RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-07-2020, 08:15 PM   #41
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
Clarkton , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 57
Airstream Gantry Madness

Several months ago, we used a cheat to remove Bertha's shell without using an "Airstream Gantry." Eventually, however, it became painfully clear that insulating the trailer floor and installing a new bellypan would be much easier if we could flip Bertha's frame over at will. So, we bought two new chain hoists to go with the one we already owned, purchased a bunch of lumber, and built a 13 foot tall x 12 foot wide "Airstream Gantry." And so the Gantry Madness begins.

For video go here - https://youtu.be/o0rryDTFvKA

Once we had the flipping part down, we started insulating the subfloor. We decided on three layers of 1-inch foam board. For layer one, we used three 2-inch strips per section to maintain air flow below the flooring and give moisture a place to evaporate. For layers 2 and 3, we went with solid pieces.





We cut the panels to fit with a utility knife, glued them in place, and then (for extra security) attached them to the subfloor with 3.5-inch wood screws countersunk into the foam with 1/4 inch washers.



Before screwing the panels down, we glued all the pieces together (and to the subfloor) with 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive. We tried contact cement and 3M High Strength 90 Spray Adhesive first, but both were too agressive and dissolved the foam board. Super 77 worked great and alone might have held the boards in place for a long time, but we opted to screw them down to make sure they stayed put.



Bertha's front area is a recess for the spare tire, so no insulation there (just a shiny piece of aluminum). No insulation at the steps either or under the fridge (far right), and no insulation where the fresh water tank will eventually rest (big area in the center). We insulated everywhere else, as we plan to install a composting head in the rear and a gray water tank above the floor near the kitchen sink.



Bertha's frame upside down on saw horses thanks to our homemade "gantry" system.



We learned a critical "gantry" lesson this weekend, as our first attempt to flip the trailer failed. Make sure you put your rear hoists right next to each other in the center of the beam (not spread out) or the trailer won't rotate. The picture below shows where the rear hoists need to be positioned for a sucessful flip every time.



Next time we flip Bertha on the gantry, we'll tackle under-the-frame wiring and start the belly pan.



Until then, she'll be an excellent spot for a cattle dog to nap under. Bertha's gett'in there, slowly but surely.
Wildwoman69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2020, 08:23 PM   #42
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,766
Looks pretty close to what we did with the belly pan insulation on the 55. The 3M 77 has held up well. Youíll be happy with the results. Good luck and enjoy the reno.
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2020, 07:52 PM   #43
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,426
Images: 1
I used rigid foam insulation too. I think it is much better (and more expensive) than fiberglass batting. Glue and screw will hold it in place during travel over rough roads. Mice will cuss it as uncomfortable and leave.

The gantry to flip your frame assembly is worth the effort. I don't have one so I'm working slowly on my back. But I eventually get it done.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2020, 07:35 PM   #44
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
Clarkton , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 57
Bertha Gets Her Shell Back

Last weekend we continued our deep dive into Bertha's new underbelly. Aluminum sheet and pop rivets were purchased from AirpartsInc.com, and the results were spectacular.



Bertha came with a spare tire recess and clamp, and we decided to maintain this handy feature. The clamp is currently coated with the same Eastwood paint that we used for the frame, but we're thinking a Raptor bedliner coating might be a good idea given the clamp's underworld location.



This weekend, we reinstalled Bertha's shell. First, we had to disassemble our gantry system and move the parts over to where her shell has been patiently waiting for several months.



In May, we removed and stored Bertha's shell between our shipping containers to keep it safe while we worked on her frame. The containers also provided excellent rigidity to our gantry system for the reinstall.



We used two Harbor Freight chain hoists running through the front and rear vent holes for the lift. We put our I-Beam in place Saturday afternoon and gave the system a quick test run to determine the best placement of the beam. Given the door side was significantly heavier, we set the beam off-center toward the door to provide the most even lift.



Saturday was a long hot exhausting day!



After a busy morning installing the threshold and final pieces of C-Channel to the sides of the trailer (not as easy as we'd hoped), we were ready for an afternoon of shell installation.



This was the MOMENT OF TRUTH.
If the shell didn't fit, we had wasted a lot of time and money on a very intense project!



I am happy to report that Bertha got her shell back and we're still in the Airstream game. Lots more work to come. The shell still needs to be buck riveted, banana wraps installed, trim and shell patching after that, but I think we've passed a major milestone for sure.

Until next time!
Wildwoman69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2020, 07:42 PM   #45
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
Clarkton , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I used rigid foam insulation too. I think it is much better (and more expensive) than fiberglass batting. Glue and screw will hold it in place during travel over rough roads. Mice will cuss it as uncomfortable and leave.

The gantry to flip your frame assembly is worth the effort. I don't have one so I'm working slowly on my back. But I eventually get it done.

David
Thanks David. Flipping the trailer was definitely worth it, but we still get to crawl around underneath for some final pieces of bellypan and those awesome banana wraps, which I fully expect to be a real pain. Glad to hear that the mice hate the rigid foam. We also plugged any open edges with Rockwool to further deter those little buggers. It was pretty clear from the plume of shell detritus that spewed out of the frame during sandblasting that mice enter through the tongue of the trailer. We're planning to plug the ends near the hitch with bronze wool once the electrical work is complete.
Wildwoman69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 08:20 PM   #46
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,426
Images: 1
Looks like Bertha likes her new shoes. You did indeed pass a major milestone. The frame, subfloor, insulation, tanks, belly pan are all big projects into themselves.

There is certainly a lot of hours needed rebuilding the interior of the trailer. It will seem easy compared to what you have accomplished so far.

Keep it going.

David
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1966 Trade Wind Renovation Documentation:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers

See our 1976 Sovereign Renovation Project:
Knowledge Base Airstream Trailers
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bertha's Restoration - 1972 Twin Axle Safari Wildwoman69 General Repair Forum 2 04-17-2019 08:37 AM
Bertha :: 2006 Airstream Safari ElliotA Airstream Registry Discussions 0 04-07-2016 04:46 PM
Resurrecting Big Bertha... or, 'How I spent $30,000 on a $2,000 trailer...' Panama Red 1974 - 1979 Sovereign 251 02-10-2015 08:08 PM
Bertha :: 2012 Airstream International Signature Msdixie Airstream Registry Discussions 0 11-22-2011 09:39 PM
Big Bertha :: 1978 Argosy stgerdonly Airstream Registry Discussions 0 08-19-2011 09:32 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.