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SmokelessJoe 05-08-2007 08:58 AM

back splash walls in satin finish aluminum
Astonished at the prices quoted for Stainless Steel I am thinking of doing the galley back splash walls in satin finish aluminum.

This is how new Airstream Internationals and Safaris with the aluminum interiors are done, isnít it?

Anybody with knowledge about this, appreciate your advice.


dieterdog 05-08-2007 09:08 AM

Hi Sergei,, yep,,, aluminum on the inside of my Bambi,, easy to wipe down,, stainless is another story,, looks like you are having fun,, dieter

SmokelessJoe 05-08-2007 09:33 AM

easier than stainless?
dieter, so nice to hear from you.

Do you mean that aluminum is as easy, or easier even, to keep clean as compared to stainless?


dieterdog 05-08-2007 12:48 PM

Hi Sergei,, aluminum is very easily cleaned,, stainless is a nightmare, witness my kitchen appliances,, ha ha,,, glad to hear it is going along well,, think you have it under control,, best,, dieter

SmokelessJoe 05-08-2007 01:49 PM

Thanks, Donna.

Do you know if the aluminum sheets in that area are protective coated? In other words, if you run a rag and polish over your walls, will the cloth blacken?


dieterdog 05-08-2007 04:59 PM

Sergei,, in my Bambi,, the cloth does not blacken,, in my stick house i have a sheet of stainless behind the stove under the warming shelf, above the burners,, is not treated and one of the most difficult things to keep clean,, and then polish after cleaning,, hope this helps,, dieter,,

bhayden 05-08-2007 05:24 PM

About the only thing I know that will really protect aluminum is a hard anodize. Note anodizing does not have to be colored. The dyes they use when anodizing work because aluminum is porous. Of course there's coatings like the clearcoat used on the outside of the Airstreams but that's going to be susceptable to damage from kitchen cleaners. Either way you have to figure in the cost of finishing treatment. As long as you're not welding the stainless all you should need to do is apply "elbow grease".:)

Stainless comes in a variety of alloys. Most shouldn't be a problem to keep clean. The 300 series (301 and 304 mostly) have a high nickel content and are used extensively for marine products.

I'm surprised the material costs are that big of a factor compared to labor and given the small quantity you're talking about. Maybe it's the small quantity that's the problem and the fabricator has to buy (and pass along the cost) of a full sheet? Remember too that you should be able to get by with a thinner gage of SS vs the Aluminum.

3Ms75Argosy 05-08-2007 06:09 PM

clear coat from AS
I believe you can buy sheets of the interior Aluminum for AS direct. You can give them a call and find out. I know Uwe really hated working with it.

SmokelessJoe 05-09-2007 07:47 AM

DIY back splash walls

For two pieces of 304, 24 gauge, 28Ē by 75 5/8Ē and an Airstream profile 41Ē by 25Ē, Rigidized Metals in Buffalo wanted $494 US. Delivery was 3 weeks.

Buffalo is 3 hours from here. Having it shipped or spending an entire day fetching it would have added a pile more money. Plus currency translation.

Iíve asked Wiltsieís to provide the pieces in .040 aluminum, which will have a lovely dull sheen. I can easily cut the window opening and the profile myself.

Dieterís test tells me the aluminum is coated. Iíll either have Pat at Wiltsieís spray my finished work with automotive clear coat (an idea from Lewster) or paint it myself in low sheen clear urethane.

Aluminum J mold is inexpensively available at Home Depot.

Iíll glue the panels on to the existing walls using PL Premium.


3Ms75Argosy 05-09-2007 09:16 AM

I posted in a hurry! Uwe posted that he did not like working with Stainless.
Rich Luer (of ASLife) bought the interior skin aluminum from AS directly. I don't think it cost all that much back then for Vintage Thunder.


SmokelessJoe 05-11-2007 08:49 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Attachment 37190Grant Davidson
( DavidsonOverlander) is building all new birch furniture for the project.

This is the mid-ship curbside gaucho sleeper. The three 18” deep under-the-bed drawers pull out on slides.

The fourth space will hold another slide out box which will contain the sealed and vented battery box as well as the converter, panel and shut-off switch.

Attachment 37191

According to my Ikea bathroom scale, the ParaMode charger converter, the Blue Sea distribution panel and the Bussmann fuse/switch, all together, weigh less than 10 pounds.

That seems a lot less than the old Univolt!

The ParaMode is 10 by 8.5 by 3.5” and can be wall or floor mounted.

Finding out that Lifeline AGM batteries cost 5 TIMES as much as ordinary wet cells, I am not sure yet what I will do there.

In any case there will be more than enough room in the slide out compartment and we can deal with the weight as well.

We will devise a harness that will allow the wiring and vent tube to ride with the sliding container.


bhayden 05-11-2007 02:23 PM

Why go to the hassle of making the electricals slide? On the original design I think there was a slide or at least access from outside (nice idea for the battery(s). This is an area you shouldn't have to access very often and when you do its likely going to require some semi-major attention. Seems to me it'd be more reliable, easier, cheaper and in the end a lot more serviceable to simply access this from above. Even though that would mean moving the cushions and what not I don't think those are items you want nearby when you're dealing with wiring and batteries. Batteries really appreciate being securely mount; and you'll really appreciate it too ;)


SmokelessJoe 05-12-2007 01:52 PM


When I first told Grant what I wanted to do with the battery compartment he told me it was exactly the idea he had for his old Overlander. He was tired of pulling the bed apart to check his battery levels and was going to move it to the area were his furnace was and put the battery on a pull-out.

I canít imagine moving two 76Ē Ďcushionsí in a 20 foot cabin (and then having to struggle to reach into corners under the bed) being easier than having a pull-out cabinet glide effortlessly into the 30Ē wide aisle space.


juel 05-12-2007 07:26 PM

You are having way too much fun. Whatever will you do when it's finished....LIKE CAMP???? Guess you wouldn't consider bringing it down here so us Westerners could see it in person. There's going to be a great rally in Branson, MO. in October. Be daring, take a chance on the weather and come on down.

SmokelessJoe 05-12-2007 09:12 PM

Ya gotta remember, Juel, that Iím an old showman ...

Even if Iím on the road by October I donít think Iíll head for BRANSON. That would be almost as exciting as Vegas or maybe Niagara Falls.

But I love OKLAHOMA so Iíll go there someday and make sure we meet.

When my little trailer-train passes through small towns all over American, kids are going to pedal their bikes home as fast as the wind and rush in the back door, yelling:

ďMa! Ma! - I saw this old man driving a black truck. He had a tiny car on top. And he was pulling a trailer painted the same colour!

Honest, Ma!Ē

See you soon, I hope.


bhayden 05-14-2007 10:05 AM


Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
... tired of pulling the bed apart to check his battery levels .

I canít imagine moving two 76Ē Ďcushionsí in a 20 foot cabin (and then having to struggle to reach into corners under the bed)

Check battery levels?? Not with a gell cell or AGM batteries. No user serviceable parts inside :). Moving the cushions off the rear bed in mine is no big deal but since the couch slides out to make into a double bed access underneath it's easy without moving the cushions. Over the years I've just had way too many problems develop with moving parts and cables that are supposed to festoon but hang up in inaccessable areas. If it were something that required regular access then I could see it but you shouldn't have to touch the batteries but once every 3-4 years.

dieterdog 05-14-2007 10:15 AM

Sergei,, a showman till the end,,, this is a grand production,,, dieter

SmokelessJoe 05-14-2007 05:55 PM

Wardrobe / desk combo coming along
2 Attachment(s)
The birch sliding door is finished.
Attachment 37353

The painted one has had itís first coat. Two more coats to come.
Attachment 37354

SmokelessJoe 05-15-2007 11:53 AM

new applications
2 Attachment(s)
I bought this 2Ē sump pump hose when I couldnít find suitable loom for the main feed into the electrical panel.
Attachment 37394

With a left over bundle on my hands, I discovered it matches up to ABS fittings perfectly. Used in place of ABS drains, it is much more flexible and easier to thread through furniture and tight places.
Attachment 37393

Pictures of the completed run later.


3Ms75Argosy 05-15-2007 03:12 PM

Hey, great idea!
So, can I use it as a vent stack in the rear? How do you join the ABS to the flex pipe? Is this the same stuff used for sumps and sump pumps? Must be durable enough, right?

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