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Old 03-02-2018, 06:40 PM   #161
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But I am short! Colorado David
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:03 PM   #162
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1970 25' Caravanner
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Hello from Ft Collins Co. I also have a 1970 Caravaner w/rear rot. I notice you are a A/S inspector. i would like to contact you and get some advice on how to go about repair on mine.
Mike Martin
e-mail: martin71341@gmail.com
cell # 970-492-5568
Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:14 PM   #163
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Okay, I'll send you a private message. What sheds02 is doing certainly shows the scope of the project.

Colorado David
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:51 PM   #164
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1977 31' Sovereign
Victoria , British Columbia
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In the Same Boat

Hi,

We just started our renovation. Fortunately we knew what we were getting into and while we do not have the space available for a shell off restoration, from what some experienced folks have told me it is for the best. That said our plan is to conduct a shell on restoration and have started down that road. I am finding it better (I have five kids . . .) to use Facebook to document the restoration. If you would like to share comments feel free to visit:

https://www.facebook.com/AIRSTREAMRENO/



Kris
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:46 AM   #165
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1970 29' Ambassador
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Lurching forward

Hi All,
After lots of time away on other projects and a camping trip, I am finally facing what needs to be done to make some progress on this Ambassador.
I am a little stuck, though, and could use some advice. I am trying to figure out the "firing" order of how to best replace the rear subfloor. For those of you that are following along at home, here are the current standings:

* Rear bathroom is out.
* Rear subfloor is out
* Black water tank box (only one) is out/removed. It was mangled.
* Tank box supports are gone. One was rusted in half, the other severely bent and then removed. I have slightly heavier angle iron as replacement.
* Frame seems to be straight.
* Rear support is out. It was corroded pretty severely and will be replaced. I am also planning to eliminate the thin piece of aluminum that goes between the rear body and the bumper storage box (on top). This seems to be a source of a lot of water being directed at the rear of the AS.
* Belly pan is missing in this whole area (from 4 feet in from the rear to the rear). This trailer hit something (rock?) that tore this low section out and bent/broke the tank box supports.


The advice I need is about where to start. My brain seems to lose track pretty quickly...as far as I can get is to form a list like this:

1. Replace rear support.
2. Replace tank box supports.
3. Rebuild tank box. I plan to reuse the sides, as they are intact. I bought some aluminum that can be used as the bottom, or even beyond, since the belly pan is missing in that area.
4. Place tank in box.
5. Remove rivets from banana wraps in rear corners.
6. Place step ladder inside of AS on existing floor about 5 feet from rear.
7. Remove rear window if it does not flow all the way up.
8. Place (approximately 10 foot long) beam from step ladder out the window.
9. Attach vertical post to beam.
10. Place post on floor jack.
11. Raise shell (weight will be placed onto frame of rear window, so I may place a small board across the top of same to spread the weight) enough to slide in new subfloor (which is already cut to shape, and holes drilled).
12. Lower shell onto new subfloor.
13. Attach through U channel and bucked rivets (rear body support).


Is this logic sound? Please let me know what I am missing, what you did differently or in a different order.

This is the first time I have even gotten this far in laying out the steps, so it is progress in itself...


Thanks,
David
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:35 PM   #166
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Hello 02sheds: It's always good to have a plan for the next steps. We all do it one way or the other.

I think dropping the rear banana wraps at the rear will give you much more visibility at the work needed. I'd do that early on.

You will need to weld the rear support to the frame members.

You will need to make the rear body support that will be bolted to the rear support and then riveted to the rear body below the rear storage door.

You only need to "lift" the body so you can drive the new subfloor piece into place. Lifting from the rear window frame worries me a bit. I lifted mine from the top of the rear cargo door. I guess it is about the same. You don't want to bend the window frame. Remember the rest of the body is still attached to the subfloor and outriggers. Make sure the c-channel is perfectly clear of old rivets or screws everywhere you want the subfloor to slip between.

Have you located the toilet flange hole in the new subfloor yet? It has to match up with the black tank. Same with the black tank vent pipe.

You have probably already sealed the edges of the new subfloor with a good water sealer.

I think you have it pretty well thought out.

David
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:43 PM   #167
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Getting there...!

Hi David,
Thanks very much! This is exactly the guidance I was hoping for. I did not realize that there was welding involved. Good thing I just picked up a small MIG setup!
I will also take your advice on the area from where to lift. It does make more sense to keep the lifting rig as low as I can. I am assuming that I will want to use a beam that is at least 10 feet in length, so as to not impede my progress when inserting the new subfloor. Does that sound correct?
Now I will not have to check whether or not the rear window can go that high. I am certain that the rear door does.
I will re-read your response, to be sure I can put things into the best order. Thanks again for your post -- it is really going to help me!



Thanks,
David
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:40 PM   #168
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different approach

Not the way I did it, but looks looks it's working...
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:21 PM   #169
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It makes sense that unsupported, the frame would naturally drape away from the shell, That's what my understanding of "rear separation" is.

The pre-69 shell has a simpler "U" channel, so it's possibly irrelevant to '70 issues... My new 2-piece subfloor, installed from below, not behind. Hammered and jacked in with little protest, although there were many "dry-fits" and measures preceding.

I drilled a 1 1/2 exploration hole in subfloor for the toilet where it seemed it would align with threaded tank flange. Later, when I got it laid out exactly so the toilet was spatially balanced between wall and tub, I was able to scribe the exact location of the flange,through the 1 1/2" hole and jigsaw it out to a most perfect fit.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:19 AM   #170
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hello David, sounds like a good plan, don't forget to put wood suport across you window frame; this spreds the lifting force to the whole frame ,not just in 1 or 2 spots. also don't forget all rust work while you have access to your frame. kurt
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:25 AM   #171
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Toilet location

Hi Al, Kurt, David, All,
Thanks for the great info! David, it turns out that welding will not be necessary on this frame, as the welded part of the rear support is intact. As you pointed out, I will have to make a new L-shaped body/frame support. I was going to use slightly thicker angle stock -- any issue with that?
Kurt, I agree 100% about supporting the shell over a broader surface. I am taking David's advice and going with lifting through the rear access door. I will definitely spread the load...
Al, I really like your strategy for more precisely locating the hole for the toilet. It may be one of the larger mysteries to me right now -- how do I determine where ("left to right") on the tank box supports does that tank box go? The original hole in the old plywood is very large....


Thanks,
David
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:01 PM   #172
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Hi there,


I have a 1968, which has a bit different rear attachment method, but not so much that I don't understand what's going on with a 1970. I've never had my hands on the rear end separation of any other but my own.


I see a similarity in the tank, the box, the supports, the bumperbox and such, so I'll assume that you have a little wiggle room with the tank's location. The exact location of the tank box, and the location of the tank within said box, adjusting the thickness of the tanks insulation within its box, will affect the toilet's placement in the bath, so dry-fits and measurements will get you there. Your old plywood will offer clues, as well as the vent pipe. You might mock-up the tank's resting place by referencing the ventpipe as the start point.


My replacement plywood went in and out, with measures and trims, more than a few times until it was near perfect. It was a lot of up-front work, but it's fairly critical with the 67/68 bath's toilet placement. There is very little room for error. I got my toilet almost perfectly centered within its cubby.


I haven't studied a 1970 bath any more than to know that the shower might not fit me. How critical the 1970 toilet's aesthetic placement is, I don't know. It may not be as much of a concern. Yup, even after all that critically measured concern, the little “pre-hole” from which to scribe the big hole really paid off.


You can see the pre-hole in this image…
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:09 PM   #173
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That is a very cool photo that Aluminuminum posted of the frame being "bent" downward with long levers in the frame rails. Yes, the frame will sag, or droop if not attached to the body. Likewise the body can be lifted a very little bit if not attached to the frame. You just need to figure a way to get a little more than the 3/4" spacing so your new subfloor will slide in with persuasion.

I forgot your rear cross member was still intact. Mine was rusted toast. So you need 3/4" plus a bit of clearance at the intersection of the frame rails (L & R) and that welded in cross member. That's where the body bolt holes are. Measure there and see how much frame drop or body lift you might need.

Colorado David
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:13 PM   #174
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Exactly...

Hi Al, David, All,
David, thanks again for your posts -- they are always welcomed and extremely helpful !
Al, thanks a lot for the pictures. Now I know why being exact was so important ! In the 1970 Ambassador the toilet is in approximately the same position, but with a bit more room all the way around. The tub is on the other side of the room. I hope to drop it to floor level, because there was no headroom in the original layout...I realize that doing that will create its own complications.
Al, you also brought up a great point about the vent pipe. if I recall correctly, the hole in the old plywood for the vent pipe was much more exact that the toilet. I think you may have just provided my answer, in terms of how to determine the location of the hole for the toilet. I will base it on the vent pipe, and measure accordingly.
Speaking of measurements, is there rigid foam over the tank in the photo where you have marked up the surface? Or did you mark right on the tank?
And FYI, we visited your fine city 2 years ago for a wedding. It was very fun!



Thanks,
David
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:54 PM   #175
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"Speaking of measurements, is there rigid foam over the tank in the photo where you have marked up the surface? Or did you mark right on the tank?"


My '68 tank is the original. It's a glued up concoction of ABS sheet and possibly vacuum form pan. the green top is its sheet of ABS, on which I scribbled some of my positioning notations.


Other black tank discoveries...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...re-159949.html


Thanks, it is a nice town.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:53 PM   #176
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Closing in on it...

Hi Al, David, All,
Al, I read your thread about the tank valve conversion with great interest. That is extremely helpful to me as i move forward!
One thing that popped back into my brain is the question of the tank box bottom/belly pan. The tank box bottom was mostly gone -- some was ripped off, some rusted away. There is a similar story for the areas of aluminum around the tank box.
I have been planning to use a scrap piece of fairly rigid aluminum (it is half of a retired road sign) as the bottom. It seems as if it would be useful to remove the bottom if it is needed to get to the tank for some reason. This is where it gets fuzzy for me... structurally, it would be best if the tank box rests inside of the angle iron supports that go width-wise in the rear of the trailer. Of course, that would make access to the tank quite difficult, since the bottom would not be easily removed (i am guessing). On the other hand, fastening the bottom of the tank box to the underside of the supports could provide both that bottom (of the box) and act as the belly pan in that area. It just seems like the connection would be weaker if the sheet was fastened from below, even with a fairly large number of sheet metal screws or pop rivets.
What did you guys do? How does that line up with the original configuration?


Thanks,
David
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:11 AM   #177
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If you're simply following the single-tank design, I'm going to side with Airstream's design. The tank fits into an insulated galvanized sheet-steel box, and is supported by the two angle-irons that traverse the frame. The tank is heated by a furnace duct.


If you are going to increase waste-water capacity, as you might because it is a family size trailer, at this time you have opportunity, and it adds value, you've got a project with a variety of well illustrated solutions.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:13 AM   #178
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Single tank

Hi Al,
I am going with the single tank (the original design), but all of the aluminum in the tank box was gone when I purchased this AS. Being a first-timer, I don't know what is missing... was there a tank box that was then also covered with aluminum?
And when you had to remove your tank, can you give me the order of steps? Was it:

* Remove belly pan in area.
* Remove angle iron supports.
* Remove tank.

?


And lastly, where is a good source for sheet aluminum?



Thanks,
David
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:33 PM   #179
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all of the aluminum in the tank box was gone when I purchased this AS”

Then, how do you know it was aluminum?? Any that I've seen were galvanized steel sheetmetal.


* Remove belly pan in area. * Remove angle iron supports. * Remove tank.”

Yes

My local source for metal is an outfit called ALRO. They're online. Your local HVAC shop can help you with finding a tinsmith and metal.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:36 PM   #180
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Hi 02sheds: My holding tank boxes were steel, rusted steel at that. They were covered by the belly pan. Interesting enough, my fresh water tank has a steel bottom also, but it is not covered with aluminum belly pan.

The photo below shows my rusted tank pan bottom. The second photo shows a clever idea Airstream had. A guy just unbolts the rear of the tank box and the whole thing is hinged. The tank drops and slides out (after you disconnect the toilet and the vent pipe.) Maybe an Airstream giving birth to a black tank. I am abandoning that neat idea as it is too much work for me. My new tanks are held in place with fabricated supports and angle irons. I will have to remove the belly pan to remove the tanks. No big deal.

I purchase belly pan aluminum in 4' wide roll at the length I need. I use AirParts in Kansas City. They have been good to me over the years. (Egads, 4 belly pan projects!) You can order online at their website.

Colorado David
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