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Old 01-31-2017, 03:44 PM   #1
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
2 years in 2 weeks (1965 overhaul overview)

Hi Folks:

Down to the final punch list on a 2 year full-on re-build of a 26' Overlander.

Found it not far from my place and decided "what the Hay"....let's give it a go!
I had spent almost 30 years as a yacht restorer/engineer/captain etc so (though daunting) I felt I had a fair chance of pulling it off.

I had a 05, 25' Safari for a while and started researching everything and every thread I could find to get a handle on what was involved (Hahahahaha!)

I did notice that a lot of threads started out "full speed ahead" but then petered out .... never to be heard of again!! Some ended in divorce, others sold due to financial constraints, time issues etc. Many were just "fluff" quick flippers and I could tell by the photo's that problems were just being puttied over.

So! I decided to simply take a few pics as I went along, pace my self and here we GO .... over the next two weeks I'll post "post progress reports" with photo's....

This is the beginning , Enjoy! I did (usually).
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:38 PM   #2
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Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 17
About to start on my own '65 Overlander. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:40 AM   #3
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
1st 3 months

Ok:

So here is the removal of the the interior panels and floor:
3 Ranger loads of garbage including interior skin to re-cycler.

It was "dirty work" with the usual fiberglass removal and sub-floor
cutting out:
Trick one: remove interior skin panel rivets carefully to prevent damage to
the upper aluminum frames.
Trick two: to remove the ply wood floor easily take 1'x1' 5/8 plywood and hole saw a 1 1/2 hole. Use this as a guide placed over the Elevator Bolts you need to cut around to get the majority of the floor out.....remove the drill bit for this part obviously.

I discovered that the chassis had suffered damage in the distant past (last time this trailer had a title was in 1979 and it sat for 35 years used as a "hay storage shed").

When I discovered this I had to sit back for a week and seriously considered re-scraping it. Glad I did not.

In these photos you can see I decided to replace the entire chassis from the door area to the bumper. As you can see I have the aft section exterior panels removed......little did I know at the time that I was to end up replacing all the exterior aluminum panels from the windows down. Yikes!

You will also notice that I am doing all this out side on a gravel drive way. AND I am doing a "shell off" in an un-usual manner. I did this by creating an interior scaffold that I gently moved from back to front as I went along...clamping it to the chassis for support while the load went to ground.
This is some what difficult as constant measuring and leveling was required to ensure the chassis was "true and straight" for the welding. Shim's and Jacks..repeat. New axels with a little higher rating. Also raised the chassis by 1.5" WTH...in for a penny in for a pound.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:08 PM   #4
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1964 26' Overlander
Warner Robins , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 197
Looking forward to seeing the remaining project pictures and updates! Thanks
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:11 PM   #5
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Sub-floor/chassis etc.

So:
Here we have the new sub-floor pcs. cut and sealed (drying).

Note: Though un-conventional, I decided to do away with the "C" channel that affixes the body panels to the sub-floor and chose instead to go with a cold molded wood technique. Here you can see on the end pcs that I cut 8'x 3/4 x 1/8 hemlock strips, then made a jig and epoxied layer after layer to obtain the original dimension of the original aluminum "C" channels. I then screwed every 6" to the subfloor (in addition to a couple extra coats of epoxy) for added strength.

This area is the achilles heel of the problems most commonly associated with "rear end separation" and general rot due to leaks.

Once the whole floor was in - the lower exterior panels installed, the shell frames through bolted through the "modified C channel: I then used SST 1 1/2 screws through the ext. panels into the wood every 1'....very strong AND I bedded the entire joint with flexible caulking..

In the next pic you see the aft sections of floor going in....towards the front you see I have not yet removed the old floor....this kept the whole structure from getting blown over in our notorious high winter winds....aided by the interior scaffold and strop supports. There were a couple days I questioned my sanity while I watched the whole shebang shake like a thing possessed in gale force winds.....but it held tight!

Next the Aft. Exterior shell pcs. installed....rather than cleco's to temporarily a-fix the panels I used steel 1/8 screws every 3-4 hole (remember I planned to re-drill the holes to 5/8 just before riveting.

Original Wheel Well's were cheepo galvanized sheet metal....now 1/8" Alum.
Last photo, Front 3 panels out, last of chassis welding. Most "out riggers" replaced....whew!
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:40 PM   #6
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1974 Argosy 26
Bainsville , Ontario
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Looking forward to the next 2 weeks!
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:01 PM   #7
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Panels and wheel wells

Here we have the last of the frame re-build and the front 3 panels being installed. Suction cups are REALLY handy to secure the panels tight against the inner ribs/frames for riveting.

Opening up first the back 3 panels working forward to the front 3 made it MUCH easier to get the large ply-wood floor sheet in + me/tools etc.

Next the side panels: I took each old panel individually and placed over new aluminum sheet (on a large table 16x4') and carefully traced the original shape including each and every rivet hole so I could place the new 5/16 rivets exactly over the original 1/8 holes (no new holes in frames).

I also had to replace 60-70% of the horizontal/vertical "C" channel body frames....the ones between the main body frames. And a few on the roof as well due to shoddy original workmanship. I wanted the holes dead center...not off to the side which makes bucking rivets a real pain.

Next the side panels and cutting out the wheel wells. Note that the shock absorbers are the current design that Airstream uses. As the new axels did not come with the strut mounting plate I had to weld factory supplied ones to the axel. Before one does it's important to measure very carefully to ensure that the tires won't rub up against something. I saw a freshly refit Airstream that only allowed 3/4" between the rubber of the two tires!!!!

Getting the wheel well's flush with the body panels, the wheel well flanges (that slide between the frame and floor)installed and all associated clearance tolerances was THE MOST IMPORTANT part of this stage and MUST be well thought out well in advance!!! Because they ALL have to dove tail simultaneously -- Don't ask me how I know this. And make sure the Axels are perfectly aligned at the same time also BTW
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:57 AM   #8
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Windows and Door

Once the side panels are riveted - all elevator bolt cinched tight and wheel wells secure it was time to do the door, windows and Roof hatches.

This is because the alignment of these "shell penetrations" should not be attempted until you know nothing is going to "shift or move".

The first photo is the "finished product" before final polish. The entire roof has been "striped" of the remaining old clear coat and as you can see I'm working out some minor scratches. New forward "Astro Dome" to fit original combing and two new Fantastic Fans. NOTE: I made marine plywood (sealed in epoxy resin) spacers to accommodate the flat fan flange to the curved roof. This fixed the puddling around the hatches that Airstream built in to the original design...bad mistake.

The windows took 3 DAYS EACH to remove, to strip of 30+ years
of different caulkings, to polish, to install new glass and gaskets. = one month +..... just on windows!!

I replaced the regular "house glass" with tinted safety glass. The glass alone was over a grand.

The door was fun and used metal screen material, completely disassembled, cleaned, re-insulated and new gaskets. Frame painted per marine standards.

Launching Party 1st time in decades that the trailer rolled on new tires.
You can see the straps and wood braces helping the aluminum "take the curve" ... Also note that I have replaced the flimsy original "Banana Wraps" with the new ABS plastic supplied by Airstream....much better looking!!
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Miscellaneous bits and bobs

The last posts were done over the winter...now in to summer
# Bending the lower panels and riveting. The holes in wood are where rivets go.
# Fabrication of tail light compound curve bases using moulding plastic
# Insulation: ROXUL acoustic fire bats...What a difference in temp!!
# Fabrication of Battery box and Power distribution center.

All wiring is marine grade. All lights L.E.D. Every connection was crimped/soldered/shrink wrapped and sealed with liquid electric tape.
Batteries are easily removed and serviced.

Most wiring except tail/running lights - over head lights/switch wires run UNDER the floor for ease of service. Outlets (both AC and DC) are placed at the 4 corners and for'd and aft of wheel wells.

At this point I was slowing conceiving what the interior would be.
Originally I wanted to have a recording studio that was mobil and off grid....and that is one of its functions. I also wanted a off or on grid camper/habitation but how to have both??? More later.

Happy Super Bowl and may the best team win!!
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:06 PM   #10
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Interior Panels

In the beginning I threw out the old interior panels as they had
too much damage (and holes cut out for various appliances.)

Having started out in yachting as a shipwright I decided to "Go Old-school" and replace them with marine grade plywood (1/8"). These panels are maple veneer over 4x8 and 8x4 .... sound the same but it designates which way the grain runs and which way they are meant to bend.

But first I should say that I chose to use a fastening technique that was developed for high speed aluminum power yachts.

# First I riveted 1 1/2" x 1/4" x +/- 8' Hemlock batons to all the aluminum frames. First the wood was sealed in West System epoxy and the rivets were super flush type (big head) from Hansen Rivet Co.
# Next I laid self adhesive VELCRO (loop side)over the Batons and stapled every couple inches for extra strength.
# Next I cut the panels and braced from the inside to "force the memory into curve"....Let sit a week in super hot weather.
# Next....using fiberglass matting cut into 2" strips .... I used West System Epoxy to re-enforce all the edges and also created a cross hatch pattern of same through the large expanses for added rigidity.
# Next ... apply 2 coats of sealer, 3 coats of exterior grade marine gloss varnish and 2 coats of Satin finish coats to all exposed wood.
# Next ....apply the "Hook" portion of the VELCRO to these panels with 3M5200 adhesive caulking.
Install.
These panels may there for be removed with out too much trouble.
Note : No fasteners were needed.

Then made trim to cover the joints....Trim was the same Hemlock 1/2"x1/8 except I routed a 1' scarf into the face and glued Cherry veneer in it's place. This made it easier to "Force the Curves" and then when the veneer was applied it turned the trim into a 2 ply for strength and appearance.

End Caps: These were a real challenge!! Originals weighed about 60lbs each.
Here I fabricated the same body frame "C" channels and notched to take the curve...they were then 5200'ed to the exterior end cap aluminum.
Then (imagine the old whale bone frames used in the Victorian Age ladies skirts) I constructed a wooden frame as the structure.
Seal in 2 coats of West System epoxy and install using the Velcro.
Next I fabricated the panels with Veneers over 1/4 inch Cork panels....seal, varnish and install using aluminum strips....These panels are easy to remove.

Final result was a light, strong and very well insulated interior as the wooden batons block heat and cold... It's also very quiet inside with excellent acoustic properties for music.

Though these photo's show gaps in the Velcro I ended up with 100% coverage for a total of +/- 230 feet each of Hook and Loop.

Important is that I left a small gap at the bottom of all the side panels to allow the walls to breath. In the ceiling hatch (trim or called also "garnish") I installed vents....This allows for lots of circulation between the inner and outer walls and allows heat to escape through the Velcro and out the hatches.....It worked so well I decided not to install A.C. which is noisy, power consuming and tends to create a lot of condensation. I've seen so many trailers and boats destroyed by poor circulation (mold and mildew).

The above took most of the summer!! In addition to running wiring and general trim and small stuff.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:08 PM   #11
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2005 30' Safari
Montgomery , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Images: 1
If I were to imagine myself with the most bad-to-the-bone restoration skills ever... this would be the level I was thinking of. Like a speaker volume that goes to 11-- very awesome work!!!

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Old 02-07-2017, 01:48 PM   #12
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
fit and trim

Here are a couple more photo's that show better the body panel backing support....getting ready to cut and glue the Velcro to the panels.

Cut cork squares and laminated to floor for acoustic/thermal insulation.

Clamping the veneer inserts into the panel trip.

Note the wood boxes of 1/4" ply....sealed and painted over the wheel wells.
Between these and the aluminum wheel well's is 1 & 1/2 silver back Styro-foam.

Under the Sub-floor I installed 1 & 1/2 " of silver backed insulation as well.

Note Window blanks, with insulated backing ..... It's winter out and that little oil filled heater keeps it at 60-65 in below freezing temps. If I wanted it hotter I got a piezo electric fan heater that I point through the oil heater and 70+ degrees is no problem.!!

Tomorrow we light the place up!!
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:50 PM   #13
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Sound check/electrics

Now that the interior panels were done...
Here is the Battery Box....could hold up to 4 battery's.
The Power distribution Center....very accessible
The Face of the Center with Solar panel on left.
The Acoustic sound check by Joe Miller VI....my guitar
teacher and ALSO the man who helped me buck all those
thousands of rivets
The Truma on demand hot water heater is visible behind Joe
and I.
The Dikenson fire place heater is just being fitted and the
frame below will hold the Truma.
Once every thing was installed we towed it to Al's RV to
do a thorough check of all systems for peace of mind and Warranty on
the Truma (they had to be the ones to fire it up for the first time).
Note: The Magnum Inverter Charger hates ground fault plug in's.
Other than that I passed with a B+
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:22 PM   #14
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Interior modules

Hi folks

I decided to put in a "modular" interior....it's in 10 pieces and can be entirely
removed in about an hour.

It took a lot of agonizing as I only wanted a bare minimum of holes drilled
in the walls. Everything is bolted/screwed to the floor.

Some of the bed/couch frames being constructed and fit etc

You can see the trim and new blinds.

I like the pic of the bare interior because it shows that I went to considerable effort to make sure the curved wall's were just that and not "squared"

The front of the trailer shows the new style carbon fiber propane tanks.

The two "pipes" running up are the vents for the Black and Grey water Tanks as I could not run them inside as there is no cabinetry to hide them. Even if I had they would have been too close to the roof hatches.

Fridge and Freezer "by Novacool" going in ... These are Ac/Dc Marine models and though the fridge has less space than the ones in say 25' trailers; It is more than made up for by the HUGE freezer. I like to pre-prepare food and freeze for an instant healthy meal. The freezer can be turned low to act as more of a fridge and the fridge on high is almost a Freezer!

I also built wood cabinetry around each freezer with extra insulation sandwich'd in between. These fridges can operate on a 30degree angle.

The last photo was taken yesterday ..... I am taking a photo from the tow truck on way to pull my truck out of the ditch....visible on the right. No damage except to my ego....but as you can see the winds blew me right off the road on a sheet of ice!!
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:21 PM   #15
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2005 30' Safari
Montgomery , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 384
Images: 1
Crazy weather (coming from a true Texan). Glad all is okay. Like the toilet--a room with a view!
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #16
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Finished interior

Thanks Dave, I drove through Dallas long ago in a similar snow storm...I was the only ones with chains and the belt way was empty.

So I know that the toilet placement is un-usual but the following:
#Toilets in trailers must be mounted a minimum of 1' inboard of
the chassis main longitudinal beam so they can drain into the holding tank.. This then requires a separate room that breaks up the interior.

#Originally many of these older trailers had the entire bath room in the back
which caused most of them to rot out .... and made the back very heavy.

Any way: Not shown is a curtain that separates the front 5' from the rest.
There is also a curtain that closes off the Back athwart ships bed.

Here is basically the finished product.
*It can seat 8 comfortably with room to get up and move around with out bothering the others.
*Very large freezer AC/DC and moderate size Fridge by Novacool...marine grade.
*SST 2 burner cook top with integrated sink. (I like 2 sinks so I made room for a large pot to the left of the sink that can be stored away when not in use.)
* Brushed SST counter tops above the reefers which at least triple the counter space of a modern AS. (I'm looking for a cutting board to span the gap above the toilet.)
* the Aft bed is 7+'x4.5' and the two side beds are 7x3.5'
* The Side beds/couches can be placed in 3 different distances for different kinds of storage.
* The storage bins on the aft bed show what can be stowed under.
* the fabric is high end Sunbrella with medium density foam...marine grade..
Very comfortable.
* all framing is aluminum and the entire interior can be removed in 1.5hrs (working solo). It's very light and strong.
* Has a regular micro wave (top) with toasting feature and a Apollo Micro wave Convection Oven with integrated elements for regular oven....kind of pricy and I have not used it yet.
I Will post pics of the SHOWER next week...."I call it my Hot Lips Hoolihan shower....." Works pretty good tho.
* The fresh water pump/expansion tank and hush kit are under the grey "step-thinggy" between the fire place and port side settee....very compact but very service friendly.

I will also describe the tankage system/plumbing next week as I'm still working on the bottom of the trailer (got a little behind due to freezing WX)

I took the unit in to get weighed for a new title. It weighs in at 100lb more than original(NOT BAD ''eh?). I attribute this mostly to heavier insulation, much more under carriage tankage, heavier window glass, beefed up chassis and axels. The tongue weight was 200lbs more than original but I had full propane tanks and forgot to bring wood blocks for the jack and ended up using 2 heavy duty hitches to make it happen so I'm guessing it's more like 100lbs.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:46 PM   #17
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1964 26' Overlander
Warner Robins , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 197
Please tell us more about the carbon fiber propane tanks. I've never heard of them. Price, weight, certification implications?? 😃 Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:16 PM   #18
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Viking Tanks for Carol

This is a link to the propane tanks (Fiberglass....not what I said)
http://vikingcylinders.com/products/

They come with a D.O.T. "filling certificate" which I should have taken with me for the first fill up.

They are super light compared to the Steel ones but they cost around 150 bucks and you have to have a new base welded to your chassis.

You can see through them so you can see how much propane you have.

Rumor has it that another company made some faulty ones which scared the industry off them. But a s SCUBA diver I know we have been using fiber glass tanks for decades and they hold 3000psi and last longer than the alum. ones.
Actually no body makes fiberglass SCUBA tanks anymore because carbon fiber was better an could take another 1000 or so more PSI.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:21 PM   #19
"Tinbad ... the Trailer"
 
Del Gurney's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Shower/Curtains etc

Here are some more photos of:

The interior plumbing:
*To the left is the pump, expansion tank and hush kit.
*The bronze valve choses between filling water tanks and city pressure. This means a slower fill rate but one less "through shell penetration" (pet peeve)
*Propane leak detector and 4 fuses/ 2 switches control everything in the vicinity .... H2O heater, pump, fire place
*To the right is the inside of the Truma on demand water heater.

The Fire Place in action...nice ambiance feature and boy can it heat! (note protective covers for SST counter tops)

The Fridge and Freezer interiors.

The Shower set up:
*The drain in the pan fits into the drain in the floor...NO you should make sure the Grey Tank wont over flow.
*The shower curtain is washable but it was custom sewn.
*The chair in the shower is so no one can fall in the shower....It is also handy cap friendly (as is the toilet).
*The whole assembly super magnets to the ceiling and surrounds the Fantastic fan venting.
*The whole shebang sets up and tears down in a fraction of the time it took to wipe down the shower in my old A.S. Safari. AND I'm right next to the heaters....that's a big deal folks (for me at any rate)
*The shower head also can lead out the window for an "Al Fresco" shower!

The oil radiator heater has a dedicated storage area and next to it is the peizio electric (for when plugged in to shore power)

The for and aft privacy curtains. Note under counter CD/AM/FM stereo which has 4 concealed speakers under the side couches for and aft of the wheel wells. I left enough wire so the speakers can face out the open windows for tunes out side.

Tomorrow I will show the under carriage.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:52 PM   #20
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,748
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Pretty rad setup man. Looks great.
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