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dbj216 05-27-2018 08:17 PM

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We always enjoy meeting fellow vintage Airstreamers. I'm going to a vintage rally in August, my first one. Looking forward to it.

As you know Airstream used a plywood "splice" under the joints between plywood subfloor sections. The splice sits on a crossmember of the frame preventing verticle movement when the subfloor is stepped on.

Tongue and groove plywood also provides a strong joint.

So would biscuits, but the biscuits would be more time consuming to install it seems to me. Well, it's something to do in the rain.

Our two trailers have the plywood splice joints under the subfloor and on top of the "lower" crossmembers. Look on the right side of the photo and you can see the plywood splice on top of the "lower" crossmember. Goot enuff for me.

Of course 70 years ago Airstream was dong something completely different. Pipe frames I believe. No frame rails. No A frame.


MsRivet 06-02-2018 07:50 AM

Raising of the gantries
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During and between rain showers we did it! The first set MrRivet and I raised by ourselves. On the she second set I called in reinforcements and had my step-dad come help. Even though we didn’t actually touch the Liner this week at least we feel progress was made. Thanks to whoever posted the plans on this Forums for the gantry build. It was a link to a thread to a thread to another thread. Vergie is still patiently waiting in the background.

Forecast has drier weather ahead for us. Yesterday stayed dry but that turned into a yard day. The grass has grown really fast with all the rain that we have had. MrRivet should be able to finish painting the frame today.

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goransons 06-02-2018 03:04 PM

Looking good! It's amazing how the weather can slow you down! Keep up the good work!

MsRivet 06-03-2018 07:38 AM

Frame painted
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Finally the frame is painted for the most part anyway. The remaining axle sections will be finished at a later date. We went with the gray Por-15 as the first coat and then black as the second coat to ensure everything was covered in both coats.

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On to the next task ...

goransons 06-03-2018 08:19 AM

1948 LINER - A 70 Year Journey
The por-15 should dry really well after all that rain. Looks good!

steinVT 06-09-2018 04:05 AM

POR-15 is very tough stuff. That frame will be around a long time.

Are you going to paint over the sections that are exposed to sunlight? It doesn't hold up well when exposed to UV. I found that POR-15 also makes a top coat which I am going to try for my A-frame and rear bumper.

Looks great, Mark.

dbj216 06-09-2018 07:18 PM

I used the POR-15 top coat on my trailer in the A frame, axle mounting plate, and the rear exposed frame rails. I used the silver color. The paint stayed solid for the three years I had it.


steinVT 06-10-2018 05:19 AM


Originally Posted by dbj216 (Post 2112885)
I used the POR-15 top coat on my trailer in the A frame, axle mounting plate, and the rear exposed frame rails. I used the silver color. The paint stayed solid for the three years I had it.


Maybe the silver color is different. I used the black to paint the tongue of a snowmobile trailer and it went from gloss black to chalky flat dark grey in about a year and a half.

MrRivet 06-10-2018 10:16 AM

We have been impressed by the finished results with the POR-15. This stuff dries like a rock! With the humidity excellerating the drying between follow up coats we have only been able to paint small sections before having to start the second coat. Where the painted sections meet we needed to scuff the previous section for the paint to adhere. You really have to lean on the sandpaper to get a good scuff!

Our plans for the paint is to get a good solid covering of the frame including making sure that we touch up any breach in the coating such as drilling or additional modifications that may come along. We are planning on an accent color for the exposed areas of the frame that would receive UV exposure so the POR-15 paint will be covered. We have noticed a slight dulling of the POR-15 in the first sections that were painted due to the direct sun exposure but hopefully that will be covered with subfloor very soon. From my research the dulling is only cosmetic and does not effect the performance of the paint.

Safe Travels!!

KellySLC49 06-17-2018 11:24 PM

Fortunately for us the original emblem was found inside the Liner. When we came across someone making a few reproductions we purchased one.

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Where did you find your emblem? I will be needing one as well! :wally:

MsRivet 06-18-2018 08:17 PM

Airstream Emblem
Hey KellySLC49 -

I will PM you that information.


MeRivet just found one on eBay listed as AIRSTREAM EMBLEM for $195.

Could e same person? Both are in Utah. IDK

Good luck!

MrRivet 07-15-2018 06:48 PM

First rivets set!
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Since the frame has been painted, we have been working on gathering materials for the subfloor, holding tanks, plumbing, insulation and belly pan installations. We are still waiting on some of the supplies due to them being out of stock. While we are waiting for the remaining supplies I decided to cut down the wheel wells about 4”. This will provide us with additional room in the galley cabinet for plumbing and additional room in the wardrobe. This also provided us with a good project to improve on riveting and fabrication skills in preparation for the work ahead. I also fabricated a sheet metal brake that should come in handy for the fabrication work ahead. It has already seen service with the wheel well project. Attached is a picture of the wheel wells side by side with one already altered and nearing completion.

Safe Travels!!

KellySLC 07-15-2018 11:17 PM

How did you know how much to cut down?
We've thought of doing the same on our Bubble - especially since we replaced the old drop axle with a Dexter so it's a bit taller now. How did you determine how much movement the tire needed inside the wheel well?

MrRivet 07-16-2018 07:59 AM

I referenced the specific axle wheel maximum travel from no load to full load from product information located in the reference section located on the Dexter website and added this to the wheel height measurement above the top of the frame. I then added an additional 3” to that height as recommended by Dexter on the same document. The final dimension of the wheel well is about .58” over the total. This should give us just over 3.5” if tire clearance under full load while at rest. This is approximately what we have on our 2004 28’ International while loaded. Hope this helps!

Safe Travels!!

Troutboy 07-16-2018 09:37 AM

You do very nice work!!

MrRivet 07-28-2018 10:10 AM

Wheel wells completed.
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Thanks for the complement Troutboy! We have had the Liner for three years waiting for me to retire and dedicate my time to it. It is nice having the time to work on it and be able to not rush to a stopping point with anticipation of going to work.

The wheel wells are completed. The next step is installing the subfloor as weather permits. We were counting on our usual dry season this spring but that didn’t happen and have been contending with daily thunderstorms and rain. We have had about 35” so far this year. I think daily about how nice it would be to have a garage large enough to work in and not have to stop work because of rain. Maybe on the next one!

Safe Travels!!

TouringDan 07-28-2018 08:29 PM

Beautiful wheel wells and frame. Your Liner will be much better than when it left the factory. Wally is smiling.


dbj216 07-29-2018 07:05 PM

Send some of that rain our way, and I'll send you some hot, dry drought weather, with a wildfire or two to keep things interesting.

Good bones make a good Airstream even if it is 70 years old. You are going to have a very special liner indeed.


MrRivet 08-11-2018 08:27 PM

Thanks David but we have enough hot weather(mid 90s, 100% humidity) and I did the wildfire thing for 36 years so we will pass on the offer. Wish we could send some precipitation your way. Hopefully the crazy weather pattern out west will break soon and will shift back more towards normal.

Safe Travels!!

dbj216 08-13-2018 04:57 AM

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I attended my first vintage Airstream rally a week ago. It was great fun. There were a couple of late 40's,, early 50's trailers there, I don't know if they were Liners, Clippers or something else. I do know they were cool.

Soon you can join them and have people standing around staring at your trailer, taking pictures and the like.


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