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Old 02-11-2006, 02:40 PM   #61
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Laying out the new floor

Look!! I built a mobile skate park!

I got the plywood today and layed it down on the old floor to template it before i tear up the old floor.

Oh, and a note on buying plywood. I used 5/8" (AKA 19/32") CDX plywood. The only difference between this and ACX is that ACX is more expensive and is sanded on one side. It's good if you're going to have it showing, or paint it or whatever, but since one side of this wood will be covered by tile and the other side is covered by the bellypan... I could care less what it looks like. Anyhow, I bought six sheets of this plywood for $120 at a small local lumber yard. I figure that's a pretty good deal.

I'm breaking for lunch right now... much needed. yum.
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Old 02-11-2006, 07:25 PM   #62
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Update

I've templated my new floor and have removed most of the old floor. I'll post pictures tomorrow since I finished up when it was dark outside.

Before removing the old floor, I layed the new plywood over it and outlined it from underneath. To do this, I screwed the new plywood to the old floor in a few place to hold it down firmly. Then I got on my back and used a big marker to follow the old floors perimiter. Oddly, I found that one section of the floor (the second-to-last moving from front to rear) is cut about two inches short of the normal 48" for a sheet of ply. I would think that when they designed these things they would have made them so that no sheets had to be cut across long-wise except for the very front or very end... but, what do I know. Maybe a cross-member just had to be placed there.

In the rear end I found several completely rotted out cross members. One of them came right out with the old wood floor, still attached to the bottom of the floor. The frame in the middle and front of the trailer is in much better condition. I'm going to need to do some welding anyhow to accomodate for the new water tanks.

Speaking of... here's what I think I'm going to do in terms of modifications from original:

1. 50 gallon fresh water tank over the axles
2. 30 gallon gray water tank over the axles
3. Batteries up front where the old water tank was
4. A/C under the bed in the rear (possibly a two-way)
5. New refrigerator (a two-way so we can run off propane while driving)

I'm going to go to an RV Parts store tomorrow and order my new tanks, perhaps, and look at water pumps, etc.

Hmm... that's about it. Pics to follow soon. Zipping right along, la dee la.
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Old 02-11-2006, 07:39 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by malconium
Does your rear bed run length wise or side ways to the lengh of the trailer? In my 1973 31' rig I will be rebuilding it with a queen sized bed aligned lengthwise. That means that the front end of it will be almost 7' into the overall length of the trailer. Your trailer, being a 26' I gather, must be something like 22' feet long on the inside.
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The inside of my trailer is just under 24'. The bed runs lengthwise, headboard at rear window, toes pointing toward the hitch. Oddly enough, it's only about a full size bed and perhaps a little shorter than a standard full. That's because of the rear door requiring some access, I guess and also because of the mid-bath jutting out into the trailer body. I've been thinking about re-orienting the bed to run across the back of the trailer because I think that might enable me to fit a queen size mattress back there. But either way, I'm pretty sure I can get the cold air from the A/C to shoot down the hall, and up, at the same time. It would be great if I could run a duct under the trailer and place the intake up in the front. I'll have to look into that...

I like the idea of using the reflective foil insulation. I'm also thinking about adding some sound deadening material to the inside of the walls, under the floors, etc. Oh, and I've been looking around for a rubberized type compound that I can paint the inside of the external skin with, as well as the "frame", in order to insulate the interior skin from the outside material. Aluminum is a mighty good thermal conductor, as you know
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Old 02-11-2006, 07:40 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by malconium
I bought a pnuematic rivit gun at Harbor Frieght for less than $30 and I am very glad that I did. I already had an air compressor so that part was covered. Check out the following HF sites. The first one is for the gun that I bought and I see that the price is higher now. The second one is for another model that they have that happens to be on sale at a better price.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...itemnumber=167
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93458
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Malcom, thanks for the info on the rivet gun! When I lived in CA I used to go to Harbor freight all the time, great prices... I just found out that there are a couple out here in AZ, too. I'll have to head over there soon.
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:31 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
Malcom, thanks for the info on the rivet gun! When I lived in CA I used to go to Harbor freight all the time, great prices... I just found out that there are a couple out here in AZ, too. I'll have to head over there soon.
Harbor Freight have a grat shipping department. We have a store in town, but still sometimes I just get stuff shipped. It's cheaper for me to just order what I need, as opposed to going to their store, and coming out with all kinds of stuff that I did not even need. Tool freak, me.
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:40 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by uwe
Harbor Freight have a grat shipping department. We have a store in town, but still sometimes I just get stuff shipped. It's cheaper for me to just order what I need, as opposed to going to their store, and coming out with all kinds of stuff that I did not even need. Tool freak, me.
Ahh yes, the same thing happens to me. I go in for one thing I swear !! and I come out with 3 or 4 things. Just like a kid in a candy store !!!

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Old 02-12-2006, 09:08 PM   #67
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Rust!

There's a lot more rust on the frame of my trailer than I was hoping to find. Looks like I'll have to replace at least three outriggers and two cross members. I might have to do a little more.

I think I have my water system all planned out now. I have it drawn out on paper, maybe I'll scan it and post it here.

I'm sore from ripping plywood of the frame (and cleaning up the ensuing mess). Those elevator bolts hold on pretty tight.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:17 PM   #68
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Amazing!

Always neat to see the skeleton of a trailer. How are you going to procede? Will you take it and get it sandblasted and welded up, or are you doing it yourself?

I'm curious - is that the belly pan next to it?
Thanks for the updates, I enjoy reading them.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:32 PM   #69
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Belly Pan

Thanks for the kind words! Actually, that's the cieling next to the frame there...

Here's a picture of the belly pan, under the body (behind the frame). It looks pretty small all piled up like that. I actually found some places on that belly pan where it was patched using Coors cans. I thought that was a pretty nice touch

In spite of the Coors cans the belly pan is pretty nasty due to being that it lives under the trailer and close to the road, as well as di-electric corrosion that's happened over the years (I think that's what it's called) due to my rusty frame and rusted steel mounting brackets for propane lines. I'm going to use it to template a new belly then take the old one to a recycling center or something.

A friend of mine has a welder and knows how to use it pretty well. I think I'll kill two birds with one stone and get a welding lesson as well as have him help me with the frame. As far as sandblasting goes, I don't have the facilities for that and I'm an avid (maybe stubborn) DIY'er, so I think I'll just wire-wheel it with an angle grinder.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:36 PM   #70
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Calculating volumes

For anyone who doesn't already know this, to calculate the volume of a space in gallons (for water/holding tanks), when measuring in inches, do this:

(LxWxH)/231 = volume in gallons

So based on that, without making a ton of frame modifications, I can accomodate approximately 54 gallons for fresh water over the axles, with space for approx a 30 gal gray tank, water pump and pipes/dump valve.
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:05 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
For anyone who doesn't already know this, to calculate the volume of a space in gallons (for water/holding tanks), when measuring in inches, do this:

(LxWxH)/231 = volume in gallons

So based on that, without making a ton of frame modifications, I can accomodate approximately 54 gallons for fresh water over the axles, with space for approx a 30 gal gray tank, water pump and pipes/dump valve.
Consider adding the fresh water tank to the space just ahead of the front axle. The weight of the water adds some to the tongue weight, and makes the trailer tow very nicely. This was evident in the TradeWind I used to tow, and is why I chose the same location for the fresh tank for the Overlander. Another plus is that you won'thave to remove the axles to service your fresh water tank.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:09 AM   #72
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Uwe, I have a mid-bath. In order to accomodate the drain for the kitchen, shower, bathroom sink and black tank/toilet, I think I'm going to have to put my fresh water tank over the right hand side of both axles, approx 90"L, 26"W and 5" deep. It will push out behind the rear-most axles by a couple feet and will stick forward of the front-most axle by a couple of feet as well. I didn't think too much about servicing the tank. I figured once installed the only parts that might need servicing would be connectors/fittings on the entry/exit end of the tank.

Maybe I need to rethink putting all that weight on one side. Should the fresh water tank be centered?

I was thinking about putting a bank of batteries (three) up in front where the old 18gal fresh tank was in order to increase the tongue weight and the battery supply. A full 18 gal tank weighs about 144 pounds, plus the weight of the tank ... about 170 pounds. I figure three RV batteries weigh about the same.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:19 PM   #73
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You want to arrive at about 15% tongue weight, or more. That's 15% of the trailers weight, as it is ready for travel. That's about 750lbs for a 4000lb trailer.
If it gets lower than 10%, ride and tow quality will decrease. Much more than 15% will make a very tongue heavy ride.
I am not an engineer, nor do I know how to figure out the tongue weight addition of a full fresh tank that's 8feet behind the ball. I tried to copy the weight distribution of my former trailer, which is a 1971 TradeWind. It towed very well, and this Overlander now is very close in size and layout.
I would recommend that the tank is centered in the trailer, as seen from left to right.
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:03 PM   #74
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You are looking good. Find a local metal fab shop to bend the cross members. Get all you need as the cost is for the first one for the set up. Looks like you are missing one in the back. Every two feet. I think they used #10 Gauge steel for mine. You can cut the outrigger curve with a sawsall if you have a way to hold it. Metal shop get do it really fast.
Are you going to paint the frame of just do rust convertion zinc thing?.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:50 PM   #75
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You are looking good. Find a local metal fab shop to bend the cross members. Get all you need as the cost is for the first one for the set up. Looks like you are missing one in the back. Every two feet. I think they used #10 Gauge steel for mine. You can cut the outrigger curve with a sawsall if you have a way to hold it. Metal shop get do it really fast.
Are you going to paint the frame of just do rust convertion zinc thing?.
Yeah, the missing cross member in the back came out along with the floor

Thanks for the tips and encouragement too!

I was thinking about using this product to treat the rust on the frame, after wirebrushing and welding. It's priming and painting in one step, it's the right color, and it's gotten great reviews from a lot of people: http://www.eastwoodco.com/shopping/p...ProductID=1139
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:02 PM   #76
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You want to arrive at about 15% tongue weight, or more. That's 15% of the trailers weight, as it is ready for travel. That's about 750lbs for a 4000lb trailer.
If it gets lower than 10%, ride and tow quality will decrease. Much more than 15% will make a very tongue heavy ride.
I am not an engineer, nor do I know how to figure out the tongue weight addition of a full fresh tank that's 8feet behind the ball. I tried to copy the weight distribution of my former trailer, which is a 1971 TradeWind. It towed very well, and this Overlander now is very close in size and layout.
I would recommend that the tank is centered in the trailer, as seen from left to right.
I've definitely been keeping a target tongue weight of approx 15% in mind. The thing is, I want to be at approx 15% loaded as well as unloaded. Keeping that in mind, I was hoping to put as much of the "dynamic" weight (water tanks) between the axles, at what would be approx the center point of the lateral balance. But you bring up a good point that's been concerning me with my current design and that is having the fresh tank off to one side, increasing the curb-side weight when loaded.

Time to look for some new Airstream schematics and see how they're doing it... I think I'm destined for some fairly major frame modifications any way I slice it at this point.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:08 PM   #77
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You will find that all double axle Airstreams made over the last 30 or so years have the fresh water tank between the axles from frame rail to frame rail. They get around 50 +/- gallons of capacity this way. The Black and Grey tanks are usually just ahead of (like our '85 25') or just rearward of the axles if there is a mid-bath, but rear bath models may have these tanks near the rear bumper.

I will attest to making the tank servicable, because we had a leak in our fresh water tank last year and ended up having the tank replaced. They just had to remove the lower pan the holds the tank in place, and then drop the tank down between the axles.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:22 PM   #78
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Joe... how deep are these over-axle tanks? If I fit it literally between the fram rails (side to side and top to bottom) then it can only be about 54" wide and 5.5" deep. I guess that works. The the tank will only need to be 39" long (front to back).

Hmmm... but then it will get in the way of the drains down to the gray tank unless I run them through the back of the lower bathroom cabinets which, I guess wouldn't be all that bad. Then the gray and black tank drains can meet up in one dump valve assembly behind the rear-most street-side tire.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:22 PM   #79
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Grrrr... because of the location of the shower, I don't think I can put my fresh water tank between the two axles. I think I'm going to have to put it starting just over the front axle, forward.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:14 PM   #80
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Joe... how deep are these over-axle tanks? If I fit it literally between the fram rails (side to side and top to bottom) then it can only be about 54" wide and 5.5" deep. I guess that works. The the tank will only need to be 39" long (front to back).

Hmmm... but then it will get in the way of the drains down to the gray tank unless I run them through the back of the lower bathroom cabinets which, I guess wouldn't be all that bad. Then the gray and black tank drains can meet up in one dump valve assembly behind the rear-most street-side tire.
My bottom of my fresh tank is well below the belly pan level (I'd guess it is 4-5 inches lower). That makes the tank perhaps 10-12 inches deep as it goes up to the bottom of the floor.

One other thing to note is that these newer trailers have torsion axles, while yours would not (unless you intend to change that). I'm not sure how this would impact tank fitment, if any.
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