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Old 08-31-2010, 08:54 AM   #201
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Secure It, or God You Must Be Bored

In a former life, I was somewhat of a 12V nut. I graduated from college at the peak of a recession, and decided to ride it out installing custom home/vehicle A/V systems and security. Now as much as I loved amplifiers and woofers, vehicle security intrigued me the most. It became my passion to design and install the most reliable, trouble-free theft deterrent system possible. I also loved the automation that was possible with vehicle security.

Suffice it to say, I have boxes and boxes of gear in my basement. I spent part of the winter piecing together quite a nice little sound system for Ole Dumpster. That post never occurred, as it didn’t make a ton of sense to me to broadcast the contents of my trailer to the world. “Well” I thought- “why don’t you protect it”?

We put security systems in our homes, businesses and cars, why not our trailers? We often have possessions stored in them of value, not to mention the value (both monetary and emotional) of the trailer itself. My brother ran into a gentleman in Oregon who had his 50’s Airstream stolen after years of restoration. Boy, would that suck. So I already had the stuff and the know-how, so I went to work.

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It doesn’t make a ton of sense to me to divulge all of the various sensors I have used. But I will reveal the most important one of all; the digital tilt/motion sensor. Back in the day, Alpine invented a sensor that contained some sort of gyro that could sense a car being jacked up and towed away. It worked, but it was also fraught with problems, most notably were the false alarms. Stiff winds, even large passing vehicles had a tendency to set it off. Well, false alarms are bad. How much attention do you pay to the neighbor boy’s car alarm that is constantly going off? Nada. Well, as I have gotten grayer, technology has gotten better. This sensor essentially monitors tilting motion. If someone were to jack up the tongue to tow it away- lights and sirens. Even if someone were to jack up a side to steal a wheel it would be detected. The improvement over the old technology is that not only is the degree of change selectable, but the duration of time the vehicle is off axis (not necessarily level) before it is triggered is as well. So if a stiff wind could move the trailer enough to trigger the sensor, it would have to hold it past that point beyond a selectable length of time.

The biggest deterrent of any security system is simply making its presence known. So I have LED’s in the fixed oval windows:

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So far for convenience, I have wired up the porch light and the switchable interior light to come on when the system is disarmed. This has already come in very handy when running out to fetch something out of the trailer in the dark. Speaking of which, that was another little side project of mine. I always thought the porch light was inadequate. I found a small 12 volt home lighting LED spotlight on closeout that I put to good use.

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The pic is terrible, but the light illuminates the step quite well.

I am sure I will take it to the point of stupid this winter, when I have nothing better to do. Wiring up the scare-light to be switched on/off with the remote is already in the plans. I think I will also investigate using a door lock actuator for some sort of deadbolt on the door. Not having to fumble with keys would be nice. Too bad I don’t own a fancy motor home, I could have a hay day with slide-outs, generators, electric steps, etc.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:37 PM   #202
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What a thread! I have spent the last two or so hours reading it, and it has been great. I was cheering you on as you did your resto; felt your pain when the wheel came off; and then I was right by your side when you were out "streaming" with the family -- great job!

One question, would you please post picks of the finished interior? especially down the bedroom hallway and the bathroom?

Even though we just bought our first AS ('71 Safari), we have found another we are seriously thinking of buying ('70 Overlander) -- that is how I found your thread; I was looking for pics of the interior so we could see how it was set up.

Thanks so much, and once again -- you should be so proud of the job you have done on your AS.

D. Hall
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:00 PM   #203
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Another One for the Books

Well, we just wrapped up another successful trip with Ole’ Dump. We opted for another trip to America’s 1st, and in my opinion, best National Park; Yellowstone. The splendor of this place will hopefully never cease to amaze me. Everyone had a great time, lots of fish were caught, many beers were consumed, and as far as Dumpster is concerned, everything worked flawlessly. The sad part? This is looking to be the last trip for the season.

The Furnace-
This is something else that amazes me. I distinctly recall threatening to replace this thing early on, just because it was old. Fortunately, budget constraints precluded this possibility. Boy am I glad. I think the smallest NT series that Suburban now makes is a 30K BTU. If I am reading my owner’s manual correctly, this is only 22K. Also according to my owner’s manual, this thing draws slightly less than half the amps of a NT30, a big consideration for boondockers such as us. Well, I can attest to this furnace’s adequacy. Both Friday and Monday mornings logged in at about 25 degrees when I arose from my slumber. I think I already pointed out how whisper quiet it is as well. Below zero? Bring it on. However, the cold did reinforce the need to insulate the wheel wells. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The only negative this furnace has is that it has a pilot light.

The Space-
Sunday night was very cold and snowy. The heartier of the bunch surrounded the campfire sipping (or chugging) whiskey. The more cold-blooded of the group sought the relief of the indoors. Ole Dump accommodated 4 kids watching movies from the bunk beds, and more kids and adults around the dinette. This could have never been pulled off with any of our previous trailers.

The Mileage-
We towed approximately 400 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of +/- 4,000 ft and averaged 14 MPG with a ½ Ton gasser. Again, impossible with previous rigs.

The Competition-
The family that we camped with showed up Friday afternoon in a 2011 Keystone Outback 250RS so new that it didn’t even have license plates. I should mention that this is my wife’s favorite trailer, and its purchase has been considered several times over the last 5 or so years. I only caught the wifey hanging out in it once the whole trip. Maybe she was protecting my delicate ego, but all she said was the extra space was nice (dual slide-outs). The King-of-Rationalization that I am, I also quickly pointed out that we have less than a third of that amount into ours, and we aren’t making payments, let alone on a depreciating asset. Plus, we weigh over a half ton less. When it is all said and done, I think the whole family liked it better than Dump (myself excluded, of course), but think Dump is ‘cooler’. And “Oh Yeah”, I said. “There weren’t any tourists snapping photos of that Outback while we were parked at Mammoth. And they most certainly won’t be doing it 40 years from now”. Heh. That’ll learn ‘em.

About the only other thing I have to report other than my fly casting prowess is that my grey tank didn’t fall out. You see, I go to painstaking lengths to tow dry whenever possible. Well, said cold temperatures resulted in the dump station at Madison Campground being closed when we went to leave Monday morning. So we had to tow a fair distance with very full tanks before we could dump. I didn’t really think it would fall out, but it had crossed my mind.

And sadly, our normal ‘unloading’ procedure of removing bikes and dirty laundry turned into something entirely different; my wife taking out everything. Huh? I was informed that due to conflicts and other activities, the entire month of September is unavailable for camping. In fact, the next available date is late October. The good news is that just happens to be the date of my annual Guy’s Fishing Trip to……….Yellowstone.

G. Hall-
Hopefully these capture what you are after. The bathroom wasn’t looking too photogenic due to its use/abuse over the weekend, so if you need any others, just send me a PM.

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Best,
Dumpster
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:27 PM   #204
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How could ANYONE in their right mind prefer a Keystone to an Airstream?!!??!~!!!
I'll take yours over a new one anytime! Looks nice!

Kay
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:43 PM   #205
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Well Said

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How could ANYONE in their right mind prefer a Keystone to an Airstream?!!??!~!!!
.......This is likely a rhetorical question for you and I. But for people without the 'disease' (although I consider it a blessing, not an affliction), it might be more of a stumper. That formaldehyde aroma is very alluring.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:25 PM   #206
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They're just not "quality" people! WE all know quality! Since we're still one of the "riffraff" (as my mother once called non-Airstreamers and has denied it ever since) we at least are trying to move up eventually. I envy you in that you made it!

Kay
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:25 AM   #207
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Thanks so much for the pics, they really help.

Also, I can't say how pleased I was to see your mileage info and the fact that you tow with a 1/2-ton gasser. We are going 'round and 'round discussing what we would need to tow the 27' Overlander.

Another point we've been discussing -- my DH is concerned that 27' will be so much more length to maneuver through traffic and parking (backing). Our 23' Safari is so cute and compact, but the extra room and having an actual tub/shower is to die for!

Thanks again.

Deb
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #208
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Another point we've been discussing -- my DH is concerned that 27' will be so much more length to maneuver through traffic and parking (backing). Our 23' Safari is so cute and compact, but the extra room and having an actual tub/shower is to die for!
We went from an Overlander to a Sovereign, and I haven't been bothered by the extra 4 or 5 feet when driving or backing into sites. I wouldn't let that stop you.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:01 PM   #209
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2 More Worthless Cents

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Originally Posted by D. Hall View Post

Also, I can't say how pleased I was to see your mileage info and the fact that you tow with a 1/2-ton gasser. We are going 'round and 'round discussing what we would need to tow the 27' Overlander.

Deb
This is just my opinion, so your mileage may vary-
As someone else already pointed out, as long as you are not exceeding the Payload, GVW or GCVW, things should be ok. But based on some criteria I read somewhere, I am slightly exceeding the recommended trailer length for my wheelbase. But I have a few thousand miles under my belt through some terrible conditions, and feel very comfortable with my setup. I think if you are within the "numbers" AND feel comfortable, then that is the key.

I also like another person's contribution along the lines of - bigger is better for tow vehicles. This point simply can't be argued. The longer/heavier it is, the less likely the trailer is to have its way with the tow vehicle. Ceterus Peribus (All else being held equal, did I get that right?), a 3/4 ton is the obvious choice over a 1/2.

Also, don't assume bigger = more powerful. The very same engine in my Expedition is/was available in the Super Duty pickups.

Lastly, I might be a fairly good yardstick for you. I have the exact same trailer, but I am always pulling over mountainous areas. I have to admit I have never been to Ohio, but I have a hunch that if I can hold 55 MPH up a pass that goes over the Continetal Divide, you ought to be in pretty good shape.

With all of that said, God is mandating you to go buy your husband a 2011 F-250 Super Crew with that fancy new Scorpion Diesel. Hee, hee.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:31 PM   #210
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We have a 24ft non-Airstream that we currently tow. Chris says backing the 31ft Airstream is actually easier than backing the 24ft. You have to be aware of the length when you're turning and for getting in and out of gas stations, etc. We had no problems towing the 31ft home from Mississippi last year.
My dad always said longer trailers are easier to back and he towed everything from a 13ft to a 34ft over the years.

Kay
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:32 AM   #211
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Check My Drawers

I have to apologize now- things are likely to get pretty boring around here as we head into winter. I will be able to take on little projects as warm days come along, or work on things indoors. Doing something with the ghastly “Airstream Central Control” comes to mind. However, I had 3 people tell me how cool it was over Labor Day in Jellystone. Hmmmmm.

Anyway, I did mange to knock out something on the list that I wish I would have done before this camping season. You will notice in this picture that I left a big gaping hole under the dinette next to the door:

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I had plans all along to put a drawer here for shoes, as that seemed to be the most logical place for it. I obviously didn’t get around to it, and it became more of a disorganized junk pile, if not a garbage can. I must have snapped this photo before I realized what a great beer can receptacle the bumper trunk is.

With all of the wood working I have done, I have never built a drawer before. Go figure. Well, that fact certainly reared its ugly head with this project. This is definitely slated for a ‘re-do’ someday.

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The first mistake I made was thinking I could cut the door front out of the original piece of wood. Obviously the grain matches real nice, but that is about it. Even with taping the surface, the veneer did chip a little. I should have scrapped the recessed door altogether from the beginning. I think a good temporary solution will be to put trim around the face of the door front that will cover the seams. Anyone want to make a bet on whether or not I bother doing that?

The second mistake was using warped plywood. I seem to like to learn lessons the hard way, and as it turns out, drawers need to be fairly square. I guess the 4 corners actually are, but the bowing in between presents some issues.

Visual appeal aside, this thing should be very functional. It is big and slides out a full 20 inches or so. And if we can reserve it for its intended purpose, it won’t turn into the world’s largest junk drawer ever.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:00 AM   #212
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Doing something with the ghastly “Airstream Central Control” comes to mind.
I like what Craig Dorsey did in this photo of the The Adirondack Airstream.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:41 AM   #213
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Hey Dumpster check out what I did to the central control panel. I had a friend of mine make the panel cover. He still has the template in his work computer and if you like it I can ask him how much to make another one.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...nel-67563.html
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:40 PM   #214
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Since you are good at carpentry you could always build one out of wood like my PO did. I can turn on or off anything in the entire Argy from here.


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Old 09-15-2010, 07:54 AM   #215
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Wow! Thanks, All!

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. And wasagachris, thank you for the very generous offer.

I think the control panel could be the signature piece of the whole interior. So I need to think long and hard on what I want to do there. Do I go modern, or retro, or something in between? Maybe I should incorporate a Flux Capacitor.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:02 AM   #216
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Maybe I should incorporate a Flux Capacitor.
That would be something to see...

1.21 Jigawatts of pure time travel fun.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #217
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If'n Yur Crazy

Those that read this read will be voted most likely to stay as far away from this as possible. But a special invitation to you nontheless...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f290...lly-69575.html
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:02 AM   #218
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Happy Turkey Day

Just wanted to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving, albeit a day late. Be safe in your travels, and take a minute to think of what you are thankful for. I, am thankful that the mercury crept up above 0 yesterday.

Best All.

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Old 11-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #219
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The Weather Channel

Sorry for the second post in reference to Montucky's weather, but I just can't help myself. The total here is approaching 2 feet, if'n yur interested.

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Old 12-01-2010, 07:57 PM   #220
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man, you guys are getting the white stuff... One of these days i am going to have to experience an actual winter. I've been in South Texas all my life and the snow we have gotten here cant really be called snow. Cool pics... no pun intended.
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