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Old 04-22-2009, 08:06 PM   #81
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Little stuff

It's always the little stuff that stumps me for days. This time its figuring our how to lock/restrain the wine rack, pantry, and the heavy drawers and to do something about the fridge (not one of the Airstreams I've "rescued" has had a working device for keeping the doors closed while driving).

Here's the fridge solution, which got complicated, even though the concept is simple. The key is the nylon bushings that were available at Lowe's--a 1/8" rivet fits them perfectly. Putting the bushings into a fixture that also had a flange to keep the doors closed just took time and multiple measurements (this is the second edition). The bushings fit tightly enough that the fixture needed a small tab to provide enough grip to get it off.

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The wine rack was harder. It fits into the well under the bed with only 1/4" to spare on the sides and no real access to the space from the front. I couldn't find any kind of lock that would do, not even the magnetically actuated kid locks. Eureka! Magnets! I made a hinged fixture that would swing a vertical bar into the side of the wine rack. It's held out of the way by a magnet on the side wall, and it's also held in place by a magnet on the wine rack. A short length of coat hangar wire is used to flip it from one stable position to the other. The wire sticks out just under the extended edge of the bed/couch platform.

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The engagement edge fits into a vertical slot in the side wall of the wine rack, totally locking the rack in place. The bend in the lock allows the engagement edge to fit at a 90 degree angle into the slot on the wine rack. The wing-looking piece on the lock fixture was eventually cut down. It was in place because I had no idea what the magnet forces would be, especially when the wire push-rod only had about 5/8" of arm from the hinge. I thought perhaps I'd have to move the rod out a few inches in order to overcome the forces, but in fact the movement of the lock from either position to the other requires quite moderate forces even with a very short arm.

The drawers, as it turned out, were simple. There is 1/2" of clearance on each side, due to the drawer glides. A piece of 1/2" "L" extrusion was riveted with one rivet to the side wall, which allowes it to swing from vertical (the position that stops the drawer) to horizontal (which allows the drawer to be removed). A second piece of extrusion, which also swings, either locks the first one or swings out of the way so the first one can then be moved. This allows the drawer to be restrained (can't quite get to the end of the drawer rail, should the magnets not be able to hold it back), but still allows it to be removed without having to unfasten anything.

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Old 05-23-2010, 11:57 AM   #82
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Back in post #61 I documented removing one of the side windows. The objective was to get the absurdly huge amount of glass down to something reasonable, get some wall space for ARTSTREAM's art, and to retain the original frame (without modification) so that the window can be reinstalled by a future owner. The other issue, of course, is if you hang a TV on the side of the fridge, the glare from an adjacent window is eliminated. This weeked I finally got a ROUND TUIT and finished the job.

The slot for the window arms prevents any rivets in that area, so the interior skin needed ribs to conform to the shell curve and prevent gaposis at the edge.

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I like the installation except that any small dimple at the edge is amplified by reflection. I may have to consider painting all these interior window skins to match the interior skin as closely as possible.

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Old 06-23-2010, 12:11 AM   #83
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Let me just say up front, if I haven't said so previously, that if you want to do the aluminum cabinet thing, call me. I'll alert the local loco squad to put you in a restraint until the feeling passes.

I asked Kip how many parallelograms a box cabinet could make, he said six. I think it's more like a bazillion. But the monster is finally tamed (who'd a thunk it would take three days to get a cabinet installed?).

First step was to align the cabinet 1/2" away from and as parallel as possible with the roll-out pantry. I used a long piece of 1/2" plywood to position the "L" extrusion on the shell.

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Getting that side stabilized helped quite a bit. Once the other side was also secured to the shell, the cabinet suddenly became very stiff. It even supports the 30 lb door without drooping.

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Making the door was a challenge. I wanted it to have two sides and be appropriately stiff. I finally hit on using strips of plywood as shims/braces along the edges. The front face was solid riveted to three of the "U" channel edges and then the back skin was bowed and slipped under the channels, then pop riveted in place. The plywood had been thickness planed down to allow a space inside the "U" channel for the back skin to slide in with some tightness. Last, the bottom channel was pop riveted to the front and back skins. The door turned out to be about twice as heavy as I wanted, due to using that exceptionally heavy birch plywood that has the two thin layers of fiberboard in its five layers. Avoid that stuff if you can.

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The door panel is 23-7/16" wide, which provides about 1" clearance from hitting the shower wall when fully open. The one thing I didn't estimate correctly was getting the door width so that there was less than 1/8" clearance at the latching side. I think I allowed too much for the piano hinge, among other things. So I wound up with almost a quarter inch gap--corrective action in work.

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Old 06-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #84
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Absolutely amazing!
Do you think the trailer will be heavier or lighter once you have finished?
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:47 PM   #85
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I think it will be about 100 lbs lighter. You'd think even lighter, but the added 1/2 birch furnishings up front and in the back make up for the modestly lighter aluminum. The old bakelite/formica panels were pretty light themselves.

And don't forget, that rolling wine cart isn't weightless.

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Old 07-03-2010, 11:03 AM   #86
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I can't help it. Small crack in shower wall, gee, wouldn't this be a good excuse to fix that and get a nice aluminum partition for the kitchen in the bargain? Ooh, and now might be the only chance to get the ceiling down and do some electrical work...

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The ceiling skin may look a little short to you. More on that later.

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And this Airstream needs to be ready to roll on 16 July...somebody just shoot me, please.

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Old 07-05-2010, 06:38 PM   #87
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Did you detail anywhere how you took the centre interior panel down, Zep?

I have to sort out the bedroom and rear bath lights in mine before I replace the converter this weekend.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:39 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Did you detail anywhere how you took the centre interior panel down, Zep?

I have to sort out the bedroom and rear bath lights in mine before I replace the converter this weekend.
You really need two people. If you have to do it alone, start by inserting a long pole (about broomstick diameter, so it's stiff, and maybe 6-8' long) into a vent opening. Use the pole to make the skin "oil can" in the convex direction. Otherwise, you'll wind up with conflicting convex/concave shapes and you can't budge it.

Be careful as you finally begin getting the skin to come down at one end--the hanging down skin flails around and will put nicks in anything you want to keep.

I'll say again, you really need two people, but I've done it twice alone. However, you can't, repeat cannot, get the single piece skin back up without help.

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Old 07-05-2010, 09:45 PM   #89
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Sounds simple, but daunting.

I think I will make sure that the lighting problems aren't elsewhere before I take those panels down...!

Thanks, tho'
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:08 PM   #90
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Quote:
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...
I think I will make sure that the lighting problems aren't elsewhere before I take those panels down...!
One of the reasons I took the panels down was that I had intermittent light power to the rear end lights. When I finally was able to inspect the wire and all its connections, everything was sound. I can only conclude that the problem was at the fuse block (the purple wire feeds 5 light connections in the back and had its own fuse connection).

I had since changed out the fuse block, but didn't know that the purple wire was the feed for all those lights. So everything is now working fine, but I have a maintainable cable tray! Yay!

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Old 07-05-2010, 11:49 PM   #91
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One of the reasons I took the panels down was that I had intermittent light power to the rear end lights. When I finally was able to inspect the wire and all its connections, everything was sound. I can only conclude that the problem was at the fuse block (the purple wire feeds 5 light connections in the back and had its own fuse connection).
Exactly the problem I have, Zep. And I agree, the fuse block seems to have corroded to the point where cleaning it doesn't help; the high-load purple wire heats up where it connects to the 50-cent fuse block to the point where it even melts its insulation, then stops working as resistance goes too high.

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I had since changed out the fuse block, but didn't know that the purple wire was the feed for all those lights. So everything is now working fine, but I have a maintainable cable tray! Yay!

Zep
I don't follow you there: what do you mean by a "maintainable cable tray"?
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:37 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
...I don't follow you there: what do you mean by a "maintainable cable tray"?
The ceiling area where the wires run is a "cable tray." Now that I've cut the skin into manageable pieces, I can maintain the cables (wires) because I can get at them without needing a helper or taking down partitions.

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:15 PM   #93
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The ceiling area where the wires run is a "cable tray." Now that I've cut the skin into manageable pieces, I can maintain the cables (wires) because I can get at them without needing a helper or taking down partitions.

Zep
Ah! OK, I think I get it now. Thanks for your info, I was starting to think that the problem with the rear lighting wasn't just the fusebox.

You changed yours, I gather. What make of fusebox did you put in its place?
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:34 PM   #94
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You can see the black fuse block behind the Intellipower controller.

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It has 8 positions and is rated to 40 amps. About $17. I like the price and I like the ease of installation and ease of changing fuses. The Intellipower can put out 45 amps, but I don't think the battery has ever been that low.

This page has the best selection I've found.

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:40 AM   #95
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When you take the panels down by yourself, you will get some edge damage, but you can flatten it out carefully. If you hammer it much, it will stretch along the edge and you'll have a curve you can't get rid of.

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:43 AM   #96
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The ceiling is now back up, in four pieces. The piece next to the bathroom is also cut lengthwise, since I didn't want to take down the aft bathroom wall and the vent pipe. The cuts look very obvious to me, but I think they are acceptable, especially to someone who doesn't know they are there. Eventually I want to cover the cuts with a suitably shaped 3/4" wide aluminum strip.

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:49 AM   #97
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I finished off the tripple closet area with a small aluminum closet and a reading chair. The one big problem was the gray vent. I elected to take that out through the belly pan and the remaining pipe fits nicely inside the chair. You can see the chair is not quite done.

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:55 AM   #98
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I won't go through all the exasperations of getting the shower installed, eay gads and yikes! It looks great, but I'm concerned that the flexing of the shell will damage the strongly riveted joints. The floor still needs to be redone from the old pattern that fit the old closet, some fabric on the chair foam, and the upper shelf and new closet needs aluminum doors. All in due time, as they say.

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Old 07-16-2010, 10:08 AM   #99
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BTW, I never described how I got the ceiling down without taking the whole thing down. I took it down in pieces. I scribed, very heavily, a line across the width, as shown below. I thought if I did a good job, the cut line would be very thin when I reinstalled the pieces. Not so, you still need to file and sand the edge a bit, so you wind up with a gap about the same as if you used a sabre saw. I think if you could get the whole thing down at once, then scribing would be a good method, but not when you're working upside down and can't quite scribe the last 3/4" at the edge (you can do that with aviation snips, however).

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PS--the scribe technique is courtesy of AEROWOOD
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #100
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WOW Great looking job on the trailer.
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