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Old 10-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #21
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Thanks for all of your input. Yes, I was speaking of electric radiant heat beneath a floating floor...probably cork. Considering the amount of renovation I hope and plan to do, some compromises will have to be made down the line. For the time being, I am going to be concentrated on repairing/replacing the plywood sub-floor. Can't really do anything with the trailer until that is done and buttoned up. But I did order my on-demand water heater today. I'm excited about that!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #22
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We installed a floating cork floor in ours. Really like it. Floor is definitely warmer now. My concern with radiant heat is that the electric wires will break when they flex while you're traveling. You would also have to have electric hookups to utilize it. We have never done it though, so maybe someone with experience with it will chime in....

Kay
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:27 PM   #23
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No More Panic....

A lot of things I'm dreaming about doing to the interior of the '72. Will be interesting to see how it all pans out. For now, it is an empty shell...but a CLEAN empty shell...as I used about a gallon or more of industrial strength bleach cleaner...a good scrub brush and plenty of elbow. She cleaned up real nice...and smells fresh and clean.

Will probably have to hold off on taking the floor out for a few days.... duty calls elsewhere. But I'm ready for the task.

Wish me luck
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #24
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Panic....Schmanic.... Work has been keeping me busy the last week or so... But today, I tackled the rotting floor. I was expecting to find dead animals and serious issues, but was relieved to find only a few old walnuts and a lot of old insulation in the belly (was it common to insulate the belly???). I removed about 80% of the floor today...and was also relieved to find the frame in pretty good condition....no obvious problems. May have to address a couple of out-riggers...but so far, nothing too serious.

I was a little surprised when I pulled up the floor....to find 3/4inch spacers on the cross members. I was only expecting the 3/4inch floor. Not sure why...but I guess that will make it easier to join the new flooring sections. Glue & Screw!!

I debated whether or not to remove the inner skins. I'm glad I did...or started to anyway. The old insulation was spotty and non-existent in some areas. Thankfully, it was held on by very little adhesive...so was very easy to remove...although I itch half way up my arms, even though I wore long sleeves. This will give me an opportunity to update the electrical systems after I install the new floor. Yippeeeee!!!

I've received my new Progressive Dynamics Controller. On-demand water heater is on the way, as is the catalytic heater. Will be looking at batteries and a battery box soon. I'm thinking about moving the batteries to the front of the Airstream...under the dinette (yet to be built). Anybody have any thoughts on that?

It's been a long day. Sleep is now required. Tomorrow will be another long day removing the remaining floor and skins. Have NO idea where I am going to store 15 feet of skins once I get them off. But will tackle that problem as I go......

'Night fellow Streamers......
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:29 PM   #25
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Oh, and one more thing.... I have a dent on the port side - front corner - where the radio antenna is....about 6inches wide by 18inches tall. Now that I have the inner skins removed, I am looking at ways to remove the dent. It won't pop out on its own (slight crease). Is there a preferred way of doing this? Maybe heat the metal with a torch and then gently push it out??? Ideas??? Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:40 PM   #26
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Tradewinds rock!

Welcome to the forums. Your life will be forever changed.

Change is fine, but remember that new solutions have new problems.

Insulation is one area that I believe you can do a better job than Airstream did originally.

I would be wary of changing the floor plan unless you have really thought a lot about the changes and the impact that these may have.

Install a new furnace. The new ones are more efficient and have spark ignition. They are also safe with no holes in the heat exchanger. Catalytic heaters will not put out enough heat especially in your cold climate. They only put out 5,000-8,000 btu/hr. A furnace will put out 20,000 btu/hr. Also the manufacturers of the cat heaters do not recommend sleeping with them operating. Ok for some temporary heat during the day, but not ok for a good nights sleep in cold Minnesota.

Hope that you like your new tankless heater, but I would not have gone that route. My regular heater works fine. Great for boondocking. Reasonable price and very reliable. Why change?

Good luck. Looks like you have a lot of experienced folks nearby.

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:25 PM   #27
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3/4-inch? I had 1/2" on my '73... Your frame spars are offset height-wise to accommodate floor joint backer-boards on every-other one.

If I had it to do again and the battery locker was in good shape, I would not omit it completely (with gusto) like I did - It might go half-height with above/below storage and access and find a use for it later, once its 'gone' its gone forever.

Battery(s) forward means moving some other weight back...
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:49 AM   #28
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We had (and have) 3/4" plywood on our '72. Every other cross frame is dropped 3/4" to accommodate the 3/4" plywood gusset you glue and screw to the bottom of the plywood to reinforce the seams. Your trailer is not 8 feet wide, so you'll cut off about 4" off of each sheet of plywood. This cut off is then used for the gusset under the seam.

Yes, Airstream used fiberglass insulation in the belly pan. It's actually sandwiched between the floor and the frame cross members. We opted to not install insulation in the belly pan. Instead, we installed an engineered floating cork floor. It has enough insulation power for us since we do not do really cold weather camping.

We stored our inner skins in our garage at first. They are flat and take up minimum room up against a wall. Then I coiled them up and stored them inside the trailer for that winter. They were easier to deal with coiled up.

There are other insulation options you can think about. Prodex and reflectix (sp?) come to mind. Other have used them successfully. Do a search for these on the forums and you can read about them. We opted for fiberglass in the walls again. It's cheap and easy to install, and so far it's provided very good insulation for the trailer in the heat and cold. We're going camping again this weekend, so we'll see how well the trailer does in cold rain (hopefully it'll rain!).

Your on-demand water heater - is it intended for RV's? I ask because the house-hold ones are not a good fit for an RV. In part because they are not meant to be rattled around while traveling, and in part because they require too much water flow to turn on and heat the water.

We also moved the batteries to the front of the trailer. They are mounted inside center, and will be under a table we'll build between two recliners. We offset the weight by changing from 40 lb to 30 lb propane tanks and but not building in a sofa/gaucho in the front of the trailer. We kept the old battery box at the rear of the trailer, and will use it to store something. Not sure what yet - maybe our leveling blocks.

If you can, try your catalytic heater while it's cold out before deciding to not install a furnace. We go camping in May and October, which are the times we used our furnace. Kay's parents had a catalytic heater installed in their 34 foot Airstream, and the one time I remember being in it that trailer while using the heater, it kept the front living area nice and warm. They do need a fresh air supply (window and vent cracked open).

Chris

ps - post pictures!!!!
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #29
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Thanks Minno!

I too am planning on a cork floor, so I may not insulate the belly. I don't really plan on much cold weather camping. And most of the time, I believe I will be hooked up, rather than booning. Going to try the catalytic heater and see how it goes, since I will also have an additional fireplace type electrical heater in the front (in theory). I'll reserve the space where the old furnace was...just in case I decide to go that route later on.

The tankless water heater is a Girard, which is made for RVs. I know it limits me to a hook-up...which will be the case most of the time. But if I wanted to boon, I wouldn't have a problem with boiling a pot of hot water to wash up (I kind of like roughing it...just not in a tent on the ground...LOL). And most of the time, I will probably camp where there is a hook-up.

I am also eliminating the toilet and shower (since most of the time, I will be hooked-up with toilet and shower facilities that somebody else can clean. Ha). But I will have a bathroom style wash area. That will probably give me enough room near the axels for the battery and converter. Since I'm changing most of the floor-plan, I am concerned about messing up the weight distribution.

I'll post some more pictures after I have the floor out (hopefully today or tomorrow)
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:49 PM   #30
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Eliminate the toilet?!??!? You must be a youngster (i.e., someone that doesn't need a toilet at 2 am most nights).

I suppose since you plan on going that route, you can use the black tank space for a gray tank. Perhaps even use the black tank as a gray tank, except then you'll have to cap off the toilet flange opening somehow. Plus add a fitting for sinks to drain into the tank. Since you have a 72, you do know you don't have a gray water tank, right?

So what will you do with all the extra space you'll gain in the bathroom? Personally, I wouldn't go that route, but hey, she's your trailer. Make her into what works for you.

Chris
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:26 PM   #31
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My black tank was eliminated when the PO removed the toilet/bathroom due to the rotting floor. So, it is history. As it is, if I camp in a tent, I have to seek out the facilities whether it's 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning. So, not having a toilet in the Airstream isn't really going to be that different from my past experience (yes, it will be a little inconvenient to not have that convenience...). And if I were booning, I could always bring a long a chemical toilet and put it in one of those nifty cabanas....same with a shower set up.

The former bathroom in the back of my Trade Wind is going to be a full sized bed with storage underneath...along with the tankless water heater and the converter. In theory anyway... haven't got that far. LOL And the area along the starboard side, where there was a fold out bed, will be a desk and storage area...along with the battery box (maybe/probably).

I think I have a gray tank sitting along side my fresh tank (I'll try to post a pic of what I found when I took up the floor. It has no connections on it, so I don't know if the PO used it. I haven't tried to get either of them out yet.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:44 PM   #32
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Look for me tomorrow, I'll swing by.. Call if you have need of particulars..

Pictured there is the fresh tank - it's double-wide.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #33
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Ah....cool. Thanks man. I should be there after 10.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:27 AM   #34
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Yup - that's just one fresh water tank. About 45 gals.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #35
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A beautiful day for demolition

Pretty happy with the way things progressed today. Was able to remove much of the floor and almost half of the internal skins...with the help of a couple of friends. I am confident the remaining skins will come off tomorrow morning...along with the remaining pieces of flooring. I am excited because I will then be able to see what I have and make plans for the next step...which may or may not include removing the shell and taking the frame to be sandblasted. Waiting for quotes/estimates.

Hoping for dry weather.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:42 PM   #36
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Demo-liscious!!!

The rain held off long enough for me to get a lot done today. Finished removing all of the interior skins (not the end-caps) and all of the RATty and MOUSEy insulation...but NO dead bodies were found. I debated whether to do this...but I'm glad I did, as I found 3 popped rivets in the roof that I might not have otherwise found for awhile...that would have been sources of major leaks. Yeah!!!

One more day of demo to finish removing the sub-floor, belly skin and water tanks. At that point, I will decide whether I am going to remove the shell and deliver the frame to a contractor to sandblast and do any necessary repair on the outriggers. I feel if I do this, it will be a major step forward in the time-line for completing this project. And like they say....time is money.

Also looking forward to showing this project to an electrician friend of mine. Hopefully, he will be interested in updating and re-routing things to suit my needs.

I'm a happy (future) Streamer!!!
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #37
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Purman recently redid his trailer, for ther 2nd time. His latest thread on this was this year and you should be able to find it with the search function using his name and for threads only and limit to threads started this year. Use the "advanced" search. It might be helpful to you. He did it fast!

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Old 10-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #38
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Look Ma, No Floor!!

Finally, FINALLY got the rest of the sub-floor removed today. At some point, my '72 had seen some damage curb-side front. The number of screws and bolts holding down the c-channel was just amazing. And of course, most of them were rusted...unwilling to be taken out...and with just enough life left in them to be a real pain. So, I went after them all with a grinder and took their rusted little heads off...then used a nail punch to get them out of the way. The final section of sub-floor in the nose was just stubborn as hell. So I cut it up into chunks and hammered and grunted until they finally gave way.

Then I went after the belly pan. Again, there was damage from the previous repair...jagged edge...lots of holes...lots of different types of rivets, screws, bolts holding it on. Finally, I get fed up and ground off the rivet 'shrooms' on the inside and gently whacked it with a hammer until it fell free. I'll save it and use it as a template for a new belly skin.

Next up came the water tank. Tried to remove the pan yesterday, but upon closer inspection, found the fresh water tank (if you can call it that after it's been sitting in a field un-used for more than 5 years) half full. So I pulled the plug and let it drain over night. Today, I drilled a few heavy screws into the leading edge...grabbed hold with a claw hammer...sitting on the ground....and heaved until it finally slid free. Lots of gunk in there keeping it tight...but it finally gave up the fight.

So, no more interior skins...no more floor...no more water tank...no more belly pan or skin. Just a moderately rusted frame that looks to be in pretty good condition otherwise. Hoping to take it to be sandblasted soon.

My big frustration today was with the olympic rivets holding the street side wrap on. Could not get them to punch out, so I could drill them out and free the wraps and the banana wrap. Really wanted to get all of that off today so I could be prepared to lift the shell. I guess I'm going to grind them off on the inside and then punch them out with a nail set/punch. And I guess that means I need somebody on the other side providing some resistance, so I don't deform the side panels in the process.

Anyway, it will have to wait for another day....as I will be in the emergency dental chair tomorrow....argh!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:45 PM   #39
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is looking good!
you are doing a great job. thanks for sharing
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #40
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I can't wait to see it down to the frame.
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