling to keep the inside temp 3-5 degrees cooler than the outside. A pic below shows one of several tests I ran to assess the heat. Yes, the the interior skins get a little warm but not uncomfortably so. The culprit is the front living area. Because of all the windows, there is a lack a insulation confined to a small area. The amount of heat coming in through the door, windows, vista views and stacked window was pretty impressive. When I put cardboard over the windows street side, we gained an immediate five degree drop in internal temperature.

My hope was to be able to maintain, at a minimum, a 15 degree difference during the hottest part of the day. To achieve that, Iím going to:
1. Put macdaddy window tint on all the glass.
2. Insulate over and cover the vista view windows. As IANSK said, ďin the south we donít have any vistas to view.Ē I didnít want to remove them completely because some future owner may have vistas to view and want them.
3. Select reflective window treatments and coverings.
4. Paint the center section of the exterior roof with white reflective paint.
5. Install awnings if the above action doesnít do the job.
6. As the interior buildout progresses add additional insulation in concealed areas.

A couple of final notes on insulation. A 31 foot Sovereign is a lot of trailer to cool. With the aluminum skin reaching 120 degrees in full sun and an inch and a half of insulation in the walls the trailer will be hard to cool.

Second, with all the windows and door in the living area, it will take a lot of little things working together to get good results.

If anyone has suggestions to add to my action plan, Iíd love to hear from you.


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Old 04-03-2020, 07:53 AM   #433
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Here are two pics from the previous post that didnít load.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:44 PM   #434
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Hi Bill: Gee, we reached 35F today after a little snow fall, rather balmy eh?

Airstreams are hard to cool. The single pane windows aren't much help. Our 86 Limited has double pane windows and it does make a difference in cooling and heating. We also have awnings over all the windows to block the dog gone sun. I added "shade" window tint to all the windows and it does help some more. And I see people sticking aluminum bubble wrap on their windows to block the sun's heat. Airstream does install two air conditioners on some late model trailers for a good reason. These trailers have 50 amp systems.

The sun is intense here in the Colorado altitude. I have measured exterior skin temps in the 150 degree range with the interior skins feeling quite warm. The AC is on max cool and just giving us maybe 15 degree cooling below ambient. Here in Colorado many, many people add awnings, umbrellas, roofs over the porch and the like to block that huge nuclear powered heat lamp in the sky.

Your cardboard shades will help for now.

David
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:35 AM   #435
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Ceiling panel finished

Rapidly closing in on having all the ceiling panels finished. Now all that remains is painting.

I shamelessly copied Chris and Maxís (Kristoff) use of plywood and LED lighting. I ran across some plastic trim which mimicked the original ceiling trim that was damaged during removal. I wanted to use 1/8th inch plywood because of its light weight and itís ability to flex during installation. I also decided to work with smaller sections than the original making it easier to install.

It took three days, not counting time to paint, to fabricate and install. It required a lot of patience, but I really like the final product.

I had a particularly difficult time around the air conditioner.

Now some paint!
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:16 AM   #436
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Dang Bill,

Looking great!

Did you treat the plywood at all?

Ian
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:34 AM   #437
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Looking VERY good!

Kay
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:33 AM   #438
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Very nice!
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:59 AM   #439
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Ian

Other than primer and paint, I did not treat the plywood.
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Old 04-11-2020, 09:02 AM   #440
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Here is a pic of the center ceiling panel painted and finish.
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