Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shift Change

A new lady has slid into the hot seat at Frank's Trailer Works. I would love to tell you her name but her owners have not chosen one yet. Maybe they don't believe in that kind of thing. Not really sure, but she is a sweet little trailer. At 20 feet maybe I should say sweet normal sized girl. You are looking at a 1977 Argosy Minuet. Argosy was the test bed for Airstream and this one fits that mold for sure. The floor is aluminum and all the cabinets are vinyl wrapped metal.

I have a running list of things to accomplish. The main items are axle replacement, making sure the frame is in good shape, cat heater installation, new Fantastic Fan, and a bunch of other small projects.

I began with removing the sheet vinyl and the carpet to expose the sub floor.

The aluminum floor is a really cool idea. The only thing I do not like is that there is some sag between the cross members. I will be laying Marmolium over this and am very concerned about the cross members telegraphing through the flooring.

Remember the universal rule of Airstreams? They all leak, yes they all certainly do. There were some minor drips noted by the client and I was already planning to deal with that, but this leak is in a different area and needs to be stopped.

Here is where the leak is we knew about. The curb on the refer vent has a clear and defined gap. The upper shroud looks like it has been dealt with before too.

I see a lot of this on the seams. It is very easy for water to go in that gap. Once a little finds it way through it continues to pull more in with it. "Capillary Action" for all you cool folks not paying attention in sixth grade science.

The sun was blazing so forgive my photo quality... for demonstration purposes only...
That is a missing rivet. "So?", you say, "a missing rivet? Big deal..." Well, everyone talks about how Airstreams are the top of the heap. But here we have a clear example of how the quality control is not always in control. The top sheet was drilled out on a line punch. But the hole on the lower sheet was not drilled. When they bucked the sheets together they just left it empty. After 32 years someone has finally gotten out a drill and riveted the sheets together as they should had been in the first place. Lots of sealant was injected up between the sheets and now they are flat and together.

I know I will get a bunch of questions about this product so I will try and answer as many as possible before hand....
I sealed all the obvious leak spots using the same product Airstream does in their service center. This can be purchased online through the Airstream Store. The pump dispenser squeezes out a fine bead. The material is drawn into the seam as it begins to cure. This is actually fun to watch happen. From what I understand the product can be used on up to 1/4" wide gaps. The sealer is kind of clear with a silver dust in it. It has a silver cast when it dries too. The pump takes a good deal of practice to get a real smooth bead so start up high and work your way down into eye sight. By the time you get to eye level you will be a pro.

Well with the holes hopefully sealed I turned my attention back to the new flooring. In order to even out some of the sags and humps I put down a padding made for floating floors.

Next I hope to remove the old roof vent and install a Fantastic Fan. Lots of things going on so check back often.

1 comment:

  1. Frank - are you putting a laminate version of the Marmolium on the floor? Or are you putting the sheet down without gluing it down? (I hear that's how the new AS are done? Not sure of course, but I've read it on the internet!)

    Thanks for the Makita factory link fyi... just bought my polisher today!