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Old 11-10-2008, 12:46 PM   #621
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
I finally got to take the Airstream over to some scales yesterday and get an idea of the weights and so forth. Here’s the numbers:

Weight of F150: 4850 Lbs (1/4 tank of gas and fiberglass shell over bed of truck)
Weight of Airstream: 3440 Lbs (with virtually nothing on the inside of the trailer and no liquids or LP tanks)
Weight of F150 with trailer on hitch: 5220 Lbs

Would it be safe to assume that the hitch weight would be 5220-4850? That would make it about 370 Lbs.

These numbers give me about 1000 lbs for the interior parts and pieces as we rebuild things. The original “dry” weight was around 4500 Lbs.

Jim
Jim.

When using a "proper rated, properly installed and properly adjust" weight equalizing hitch, the tongue weight should be 2/3rds to the tow vehicle and 1/3 back to the trailer axle or axles.

In your example, that should make the tongue weight be 555 pounds, if all the parameters are met.

Andy
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:26 PM   #622
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If you weighed it hitched up, as Andy shows, you also need to add 2/3 of the tongue weight to the trailer GVW weight. Then your trailer really weighs about 3810 lbs. That leaves you 700 lbs for new furniture and fixtures.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:42 AM   #623
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Actually, we weighed the truck first, then the truck with the trailer hitched to the truck, then the trailer by itself. I intended to place the hitch only on the scales and weigh that seperatly, but didn't get the chance to do so.

I was just trying to get some idea of what things weight right now before we put the interior back in. Just so I don't go overboard rebuilding the rest of the trailer. Plus, it gives me some idea of what I am actually towing on the limited, short trips we are taking for the next few months (ie, before the interior is finished).

Thanks for the tips guys.

Jim
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:17 PM   #624
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Thanks for all the time you all have spent on this project. I've had the pleasure of reading it after dinner. Went outside awhile ago to look at the outside of this giant trailer we bought last year . . . well, I know I have a lot of silicone to clean off. Past that, we'll see how brave I get. Good to see that some less-than-stellar skills bring such fine results (if I have paraphrased your self-description accurately), as I am in the same boat.

Thanks, look forward to progress as you post!
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:38 PM   #625
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RED, thanks! I've been meaning to say that for a couple of weeks and got busy and forgot my manners.

Well, let’s see. What’s the best way to present this?

We’re working on the interior “for real” at this point. As you can see from the pictures, we’ve got just about all of the plumbing “drainage” system back in. Most folks have guessed that you build the interior from back to front at this point, right? The bath area (in a rear bath model) has a lot of stuff to put back in.

Drainage
Fresh water lines
Hot water lines
Water heater
Sink and tub
Terlet
Then the walls
Did I forget any big items?

Yep, the DC rectifier…dang, it’s a lot o’stuff

Some ideas about all those plastic bath fixtures to follow……


Jim
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:56 PM   #626
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Here's a before and after of the sink area that extends across the back of the camper. Please ignore the old red dog and the bags of soil amendments next to the subject sink. Oh yeah, and all of the spare parts on the floor of the camper.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:07 PM   #627
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Before we started all of this, I somehow managed to crack the plastic bathtub on two of the corners; right next to the drain and on the corner directly opposite. I decided to fiberglass the back side of the tub to prevent any further problems in the future (ok, at least to TRY and prevent any future problems).

The “curved” areas (technical term, you know) seem to be much thinner on all of this plastic than the rest of the “straight” wall parts. For now, I’ve only fiber glassed the curved areas on the tub. Later, before we install all of the parts, the intention is to reinforce all of the curved areas of the sink and other miscellaneous parts the same way.
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:38 AM   #628
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Jim:

The paint job looks great!. I agree about fiberglass on the backside of the tub. Are you going to use a bondo and sand on the front side so you cannot see the crack before you paint it.

I would like to make down to your place to check out your trailer. I think I might be ordering my axels today.

Lothlorian
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:34 AM   #629
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Very nice, and good idea on the reinforcement.

To save me from going back and re-reading all 45 pages, I was wondering which products and methods you used to refinish your sink and vanity? It looks great!

If you don't want to re-hash something you've already discussed, then I will gladly go back and re-read your thread, as I've already read it through several times anyway in preparation of my own reno.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:17 AM   #630
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To save me from going back and re-reading all 45 pages, I was wondering which products and methods you used to refinish your sink and vanity?
Standby, I was going to give that info in a seperate post last night but it just got too late. I'll have it posted up here in a few....


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Old 12-22-2008, 08:09 AM   #631
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The product we used is a one part epoxy paint made by Homax and is called “Tough as Tile” ($29.95 at Lowes). Many thanks to Brian and Adrianne (Lothlorian) for pointing me to it. It comes in a kit with most of the things you need to get everything done. The process is something like this:

Mix up a cleaner from the kit called “TSP substitute” and wash the items three times with the cleaner and 000 steel wool. Rinse and let dry. All of the items, paint, tub, brushes, etc, need to be at 72 degrees or above before and for three days after the paint is applied.

The pictures shown so far make things look pretty good, but a few close-ups tell a little different story. There are several areas that the paint wouldn’t adhere to for some reason. I suspect that the reason is that a PO had siliconed the crap out of some areas trying to stop leaks. I scraped and cleaned and was able to remove all of the silicone I could see. My guess is that there was some residue left over that really wasn’t removed even with all of the cleaning and “sanding” with the steel wool.

What I’m going to have to do at this point is to wait until the weather warms back up and try sanding these areas, then try to clean with acetone or some other solvent. The good news is that I can move on with bathroom redo. Many of the blemished spots are in areas that are hidden, so I won’t need to deal with then. I can simply focus on the more visible areas.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:24 AM   #632
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A couple of more pics just for grins. The new drain in the picture is actually made to be used in a bar sink. Fits perfectly in the tub and the sink. Lowe's carries them.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:18 AM   #633
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Well, we had a wedding. Number one child got married last month so we spent about 3 months "upgrading" the house in preparation for the big day. New hardwood floors, painted most everything, new built-in shelves in the living room. Since we did most of that work ourselves, didn't leave much time for the Airstream. Finally got back to work on the 'Stream a couple of weeks ago.

Currently trying to pull together everything for the bathroom to hopefully put most of it back together this weekend. I have a question for any of you that might have already done it. The plan is to put down sheet vinyl over most of the bathroom floor, meaning underneath the tub and waterheater. The floor back there was a mess when we got the trailer so it's nearly impossible to tell what the original tile floor covered. Does anybody see a problem running the new vinyl under the water heater? I'm thinking of heat issues, as in could it catch fire? I've seem many therads here where folks have covered the entire floor of the camper with new tile or vinyl. I assume these folks didn't think it would be an issue. Comments welcome.

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Old 04-20-2009, 10:39 AM   #634
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water heater

Did you take out a 10 gallon Bowen water heater? Are you replacing it with a new Atwood or reinstalling the Bowen?

I took out the original 10 gallon Bowen and put in a 6 gallon Atwood with the electronic pilot. Because of the size difference, I had to build a small platform under the new heater. In that case, the new sheet vinyl would not come in contact with the water heater. The new Atwood had insulation all around the tank anyway.

Laird
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:51 AM   #635
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The plan is to replace, but I haven't bought the new one yet. I don't know that there is anything wrong with the original, I just don't like the idea of using a 35 year old WH. Thanks for the tips. Guess I better start looking for a new one. I still need to rebuild the cabinet over the WH, so I haven't been in any hurry to locate the new WH as yet.

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Old 04-20-2009, 12:11 PM   #636
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replacement considerations

Jim, if you do decide to replace, I would suggest purchasing the replacement sooner rather than later. In my case, the gas valve in the new unit was in a very different place, I had to install a new, longer gas line and run it through the belly pan in a different spot. It may affect your rebuild of the cabinet, or you may get lucky and have little to change. I am not sure how much changed between '73 and '74.

One other thing I changed with unforeseen consequences was the shower valve. The old shower valve was very basic, and the new valves have anti-scald features that make for a bulker unit. I had to run the vent piping from the black water tank closer to the wall to clear the valve. Of course, I only figured this out as I was trying to put the tub back in.

I have included some pics which hopefully will make this a little clearer. Good luck with the bathroom rebuild, it will feel sooooo nice when it's over.

Laird
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:17 PM   #637
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oops

I don't want to confuse anyone, but in the post below, it's the grey water tank vent in the picture, not the black water tank vent as I stated in the text. I also rerouted the drain line for the bathroom sink more directly into the tank, so that is why there are fewer pipes in the new picture. Sorry for any confusion.

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Old 04-20-2009, 03:49 PM   #638
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Thanks for the heads up on the mixing valve, Laird. I, too, have already reinstalled the vent pipes. We are putting in a new shower valve as well. The bath area was pretty much hosed when we got the camper. Most of the plumbing lines had been either hacked up or removed and replaced with a single cold water line that was jammed thru a hacked hole in the side of the camper. What a mess. I'm hoping I can figure out the proper plumbing line runs from the shop manual.

Question about the outside cover for the WH, did the new one come with a cover? Or did you have to adapt the old one to fit? Sounds like the new WH was considerably smaller than the old one. I'd love to see some pictures of that install.

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Old 04-20-2009, 06:06 PM   #639
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Jim:

I am sorry I have not got back with you but I have been really busy. I will give you a call sometime this week.

If you buy an attwood water heater it comes with a door. It is white and you can either spray paint it or get it powder coated. I sprayed mine with rustoleum and it looks fine. The water heater fits into your trailer like a glove. Mine was a perfect fit and I bought a 10 gallon.

Brian
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:41 AM   #640
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picture question

Jim, would you like just pictures of the WH install, or would it be helpful to have some of the plumbing layout in the back as well?

Brian is, of course, correct, if you replace a 10 gallon Bowen with a 10 gallon Atwood, then it fits right in. At the time we replaced ours, we could not find a 10 gallon Atwood with the electronic ignition pilot, just a 6 gallon. The 6 gallon is the same width as the 10 gallon, but shorter. We really like the electronic pilot ignition, having set up the campsite more than once in the rain. It's really nice just to flip a switch on the inside of the trailer to start the water heater.

The Atwood does come with a white, painted door. There are several options for covering the white paint, I got a piece of 2024T3 aluminum to match the trailer skin and cut it to match the main face of the door. I then cut in the holes for the exhast grill, view port and latch, and glued the aluminum to the door with 3M automotive epoxy. The thin edges of the door got painted with a cold galvanized paint. When I polish the trailer this summer, the WH door should blend in with the rest of the trailer.
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