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dbj216 02-08-2014 05:57 PM

Well done. David

Hittenstiehl 02-08-2014 07:16 PM

Thx David and speedy recovery to you.

Hittenstiehl 05-27-2014 06:03 PM

New Window and Door Screens
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A long overdue post. (We are working on two trailers so its been a while since last post)

We recently rescreened our (1965) windows and we had not done that task before. We were headed to Vintage Academy and knew it was going to be warm and we wanted the ability to have our windows open and several of the screens had holes and years of dirt in them. DH is a bug magnet so holes in the screen was not going to work.

We used Aluminum screening from HD and bought the wood handled spline tool and new rubber spline.

We worked on a high topper table and it was a good two person task. We followed the instructions on the package but still cut the first piece of screen to short as it needs some room to sink over the edge into the grooves. We taped the screen frame to the table to keep it still. We then taped the piece of screening over the top of the frame, to the table on all four sides. As we got into a rhythm we only used tape on two sides as the screen material as we felt 4 pieces was holding the screen to tightly. The material needs to give as you force it into the grove. We found with the masking tape on all four sides it was more prone to stretching out the screen. So we switched to one person holding two sides of the screening and the other two sides being taped and we would switch the tape and holding as we worked around the sides. The wood handled tool worked very well but its more patience and less push on the spline. As you push on the spline the screen needs to give and the spline needs to sink into the grove past the thicker edge. Once it pops down past the thicker part of the frame and down into the groove you can tell it settles into the frame. On the corners we used a gentle poke with a household door key until it was seated. We used the spline as a whole piece and fed it out of the bag and cut it on an angle when we got to the end.

On the screen door we worked with the door in place and did the lower piece first and then worked on the curved upper. We precut the curve into the screen and started the install on the top. We started in the middle of the top and went one direction from top, down one side, then went back up top and started in the other direction and came down the other side. That way the screen stretched across the curve in each direction and then we snugged up an excess material on the sides while the helper held onto the bottom of the material.

We cut the remnants of the screening off with a sharp razor knife that we just ran gently along the aluminum frame for a nice close finish.

The task was not difficult, the difference was very noticeable, the screens were tout, clean and much more presentable.

The pictures show our products, some of the steps and the after:

Hittenstiehl 11-17-2015 09:56 AM

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Henrietta is on the shop for her new Axles and Shocks. Looking good up there. Before pics, Will follow up with an after picture if I get by the shop.

OilnH2o 02-13-2016 03:18 PM

This looks a lot better than jacking up and crawling under - the way we did the new Dexters on our Overlander you saw! (And now aboard for the ride!)

Hittenstiehl 02-14-2016 07:41 PM

Thanks OilnH2o. It's always fun and a little anxious to see it raise up on the forklift into the sky but they are pro's and do it often.

Hittenstiehl 09-11-2016 07:38 PM

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Never did a follow up post on the after. As you can see there is not much difference. Sorry for the poor quality of the photographs. The darker picture is before and the lighter one afterwards.

While there may not be much visible difference at the wheel well the ride is night and day.

We were breaking things off every trip. Granted they were things that need replacing or fixing but maybe not right that moment.

Several trips since then and very glad we made the investment in new axel's.

OilnH2o 09-12-2016 08:20 PM

I think it's the ride that counts!

Hittenstiehl 09-12-2016 08:25 PM

Your are correct and the ride is great. Thanks Oil.

Hittenstiehl 06-23-2017 12:04 PM

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Painted the entry door that was clean but very old and grimy looking.

Now it's bright and cheery.Attachment 288023

dbj216 06-24-2017 05:08 PM

Looks nice. Mine is old and grimy looking, just like me! We're a match set. Maybe I need a paint job.


Slats 06-24-2017 07:41 PM

I find it lifts my spirits to do stuff like that along the way. I windexed my windows the other day just for the heck of it.

Hittenstiehl 07-09-2017 09:19 AM

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DH had done such a nice job installing our astrodome some years ago and we used it regularly.

While working on the trailer early this summer we started leaving the dome and the other vents and some windows open to give it some relief from our extreme heat and we don't typically have much wind here.

On our way home the other night a monsoon storm was blowing pretty good. When we got to our neighborhood we could see the street strewn with leaves and small branches. As we pulled into the driveway we had a large dark object laying in the driveway.

Arrggg, a breeze caught the dome and ripped it off the lifters destroying one of those too. Our dome may have already been weakened by it's swelling in the heat. Over time it had gone from a gentle curve to a large swelling inside. Almost like two layers of plastic had separated with a large air bubble inside. Luckily it hadn't rained also.

Time to put a pice of wood up with a tarp and decide where next dome us coming from.

Attachment 289037Attachment 289038

TouringDan 07-09-2017 11:44 PM

Sorry about your Astrodome situation. I leave my car window down a lot feeling bad for the interior getting so hot- and then it rains.

Very nice looking new Astodome you are installing. Where did you order it from?


Hittenstiehl 07-10-2017 08:32 AM

Thx Touring Dan, it was all our fault but frustrating non the less.

The pictures are of the one that ripped off.

You can see one hanger ripped off above the screen on the interior shot. The other hanger stayed attached but to the dome which was laying in the driveway. On that second image you can see only one hanger and the ripped/broken section on the other end.

That Astrodome was from Andy at Inland and a very nice quality. The smoked color let some light in while providing some shade.

That dome is made from a product that escapes me at the moment. Essentially pouring a liquid compound into a pre maid form. The dome had swollen in the last years. Both outside and inside like a distention. We assume the swelling of the formed dome is from our extreme heat both onto the roof and inside the trailer. The dome ripped away right at the joint to the lifters so maybe the swollen plastic had been weakend and the wind gust caught it just right.

We store the Airstreams in our driveway but not under cover, yet.

We actually have another/spare astrodome (also from Andy at Inland) but it was earmarked for our 62 Ambassador. The Ambassador has a piece of sheet metal bolted over it's opening. (Maybe this is why we had not installed the second one yet)

At this point we're going to put the spare dome back on the Tradewind and maybe consider a dome from VTS to see how that dome holds up in our sun.

Our little Globettotter that we got last year has its original (fiberglass?) dome but it's on its last leg and will need replacing also.

dbj216 07-10-2017 05:34 PM

I read in these forums about the many Airstream mistakes we humans make. Taking off from a campsite with the roof vent open is one of them. The vent usually rips off at highway speeds. Inland RV says they sell a lot of them due to this human error.

Then there is forgetting to lock an exterior compartment door and having it lost in a ditch, or not locking the entry door and having it fly open and get sprung, or leaving the steps down, or the stabilizer jack, etc, etc.

Don't feel badly, we all do it.


Hittenstiehl 12-09-2017 10:25 PM

Today we had a wonderful and bittersweet day.

We sold our beloved 65 Tradewind Henrietta to a very excited new owner.

Funny twist was she brought an acquaintance who will be her
fixer/helper/mentor. (Unbeknownst to either of us) He is also an acquaintance of ours who we consulted when we first bought her. So he knew the trailer, although he didn't recognize it in the Craigslist ad, and could see it's progress despite how much still needed to be done.

The viewing and negotiations went well and money and title exchanged hands smoothly.

Another Airstream convert, we will be able to see their progress by checking his website and we can focus on our other two.

Thank you for your knowledge, sharing and encouragement, especially David.

slowmover 12-09-2017 11:26 PM

Had me laughing out loud with your way of description. Great thread.

Bye-bye Newbie-ness

dbj216 12-10-2017 10:58 AM

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Hi Hittenstiehl: Thank you for your kind words. Well, I sold my beloved Trade Wind too, last August it was. The mid sixties trailers are special, and that is a major why I decided to sell it. The mid sixties trailers have many unique parts that are hard to get or no longer available. Corning curved glass, Phillips operators, Herr vent operators, Bargman L100 locksets, fly off cargo doors, big door hinge, special body parts and what else.

Mostly I wanted another project Airstream. I know, I'm sick. I wanted a trailer that I could expose my adult sons and families to the joys of Airstream travel. They both enjoy outdoor adventures. A later model vintage Airstream has less special parts, and of course less vintage look. I guess I went from twinkie to bread loaf shape. The Overlander kinda looks like a late model Airstream even though it is 42 years old.

You know, I never spent a night in the 66 Trade Wind. My wife much prefers her 86 Limited. That's the one we use for our long trips. Lack of use is another reason I decided to sell.

I'm now happy to be working on another vintage Airstream, though not as special as my former 66 Trade Wind. I think this 75 Overlander will make a good family trailer in the future. Broken stuff will be easier to fix or replace.


Hittenstiehl 12-10-2017 11:14 AM

David I've watched your new project also. You are a great encourager on these forums

Our 65 was our first love and we learned a lot and put some of it into practice. We camped in it quite a bit as a boondocker and showed it to lots of folks in our travels.

We have now since acquired our keepers, a 61 Globettotter in original shape that needs love. A 62 Ambassador that has had a shell off and is empty inside. The different sizes will allow us off road travel and longer haul in comfort.

Then of course there is still our 1960 Chrysler Imperial and our new to us house.

So possibly still on project overload but more manageable. With two trailers one will always stay campable, even if just silver tent status.

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