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Old 05-16-2018, 06:30 PM   #201
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Good choice on the PEX in my view. I've done three trailers in PEX and two have worked well. The third, my Overlander, isn't water tested yet, but I expect no problems; it did pass the air pressure test. I did my son's old house in PEX and it is holding up great. I have several push to connect fittings in my 86 Limited. They have been there for about 5 years with no problems.

Us retired guys don't have to "multi task", or "keep all the balls in the air", or "git R done", or "more overtime". Now I just fiddle with the Overlander and enjoy life. Better!

David
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:41 PM   #202
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Great work that you are doing.

I would take a day off and go to the TCT Rally to see all the neat vintage stuff. I have been to that rally and I really enjoyed it. Met lots of nice people too. Next year you could show your Airstream there.

I would also definitely go with Pex. You can get a cheap crimping tool for about $20 at Lowes or HD that works with large pliers to crimp the joints. Or there must be somebody in your area that could lend you the tool. I plumbed my Tradewind using 1/2 and 3/8 pex tubing.

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Old 05-17-2018, 03:07 PM   #203
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There are a couple kinds of PEX crimp rings and matching tools.

The heavy-duty copper PEX rings require a ratchet tool to crimp.

The cheapo one that allegedly crimps with a pair of locking pliers will give lousy crimps and surprise leaks. I would not bother with this one. It's also quite bulky and hard to use.

If you use the copper rings in assorted sizes, buy the tool with multiple inserts for different PEX sizes and ratchet handles to do it right. IIRC, it was about $100. Also comes with a go/no-go gauge to check the quality of the crimp.. It is a bulky beast to use, so plan your moves carefully in tight spots...the copper rings require cutting the PEX off near the fitting and a special ring splitting tool (another $20) to get the ring off to recycle the fitting. Can be a pain to do...don't screw up.

The other crimp rings for PEX are the stainless steel ones with a 'nub' on them that is tightened with a much smaller tool that has (in my case) a light that comes on to tell you it's just tight enough. One tool crimps ALL sizes. IIRC, it was $50. Mine had a gauge to calibrate the light to make correct crimps. It works nice in tight corners and is easy to use. These rings may not be quite as durable as the copper ones, but so far, they seem to work 'just fine' where I have used them. The other advantage of these rings is that you can, with a big pair of end cutting pliers, get them OFF the fittings if you need to...just destroy the 'nub' by cutting and twisting it off, and off the ring comes...and the fitting recycles without shortening the PEX.

Both tools and matching rings in assorted PEX sizes, plus sections and rolls of the PEX material in assorted colors are available at the big box home improvement stores in my area.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:47 AM   #204
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Stevie and Dan,
Lorrie and I have been to the TCT spring event several times. Once camping many years ago and many times we have dropped by on Saturday fir the open house. I am afraid I cannot commit the time this weekend. I need every hour to work on my trailer. Have fun. Maybe, I will see you at a future event.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:26 PM   #205
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Thanks all for the suggestions on PEX. After doing recent work with both PEX and copper water lines on the bath cabinet, I can officially say I HATE working with copper pipe/tubing. PEX is much easier.

But back to progress, but as usual much slower than I had hoped, despite several long working days. Since my last update I temporarily set the bath cabinet and tub in place to assess the space I had to reroute the bath cabinet drain and new PEX water lines.

I also riveted in 5 of the 6 wall channels - one has to wait until I close up the inner skin around the water heater before it can be permanently installed. I also started installing the curbside wheel well liner. It is riveted to the inner skin, but not yet screwed to the floor because I called it a day when it got dark that day. I'll finish the install the next time I am there. The streetside wheel well liner will go in after the inner skin around the water heater is permanently riveted. Riveting the wall channels back in required me to modify a pop rivet gun in order to reinstall the rivets very close to the trim edge. I did this by filing a flat side on a rivet gun.

I finished the installation of the prop rod arms on the front window guard.

And most time consuming, including countless trips to various hardware stores, I have mocked up all plumbing in/on the bath floor cabinet, including revised drain pipe routing with a new Hepvo waterless trap and a mix of PEX and copper fresh water lines. I retained copper for the toilet and toilet sprayer, because part of the waterline to the toilet will be visible in the completed trailer. These lines were a mix of flare connections to the valves and a soldered "tee" in the cold water line. This little bit of copper was more than enough to prove I hate working with copper, especially when soldered connections are involved.

I moved the drain line to make more space for PEX lines to the bath sink/shower shutoff valves. In the end I ended up using dual port shutoff valves for the sink and shower to save space, one each for the cold and hot water lines. I ran stainless steel hoses to the sink faucet, but had to run copper to the flare fittings on the shower valves. I had no choice, but to use compression fittings on the other end of the shower copper lines at the shutoff valves due to the tight working space. I hope I got them tight enough to not leak.

Tomorrow, I will leak test the bath cabinet plumbing. I almost expect I will find leaky valves and have to rebuild several of the faucet and other original water valves before reinstalling the cabinet into the trailer. Hopefully I will not find any leaks in the new piping I have installed. Once this plumbing passes a leak test, the bath cabinet and bath tub can be reinstalled which will allow me to then work on the below floor plumbing and permanent gray water tank installation.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:49 AM   #206
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Part 2 . . . again not necessarily in the order worked on as I juggled many of the recent projects simultaneously.

Front Window Guard: One of my most time consuming projects over the last few days has been the vintage front window guard that I am installing. I have replaced several (but not all) rusted fasteners, some of which were rusted so badly that they had to be cut off with a grinding wheel. I am in the process of replacing the rusty original draw latches (that really didn't work anymore to hold the guard closed during travel) with modern rubber T-handle latches, since I could not find an exact replacement metal draw latches. I have repaired cracks in the fiberglass on the back using more Marine Tex. I also scrubbed and clear coated the front of the fiberglass because it was very weathered with many fiberglass strands starting to detach. I cleaned much of the dirt off, but did not try to get it all off. A little dirt adds some patina that matches the rest of the trailer nicely. This past evening I started to install the window guard, but several hiccups (like jammed fasteners that had to be drilled out and replaced as well as forgetting to tale all the necessary tools to the storage location) prevented me form completing the installation before darkness set in. The guard is installed at the top using some offset aluminum hinges, but I stopped for the day before I got the prop rod arms attached to the trailer. That should be completed tomorrow.

Door Sill: Reinstalled.

Plumbing: No actual work, but lots of planning. I am rethinking my previous decision to use copper for the fresh water lines and am now reconsidering Pex. I need to make a decision soon (like maybe tomorrow) so that I can start reinstalling the bathroom, now that the black tank is finally ready to be reinstalled.


Well, that's about it for the moment. I have left out many hours of internet research on these and other things I have yet to buy and/or install.
What did you repair your gaurd with?
Mine has several cracks & I'd love to save it.
Thank you!
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:52 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Good choice on the PEX in my view. I've done three trailers in PEX and two have worked well. The third, my Overlander, isn't water tested yet, but I expect no problems; it did pass the air pressure test. I did my son's old house in PEX and it is holding up great. I have several push to connect fittings in my 86 Limited. They have been there for about 5 years with no problems.

Us retired guys don't have to "multi task", or "keep all the balls in the air", or "git R done", or "more overtime". Now I just fiddle with the Overlander and enjoy life. Better!

David
David I always enjoy your posts! Thank you.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:44 AM   #208
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What did you repair your gaurd with?
Mine has several cracks & I'd love to save it.
Thank you!
Hi Dingo Girl,
I used a product called "Marine Tex" Epoxy Putty (actually I used the West Marine generic equivalent called "Marine Rx"). I used the white version, because that is what they had on the shelf. I applied it to the back side of the window guard, so the cracks are still visible from the outside. I didn't care about that. I call it "patina". I just wanted the window guard to be strong and to stop the cracks from growing any larger.

Here is a link to read up on Marine Tex Epoxy Putty: http://marinetex.com/products/marine...x-epoxy-putty/

Here is a link to read up on Marine Rx: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...2-oz--13967443

I will admit using this product after receiving a recommendation, but I have not used it before, so I can't personally comment on long term durability of repairs made with it. Time will tell, but it got glowing reviews. I hope it's good, because I also used it to repair crack in my fiberglass black water tank.

Once mixed up, I applied it with a putty knife, probably 1/16" think on the window guard and a bit thicker on the black tank. I masked off the area to be repaired, cleaned and sanded the damaged area according to the instructions and in some cases drilled little holes at the end of cracks to stop them from growing any more.

I will admit that by only applying the product to the cracked areas on the window guard, you can slightly see where it is applied from the outside and you can clearly see the repaired areas from the inside as light transmission is blocked by it. If the entire back side was covered, it might block more light getting to the inside, but would be more uniform, if that is important to you.

I will also note that I sprayed several coats of a clear coat paint on the outside to seal it and stop (or at least slow down) the weathering and lifting of individual glass fibers.

This is not a difficult project. Good Luck!
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:03 AM   #209
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I could suggest using fiberglass cloth and marine 2 part epoxy on the back side as an alternative fix on the window guard. West Systems epoxy will wet thru the cloth and makes it completely transparent. I've built wooden kayaks covered with this and the fiberglass is completely clear, showing only the wood structure. Slow hardener and disposable brushes give you time to work the cloth into the curves. I wouldn't use fiber mat, just cloth.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:14 PM   #210
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Need Help - Febco 710 3/8 Vacuum Breaker

I leak tested the hot and cold water lines with air pressure this morning. The good news is that other than having to re-tighten one Flare fitting, it seems all of my connections were fine and I only found one valve (out of 6) that seems to leak.

The hand valve for the manual toilet does leak and will have to be rebuilt. The leak allows air to go to the vacuum breaker. I assume that I will be able to find the appropriate parts to rebuild the valve once I take it apart.

The bad news is the Febco 710 3/8 Vacuum Breaker/Backflow Preventer. When I open the hand valve, a lot of air leaks out of the breaker, meaning a lot of water will leak out of it when I apply water to the system. This does not surprise me as I have to rebuild the vacuum breaker on my sprinkler system regularly. Pretty much every spring I open it up to clean out the cob webs and a couple of times I have had to replace the gasket.

My trouble is that I have not been able to get the top off the Febco breaker to access the gasket. I assume I may have to make a gasket unless I get lucky and find it matches some more modern valve. Any ideas how to get the top off? I assume it screws off, but so far I have been unable to budge it by hand even after the application of heat from my heat gun. I am hoping to not mar it up with giant pliers. Please help!
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:10 PM   #211
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My '61 had the same valve, if I recall the top screws off. There is a metal disk with a rubber seal on top. The water pressure pushes up the disk and seals the rubber against the top. Gravity plops it back down to vent it. Turn on the water too fast and it will burp some drops out before sealing.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:19 PM   #212
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Joe: Maybe a little penetrating oil overnight will help free it up.

Thanks Dingo Girl for your kind words. I now have two Air Forums participants who enjoy my posts. I'll always remember you as the one who taught me what a "monkey jack" is. Excellent device for pulling a new subfloor in place with the shell on.

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Old 05-20-2018, 07:49 PM   #213
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It screws on
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:29 PM   #214
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Good News. When I pressurized the bath cabinet plumbing with water, the Febco vacuum breaker sealed! Therefore I don't need to rebuild it at this time! Thanks for the tips on how it comes apart, though.

Bad News. When pressurized with water I found that several valve stems leaked when the valves were opened, so most of them will need to at least be repacked, including the sink faucet. Luckily, this shouldn't be too big of a task. I also have to rebuild the Toilet Hand Valve that leaks past the seal when "closed". I hope to rebuild/repack all the valves tomorrow and then retest with water pressure before installing the cabinet.

I decided I needed to get something done at the trailer, so in the evening I went to the storage unit and installed insulation in the wall around the water heater and riveted the inner skin around it, so that I could complete the installation of the wheel well inner liners. Both are now riveted and screwed in place. I ran out of daylight before I got to reinstalling the last wall edge trim. I should get to that tomorrow unless the predicted rain keeps me away. I still have to make a new water heater inner skin close out panel, though because the new water heater is much smaller than the original one.

Oh yeah, I also spent some time today researching and ordering parts on-line. I ordered a water pump and accumulator tank today. I still have a few odds and ends, including LP and CO detectors, that I still need to research and buy, but I am getting closer to having all of the major items purchased. That said, daily trips to the hardware store for nuts and bolts and plumbing fittings and and similar small items won't stop any time soon. Only made 2 such trips today - down from about 4 or 5 trips yesterday.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:32 AM   #215
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'62 ATW Trailer repairs

Joe, This has been an amazing read and you have done a great job of documenting with photos how you are doing on this project. I am following this thread with great interest. Thanks for your fine work, Ed
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:35 AM   #216
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What a great project! Everyday your progress gets you closer to the finish line.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:26 PM   #217
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Just for reference if anyone is looking for photos
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:18 PM   #218
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Just for reference if anyone is looking for photos
Thanks for the photos.

Took longer than planned, but I got all my bath cabinet leaks resolved as of today and am starting the cabinet install, but no progress photos today.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:19 PM   #219
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Time for another update. The bath cabinet plumbing is complete, leaks resolved and drain plumbing done. I completed routing the drain line to a new hole thru the floor, connected to the vent line for the bathtub, in a manner somewhat similar to original. I did not get a photo of the completed piping, but an including a partially complete photo. The below floor drain lines still have to be run, though.

One interesting find is that while I was washing some of the original 1 1/4" ABS drain piping to find sections that could be re-purposed as part of my revised drain plumbing, I found one fitting that was never originally glued, that was part of the original kitchen drain line. This unglued fitting would have leaked into the belly pan every time the kitchen sink was used. You hear lots of quality issues in new Airstreams, but this proves there were issues in 1962. Funny thing was that it took 56 years for the unglued fitting to be discovered. I wonder if the Cramers noticed a leak from the belly pan every time they used the kitchen sink on the ATWC and wondered where it came from.

I have spent time figuring out the best way to put the bathroom back in and have decided that it will be best for the bath tub to get riveted and screwed in place before the bath cabinet. I have test fit everything multiple times to find the best reassembly sequence. Before the tub can go in, the bathroom furnace duct has to go in. I found the fit of the original ducts to leave a lot to be desired. Any mice in the belly pan could easily squeeze into the furnace duct thru sizable gaps. I have tweaked the ducts for a much tighter fit to prevent this in the future. I need to remake some of the hidden wooden supports for the tub that had delaminated and then I can start the permanent re-installation of the tub and the rest of the bathroom . . . hopefully tomorrow.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:48 PM   #220
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Your updates are great. Thank you for posting them. I think a lot of us working on these old Airstream find "mistakes" as we dig deep into the trailer.

I'm with you on placing the bathtub very early on in reassembling the bathroom. That is exactly what I'm doing. My bathtub is attached to a "shower valve" sidewall, which is attached to the countertop piece. The sink countertop fits snug under the rear window. This is the height I have to make after all the stack ups of the plastic pieces.

Your trailer is coming together. It's going to be an amazing piece of Airstream history.

David
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