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Old 07-25-2020, 10:05 AM   #21
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Conderford , Gloucestershire
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Removing bits off the roof

I removed the aerial, the AC and the roof lights.

That A.C. must have weighed over 40kgs!!!

So much gunk...
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:14 AM   #22
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A few attempts at clearing the gunk

I used a multitool with silicone remover blade - probably a bit too aggressive but it did take the top layer of gunk off. This is probably too risky to use for the whole roof though - it is a metal blade.

I then tried using a gel-based paint stripper. This seemed to work to a degree. However, this would require numerous applications.

This is very slow going.

I think the best idea is to mix up some thinners with some thickening agent (carboxy-methyl cellulose - a metalworking friend suggested this) to make a paste, then leave it on for some number of hours, so that it really gets into the gunk. Then to scrape with a plastic scraper.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:29 AM   #23
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Taking off the roof skin

In hindsight, I'm not sure there was a huge amount of logic behind taking this off at this point. However, it's done now.

The insulation was in remarkably good shape, considering how leaky the roof was when I was staying in it.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:42 AM   #24
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Initial frame examination of the Travelux

So I thought I'd take some of the floor up.

It seems the original floor had completely rotten away over the years and had been replaced (very poorly) in a very piecemeal fashion.

The upshot of this was that almost none of the floor was extending underneath the shell any more.

Therefore, major rear-end-separation.

I managed to get the old gray/black tank out, but I had to cut it out of the belly pan. All the bolts had rusted around the old sewage connection and there was no way to remove it nicely.

The sub-floor insulation was a total mess.

It looks like there was layers of it sandwiched in between the frame and the floor. This had gotten damp and caused the frame to rust.

Upon examination, sizeable slices of rusted steel have come off the frame. I would expect the members to be rusted inside as well as out. While I was hoping for a shell-on restoration, this is looking to be increasingly impossible.

I am even thinking that the frame may need to be completely scrapped and duplicated.

This is very daunting. I have no idea how much such a thing would be to fabricate in this country, but I'm imagining in the region of 5k.

So whether to get myself along to some welding and fabricating courses, teach myself enough to take a crack at it, with some assistance from a professional welder?

This guy makes it sound and look easy, but I know it's a major undertaking.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f36...in-210854.html



Regardless, I have another problem in my way:

Given what needs doing, the workshop space I have is no longer going to be big enough.

SO I need to look around for another space to put this in to work. And that's going to COST. Probably in the region of 6k-8k per annum.

If I get a big enough space I can do a full frame off resto.

What do people think about the likelihood of me being able to put together a new frame with no previous experience in metal work?

That's all for now.

I'll keep you posted about what happens next.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:20 AM   #25
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
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As you can see the chassis frame is quite strongly built. Suggest you remove the belly pan for better access while replacing floor, plumbing etc and repairing the frame. Unless the frame is rusted through it should be ok to clean off loose rust with a wire wheel in a drill or grinder and paint with rust proof paint like POR 15, Tremclad, Rustoleum, or whatever brand is available where you are. In the case of severely rusted areas it is possible to cut out the bad parts and weld in new metal, or reinforce with steel plates bolted or screwed on. You might want to consult a welder or truck or car repair person who is familiar with such work. In any case try to use the same kind and thickness of metal as they used originally. I believe the frames were made of standard size rectangular or square tubing, whether the same size and type is available in England as in North America is another question.



I think the Travelux body rests on the frame and the floor can be replaced without taking up the body but you will have to use your own judgement on this.


As far as the body damage goes, recently I read of a new method of pulling dents out of auto body panels using a glued on device. It is a type of paintless dent removal. 2 big advantages for us, the glue works on aluminum and you don't need access to the back of the panel, which saves removing the inner skin. Here is what I mean, this video I chose more or less at random, I do not know anything about this person or his products.


You might get an expert to repair your dents, if you want to have a go yourself you can remove large dents little by little, working around the edge and removing the dent in reverse order to how it was put in. Take your time, if you get carried away you can make things worse instead of better.


I am impressed with the amount of work you have done so far. These jobs always take longer than we expect and cost more money. You will win in the end and have something you can be proud of and enjoy for many years.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:08 PM   #26
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Bathurst , New Brunswick
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Hi what year is your trailer? I am another vintage nut, with a super case of aluminitis. Purchased my 1971 Travelux, 23 tandem axle,in sept 2013 and am still working on it, today. You will never be done. I use it as a summer pastime,in between some camping runs, just to check my systems and how to improve. It beats gambling and what are the other vices? lol Everything in our trailers can be traced to some other more popular brands of aluminum trailers stateside, of that era. You really have to know what you want and who manufactured it. I chose a Travelux because it was a Canadian build. i didn't do a frame off but it was close. I to have many pics of my progress. Keep me posted on your progress
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:08 PM   #27
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Frame Work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
As you can see the chassis frame is quite strongly built. Suggest you remove the belly pan for better access while replacing floor, plumbing etc and repairing the frame. Unless the frame is rusted through it should be ok to clean off loose rust with a wire wheel in a drill or grinder and paint with rust proof paint like POR 15, Tremclad, Rustoleum, or whatever brand is available where you are. In the case of severely rusted areas it is possible to cut out the bad parts and weld in new metal, or reinforce with steel plates bolted or screwed on. You might want to consult a welder or truck or car repair person who is familiar with such work. In any case try to use the same kind and thickness of metal as they used originally. I believe the frames were made of standard size rectangular or square tubing, whether the same size and type is available in England as in North America is another question.
Hello Ganaraska, thank you for your kind comments.


I am about to upload evidence of me following your advice!
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:11 PM   #28
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Nice to meet you

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Originally Posted by mrfixit51 View Post
Hi what year is your trailer? I am another vintage nut, with a super case of aluminitis.

Great to meet you mrfixit51. It's a 1974!!
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:49 PM   #29
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Taking the floor of the Travelux up

Hello Friends..


So, I have managed to move the Travelux down the road into Wales! I had a company put it on a flatbed rather than tow it, given what happened last time it was towed somewhere! Comfortable ride, and now it's in its new location, which I shall post a picture of next.


So, slight change of plan. I have the trailer in my workshop, and am going to use it as an office. So Rather than doing a full renovation, I am going to do a "good-enough-for-now," quick job to make it useable, and then continue to chip away at the (significant number of) other jobs in the meantime.



The floor, as I mentioned before, was an absolute shambles. The original floor, from what I can gather, had almost totally rotted away. There were a few panels left of it right in the middle of the trailer, where it turns out the frame is still in very good condition (the only place where it is).



The rotten floor had been replaced haphazardly and in panels.


Getting the floor up was a hell of a task. Most of the screws either stripped their threads or just plain snapped. Where the original floor was nailed down into the frame (!) , it was impossible to remove the floor without cutting holes all around each nail with a multi-tool.



But up it came, and underneath, an absolute filthy mess of rat-eaten insulation and rusted frame.
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:58 PM   #30
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Preparing the frame for painting

For the most part, I was pleasantly surprised by the decent condition of the frame. Yes, it had mostly rusted layers of steel peeled off and collected in the belly pan.


The makers had sandwiched the absorbant foam insulation between the floor and the frame (!) encouraging rust. It seems water from condensation and leaks had collected in the belly pan, sitting there and slowly rusting the steel, particularly the bottom edge of the frame.


Part of the bottom edge on one of the long beams is totally rusted away.


Many of the bottom edges of the cross pieces will need cutting out and re-welding. It will be a big job, but I don't have time to do it now.


The original floor was held in place by these large round headed bolts which were somehow melded into the chipboard. I removed all of these, and any screws and bolts that were sticking out of the frame.


I then took an angle grinder with a flap disc to the frame.


Because I planned to use POR-15 as many others on this forum have opted for, I took as much rust off as I thought reasonable.


I was not aiming for clean metal; just to remove any loose dust.


Pic 1: Rusted outriggers. These are the worst. Many of the outriggers are still intact. Some will require cutting away and replacing. This is where the long beam has rusted away underneath.


Pic 2: Round headed bolts which had held flooring in place.


Pic 3: Pre-grind


Pic 4: Post-grind
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:10 PM   #31
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Grinding Rust off the Steel Frame and Preparing it for painting with POR-15

Pic 1: Frame during the grinding process. Notice I haven't removed the round-headed bolts yet.


Pic 2: Frame after the grinding process. Notice the mid-section still has the original paintwork still on the frame. No rust. It strikes me as somewhat lucky that the frame around the axles is the bit that is still fully intact. The steel on this section is thick as all hell, and sturdy. The rest is thinner, but still sturdy enough.


Considering I thought I was going to have to scrap the frame and start again, I was pleasantly surprised. After grinding the whole thing over a period of 5 days, with respirator, gloves, goggles, hat to keep the horrendous dust out of my hair, I have a good idea of the condition of the frame! Sturdy enough to keep. I would have liked to get to the welding now, but alas, it will have to wait. It will be a very big job.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:17 PM   #32
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Weird little bits of aluminium screwed to outriggers?

Does anyone have any idea what the function of these rounded slices of aluminium might be?


Other than changing the shape of the outriggers from a straight angle to a curve; but I can't really see the relevance of that either.


Suffice to say I removed them, again at significant effort. Screws invariably had to have their heads ground off.


Pic 1: Rounded aluminium inserts
Pic 2: From the back
Pic 3: One of the outriggers after removing the offending item.
Pic 4: The offending item.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:24 PM   #33
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Removal of vinyl from internal aluminium shell

Next up I removed the vinyl from the inner shell.


I'm not going to keep these skins long term, because the builders and PO had made such a mess of them screwing things into them, cutting holes in and poking wires through, etc.


However, for now, I want it to look reasonably presentable, so I set to work removing the vinyl with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. Actually, with a heat gun and plastic scraper.

It came away fairly easily, except every single rivet had to be traced around with a craft knife as the rivets were put in over the top of the aluminium sheets which presumably were wrapped with vinyl pre-assembly.

The vinyl left behind a horrible layer of glue gunk behind. Just awful. This I had to paint with paint remover and scrape away the gunk with a plastic scraper. Then I used a kitchen towel with some thinners on, to remove leftover debris.


Much of it will need two rounds.


Horrible job.


Pic 1: Wall before.
Pic 2: Wall after, but still with gunk.
Pic 3: Front end, with gunk
Pic 4: Front end, after gunk removal.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:16 PM   #34
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PAinting the frame with POR-15

So I bought two pints of POR-15, one black, one silver: undercoat, overcoat.


I started painting in the morning, as soon as the undercoat was done, I started with the overcoat.


The stuff really does love rust. In sections where I had taken the frame back to the metal, or where the original paint was, the POR-15 didn't take as well.


But generally with my nice semi-rusty frame, the base coat loved it.


The silver seemed to be much less up to the task for some reason. The black looked and felt much better going on. But I did the two coats and I am happy I did.


You notice I painted the frame without removing the belly pan. Sacrilege, I hear you scream.


I know, I know. But I don't have the time in this version of the build to get underneath. It will have to do for now. At least most of the frame is protected from further damage for the time being.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:33 PM   #35
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Replacing the floor with Shell On!

Ok, you're going to think what I'm about to describe is sacrilege... And I apologise in advance to the purists. One day, I will have time to do this right.


But here goes.


Now that the frame is protected, it is time to figure out what I am going to do with the floor.


For now, let's park the idea of removing the belly pan, lifting the shell, welding repairs into the frame, installing plumbing and any other under-floor services, installing a new belly pan, insulating, installing a new sub-floor, and re-attaching the shell.


Given that at a later date, say, this or next summer (?) I will be getting back down into the frame, and the fact that I don't have much time right now, I need a solution for the floor that is relatively easy, won't cause any damage to anything, and will be sturdy enough to walk on.


As sliding the floor under the walls is likely to be a time-consuming job, I am ruling this option out. Bear in mind the trailer won't be moving from its position as long as this solution is in place.


So, my proposal is this;


1. Go around the trailer, jacking up the shell away from the frame, removing the remnants of the old floor that are sandwiched between frame and shell, and hammer in long hardwood "wedges" that will replace the existing rotten floor remnant (see pics).


2. Install an 18mm OSB floor which fits up to these wedges (i.e. doesn't go under the floor).


3. Use L brackets to attach the floor to the aluminium studs of the shell, near the floor, at various points around the interior wall, so that the shell *is* attached to the floor, giving the whole structure some rigidity.


This will be a better situation than currently exists, despite being what we describe in the UK as an 'absolute bodge.'


Then I'll install some lights overhead, into some 3mm birch ply boards for the roof, some switches and sockets running through copper pipes for a 'vintagey' look, and use the thing as my office for a year or so, until I've built up the gumption and have the time to "do it right."


Any thoughts are welcome, good or bad.


Pic 1: old chipboard sandwiched between shell and frame, front
Pic 2: same
Pic 3: old chipboard floor sandwiched between single outrigger and bottom of shell
Pic 4: shell suspended, not even touching outrigger
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:38 PM   #36
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The Travelux in its new home

Here he is, sitting pretty under cover, for the foreseeable.


Any advice is welcomed!
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:36 PM   #37
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I wouldn't use OSB. You know how it deteriorates. Some kind of marine plywood or pressure treated plywood made for damp conditions would last longer.
You will regret not repairing the frame while it is fully exposed. Unless you plan to strip out the new floor and do a shell off later and I don't know why you would.
An alternative would be to make a temporary floor to fit inside the shell using OSB with tongue and groove edges that is made for house floors. Here in Canada they make this stuff in 4 foot X 8 foot sheets and it is not expensive. Since you are not moving the trailer it will lay there without fasteners. I made a floor this way in a garage with a cement floor, laying the OSB on top of styrofoam insulation with no fasteners and it worked fine for several years.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/T-G-Orie...0924/100054132
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