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Old 04-13-2006, 05:15 PM   #201
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Next comes the radius area around the front. This area was actually pretty easy to clean up. Mostly because it is fairly easy to reach for an old man like me. There is corrosion here because of all the water that leaked into the front of the trailer (the back radius area is pretty much the same, I just haven’t gotten there yet). The first picture shows a wide view of the area. The second shows a more close view up of it. The white powder looking stuff is where the corrosion exists. You have to remove the Vulkem (obviously) to get to it. Clean it up and reseal.

Well, I got the pictures backwards, but you get the idea. And oh yes,the Vulkem has been removed at this point, but the area has not been cleaned and "re-Vulkemed" yet.

Jim
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:32 PM   #202
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But this is the real problem area. Now comes the front window area. Amazingly, the windows don’t leak into the camper. The area above the windows is a totally different story.

The wires for the front running lights had broken the seal around the Vulkem. Water quit literally poured in here. The problem area around the wires had to be scraped of the old Vulkem. The pop rivets that were used to install the front rock shield had many leaks in them. The only reason I can determine for this that the front rock shield (that covers the windows) must have been offered as a dealer “optional add on” item in the ‘70’s. Why, oh why, would they use pop rivets in this area, other than they had no way to access this area for bucking rivets without taking a whole bunch of stuff apart? It must have been a dealer option.


Additionally, the “Airstream” lettering on the outside/front of the camper leaks in places. The individual letters are mounted to the skin by lettering that has posts welded to the back of the letters. These posts are made to have a nut on the backside. The posts are weak and break easily. The Vulkem seal is broken, leaks occur. What a pain.

Bottom line? All of the Vulkem in that “tray” had to be removed and a substantial amount around the wires and lettering, as well.

Pic number one is a broad view of the area.
Pic number two and three is of the pop rivets used to attach the rock guard.
Pic number 4 and five show the posts that attach the letter “I” in Airstream to the skin. The lower post on back of the letter snapped off while cleaning the Vulkem.
Last Pic is a long view of the “tray area” above the window. All of the Vulkem had to be cleaned out as there is much corrosion behind this Vulkem because of all the water leakage here.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:48 PM   #203
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Here’s a picture of the tools that I’m using to dig all this stuff out. The heat gun is by far the best tool around (thanks JohnHD for the tip). The Vulkem can be very hard in places, especially in areas where water has been present and aluminum corrosion exists. The heat gun softens the Vulkem very well, especially where it has not been “corrupted” by water, etc.

The other tools are all made of plastic. The red pencil shaped tool is a type of “screw driver” that is used for working on circuit boards. It is used on computers because it is non-metallic and doesn’t transmit electro-static shock to the circuitry. It works well here because it is very hard plastic and doesn’t corrupt the aluminum.

Oh yea, tool number two should be easy to understand, given the nature of the business of “Vulkem scraping”.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:02 PM   #204
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For those of you that aren’t familiar with The Vap, go take a look at www.thevap.com. Safari Tim has put together a great site for those of us that would like to hear from some of the experts in this field in audio format. Next time, he interviews UWE and JCFerguson about the work they are doing on their vintage trailers. Both of these guys are true artists and their work is not to be missed.

Jim
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:21 PM   #205
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Cool Awesome

Your thread is great!!!! It has helped a bunch of us on understanding some things. And I must admit picture 2 is a tool you have to have when working on resealing. When you get through with your full monty I'll let you come and do Peppy Jim are you going to have to repaint your letters if so how are you going to do it?



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Old 04-13-2006, 08:26 PM   #206
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Thanks. I think I remember reading somehwere on the forums that you can buy the blue paint from Airstream. I know there is a "close match" to the Airstream Blue made by a current paint manufacturer, I'll find it and post it. Just too tired right now to remember.

Jim
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:30 PM   #207
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Rustoleum - "Royal Blue".
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:38 AM   #208
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That's it. I think I read that in NorCalBambi's thread now that i think about it. Thanks Jimmy.

Jim
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:29 AM   #209
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about the overhead vents:

oh, well...you were going to replace those w/ fantastic fans, anyway, right?

Seriously...that would be one way to fix it. But anyway, someone posted a fabulous photo-essay of that very procedure a while back. If you search the photo galleries, you'll find it. I think its several years old, now. But the point is that those rivets aren't hard to remove. they can be snapped off easily with a putty knife, and a sharp tap from a hammer. remove...clean-up...replace w/ olympics.
interesting that there doesn't appear to have ever been any sealant around that joint. mine were smeared with layers of various sealants, including silicone. some of it, I think, was applied with a trowel. what a mess! spent many hours cleaning it all off, and then neatly applied a bead of vulkem around the perimiter. I had the ceiling panel down last spring, enough to reveal the area around the forward 2 vents, and there was no sign of any leakage. (and they were "hose tested").
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:34 AM   #210
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Chuck, so when you repaired yours, you didn't replace the gasket? You cleaned it and resealed it, but didn't take the whole thing apart? It would be nice not to have take it all apart, but I think that it is inevitable at some point, in my case.

Jim
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:54 AM   #211
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I think the only redeeming quality about my trailer is that it has no leaks! Almost all of the water damage to the floor occurred because of a broken window and a tear in the belly pan combined with the fact that this trailer lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of its life.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:09 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Chuck, so when you repaired yours, you didn't replace the gasket? You cleaned it and resealed it, but didn't take the whole thing apart? It would be nice not to have take it all apart, but I think that it is inevitable at some point, in my case.

Jim
That is correct.

If the joint is sealed, water can't get in. at least not in that spot. I don't really understand the point of the gasket in that spot, anyway...unless, maybe the factory thought it didn't look good to have a big ugly bead of vulkem on the outside of a seam like that. but who's looking up there? There's no gaskets anywhere else that 2 pieces of alluminum overlap. the skin panels do have sealant in between them...but no "gasket". so I don't get it. anyway, they don't appear to be leaking, now.


here, check this out: http://www.airforums.com/photo...&imageuser=817
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:29 PM   #213
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That's pretty much what mine looks like. Thanks for the tip.

Jim
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:29 PM   #214
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So why am I taking pictures of the bed of my pick-up? Those logs in there are from a Georgia native cedar that my folks lost during a winter storm. I have this wacked idea that maybe I can saw them up, plane them down and use them to line the closet in the Airstream. They have been sitting in the bed of the truck since yesterday afternoon in the warm sunshine, when I opened the camper shell to take this picture that wonderful cedar smell was everywhere.

Those sheets of insulation are what I'm thinking of using underneath the floor. Dad had these left over from a small barn he built a couple of years back. The idea is to glue/nail these to the underside of the floor with a couple of spacers. You get an R-value somewhere around 7.00 (in theory).

Man, I love the smell of cedar. I hope this works.

Jim
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:44 PM   #215
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The cedar sounds like a great idea... it certainly does smell great!

In regards to the insulation, I had no problem squeezing 9" thick R30 around my water tanks. I'm not really sure that I'll ever NEED that much insulation where I go camping, but it was an easy fit.
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:18 PM   #216
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Ank, sounds like you got the insulation done-up jes' right! Did you remember the brand name of the yellow stuff? I want to go check some of that stuff out. I was leaning toward the foil/bubble stuff until I started checking prices. WOW, basically a buck a foot and up.

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Old 04-17-2006, 01:28 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Ank, sounds like you got the insulation done-up jes' right! Did you remember the brand name of the yellow stuff? I want to go check some of that stuff out. I was leaning toward the foil/bubble stuff until I started checking prices. WOW, basically a buck a foot and up.

JIm
I still think I'm going to go with a combination of a fiberglass insulation and foil bubble insulation for the interior, but I'll stick with this fiberglass r30 stuff for under the floor. I don't recall who makes it, I got it at Home Depot. I think they only carry one brand in their store.
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:35 AM   #218
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smell of fine woods

Jim & Susan "Man, I love the smell of cedar. I hope this works."

I know what you mean, I hope you figure a way to include the cedar into your trailer. I use to live in the Santa Cruz mountains. On a summer morning when the forest was warming up. I would sit outside under the trees with a cup of tea. And totally enjoy the warm breezes as they passed through with the sent of Redwood. Stop and smell the flowers. Or the sent of fine woods.
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:52 AM   #219
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.... but I'll stick with this fiberglass r30 stuff for under the floor.
How are you managing to fit "R30" under the floor? its like 10" thick, and if you compress it, it won't give you anywhere near that R value...perhaps even less than a much thinner layer of uncompressed fiberglass.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:45 PM   #220
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Quote:
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I know what you mean, I hope you figure a way to include the cedar into your trailer. I use to live in the Santa Cruz mountains. On a summer morning when the forest was warming up. I would sit outside under the trees with a cup of tea. And totally enjoy the warm breezes as they passed through with the sent of Redwood. Stop and smell the flowers. Or the sent of fine woods.
Don
Yep, that's the idea. I lived in Monterey for a year "way back when". We spent several weekends in the redwoods south of there (in the Big Sur area, IIRC). It was wonderful.

The idea is to cut this cedar into strips maybe 3"x10"x 1/4" and glue these to the inside of the clothes closet in some way. Maybe tongue and groove. I don't know yet. I've not really worked "finishing" wood in this way before. I have to learn a bunch before I get started. (Hell, I've got to get the belly pan back on before I can go much further with the interior).

My grandparents home was struck by lightening in January and was severely damaged, so much so that it had to be torn down and is now being rebuilt. There was pine paneling in that old farm house that was probabaly 75 to 80 years old. Most of it was saved and is now stored in the barn on the place. I'm trying to work up the courage to ask my aunt & uncle, who live there now, for a couple of pieces of the pine to somehow use in the trailer. The sad part to that story is that my aunt had just refininshed all of the paneling about 2 years ago and it was really beautiful.
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