Installing skins and interior trim on the 1970 Airstream Safari.
We made the trip to A&P today, and although it wasn’t a full day, Leslie did get squared up with where the interior “eyelids” are riveted though the body exterior, through the plastic eyelid trim pieces in the interior. In typical Airstream fashion, nothing was typical about the original install. Some of the six rivets (3 top 3 bottom each side) are aluminum buck rivets, and others are olympic rivets. We will be going back in with olympics. Removal of each type of rivet is a distinctly different process.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
Airstream 12 Volt RUNNING LIGHTS
Well, since I was floating the ground from light-to-light for the running lights, I had to pick a spot and ground to the trailer so that the single wire exterior running lights (grounded only by the socket’s contact with the body) can work. That will also take care of the light above the door. All of this would probably be fine with the final big grounding at the power center, but I just had to make them work before I started closing up the inside skins.
We have a donated hot water heater – gas of course, and with tank. I was moving it around, and realized it had water in it, so I drained it. Whether it makes a difference, there was a good amount of mineral deposits that drained out as well.
VENTING THE Airstream DUAL REFRIGERATOR
Our fridge runs on electric and gas. The old fridge ran the same way. Venting is pretty critical. I was recalling that the trailer had a permanent open rectangular hole in the floor where air could pass from outside up to the fridge, and then pass through the big curved wall vent. We’re talking A LOT of circulation! What I don’t know is; do the new refrigerators need the same amount of venting?
It is certainly a warm fuzzy feeling to see the skins on the verge of going back on – after we get all the trim done, and electrical … and and and. No matter what, this IS the build-back. No more rebuild, no more demolition.
The 1970 Airstream Safari Big Reveal – a Denton Meetup Event. Seeing is Believing.
So you never thought you would see or hear from me again? Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I won’t be going away any time soon. If you have not kept up with the Airstream Diary, then you may not know the premise under which I raised the internet flag on this project.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
Originally, the Airstream Diary, launched as the diary of our 1970 Safari. What was happening with it, to it, and its life and times were all supposed to appear here — long before now. But, after ten years, and a lot of life getting in the way (LIFE = www.texasflycaster.com / FLY FISHING), and cancer getting the way, and economic ruins, and a digital photography revolution getting in the way, and a festering career getting in the way, and all the rest …
The way I see this Airstream project now is in terms of my very own survival, an escape from an old and to a new chapter in life. So far none of the chapters I have written have delivered anything but great reviews of free writing and free photography – both essentially free on the internet where everything is free because, well because some genius thought it should ALL be free. I always heard, “Nothing any good was ever free,” and I tend to believe that for the most part. And if you are thinking anything here is worth something, all you simply have to do is click on through the ads you see here; I make a dime, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. How about that?
SURFACE SURFACE SURFACE
We are about to resurface in a visible and measurable way. I went ahead and threw down the gauntlet with an official event to “REVEAL” the Airstream here in Denton, Texas, on May 5, in the year of our Lord 2017. And I’ll be calling on that last guy to help along the reconstruction over the next two months, and I will try not to use his name in vain while I work … too much.
If you have not heard of Meetup, check it out, and get back to me if you can’t find the Safari Reveal in Denton, Texas.
Always look to our friends at A&P Vintage Trailer Works for more of my photography and stories in their behalf – and yours, if you are interested in Airstream repairs and Airstream knowledge at the GUT (BUSTING) LEVEL. I really actually am spending more time photographing and tweeting their projects than on the Airstream Diary. Check out their twitter feed at – https://twitter.com/APTrailer .
COMING SOON – New photos of the 1970 Safari 23, and maybe even a video or two, as I dip my skills into the new waters of Airstream life – documentation.
airstream trailers vintage airstreams #airstreamlife
Just about the time you think I’m gone … there’s a lot of things that got in the way of this endeavor …
Like a bout with cancer, and many, many more things that we can finally go into now that the season has me surfacing.
For now, you will want to see the latest and greatest things happening at A&P Vintage Trailer Works. I have constructed a new website for them, and also run their Facebook Page – for better or worse on that last one!
I have learned a lot about Airstreams through all this, and I have learned a lot about a lot of other things since last writing here! The lifelong profession of photography has waned, and other I am attempting to “wax” on other work to make up for the budgetary shortfalls (shall we say).
If you have questions about anything Airstream, contact me! I am showing two for sale right now on the AP Vintage Trailer Works site and I just linked them to the AP Vintage Facebook page as well.
airstream repairs ap vintage trailer works information
I had a chance to sit down for an interview with Ann and Paul from AP Vintage Trailer Works yesterday, and go over some basic information you should have before you hand over your hard earned money for that Airstream dream you’ve been looking for all these months and years.
Ann and Paul go over some basic costs for general repairs they typically do AND MOST IMPORTANTLY; we created a checklist of things to look for when you pull the trigger on a new purchase of an old Airstream or vintage trailer for your dream machine. It’s a checklist I’ve never seen before, and one that will open your eyes to what you are looking at when you pull up to a shiny old trailer, and emotion begins to cloud good judgment.
As yo may know, I created the A&P Vintage Trailer Works website for Ann and Paul, and we have struck on a formula where I interview them to provide stories that inform Airstreamers about their own trailers, what to look for, what to avoid and common problems and solutions the Airstream repair world encounters on a daily basis. Call it the AP Reality Network Show if you want.
Well the Texas weather told us just about all we needed to know this past weekend. I ran out to A&P Vintage to see where the leaks are in the Safari, and was both disappointed and pleased at what I found.
Some of the leaks that got our attention have been slowed. Unfortunately, slow doesn’t count. And we added a couple of new ones to the list. After Paul couldn’t trace down what’s left, he decided it’s time to pressurize the trailer to find the rest of the leaks. The leaking refrigerator vent on the roof is fixed.
- Leak – on the vertical rivet lines (both) at back center outer skin.
- Leak – front big rectangular window left (street) side.
- Leak – visible empty rivet hole in front roof around new fan.
- Leak – visible from rivet in roof holding second new fan.
Believe it or not, that’s progress.
LICENSE PLATE LIGHT
I decided to do something slightly more visually rewarding, and finally got into the light that illuminates the license plate. There can be numerous configurations of the exact same piece of hardware on Airstream tails. Typically the light and the license plate holder are a single unit attached together. And that unit can be placed any number of places – dictated by the model of Airstream Trailer it goes on. Not on the 70 Safari 23′ though. The license plate (bracket) is on the back hatch door, and the light is above it. IN BETWEEN is a vent hole (pop out screened) that used to vent that back area where the battery/inverter/electrical/sink once were located. So we pulled the screen and ran a patch over that vent – which will no longer be necessary as we move all electrical to the front street-side.
If you can’t see the images large enough – It says Yankee 331 Norwalk Connecticut. Overall the split in the rubber housing can be a problem. The actual light housing has two hairline cracks in identical places on both sides, and I am missing that darn lens that goes in that long rectangular opening to diffuse the light source. That will be the hardest thing to deal with.
Once I tapped out that old bulb housing (quite easily), the new LED has plenty of room to mount. I used a flat grey primer to help bounce the LED light around before it passes out that long rectangular opening (with something to cover that opening yet to be found.