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Old 10-09-2007, 10:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christiandpatrick
A little info about how we use our TT


Why we decided to get rid of the propane -

Our previous fridge worked on propane only - the electrical portion did not work. It usually just was not worth the hassle to turn it on. (rarely used)

I've only used the stovetop maybe 5 or 6 times and the oven once or twice.

I used the furnace once, but our AC has a heater on it so it is really not needed.

The water heater was used frequently when we traveled, but because the trailer is not taken out frequent enough, it always took about 30 minutes to get the air out of the lines and get the heater lit. If it was windy, I would be out there frequently relighting it. Nowadays a lot of people use the electric wands in their water heaters anyways.

I really like the idea of just being able to plug in the things that I want to use and be ready to go. Not have to stand around outside getting things running when I could be enjoying my time away from work doing other things. I enjoy camping, but it was starting to be a real drag to get everything set up to use. We got to the point where we would only hook up to electricity for the AC and lights, eat out and use the campground showers and bathrooms.

Quite honestly we probably won't even use the generator that often...just on special occasions.

Who knows though...maybe in a couple of years..and I hopefully have a little more leisure time, I'll wish I had propane.
not to change your mind about propane but with new fridge, new water heater and new furnace you wont have to be worry about lighting any pilot. It's all electronic ignition.
Though I like having the option to run elec. or propane. So if you decide to keep the propane option and change your water heater take one that work both way.
and by the way even if you don't want to use it just think to keep the propane line plug in.
I thought I said I "not to change your mind" sounds like I try...
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:28 PM   #22
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hey there - good luck. All I can offer is 'take your time' . I am nearing a one year complete overhaul and remodel of a '69 31" - several time I've found that we saved ourselves hassle and $ by taking the time to think things through - will post some pics when i'm done - hardwood floors going in next week
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
and by the way even if you don't want to use it just think to keep the propane line plug in
I was thinking about that and like the idea of having it there in case we ever change our minds. Patrick wants to take it all out because the lines are all over the place (maybe once we get the plumbing replaced it won't seem like that - now there are copper pipes running everywhere!).

Our water heater seems to be ok, so I don't think we are going to replace it at this point. I know a couple of people who have used the hott rod or lightning rod to convert their water heaters and really liked them, so I think that is what we are going to do (a $100 trial on one of these seems a lot cheaper than replacement right now)

We are completely eliminating the furnace. I am not a cold weather person - the temperature drops to 75 and I am wearing a sweatshirt - so I don't plan on camping in very cold temperatures.

But, we did briefly think about replacing it all with updated propane.

Thanks for all the comments everyone. It has definitely brought some issues up that have made us think .
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:59 PM   #24
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nunya001 - I would definitely love to see your pics - I love checking out everyone's projects! Gets me motivated!
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:10 AM   #25
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We wanted total electric on our trailer too. We went with the LP/elect water heater and just put in an apartment size frig. up front. We did leave the original L/P Elect frig in place and it works perfectly. I just find that having a "new" electric frig saves time and worry. Of course we don't go many places where we don't have elect. We just wanted to leave the trailer so we could go out to the boonies if we ever wanted to. I will tell you that runing the water heater on electric takes a lot of current. You have to be careful using too much else on the circuit. I'm watching your project with interest since we will be picking up our 76, 31ft Sovereign later this month. Great pictures, keep um coming.
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
We wanted total electric on our trailer too
Woo Hoo! Some support! I am glad to know that others have done this as well! Thank you Juel! Also, thank you for the advice about the water heater, we will keep that in mind.
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:35 PM   #27
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This week

This week we managed to get a couple of things done.

We removed the rest of the floor tiles. We we first got the Airstream 5 years ago, I ripped out the nasty original carpet and for a quick, easy fix, installed those vinyl stick-on tiles. The worked ok for the last few years, but they seperated and got dust between them, etc. Taking them off wasn't easy but it could have been worse. But, the sticky adhesive that it left behind has been a real pain!!!! I live in flip-flops and they constantly stick to the floor. Patrick had to use a putty knive to detach me last night! Good thing is that the more dust gets on the floor, the less sticky it is.

We removed some of the bad sections of the flooring. Previously when we were younger and a little less bright than we are now, we had decided to cut out the bad parts of the floor and then fill it in with spray in foam...then just covered it up. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Getting it all out was a pain in the rear end.

We also removed the old cracked paint that was on the aluminum around the lower windows. All back to metal now!!

Then today, after reading lots of info on this site, I decided that I was ready to break out the inner glass of my vista view windows. The center punch tool was recommended so I went out and bought it. I tried it on the floor first just to see how it worked. My first thought was "how will this not break both windows?" But so many threads said it worked so I figured what the heck. This is one of those times I wish I would have gone with my gut feeling. I, of course, broke both windows.

Lesson learned: DO NOT USE CENTER PUNCH TOOL TO BREAK OUT INNER WINDOW!!!!!!!!

We replaced it with plexi that I had on hand for now.

Here is a much better way to remove the inner window:
Get a glass drill bit and drill a hole in the first window. If it does not crack after going through the first layer of glass, angle it little and keep going. Eventually it cracks and you can go from there. Way safer method!! I also recommend putting tape all over the window just to be on the safe side - no matter which method you use!
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:42 PM   #28
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Nasty, mean center punch
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:44 PM   #29
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Using the glass drill bit
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:45 PM   #30
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No more Paint!
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:47 PM   #31
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Sub flooring removed at door
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:20 PM   #32
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Congrats on your project. It will give you many meaningful hours of wedded bliss! (Or something like it!)

I meant to chime in last week but never got around to it.

Gas Lines- Leave 'em alone. You won't see them once everything is back in place and they'll be there if you ever need them. We're going camping next weekend in North Georgia and I'm glad we have a new Suburban NT 30 to keep us warm! (And it wouldn't be possible without gas)

End Caps- They can be repaired with fiberglass from the back side. I removed my rear one and repaired a 10" crack with glass cloth and resin on the back (scuffed it up first) and filled the crack in the front with some marine epoxy , painted it, and it hardly shows at all.

Bunks- There are different ways to do them but I think my last attempt was my best for both functionality and weight reduction. So far, they have worked out really well.

Painting walls - Many choose to do so, we've been really pleased with the original vinyl. It cleans easily and seems durable. Once you paint it, you're stuck. Curtains can offset and accent the otherwise drab vinyl.

I won't go into axles or floor replacement at this point...

But Dennis is right about sucking it up, spending the big bucks, and doing it right the first time!

Best of luck!
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:03 AM   #33
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Hi Ron

Thanks for the tips about the endcaps. We were at a loss as to what to do about those. We were trying to come up with different ideas to cover or replace it. We'll probably give your method a shot.

When I decided I wanted bunkbeds, I checked out some of the threads wher you talked about them and checked out your pics. We are actually planning to use yours as a guide when we build ours.

As for the paint, I just feel like having a fresh look.

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:08 AM   #34
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My vote is to leave the propane, too. In my mind, the whole purpose of a travel trailer is to have "flexibility". Take that out, and you lose a whole bunch of it. I know, you're planning on keeping it for the long run, but consider: things change. life happens. you never know what might come around the corner, and you find yourself wanting to sell this expensive trailer...you don't want it to be so super-customized that no one else would want it.
Its really hard to make electricity. Its really easy to make fire.

My trailer has the original water heater, and lighting it is nothing like you describe. Hold the button, light the match, and "poof"...pilot is lit. count to 15, let go of the button, turn it to "on", and it lights. every time. I think the pilot blew out in high winds one time in 5 years. If yours doesn't work this easy, there's something wrong with it. And the new ones...you don't even have to go outside. just push a button.
fridge: electric takes alot of energy. fridge + a/c in the summer will overload the original circuitry in the trailer...you won't be able to do anything else without re-wiring the trailer, and using 50amp hookups, which aren't as common as the standard 30 amps. A gas fridge keeps things cold when you're driving. It is also built to handle being bounced around, while the little dorm-sized electric fridges are not. I know, lots of people have switched to electric fridges, but again, its limiting.
furnace: that, I can see eliminating. It makes heat from gas, but it uses so much electricity to spread it around, you essentially can't use it for any length of time without hookups, unless you've got an uber-boondocker package to go with it. (some combination of generator/solar panels/big battery banks).
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:01 PM   #35
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Christi & Patrick

Painting the interior does seem to work just fine. I have a 1973 31' unit. I used BIN shelac based primer (Kills would work well too) followed by a quality interior paint. I used something a little less than semi gloss and think maybe I would have liked the semi-gloss a little better. I picked a soft gray and intend to use bright primary colors as accents. Oh - I did scrub the interior skins thoroughly before I painted.

Malcolm
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:24 PM   #36
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Favor to ask

Hey guys,

I have a favor to ask of you all. We are having some trouble with our private messages and emails coming from this site. If anyone has a moment, will you send me a private message or try to email me through this site? Just a "hi" or "test" would be really wonderful! I am hoping I can figure out what is wrong!

By the way, thanks for all the recent comments and tips. I have been away on business for a couple of days and just got back tonight. Can't wait to get back to work on the Airstream!

-Christi
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:05 PM   #37
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Why not replace the water heater with a electric tankless. They are Great. And they only work on demand. Just a thought.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:03 PM   #38
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There should not be any above-floor gas lines other than those that go nearly directly vertical to the appliances. Gas lines are fastened to the underbelly of the trailer to prevent gas build-up inside the trailer in case of leak. I think the copper tube you referred to earlier was a water line. Darol
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