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Old 09-08-2005, 08:54 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Any intrest in a Airstream fix-it book?

As many of you know I have recently purchased a ’68 Trade Wind and have began the process of getting it into top form. Like many, I have found the forum to be extremely valuable as a source of information. However, it can be cumbersome to search effectively and needed information is often dispersed throughout various threads and there is a significant amount of off-topic chatter adding further to the difficulty of getting the information that a person is looking for.

Having said that, and being an academic, I would like to solicit feedback on the level of interest in a “publication” designed to cover the situations encountered by a Airstreamer. I envision a series of chapters covering tow vehicles, towing, electrical, gas, flooring, complete restorations, and so forth. For each chapter the format would include a general overview of the topic followed by more focused discussions where warranted.

Specific feedback I am seeking includes: 1) would you find such a document to be helpful? 2) What specific topics would you like to see included? 3) What format would you like to see the document produced in (pdf, hard copy ect) and 4) Are you willing to act as a contributor to an edited volume?

Let me stress, I am not advocating a commercial venture here; rather, I am trying to gauge the need/interest in such a publication and ways to make it available if it is desirable. Anyway, there it is for comment. If there is sufficient interest I will start working on the outline and begin seeking contributors in the near future.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:55 AM   #2
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Rodney, I'm sure this would be particularly useful to new members. I would prefer the information to be on-line, rather than hard copy, for ease of updating for such matters as safety warnings and recalls. We have discussed this before, and my favored way forward would be to add a "frequently asked questions" section to each main forum. This could be prepared by a forum member with particular knowledge and experience of a particular forum sub-topic, with information distilled from, and supplying links to, relevant threads. This would be subject to approval by each moderator.I would be prepared to do the FAQs for the Rock-climbing, kayaking, fiddle playing and single malt forum.
Nick.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:28 AM   #3
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I think a harbound copy of such a book is an excellent idea. I don't carry a laptop with me and this would be something that you coud access at home as well as on the road.
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:39 AM   #4
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Post Yes, Great Idea

I think sections on each pertinent topic like A/C, wheels, tires, hitch, rust, frame, windows(with the problems and fixes outlined for each type), etc. Maybe a year by year or group by group as the designs change sections on what to check before or after you buy. Make sure and put topics, how to assess the problem and possible fixes down.

Online or hard copy, I don't care as long as you could print it.

Super idea.
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:49 AM   #5
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First,
Great idea!! I am a hard copy nut. I love books.

One thing I saw mentioned already but can not be stressed enough is the differences in the body styles. Each evolution of our beloved beauties has it's own challenges. That may make a all encompassing volume hard to do. Maybe setting it up like an encyclopedia with a volume on each body style??
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:01 PM   #6
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Rivet Airstream Restorers Bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
Specific feedback I am seeking includes: 1) would you find such a document to be helpful? 2) What specific topics would you like to see included? 3) What format would you like to see the document produced in (pdf, hard copy ect) and 4) Are you willing to act as a contributor to an edited volume?
For the newbies a primer on A/S restoration may be really helpful. For the advanced DIY crowd I think that the amount of info would require a huge volume (or 2). Using the forum topics as an outline I'm guessing you would have at least 15 chapters. To include different model years plus TTs and MHs each chapter would require dozens of variations on the items discussed.

I feel like I would buy it if the exhaustive volume were done really well, as a complete restoration manual (if that's even possible). I may even pay up to $75.00 for it.

It should talk about everything, like: restoring your plumbing to PEX, swapping an axle, rebuilding/upgrading brakes, fans, univolt, appliances...essentially a full monte cookbook for every major variation of A/S.

The primer idea may be more viable though.

BTW: My wife works at a library and sends out stuff to be bound every week. I recently had my 2 manuals bound together for $6.00

http://www.airforums.com/photo...?i=9776&c=3128
http://www.airforums.com/photo...?i=9775&c=3128

See ya,

Steve

p.s. General, if I were called into service I would be honored to write a section in the restoration manual.
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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I think it's a good idea--as craftsman said, it would be nice to have as a resource on the road--for the times the libraries are closed!

I see it as more of a general how to manual

1) would you find such a document to be helpful?

yes

2) What specific topics would you like to see included?

repair, trouble shooting for different parts/systems, cleaning and maintenance.

3) What format would you like to see the document produced in (pdf, hard copy ect)

hard copy--spiral bound

and 4) Are you willing to act as a contributor to an edited volume?

unfortunately I have no expertise to contribute as yet!


you could parcel out the chapters to different forum members.

there are tons of self publishing houses--you prob could do it for $10 a copy. I'm a soapmaker and my soapers' forum did this a few years ago--it was a fun project.
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:31 PM   #8
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For an example of the FAQ system with multiple links, here is an excellent one that Femuse did in April 2003 on "Towing"
http://www.airforums.com/forum...&threadid=4426
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:02 PM   #9
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During my training to be a yoga teacher, we dealt with a phenomenal mountain of information that changed frequently as our guru became ever more enlightened about every little thing on the planet.

So we had the binder approach. It's a VERY thick binder. The foundation's clerk types keep track of the changes and, when there are enough, we get a new packet of pages with instructions on which ones they swap in for.

It's a very easy system for even my disorganized butt to hang in there with. It probably would require a subscription of some sort.

But here's another format that also works very well: As an artist, I do up to a dozen art fairs a year & so I subscribe to the annual Art Fair Sourcebook, which is spiral bound & perfectly organized with tabbed sections. It's pricey at around $190 a year, but it's worth it for the hard-core fair circuit riders because it's cross-reference by show date, application deadlines, location, rating, etc. The good thing is that, if you're feeling poor, you can kind of go by last year's edition if all you want to know is the show's contact person or web site.

My priority would be pictures so I KNOW what a window clip is.
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:10 PM   #10
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Airstream Repair Manual

Although it is not Airstream specific, I recently purchased a 1989 copy of Bob Livingston's RV Repair and Maintenance manual for quite a discount on www.half.com, and found it very helpful in working with some of the systems in the 1986 34' Airstream Limited I just purchased. Lots of pictures and pretty easy to follw info. Of course material specific to just Airstreams, I have looked for on this forum. I am finding it, but will second the comment about the fact that it is not always easy or fast to locate. But then again, I am a neophyte and may not have figured out the search function very well yet

Cheers,

Lee
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:19 PM   #11
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Why not have it available both in book form and CD?
My 2 cents........

Barb
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Old 09-08-2005, 03:03 PM   #12
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I think it's a great idea. So much information is here in the archives, but is SO hard and time consuming to find it, and when found, the info is usually embedded in lots of chat. The chat is fun reading, but when you need INFO and fast, it gets in the way. Like Till, I'm a book nut too and think this kind of volume would be a jewel in my library. By the way, if you are going to compile this from the forum members, you'll need other kinds of help. I would volunteer to work as an editor of sections for general writing. I'd not be much help editing for technical correctness of the topics however!
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:37 PM   #13
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One thing I think you would need to be careful of is that there are a number of differing opinions on how to do things - especially when I comes to polishing......

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Old 09-08-2005, 04:41 PM   #14
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Yes, interested, in .pdf form. Not sure how you'd account for the great differences model-to-model, and year-to-year, though.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:15 PM   #15
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I like the pdf idea, and as far as hard copies are concerned, multiple volumes depending on body style are very cool.

Now. My 2˘:
1. Restoration is rarely done on the road, so an updatable pdf might be the ticket there. Is a hard copy really necessary, and if so, is there an iPhoto-like option? (Explanation re: iPhoto. Apple offers a hard bound photo album option. You send your digital photos and they print and bind them) This way we could have the info we each need printed to our specs.

As far as repairs go, on or off the road, there are service manuals available from 1972 on. As a matter of fact, the '72 manual works on my '71, and maybe a year or two previous? So a bound service manual for older models is an excellent idea. When your head is under the sink searching for a leak, a book is much easier to have at hand thatn a computer.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:24 PM   #16
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How about an e-book

I have found a lot of info on this site also. However I agree, it can take a lot of time. Could a format be added to this forum. So each of us could submit specific information in the format that would be uniform to a "Living Book". The idea of a living book is that each person can download and print the section specific to their needs. New information can be continually added as forum members find new ways to solve a problem or as new models become avaible. I am a retired High School & College teacher who has taught art, year book, computer animation, and 3D graphic design. I would be willing to assist in such an undertaking.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi
I have found a lot of info on this site also. However I agree, it can take a lot of time. Could a format be added to this forum. So each of us could submit specific information in the format that would be uniform to a "Living Book". The idea of a living book is that each person can download and print the section specific to their needs. New information can be continually added as forum members find new ways to solve a problem or as new models become avaible. I am a retired High School & College teacher who has taught art, year book, computer animation, and 3D graphic design. I would be willing to assist in such an undertaking.
Don
excellent idea!

i'll kick it around with the "mod squad" and see what they say.

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Old 09-08-2005, 05:47 PM   #18
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I like the idea of having the information better organized in some fashion. I generally prefer computer based data and would like a version that could be loaded onto an E-Book (since I happen to have one). I think it would be great to have an identified printing site that a person could send specific parts of the manual to and get them printed/bound if they want. It does seem to me that we would want a living version at least for a while until we can get all the kinks ironed out. I think it would be good to have different approaches for each topic where there is any controversy so the individual can make up their own minds which way they would like to proceed. Having some provision for people to send in comments about a given technique as they try them would be nice too. For example, as new materials become available someone might want to suggest them and have them added to the manual.

I would be willing to contribute to writing parts of the book in the areas where I have enough experience.

I would not mind buying a really good printed version or subscribing in some way to an electronic version.

Malcolm
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:52 PM   #19
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Figure Bob Livingston's book is one one end and the Airstream service manuals are on the other. Then you go to magazines like Trailer Life and special interest areas like Home Power Magazine. Then there are online projects like the SierraNevadaAirstreams Owners Guide
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/owners-guide/
or JV's links
http://lakeshoreimages.com/rvlinks.html
or RV know How
http://www.rvknowhow.com/articles.html
or Rvers Corner
http://www.rverscorner.com/articles.html
or PTS
http://www.primotrailersales.com/tips_rv_trailer.shtml
or RV hotline Canada
http://www.rvhotlinecanada.com/news.asp
or even RV education
http://www.rveducation101.com/
and many others

Then there are the airstream sites like the vintage group and this forum.

There seems to be a significant challenge in providing just the collection of information a person is looking for in a style he likes to a depth that is appropriate. Trying to define the mission, purpose, and audience of yet another effort will be critical and nontrivial.

There are also the problems of defining that set of problems encountered by Airstreamers as distinct from that of other brands and that gets confused by motorhomes. Then there is the problem of that set of problems defined by the Airstreamer interest: restoration, repair, or maintenance; living or camping; show quality; back country or golf course resort living, - then you get into budget considerations.

One thing with a book, though, you are a bit distanced from the abuse you can get on forums when you offer something someone doesn't like. Amazing how many people take offense to informed suggestion at times.

update - second the wiki idea. that could be interesting.
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Old 09-08-2005, 06:19 PM   #20
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It might be interesting to have a section of the forum dedicated to pdf downloads.

A couple of years ago I posted a rather lenghty how-to on adding rock guards to a minuet I think it took about 10 sequential posts - because of message length limits/ I made an offer of a pdf - more than a dozen folks e-mailed me for the pdf.
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