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Old 08-13-2009, 06:34 PM   #21
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True. True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
That other brand of awning costs just as much if you are going to install it on another brand (AKA SOB) trailer. At least you will have something that won't turn into a pile of rusty sawdust when you tow it down the road if you get one of these silver trailers...
But if I was replacing the awning material on my old box trailer, I could live with the "Aquablue Fade" fabric at $180. Only on something as classy as and AS do I have to step up to the plate and do it right!

Oh. The price of fame!
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #22
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I could take that awning frame off your hands for you...I would even drive to you.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:06 PM   #23
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Finally!!!

I realize this isn't Facebook (not that I would know about that), but I am pretty excited, and dang it, I just have to tell someone.

My new wheels finally arrived today (via OOps, sorry we are late). I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 8 to have my new Maxxis tires mounted, and then I am off on my journey to drag the Dumpster home. These wheels were my second choice, behind a 5 star set being sold by Airstream on Ebay, but timing was not on my side. But they look very nice, and I can't wait to put them on. At least something on this 'Rolling Turd (who hasn't seen "RV"?) will be bright and shiny. Between tires, setting up the hitch, and replacing the cable for the emergency breakaway swich, it is likely going to be a long day.

So starting tomorrow, my saga officially begins. If I haven't worn you all thin all ready, wish me luck.

Wutter
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:47 AM   #24
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The Dumpster Has Arrived!

I made the journey yesterday to bring Dumpster home to the family. We received a proper welcome from the kids...

Things went reasonably well, considering. I had a few surprises, but we managed to overcome them.

Towing an AS is everything it is cracked up to be, and then some. I couldn't believe the difference from towing my old refridgerator. I drove through what is considered the windiest "area" in all of North America without feeling the slightest bit nervous. I made the exact same trip two weeks ago with the fridge and was terrified. Also, the conditions were almost exactly the same, and I got 3 MPG better with the AS. Yippee, Skippy!

Well, it is time to go tear into it. I will keep you all posted should anyone show interest. I did have a hub get very hot coming home. I checked it after about 5 miles, and didn't think I had a prayer of making the entire 150 miles without it seizing up. But it never got any hotter, so the Big Man must have been looking down on us. Speaking of which, how exotic are bearings and grease seals for these things? Is this a $$$$$special order, or has anyone had any luck finding this sort of thing elsewhere?

Be in touch.......
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:36 AM   #25
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Oh Boy, now it's gonna get exciting!

Congratulations on getting your obsession home!

Looking forward to your trials

Bearings are standard fair , no sweat

PS, you might want to replace the backing plates, which includes brakes and magnets while your in there!
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:04 AM   #26
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Glad I stumbled onto this thread, thanks for the fun.

I could tell from your first post that you were going to buy it, regardless of what you heard anyone around here say. That's okay, it's quite common. For what it's worth, no matter how bad your frame/floor might end up being, it is likely not much different from the next one you would have looked at, or the next one, or the next one.

Do you listen to The Vintage Airstream Podcast aka The VAP? If not, you should. nd don't get TOO offended when VAP panel pro Rob Baker rags on the 70s trailers, for he himself just bought one . Start downloading VAP episodes now. You will have plenty of time to listen to them whilst working on your trailer over the next few years. If you don't know how to do podcasts, ask your kids.

Also, though I hope the best for you, I suspect you are about to engage in what we refer to around here as a "Major Renovation." If you haven't already done so, I suggest you begin reading the threads that I will link below. Many of them are lengthy, but they are all WELL worth the time and effort you will put into reading them. You know the old saying, "The more I learn, the more I learn how much I still have to learn?" These Major Renovation threads are your homework for the next several weeks. It takes hours to get through some of them, but I promise it is well worth it. I am a year into my own Major Renovation, and still refer back to these threads regularly for reference.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Above all, keep in mind that this is all supposed to be fun. It's going to be a lot of work. It's going to be very rewarding. Keep your sense of humor, keep your wallet open, and be sure to involve your family as much as possible so they enjoy the process too.

Oh, and if it's roadworthy and most systems are working for now, take the trailer camping a few times before you tear into it, and take it camping regularly even if it is, at times, nothing more than an aluminum tent. Many people burn out on their Major Renovations/Restorations, and one of the main reasons is that they lose sight of the real purpose and don't spend enough time USING the trailer rather than WORKING on the trailer.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wuttevr View Post
...I did have a hub get very hot coming home. I checked it after about 5 miles, and didn't think I had a prayer of making the entire 150 miles without it seizing up. But it never got any hotter, so the Big Man must have been looking down on us. Speaking of which, how exotic are bearings and grease seals for these things? Is this a $$$$$special order, or has anyone had any luck finding this sort of thing elsewhere?.....
We are all interested in well documented rehab threads (pictures are a real plus) -

To quote from your initial post..."The axles aren't completely shot, but close."

Reality check #1

The rubber axles ARE FORTY YEARS OLD - shouting here -

By the time you replace the backing plates and other necessary hardware it would only be a few more bucks to slip in brand new axles - no question about it - replace everything - lots of axle replacement threads here.

Do a search on "Pizzachop" http://www.airforums.com/forums/memb...chop-4331.html

He did a couple of early 70's.

Reality check #2

You have at least one daughter - (the one with the 'tude who gave the Airstream the name "Dumpster") - YOU WILL NEED A GRAY WATER TANK!

'nuff said.


Marcus included lots of good advice in the preceeding post.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:43 PM   #28
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End of day one, almost

Thanks for all the kind words, suggestions, and encouragement, I am going to need it.

I just took a break for dinner. I have everything out (bathroom not included), the carpet up (both layers), one coat of Kilz down (odor sealer more than protection), the back of the fridge cleaned, and it is back in place. Wew!

I, at this moment, condider myself very fortunate. The floor is about 99% solid. I will sleep on it, but I think the other 1% is getting Bondo. The areas are both very small (maybe 5-10 square inches), and will never, ever have weight on them. So I can't see the point in cutting any of it up. If I ever decide to, both areas will be easily accessible. Yes, I dodged a bullet.

The other thing I need to sleep on is whether to put the flooring under everything or not. This will obviously entail cutting everything down a little. I think it would look nicer, and require less trim. So I am vasilating.

I will snap a few photos before I hit the rack tonight. I haven't gotten all of the bathroom out yet, but I need to start thinking about the grey tank ordeal (especially after someone's very stearn reminder). Now is the time.

Wuttevr
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:38 AM   #29
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End of Day Two; or, The Beginning of Day Three

I am starting to think that I wont earn my 'Gold Restoration Rivet' if I didn't have to tackle at least one section of flooring. And most of you are saying...Not having to pull the bananna wrap, drop the pan, take out interior panels, bolts, screws, etc. Where is the fun in not doing that? Well.....

I may still get my chance, as I have to tear out the bathroom yet. But this is a life lesson I am perfectly happy in not learning. Maybe it is just luck. Or maybe it is the dry Montana climate. Or, perhaps it is the PO's (and OO, by the way) meticulous attention to leak prevention. Silicone. Lot's of silicone. So maybe my calling is actually having to deal with 10 pounds of silicone and some mega exterior dents instead of subfloor. We all have our crosses to bare.

Here are some pix, as promised. I decided to deal with the small rot areas with fiberglass resin, kitty hair, and a topping of mat. Again, they are so small. I decided to do the flooring right, and put it in under everything, just as AS did originally. So the Birch flooring is in. Next is upper cabinet removal, and then paint. Once that is done, the interior will go back in. If I decide to refinish the wood, I can simply remove doors as needed. I really don't have the space to keep the trailer guts in the garage indefinitely.

Some other thoughts-

Both wheel well covers are cracked. Thankfully, I have a glue-sniffing problem. So the fiberglass resin will make another appearance.

The furnace is original. I have an HVAC friend who said he would check it out for me. His opinion is keep it. My opinion is that it is big, ugly, old, and it scares me. I started pricing new ones.

I priced new Dexter axles yesterday. $460 each complete. I fear this project. I don't weld, I don't own a floor jack, and I want to die in my sleep, not being crushed under a large, heavy object. I noticed the lifetime warranty covers the axles. Maybe I should ask the PO for a little favor (yeah, right).

I have had no plans to polish this puppy. I don't have an extra 200 hours of spare time. Yesterday, I bought a polisher.

I know you are all jealous about the creative use of garden hose in the water supply system. Don't covet thy neighbors AS!
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:45 AM   #30
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Wow!!!

Damn son, you don't mess around -

I'm impressed.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:50 AM   #31
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That garden hose is awesome! When you pull it out of your Airstream, you should have plenty for your lawn!

And don't worry too much about not replacing any flooring, it HAS happened a couple of times on this Forum that a new owner's floor really was as "soft-spot-free" as every seller claims.

I still would try to find a way to look at the frame though. Especially under the bathroom, around the door, and under the front window. It might involve drilling out some rivets on the bellypan, and then replacing them when you've confirmed your frame is in good shape. But that's really a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:01 AM   #32
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It's Not All Roses, or, The Half A$$, Not the Monte

Things sort of ground to a halt over the weekend, as the family grew tired of Daddy being in the camper all of the time. So not a lot has transpired since my last post. I did get all of the little stuff down (three hours worth of rivets and screws) so I could prime and then paint the interior. And since it has been so hot, the non-working A/C has garnered some of my attention as well.

But last night I decided to press on after the kids were in bed and start re-installing some of the interior. I managed to get the entire street-side in before it was very late. Wanting to see how my new birch floor looked up against that darker wood, I removed the protective material. "@#$%*@#$%$$&*". My new floor is buckled on about three adjacent seems. After swearing like a longshorman for about 30 minutes, I calmed down enough to start thinking it through. Moisture? No, it hasn't rained. Not enough expansion space around the perimeter? Nope. Well what then?

All that I can come up with is that perhaps the subfloor isn't properly attached in or near this area. I did hear squeeking in the floor around this area after I got the carpet up. So perhaps a bolt or two are loose/missing, allowing just enough up/down movement to crush the seems together.

Regardless, over half of the floor is going to have to come back up so these three pieces can be replaced, and more importantly, fixing the overall problem. This makes me sad.

The upside is that the floor will have to come up from the curb side, which is fortunate, because I just spent 4-5 hours putting all of the cabinetry back in the other side.

Question- This might finally shed some light on the title of this post. I gather that the proper way to secure the subfloor to the frame is bolting it. So this would require dropping the belly pan. Any thoughts on doing this from above?

Best all,
Wuttevr
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:10 AM   #33
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People have used self-tapping screws from above for floor repairs, and seem to have had success doing so. You can find them at Vintage Trailer Supply here (and probably other places as well):

Trailer Floor Repair Screws

Perhaps someone with some experience doing this will come along to let you know how it has worked for them.

-Marcus
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:59 AM   #34
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We bought a similar vintage coach, in similar condition, for about the same money. We now have nearly $14,000 in it, and counting. Here's a thread documenting our efforts: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...ins-32395.html

I bought new, have $30K into it and am still paying.

There. That should make ALL y'all feel better.


Paula

Course, my water heater lights automatically, my refrigerator switches from electric to gas automatically, my A/C switches to heat pump automatically and has thermostatic control and I was camping one day after buying. Is that worth $30K? (Next time, slightly used or a full restore - done by someone else.)
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:02 AM   #35
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Hi, I found some self tapping TEK screws at Lowes. They work real well. I used #12 x 2 3/4 wood to metal screws. They didn't have anything shorter in a #12 but they worked just fine. They came with a hardened drive bit. If the screws that you get don't, pick one up. I tried using regular bits a they just broke. You don't need any more frustration. I'm not sure where you are but there is a Lowes in Helena, Missoula and I think Bozeman.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:12 AM   #36
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Bummer on the Buckling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wuttevr View Post
...My new floor is buckled on about three adjacent seems. ...All that I can come up with is that perhaps the subfloor isn't properly attached in or near this area. I did hear squeeking in the floor around this area after I got the carpet up. So perhaps a bolt or two are loose/missing, allowing just enough up/down movement to crush the seems together. ... I gather that the proper way to secure the subfloor to the frame is bolting it. So this would require dropping the belly pan. Any thoughts on doing this from above?
What would cause the flooring to buckle is a real headscratcher - especially since the trailer has not moved since it was put down...

On the '78 the original floor is only 1/2" plywood - it really "gave" a lot when walked on. The hold down bolts were all intact, and I did have to replace about 6" of rotted wood under the rear window (thankfully only the section between the main frames). While I had the belly pan pulled away I reinforced the rear bedroom floor with an additional underlayment of 1/2" plywood installed from the underneath.

First I cut plywood sections to just fit between the main frame and the center support.




Next, after installing a spaced pattern of 3/4" screws from both the top and bottom (tips did not penetrate into the floor on top) I welded light angle from the bottom to further secure and strengthen the rear end.





I know you don't want to think of this right now, but IF you have to remove the street side furniture (again) you might consider taking up the entire floor (thankfully all of the new laminates "float" on the floor) and installing a new 1/2" plywood overlayment in the entire trailer. I did this in the forward section of the Sovereign primarily due to the terrible fitment of the original install and the fact that the factory was not very careful in burying the TEK type screws below the flooring surface. The time I would have spent grinding the screws down flush (and still would have the problem with the seam separation from the factory) was not worth it. I installed a 3/8" plywood overlayment in the area of where I put down the parquet oak in the trailer. The 3/8" was NOT seamed over the original 1/2" seams, and the 3/8" was secured with a tight pattern of countersunk wood screws into the 1/2" below it.

The 3/8" was only installed in the area of where the floor actually shows, all of the closets and the currrent kitchen and gaucho were left in place - so all of the "securing holes" were able to be reutilized.

There was not an issue with a transition piece at the hallway/bedroom termination where I stopped the 3/8" overlayment since I do not have a walking area in the bedroom.

4 years after the install no problems have arisen.

After you drop the belly pan (prior to doing any more work) you will want to do an intense inspection (poke and probe with an ice pick) around the floor perimeter (in the area of the "C" channel). The floor buckling while just sitting there does not make sense to me - further assessment is warranted.

Good luck - great documentation with the photos - keep it up.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:44 AM   #37
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Stop The Insanity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wuttevr View Post
...I have had no plans to polish this puppy. I don't have an extra 200 hours of spare time. Yesterday, I bought a polisher...
You know, some "help" groups want to cure O/C disorders...

We, on the other hand, tend to encourage it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:48 AM   #38
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money is a renewable resource.
you just spend it, and then go out and make some more.
plan on have fun spending much more than you think and taking much longer than you think.
and ENJOY the process.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #39
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Those wheels, btw, look nice...I'm glad I hunted down the original optional magnesium wheels for our Sovereign...looks a million times better than the steel wheels and hubcaps, IMO.

The reason your floor might not be fitting 100% correctly is because your frame might be flexing a bit? Try putting the Overlander on level ground, resting on jackstands, then install everything and see if there's any improvement. Another thing you might want to consider doing, if you happen to run across anymore rot in the future, is to use marine epoxy, which seeps into the rotted area and solidifies the floor...great stuff, I used it in the front part of ours, on a small patch.

Great job on the refurbishestoration (my word), keep the pics coming!
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:47 PM   #40
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Interior is wood?

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And after that indiscretion, I have also chosen to turn the other cheek in regards to the plastic and MDF comment (although it should probably be particle board and vinyl), even though I went out of my way, and searched for years to find the newest AS I could that still had a real wood interior.
I thought the last years for wood were in the mid 60's. Is your interior wood as well?

Carol
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