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Old 01-14-2013, 07:51 AM   #41
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Thanks, Dan! We take a TON of pride in restoring such a great old trailer, just like our 100-year-old house we recently renovated, so it's thrilling to finally start seeing it look better instead of worse! The gutting, cleaning and prepping has been going on since August. It was a big emotional win to get that paint on the frame and turn the corner toward putting her back together finally! I was seriously getting close to just hiring someone to do the frame, but we pushed through.

Aviator,
Thanks, we'd love to come visit! We rented a cabin in Elijay a couple years ago and absolutely loved the beauty and tranquility of Northern GA. That weekend retreat hiking with our dogs really pushed us toward getting a trailer. If you're ever up our way let us know! We'd love to meet other Airstreamers. We plan on going to some rallies in the future, and when we're full-timing someday I'm sure we'll spend some time in your area in the spring and fall!
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:04 PM   #42
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Im guessing you will want to go with a clear flooring material so you can see that beautiful frame lol...
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:22 PM   #43
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Airslide - Yes! We were just saying "It's almost a shame to cover this up!" Thankfully I'll always have my pretty bumper, hitch, and step to admire.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #44
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I Know You Didn't Use POR-15 But...

... Had you used POR-15, it would not hold-up to direct sunlight without a special topcoat. Had your bumper and steps been painted with POR-15, they would fade and look bad in less than two years of exposure to the sun.

Better read the fine print on Chassis Saver to ensure it doesn't have the same shortcoming.

Airslide, to your question. POR-15 makes a chemical bond with rust (FeO2). If you remove the rust to bare metal, the POR-15 won't bond and you have spent a bunch of $$ for a very inferior paint.

If you sandblast all the rust off, you must use a product called Metal Ready to cover the surfaces with oxidation (rust) in order for the POR-15 to bond.

I have spent mucho $$ on POR-15. I have never used Chassis Saver.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:22 PM   #45
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Hi Ken,

Yes, it has the same UV issues as POR. I'm topcoating with paint (if it ever stops raining here), but the Chassis Saver made such a pretty, smooth glaze on top of the formerly hideous, rusty metal that I'll enjoy my hard work, even under a layer of paint. Thanks for your words of warning, though! It would be an easy mistake to make. It's a shame they all have that issue with UV because it did look really nice bare.

The Chassis Saver wasn't cheap either, but it was available locally and POR wasn't. I don't always have the foresight with this complicated of a project to buy something a week before I need it and wait for shipping!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #46
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Astrodome

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristinS View Post
... I still can't decide what to do with the rectangular Astrodome skylight/vent. I don't want to spend a $160 replacing the plastic cover, and with two new Fantastic Fans being installed, I doubt we'd need it anyway. Has anyone just covered theirs up? Or is there was a way to just do a fixed skylight like in a house?
We love our Astrodome. It lets in so much light at the front of the trailer. I know it's expensive but it's worth it. Now, finding the lifters, that's another thing entirely.

Come to think of it, maybe you should cover up your Astrodome and send me your extra lifters.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:45 PM   #47
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Lynnetta,

If we end up doing a skylight instead of the Astrodome I certainly will send you our spare lifters! I found a thread talking about the Maxim brand shatter-resistant skylights and we may go that route for $200 instead of the $150 for the replacement Astrodome. Our Fantastic Fans have black covers so it might look nice to have a black-framed, tinted skylight up there with them.

We have an entire garage of parts from our '65 that I won't throw away and want to find loving homes for. If you need anything else let us know!
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #48
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How about tail light housings? Mine are crumbling away and I have no clue where to find them.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:34 PM   #49
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Tail light housings are unfortunately next on our list of things to repair and reinstall. Ours are a mess too, so we're going to try some fiberglass repair on them and paint them. I wish we could get aluminum ones, but I hate to think how much that would cost. If anyone knows of any options other than these awful plastic ones let me know!
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:40 PM   #50
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The ones at Vintage trailer Supply won't work?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:20 PM   #51
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Do they have the plastic light surrounds? I've seen the replacement tail light fixtures, but not the surrounding piece that's riveted to the trailer.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristinS View Post
Do they have the plastic light surrounds? I've seen the replacement tail light fixtures, but not the surrounding piece that's riveted to the trailer.
Try this:

Recessed Taillight

A phone call might turn up more.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #53
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Thanks for the tip, but these are the surrounds we're referring to. Mine are in lots of pieces and will need a lot of fiberglass patching to make them watertight and sturdy again. I don't know of anyone who makes them right now.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #54
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I think I have a plan......
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #55
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Our weather finally got warmer and less snowy (sorry, dear friends in the Northeast!) so we were outside templating our subfloor for our shell-on renovation yesterday.

We bought 1/2" foam board insulation to create the patterns for cutting our 1/2" plywood. This should save us from major cutting errors with the actual flooring. Using what little template we salvaged from the old floor's removal, we were able to get our corners pretty accurate.

We don't have any way to hoist the shell from above, so we built a supportive structure out of wood to push up on the strongest ceiling ribs and lift the entire shell the couple of inches we needed to be able to dry fit the template pieces. We'd left plywood spacers in at the ends of the outriggers to avoid stress on the shell, but obviously can't slide floor in with those there. I think this method of raising the shell temporarily will work well too when we install the real floor. We'll just have to move the jack when we put the final pieces of plywood in.

We're hoping to cut then seal the plywood next weekend, and have a floor in by the next couple of weeks. Our new aluminum for the furnace, rear hatch and water heater hole patches should get here this week too from Online Metals. It's weird to think we'll have so few exterior hatches, but with a tankless water heater/hydronic system that vents through the floor with a tail pipe, that eliminates two giant holes in our trailer!



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Old 02-23-2013, 06:15 PM   #56
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The beginnings of getting floored

Yesterday we bought our subfloor plywood from a local lumberyard - 1/2" 5-ply exterior-grade sheathing, cured and stored indoors, flat and dry. Opted against marine grade and instead are treating it with a borate-based pretreatment to prevent mold, mildew and insect infestation, then sealing the bottom and edges with low-odor, oil-based Kilz. Our living area flooring is going to be glue-down 12" x 24" cork tiles that we got at Lumber Liquidators for $1.29/sq ft, then we'll do a clear sealer over the top for better durability.

Today we borrowed a friend's wood shop to cut the curved end pieces, opting to cut the easier center pieces on-site as we install, so we can get precise measurements and make sure they all butt together as planned. If there's anything we've learned from renovating a 100-year-old house and now this nearly 50-year-old Airstream, it's to never assume anything several decades old or more is square, plumb or level!

Speaking of vintage, I think the jig saw we used was as old or older than our trailer, which seemed fitting, and the table saw was a downright antique. They didn't have any safety features back then, so we spent a lot of time planning our next moves and watching our finger placement.

We're hoping to get the two end subfloor pieces in tomorrow, then the piece at the doorway and just behind the wheel wells, and the final center pieces on Monday. Since we have to cut then seal the middle pieces it'll be a multi-day project, but worth it to get all our measurements right.

Can't wait to be able to walk in our trailer again! It's been months of practicing our balance beam now, and although I'm getting rather good at it, there's a big psychological win in seeing some major reconstruction take place!

The sun's down over our silver baby, but work will pick up again bright and early tomorrow!
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:40 PM   #57
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Nice pics. I like the sunset. You are moving right along!
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:39 PM   #58
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Thanks! We got the front and rear pieces of floor successfully in place today (after a lot of adjustments and sanding) and the other pieces cut with their primer/sealer drying for installation tomorrow.

It felt SO good to stand on a floor inside our trailer again! It's been been months since that happened. I thought about sleeping on it to celebrate, but I might want to wait and do that when the insulation and walls are in!

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Old 02-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #59
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Kristin,

Just noticed this thread.

We've been through 2 house remodels together and we're still married after just about 25 years. Our trailer, though pretty new, always needs work and there are always things to improve. Craftsman houses are cool although we've never owned one.

Looks like you're doing the right things and have been doing lots of research.

If it were me, I'd remove the skylight and seal it up. It lets in too much heat or too much cold and doesn't contribute much. We keep a piece of Reflectix in there and it is always closed. The fans will do what you need.

How are you going to insulate? Foam seems to be the way to go these days. And use foam or caulk to seal everything inside the outer shell where air or water can get in or out. I'd also put rubber gaskets at any penetrations of the outer shell to keep water out. Cars don't leak because they are sealed properly, but trailers are notorious for leaks.

Are you going to run wiring for solar panels and for electronic stuff? Best to prepare for that even if you think you won't need it right away.

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:57 AM   #60
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Thanks, Gene! We've been researching as much as we've been working I think!

I think we're going to install a one-piece shatter-resistant, tinted skylight because we do like having the extra light in the front of the trailer. With ours being a '65 we don't have the wrap around front windows, so we don't get as much light in the area where we'll be working and cooking. We plan to camp in temperate weather, so the heat and cold isn't as much an issue for us as not feeling like we're in a cave :-)

We're insulating the upper areas with Prodex spaced away from the outer shell with styrofoam blocks, and using foam board insulation in the lower panels and floor. We'll punch some weep holes in the floor insulation to let any water through to drain out of the belly pan, and keep air circulating in the belly. We're planning to caulk openings and use gutter seal on as many seams as we can, although it appears our only leaks at the moment are around windows and doors that need new seals.

We're also planning all our electrical right now, including solar and sensors and 12v, 110v, audio, tv, etc. It's a big task thinking of everything in advance, but studying what others have done on the forums is really helping!
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