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Old 07-15-2020, 10:05 AM   #1
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1960 33' Custom
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Working on the Railroad... Bunkhouse

My bride and I are the latest in the series of new, overly naive Airstream owners. We purchased this 36 foot 1962 Mobile Industrial bunkhouse built for Southern Pacific Railroad.

The plan is to restomod into our retirement camper and we'll document the build here along with asking endless questions.








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Old 07-15-2020, 06:53 PM   #2
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What a cool project! Looking forward to seeing the progress!
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:11 PM   #3
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Great find! The shell looks to be in really good shape. Also looks like you have the right tow vehicle for that 36 footer. Enjoy jour project!
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mikextr View Post
Great find! The shell looks to be in really good shape. Also looks like you have the right tow vehicle for that 36 footer. Enjoy jour project!
The tires are old and sketchy so we outsourced towing it home... but our 2016 F350 dually is used to hauling heavy loads so the camper shouldn’t be an issue for it.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:07 AM   #5
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The shell really does look good. The interior... eeuuhh! Mask up like you are medical personnel working in an infectious disease ICU. Get tetanus shots before you start. Make patterns of all the gross old wood and particle board stuff you throw out. Could be a real beauty when done.

Congratulations and good luck.
Paula
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:20 AM   #6
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The shell really does look good. The interior... eeuuhh!
Our goal was to find a gutted shell to build out, this just has the extra benefit of making us Airstream archeologists while we dissemble the interior and *hopefully* find a decent frame.
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:37 AM   #7
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Great find of a VERY interesting trailer! Looking forward to your posts!
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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The trailer looks to be worthy of a rebuild. Good visual and written documentation of a rebuild and what history you can find will increase its appeal.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:21 AM   #9
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Old Bunkhouse

Lovely find! Hopefully you can acquire a composite floor like the new ones! Also, if you can preserve the Southern Pacific herald on the rear panel it will greatly enhance the visual and documented history of your special piece of SP history.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:45 AM   #10
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nice! looking forward to following along...
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:08 PM   #11
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Welcome to the AirForums.
Cool find! I'll be watching your progress as you post.

You might find this article interesting, some history of Airstream that mentions trailers like yours>
https://airstreamclub.org/sites/defa...%20Company.pdf
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:19 PM   #12
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Very cool, love archeology. And I love rescuing old stuff. Nice work. It will be really interesting researching its history. Many here can help.

Cheers,
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:35 PM   #13
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That is so cool! I can't wait to follow your progress. Best wishes! And like Paula said, suit up!
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:22 PM   #14
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Great find and good luck on your project.
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:44 AM   #15
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Welcome to Airforums.
What an interesting project you have ahead of you. Looking forward to following along.

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Old 07-19-2020, 04:39 PM   #16
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Here come the questions... but first I built some good stairs for access.






Obviously this door hinge isn’t original... it’s rusty and the pin is far too easy to remove from the exterior. What’s a proper 1962 door hinge look like?



We’re missing a number of these window cranks, do they have a name so I cane source more?





Can anyone identify these axels? They appear to have hydraulic brakes and the bit on the A-frame is for breakaway? I seriously can’t wrap my head around how they work and google hasn’t been much help.



Lastly, this abomination was added to fit a black water tank, yes?
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:12 PM   #17
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I think the thing on the A-frame is a surge brake master cylinder. If I were resto-modding this trailer I would replace the axles and fit the new ones with disc brakes. Four calipers and a electric-hydraulic actuator. Order new axles with brake flanges but beam only, no brakes. This trailer will likely be way too heavy for four electric drum brakes.
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:42 PM   #18
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. . .
Mask up like you are medical personnel working in an infectious disease ICU. Get tetanus shots before you start.
. . .
Good advice above IMO.

Great find, Krek!

Are you familiar with the risks from Hantavirus from old rodent droppings and nests?

https://www.google.com/search?q=Hant...=airforums.com
New Mexico: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...th-199628.html

Not sure which state it was in, but some states have higher rates of Hantavirus.

https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/surve...ing-state.html
https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/surve...state.html#map

FYI here some other "Southern Pacific" posts on AirForums: https://www.google.com/search?q=Sout...=airforums.com

Good luck,
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:35 PM   #19
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One more question... this opening (in the ceiling) has an LP line capped in it. Was it a gas light or something else?
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:48 PM   #20
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To answer a few of your questions . . .

1. The hinges might be original. You have to remember that the Mobile Industrial trailers were built with more economy in mind as compared to normal Airstreams. I would have to study photos of other Mobile Industrial units to see of they have the same hinges, but it is certainly possible that they are original. The typical Airstream door hinges for that time period were at one time being reproduced by Vintage Trailer Supply, but I will predict they will NOT work on your Mobile Industrial because a) the side of an Airstream is curved differently and the hinges have complex bends to accommodate the curve, and b) they are designed for a "door-in-a-door", a feature that your Mobile Industrial does not have. You may just need to source a new set of stainless hinges from a hardware source if you want to replace the rusty ones.

2. Replacement cranks were at one time available from Vintage Trailer Supply, but they looked different and are currently out of stock.

3. It looks like your Mobil Industrial was equipped with hydraulic brakes on a leaf spring axle, even though in 1961 regular Airstream had switched to torsion axles and standardized on electric brakes. This is likely another cost containment decision as Mobile Industrial trailers would not see the number of road miles that a typical Airstream would. You should be able to convert to torsion axles and electric brakes if you desire, or put a modern "electric over hydraulic" disk brake system on the trailer as has already been suggested.

4. Yes that holding tank looks to have been added some time after the trailer was built as the tanks does not appear to be of 1961 vintage and the installer appears to have cut part of the frame away to install it. I cannot say if it is a "black" tank or a "gray" tank. That may depend upon if it is located under the toilet.
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