The Airstream Diary

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Do As I Say – Not as I Did

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double wide airstream runners
The new double-wide Airstream belly runners. This is where the sides and belly pan come together.

Yeah, an Airstream rebuild is a humbling experience. You think you’re going to snap it back together, like a pile of LEGOs that you just pulled apart, but nooooo!

I hear it when Paul (AP VT Works) says, “things don’t always go back the way they were,” but maybe I don’t always listen.
Folding over side Airstream panel

I had no idea the runners – that run along the bottom of the outriggers, and are where the side panels and belly pan get overlapped and riveted – would be so far off my dead center measurement of the originals, that I would have to go back in and weld in another whole set of runners.

I figured that having a double wide set of runners, rather than cutting out the old or moving the old, I would totally eliminate the margin of error (and tacked the two together along the length) … and be done with this SNAFU. Let me tell you, welding upside down with floor attached is a whole different deal. Put that together with days that start early and end by noon-ish due to the heat, and it’s a recipe for a good old fashion beat down. And that’s exactly what it was.

NOTE TO YOU WHO ATTEMPT THIS – Save these runners for the last welding you do after the shell is back on. Fold under the side panels, measure and weld for the new location of these runners. The old measurement will not work.

Appliances are starting to roll in now. We have a brand new Dometic A/C and I picked up our new toilet the Dometic 310 this week as well. We are starting the search for a refrigerator now. Amazing what trailer (gas + electric) cost these days, and always I guess. It’s hardly aligned with what you get for the dollar in a home refrigerator, so just put those comparisons right out of your mind.

Airstream Polishing in action
There is a polisher working out at AP right now, and he gave me a cost on polishing the Safari. I would have to remove the clear coat, and Paul said that’s a pretty simple chemical process. For $2400., we can gaze at the landscape in the side of the Safari. Time to call in some debts?!

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One Response to “Do As I Say – Not as I Did”

  1. I’m working my way back and forth through your blog, thank you for sharing the projects and thoughts as you proceed. In the somewhat unlikely event that I locate the 1970 Airstream Safari Double that my grandparents owned, I’m betting that your project here will be a huge help in getting it back in shape.

    Cheers!
    Christopher Doll
    http://www.christopher-doll.com/my-search-for-a-1970-airstream-safari/

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