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steinVT 02-18-2018 10:28 AM

Fluorescent Light Replacement
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Tipped off on a source for ring style LED replacements in Scott's thread, I decided to finish up my with the lights. I started by sanding and then painting them with the same hammered rustoleum paint. The LED's look great and put out a nice light, I think even softer than the old fluorescent's.

So now all of my lighting will be 12v. I also picked up a couple of the LED's with a standard household base for the bath and kitchen lights. They also put out a nice light. All where purchased from M4products.
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Scott, there isn't much to see with the ignitor circuit. The tube in the pictures above (posted on 2/11) is one leg of the circuit and the disk on the end (which is isolated from the tube) is the other. When the bell crank pushes the tube into the combustion chamber, the disk contacts a stationary contact to complete the circuit. From the batteries, one wire goes to the tab on the tube and the other to the contact mounted on the refrigerator frame. I still haven't tried to ignite the propane yet, but I can see the filament glowing.

I'll try to snap some pictures next time I turn her over.

steinVT 02-24-2018 09:34 AM

Krefft Refrigerator
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Spent a little more time with the Krefft this morning replacing the 115v wiring. I used some high temp silicone based wire I got on Amazon. When I look at the before pictures, I am glad that I didn't just plug it in to see if it worked. There would have been sparks.

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dbj216 02-24-2018 06:21 PM

Nicely done. The old wiring was old and brittle like me. Yes, it could be some excitement if you had energized it.


steinVT 03-02-2018 07:55 PM

Black Tank Pedestal
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Thanks David. I think with these old trailers, its best not to assume anything.

So I thought I might show you guys what I have been working on. Spent a lot of time thinking about it and then just decided to go for it.

Our Safari was a park model, meaning no black or grey tanks. My plan is to do all the tanks above the floor. I am doing this for a couple of reasons: First, I want to keep all of the waste piping inside the belly pan. Since it is a front corner bath, that makes it tough to get around the main frame rails for mid-frame tanks. Second I like the idea of keeping the tanks somewhere warm should we start pushing the season.

I decided to do an above floor under toilet black tank and started looking for something to fit. VTS has a nice pie shaped tank that looked like it would be perfect until I measured the pan. It would cover up the shower drain and leave about a foot of flat floor. It's a tiny bathroom. What I did instead was buy the generic rectangular black tank that was only 18" wide instead of 27". The problem was corner of the tank needed to come off so it would fit tight against the wall. It was with some trepidation that I took the saws-all to my new tank. Took about 5 inches off of the corner. What made it OK was the tank was made of black ABS which is easy to chemically weld. I had some other ABS sheet from another project that I built a replacement wall by heating it to bend the edges over. This helped lock it in place and gave the ABS slurry plenty of surface to bond to. I build up a nice radius to the original wall all around the new piece. I would say it is probably stronger than the original construction.

To support my new tank I found some aluminum extrusions left over from another project. We may never use the shower, but I want it to be completely functional. My idea was to build the frame out of aluminum and then set it into the stainless steel shower pan. That way it shouldn't be bothered by a little water. I will then cover the plywood as well as the sides of the pedestal with sheet aluminum after I install it.

Here is the stand:
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With the modifed black tank:

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And finally with a piece of plywood and the new short toilet.

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Can anyone think why this is a bad idea?

dbj216 03-03-2018 06:19 PM

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There are a lot of vintage Airstreams out there with above floor black tanks. The problem I had with the son's Globetrotter was the bottom discharge connection, especially at the rear of the trailer where ground clearance goes to zero as you pull up a entryway to a fuel station or campground. Maybe you're going to install a gray water tank "while you're at it". Figuring out a drain manifold for these tanks is a challenge. Study some threads and steal ideas shamelessly.

My son's above floor black tank, then fiberglass console, then toilet flange support wood, then the 13" high low profile Thetford toilet left the seat height some 20" off the floor. That was the best I could do with what I had.

You have built a very robust tank with toilet frame. I don't know the heights but I'll bet they are good. You probably accomodated the black tank vent pipe too. The 69 ran up along side of the wall, not the greatest.

I like the way you displayed the new toilet on the pedestal. You are making a "throne" out of the whole assembly.


steinVT 03-04-2018 05:13 AM

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My plan, like your sons, is to go straight down. The advantage I have is the pipe will exit about half way between the axle and the hitch ball. The original steel pipe that exited hung maybe 6" below the pan.

This is the pipe assembly I plan on using.

Attachment 305513

It appears the bottom of the frame rail is about even with the center line of the Y tube entrance. I would flex the belly pan to enclose this completely. Then the bayonet connection would be the only thing hanging down. Not quite sure how to make the valves accessible. I am imagining some sort of door in the belly pan.

Regarding the grey tanks, I am thinking of adding two. One under the kitchen sink for the sink and another under the dinette bench to support the bath sink and shower. I would install a maceration pump to evacuate the shower. The kitchen would drain by gravity thru a valve into the black tank and be used to flush the black tank. The bench tank would drain thru the Y connection in the pan to flush the hose. The black tank vent would follow the same path as the original to exit thru the roof.

66Overlander 03-04-2018 08:51 AM


Originally Posted by steinVT (Post 2072901)
Not quite sure how to make the valves accessible. I am imagining some sort of door in the belly pan.

Opening a door in the belly pan to access the valves will be awkward. Even more so will be closing it after some liquid drips on the ground after hose disconnection.

Another option is to get extension rods for the valve handles so that the handles can be located outside the belly wrap curves.

dbj216 03-04-2018 07:25 PM

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Joe and I are thinking the same way. My 86 has valve extension handles, and the son's 69 has them too. You might be able to run the extension handle through the side wrap aluminum of the trailer, below the subfloor.

If you put your cheater glasses on you might be able to see the dump valve handle on its extension exiting the banana wrap toward the rear bumper in the photo below. Not handy, but that's the way Airstream did it on this trailer.


steinVT 03-06-2018 08:09 PM

You guys are absolutely right. I don't think I would want to be laying down looking up to move a valve. But I also think I don't want the handles too exposed. Too much of an attractive nuisance. I like the way they were tucked behind the rear bumper on your installation David, but mine are on the street side front corner.

Maybe if there was a way to remove the handle or attach/detach it within the pan. Solenoids or worm screws could do it, but I prefer simple.

I think I'll have to sleep on this one.

HiHoAgRV 03-07-2018 12:13 PM

I saw some dump valves with flex cables, would that work?

steinVT 03-08-2018 04:45 AM

I hadn't seen those before. That would work. I could feed them to a locking box on the A frame.

Wonder how well they work to close? Think a access door would probably be a good back up. Thanks for the tip.

57Vintage 03-08-2018 08:36 AM

Valterra Valve Cables
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I used the cables for some of my valves, but you have to be careful with routing the cable and the radius of the bend.

Attachment 305920

You can download the cable manual at:

steinVT 04-21-2018 05:27 AM

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Been a while since I posted. My efforts have been in planning and buying as it's still 33 degrees here with snow on the ground. I did get the Safari moved into the driveway before the ground turned into mud so I am ready to go.

One of the things I have been struggling with is placement of the grey tank(s). The front kitchen and front bath make placement into the frame difficult as I want to have nothing below the pan. Not wanting to pay for custom tanks, I have decided to go with two tanks, one 10 gal and one 13 gal that will be above the floor. Less to worry about in cold weather boon docking as well.

The first will be under the forward dinette seat. It will be a direct shot for the bathroom sink, but will require a pump for the shower. I don't anticipate using the shower much, but will definitely want it functional. The first photo shows the placement of the tank and the second is an image of the "sump" pump I am talking about. The tank is 10 gallons with 4 fittings, 2 -1/2" and 2- 1 1/2" and was $56 delivered. Quality looks great. The sump is about $50 as well.
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The second will be tucked in a corner under the kitchen sink cabinet. As far as I can tell it would be mainly wasted space as it's tough to get to. This will be 13 gallons and costs about $50.
Attachment 309170

I also decided on a water heater, an Excel tank-less 1.6 gal/minute. It also will be positioned under the sink and utilize my refrigerator venting scheme.
Attachment 309167

Other little projects include patching a pin hole in the bathroom sink. Got to love ABS plastic. This will be painted when it warms up. Also prepped the furnace cover for paint. I like the green color, very '50's, but it almost looks like it was delivered in kind of a pinkish tan color. Think I will try and stick with the green.
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I plan on building a pair of gantries to lift the shell and picked up a pair of chain hoists. I wanted something easier to use than ropes or a come along. Amazing price and they look very good. Hope to start construction next week.

My biggest purchase thus far is I have ordered a new torsion axle from Colin Hyde to replace the leaf springs. With the new axle, brakes and bearings, it should have the reliability of a new trailer.

Bubba L 04-21-2018 07:11 AM

You’re making great progress. It sure makes it convenient living so close to Vintage Trailer Supply and Colin. Lifting the shell is going to be a milestone. Hope you find the “hidden” rivets that seem to hide when you’re ready for lift off. I found out the importance of paying special attention to stabilizing the door frame before lifting. This morning I have to meet some friends with a 55 Safari and work on their H-20 door lock. I sure like the layout. Good luck on your lift. Bubba

steinVT 04-21-2018 11:03 AM

Thanks Bubba, just wondering how you stabilized the door. I was thinking about a screwing a piece of plywood across the lower foot or so. I was also thinking about a couple of 2x4 cross members going across the trailer to keep the whole thing from racking.

I just got the trim strip off of the front and rear. What a PIA. Rusty straight headed screws. Finally thouight to use the hammer drill with a screw driver bit and that got most of them out. Only had to dremil out about five.

What does everyone use to put the rails back on? SS screws? Why not just buck them on as well?


Bubba L 04-21-2018 02:24 PM

Mark, a piece of plywood across the door would be good. Anything to keep it stable. I used 2x6 boards on edge across the lower edge of the ribs. Once I lifted the shell, I lowered it back down on cheap Harbor Freight dollies. The 2x6 boards were strong enough resting on the dollies where I could roll the shell around when needed. I also took existing dimensions of all the rib spacing before removing the shell. As far as the bottom trim or belt line, some use SS machine screws, some rivet, and some buck. I haven’t replaced mine yet, but may consider rivnuts and 8/32 SS screws so it can be removed if needed. Good luck on the rivet removal. Bubba

HiHoAgRV 04-21-2018 06:34 PM

Another suggestion. After lifting the shell, measure the perimeter all the way around the C channel. If you have bad plywood corners (like 99% of the old trailers) this measurement will give you a target when it's time to reassemble stuff. If the measurements are the same on your rebuilt floor/bellypan then the shell will drop into place.

dbj216 04-21-2018 08:36 PM

I like the idea of a torsion axle under your 56 Safari. It will be more reliable and offer independent suspension between the two wheels.

I hate slotted head screws. There ought to be a law against them.

You're getting ready for lift off. That will be an exciting day and maybe rather depressing when you see how much of the frame will need repair. HiHoSilver makes a good point on making templates of your corners before lifting off so you can duplicate them exactly.


goransons 04-21-2018 08:42 PM

You're making great progress! Did your original axle have electric brakes? If so I'd be interested in your brakes and drums off the old axle. I have one electric, one was just the hydraulic parking brake. I'd like to run both with electric brakes. I have enough extra NOS springs etc, but I need the rest of the hardware so I can reline shoes and get it back together.

steinVT 04-22-2018 05:21 AM

Great suggestions all. When I got the trailer it had just had the floor replaced, everywhere except under the bath by a semi-professional. I say semi, because although that is what they did for a living, it was a hack job. Who would pull up the floor and not replace the mouse infested nasty insulation they found underneath? Anyway I marked the inside of the C channel on the floor all the way around even though in places it only went under 1/4", so I should have a good template except for the bath corner. I will just add 1.5" to my marked line.

Since the floor is completely removed, I have a pretty good idea what needs to be done. The frame is buckled slightly between the axle and ball which will require a couple of replacement box sections. The road side rear bumper support is rusted through and will need replacement. One out rigger will need replacement. All of the frame cuts the semi-professional inflicted to remove the original floor will need to be welded. And the front and rear cross members will need to be replaced. Whew.

Scott, both brakes were electric and what ever you want is yours, just cover the shipping.

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