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Old 02-24-2020, 04:12 AM   #1
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Vintage Kin Owner
Conderford , Gloucestershire
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New old Travelux 31í restoration in the UK

Hello all

Just introducing myself to the forum.

I purchased a Travelux 31í in late 2018 that had been imported to th me UK from Canada.

I bought it to live in expecting as was told by the seller that most things would be working.

Once we got it into the field (which was a somewhat traumatic experience) and moved in we realised this wasnít the case.

Most of the plumbing was broken, the water tanks were rotted away, the electrics were for the most part dodgy, the old converter racked up a £250 electric bill in the first few months. But it was liveable- barely - and we got thru a winter in it.

Fast forward 18 months and now we are in a different part of the country.

Unfortunately the person we had tow it over here caused some significant damage to the outer skin in transit. So some major repairs are in order.

I will post detailed pics of the trailer and damage when I can.

Now I have this beast in a workshop and am slowly beginning the renovation. I have never done anything like this before and it is incredibly overwhelming.

But I will do it! I am hoping to finish it by summer 2022!

I will use this thread to record as much of the build as I can.

While the pictures show the innards to be in reasonably good condition, once you get behind them it is a bit of a nightmare. I will explain in subsequent posts.

Hope someone is listening !
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:18 AM   #2
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More photos of previous condition

Just a few more photos of previous condition of the Travelux.

The plumbing was totally shot; drainage through the sink was one of the few things that did work.

We suffered from leaks from the ceiling and around the windows, and LOTS of condensation.

If any other travelux owners are reading this, have you ever resolved the condensation issues with the metal window frames? It seems the Travelux windows are very different to the airstream ones.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:01 AM   #3
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First step - electric jockey wheel

Well first up I had to manoeuvre the beast within my workshop to get it
Into position.

This wasnít possible with a truck in the building as well so I needed to figure out a solution that didnít involve a $1200+ hydraulic mover shipped from the states.

The cheapest hydraulic mover I found in the uk was £4k!

I settled on two jockey wheels, one battery powered. I drilled the holes in the frame and attached the bracket but when it took the weight it looked like the whole lot was going to break.

So I got a welder to weld two sets of plates around the a frame and a supporting strut, then attached two jockey wheels, one either side, to support each other.

The old a frame is a bit rusted on the inside. But the plates hold everything in place.

It works well enough - although the clamp for the electric jockey wheel bends about terribly when itís being used. I must replace it with a heavier duty one.

It says it can handle up to 400kg, but the clamp is flimsy.

It will do for now and I will look into grinding off the clamp (I had the welder do a few spot welds to keep it in place as I didnít trust it) and replacing it with the same that is on the other side.

In the end the solution cost £500 and quite a few weeks agonising about how to solve the problem and finding a suitable welder.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:02 AM   #4
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Sorry about the upside down images

I dont know why theyíre getting rotated.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:18 AM   #5
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Removing furniture, exposing floor

Next I removed all the furniture, the furnace (which had beee disconnected by a P.O.), the fridge, water heater, plumbing pipes. The black tank which was located directly underneath the toilet would not come out. I think I need to take the floor up first somehow.

It looks like most of the original flooring has at some point been replaced (very poorly) by plywood. At very few points around the edge does the wood floor go under the shell.

Much of the original flooring has rotted away particularly under the fridge and near the door.

I hope I can do this without a shell off. I donít know how i would do that in my workshop.

There is definite rear end separation. The shell seems to just be holding itself up.

I am looking forward to getting the floor up.

But first I want to remove all the vinyl from the walls and ceiling panels.

There are hundreds of holes where the furniture was screwed into the walls.

I havenít decided whether to replace all the internal skins or try and re use the existing panels. Most of the time Iíve spent so far is agonising about which route to take with the different elements.

The partitions seemed to be taking a bit of weight from the shell, so Iíve put some posts up to support the ceiling just in case.

My next milestone will be removing the internal skins.

But if Iím keeping the aluminium I want to take the lions share of the remaining vinyl off before removing them; it seems it would be easier that way.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:35 AM   #6
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Beautiful trailer, shame it was misrepresented. Unfortunately that seems to be the norm.

We are currently going through a bathroom remodel on a 1969 Kencraft. It started with a small hole in the ceiling, and now the bathroom is gutted. We found rot in the floor, and the walls near the floor. So we are cutting out all the rotten flooring, replacing a few rotten supports and then we have to rebuild it.

I understand the exhaustion that comes from all these decisions. Last week I was totally exhausted. My contractor didn't think it was a big deal. I unfortunately did.

Your trailer looks a lot like a Streamline or Silver Streak. There are very active Facebook pages for both of those trailers with super helpful people. A few of them have done a floor replacement like you are doing.

Looking forward to your progress!

Ian
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:03 AM   #7
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Hi there, thanks for your message...

I’m looking forward to a total overhaul, I’ve decided that I’m just fated to do a super vintage caravan renovation as one of my major life accomplishments!!

There are a few other Travelux threads from the last few years which seem to have petered out - I am
Hoping the individuals involved come back online at some point !

You can find them in the Vintage Kin section if you are interested !

Good luck with your build !
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:38 AM   #8
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1978 Travelux President 31' , Ontario
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Hi Dickitee,
I am listening! I have been one of the people that has been away from here for awhile. Your query to another thread by Evalu8r which I am subscribed to woke me up to check in. I will subscribe to yours as well because I have the same trailer as you and you are inspiring me to start my renovation. I know I won't be able to start in 2020 but at least I am getting the bug to while reading yours. I will have more to say I am sure. Cheers, Dave
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:37 AM   #9
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Vintage Kin Owner
Sunset Valley , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Hi,

What “works” and what’s “livable” has different definitions depending on the person. This was the case with my SilverStreak. While I don’t know much about Travelux trailers, I have an Avion and Airstream in addition to my SS. Much was shared between brands, such as the windows. Your windows look to be Hehr Jalousie style windows and there are a lot of gaskets and seals in that style regardless of brand. Both my Silver Streak and Avion have them and it’s taken some effort to get them buttoned up. Are the windows riveted on or screwed on? Pulling a couple problem windows out of my SS are really cleaning up the outside seal (frame to outer skin) really helped with leaks and condensation and was also much easier to service the rest of the window seals and gaskets on a work bench than installed in the trailer.

99% of your trailer shares technologies, materials and build techniques with other brands of the era. Don’t limit your research to Travelux only, as someone above said. There is a great Avion forum I belong to with some active and knowledgeable folks. aviontrailers.net Also, check out Tom Patterson’s Silver Streak site, he’s a great fount of knowledge and really nice.

You may not get a lot of traction here as I’ve sensed a wee bit of disdain towards vintage kin at times, but I encourage you to keep at it on this thread. It’s a great store house of information.

I’m rooting for you and am here to answer any questions I may be able to help with.

Another Ian
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:24 AM   #10
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Post First 25 steps of my plan

Hello friends who have found me here!

Thanks to links of Silver Stream and other vintage trailers. There is a definite similarity there, so if I get stuck, I know where else to look.

Well I haven't done anything since last post, other than some more planning.

I have written the first 25-something steps that I plan to accomplish, from preparing to remove the inner skin, to replacing it again. As anyone who's done a full renovation knows, this is an enormous amount of work.

I've been very busy with other things recently but I need to get back to the workshop again, so here are my first 25 steps.

Each of them is a very big job. I am slightly horrified.

1. Remove all furniture and appliances / electrics / plumbing. Save anything useful.

2. Finish preparatory roof work before removing inner skins, to eliminate any chance of structural damage
i) Remove roof lights, air conditioner, roof vents, aerial, etc.
ii) Clean roof of any gunk installed by POs.

3. Remove interior: fibreglass end caps, fixtures, fittings, vents, lights, switches. Set aside for later.

4. Process inner shell skins:
i) Remove vinyl and other gunk
ii) Drill out rivets and remove skins

5. Remove floor, insulation, any remaining plumbing.

6. Remove belly pan, gas lines, trailer electrics etc., and set aside.

7. Frame work:
i) Address rust / sand blast / renovate frame.
ii) Perform repairs on frame, and paint.

8. Shell work: replace / repair any structural elements

9. Outer shell renovation:

i) Shell patches / panel replacements, etc.
ii) Repair / renovate / replace windows
iii) Replace all door and window seals
iv) New outer shell hardware: AC replacement, new roof lights, etc.
v) Plumbing vents (may need to wait until more plumbing installed?)
vi) Ensure proposed internal hardware (furnace, woodburner, etc.) has adequate vents / access hatches
vii) Renovate / seal any unnecessary hatches

10. Seal the outer shell as completely as possible: rivets & seams.

11. Inside of shell:
i) Pressure wash interior of the shell
ii) Spray primer on the inside of the shell to protect from corrosion and seal

12. Renovate/install any awnings and ensure that any new shell penetrations do not leak.

13. Confirm that the shell no longer leaks.

14. Install new under-floor plumbing, water / grey tanks / waste systems.

15. Renovate / clean / Re-install belly pan

16. Under-floor insulation

17. Install new subfloor

18. Complete reconnection of shell to frame.

19. Install new running gear:
i) Axles, wheels & tyres as necessary, and
ii) UK-standard hitch & handbrake.

20. Strip clear coat off outer shell.

21. Polish areas around trim, clearance lights before reinstallation.

22. Install new electrical wiring

23. Insulate walls.

24. Renovate interior skins Ė plug holes (rivets?), clean, paint backsides with primer.

25. Reinstall interior skins, including new end-cap aluminium, planning for placement of major hardware Ė furnace, refrigerator, extractor fan, wood burner, etc,

1 down, 24 to go, until the skins are back on and I can begin building furniture!

If I can get this far in the next year I think I will be doing very well indeed.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:16 PM   #11
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
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As you probably know Travelux was a Canadian company that built trailers from 1966 to 1984. Any parts supply dried up long ago. On the good side, they were a small company and most parts they used were standard trailer parts of the time used by many different makes. Windows, hardware, stoves, water pumps etc. can often be replaced by new parts that are still being made. Also on the good side they are a well made unit with a very strong chassis frame and generally sturdy construction.


It may be possible to buy new trailer windows that are double pane or better insulated, that will fit in the old openings. Leaky seams are a common problem on all rivetted aluminum trailers, there are sealants that can be used, this is covered on the repair forums.


It seems you have your work cut out for you but, if you do the job right, your Travelux should last you for many many years.
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:51 AM   #12
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Removing gunk on roof

Hello, thanks for the information!!

Well now I am up on the roof, having built myself a sort of platform to minimise standing on the aluminium shell.

A previous owner has made a terrible mess with some horrible sealant / caulk that has dried and stuck and then cracked and not really done itís job.

So itís left to me to remove it all and start again.

I have started removing it by using a heat gun and oscillating tool as a first step.

Then I have been using a paint stripping gel and plastic scraper which removes the top layer.

This usually takes a thin layer off the top but I am left with more stubborn and thicker blobs to remove.

My latest experiment for this third stage is wire wool and paint thinners. It seems to work reasonably well, but it is slow going.

I wonder if I need a stronger solvent than the paint stripper to get deeper into each layer. At this rate it will take forever to do the whole roof.

I have managed to remove the air conditioner : a good 35 kgs worth - the aerial, and one of the roof lights.

I need to expose all the rivets at least so I can ensure they are water tight, even if I donít clean every last bit of gook off the roof.
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Old 06-20-2020, 09:56 AM   #13
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1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
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What a beautiful trailer you have. Seems like you bought an original but hoped for a restored. I look forward to following your progress; you have a great start.
Good luck,
CC
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:35 AM   #14
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1993 29' Excella
- , Alberta
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Hey,
I haven't been here in a long while, but a couple things that we have learned from our 6 year journey with our 21' 1972 Travelux. Pay attention to the space on the roof where the first segment on the roof ends meets the first continuous lateral seams on the front and back.

Where the first segment meets the seams, all the ones I have looked at are ever slightly angled back into the main lateral seam pooling a very small amount of water before it flows over the roll lock on the segment, so if your caulking is anything less than perfect, you'll have a slight leak or drip from the front side windows.



This is talked about a lot on here, but if anyone used silicone on any of the trouble spots, make sure to remove it, then use scotchbrite pad or sandpaper to fully remove any residue to bright aluminum. Ours had silicone anywhere that had a persistent leak. I chased tiny drips for years until I bit the bullet and sanded the areas. The caulking would look perfect, but it would separate ever so slightly from the silicone and water would seep in.

Also, be a bit careful on taking old caulking out of the seams. I dont know what they used later in production, but on my '72 they had almost a plumbers putty like substance in the seams, and if you go too deep with a pick or something similar you can create leaks in the rivets because it is hard to get caulking that deep. I suppose if you did, you could re-buck all the rivets.

When you talk about "gunk" is it the tar coating on the roof? If it is, paint stripper just seemed to turn a very thin layer into goo and didn't do much. I never fully removed all of ours, but dry scraping it up first, then wiping with a mineral spirits soaked rag tended to work the best.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask/send me a PM. We did not deal with everything (didn't have to take our skins off, but we did re-do everything else)

Matt
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:42 AM   #15
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1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
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Hi Matt, it would be great if you would throw up a picture of your '72.
CC
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:47 AM   #16
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1993 29' Excella
- , Alberta
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Also: one word of caution, and many may disagree with me... there are so many of these vintage trailers sitting gutted, half restored or half finished up for sale. (I have seen the same trailer change hands 3-4 times with only slightly more done to it.) So many people get mired in a frame off restoration.

Travelux frames are solid, they don't have the same issues that airstreams did. It might be best to just strip the wallpaper and get to building the interior that you want unless there are tons of loose exterior rivets that need to be re-bucked. They can be effectively sealed from the outside, and then you'll be using it. Make it livable to whatever standard you want, and then tackle the job list every year.

Matt
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:59 AM   #17
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1993 29' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper Crazy View Post
Hi Matt, it would be great if you would throw up a picture of your '72.
CC
I dont want to clutter up Dickitee's thread too much, but i've thrown together an album of pictures:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3bG5HKoAVLeyqP486


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Old 07-15-2020, 09:08 AM   #18
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1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
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She's a beaut!
Thanks,
CC
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:40 AM   #19
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Update

Hello posters, thank you for cluttering up my thread!

Please keep the comments and photos coming.

I have had a tough time of it, and have questioned what the heck I am doing and why quite a few times. The project seems way beyond me, but I've come too far to turn back!

Let's get some photos uploaded.

I realised what that knob on the ceiling is for - for the aerial to be extended! Anyhow, it doesn't work any more, and I'm not having an aerial in my finished project. Off with its head!

You can see the gunk I'm talking about on the roof.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:50 AM   #20
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The damage

I made a huge mistake employing a driver to tow my trailer a year ago.

He drove it straight through a narrow gate, wrecking the side panel.

When reversing it, he made some significant dents in the front too.

Oh, and he broke the curved window at the front. I bet they're not easy to come by.

Its fair to say I've suffered from PTSD as a result of what happened.

The only positive is that, it's made me feel like "I can do no wrong" at this point. The trailer is already at deaths door.
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