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Old 04-16-2020, 08:37 PM   #181
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I took what I think is a better picture of the steel we added to the frame rails to provide some strength. It did stop the sagging at the rear of the trailer.

David
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Old 04-17-2020, 04:35 AM   #182
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Thanks David, I can make out the position and orientation of the added angle, in the picture.


Thanks for the help!
Mike
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:29 PM   #183
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Getting There

We've been working on the fridge cabinet in the galley. As usual, I've had my share of troubles. Seems like there is just no "square edge, level base" to build from. As mentioned, we started by placing the fridge over the floor fresh air inlet and centered in the fridge exterior access door, which has little relationship to the fridge plastic exhaust vent. We elected to raise the fridge about 6" just to make it easier to access the lower shelf.

We made the fridge countertop next from plastic vent to fridge top sealing land, and from bulkhead wall to bulkhead wall. Then rebuilt the tambour door and made a pantry cupboard shelf to mount the tambour too. The tambour requires two aluminum tracts to run in, top and bottom, which must be parallel and in good alignment.


Next was the pull out cutting board. I think Airstream has had a countertop space extension for years and years. My 66 Trade Wind, my son's 69 Globetrotter, my 75 Overlander, and the wife's 86 Limited all have countertop extensions, or cutting boards. Well this pull out cutting board gave me fits. We made a new plywood base, attached the slides to the bottom of the plywood, and I made a new "stop" that we attached the slides to. I thought I had the whole mess nice and square, the the thing slide back and forth like it should on the bench.

I mounted the thing in the trailer and man, was it ever out of square and binding up. Luckily my friend and Sovereign owner got me "squared" away. We disassembled it and then aligned it in position, then tightened the screws standing on his head. It works okay now.

I also assembled the "chest of drawers" under the pull out counter extension. This too is an exercise in patience as the cabinet is soooo flimsy. We got it in there and supported the best we could.

Bottom line, the fridge cabinet is getting close to complete. We gotta mount the bottom doors and their frames, and mount the bulkhead wall. Then we will laminate the fridge countertop as well as the pull out extension.

David
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Old 04-21-2020, 12:07 AM   #184
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Looks great David! Sometimes It’s seems like the first law of Airstreams is that nothing can ever work on the first attempt. Or second. Or fifth.
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:04 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
My friend purchased a new Suburban NT-30. The old furnace was 45 years old and getting pretty rusty. I think the NT-30 is a very popular and robust heater. I wonder how long they have been making this thing.



David

David,
I do know that my sisters 85 has the original NT-30 in it - I just pulled it out,checked everything and cleaned it (it had a clogged jet) and purrs like a kitten. Even the heat exchanger looked good (had some minor surface rust on it but that was it) - so at least back then they seemed to be built pretty well.


John
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:42 PM   #186
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David
You caused me to waste good whiskey when I read the word level. It took about five minutes to clean up the mess. The work looks great. I know it took a lot of time carrying cabinets in and out when I did my galley. I have a feeling that I will have to make adjustments after the first few trips as a result of "settling".
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:00 PM   #187
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Thank you for your replies folks. It's nice to know some folks are following along this "blog", or my rambling. We'll get this old Sovereign done and point it toward the mountains around here.

I just saw another old Sovereign for sale in our area. Should I go look at it?

David
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:28 AM   #188
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I just saw another old Sovereign for sale in our area. Should I go look at it?

David
You've got it bad, don't you? Why not, it can't hurt to look.

It's a great feeling bringing these old trailers back from the brink and making them useful again. You're doing great work as always. - Mark
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:31 AM   #189
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I feel your pain

David, so far, engineering and constructing the cabinetry for the refrigerator has been near the top of the list for challenging tasks for me. Mine is now framed and nearly ready to permanently install. As a friend said to me: “it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without a picture to follow”. Keep up your good work and posts—I learn much from following yours. Here is how mine looks right now. Steve
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:24 PM   #190
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Steve46: Your fridge cabinet in your Trade Wind is looking great, and very solid. I now know why Airstream built their cabinets outside the trailer, then carried them to assembly, and let the assemblers make it fit. Those "F" wall mount extrusions hide a lot of mismatch, just like a good piece of quarter round does.

Remember how easy it was to take the cabinet and fridge out of the trailer? Building it back take much, much longer.

David
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:30 PM   #191
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Cabinet Doors Hung

My friend and Sovereign owner hung the cabinet doors he refurbished. They certainly finish off the cabinet.

I'm ready to apply plastic laminate to the countertop on top of the fridge. We have a bit of fridge sealing yet to do, and we will secure the bulkhead wall once the countertop is in final position. The whole structure will be a pretty strong box.

David
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:22 AM   #192
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Fitting Sink and Stove

The fridge cabinet is nearly done, so we moved over to the sink cabinet. This cabinet will also be configured almost like Airstream built it, except we will make it stronger and heavier by using hardwoods and 1/4" plywood instead of aluminum extrusions and thin pressed wood laminites.

Cort has received his new single sink and cooking range. Both of these pieces are very well built. We cut the countertop to size and then fitted these two appliances accordingly. We have to dodge around the furnace, water pump and converter under this cabinet. Then we cut out the openings for both sink and range.

The horizontal tambour will be used under the sink. And we will have easy access to the furnace, pump and electrical stuff for maintenance.

David
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:25 PM   #193
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Building Top Down

My friend suggested we build the galley cabinets from the top down. Backwards I thought, why put the roof on before you build walls? Well, it turns out he had a good idea.

By locating the countertop at the height you select (us was 36") and fitting the stove and sink to ensure enough clearance for the furnace, we continued building from the top down.

Then we laminated the countertop. That turned out okay. It is a time consuming operation.

I'm no tambour door expert. We wanted to have some vintage Airstream stuff in this Sovereign. We have the bath tambour storage cabinet, the pantry tambour cabinet, and now the under sink tambour storage area. We actually reduced the height of this tambour door by 3" to match the new stove.

By working top down, I was able to install the top tambour track under the countertop. Then I installed the tambour "box" with the tambour riding in the upper track. Finally I positioned the lower tambour track at exactly the right location to provide free and easy movement of the tambour in the tracks.

We have this third tambour door installed and working. Now on to installing the sink and the under sink storage shelf. We will also refabricate the "drawer cabinet" with two drawers for kitchen stuff storage like Airstream had installed.

Always fun to put things back together after months of having the trailer all apart and not much good for anything.

David
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:23 AM   #194
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David,
Found your latest project You write the best restoration stories! As usual, you do a great job, just tell your lucky neighbor to leave his checkbook at your place.
Jim
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:40 PM   #195
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Thanks for the kind words Jim. Vintage Airstreamers are the nicest people. Northwest Arkansas is one of my favorite places.

My friend and Sovereign owner is good with his hands and has been a great help. I believe we will have it off the jack stands here this month. We shall see. The trailer will need many more hours of "finishing", but the frame, subfloor, plumbing, electrical, floor coverings, cabinetry, appliances and other stuff will be all rebuilt and ready to go.

You do need another trailer project.

David
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:09 PM   #196
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Sink Hold Downs

I whine to much. Sometimes I gripe, gripe. Today I'm going all the way to rant! Had a bad day in the shop on the Sovereign.

We installing the heavy duty Kraus galley sink. We read and followed all the instructions with the hole in the countertop, faucet holes and the like. We trial fitted the sink in the hole and glad we did. The welded on tabs for the hold downs were in the way and we had to notch out the countertop so the sink would drop in. We were careful not to push these notches beyond the sink flange thus loosing the seal. No mention of this in the instructions. Finally the sink dropped in. We applied sealant under the sink countertop flange and installed the Karus supplied hold down clips. They are supposed to push into the tabs, but we found them very difficult to push in. We finally got them in place. The instructions said to do this before assembly to the countertop.

Now we positioned the sink over the precut and now laminated countertop. Low and behold, the hold downs would not fit! The notches, unspecified in the instructions weren't deep enough I guess. There I sat with fresh sealant on the sink and can't assemble. I took the hold downs off the tabs hoping I could install them below the sink.

I set the sink down in the hole, and tried like heck to assemble the hold downs. Nope. No way. Ridiculous!

These hold down have to be the worse designed component I've ever experienced. The push on fingers are way too stiff. The plastic hinge and slide are too weak. The hook is too wide preventing assembly from the top, and when you try to tighten the hold down, they pull away from the countertop toward the side of the sink. What's worse, the dumb things are designed for 1" or thicker countertop. They won't work on 3/4" thick ones. Nothing of this in the literature or instructions. Some Karus engineer really blew this one. Ridiculous!

The ones we took off the 1976 Airstream sink are beautiful in comparison. Simple, easy to assemble, and clamp the sink tight to the countertop.

The photo shows the side view of the hold downs. The left one is fully opened, the right one is full closed, and the middle one is the old Airstream one.

There, I feel a bit better.

David
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:06 AM   #197
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I hear ya. We put a Giagni Trattoria in our home kitchen which had an even worse design. When you drop it in the fasteners act like a wedge with teeth to hold it in. We instructed the contractor not to set the sink because the fronts were not attached to the sink base yet and the guy decides he wanted to test fit it then when he pulls it back out after a two hour fight with it he brakes the laminate top. Which was custom made.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:53 AM   #198
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Thanks Eric: Designing a device that pulls a sink tight against the countertop from underneath is certainly not difficult. I have no idea why folks try to make it complicated. Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) ought to apply here. Heck, a guy can just put a cement block in the sink to hold it down. Simple.

By the way, we were eventually able to pull the sink down tight in the front with two of these horrific hold downs by adding wood to hold the dumb hold downs vertical and tightened them all the while hoping we wouldn't strip the screw out of the plastic hinge. And we used the big faucet nut in the back of the sink as a clamp too. We believe the sink is down and tight.

David
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:32 PM   #199
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Water Test

I decided to put fresh water in the tank since the galley sink is nearly done. I filled the tank about 30% full. The purpose was to see if the pump would draw water from the tank. Airstream used a tank where the pump inlet connection is in the middle of the tank! What were they thinking?

Let the water test begin. The pump primed, sucked up water and built pressure.

I found the fresh water inlet hose was dripping a bit at the hose barb to the tank. I got that leak fixed.

Then I found a small leak at the pump outlet fitting. I got that leak fixed.

Another leak was discovered in the new sink drain trap. Some moron forgot to install the sealing ring to the tail pipe. I got that leak fixed.

Then I noticed water at the rear of the trailer. I believe some moron forgot to tighten the shower valve flex hoses to the shut off valves back there. I got that leak fixed.

I tested the shower valve and had a significant leak at the valve. Upon further review, it appears this valve is defective. We may have to replace it. You should know that we are able to access the shower valve through the lower shelf of the medicine cabinet. It was easy to remove the shower valve.

The toilet is a new Aqua Magic V. Dang, there is no blade in the slide valve. This toilet is made as a non serviceable item. The blade was loose in the bottom of the toilet below the bowl. There is no way I can see to re-attach it to the swing arm. Maybe a Thetford tech has a way. So no toilet test yet.

I filled the grey tank to the top, and had about 30% in the black tank. No leaks noted and I then drained them both.

I had problems, but the water system has been tested. I believe we are ready to button things up underneath.

David
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:52 AM   #200
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David,
Sounds like you enjoy plumbing tasks about as much as do I.
Jim
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