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Old 07-05-2012, 11:37 AM   #41
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You can get fairly small radius bends in PEX if you heat it with a hot air gun. I don't know if I recommend this, only time will tell if I've reduced the reliability of the pipe. For my toilet installation, I didn't want to cut a hole in the cabinet, but I couldn't bend the pipe by hand, even when it was warm, to the radius(es, radii?) I wanted--I was getting kinks. So I made a little tool that worked great. I heated the pipe, put it in the tool and let it cool, then cut it to length. I could have used a couple of sweep elbows, which would have been easier ...

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #42
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Floor repair

Besides replacing much of the tail end floor, there were a couple of bad spots under the kitchen cabinet. After a few probes with a screwdriver, I decided to fix these problems in place with fiberglass. You can see that the rotten areas have been filled with a light brown mixture of resin and wood dust, which makes for a very strong filler, then covered with glass cloth and resin. The floor is now very stiff and I expect it will be good for years to come. The total fix took about 15 minutes and with the current hot temperatures, it cured in less than 6 hours.

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Old 07-05-2012, 12:44 PM   #43
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Rearding the timeline posted above, this excitement added a couple of days worth of unplanned delays...

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Old 07-05-2012, 01:19 PM   #44
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I also reversed the mount for the regulator--does anyone know why the regulators are usually mounted facing aft (except that you can look out the window and see if the pressure flag is red)?

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With my top-wind, manual jack I would never be able to raise or lower my trailer with all of that stuff in the way.
It's VERY tight in there on my '77 gronski24.
I have a hard time getting past my 30# tanks sometimes!

One of these days I just may have to spring for an electric jack ....
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #45
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No water pressure regulator/backflow preventer?

Your city water inlet doesn't look nearly as "impossible" to access as mine...does the intake pipe come right up along the outside frame rail? Maybe its the legs for the shower seat support (that I don't see at all on yours) that make that so difficult to reach.
anyway, I had a heck of a time fixing that, when I had a freeze up.

When I replaced the ball valve on the toilet, I used a standard stainless flex line. worked great. I still had the copper pipe, and the original section that bent around and connected to the ball valve with a flare fitting was buggered up when removing it, so I cut off the pipe, added a compression coupler to the end, and then got a flex line that was 3/8 compression on one end, and 1/2 fip on the other to mate w/ the new ball valve.

That's one thing you could use your mip fitting for.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #46
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I was wondering if the PEX could be thermally formed without degrading, now I can see a testbed. Thanks
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #47
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Quote:
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I was wondering if the PEX could be thermally formed without degrading, now I can see a testbed. Thanks
I did it some time ago in the Sovereign and it's still good.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #48
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Fridge vent

I took out the dishtowel rack/small worthless cabinet above the fridge. Glad I did--the vent was completely unconnected at the bottom. Great CO path right into the trailer! The problem was, I couldn't reach the back of the vent w/o removing the fridge, which I didn't have time for.

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So I made a tool that I could stick up through the access door, then twist it to push the vent forward to allow me to drill it and rivet it.

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I decided the vent thermoplastic was not stiff enough to hold the pop rivets, so I made a thin channel that I could slide onto the bottom edge of the vent (from the front--I could push the vent back far enough to reach in and slip this on). This channel provided the back side support for the pop rivets.

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Viola! vent is secure. Now I just need to get the microwave to put on this shelf.

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #49
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I removed the center vent to provide space for a solar panel mounted close to the roof To my surprise, the fiberglass in the area of the TV antenna rotator was almost powder. Ick! Double ick. I repacked the area with new glass.

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You don't have to cut the ceiling panel to remove or replace a vent, but it is really the only way you can single-handed work on the electrical wiring. I try to cut it roughly in the middle, then install an arched frame (stretched 3/4" "L" channel) and some plates to allow riveting both of the cut ends back together.

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Once I had the panel down, I installed a flush LED light fixture using the circuit from the door switch that used to control the over-sink light.

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:20 PM   #50
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Three weeks later

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #51
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Really nice work Zepp. I like the covers for the drains on the fresh water tank. I always learn something. Looks like the fires stayed away?
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #52
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Dry weight

Fire got to about 7 miles south of us--close enough.

Today's issue is trailer weight, to wit, what the heck is the dry weight in the Airstream tables? For example, this '73 Safari has a book dry weight of 3410# and a tongue weight of 580#. When I weighed it today, theweight on the axles was 3680#. There is no water or food in it, but there is bedding, a few pots, and two full 30# propane tanks (all of which should be on the tongue)--there is not nearly 200# of owner stuff in the trailer. This leads me to believe that the delivered total dry weight of the trailer is 3410+580=3,990 lbs.

Anyone know what the catalog dry weight really includes, eg, maybe it doesn't include a battery?

Zep

P.S--What I am doing is calculating the specs for new axles. If the weight on the axles is 3680#, subtract the wheels/tires because the axle doesn't support them (about 300# sitting directly on the pavement). Add 280# for a full fresh water tank, 100# for food, 100# for camping gear and clothes, 50# for tools, and maybe another 100# for odds and ends and I get about 4100 lbs of sprung weight. I'd prefer to ride just a little bit hard rather than take the risk of ever bottoming the axles, so maybe somewhere between 4400 and 4800 lbs, or 2200/2400 on each axle?
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:13 PM   #53
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Roger,

The '72 Safari 23' twin is supposed to be 3,530 with a tongue weight of 530. It could be you have a '72, but it was sold as a '73. That would be closer. Does yours have a spare tire?

I don't remember whether both the Cal. and Ohio plants were operating then, but trailers made in the 2 factories were not quite the same.

I somehow think you are coming to the balloons, and if so, is this one the one you are bringing?

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Old 09-29-2012, 08:29 PM   #54
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Gene, it's definitely a 73. But I'm bringing the 72 Overlander. See you in Albuquerque!

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Old 09-29-2012, 08:51 PM   #55
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Smile Nice area you live in

We took a tour of Palmer lake towing our trailer two weeks ago. We were southbound on I-25 and needed to pull off to do some cat maintenance. We chose an exit just north of Larkspur, not realizing there was no corresponding on ramp. Buy the time we found out how to get back on the freeway, we had gone through both Larkspur and Palmer Lake. I looked for a house with Airstreams an kayaks, but never saw one.

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Old 09-30-2012, 06:54 AM   #56
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I don't know the answer to the question, but the original axles were rated at 2600lbs (x2 +600lb tongue= 5800lb gvw) .
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:12 AM   #57
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...By the time we found out how to get back on the freeway, we had gone through both Larkspur and Palmer Lake. I looked for a house with Airstreams an kayaks, but never saw one.
Ken, glad you looked, but we weren't here. I think two weeks ago we were in Sonoma. But come back any time. The Airstreams are on our lot on 105 down nearer Monument and can be seen back in the woods from 105.

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Old 10-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #58
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Quote:
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I don't know the answer to the question, but the original axles were rated at 2600lbs (x2 +600lb tongue= 5800lb gvw) .
Well, duh. I still have the '77 axles sitting in the back yard, so I took a look. They have 2600 lbs on the data plate. So I went down to my storage area and looked at the '73 axles that are still installed. Yep, 2600 lbs!

From my weight estimates in post 52 in this thread, I don't see how the axles would ever have to support more than 4100 lbs. That means that the axles, spec'd at 5200 lbs total, provide a margin of 27% at max gross. But the actual traveling weight is probably 200 lbs lower, which would be a margin of 33%.

Some background: when I used an Axis axle on my Caravel, I spec'd them for what I thought was the max gross supported on the axle. As I recall, it was about 3600 lbs. When I installed the axle, the arms were up high, with almost no travel remaining. I sent it back and they sent me one that was in the mid-5000's! This was way too much and it repeatedly broke the door shelves in the refridgerator. So if that second axle provided about 52% more carrying capacity, I wouldn't want to over spec that much.

I think 25% over what you calculate as your max weight on the axles is sufficient and safe.

So I'm going with 4800 lbs, or 2400 each axle.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:06 AM   #59
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While I had things torn apart reinventing the scare light, I decided it would be easy changing out the front markers for new LED models. Did I say easy? When is the last time a 1-hr Airstream project took less than a full day? Anyway...

You can remove the eybrow cabinet very easily. In this '73 Safari it had only seven easily accessible screws and out it came. The radio wires were just long enough to leave it hooked up and resting face down on the back of the goucho.



The first marker light (at the corner) went fine, but the three center ones were riveted to the shell and had a ground wire, also riveted to the shell. I had never seen this in earlier or later models, so this particular marker seems to have been a one-time hit in '73. The bad part is the rivets were 5/16", so the holes were too big for the screws one normally uses to install these bullseye markers. Luckily, I have some flush aircraft pop rivets left over from my BD-5 days, so I used them from the outside to install a backing plate inside behind each marker light location. Once the plates were in, I did a normal install of the new LED markers. (photo is a view from the inside of the rivet holes that had to be skinned over.)



What about the party lights? Well, the original 5 front markers use 3.5 amps. Double that for the rear and add a little for the tail lights--I don't think you'd want to turn them on if you weren't on shore power. However, noticed when I had the eyebrow cabinet out that the front marker power wire descended down from the ceiling cable area. Whoot! This means I could power them separately and, using a diode, also allow them to operate normally from the tow vehicle running lights. (Use a 5 amp diode if you keep your incandescent marker lights.)



The LED markers* use 65 milliamps each, or about 325 milliamps total for the front five. I personally think the markers are too bright at full current, a setting I call "stun." On my other Safari I put a small series resistor in the circuit to tone them down a little. For party lights, I think you want to tone them down a lot. You can use a 100-200 ohm resistor to cut the current down to the vicinity of 30 milliamps total and they are still plenty bright as beacons to your Airstream. At this current, you could leave them on for a week and hardly notice the battery drain (5 amp hours, or 6% of your battery).



Look to the end of this thread (reinventing the scare light) to see an "easy" way to fish wires from the eyebrow to the door.

* Source: Superbrightleds. Problem, the back of the marker light is flat (no recess), so there is no room for the usual small wire nut that allows you to make the connection from the outside of the shell. This means you pretty much have to remove the eyebrow cabinet if you don't modify the plastic case of the LED marker.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #60
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Here's a real spotlight. I'm replacing the bar lights, the ones over the heads of the single beds. Simple materials and design, but a pain to cut the oval for the 40 degree slant of the 1-1/2" ABS. A small angle of aluminum holds the socket back in the pipe so that the face of the LED disc is about 5/8" recessed. This provides plenty of light at the head end of the bed, either for reading in bed or for sitting on the couch (in couch mode) and reading at that end.

The ABS pipe is held in the plywood with hot glue. This whole gizmo will go into a small shelf fixture that can hold a square box of Kleenex and maybe a wine glass. Photos of that item to follow.





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