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Old 05-25-2013, 10:08 PM   #101
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A little nice weather would be....ummm....nice....

Rain...rain...rain.... Yeah, I know rain is a good thing....but it's really putting a 'damp'er on my progress on my new sub-floor.

Not to be deterred, I have been climbing around the exterior....removing vents and the old a/c unit and stripping the old clear-coat off, as well as starting the process of removing some moderate corrosion and cleaning all the seams...locating loose or missing rivets etc, etc. Even using a power-washer, the Citristrip and another from the Big Box store left behind some residue which I hope will buff out. I'm not going for a high shine this year....just removal of the corrosion and a nice 'glow'. I'm also planning on sealing the entire top panel of aluminum with an aluminum fiber-based roofing sealer. The question I'm pondering is whether I should go ahead and apply the roofing sealant before installing the new Fantastic Vents and a/c, or is it better to apply the sealant after everything is installed, sealed and riveted?

Removing the a/c and vents left me with a ton of old adhesive and gaskets around the openings. After soaking them with a spray bottle of Goo Gone for several hours, they still were very stubborn to remove. So, I mechanically removed them using a wire brush wheel attached to a low-rpm drill. Of course, the wire brush removed a little aluminum too, but now at least I will have fresh clean metal to bond with the new gaskets and sealant around the new Fantastic Fans and 13.5k Dometic Penguin II Low Pro w/ Heat strip. Another challenge will be to square off the openings for the Fantastic Fans, as the old vents had rounded corners. Hopefully a metal cutting disc on my grinder will do the trick....with a steady hand.

Found a great scaffold unit for cheap on Craigslist, so am hoping it will come in very handy....when the ground dries out enough to support it....and me.

After removing my rock guard to protect the plastic from flying/sloshing stripper, I almost started removing my front windows....as the gaskets and tons of add-on PO sealant have molded badly. But I have so much work to do elsewhere, I think I will leave the window for another phase of the project.

I believe I am going to relocate my battery/batteries to the front of the trailer (since I am starting pretty much from scratch on the electrical/12v system). With that in mind, I am going to add a 30amp Furrion inlet to the front of the trailer to accept a generator connection...with said generator living in the bed of the truck. The main 30amp inlet will probably be installed toward the forward street side area along with a matching cable/phone inlet.

Lots to ponder during the coming days of rain...rain...rain.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:38 PM   #102
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I installed my 30 amp furion inlet where the fiber optic tail light indicator was. My indicator was DOA so I needed something to put in its place. Besides if you want to hookup at an RV Park, you will want your inlet somewhere net the street side rear.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #103
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Nice install! I think my fibre optic indicators will work when they are hooked up to the new LED tail lights. And I've ordered a new cover for the indicator housing. I'm going to start re-wiring the Trade Wind soon, so I am trying to figure out where to relocate my batteries, since I got rid of the battery compartment. I stay awake at night, trying to figure these things out....LOL
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:51 PM   #104
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Nice install! I think my fibre optic indicators will work when they are hooked up to the new LED tail lights. And I've ordered a new cover for the indicator housing. I'm going to start re-wiring the Trade Wind soon, so I am trying to figure out where to relocate my batteries, since I got rid of the battery compartment. I stay awake at night, trying to figure these things out....LOL
I got rid of my battery compartment too. I'm going to relocate all electrical up front curb side. AGM batteries, converter / distribution panel and inverter will all go under the curbside front seat.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:19 AM   #105
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I'm heading in that direction too
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #106
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I see several of you paint the new subfloor before putting it in. Is this necessary or just a good suggestion? The old stuff isn't painted... We're putting in 2 new pieces. One front and one back. Thanks! We're new to the world of Airstream so, any help is appreciated!
Also, any tips on sliding the new plywood into place, frame on?
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:32 PM   #107
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I guess it depends on what your plans are for the Airstream. The aluminum shell will conceivably last for many decades if cared for properly. Wood will begin to degrade as soon as it gets wet. And we all know that Airstreams leak. So, to answer your question....it's probably not absolutely necessary to seal and paint the sub-floor. It's just a good idea, if you want it and all of your hard work to last as long as possible. I sure don't want to go through all this work (and $$$) again (on this Airstream). There are plenty of things that Airstream could have done to make these ICONS stand up better to the elements. Preventing water damage to the floor (which is an integral part of the overall strength of the entire system) is probably one of the most important....that, and taking care to properly seal every leak you can find. But it's all a matter of perspective.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:59 PM   #108
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Regarding replacing front and back floor sections, shell-on. Hopefully, you are/were able to save the old pieces...since you will need them to determine the radius of the front and back curves...although, there are also ways to figure that out using a large piece of cardboard and re-creating a template. Nothing is perfect...but it's important to get it as right as possible.

Search the Forum for shell-on floor replacement.

I would think it would be necessary to release parts of the C-channel so you can stretch the sides of the shell out to get the new pieces of sub-floor to slide into place. But from what I have read on the topic, it will take a lot coaxing and pounding...

The other questions involved are whether the floor you are replacing was water damaged, and if so, what is the condition of the frame below these areas? It is possible that you have frame damage that will require welding and replacement of cross members. Airstream filled the bellies with pink fiberglass insulation....which may have become wet, degraded and filled with rodent nests....and the continued wetness will further contribute to frame rust and degradation.

In the end, it all depends on how far you want to go....

Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:44 PM   #109
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The biggest issue we had with our shell-on reflooring was keeping the shell on the outriggers while we slid the floor in between the two. Chris invented a turnbuckle contraption that kept the 2 sides stable in relation to one another while we worked. It actually wasn't as difficult as we thought it would be. We also painted the floor pieces before they went in.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:04 AM   #110
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We were able to get the new floor in just fine, thankfully! Instead of using paint, since we didn't have any oil based on hand, we oiled the boards with linseed oil. We use linseed oil on a number of other outdoor items, like our chicken coops, and it works well. We also pulled out and replaced the insulation underneath. There were no signs of rodents. There was some surface rust but nothing bad so we cleaned it up and coated with Stops Rusts primer and paint. Looks good and will hopefully last a long time! Our sealants for the exterior are in the mail so... looks like we have our work cut out for us next week! Thank you all for your advice! We plan to live in the camper full-time while we build a house. Any other tips and advice are gladly heard. :-)
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:55 AM   #111
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I see several of you paint the new subfloor before putting it in. Is this necessary or just a good suggestion?
Since some water damage may occur some day and then you'll have to replace or repair the subfloor again, sealing it now seems to be the best approach. Do you really want to replace the subfloor again?

There are many products to seal the wood and Airstreamers have used them all. While linseed oil is an excellent sealer, I would probably use an epoxy paint that absorbs into the wood and coats it with a reasonably impervious seal.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:07 PM   #112
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Finally....half a decent day!!

The elevator bolts are going in.....

I'm using 2" elevator bolts with a locking washer and a nylon locking nut. I drilled new holes with a 1/4" bit, all of which found good new metal...in between the old holes. And I counter-sank the elevator bolt heads with a 1" paddle bit. So far, so good....

Just very happy to finally be able to make some progress.

Tomorrow, I have to remember to replace the door threshold brace (which goes under the floor and attaches to the frame. Left it in my garage, so had to stop earlier than I wanted. With parts in 3 locations, sometimes my mind will just not allow me to think too far ahead. LOL.

Please send more decent weather.....

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #113
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Smile Hoo! Ray!

Finished installing the floor today!! Yeah!!!! Actually, I still have to install the last section in the rear, but that won't happen until the shell is ready to be attached. But if the weather holds out, I hope to get the frame re-united with the shell this weekend. I just may have this project road-worthy by September after all.

I re-installed the original wheel-wells after repairing some cracks and abrasions with fiberglass and epoxy resin. I may reinforce them with another layer of fiberglass...just to give them a little more strength. And then I am planning to build new interior wheel wells to replace the very fragile 'yellow' plastic originals.

I got lucky this week and found an almost new Dometic 6.0 cf Classic fridge for less than half retail. I hope I'm lucky, anyway. We'll see when we hook it up and try it out...at some point down the road. But the PO said it only had a few hours on it. So I am hopeful.

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:17 PM   #114
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Looks Great. Just curious, what will you rebuild the wheel well covers out of? Mine are pretty much junk but I cant bring myself to spend allot replacing them when they will be covered with a bunk bed on the one side and a bathroom cabinet on the other.
Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:20 PM   #115
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Yeah! Major progress!

Kay
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #116
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Thanks! I will insulate around the wheel wells and then box them in using cabinet grade plywood to match the rest of the cabinetry to be built. I'm not sure if they will show in my final design...but at least I'll know they look good. hehehe
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #117
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Three Steps Forward....One Step Back....

If I had any hair, I would'a pulled it out today....

So, sometime ago, I ordered 2 very expensive Fantastic Vent / Fans from (you know who). They arrived a few weeks ago...separately boxed in one big outer box. I opened the big box...opened the first of the 2 inner boxes...was satisfied with what I found...and put them away for a sunny day.

Well, today was that sunny day. My frame and new sub-floor are just about ready to be re-united with the shell. So, I thought today would be a good day to install the Fantastic Fans. First, I had to cut out the rounded corners of my old vent spaces to accept the square profile of the new vents. I had been a little worried about taking any sort of saw to the aluminum. But was very relieved that my DeWalt grinder with a metal cutting disk cut through like butter....nice and clean. Easy-peasey.

After cleaning off the aluminum with de-natured alcohol, I applied 3/4" butyl tape to the underside of the first fan...and then applied a liberal amount of sealant to the inner and outer perimeter of the vent casing. Dropped it in the hole...drilled out the holes, and secured the fan with 8-32 x 1" ss machine screws, locking washer and nuts. Done!

Then I prepared the second hole....even easier now that I wasn't afraid of mutilating the shell. Went to open the previously un-opened 2nd box... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! Different color fan...different color cover. REALLY?!?!? (Famous Name Vintage Airstream Supplier)...Were you on drugs when you fulfilled this shipment?!?!?!?! WHY the HECK would you do that!?!?!??! Send me two completely different colored fans?!?!?! Well...I decided to heck with it...and installed it anyway. When I get closer to completion....I will take a can of Krylon and fix the problem. But REALLY!?!?!?! I spent that much money, and you sent me 2 completely different colored fans?!?!? You're going to get a call from me in the very near future!

The 3rd hole, I filled with a manual operation Fantastic Vent with a smokey cover....a skylight for most days....a vent for when I burn the bacon. It, by the way, was at least the same color as the first vent that I unpacked and installed.

So, in the end, I have 3 beautiful new vent/fans....that look like they came from 3 different families. Krylon, that will fix it. But ARGH!!!!!!!

Then....just as I was smoothing out the last bit of sealant around my new fans....the skies opened up and POURED rain all over my fresh sealant. I cursed loudly at the skies above....and climbed down off of my scaffolding....aware that I would probably have a re-do to do on the seams....but happy that 3 of the 4 holes in my roof are plugged.

Now for the 4th hole....a Dometic low profile a/c unit. But I may wait until the shell and frame are reunited...and the running lights are hooked up....and then take it to an installer. I don't think I am up for hoisting 97 lbs of a/c up onto the roof by myself. But I sure am looking forward to getting that job done...and freeing up some floor space in my garage.

Peace! And have a great 4th of July everyone!!
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:57 PM   #118
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Darn, I guess I better go open my second box! ........Phew, I'm good!

I bet they make it right. Just curious, if you use the locking washer and nut what happens later if you need to remove the fan?

Fantastic fans are on my list for this week....
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:28 PM   #119
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The locking washer holds the nut tight, considering the amount of movement in the shell as it bounces down the road, but it does not prevent removal of the nut.

I'm confident I will be dead before these fans need to be removed.....LOL.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:55 PM   #120
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Until you meet your first major hailstorm or? ! My question is this.... Can you remove the screws without access to the nut? My worry is that I'd need to remove interior skins again, which is not going to happen!
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