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Old 11-04-2017, 08:48 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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Posts: 631
'70 Caravanner restoration

Starting a shell off restoration of our 1970 Caravanner that we bought 5 years ago (a $1500 steal) with just the bathroom and half the kitchen in place. We pieced it together with parts from the classifieds on this site and some of our greatest memories since then were spent in places we went with this! The goal was really just to get a gray tank in, but we are "all in" now. We are starting a thread hoping for advice along the way from the many informative people on this site, so please, all ideas and comments appreciated. And perhaps this will be helpful to others as well.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:05 PM   #2
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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removal of interior

Day 1 : Removed interior.
This took 2 people approx 3 hours (would have been less if not for young kids coming and going). All we really needed were drills with phillips heads for the screws and 1/8" cobalt bits for rivets. Also used a socket wrench for nuts holding counters and kitchen cabinets in place as well as for fittings on gas lines. We started in the front and worked our way towards the rear bath. I assume this is in reverse order of assembly because everything came out rather nicely. No surprises or impossibles, just have to look in the hard to see places.

Next up, removing interior skins....
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:32 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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It looks in really great shape. You are correct in the order of removal. Remove front to the rear and assemble rear to the front. On our 66 we couldn’t imagine how they got the tub and sink assembly in through the door. But after a lot of tries, upside down and backwards made it out the door. Hopefully, you’ll find the answers to your questions here on the forums. Good luck and look forward to following your progress. Bubba
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:55 AM   #4
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I am going to tag along.

Dan
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:02 AM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I just love all the windows.
I also like the fridge being by itself with such easy access. Mine is such a pita to get to.
Nice that you have been able to camp in it along the way and get a feel for what you want to do and how to do it.

Dan
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:54 PM   #6
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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It’s about to get all serious, how will you approach rehab - aircraft, marine, or lawn furniture?

I seem to recall removing about 80 pounds & six leaf bags full of vermin nest infused needles of fiberglass insulation, please suit up & use respirator even if no mouse houses... think molds/mildew once the fiberglass gets some real age on it, a thumbprint on the outer shell of my ‘73 had seeded & grown an 18-inch fairy ring of mildew around it! Can we say child-free zone until washed down?

I had two 24” window fans pushing/pulling air through and still became a pink chia pet. Get past this and it’’s good clean fun!
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:01 PM   #7
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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Ready to go....plan on getting that nasty stuff out this weekend.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:13 PM   #8
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1970 25' Caravanner
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interior skins removed

It took 2 of us 3 hours to remove the interior skins today. As advertised in threads I read, they came off center along the roof first from front to back, then top to bottom along the sides in overlapping fashion.

A lot of rivets but got into a groove. Assuming the skins are all original...I was disappointed to see some odd configurations, where they might have been able to use a full panel but instead cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. And near the rear bathroom you could see where they cut out a hole in the skin to bring some heavy gauge wire through for the fridge plug, but ended up cutting a second hole 12 inches forward that they actually used. Their solution for covering up the mistake was to rivet another skin over top.

I didn't see anything too nasty in the insulation. Seemed in pretty good shape to this amateur eye actually.

Going to tear out insulation and vinyl flooring on the next go around. After that I will build a gantry and get the shell off.

Suggestions always appreciated.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:25 AM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
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going to follow, this trailer looks in amazing condition as it is ... !
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:52 AM   #10
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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looking for ideas

nickclifford. Thanks for following. And to the others as well as I am relying on input and advice along the way. Regarding the comment about it being in great shape. Yes, after reading many posts hear I was expecting the worst of the worst, but it does appear to be in great shape overall which has me 2nd guessing tearing it apart.

Thinking forward and would appreciate thoughts...
1) I need to do something different with the interior end caps. The front end cap is bulky/thick/heavy fiberglass. Is that necessary? What have people used to replace that with? I plan on keeping a gaucho up there but do not need the shelf/speakers that are built into the end cap.

The rear end cap is also fiberglass. I am converting the rear bath to a sleeping area so don't need that set up. Any ideas for the skins there?

2) As I will be moving the bathroom, the plumbing will be changing. Both of my vent pipes are on the curb side near the rear, but most of my plumbing will now be located on the street side. Is it feasible to use the same vent pipe locations and have the pipes come from the street side up the walls and across the interior roof to the other side of the trailer?
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:14 AM   #11
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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I moving the huge original rear bath to curb side wet bath. We want a dedicated rear bed and as we spend more time sleeping then showering the bigger bed won the compromise. I have already moved all of the original vents with new of my own design. The black tank will be an above the floor model and I am installing 3 11 gal. grey tanks that will be manifolded together. Lots of time spent under the trailer planning the dump system. You can see my vent system on by thread below.

I am also replacing the fiberglass and ABS interior endcaps with segmented aluminum. I haven't started with it yet but it won't be a problem.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:48 PM   #12
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hello from Colorado. The Caravanner was a rather unique model when introduced. How it differs from a Trade Wind 25 I don't know. Research the model at Airstream Life or the Airstream Archives on their website.

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...4febdf7c99.pdf

Some folks spring for an aluminum end cap kit with the segments already cut and formed. I believe Colin Hyde Restorations provides these kits. You might want to research that option. I'm sure it is more bucks than making them yourself. Me? I don't have the sheet metal skills needed to make them.

David
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:34 AM   #13
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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Center Bathroom layout

Aerowood. Just read through your resto thread. Wow! Thanks for chiming in. We are putting in rear bedroom for same reasons in addition to my kids are getting older and may not want to snuggle with their parents on the gauchos much longer. What layout/dimensions are you thinking for your bath? My trailer is a bit longer than yours but I'm still struggling with how to fit it in. I too am converting to above floor black tank but gray tank design is still in the works.
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:44 AM   #14
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1970 25' Caravanner
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dbj216. I once read about the similarities between Tradewind and Caravanner but don't recall the details. My impression is that names described lengths and layouts. Question is, will I no longer be a Caravanner since I'm renovating and using my own layout? I am going to look into that end cap kit. I do like the idea of doing things myself though, even if it means a challenge. If anyone has formed their own skins I certainly would appreciate the details.
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:51 AM   #15
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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Moving trailer on frame with interior skins off

I read in a thread that you should not move a trailer once the interior skins are off (perhaps could warp?). My skins are off but I want to move trailer from the front to the back of my house on level ground before I pull shell off. Is this not a good idea?

Also, do I need to brace the interior if I'm pulling the shell off using a gantry?
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:51 AM   #16
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy9107 View Post
2) Is it feasible to use the same vent pipe locations and have the pipes come from the street side up the walls and across the interior roof to the other side of the trailer?

I believe you need to move the the interior vents so that they can just go straight up. I don’t think it is possible for them to be run “across the interior roof”. There is just no room. Just patch the old interior vent penetration locations.

Dan
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:42 PM   #17
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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I believe you can slowly move your gutted Caravanner to the level ground in back without interior skins. Most folks brace the shell before lift off to insure it doesn't bend. Without the subfloor and fame, the shell is rather like a paper shopping bag. Airstreams are "semi-monocoque construction meaning the shell, subfloor and frame all play a roll in the strength of the trailer.

Make sure you secure the shell on the ground when you get to that point. Don't let a windy night blow it over.

David
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:15 AM   #18
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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insulation out

Yesterday we removed 50# of insulation and 70# of flooring after suiting up per Wabbiteer's recommendations (these would have come in handy during my wrestling days for weight loss!). This took an hour or so and involved pulling, scraping with a plastic putty knife, brushing with a broom and cleaning up with the shop vac.
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It was all looking good until I pulled the rear endcap out and found a comfy nest above and behind the shower (chipmunks are the culprits around here).
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This summer I could not figure out how they were getting in, and how they were able to smuggle in the large Ponderosa pinecones found in Tahoe...until I saw this behind the shower.
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Found some mold and minor floor rot also so now am actually feeling good about replacing it.
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Preparing for shell off. I removed the rivets holding the outer skins to the C channel using a 1/8" cobalt drill bit. Some were easy, but the harder ones I popped with a hammer and sharp metal putty knife driven between the outer skin and belly skin. This was done from inside the trailer. I was expecting the belly skin to tuck into the C channel but it did not (you can see this layout in the photo below).
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We also removed the sheet metal screws and bolts from the C channel. Some of the screws and bolts were rusted through but we managed to get them all out with the drill and simply breaking the bolts with a hammer. I believe the endcap pieces both front and back will stay attached to the shell once its pulled off but the straight pieces will remain on the floor?? I am concerned about moving the C channel and being able to line it all back up when the shell goes back on.

Next up, shell off. I have built a Gantry and will brace the inside per dbj216's suggestion. It was very windy today so will hold off for a calmer day.
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:21 AM   #19
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1970 25' Caravanner
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dent fixed!

I had acquired 2 large dents from falling snow this past winter on the upper street side end cap.
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I had inquired about how to fix these on the forums and was going to use the method with an inner tube, plywood and shop vac for suction. However, once the insulation was out we were able to pop the dents out simply by pressing on them from the inside of the trailer with our hands. Even the one over the rivet line is no longer noticeable to my amateur eye.
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:48 AM   #20
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1970 25' Caravanner
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vent pipes

TouringDan...thanks for the response RE: vent pipe location. I have seen in threads here how people have moved these and patched the old location. I am not sure I am handy enough for the patch work.

I know this is not a great photo, but you can see the vent pipes on the curb side. I believe the rear one was venting the black tank and bathroom plumbing while the front one was venting the kitchen plumbing.
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I am moving the bathroom up along the street side and the kitchen sink will be street side too. I think I can get the vent pipes from the curb side across the roof to the existing roof exit as there are gaps along the course that would accommodate the pipe. I just don't know how that effects the venting??
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