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Old 06-29-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
new to forum / questions about my '54 Flying Cloud

Hello, all - I'm new to the board and also green to Airstream ownership. I've been hunting for an early model for many years now and finally came across a '54 at a good price. Here's my gallery:

MobileMe Gallery

She's in pretty good shape, but I'll still be making a lot of improvements. Obviously I have a million questions to ask the Pros on the board, but I'll just start with a few of the more pertinent ones:

- as you can see in the photo, there is exterior damage is to rear quarter. I'm not too worried about popping out the dent, but I'm having some troubles finding a replacement window. Does anyone know where I can track one down, and how easy are they to install?

- I'd like to find a good AC unit & solar panel kit. Budget is, of course, a consideration. Could someone point me in a good direction?

Thanks in advance! I'll be posting more photos as I continue the restoration.

Cheers -
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Ben KC!
I want a '54 too!
I can't help with your questions but stay tuned for good info coming your way.
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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Hi Ben KC, Welcome the the Forums,
Popping out the dent may seem easy to you, but keeping the seam waterproof may be a bit more difficult. When the aluminum skin is dented it is also stretched. This can also allow water to begin leaking in at a rivet.
A source for the window that you are looking for is another OLD vintage travel trailer near that age. The window in question is a Hehr standard window. Seal and window glazing are still available for them. I have found a few windows that I need on eBay. Best of luck to you.
Kevin with Baity the Lab/Pointer
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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From your gallery photos it looks like you are jumping right into the interior work and painting. From the looks of the exterior damage to the curbside rear endcap & window, you may want to re-organize your projects. In order to remove that dent and repair the area around the potential new window, you will most likely have to remove a couple of interior skins to access the back of the exterior panel & frame as well as check for rib damage. Also locating any leaks from the dent willl definitely be easier from the backside.

As far as locating a new window frame, check with Colaw's Salvage in MO...they have a treasure-trove of old Airstream parts - you may get lucky. Otherwise, place a "Parts Wanted" ad here in the classifieds and keep an eye out on ebay. Replacing the window itself is not that difficult once found, but finding one and checking to be sure the rib/frame are not damaged or broken (and repairing them if they are) could be a bigger deal.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

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Old 06-29-2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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Ottawa , ON
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Hi and welcome to the Forum, Ben! Thanks for the pictures, I really like that viewer.

Well, it looks like the dogs like your new acquisition, and the pink fridge sets it off nicely

I would tend to agree with the advice you already have gotten here: before tending to the decorating, secure the exterior, make sure the body is in good shape, and for sure get that bad bump on the back looked at and your window repaired or replaced.

No matter how good a paint job you do, it won't be much fun in there if you are getting water leaks that you can't stop because they're hidden in the walls.

Having said that, I like the interior look, and I think it has real potential. Funny thing is, in a year you'll probably look back on this part and laugh, as most people do, since the more you learn about that coach, the more you will probably be digging deeper into it, in order to make sure that it is sound, safe, and reliable.

Stick with it, that one's a winner!
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
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Thanks for all the great advice!

Yes, I am jumping to the interior before doing work on the outside, mostly because of my budget (since I sank most of my available funds into the purchase itself I'm going for the cheap stuff first). But now you have me thinking that I should perhaps take care of that dent first.

Would it suffice to have a car repairman come by and pop it out as you would a car dent, or are you suggesting that I bring it in and have that panel removed for inspection?

By the by, both Costco & Home Depot have what seems to be a pretty decent RV solar kit at a decent price: Sunforce 60 Watt Solar Back Up Kit - 50044 at The Home Depot

Thanks again, folks!
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:37 PM   #7
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1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
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Welcome to the forums! You will find all the answers to things Airstream here! Nice find! We have a 55 flying cloud... but it was gutted when we found it, and the frame is in the garage and the shell is sitting on saw horses. Hubby is working on it when he can.

I would concur with others here, spruce up the interior so you can go camping in fair weather... then start on all the biggies! Be sure it is safe to tow, check the tires, the propane lines, the brakes, lights, your wiring, and check your axle, etc. You likely have a sprung axle and you will see debate on whether to go a newer route...

Be sure and find a rally near you and go! Even if you can't bring your trailer it is a great way to learn about Airstreams and see what others have done! You can kick tires and talk Airstream all weekend!

Good luck on your new adventure!
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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Hi Ben KC
I suggest you look for an experienced vintage Airstream mechanic for the body panel issue. It could be replaced or the dent could be pushed or pulled out to some extent, but the seams will need resealing for sure. If you have the dent pulled it will not be perfect. It will show some amount of ripples or creases unless you replace the two panels behind the window. The one below the window might be okay. You would know for certain only after you remove the other two, I think.
If you want to tackle it yourself you will need to get access to the back of these panels by removing the interior panels. Then you could push out the worst of the dents by hand, and then work out the creases with a roller or block of soft wood. I used a piece of 3/4" thick pine 2" by 24" and I rounded the end to match the curvature of the inside of the shell, then I used a 3/8" roundover bit in a router to soften the edges of the rounded end. This gave me a tool to use on the inside of the shell to press out the finer dents and creases. I just pressed it hard against the shell and pushed out the dents with a back and forth sweeping movement. Too much pressure on it will really ruin you whole day.
Good luck,
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