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Chlyman 08-22-2013 09:50 PM

Caravanner Rebuild - 1956
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I bought this trailer 2 weeks ago. It is registered currently as a 1963 Caravanner, which given that it is 13 panel, I know it is a '56 or '57. I am going to try an have the DMV change the date to a 1956. Here are the pictures as found.

Chlyman 08-22-2013 09:55 PM

Getting her home!
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Getting her out of the deep ground where she had been sitting for 30+ years was pretty easy, except for the wiring mistake that was made on the temporary lights! (Live and learn)!

Finally made it home safe and sound! Now the fun begins!!!

Chlyman 08-22-2013 10:06 PM

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I was hoping to not have to do a full and complete rebuild, however, the floor in this trailer is terrible. It may be alright between the wheel wells, but that is the only place! So I am going to do a full floor replacement on this girl, but unlike my traveller, I am not going to do a shell of replacement. I am going to try to do this with the shell on.

I removed all of the interior in 1.5 days. The floor is completely gone in the bathroom, where there was not vent cap over the plumbing vent. Who knows how long water had been leaking in there. Plus in the front, there is a substantial dent, where the floor is also gone from a leak. Knowing how bad the floor is, I don't want to go through the trouble of replacing the floor without fixing all the leaks, so in my mind all of the interior skins need to come off.
I feel pretty certain that the frame will be in poor shape near the rear bath. I hope to find that out this week. I am trying to get this back together quickly. My Traveller has been taking way to long, I don't want this one to be that way. I have given myself a date of next spring to be back on the road. That is a very aggressive maiden voyage date, but I will only adjust that if I see there is no way to make it.

Melody Ranch 08-23-2013 06:36 AM

NICE! You have a project there....keep up with the pictures.

Melody Ranch 08-23-2013 06:43 AM

How is the Traveler
I just looked at your other project is the 18 footer going? It looks like you have two projects on the fire now. Winter is rolling in and it looks like your working outside....I am rooting for you.

pbearsailor 08-23-2013 08:43 AM

Sure looks familiar to me. :D

Pretty clean shell and most of the window parts so you've got a good one to work with.

I see the sink in the bath. What does it have where the vanity was in mine?

Thanks for the pics and for starting a resto thread. :wally:

Steve :)

Chlyman 08-23-2013 09:42 AM

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I do have the two projects, and I am working outside, but I am putting the Traveller on hold. I am eager to get the Caravanner buttoned up, so I can work inside the trailer.

Steve-I just have a dresser where you have the vanity. I guess mine has an extra drawer. The vanity is so cute, I do wish I had that feature and the shower!

Chlyman 08-23-2013 07:57 PM

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Today I removed the lower interior skin. I think the whole body has settled into the floor because many rivets are popped. Only about 10 around the floor/c-channel were intact.

The floor under the bathroom had completely rotted away, the belly pan under the bathroom and the interior skin have corroded all the way through in a few spots.

Tomorrow I have some help, so I hope to get the rest of the skin out and maybe even the floor out. Very eager to see the condition of the frame!

I also need to figure out how to fix the dent in the front. The c-channel is mangled!

pbearsailor 08-23-2013 08:56 PM

In a couple of days, you're ahead of where I was after three months or so. :rolleyes: What is your plan for the trailer, stay original or update?

Once you get that mangled C channel out, it may work back into shape pretty well.

Good luck on the frame. What you've shown in the pics looks pretty good.

steve :)

rumrunner 08-23-2013 09:19 PM

Remember, after the floor is out the only thing keeping the shell up is rust. Get some bracing in place before it drops like has happened to many of us:angel: (luckily just 1 corner)
have fun with this project too. You have a beautiful area to live and work in, not too hot and no snow. Lived in Walnut Creek in my high school years and worked in Danville, sure has changed a lot in 35 years...

Chlyman 08-24-2013 12:56 AM

I am very motivated to get his trailer back on the road! I am making it my full time job while I can. I do plan to use 3/4 plywood blocks to hold it up, after I get the floor out.

Steve, I hope you are right about hat c-channel. It is the radius one, so not easy to fabricate! As for my plans, I think I am planning on keeping the floor plan the same, I want to add some 12v lights and a water heater, maybe a small grey tank. I want to reuse as much as possible on this trailer.

Small world Tim. In the last 35 years it has gotten more dense. More people, more cars, more traffic. But I am lucky that where I live makes working on the trailer possible year round.

Chlyman 08-24-2013 08:24 PM

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Well I didn't get as far as I had hoped today. I did get all the skin, insulation and wiring out. We also took out the rear floor panel. There is some serious corrosion on the U-Channel and on the frame. I washed out the interior, and water was coming out between many of the seams on the outside.

I am taking tomorrow off! I feel a little burned out. I cannot seem to undo the screws on the band around the front and back of the trailer. I have had them soaking in wd40, but nothing seems to be helping.

Next I will seal all the seams, put a new antenna on, the old one leaked quit a bit from the corrosion around it.

I need to figure out the vent that went over the bathroom. The rivet holes are in a u pattern, but I don't see a vent that is like that in the same size. VTS has a similar vent for stoves, but it is much bigger than the pattern that is there. Any other caravanners that can tell me what there bath vent looks like would be very helpful!!!

Chlyman 08-24-2013 09:52 PM

I don't know what to do about my zolotone. Every time I drill out a rivet, if flakes off. Not too crazy about doing more zolotone myself. Suggestions?

pbearsailor 08-24-2013 10:54 PM

Carolyn, that vent in the bathroom is just a curved piece of aluminum. I'll try to take a pic of mine, but it will be simple to fabricate.

If you meant the screws front and rear through the trim, I had good luck turning them from inside with vise grips.

I had the flakey Zolatone too. I primed over it on that front end cap and that worked ok, but of course it wasn't needed to prep a finish coat on mine.

steve :)

rumrunner 08-25-2013 07:06 AM

Carolyn, I have the vent I just removed from my 55FC that I am not planning on reinstalling. You are welcome to it for the price of postage. It is a bit battered but could be restored or used as a pattern to build a new one.

Chlyman 08-25-2013 10:08 AM

Thanks Tim! I actually think I have the vent since Steve described it. I had not put it together that that little flat piece of metal had any significance, then I thought it couldn't be the vent, it looks homemade. I would love to see a picture of yours or Steve's, to see if it really is the original!

pbearsailor 08-25-2013 11:30 AM

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Here you go. I'll bet you have it. Mine was off and I didn't realize what it was until I lined up the rivet holes. :wally:


Chlyman 08-25-2013 12:31 PM

Thanks Steve, that is what I have! I wonder how mine came off. It was pop riveted on looking at remnants that are still there.

I have to tell you Steve, the reason I bought this trailer was because of your beautiful restoration. When I bought my Traveller, I found your thread and loved what you did with your trailer. When I saw this one for sale, it seemed like it was meant to be!

pbearsailor 08-25-2013 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by Chlyman (Post 1345499)
I have to tell you Steve, the reason I bought this trailer was because of your beautiful restoration. When I bought my Traveller, I found your thread and loved what you did with your trailer. When I saw this one for sale, it seemed like it was meant to be!

Thanks! Island Girl is far from the perfection that some people do around here, but she's good enough to make me happy. The Caravanner model is great--I love the windows and the open layout. 13 panels! :wally:


Chlyman 08-28-2013 08:29 PM

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I haven't had much time this week, something always seems to come up! I plan to work on getting the floor out before the weekend.
The small things I have been working on include sealing the interior seams, trying to salvage the very rusty tail lights, and making a new plumbing vent cap. The one I have is so flat when all lined up with the rivets, that I can't imagine it would have worked!

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