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Old 04-25-2020, 11:48 PM   #341
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1970 29' Ambassador
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Hi Kurt,
Thanks very much!!! The stands I have are decent, but I still may back things up with floor jacks and maybe some added support under the wheels.

Stay safe over there, and I hope you are enjoying this incredible weather!


Thanks,
David
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:09 PM   #342
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Stymied, part two

Hi All,
In the category of "maybe I am way overthinking this", I have begun to lift the Ambassador and place it on jack stands, only to run into another riddle... how do I jack up the coach even more after I have placed jack stands just fore and aft of the wheels? I thought I would have enough room to slide the floor jack in between the wheels (where I had jacked it up earlier), but no dice... nor did I leave myself enough room behind the rear wheel to gain purchase on the thickest (reinforced) part of the frame...

Now I am considering the idea of removing one of the wheels (the forward-most one) in order to gain more jacking room -- at least on the side I am currently working on -- I will plan a bit better as I lift the other side. I honestly don't know what other course of action to take, as the side I am writing about is already up on the jack stands. I have a pair of Rhino ramps and I am thinking of using them in addition to the jack stands, in order to get the coach pretty far up in the air while I remove the rest of the belly pan and under-floor insulation.

As always, any advice will be great appreciated!


Thanks,
David
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:28 PM   #343
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Update...

Hi All,
I had a few spare moments this morning, so I plowed ahead -- at least slightly.

A friend of mine gave me his 18v Dewalt impact driver, which was perfect for rattling off the frozen lug nuts. I was especially pleased, because I did not want to be using a breaker bar while the coach is in the air...

The extra room allowed me to get several layers of SturdiFlor plywood under the coach in order to give the jack a smooth, stable, higher surface upon which to ride.

Then it was time to crank. The coach and jack creaked a little as it went up and then back onto the lift, but so did I :-)

At this point, the belly pan is around 22 inches off the dirt, and the remaining wheel on this side of the coach (both are still in place on the other side) has around 6 to 8 inches of room beneath it.

It is time to decide whether to use the Rhino ramps. I will be checking how high the tire needs to be in order to slide the ramp in place. I will also need to account for a layer of plywood under the ramp to be sure that it rests on a flat, stable surface.

One unexpected find while doing all of this. I have always assumed that the axles on this coach were 5 lug. In fact, they are 6. Is that unusual for a coach of this vintage (1970)? I am hoping that the original owners (who took extremely good care of this Airstream) changed out the axles at some point... a long shot, I realize, but it is better to be lucky than good sometimes...


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David
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:15 AM   #344
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Hey David

My 78 sovereign came with 6 lug 3200# axles. It is a 31 foot trailer. I was surprised by that expecting 5 lug. Mine were shot and were replaced. Chances are yours are original.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:39 AM   #345
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Hi Bill,
Thanks ó they sure look like they are original...

Stay safe out there!


David
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:34 PM   #346
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Hello California David: The first thing I do when lifting the Airstream is get the tires off the ground and then remove them. This give me a lot more flexibility and access to place the jack stands and the floor jack. Twenty inches up is good room for belly work.

Airstreams have always been 6 studs on 5" bolt circile as far as I know. With the trailer in the air and the tires off, you can eyeball the swing arms on the axles and see if you still maintain the 22 degree downward starting angle of the swing arm. Usually old axles with hard rubber rods have swing arms that are nearly horizontal. That is one key that says it is time to replace them. Here is a photo of my 75 Overlander with horizontal swing arms. There are new axles under it now. Might as well get new shocks while you're at it.

Welcome to the slippery slop of vintage Airstream renovations.

Colorado David
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:51 AM   #347
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Hi Colorado David,
Great advice -- thanks! I am even more envious of your shop now that ever. I will be working over dirt and gravel, so boards on the ground to give the jacks and stands (in my case, cribbing) and cardboard to slide upon.

I don't know where I picked up the notion that AS has axles with 5 lugs. maybe the fact that they are spaced 5 inches on center...?

I had already removed one wheel, and it is indeed a big difference in terms of room. Now I will got forward with the rest of them. It will be great to get this coach lifted and see what is going on with the axles. It will also be great to remove the rest of the belly pan. Thanks again for the wisdom -- I appreciate it!


Stay Safe out there!
California David
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:11 PM   #348
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Hi Colorado David, All,
Well, I was only away from the Airstream for 6 weeks this time. I gazed longingly at it every time I passed by to do other projects. Today, I finally carved out several hours and got the back half of the coach onto cribbing. Tomorrow, I will attempt to level it front to back after confirming level side to side...

The time away was not completely lost, as I rediscovered my desire to convert the coach to a rear bedroom, mid bath. The Mightiest of Mos got things rolling, along with help from several other forum members, including my all-time favorite User Name, Suzy Homemaker...

Thanks Again!
David
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:37 PM   #349
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Hi there and welcome back. While you were busy on other things, we got our Sovereign project done and on the road. Its maiden voyage is this week I think I understood. I am "project-less" at the moment. I'm getting my Overlander ready for some possible short trips here in Colorado. Lots of mountians to explore.

Rebuilding to a mid bath is a huge project, but you can do it. They call this the slippery slope of vintage Airstream renovations. Old Suzy can do it, so can you.

Colorado David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:10 AM   #350
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Hi David,
Thanks -- and congrats on completing the Sovereign! I am very envious...

My hopes for the Ambassador are to create a walk through bath section with doors on either end. I don't know yet whether to separate the toilet /sink combo from the shower, and so many other details remain, but my many delays may have helped in that I had not yet cut holes in the replacement subfloor for the toilet, vent, etc. At least now I can proceed with a bit more accuracy... or at least until things change again :-)


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Old 06-25-2020, 07:42 PM   #351
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Our mid bath 86 Limited has the vanity, toilet and shower all on one side with the window. There is a wardrobe on the other side of the aisle. The bath door is a sliding door that takes up very little room. You may not need a walk through bath with two doors. I've not seen that layout before.

You might like taking a look at the Airstream Document Archives and look at some floor plans to give you some ideas.

The mid bath layout is the way to go. It takes a long, long time to renovate these old Airstreams, with many setbacks along the way. The guys here on these Forums can help keep you motivated.

Colorado David
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:02 AM   #352
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Hi CO David,
Thanks! I definitely have come around to the mid bath, especially after reading Mighty Mo's short-lived thread (he started 3 threads at roughly the same time, and this one was left in favor of one of the others). In it, he describes his desire to convert to a mid bath. Doug (Suzy Homemaker) and a local AirForums user named Shane contributed measured drawings, and then Bermshot changed everything with his picture of his walk-through bath, with the shower on one side and toilet/sink on the other.

I think that Bermshot simply used two doors (one fore and one aft) of the walk-through to create separation, and effectively a Jack and Jill bath. I would (and perhaps he did as well) still create a small room for the the toilet/sink area.

It is also possible that the layout that you, Suzy Homemaker and others use will be the most practical, especially since I have not even started the head scratching that will come when the plumbing comes into play.


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David
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:33 PM   #353
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Yep, there are a lot of design considerations when building your own Airstream. Develop the total front to back floor plan with key dimensions considered, e.g. length of the beds. Keep in mind our rear twin bed Limited has special mattresses to match the rear curves of the body. The design phase is fun.

I think plumbing planning starts with the toilet. The black tank has to be under the toilet, and then you have to vent and drain the black tank somehow. Most toilets are located between the frame rails. Once that is figured out, then where is the grey water tank going, and where is the fresh water tank going. How will they be vented, filled, and drained. Then you gotta run the ABS drain and vent lines. Running the fresh water PEX to the various faucets and fixtures is pretty straight forward.

Trigger warning: The planning is more fun than the doing, and then the doing it over again because something didn't work out, and doing it over again because you forgot something and on and on.

Trying to be encouraging. How am I doing?

Colorado David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:20 AM   #354
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Hey David

I want to reinforce Colorado Daveís comments. I decided to try to stay with the factory design except for a couple of changes: larger holding tanks. And even a change like this one had a ripple effect on other things. I is amazing how one small change can snowball into other things.

For example, the axle location in the rear bath verses a mid bath is different by six or seven inches; the rear bath models have axles moved more to the back to compensate for more weight in the rear. Donít know whether your AS has that same design feature. It could affect tongue weight.

Iansk has a thread on frame dimensions that is worth a read. I donít say this to discourage you, but to raise it as something to consider how the weight in your AS is distributed.

There are cost considerations, too. One of the reasons I stayed with the rear bath is the cost of starting from scratch as opposed to working with what I had. All in, my modest project will eventually cost $40-50K. Had I started from scratch, Faith would have cost considerably more.

Had budget NOT been a consideration, I would have gone the direction youíre considering.

To put a point to it, Colorado Dave is spot on. Planning is crucial. Developing a list of design considerations or goals really helped me with my AS. ďWhat am I trying to accomplish?Ē

It has been fun following along with you David.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:10 AM   #355
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Hi Colorado David, Bill,
Thanks for the great words of advice. I had no idea that the location of the wheels may be different on our coach, so I will check out Iansk's thread, as suggested.

Likewise, as you pointed out, David, I am still at the design phase. It's ALL possible at this point, right ? :-) And then comes the reality of actually getting that bench cut piece to fit in the coach... fun times ahead !


Thanks,
David
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:49 AM   #356
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David,

Here is the thread of which was spoken:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f22...me-191759.html

Also replied to your PM.

Ian
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:38 PM   #357
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Hello from Colorado: I had forgotten the axle location differences between rear bath and mid bath. That would likely mean the body is different to accommodate the wheel well change. After removing two mid seventies rear baths (mine and Cort's), I would say the plastic bath parts collectively don't weigh that much different than the bed parts (frames and mattresses). And if the waste water tanks, and battery, and water heater could all be moved farther forward, a guy may be okay for tongue weight. (Ought to be about 12% of the total weight of the trailer.)

I helped another friend with his big, beautiful motorhome today. It has a mid bath that is a "walk through" from the kitchen to the rear bedroom. We discussed this and he said it was no problem for them (a retired couple). He said the design greatly increases the room in the bathroom, which they like, and worth managing two doors for privacy. It was a very, very nice bathroom like you might expect from a high end motorhome.

I thought I'd pass our conversation and observations along. In a distorted way the big bath is maybe what Airstream was trying to do with the rear bath and a walk through bedroom. Most folks nowadays don't care for a walk through bedroom to get to the bathroom.

Colorado David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:09 AM   #358
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We had originally thought to do a mid bath in our originally rear bath trailer. Some painters tape to lay things out, and thought changed it back to a rear bath though. We would have had to move or nix a window, and lose most of our outside storage (already at a premium). Plus the rear bedroom would have been tight to walk around the bed in a narrow body trailer. Not a problem for me at 4'10", but definitely a problem for my almost 1 foot taller husband. Most new AS I've seen including our oldest son's 2020 has a split bathroom midships with shower on one side and toilet/sink on the other. They have the ability to close off the bathroom in the aisle with a door or close off the toilet from the rest of the trailer, but then you are unable to access the bedroom when someone else has the aisle closed off. Everyone has different needs and opinions. Choose what works best for you!

Kay
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:26 AM   #359
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Hi Minno, Colorado David, Bill, All,
Thanks for the great responses! David, I didn't think about the fact that the rear bath being so big was probably a selling feature... fantastic info!

Kay, I appreciate you bearing with me on this thread. We corresponded at length about me going with the layout that you and Chris chose, and now I am chasing this other idea -- again!

Time will tell if I can pull this off. There is much to consider, and lots of calculation. I will start with the window locations. It is possible that the hope to convert to mid bath will meet some obstacles again shortly


Thanks,
David
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:14 AM   #360
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Yup, I remember that conversation! But, ultimately, it's all in what works for you. I was unhappy with removing a window but others have done it successfully. So, if it works for you, go for it.

Kay
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