Hey guys, I finally found the leak in the back. AlanSD suggested that I should continue to seal the vertical seam in the outer skins further up the trailer. I did that and the leak has now stopped. Bottom line seems to be that all vertical seams in the outer skin are going to have to be sealed on the outside. I’ve got more to update, but I just haven’t felt much like doing it. I’ll try to post more tonight.
As far as falling off the ladder, I was only about 3 to 4 feet up at the time. It was more a combination of carelessness on my part and not using a cheaply made ladder properly (I have a better ladder that I should have been using, just too lazy to do so). Ya live and ya learn, right?
Well, I finally got things caught up a little bit and I’m ready to go back to work on the camper. Turns out my little tumble off the ladder took a couple of months longer to heal than expected. Be careful out there. Of course, now I don’t even want to get around a ladder.
Remember those little sticky feet things I used to hold the interior wire in place? (Pic below) They are all failing. The adhesive is supposed to be good to 165 degrees, yeah, right. As soon as the weather started to heat up, these things started to detach from the outer skins. The end result is that about half of the wiring is hanging now from the ceiling and sides of the camper. So the question is…….
What have y’all used to hold your wiring in place? I’ll try to post some pictures of the “damage” tonight.
I can tell you what I am planning to use; not quite all figured out:
With 35 year old wiring still looking new I want to armor it as is. They sell a flex conduit thats just thin ribbed plastic, some types split to slip over wires already in circuit but one can split the solid pieces easy enough. Anything to give the pistachio loving mice pause when they feel a need fo copper. I've seen it in blue and orange pieces and rolls in a lot of different sizes. To keep that in place untill liners are up maybe use caulking tube style adhesive to tack it down untill the insulation holds in place, maybe 3M blue masking tape to hold till the cure happens...
__________________ The days are short and the night is long and the stars go tumbling by.. . ~Airstream~
Well, we did a bad thing a couple of weeks ago. We attended the WBCCI Internatinal Rally in Perry for a day and spent most of our time with the VAC folks. Why is that a bad thing? Because I spent the day looking at all those beautifully restored campers and came home with the notion that I really need to get moving on mine!
Looks like we'll be joining the WBCCI and the VAC. What a great group of people in the VAC. Wish we could have spent more time with them, maybe in the near future.....
I fianlly found a solution to the wire-falling-down problem. The little feet things would stick just fine to the aluminum, provided the alum. was very clean. The problem was that the adhesive would peal away from the back of the foot and the wire would drop. A couple of pic's.
After trying several ways of reattaching theses things including tape, epoxy and several types of glues, I ran accross this stuff. It's the type of tape used in the automotive industry to attach body molding. I removed the remaining original adhesive from the back of the foot, cleaned it and the alum. shell very well again with lacquer thinner, then cut a 1" square piece if the 3M tape and placed it on the back. Still holding after a couple of weeks.
Found a cheap way to reseal the roof vents for the plumming as well. I had some great before, during and after pics, but some knuckelhead deleted them off the camera before I could get them on the computer. Just have the after pics, dang. Lemme explain.
This stuff can be had at HD or Lowes. A 1' by 6' piece costs about $5.00. The original "gasket", if that's the right word, simply wears out after a few years. The PVC is about the same thickness as the original and is much cheaper than the original. I simply cut a piece of the PVC using the vent as a pattern, placed it on the roof, screwed it all back to camper using new stainless screws, vulkemed around the base ouside and the screws inside. Done.
I'll cut the hole for the vent stack when I actually put it back in.
The vent for the heater leaks as well. So I cut a piece of the PVC for that. The camper had no heater in it when we bought it, died somewhere along the road I reckon. If we decide to put a heater back in it, we'll deal with the vent at that point.
Along the outside of the camper, there are several items attached to the alum. skin that appears to be made out of some type of thick alum. alloy. Things like the roof vent a few posts back, several of the running lights and the light cover over the entrance door. I took the light cover over to my buddy Louie's house on July 4th (B-B-Q, Beer and Airstream talk, gotta love it) so he could help me re-tap the screws for the cover. Well, he took one look at the corrosion and said "I can fix that".
Now, I'm convinced he knows everything there is to know about aviation mechanics, so naturally I say, go for it dude. What he did was take the ol' Scotch Brite pad to it, then some automotive polishing compound. Then, and here's the weird part, he says, when you get home, get some flour and rub it down to finish up the shine. Folks, this works and it doesn't require expensive polishers and compounds.
I would never think to to try this on the actual skin of the camper. The skins are 2024 aluminum and would never stand up to the hashness of the process. But the cast alum. alloy seems to handle it fine.
Not the best Pic, but here it is before being reinstalled.
There is a scotch brite type pad and backing plate (plastic) that you can buy for your angle grinder made by 3m for less than $15. I forget what it's called, but it comes with 3 different grades, brown, red, and blue. I used the blue one to rough polish those things (as well as the beltline while it was off) and then used a buffing wheel with some rouge. It works pretty well too.
The 3m thing is really handy for freshening up all the oxidized aluminum. (I used it on the inside screen frames to remove all the paint and give it a brushed look.)
I'll have try the flour thing. (As a pizza maker, I have a lot of it!)
The water inlet leaks, dang. So I sealed the outside and the inside. The leaks appear in a couple of places. The way the thing is mounted to the wall of the camper allows for leaking from the outside, so I sealed the outside with Vulkem. The inside also leaks because of a few hairline cracks in the plastic. Sealed that too. Some folks have had good results fiber glassing the plastic on the inside of the camper. Looks like that is next.
The biggest leak is around the inlet throat. The weather strip that lines the door wore out. So I replaced it with a dense foam weather-strip, the same stuff you would use around a window or door in your house. We had a monster thunderstorm blow thru last night. It still leaks. Dang.
Finally finished up the over-the-door-light and got it reinstalled. I painted the inside of the light with flat black paint to help hide the wires and so on, glued the new "Airstream Blue" L.E.D. light in there with ParBond and screwed it down.
There are three screws that hold this thing on to the shell of the camper. Two that go into the door frame and one in back that goes into the shell. I decided to use a rivet nut in the back in the shell. The fixture is made to be removed in case the bulb ever burns out. Hopefully, the rivet nut will help keep the leaks down if I ever decide to remove it.
Next up, Vista View number one. There are three pieces that make up a Vista View in this year camper. The (very expensive if you break it) glass outer piece. The plastic inner "window" and a couple of snap rings that hold it all together.
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