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Old 07-18-2008, 09:23 AM   #1
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Ambassador Awesomeness - 1972 Redux (picture heavy)

One fine day in June 2007, I bought my lovely Airstream with the idea I'd have it rebuilt and then take a shot at fulltiming. Naturally, it needs A LOT of work, and I have a lot to learn (that's why I'm here, after all!). But finally, progress...

As found:


Work with my contractor started in February 2008. The frame was immaculate in the front & middle, & all kinds of scary in the back (see below).



That was cleaned, repaired & coated. A lot of little things were fixed to get it registered proper. Have new plywood flooring down.

She is a rear bath model, and I think I'm the only one on the planet who WANTS a rear bath. I love the idea of a tub and for me it's worth the space it takes up. However, the 40-some inch stock tub is practically useless.

My new tub/shower is here, but not installed yet. I went with a fiberglass 54" mobile home unit from American Standard which is far more usable, and will be using some badarse antique brass shower fixtures from the 1890s I got on eBay - the big raindrop showerhead among other things. The one pipe has a small hole, and good lord is it hard to find brazers! But I found someone to tackle that. The rest of the fixtures are presently in the shop getting polished.



I also got some fun towel racks & TP roll holder which are off being brass plated to match. I figure I might as well go all the way!



Which means, I also got little brass claw feet to attach to my bathtub, just for kicks:



Today begins reinsulation behind the back endcap. I'm trying the 2 layers of bubble foil method, but that's for another post.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:30 AM   #2
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So you're going for a 'Victorian Twinkie' design motif?
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:36 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Nice thread, very cool fixtures Brock!

Can't wait to see more pix!! Good luck with the project!
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:43 AM   #4
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I am, Cameron! Though it's probably going to be a bit on the anachronistic side as I do love gadgets..
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Can't wait to see the world's first Gothic Airstream!
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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Victorian Twinky! I'm still laughing.
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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Can't wait to see the world's first Gothic Airstream!

Same here. Can't wait to see how this one turns out!

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Old 07-18-2008, 11:31 AM   #8
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I am, Cameron! Though it's probably going to be a bit on the anachronistic side as I do love gadgets..
Before you toput your budget, you should check out your axles.

Since it appears that your trailer is at least partially gutted, and looking at the axle position in your photo, replacements are in order.

1974 and older axles, all will fail, in time due to the wrong composition of the rubber rods.

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:14 PM   #9
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Arrow ponder this but don't fret

Brock not to rain on anyone's parade, but...
More Tub = More Water = More Weight
add additional weight of new tub and brass fixtures ,add your weight, add weight of bar of soap and rubber duck.

Divide by no grey water tank.

Equals lots of fullness in Black Water tank.
Not sure if draining tub into a near full tank would push effluent back up into toilet or not. Someone here prob can answer.

Be careful, Block Well, Empty Often
and never, never bathe with a friend, not even in Virginia at least in that rear bath Airstream.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:23 PM   #10
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Does the grey water go into the black tank? I was under the impression that it didn't. If I block the grey water drain, grey water backs up into my shower pan. I connect my grey water to sewer and let it drain.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #11
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Does the grey water go into the black tank? I was under the impression that it didn't. If I block the grey water drain, grey water backs up into my shower pan. I connect my grey water to sewer and let it drain.
You are correct.

Grey water and black water are usually separate tanks. There are however some modern manufacturers that 'economize' and have a single tank for both. The 72 ambassador has blackwater tank only, greywater drains straight out w/ no tank.

The problem is, what happens with one of those single combo tank setups get full and back up?

That's right, poopie in your sink, or at your feet when showering. Not very sanitary.
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #12
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
Does the grey water go into the black tank? I was under the impression that it didn't. If I block the grey water drain, grey water backs up into my shower pan. I connect my grey water to sewer and let it drain.

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You are correct.
Grey water and black water are usually separate tanks. There are however some modern manufacturers that 'economize' and have a single tank for both. The 72 ambassador has blackwater tank only, greywater drains straight out w/ no tank.

The problem is, what happens with one of those single combo tank setups get full and back up?

That's right, poopie in your sink, or at your feet when showering. Not very sanitary.


See I told Brock not to fret.. Actually I thought the tub went into the black water in pre 1974 Airstreams with rear baths. I thought just the galley drained outside direct. I stand corrected.
I too would love to replace the useless tub with not a bigger tub but a tighter shower-only stall to give me a little more storage area in my 75 rear-bath.
Actually a decent shower curtain idea and a better shower head design will make the minature tub work fine as a shower pan. And the tub occasionally serves other purpose to either wash such as kids & pets or large items, or to store things but I'd prob have to call 911 to get out of it if I ever sat down there.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #13
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This is why I like the rear wet bath in my '72 Tradewind. I can stand full height and have lots of room to shower. All 6'-3" and 240 pounds of me! Cleaning it is pretty easy too. I'm really liking living in this trailer.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:32 AM   #14
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Andy, when is the easiest/best time during construction to replace the axles?

I put in a grey tank & new black tank (28 gal each) w/ box as that was ridiculously rotted out.. but yeah, the original grey water was set to drain out a pipe in the back Another thing is, the original tub had no insulation under it whatsoever - changing that.

Quote:
and never, never bathe with a friend, not even in Virginia at least in that rear bath Airstream.
Never?

Can't we make an exception..?
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:49 AM   #15
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Andy, when is the easiest/best time during construction to replace the axles?

I put in a grey tank & new black tank (28 gal each) w/ box as that was ridiculously rotted out.. but yeah, the original grey water was set to drain out a pipe in the back Another thing is, the original tub had no insulation under it whatsoever - changing that.

Never?

Can't we make an exception..?
Probably the sooner the better, since costs have already increased, which we have absorbed, but it appears that another increase could be around the corner. We have no wqy of knowing when.

Did you beef up the rear of the trailer, to avoid rear end separation, especially since you have added some weight in that area?

If not, call me this Friday when I will be back in my office, and I will tell you how.

Please estimate the addition weight your adding, so that the axle capacity can be properly increased.

Mahalo.

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #16
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Finishing up the bubble foil insulation, then getting the new wires run.



There were a few places that were too narrow for it. Despite a lot of the concerns about spray foam, I went ahead and used it for one of these spots - will update about any issues that arise -


Still have some more plumbing things to work out before the bath goes in, but I did get the shower brazed and polished. You can see the patent stamp on it - 1897, baby!




Wonderful work done by Frank Mance, very reasonable prices and all around just great to work with. I plated and polished all the rest of the fixtures to match, including the window knobs. Going to do dark woods and walls and give it a really rich feel.


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Old 11-19-2008, 09:38 AM   #17
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2nd layer of plywood down for the floor. The insulation is done and a few more wires in. Presently planning the electrical.




Also prepping for the new toilet..
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:20 AM   #18
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The brass fixtures really crack me up. I'm always in favor -- the old houses my wife and I have re-done -- to keep original, just overhaul, so, I've done my share of stripping, prep and polishing. I usually have to go "aftermarket" on light fixtures and such that have been replaced in ill-advised updates.

But, in a trailer, to add it? I love the whimsy. Hope you'll see the whole problem as being part of a system that needs addressing all the way through, from supply to waste, and not skimp.

I, too, love the detail of old fixtures but haven't redone a pre-1920 house.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:01 AM   #19
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I'm back! Construction was paused over December and January, and got started again mid Feb. I bought a lot of the appliances that are going in, and the next step is to build the mounts and cabinets around them. The electrician is finishing up the wiring.

The bathtub is in and the bath walls are up.


In the round area behind the bath, I am putting shelves for linens and one of the blowers for the TwinTemp Jr.


I am looking at copper laminates for the bath walls - not sure if they will work out or not. I definitely want to go with something unique, if not those.

More to come..
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:28 AM   #20
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Did you put any insulation inside the cavity spaces under the tub? If you do that, your bath water will stay warm longer.
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