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Old 08-16-2011, 08:05 AM   #41
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The SeaLevel gauges are still in the box in the shop. I just haven't found the time to install them. I'm not too sure if I will.
What? no glass cockpit, like Aerowood? oh, wait...that was a c-130. easy mistake.
Seriously...I was thinking that would be the way to go, as there are 3 probe wires from my black tank that must terminate up front at the control panel. Since the see-level only needs one wire for each tank, that would solve the wire-fishing problem. It looks like their panel height would fit in the existing space, and include all the same functions. (battery/tanks/water pump switch).
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:52 PM   #42
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Well, I've been on hiatus for a couple of months due to a back injury, so not much has happened. Only recently been able to start picking away again, slowly.
The original floor is still in place; I was hoping that I could at least get new floor in place so I can put the the project away for the winter in a weather-tight condition, but thats looking less and less likely as the days grow short.
Anyway, today I was removing the bolts in the u-channel. I was actually able to un-bolt one of the big bolts in the "corner" that is connected to the main frame rails. (That surprised the heck out of me. the other one snapped, as I expected. gotta love the new Makita impact driver, though!) Had to cut the elevator bolts that were in upside-down. that wasn't too hard, but they were rusted solid to the hold-down plate, and took quite a bit of banging with a hammer and a wonder-bar from underneath to get them out.
The other surprise is that even with all of the fasteners out of the U-channel, there is very little movement in the frame. I expected it to be a bit more floppy, but maybe its the relatively short rear overhang on this model. Or maybe I need to remove the rest of the elevator bolts that go through the cross-members further up.
My question for today is: is it going to be possible to get the rear hold-down plate out of there without cutting the U-channel out? From looking at that today, I'm not seeing how that's coming out. Or how a single sheet of plywood is going to be able to slide in from the back. not if there's going to be a hold-down plate there in the future.
going in from the sides...well, on one side is the battery box frame, and that's in the way. On the other (street side), the outer skins hang down lower than the bottom of the U; perhaps that could be trimmed flush, but it would be a delicate procedure.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:18 PM   #43
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I'm back!

haven't been getting anything major accomplished, lately; little things, here and there as time allows. (and it usually doesn't). nothing photo-worthy, until today:




After finally getting all the fasteners out, I decided to just yank it out. It actually was much easier than I expected.

so much for fixing just the last 6" of rotten floor.



one not-so-good thing was that I noticed a bit of a thin spot in one of the main rails; probably patch-able. We'll see what my welder says when he sees it.

looks to me like the aft 2 cross members need to be replaced.

the farthest aft doesn't look all that bad, but I'm thinking that has to be cut out in order to get the hold-down plate out. never got an answer to that question.
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #44
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Your welder should be able to repair/replace most of that without too much trouble, at least from what i can see in the pictures. I don't see see the thin spot on the main frame rails, but it can probably be patched without a lot of "major surgery".

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #45
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well, it turns out, my welder (brother-in-law) informed me that he wouldn't be able to to do the work in my driveway, because his mobile welding rig is broken, and he has no intention of getting it fixed, as he has little use for it.
So, the trailer has to be moved to his shop.
After he took a good look at the situation, he said it would be best to just remove and replace the aft 18" of frame.

So, I put in a temporary piece of 3/4 ply...just 2' wide, to secure the shell. It worked out as a good "trial run" for making the permanent replacement floor. But anyway, I moved it down to his shop last weekend, where he will work on it in his spare time.

I ordered tanks from VTS on Monday, and they arrived today. talk about fast service!!
I've got another tank on order, but that will take a couple of weeks to get here.

So, things are looking up. slow, but this part will get done quickly--BIL is fast, and he needs the space that the trailer is taking up for other things, so he is motivated to git-r-done.

should be some interesting pics coming of the trailer on a lift. stay tuned...
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:20 PM   #46
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Chuck I've been enjoying your posts and pictures...especially since my "74" Tradewind is laid out just like your Safari and showing some of the same issues. Did you have any trouble getting the subfloor out? Didn't see any pictures of that process. Were you able to slide it out from under the shell? Keep us updated. Thanks!

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #47
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Well, I couldn't take pics of the actual removal process, because my hands were kind of full.
There's more pics in my gallery.

But it was fairly easy to get out...biggest pain was breaking off all the elevator bolts from below. Once that was done, I just took a circular saw and cut it in half, and it wiggled out pretty easy. Remember, there was nothing under the u-channel across the whole back edge...or at least, most of it.

The next sheet forward was also very easy, because it is almost entirely between the wheel wells...so again, nothing wedged under a floor channel.
here's the back piece out on the driveway.

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Old 06-21-2015, 05:19 AM   #48
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After another long hiatus....back in business!

There actually has been some more work done since my last post...My BIL was able to do repairs on the frame, replacing the last 2 x-members, and cutting out/splicing angle in to the main C channels. Its such a major undertaking to get the trailer to him, where he can do such work, we had to do it when the time/space in his shop was available, and I did not have the black tank in my possession, yet, so he couldn't make supports for that.
Then winter came. And other stuff...too busy, etc, etc...and 2 years go by.
Anyway, this year, I have vowed to get back to it.
I found a local welder who could come to me, and make up the tank supports. Spend most of the day yesterday making straps for the gray, and welding in supports for the black tank. So now, we're back in business. Next step is to por-15 and paint, and then its on to the floor.

pics to follow...
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:47 AM   #49
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Here's some pics:



Here are the new tank straps and brackets.



And these are the tanks in place.



close up of the black tank; the rear bracket is welded in place; the front one is removable, so the tank can drop down, if ever necessary.



The angle on the support "ear" allows the support bracket to slide forward when unbolted.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #50
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Here's the view from the back:



the re-fabbed x-member was done a couple of years ago, before I had the tanks in hand. The new un-rusted piece forms the bottom of the 8" deep cavity to box-in the black tank. We cut out a chunk of the previously re-fabbed x-member (which isn't doing anything structural) to make room for the sewer outflow pipe to come through into the bumper box.
The 3" angle that is added to the bottom of the main frame rails only existed on the street-side on these early 70's shorties. (25', 23', and 21'). On the longer trailers that came from the factory with frame-mounted tanks had the frame extension on both sides, and the angle irons supported the tank pan. Our short trailers had floor mounted tanks. But for some reason, they still but this frame extension on the street side. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose. Anyway, my welder added one for me on the curb side, and this allowed us to make the full 8" deep box. I'll just rivet flat sheets of aluminum to close them in.
Here's that new 3" extension:
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:25 PM   #51
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Looking good Chuck!
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:05 AM   #52
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obligatory POR-shots:








this was a much bigger pain that I thought it would be...painting upside-down trying to wiggle underneath the frame...but its done.

Had enough POR left over to do the tongue, but not enough time...spent much of yesterday trying to strip all the old paint off. Hope the por keeps until next weekend.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:09 AM   #53
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Lookin' good!
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:56 AM   #54
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I'm so impressed Chuck!

Doing the same so will be printing this out. I'm so impressed!
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:17 PM   #55
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catching up a little..
the tongue was starting to look kind of ratty, again. (I stripped and painted this a few years ago...as always the rust eventually wins out.) I had some extra por left over, so I thought I'd take the time to strip and re-do it again. We'll see how long this lasts.









Sure looks purdy...I don't seem to have a pic of the silver top coat that was applied. I'll have to see if I can find it. Anyway, there it is.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:04 PM   #56
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Getting closer to being able to install the floor. I bought 2 sheets of marine ply...(yike$). I expected something a little less "splintery" for the price. It took a lot of sanding. Oh, well...
I spent a lot of time measuring the back piece. Like everything else, it takes 10x longer than you think it will. I didn't think this would be any big deal; I have the temporary piece that I made a while back so that I could move the trailer. It seemed to fit just fine, but its only 2' wide, but the arc seemed to match the shell perimeter. I pulled out the original floor from behind the shed, (on which the original curve in the back is mostly rotted away), but it has the forward perimeter intact, and the forward and street-side edges are "factory" edges (square), giving something solid to align to the new sheet of plywood. So my plan was to stack the original floor pieces and my "temp" piece on top of the new ply, and just trace the perimeter.
Well..the old ply and my temporary floor don't match. My temporary piece is an inch wider than the original...which seems to be too short compared to to the width of the frame.
So I spent quite a few hours of head-scratching and measuring and finagling to try and figure out how this could be. I wound up actually re-installing the original floor, so I could see just how the shell aligned with it...I even lined up several holes in the floor with original frame holes, so I was certain that everything was in its original location. Then I crawled underneath and looked. On the curb-side, the edge of the plywood matches the u-channel perfectly; on the street side, its a uniform 1/2" short. (The "u" hangs out over the edge of the ply). The curve seems to match just fine; just off by 1/2".
So I decided to align the pieces so that the curb side was a match, and then just slid the 2 original halves of floor apart so that the gap was between them, and then traced the perimeter. I used the curve of my temporary floor piece to trace the aft-most curve (missing/rotted away from the original floor).
Anyway, this is what I came up with:



And, I got 2 coats of epoxy on the aft piece (and the "stingers" on the forward piece). Ran out of daylight before I could do the bottom. I was afraid that I didn't have enough of the West epoxy to cover everything, but the 1 quart (also super expensive!) is plenty.
There isn't any need to epoxy the forward piece; the original flooring was in perfect shape (except for those narrow 2" "stingers" at the back). I'm only replacing it because of those "stingers", and the fact that
it was very easy to remove/replace, since its all between the wheel wells.
I'll probably put a couple of coats of floor varnish on it, to seal it up, and prevent the ply from absorbing and re-distributing musty trailer smells.



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Old 08-18-2015, 10:52 AM   #57
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Wow, I'll be following this one closely and may hit you up with some questions. I'm about to tackle the same job on a very similar safari. Seeing these pics really let's me know what I'm getting into.

What did you end up using for tanks? Looks like 2 gray and 1 black? Did you get these from VTS? What capacity are they?

I'm wondering if I need the capacity of 2 gray tanks. My '72 had the above floor black on the road side. We'll probably keep it that way. I'm struggling to see how I'd get good flow of solids to a center mounted unit and manage the outflow as well.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:08 AM   #58
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The grey tanks came from VTS; they are 16 gallons each. Since I bought these, they've come out with bigger ones, meant to fit the space in the 70's trailers. (the originals were intended to fit the '60's units, which had 4" deep frames). I'm going to swap one of mine for the bigger size. I still need the smaller tank for the aft cavity, because of the location of the shower--the drain needs to drop into this space. But there's nothing but tank in the forward space, so I may as well use it. The larger 5" depth will allow me to use a see-level gauge. (4" minimum...but, you need to allow for a 1/8 or 1/4" gap top and bottom...and these tanks are actually "not quite" 4" deep; more like 3 3/4").
The black tank came from another vendor. It is 22 gallons.
If yours has the corner-tank, this wouldn't work for you. (unless you're custom-making an entirely new bathroom layout, and mounting the potty in the middle, between the main frame rails.).
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:36 PM   #59
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Thanks, I think I'll check into that larger gray water tank from VTS. The Current black will probably stay as is. As much as this project scares me, seeing what I'm getting into via the pics you posted has me inspired! I'm ready to bust out the drill and start disassembling.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:50 AM   #60
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Chuck:
Thanks for your posts - very helpful. I will be installing a grey tank in my 73 Safari. I will likely leave the black tank as is. I would love to see the plumbing connections you made - also to see where you vented the tanks and where you placed the waste valves.
Thanks so much.
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