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Old 05-17-2005, 09:18 AM   #101
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Mary...
Did you replace the window cranks? I have six of these windows on a 59 and will need 12 new cranks. I think 59 and 61 are the same hardware.
Blaine Window Hardware makes the ones RJ Dial used in his trailer (I think the link will take you to the right part). They are a local operation and have shops here in the DC area, so I've called and they do sell them. Trouble is, they are only open when I'm at work (7-5 )! So, I'm hoping to arrange a half day off to go visit them soon.

They aren't sure if they carry the sliders (the guy said he thinks they are what they call "links"), so they've asked me to bring the old ones into their shop. The operators cost $17.45 each, so buying 12 will add up (though you'll get a volume discount). Add to that, whatever the sliders cost (and clamps, if you want to replace those, too). Still, I think there's a good argument to be made for replacing all of the operators at once--the others will probably go bad when someone tries to force them once too often. Another alternative is to have them on hand to replace when they go bad (they appear to be pretty easy to replace, it just takes a bit of patience and a screwdriver).

Mary
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:25 AM   #102
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I think the "modular" belly pan idea makes alot of sense, actually, when you consider how much easier it is to get inside the frame cavities. I know the older trailers had the water tanks inside, on the floor, right? mostly up front under the gaucho. no grey tanks at all...and many, if not all black tanks also sat on the floor. were there any with "subterranean" tanks? At some point, someone probably decided that they needed larger fresh water tanks, and the only way to go bigger was to go below...which also necessitated larger black tanks. and both would need to be accessible for maintenance, which meant that they had to go away from this "hermetically sealed" underside.

now...why they didn't slip the banana wrap UNDER the shell in all areas...no idea. perhaps they were thinking that if these trailers don't decay at SOME point, no one would ever buy a new one?
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:29 PM   #103
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I suspect that with the addition of the 70's style u-channel/c-channel style molding along the bottom of the body that it was less likely that water leaking in along the joint above the banana wrap would get into the edges of the plywood floor. The plywood is inserted into the c-channel part and is pretty much isolated because of that. That is not entirely true for all parts of the bottom of the walls though. If I recall correctly the curved areas do not have this same configuration.

I was suprised to find out that the interior body panels did not lap over each other in the fashion that the service manual indicated that they would. The service manual showed a configuration that would keep water inside the walls from coming into the trailer. The upper panels were shown put on first and the lower panels later so that the overlap of the upper panels was behind the lower panels. My interior walls were installed the other way around with the bottom panels put on first.

Probably one of the worst water proofing areas I found on my '73 was along the top of the back bumper storage area. The door for the storage area there attaches to a hinge which attaches to a strip of aluminum that slips under the floor plywood. There was also a steel angle plate back there that touched the aluminum. I had the worst floor damage and frame rust in that back area. It seems that water would just run right into that joint and soak into the plywood. Any amount of rear sag would just make the problem worse I would think. I don't remember there being any caulk in that area either (although there might have been). The belly band trim goes along that seam but does nothing to help water proof it. That is definitely an area to check for water proofing.

I think the bottom line is that it might very well be worthwhile for anyone concerned about leaks (on a 70's vintage trailer at least) to consider taking off the belt line trim, caulking the joints underneath and putting it back on. It is rivited on with normal type pop rivits and it does not take all that long to take off and put back on. A good bead of Vulkem should seal things up pretty well.

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Old 05-17-2005, 02:15 PM   #104
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I haven't found any "C" channel on mine yet. not that I've been looking...

but there was one bad leak I found that was not on a curved section, and there was no "c" there. just forward of the door, my care-free (yeah right ) awning attaches to a bracket right on the trim molding. this bracket is attached to the trailer with a large lag bolt that screws throught the layers of alluminum, and continues into the plywood floor. I could see a small gap there, and the lags were all rusted....and when I pulled the carpet out to replace it, I noticed that the floor adjacent to this area inside the trailer was damp. Investigating further, I detached the awning and bracket, pulled off the trim in that section, and could see the banana wrap wrapping over the shell. I could pull it back enough to see bare plywood. I stuck a finger in there to feel around, and it was all wet underneath. I didn't go any further...If I remember correctly, there was other stuff in the way that would have made it a bit of a pain to completely remove everything in that section, so I just buttoned it all back up, (using stainless steel lags this time), and throroughly sealed the joint. no sign of any trouble since. but anyway...no c channel in that section, either.
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Old 10-17-2005, 07:07 PM   #105
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Hello all, well by now, I suspect many of you thought we had given up the ghost. Not exactly. We have had a series of setbacks over these past few months, so our Airstream efforts have had to be put on hold. We’ve been around, just not doing any real work. Some of these setbacks have been serious and substantial; others have been as mundane as the dang rain simply wouldn’t stop. We had the wettest summer on record here in the Atlanta area. At any rate, with the good Lord willin’, we’re gonna be workin’ again in the next few days.

I can tell by the number of views on this thread that we have disappointed folks and for that I truly apologize. We’ll try to get back on track and make things interesting and maybe useful.

All that said, does anybody know what the outside temperature has to be to apply POR-15? That’s the next step, to get that dang frame back into shape. And winter is fast approaching. At any rate, we’re back. Hope we can help some folks and we genuinely appreciate the help all have been.

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Old 10-17-2005, 09:26 PM   #106
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Hi Jim, I applied my Por-15 when it was between 50 and 60 degrees outside. Turned out fine. Remember, it cures better when the humidity is higher.

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Old 10-25-2005, 08:48 PM   #107
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Hi guys. Well. I finally got back to work. Got the entire belly pan/banana wrap off. Fresh water tank is out. Poop tank is next. Not looking forward to that.

If anybody remembers early on in the thread I asked about a smell in the fresh water tank. Turns out there was green stuff growing in there. Growing. New fresh water tank is our future. See the first two pics. The reason is that the seal around the water inlet is shot and rain water has poured in over the years. Third Pic.

Just to lay this issue to rest. The Banana wrap fits over the top of the upper shell all the way around this trailer. I can find no evidence that there was ever any sealant placed under the rub rail. That explains all of the rust and most of the smell issues with this camper. Now if I can only find a permanent fix for this dilemma.
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Old 10-26-2005, 05:26 PM   #108
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I’d appreciate it if some of you old heads out there would weigh in on this one. The rusted rails in the pics are the rails welded to the main I-beams that hold up the fresh water tank. These should clean up and be fine with a fresh coat of paint, right? In other words, their not too bad? This is about the worst rust on the camper, at least in a structural area.

Sandblasting this weekend, paint to follow. I’m going to use the Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator rather than POR-15. Thought I’d give it a shot.

Jim
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:24 PM   #109
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Your's doesnt look near as bad as mine did on my 68 Safari. Mine was actually rusted through in the center. It was a pretty simple fix though. I torched the old one out that was welded to both side frames. Once out, I measured and got a new hot dipped galvinized 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" angle and had plates welded onto each end. It fit perfectly in place and I just had to drill through the plates and frame and then bolt it on. Given the location, its much easier to do something about it now, rather than later. Just a thought.
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:57 PM   #110
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I have read this entire thread and know now that I need to do what I really didn't want to do. I have several areas where the plywood has rotted through. While the holes are small and did not seem struturally important, I quake to think of what I will find under the plywood, particularly after viewing all of the pictures. Unfortunately I have no sense of smell and the eutrification of the tank was downright frightening. I know I have massive leaks. The belly skin is torn where one of the BAL stabilizers was. There are more rivets missing than most people have seen in a lifetime. Let alone the issue of which skin overlays which banana wrap. I was going to jack up the trailer and start there but it sounds like top down is a better approach. My Por 15 is on the way. Once that first rivet is pulled I will be OK but right now I am not even sure where to begin. See Holy floor thread under interior floor repair. Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:22 PM   #111
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Dusty, I think the biggest problem with mine was the way the belly pan attached--over the outside of the upper body. This allowed most of the leakage. There are lots of other, smaller leaks, but for the most part they can be dealt with. The leaks around the rub rail allowed water to pool in the belly pan, thus rusting the frame and causing the floor to rot from underneath (at least that was part of the reason). I'm going to try to install a series of aviation type one-way drains in the belly pan to fight future leaks. Honestly, I can't seem to come up with a good way to seal that rub rail seam area. Stay tuned, because somebody out there on the 'Forum will come up a much better idea than mine.

You might try removing the rub rail all the way around and if yours is put together like mine (i.e. in the faulty manner), then you may need to move further. Just a suggestion, your results may vary.

I can tell you, what I have accomplished thus far is a LOT, REPEAT, A LOT of work. But when I'm done, I should have a trailer that will last another 20 years. Imagine that, a 50 year old camper. Cool, huh?
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:24 PM   #112
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Scott, thanks for the advice and words of encouragement. Sandblaster on SAturday, welding and painting to follow soon afterward.

Jim
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:54 PM   #113
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Skin/Banana Wrap Tuck

On my Sovereign, I am applying aluminum HVAC tape over the overlap before I reinstall the beltline. I will then seal the top of the beltline to the skin with Vulkem. The seal will have to be inspected from time to time (same as rear seal at bumper) as vibration and flexing will probably cause it to eventually come loose, but I can't really think of anything else to do.
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:08 AM   #114
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On my Sovereign, I am applying aluminum HVAC tape over the overlap before I reinstall the beltline. I will then seal the top of the beltline to the skin with Vulkem. The seal will have to be inspected from time to time (same as rear seal at bumper) as vibration and flexing will probably cause it to eventually come loose, but I can't really think of anything else to do.
A buddy of mine who is an avialtion mechanic (A&P) suggested that I try some type of "Z" channel scheme. I've thought of actually, carefully removing the U and C channel rivets, one section at a time and slipping the Banana wrap under the shell, then reattaching everything. I haven't completely thought this process thru, however, and it simply may not be doable. I like the idea of the aluminum tape. Nice and flexible. I just wonder how durable it would be over the long run. Maybe the answer is a compromise b/t the tape and the heavy guage aluminum of the shell. Meaning a lighter guage aluminum that would be more maliable than the body aluminum but stronger than the tape. That might be a possible answer to the "Z" channel suggeted by my friend. I wonder what the lightest weight/smallest guage aluminum sheet would look like. Hummmm....
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:28 PM   #115
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Oooooo....Yuk.......

Finally got the poop tank out tonight. Yuky job. The tank actually sits inside a Galvanized steel box. It looks like I'll have to replace this as well. Lots of rust and smelly.

Sandblaster tomorrow. That should be FUN! A couple of pics.
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:25 PM   #116
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For those of you that have never used a sandblaster, wow, baby! When I went to pick it up this afternoon from the rental place, we went thru the usual "and this button is for..." When I got to the question of "how big is the spray pattern" the 3 guys at the rental place all hold there hands up "about this far, and man, it's cool!"

It was like an episode of "Tool Time" right there in front on me. Tim Taylor couldn't have pulled it off better. I gotta say tho, This is a "guys toy". It is testosterone in sand and compressed air.

I'll post a few pic's tomorrow. Got about half way thru this afternoon.

Jim
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:11 PM   #117
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Damage due to faulty design

This is the type of damage that is caused by the leaks described a few posts back (the belly pan issue). Luckily, it is all repairable. The sandblasting was fun for a while. Then it starts to wear on you (read that it's a lot of work). But I've got most of the old paint/rust off and ready to paint.

The method here was "Tool Time" in the extreme. I only had access to the local rental store sandblaster, and was much too powerful (more power, more power!). I had to use plywood to block off the aluminum upper shell while I sandblasted the frame. Seems the sand can interact with the aluminum. This left areas that could not be sandblasted, like on the ends of the outriggers.

We're having unusually warm weather here for November, so I took the next two days off and will get started painting tomorrow. Changed my mind (again) am going back to POR-15. Will be picking it up tomorrow from a local auto paint store.

By the way, is the axle supposed to be shaped like that?
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:03 PM   #118
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Got the frame painted yesterday and today. Still have the touchup work to do . Just for the record, there is no way to use POR-15 without getting all over you. And the directions on the can are correct, you can't clean it off your skin.

I sandblasted the frame last weekend. Yesterday I used the Metal Ready to etch the metal. Rinsed that off last night and began painting this morning. I brush painted the whole frame. It took just short of 8 hours for one coat.

Any opinions on wheather it needs a second coat? The can says "two coats minimum". But it also says to start the second coat after the first has set up and is still "tacky". Humm, that's kinda hard to define. By the time I finished the first coat, it was all dry. I guess at this point it's all academic. Without a bunch of extra work, no second coat.

A couple of pics.

Jim
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:43 PM   #119
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I have a definite opinion-do two coats. You can apply the second coat after the first is dry, as long as it has not gotten dirty.

One coat will always have microscopic pinholes and spots where the substate was contaminated. A second coat is cheap insurance.

I would go as far as to say, if you don't put on two coats, you wasted your money on the first coat.
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:22 PM   #120
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Mark, so that means that a "topcoat" can be added over the first, even after the first is completly dry? The instructions on the can are fairly vague. My plan was to recoat certain areas (like the top and bottom of the I-beams and cross-members anyway, regardless of the instructions on the can). This seems like good stuff, it's already hard as a rock. The instructions are just a bit vague in places. Thanks for the advice.

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