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Old 01-21-2009, 09:53 AM   #81
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Now that I think about it, what if I didn't want the windows open? If the vents were faced opposite directions, they would naturally capture any breeze. So the question is, should both of them face aft or should the middle vent face forward?

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The vents are square right? If you wanted to catch a cross draft and possibly avoid having your vents ripped off traveling you might consider pointing one towards the street side and one curb side.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:58 AM   #82
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Geeze, I ought to read my posts before I "submit" them. "Fly" above is really "floor." Where the hell did that come from?

Regarding the direction of the vent, I smell a 120 kt wind tunnel test coming up... Kip, can you sneak one on your C-130? You could watch out the window and see when it rips off...right about rotation, I'm thinking.

Actually, I agree with you guys, just thought I'd see if anyone had experience facing a vent the other way. BTW, I have no idea what the "original" direction was. I know most of them are facing aft, but I've taken so many off that once I get them off, I have no clue which way it was facing.

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The greatest venting when towing, at least what I experienced, was to have the front and rear vents, opened to the rear, ONLY.

When towing, that creates a small vacuum, which kept the trailer reasonably cool.

A small rain could not enter either, as long as you were moving.

Andy
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:25 AM   #83
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The vent "catching the breeze" issue was only while parking!

Yes, the air pressure around an Airstream in motion would cause any open vent (facing aft) to suck... As a matter of fact, the side windows are also under slight vacuum. Conversely, the high pressure point is on the back window, so any dust swirling around the rear end gets pushed inside if the rear window or, for those with an access door above the bumper locker, the door seal isn't good.

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Old 01-23-2009, 09:39 AM   #84
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OK, vents installed facing aft. Here's the details...

I've always disliked the fact that the skirts on the flat vents are attached directly to the curved roof. This wasn't terrible when the original, and smaller, vents were used, but the modern 14" square vents really cause a lot of deformation--odd depressions and wrinkles. So I've decided to experiment and mount my vents using a little extra seal thickness along the sides to maintain the roof shape.

I also wanted a little more stiffness in the roof skin, so I fabricated some light structural stringers to match the native curve. You get about 1/2" of gap along either side.

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The original cutout has large radius corners that need to be cut away (not to mention getting the white gunk off...grrrr).

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The Fantastic Fan slips right down into the frame, then is screwed to the skin outside (alert observers will note that the outside photo is not a Fantastic Fan, but one of the new low profile vents from VTS. Same general appearance for the Fantastic Fan, however.) The light color of the Vulkem on the seal will darken as it cures. The seal can be compressed another 1/8" or so. I used the foam rubber "Marine and Automotive" foam seal from HD and layed it along the front and back edges of the skirt to construct a thinner layer in the center, getting thicker towards the sides. I'll let the Vulkem cure for a couple days, then clean up the edge mess with some MEK.

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The right photo reminds me that there is nothing uglier than when your get started polishing. The Safari is so badly stained and covered with grunge that I wanted to make sure the areas near the vents were somewhat polished.

One place the using curved stringers technique really pays off is for flat patches on the roof. I've found that even small patches, eg, where the TV rotater was mounted, often deflect in odd ways, so I usually put curved stringers under all my roof patches.

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It's good to have a shrinker/stretcher tool!

Zep
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:05 AM   #85
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Neat toys (shrinker & stretcher), I don't know how you could do restorations on Airstreams without them.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:53 AM   #86
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I don't know how you could do restorations on Airstreams without them.
I wish you hadn't said that!
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:56 PM   #87
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It's not easy, that's for sure!
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:06 AM   #88
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OK, I'm spending a bit of time on the Safari again (geeze, I gotta get it outta that $100/month barn!).

I got the wing window skins riveted in. UWE had suggested that taking the cut line down straight to the corner of the front window might be improved by curving the line. For those who might be contemplating this "fix" to their wing windows, here's a comparison of the look, Overlander on left, Safari on right:

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I think maybe UWE was right, although the projected joint on the dome skin could really go either way. I think esthetically you eye wants to keep the curve going.

Here's a frontal view so you can see the rivet line along the edge of the front window.

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Old 08-04-2010, 07:52 PM   #89
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The baby is getting put back together in anticipation of moving from the barn back to the house (it's soooo much easier to work on when it's not 20 miles away).

1. Washed the frame with Marine Clean, then treated it with Metal Ready before applying the POR15. I like the black better, but gray is all that VTS was selling. I still need to paint over the tongue to protect that area from UV.

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2. Get the tank supports installed. The water tank and shroud is too heavy for a one-man lift, so I balanced one edge on the levelers, then lifted up the other side to start bolting it back on. This wasn't sophisticated--the levelers were merely adjusted to the right height and the tank was then placed on them. The gray tank shroud is a bit smaller and currently there is no gray tank to life, so it went in much easier.

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3. The big deal was getting the floor panels replaced. This model has only 5/8" plywood for flooring and unless you change out the whole floor, eg, shell off, you have to stick with it. I found the most robust modern 5-layer plywood, but it turns it's not nearly as stiff as the original. I've still got to install a patch piece between these two panels. I had to jack the shell away from the frame in order to get the panels in--an still had to use a block and mallet. Jacking was easy since this model had all the electricals against the forward shell and had a nifty vent cover that acted as a jack point.

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The panels have three coats of spar varnish for waterproofing.

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With continuing good luck I may have the Safari home tomrrow.

Zep
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:58 PM   #90
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Gotta ask...
are you a closet MG Midget Fan...?
(mine is a '74 that was that color until a 3 year program resulted in British Racing Green...)
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:11 PM   #91
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Gotta ask...
are you a closet MG Midget Fan...?
Wow! are you a spook?

The MG belongs to the barn owner. Laurie is a very nice person. I think she thinks it's worth about $5K. She's sorta interested in selling it.

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Old 08-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #92
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Wow! are you a spook?

..Zep
Nope, just seem to have an affliction for wierd stuff....(airstream n-u-n-doh intended...)

That one is a later model and has the same draw as a '70's stream...dang rubber bumpers,shag carpet, fake woodgrain and Triumph motor...
OTOH, mine has a proper MG motor, chrome bumpers, dual (duel?) SU's and the ever-so-proper British oil leaks...

As my bumper sticker says..."All Parts Falling From This Car Are Of the HIGHEST British Craftsmanship"...
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:17 PM   #93
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Zep, what was the reason for patching over your windows? I have a 79 safari 23' and my windows are in good shape.

Thanks for all the ideas. I plan on dry-camping this winter because my plumbing and tanks need an overhaul. The greywater is sloped away from the drain and only holds a few gallons. I haven't removed them yet.

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Old 10-01-2010, 08:38 AM   #94
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Zep, what was the reason for patching over your windows? I have a 79 safari 23' and my windows are in good shape...
1. When the wing windows leak, they tend to fill up with an inch or two of water. This leaves a very ugly line inside which can't be cleaned. And a leaker is very difficult to fix. So I also took them out of my Overlander when one of the inside panes crazed. If you damage a wing window, you'll find them difficult and expensive to replace.

2. The other big reason for taking them out of the Safari is that I'm putting the bed up front and that's just too much glass around the bed.

In general, I like less glass, as in the early '60s models, so I remove the vista views, also. This helps a lot in (a) leak control, (b) insulation, and (c) window coverings.

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Old 10-28-2010, 01:12 PM   #95
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I'm trying to get the front end tied back on before the snow hits next week. Getting the shell to line up perfectly with the existing rivet holes took a small tug from a come-along, about 1/16" after I leveled the frame. The holes were still a tiny bit off, but since I'm using 5/16" AD rivets in place of the original 1/8" rivets, it's close enough. The battery boxes are just temporarily in place to keep the snow out...

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Note the new shiney paint on the tongue, just enough to protect the battleship gray POR-15 from UV.

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Old 10-30-2010, 09:21 AM   #96
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A few taps with a sledge and the floor segments are nice and tight laterally (towards curb and street) and ready to be spliced. I really hate this 5/8" floor--the 3/4" in my older Airstreams is so much stiffer. Anyway, I digress. The splice is 3/4" plywood that I'll shim in underneath using sheet 3/4" foam insulation. Once the splice was screwed in tight, I filled in the gap with 5/8" plywood inserts.

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Now that the floor is in, I used the elevator bolts with the tangs so that I could install them solo. I cut a very slight relief in the surface of the plywood using a 1" hole saw, about 1/16" deep, to ensure that the heads were flush or slightly recessed.

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Attaching the "C" channel to the frame requires 1/4" bolts into the ends of the outriggers and slightly larger into the cross frame member up front. I had some grade 8 1/4" bolts on hand, so I used them all the way around. I'm sure it's overkill.

Now that I've got the shell bolted and riveted to the frame up front, I've noticed that there are many missing bolts along the sides. This is just another one of those unhappy discoveries that even though the Safari performs wonderfully on the highway, the assembly quality was less than desired in hidden areas.

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Old 10-30-2010, 03:28 PM   #97
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At least you can worK on yours. I'm stuck here in Toulouse with a broken prop. without parts until Tuesday when our parts arrive. one flight Weds and then a flight to Ireland. Hope to be back home by the weekend. God I'm tired of traveling. The wine in good though.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:28 PM   #98
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At least you can worK on yours. I'm stuck here in Toulouse ...
We are crying our eyes out for you here in Airstream land, ... not.

You better watch out, I may have a Sarfari aluminum tent to rival yours pretty soon. Getting the Safari back here next to the house really makes it easy to get small steps done every day. I'm probably going to regret not being in the barn when the snow starts, but c'est la vie.

I'm getting the battery boxes ready for POR-15 and fixing the drains. Should have them installed tomorrow.

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Old 10-30-2010, 05:33 PM   #99
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Funny how some people think the life of living on the road is so glamorous and for those of us who have or are doing it, it's often more than just a pain in the patoot.

So home for how long before you go again? Will there be any time for the trailer while you are home or is it catch up on all the things you missed while you were away?

You've got to be darned close to retirement. Uh, not that you LOOK it..........

Good luck with the prop and travel safe....
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:30 PM   #100
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Battery boxes

Back in post #41 (2-1/2 years ago) I started thinking about new battery boxes. I kept the cast aluminum face frames and tossed out the cracked plastic boxes. AEROWOOD was kind enough to fold up some skins that I could rivet together and then rivet to the face frames. You may be wondering (or not) what happened to the design in post #41 where I was going to modify plastic battery boxes from Wally World. Well, I cut up a couple of them and tried all sorts of arrangements and just couldn't make it work. The notches you see in the metal shells are required in the event that the door support cables need to be replaced--so as to access the head of the flush bolt.

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The problem was that the face fames had an inner lip where the bottom lip was 1-1/2" above the floor and above the lower vents. This allowed for two vent holes below the new aluminum box that were open directly into the interior of the Safari. (The old plastic boxes had an integral drain at the bottom that sealed the space underneath.)

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The openings weren't the only problem or they could have been closed with a simple piece of sheet aluminum. The problem was that the attachment of the nex metal boxes created a 1/2" lip behind the door, making it very difficult to wash the interior, since there would be a small lake that was hard to drain. The answer was to create a scupper that would both drain the box and provide venting.

Creating the necessary part wasn't too difficult. $40 at Harbor Freight gets you an 18" sheet metal brake that is adequate to the job. Once the two long bends are made, the rest of the shaping can be done with snips and lineman's pliers.

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Cutting holes in the bottom of the box and then sealing the area so that they drain to the existing vent holes is a matter of attaching the scupper part to the box. Not shown is the ample amount of Vulkem and the rivets around the periphery.

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Jeeze, only 30 months and the new battery boxes are now installed!

Zep
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