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Old 08-22-2011, 07:46 PM   #301
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Maybe its just me....
Yesterday morning, at the request of our Guests, I took them down to show them my Airstream.
They liked it... even if they said... "Its gonna be sweet when its done!"
After that we were out on a cruise around and I suggested we went down to the local RV dealerships, that are clustered together at a place called "Travel Land", just off I5.
We spent a couple of hours looking at a bunch of them, from Campers to mega Motorhomes...
Now, I just wanted to share my thoughts/overview...

Campers, trailers... caravans, as they call them where I come from...
Nice, cheap way to camp... but towing one is a pain... You are stuck in your truck, cant use the ameneties until you stop. Been there done that..
Class C's Great Value for money.. if you can say that about a $50 to 90k Snail Shell, Tacked on a Van Cab... One we looked at was 31' and slept 10, but they left me feeling underwhelmed, and sitting in the drivers seat was no sense of occasion, nor did I feel like driving 300 miles.
Then we looked at new Class A's.
This was more like it. A sense of space, and class. Being up high, and being part of the traveling experience, rather than the "Below the Hatch, Tank Driver" feel of the Class C. Inside, amazing space, nice fixtures and fittings, and it felt classy, and well built for the $70k to $100k.
What spoiled it was the drivers view... a grafted in plastic steering wheel and Instrument pack from a van... Come on people... not even a leather trimmed wheel from a SUV?
Outside, nice paint and graffics, and good storage... but some of them were downright UGLY... a brace of piggy eyed projector headlamps in a bland front end.... Ughhh.
Of course, when we started to look at the Beaver and Holiday Ramblers, I was bowled over with the sheer sense of Class and Luxury... but for $600k... you SHOULD be!
Stunning, huge x spacious, and amazing inside and out...
But $600k.... I would be freaked out at every rock chip, dirty paw print or leaving it anywhere...

I know I am a little odd, but waking this morning and thinking about it... something struck me..
We looked at maybe 2 or 3 MILLION Dollars worth of RV's...
The sub 100k units were practical, and got the job done, but had no Charisma... as soon as you stepped out, they were as memorable as a Supermarket... In other words, you kinda remembered what was where, but little else.

I stood this morning, at my storage, and looked at my scruffy old Airstream 345, and here is how I felt...
Its long and thin, so has less space, an old chassis, engine, transmission, and is nowhere near as grand in so many ways....
Yet, it OOOZES Class, and is different, and timeless.

For less money than you loose driving one of the new $100k units off the lot, I will have something fun, usable, and practical.
I am not an attention seeker, yet its nice that people actually look at and NOTICE as you drive by!
Today, I am feeling vindicated, no matter how old or unreliable they are...

Now, where is my Toolkit.... I got stuff to fix!

An Airstream has always made me stop and 'stare', no matter where I am or where it's parked. I guess I've always had 'aluminum fever'? Can hardly wait for the title transfer to take place next week. Will be a huge struggle not to drive this beast everywhere (I actually have enough room in my yard to store the Airstream) I've warned the folks at work, to be on the lookout for the silver beast on Saturdays! I'm gonna have cold beer in the fridge and will crank up the generator and A/C's for my short (1 mile) ride home.....
Already planning my first camping excursion, hoping the Florida heat will subside soon after October ends and I have a 3 day weekend.
But, back to your topic, many, many trips to the Tampa RV SuperShow, and I feel the same as you do about the Airstreams. The local dealer is ALWAYS set up as you first walk in. I will walk through many RV's (trailers and motorhomes) all day long, and as I'm walking out, will have to make one last pass through the Airstreams. The quality of an Airstream SCREAMS after going through the other makes and models. I can live without the slides and HUGE storage areas. Make mine an AIRSTREAM please.....
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #302
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
slaughters , Kentucky
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I could not agree more! My 1984 345 (THE BEAST) has class that these new RVs just do not have. If you have tools, desire, some knowledge, and are willing, it is a tinker man's dream.

Joe Gooch
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #303
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Foothill Ranch , California
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Yup, and now they are all 20 plus years old, there is more to do, on the best of them!

I will be starting this week, and priority #1 is the Genset...
Watch this space.....
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:28 PM   #304
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Key,
Keep us posted...I need to replace the insulation around the generator, but don't have a clue...m
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #305
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Yes, I will be posting a full story on what I am doing and using.
I have a hand held sound meter, that will tell me the Db, so I hope I will be able to post some before and after readings!
My plan so far:
1/ Cut off the T piece with the drain plug, with my sawzall, because it is fouling the Engine mount, preventing me from unscrewing the pipe from the crankcase. That is where they leak.
2/ Replace and rework the Pipe, using PTFE sealant tape and move the drain T.
3/ Place the drain T piece on the end of the pipe, so that oil can be drained from the side of the genset when you remove the Airstream side Panel. I plan to use the Levelers to tilt the chassis to aid a full drain. I think this will be cleaner and easier.
4/ Replace the oil, and filters, replace the genset cooling shields and Airstream side panel, and take various sound readings, inside and out.
5/ Remove the genset, service, and do a compression/leakdown test, clean it, and the compartment, of oil, grime and old soundproofing.
6/ Replace, and improve the soundproofing, put the genset on slides, replace any wires or pipework allowing extra length.
7/ Add soundproofing to the Airstream door and sidepanel, and polish/repaint.
8/ Improve the compartment lighting, and assess cooling while parked, and add fans if needed. Test noise levels, and see how it worked!

That should keep me busy for a week of two!
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:31 PM   #306
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Gen repair...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Yes, I will be posting a full story on what I am doing and using.
I have a hand held sound meter, that will tell me the Db, so I hope I will be able to post some before and after readings!
My plan so far:
1/ Cut off the T piece with the drain plug, with my sawzall, because it is fouling the Engine mount, preventing me from unscrewing the pipe from the crankcase. That is where they leak.
2/ Replace and rework the Pipe, using PTFE sealant tape and move the drain T.
3/ Place the drain T piece on the end of the pipe, so that oil can be drained from the side of the genset when you remove the Airstream side Panel. I plan to use the Levelers to tilt the chassis to aid a full drain. I think this will be cleaner and easier.
4/ Replace the oil, and filters, replace the genset cooling shields and Airstream side panel, and take various sound readings, inside and out.
5/ Remove the genset, service, and do a compression/leakdown test, clean it, and the compartment, of oil, grime and old soundproofing.
6/ Replace, and improve the soundproofing, put the genset on slides, replace any wires or pipework allowing extra length.
7/ Add soundproofing to the Airstream door and sidepanel, and polish/repaint.
8/ Improve the compartment lighting, and assess cooling while parked, and add fans if needed. Test noise levels, and see how it worked!

That should keep me busy for a week of two!
Thanks Key...I will anxiously watch for your reapairs
...m
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #307
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Well here we go!
Managed to make some progress before the heat and sun got the better of me...
Here is a pic of how it was..
On the Kohler 7000, the Oil dipstick and filler tube is a mish-mash of 3/4" Iron piping threaded into the crank case... They come loose, and leak oil.. I am not the only one with this problem


I used the sawzall to cut the elbow off, hoping that I could unscrew the pipe...
This is how I left it..


Here you can see the problem...
The T piece that houses the oil drain plug fouls the engine mount...
Yes, mine is SO loose, I can turn it easily... its flopping about!



First I cut off the flange....


But still it was hitting!


Then I got butal with it...
Using my "Extra-long blade", I cut it across the only spot I had space to reach, holding it still with my wrench handle!
One of those jobs you need 3 hands to do!


Finally, I removed enough to completely unscrew it.... ITS OUT!


Here is the hole the pipe screws into... threads look ok, it will just need a good wrap of pipe tape.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:03 PM   #308
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I need to move that wire in the last photo too!
Here is how messy the whole floor of the compartment is...
A nice mixture of oil, grit and crumbled sound proofing!


This side needs some TLC too...


I put the new oil filter on, and put the engine cover back in place for now..


As I replaced the Airfilter I noticed that the engine breathes through a hole in the lower left side of the Airfilter housing...



This means that its inhaling hot air... I think I will add some trunking to the hole, and attach it to the forward door vent to allow it to take cooler outside air.
This might also make it quieter..
Also removed the exhaust to bring home to degrease and paint

I was overheated, and decided to stop and do some other stuff, on the shaded side of the M/H!
Moving on, I removed the storage drawer behind the entrance door, and brought it home to work on in the garage, where its cooler!
The ABS top is leaking, the lock is missing the finger latch, and the bottom of the drawer is a mass of surface rust...
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:12 PM   #309
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Here is a couple of shots of my genset door assembly...
Maybe the front door vent as a sealed intake for the genset, and the rear 2 with fans mounted for cooling.



I was thinking a couple of these mounted as puller fans... they are 12v and move 160cfm each.
Micro Center - NZXT 200mm Performance Case Fan FAN-NT-200MM
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #310
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Ya know, Key, yer a valuable asset, and yer points are straight on...thanks...m
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:30 PM   #311
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Thankyou Sir!
I have been feeling like I was all talk and no action...
Gonna change that!

So, a trip to Home Depot provided some parts to map out the repair/upgrade.
This is what i have in mind...



So, then is was on to the Drawer...
I think the pics will speak for themselves...





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Old 08-23-2011, 11:31 PM   #312
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I guess this post should be called "Anatomy of a Classic Airstream Drawer"!



Note, my lock has no latch....
Can I buy this part?


Lid removed


Here is a reason why they leak...
Not sure if this is original, but look at the sealant... instead of catching water that runs off the outside skin, and shedding it... it funnels it onto the ABS drawer top... which has cracks and leaks!


Different cracks on the other side..., but same sealant issue..


After removing the visible screws, there are more UNDER the sealant... its a beast to remove!


ABS top removed revealing the seal tape... with gaps!



ABS top is pretty good except a few cracks that I will fix and reinforce with MEK/ABS Slurry and fiberglass.




I will sleep well tonight... Getting Er Done!
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #313
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The missing part is called a Lock Cam.

The same thing is used on vending machine and tool box locks.

Any locksmith will have a selection or Home Depot or Lowes will sell a lock with a variety of cams.

Paul
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #314
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OH LORDY!!! I'm now afraid to go look...m
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:27 PM   #315
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Thanks Paul, If I cant find one, a piece of Aluminum bar stock will work.

Seems like everyone who has a classic has leaky drawers Mike...

A close look at my drawers was needed as they are getting wet inside when it rains, and the M/H has not moved...
I think I figured it out...
The rain runs down the bodyside until it reaches the drawer joint.. then gravity and surface tension sucks it into the gap, where it runs down the inside of the skin...
Like the blue arrow I drew on the pic below... Then because the Caulk is flat or ever radiused the water runs onto the drawer top, and thru any cracks it finds!

I am planning to put thin layer of Caulk back on, and make it a hollow negative curve, that will allow the water to flow along the channel and off the end, like the red arrow..
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:14 PM   #316
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Letting the Chemicals do some work today...
Left some rust killer do its job on the interior overnight...
And got the paintstripper working on the exterior...




After the second coat...


What I thought was interesting is that the drawer side is made from T6061 T6..


Looking better..
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:51 PM   #317
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Not going to seal those drawers with a MEK/ABS mix?
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:21 PM   #318
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Yes, thats the plan Mike....
Just been working on the drawer, and done some more... will post later.
I am off to Home Depot for a bit more pipe for the genset, then over to the Airstream to do a test fit...
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:56 PM   #319
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I decided to try something....
I think I like it!
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #320
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Yep, now I'm scared to look...the only thing holding the slide out is ignorance....m
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