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Old 01-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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The Albatross

Thought I should start a separate thread that shows the progress on our 1976 Sovereign-the Albatross. It didn't make sense to keep putting updates on the frame repair thread so here it goes. I am putting up some pictures of the work that we have been doing lately. Some looks pretty good and some looks scary.

One of the pictures shows a tiny little dental type tool I am cleaning all of the exterior window frames with....very carefully...one dirt molecule at a time. The PO's must have been silicone investors because they put enough of it on the windows to sink a ship. What a job to get that stuff off the exterior. Can't say I am done with that job unfortunately....the saga continues.

I love the color that is going up on the walls especially once you see the fabric I have for the curtains and cushions. Let's get sewing!! Oh wait...I guess I have to help get the walls up first.
Sandy
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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More accomplished today

Spent all day working on renovating the screen door, bucking some rivets, painting, and cleaning up the access doors. I now have all of the inside skins painted with two coats of paint, about half of the screen door done, rivet duty caught up for now, and the access doors are almost done.

The wiring diagram has wires going to a step light but there is none on our trailer. Are we missing something? Can we add one? If so, which one? Another question, where do we find a replacement over the door light? The light is right over the door frame and ours is toast. Sources would be good here...thanks in advance of advice, direction, and guidance.
Sandy
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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On the "step light": I think that is your "over the door light". Airstreams of that vintage had two switches, one for the outside flood light (scare light) and the other for the over the door light.

On my recent renovations I have taken the over the door light apart, put an opaque piece where the white plastic light cover was, and fastened a small yellow LED running light to that cover. On mine there was enough clearance over the door for the LED light I picked out. It takes so little current it can be left on all night if you want. Being yellow, it is also more bug resistant. The original incandescent light took over an amp to run, and did almost no lighting. This is much better, and looks good. So, consider changing the over the door light from original to an LED.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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Am I to understand...

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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
On the "step light": I think that is your "over the door light". Airstreams of that vintage had two switches, one for the outside flood light (scare light) and the other for the over the door light.

On my recent renovations I have taken the over the door light apart, put an opaque piece where the white plastic light cover was, and fastened a small yellow LED running light to that cover. On mine there was enough clearance over the door for the LED light I picked out. It takes so little current it can be left on all night if you want. Being yellow, it is also more bug resistant. The original incandescent light took over an amp to run, and did almost no lighting. This is much better, and looks good. So, consider changing the over the door light from original to an LED.
So do we have two lights on our AS? I can see only the over the door light and no scare light. I would like to add a light that would illuminate the steps at night if possible. Where do I find the small yellow LED to replace the over the door light. Thanks for your help.
Sandy
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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Hi Sandy, the best place I found for led's is LED'S for RVS.
LEDs 4, Recreational Vehicles

They have LED kits for the over the door light.
LED Bright White Multi Purpose Pad PDS70x32mmBW [PDS70x32mmBW] - $17.95 : LEDs 4, Recreational Vehicles

They also carry complete scare lights in LED as well.
LED Flush Mount 5.5 in Backup Porch Light 48x68BW-80423C [48x68BW-80423C] - $39.95 : LEDs 4, Recreational Vehicles

This one would probably do for under the steps.
13 Amber LED Bullseye with Light Guard A13LEDCZ12P [A13LEDCZ12P] - $9.49 : LEDs 4, Recreational Vehicles
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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Thanks and where does it go?

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Thanks Chris,
I will check these out and see what I can figure out. Does the scare light go under the steps where they fold up? I am confused as to the exact location because whatever was there before is long gone. Does your 73 have it?
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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I'm surprised that your trailer didn't have a scare light. It is mounted in the curbside of the front end cap. It is aptly named because it is so bright when you turn it on it will scare away anyone or anything that is outside the trailer.
Yes my trailer does have the scare light. If you look at my thread a few of my pics of polishing show the scare light.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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Definitely not there...I double checked

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I'm surprised that your trailer didn't have a scare light. It is mounted in the curbside of the front end cap. It is aptly named because it is so bright when you turn it on it will scare away anyone or anything that is outside the trailer.
Yes my trailer does have the scare light. If you look at my thread a few of my pics of polishing show the scare light.
Hey Chris,
I checked your thread and found the scare light that you are talking about. We definitely do not have that on our trailer and it is strange because we have the wiring for it on the manual but not the actual light. I am wondering if we should add it but am nervous to cut a hole in the skin....but I like the idea of having a light to see out. Hmm....do you think the best ones are LED? We didn't do LED on the outside lights because we wanted to stay vintage. Advice?
Sandy
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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Hi Sandy the regular incandesent scare light is plenty bright. I'm going with LED's everywhere to cut down on battery consumption. My idea is to build my trailer with every possible type of camping scenario. It will be able to boondock for a long time and it will also be able to be used with full hookups too.
The LED's are very bright. Last year I was testing my clearance lights and I could read papers just from the light from them inside a darkened shop at night. The scare light probably could be used to signal UFO's from space it was so bright.
I wasn't that concerned about keeping the 73 to an exact period vintage look. The LED's for stop/turn and clearance lights are in my opinion better from a safety point of view.
as far as installing a scare light I would miss mine if it was not there. It's good for those noises in the night and also very helpful finding your way back to the trailer on dark nights.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #10
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Thanks....

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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Hi Sandy the regular incandesent scare light is plenty bright. I'm going with LED's everywhere to cut down on battery consumption. My idea is to build my trailer with every possible type of camping scenario. It will be able to boondock for a long time and it will also be able to be used with full hookups too.
The LED's are very bright. Last year I was testing my clearance lights and I could read papers just from the light from them inside a darkened shop at night. The scare light probably could be used to signal UFO's from space it was so bright.
I wasn't that concerned about keeping the 73 to an exact period vintage look. The LED's for stop/turn and clearance lights are in my opinion better from a safety point of view.
as far as installing a scare light I would miss mine if it was not there. It's good for those noises in the night and also very helpful finding your way back to the trailer on dark nights.
Thanks Chris,
I will mention it to the boss when he comes in from installing more belly skin/banana wraps. We should decide this pretty soon because we plan to start insulating this weekend if all goes well. I think it would be very helpful to have and now is the time to add it.
Sandy
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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No scare light here

Chris,
I took this picture today where I think we were supposed to have a scare light. No evidence of any scare light now or in the past. I did get the LED light you suggested and we are going to try one under the steps (?) I have no idea if we can make it work or not. Also got the over the door LED pad so that should be interesting as well.
Sandy
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #12
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More progress even if it is kind of slow

Here are the latest photos of all the work that has been going on with the Albatross. The first interior panels are up, the insulation is proceeding, wiring is about done, and the exterior windows are cleaned up all the way around the trailer. Phew!

I took the screen door in to get a new screen put in it and a door guard to keep the dogs from punching through it the first fifteen minutes we are out for the first time with the trailer. We have one dog that jumps at the door when she wants to go out and one dog that stands and stares at the door when she needs to go out. It is dog number one that I could see punching a hole in the screen in no time or else launching herself out of it when she saw someone or something come by.

The tedious work of cleaning every old bit of dried/semi dried piece of vulkem, dirt, alien life forms, and other interesting tidbits out of the window edges took me about five days worth of work. The only way I could do it was with an entire set of dental tools, a bunch of rags soaked in mineral spirits, and a long platform to work from. I worked on that the three days of last weekend and all of this weekend. I can say I am done and don't want to do that again for a long time.

I am wondering if I should touch up all the rivets with paint on the interior or just leave them as they are. The wall color is going to be really nice once I get the fabric up and the cushions made. Of course that is personal opinion What have other people done with the interior skins if they painted them while they were flat stanleys? Do you leave the rivets their aluminum color or touch them up with the wall paint?

Next up is replacing all the screens. My dearest says that will be my project because he doesn't want to mess with it. Should be a learning experience and an opportunity to figure out another part of Airstream restoration.
Sandy
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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Sandy yes I did see in one of your other pics that you don't have a scare light. That is very interesting as I have never seen an A/S without one. The only thing I can think of is that the segment was replaced and they opted not to reinstall the scare light. Is there any evidence that it has been replaced? Are there olympic rivets on that panel?
Your DH can easily install the scare light. He just needs to cut open a hole in the skin for it.
To install the under the step light just make sure it will not interfer with the steps while they are in the closed position.
The over the step light pad is easy to install in a few minutes.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #14
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You are RIGHT!

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Sandy yes I did see in one of your other pics that you don't have a scare light. That is very interesting as I have never seen an A/S without one. The only thing I can think of is that the segment was replaced and they opted not to reinstall the scare light. Is there any evidence that it has been replaced? Are there olympic rivets on that panel?
Your DH can easily install the scare light. He just needs to cut open a hole in the skin for it.
To install the under the step light just make sure it will not interfer with the steps while they are in the closed position.
The over the step light pad is easy to install in a few minutes.
I asked my chief renovator when he came in and he said that segment had been replaced at some point in the past. So you were absolutely right about that. He doesn't want to cut any holes in the skin so will be going with a light under the steps. Right now he is trying to figure out the wiring plan from the manual. Seems we don't have a pink wire (12V) that is supposed to go to where the side table was. Plus there is a blue and white wire that he is not sure of what that is. Every step is a learning adventure but thankfully it isn't too bad....yet.
Sandy
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #15
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Screens are a scream

I got all the screens done yesterday and must say it wasn't too bad of a job. I started out with aluminum screening material because I thought it would look the best but discovered it was way too heavy to work into the screen channels. Also discovered after looking all over the place that I would have to reuse the off white spline because I couldn't find the size I needed. I am glad I didn't toss it as I pulled it off the old screens.

I ended up using fiberglass screen and reusing the off white spline after I had soaked and cleaned it well. I don't like the look of the spline but didn't think it would work to try to paint the spline to match. I guess we can live with it. I actually enjoyed this part of the renovation because you can see the results of your efforts right away. Unlike some of the other parts of this adventure such as cleaning dried Vulkem and silicone off of the windows. Ugh...

Husband dearest is making slow progress on the wiring and insulating. I go in to help him attach the foam strips and clean up as he works. I can't imagine having to try to do this job by yourself unless you are on the 10 year plan. We have so much more work to do but one step at a time.

Today is putting the door and screen back on and trying my first test patch on the outside skins. Maybe I will try first on the wheel covers. I have a couple of ideas and am going to play junior scientist or "Chemical Sandy" as my husband calls me
Sandy
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:51 PM   #16
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Looks sort of SHINY.....

Good progress made today with some more insulation finished, more interior skins up, and some stripping of the clear coat. I tried Citristrip first and didn't see a lot of action so I pulled out the Aircraft Stripper. Wow..that stuff works but is hard on the brain! We had the window open and the fans going so no other tiny Norwegian brain cells were in danger. I don't have a lot to spare for sure.

Didn't get very much stripping done of course because I had only planned to experiment with what I had on hand. The aircraft stripper worked so well that I wished I had more but I only had a quart. Now I need to remember where I picked it up at when I bought it. Hmm....another memory test for me. I am impressed at how much better it looks even without any polishing done. The other big plus is that it finally took off the rest of the US of A map on the rear street side. I have been trying to get rid of that since we bought it in September of 2011. Yippee!!
Sandy
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:11 PM   #17
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Fan and stripper

Next question is why there are wires to power a fan in the bathroom area but no hole cut in the aluminum to vent the fan? Does someone know what we are missing? Is this a situation like the missing scare light?

I got my gallon of aircraft stripper today so will be working more on that this weekend. We have a scare light on order (he caved!!) and the fuzzy stuff for the screens as well. We have so many parts of the project that are needing to be finished before other projects can be done that it is kind of overwhelming. This is such a PROJECT that it makes his building of the house, shop, Rookery, boats, guitars, cabinets, furniture, and everything else pale in comparison.

It is fun to see the progress of other people though and it encourages us to continue mostly undaunted. Now would be a great time to win the lottery though....we could finish a lot faster and easier!
Sandy
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #18
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Hi Sandy and greetings from Fla. Your bathroom fan if it is like mine is switched in the bathroom but the fan is actually located in the kitchen under the sink. there should be a 2 " duct from the bathroom feeding forwards under the shower pan, over the wheelwell into the kithchen area. It is then ducted down through the floor into the belly pan where it is directed outside.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:57 PM   #19
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If the screen splines get too crabby, I just soften them up a little with the electric heat gun. I use a rounded corner push stick on the corners.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:15 PM   #20
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Lucky you!

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Hi Sandy and greetings from Fla. Your bathroom fan if it is like mine is switched in the bathroom but the fan is actually located in the kitchen under the sink. there should be a 2 " duct from the bathroom feeding forwards under the shower pan, over the wheelwell into the kithchen area. It is then ducted down through the floor into the belly pan where it is directed outside.
If it wasn't so nice here (in the higher 40's!!) in ND the 2nd day of February, I would be very jealous of your new abode in Florida. Never been there but plan to go through some day in one of the AS. I would have never guessed that is where the vent is located. I will pass it along to my husband and he can figure out how to fix that up. I am surprised you remember all of these details when you aren't even at home. Good memory!!

I am glad you are taking a break from the snow and ice. Everyone deserves a break and thanks again for your help.
Sandy
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