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Old 02-21-2005, 07:17 PM   #21
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1973 27' Overlander
Catfish Corners , Georgia
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Post Malcolm the Magician

Malcolm,
Seems you and I think a lot alike. I also used a stiff brush to sweep away residue after the skins and insulation were removed. And yes, I will clean with some type of cleanser and water underneath. The purpose of removing all this stuff is twofold. Firstly, to have access to the floor so that it can be replaced. Secondly, to get rid of the smells. This camper was apparently parked in the piney woods of western North Carolina for some years by the PO before I bought it. At some point in the recent past it was lived in full time by someone. The point being that it has lots of strange smells that must go. I have thought of the garden hose idea, but not the garden sprayer. Good idea. I wouldnít want to use the pressure washer for the reason you mentioned.
My center ceiling section came out without a problem (other than the fact that I didnít realize that I needed to remove it first before the lower sections). Your suggestions may help Ron below.

Itís weird. I labeled things almost exactly as you did with a couple of exceptions. I used a Sharpy on the backside of things where they wouldnít be seen. And, I used a label maker to tag wires and so forth so that they wouldnít fall off over the several months that I expect this to take to complete. My front and rear cap are arranged exactly as yours.

I remember reading about the whole floor episode with the treated wood. I hope the Polyboard is working for you. I am simply TOO CHEAP to go that route (trust me, this is truly MY failing, not yours, IĎve got two kids in college and HAVE to keep costs down if possible!). At any rate, I hope to be moving on to removing the floors sometime next week and Iím sure Iíll have few questions there.

Youíve been a great help and it is sorely appreciated.

Jim

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Old 02-21-2005, 08:21 PM   #22
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Vista view window frames...

Jim - Does your AS have any of the vista view windows (the ones up above the other windows)? I can't tell for sure from your photos. I made some observations about mine today that might be of value to whoever has to deal with them.

In my AS I have 5 of the things. The plastic frame around each of the windows is slotted along the sides to accept a piece of aluminum that is about 36" long and about 12" wide. The aluminum can slide up into the ceiling and down over the window to shade them. The plastic of the frame is getting brittle and there are a number of places where there are cracks. Also they were held in place in large part by the inner skins but they did have about 3 rivets into their top edge from outside. Most all of these riveted points were cracked around the rivets and I found it easier to pull the frames off of the rivets rather than try to support them in place. I realized today that I really have to repair them and get them back in place before I can finish installing the inner skins since the skins actually end up holding them in place to a large degree.

Today I got as far as cleaning them up and looking them over carefully for what is needed. I am going to try to repair and re-enforce the cracks from the back sides using some epoxy to glue popsicle sticks across the cracks. If that does not seem to work well enough then I will break out the fiberglass repair kit that I already used some of on repairing my AC shroud. I will see if I can use a little of the epoxy to fill the cracks from the good side and then sand them out. I am thinking of spray painting the frames and the shades using Krylon in an aluminum or silver color.

I did notice that the sliding aluminum panels evidently are supposed to have plastic trim strips on their sliding edges to help keep the panels from binding in the tracks. At least half of these strips are gone in mine. The good news is that the profile of the plastic trim is exactly the same as some that I bought at an automotive supply store to use on the edges of the aluminum around my wheel wells. I think I may have just about the right amount left over. This trim material has a little bead of adhesive inside that grabs when you tap the trim into place. This should be just what I need. I have wondered if there is some type of lubricant that I can put in the plastic track to help the things slide easily. I don't know if silicon spray is safe for plastic - I will have to check the label on the can I have.

I thought a bit about how to re-install the frames. I could drill out the rivets and re-attach them that way but decided that might not be necessary. What I am going to try instead is to use some heavy duty 3M double sided trim tape that I bought at Home Depot today. I can put a strip along the top and bottom edges of the frame and stick it up into place. It really only needs to keep the frame located until the body panels are put back into place. It would also keep it from sliding around once the inner skins are back in. I think I will drill the rivet holes a little bigger so they will just fit over the old rivets without getting in the way.

I shall report how this all works out later when I have more results.

Malcolm
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:31 PM   #23
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Jim,

When I was working on my vista view windows today I used my sharpy marker to mark the back sides of the sliding aluminum panels to match their frame labels. I suddenly realized after marking 4 of the 5 that the back side is actually visible from the outside when the window shades are down. I will definitely have to paint these surfaces now. The silly thing is that I also realized about the same time that they were also all the same size. They actually need it anyway though.

My masking tape labels on my wires actually have the oposite problem - they are a bit hard to get off when I am ready to take them off. I have a label maker around here somewhere that I should have used. Too late now but I would recommend it to anyone else starting the task.

I was actually a bit suprised to find that most of the upper inner skins overlap the panels below them. My service manual suggested that it was all the other way which I though made sense as far as any water leaks. Oh well - I guess the factory did not necessarily build everything exactly as described in the service manual.

What type of plywood are you thinking of using for your floor? I found that the Polyboard was actually cheaper than the presure treated plywood that I used to begin with. Of course there is the extra cost of adding some additional support under the Polyboard.

Malcolm

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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Malcolm,
Seems you and I think a lot alike. I also used a stiff brush to sweep away residue after the skins and insulation were removed. And yes, I will clean with some type of cleanser and water underneath. The purpose of removing all this stuff is twofold. Firstly, to have access to the floor so that it can be replaced. Secondly, to get rid of the smells. This camper was apparently parked in the piney woods of western North Carolina for some years by the PO before I bought it. At some point in the recent past it was lived in full time by someone. The point being that it has lots of strange smells that must go. I have thought of the garden hose idea, but not the garden sprayer. Good idea. I wouldnít want to use the pressure washer for the reason you mentioned.
My center ceiling section came out without a problem (other than the fact that I didnít realize that I needed to remove it first before the lower sections). Your suggestions may help Ron below.

Itís weird. I labeled things almost exactly as you did with a couple of exceptions. I used a Sharpy on the backside of things where they wouldnít be seen. And, I used a label maker to tag wires and so forth so that they wouldnít fall off over the several months that I expect this to take to complete. My front and rear cap are arranged exactly as yours.

I remember reading about the whole floor episode with the treated wood. I hope the Polyboard is working for you. I am simply TOO CHEAP to go that route (trust me, this is truly MY failing, not yours, IĎve got two kids in college and HAVE to keep costs down if possible!). At any rate, I hope to be moving on to removing the floors sometime next week and Iím sure Iíll have few questions there.

Youíve been a great help and it is sorely appreciated.

Jim

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Old 02-24-2005, 06:47 PM   #24
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Malcom,

I've had to take a couple of days off from working on the AS. Life got in the way of my hobby! Also, one of my daughters borrowed the digital camera and now we can't find it (we think she has it hidden in her car at work at Wally World). And you know how that goes, NEVER invade a teenagers car.

At any rate, when I get the camera back, tomorrow, and can thus make a few competent pictures of the subject matter, I DO want to discuss some of the fine points of Vista Views.

Jim
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:58 PM   #25
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Off the topic of the Monte

Can anybody tell me how to write text in this area that I'm typing in right now. Typing along.....Typing along....And then insert a picture right here........




and then continue to type below the picture with more text......then insert another picture.......


and type somemore......

I've seen others do this, but I've not figured out how to do it myself, even after reading several of the "posting 101" threads by other folks. I beleive it was John HD who put together a wonderful "how to" on replacing a waterline or connector from underneath the TT. It was wonderfully written, step1, step2 and so on.

As usual, thanks in advace. Jim
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:17 PM   #26
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Leaks...Leaks...Leaks

Hi guys. Itís me again. There have been a lot of post about leaks. Maybe you want my two cents worth. I am about half way thru the dismantling of the interior of my Ď73 Overlander. All of the interior is out save for the floor and the end caps. Over the past few days we have had a bunch of rain here in the Atlanta area. So I decided to take seat, beer in hand, XM Radio set to channel 110, and look for leaks.

The worst I have found is the exterior fresh water inlet. This is the one behind the opened exterior door, coming in to the galley area and terminating thru a fill neck into the holding tank. If you read the first part of this thread, I talked about a weird smell coming from the fresh water tank. What is happening is that the fresh water inlet door is leaking directly into the holding tank, the tank has a small amount of water in it, the water goes rancid and the tank gets a strange smell in it. I donít have the floor up yet. But I can see parts of the tank. It is a white plastic tank that has actually begun to turn GREEN from the stagnant water. I suppose this means a new tank is in my future. Stephrobts, looks like you called it exactly right. The rain this past few days has actually allowed about Ĺ gallon of water in around that outside inlet. Pictures to follow once I get the camera back from oldest child.

I also have a leak around a pop rivet that is installed above the door. I have no idea why this rivet is there. Now that I have the interior skins out of the camper, I have a clear view of all the things that protrude from the outside to the inside. This rivet holds nothing in place. Itís just ďthereĒ for whatever reason. I can only assume that there was a mistake made at the factory and a decision was made to fill a whole with a pop rivet rather that an ďOlympiaĒ (or is it ďOlympicĒ?) This rivet leaks down the side of the door on the forward side next to the light switches. This has definitely contributed to the floor rot in that area over the years.

Other leaks are more routine. The vent above the fridge has a pinhole leak in it where the Vulkem failed in one tiny spot. Same with the center ceiling vent. There is a small leak somewhere around the aft ceiling vent, but I havenít found it yet.

The vent stacks for the plumbing system also leak. The gaskets around the pipes that protrude thru the roof appear to have never been replaced. This will obviously be done in the near future.

The front window has several leaks around it, although I canít find them at present as I donít have the end caps out as yet. This has caused the biggest problem with the floor because leaks flow into the front radius areas and rotted for several feet around. Seems to be a similar problem in the rear, but that may be bathroom related.

A few pictures to follow. More to follow after the end caps are out.

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Old 02-25-2005, 06:10 AM   #27
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Removing Center Overhead

Jim,

Thanks for the tip on removing the center overhead skin. I did remove it back to the middle vent but did not see any obvious leaks adjacent to where the leak is terminating. (around antennae) I did see that the middle vent is leaking around the rubber gasket seal and instead of dropping directly onto the floor in the kitchen, it is being caught by the center overhead skin.

I think I better check the refrig gasket next.

(Sorry it took so long to get back....we lost a phone line during the storm Monday night. )

Danielsville is about 90 miles east/northeast of Atlanta (just past Athens).
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:42 AM   #28
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Jim, Do Not use anything with TSP to clean your aluminum. Very bad. You may want to get that garden sprayer and soak the insides with a Clorox solution. Skins, frame, floor. Some believe this should be done with each layer removed with old trailers. Good Bye stuff hanging around waiting to bloom when it's back together.
I used a power washer on my interior, it's lots of fun and sounds cool. When you get the floor up you will find old fiberglass stuck to the top of the frame where it's been wet. This can look fine until you scrap it off and find a hole underneath. In fact it can look like it's solid rusted metal. I had to use a grinder to get all of this off and would have missed some problems.
If you have some bad panels, inside or out this is the time to replace them. I'll be using some new panels on the inside for design effect, also replace two because of all the holes in them that I don't need.
I take it you'll be rewiring since it's all apart? Marine stranded wire is easier to work than the solid.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-06-2005, 09:20 PM   #29
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Vista Views

Malcom, sorry it's taken so long to get back on this. I've been down with the flu for about the last ten days...a very bad case of the flu. I haven't felt that bad in 20 years!

My Vista Views covers are held in place only by the rivets at top and bottom. About half of the holes around the rivets have broken over the years. In other words, I have no way to hold them in place other than the rivets. I donít want to remove those Olympic rivets that protrude thru from the outside skin, but it looks like I have no choice. I was also thinking of a fiberglass patch, but I hadnít thought of the epoxy idea. Seems like either would work. I have attached a couple photos. I hope they make sense.

As far as lubricants go, what about graphite? I know Iíve used silicon in automotive applications on plastic, but I donít know if itís the same type plastic.

Once I get these out, Iím sure Iíll have more to say. I spent the time today removing the front end cap and cleaning that area, just havenít gotten to the Vista Views yet. As you can probably tell from the pictures, the windows themselves need to be taken apart and resealed. I accidentally ran across this today which might be of some use:

http://www.airforums.com/photos//showimage.php?i=3308

But I havenít investigated it yet.

Hope to add more tomorrow.

Jim

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Old 03-06-2005, 09:35 PM   #30
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Cleaning interior

59, Sorry it's taken so long to reply. I've been very ill with the flu, as you might have noticed above.

I picked up on the TSP problem in an earlier thread by somebody. The phosphates and aluminum donít like one another. I also read somewhere not to use a pressure washer, but Iíll bet that has to do with whoís runniní the washer! The Clorox is also a good idea. This TT is filled with tiny spiders and ants, and Iím sure stuff that will grow when the weather gets a little warmer.
The floor is not up yet, so I havenít had a chance to look at the frame in any great detail.

I really donít need to rewire much, as it turns out. There are a couple of connectors that need to be repaired, but the basic wiring seems o.k. so far. More to follow.

Jim

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Old 03-07-2005, 06:19 PM   #31
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Jim,

I also found that my vista view shades were only held up by the rivits from the outside. The frames were also cracked around most of the rivets. What I did was to carefully pry the frames off of the rivets rather than taking the rivets out. It did not take much to break the frame loose from the rivets although the frame may have cracked a little more. I felt that was lot better than drilling out the rivets were otherwise solid.

About a week ago I was able to work some on my frames to clean them up and paint them and the sliding shutters. I used some fast setting two-part epoxy that I bought at Home Depot to seal up the cracks with apparently good sucess. I wanted to use some epoxy putty but I have yet to find a source for any locally. The cracks are still a bit visible from the good side of the frame since I patched them from the back side. I used some duct tape on the front to hold the crack together while I added the epoxy from the back. I may still fill the crack a bit more from the front and touch up the paint but it does not look bad as is at all.

It is still my intention to put the frames back in using some double back tape as I think I explained earlier. I will drill out the mounting holes so that they slip over the rivets. It might also work to dab a little epoxy over the rivets and holes instead of using the tape. The trick would be to hold it in place while the epoxy sets up. I still favor the tape but will have to post more information when I see how it goes.

I used Kyrlon "Fusion" plastic paint on both the slide frame and on the sliding panels themselves. I used a flat pewter color on the sliding panels which is pretty close to what they were originally. I am experimenting with "Patriotic Blue" on the frames. I did wash the frames and panels with a strong soap but I noticed that it seems like a good idea to wipe the parts off with some mineral spirits to make sure they are totally degreased before painting.

I have some shiny chrome edge banding that I picked up at an automotive supply store that is the same size as the original banding on the slide. I have not yot put a slide all back together but that is pretty much next on the list.

Malcolm
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:16 PM   #32
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Lots of vista view information...

I spent some time working on my vista view windows and thought it was time to update the details. I think I may post this in several pieces so that the text goes along with the phots better. So here goes...

As I noted before I had already taken my vista view frames apart and painted them. You will see from the photos that I painted the shade part a soft grey and the frame parts "patriotic blue". I am still not sure about the blue but I can always repaint it if I want to. I had also drilled out the rivets holding the handle on the shade part. I labeled the handles to match the shades which is a very good idea since the holes for the rivets may or may not align correctly if you don't use the same handle/panel match. I used short 1/8" pop rivets to reinstall the handle. I then installed the plastic edge banding trim on the ends and bottom edge of the panel. The trim has some adhesive in the channel that will supposed help hold it in place. I used my rubber mallet to tap it into place. Here is something to keep in mind though. When I first got one of the assemblies back together I found that the panel seemed kind of snug. Some silicon spray helped but not enough. I finally concluded that the trim might be making the panel a little too wide for the track. I took off the trim on one end of the shade and snipped off a little more than 1/16" inch from the end of the shade. After putting the trim back on the shade worked fine so that was indeed the problem. The photos shown here show the process of installing the handle and the trim on the shades.

Malcolm
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:23 PM   #33
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More on the vista views...

After I got the shades prepared I found that they sometimes seemed to drag on the plastic framework. I know that there were some serious rub marks on some of the panels when I took them out. What I finally decided to do was to add a little felt to keep the shade and the frame from rubbing together. What I did was to cut some 1/2" wide strips out of some felt rectangles that we happened to have from the craft store. I think it would also be fine to use a larger piece for the whole area. I used strips in a pattern that you can see in the photo. I used some 3M contact adhesive (without letting it dry as the directions call for) to attach the felt to the frame. This adhesive is the type that Andy at Inland recommends for attaching the fuzzy strips around around the windows so I thought it would work for this purpose and it seemed to work fine. Of course time will tell for sure.

Malcolm
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:29 PM   #34
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Attaching the vista view frames...

The next task was to fasten the vista view frames back in the correct location. I used heavy duty 3M double sided mounting tape that I bought at Home Depot. I put a strip along the top and bottom edges of the frame work and stuck the whole assembly carefully back into place. I had notched out the holes where the frames were originally attached with rivets along the top edge so the the rivets would not get in the way. I was able to use the notches and rivets to help align the frame but also visually checke the alignement with the window before sticking the tape down. In the photos the tape still has the peel off red plastic strip on it so it is a lot easier to see where it is. Two of the phots show the frame back in place. The foam tape did seem to grab tightly and should hold things plenty well enough until I get the inner skins back in place.

The whole operation seems to have been a sucess.

Malcolm
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:43 PM   #35
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Malcolm I sure hope you make it to the 2006 International in so I can see that trailer in person. You are the man.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:11 PM   #36
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Grab tight

Malcolm, My Vista views seem to be held in place by the rivets, rather than the inner skins. If I understand your procedure here, you have used the two sided tape (just as an aside, in my line of work, we call that ďmanagement tapeď, you know, two faced!) to hold the assemblies in place until you can re-hang the skins because you believe the skins will keep them in place after all is put back together?



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Old 03-16-2005, 02:12 PM   #37
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Jim,

Originally the vista view frames were held in place by a combination of the rivets to the outer skin (along the top edge of the frame) and by virtue of the fact that the inner skins cover all of the frame but the opening to the window. When I first removed my inner skins the vista view frames were released to hang down away from the outer wall except where they were held by the rivets along their top edge. What I am doing is using the mounting tape to hold the frame in position at both the top and bottom edges (better than with just rivets along the top edge). When I put the inner skin back on the vista view frame will again be held captive by the inner skin. If the tape were suddenly removed the vista view frame could not possibly fall out because it is sandwiched between the inner and outer skins and the hole in the inner skin is not big enough for the frame to fall through. It is my opinion that the rivets along the top basically just located the vista frames so that they would not slide around between the two skins. They also helped hold them in place before the inner skins were put on. I think the mounting tape is easily adequate to replace the job the rivets used to do.

Malcolm
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:18 PM   #38
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Over59,

Hopefully I will be able to get the trailer rolling before 2006 but time will tell. It has been hard to keep focused on it with all the other things going on in my life at the moment. Progress is a lot slower than I would like it to be and I admit that I sometimes wonder what I got myself into. In any case thanks for the kind words. My bi-directional interaction with this forum has been a source of inspiration for me and has helped make the journey more interesting. If my contributions can help someone else then that makes is all that much better.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:09 PM   #39
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Contirbutions.....

Malcolm, trust me, friend, your contributions are most welcome! If I can do half the job on mine that you are doing on yours, I'm sure the '73 will last another 32 years! Please, keep the comments, sugestions and corrections coming. Many of us have come to trust your judgement over these many months.

Jim
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:40 PM   #40
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Progress, what's that? This weather has stopped the project cold. This weekend if it's above 40 I will start to get the shell ready to be taken off. I am going all the way. Then take the frame for sandblasting and spray paint and then to the trailer guys for axel assessment. I'm pretty sure we are talking two new axels. This I hope to be done with the shell back on by the end of April.
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