Friday, August 29, 2014

Time to Shine

Oh My !!!  It really does shine after a lot of hard work....

This "desire" to shine all the aluminum started very early in the process. My plan was to build and complete a functioning trailer. The final step would be to "shine" the trailer.

So, the "desire" began when I decided to shine some parts and pieces. Like the awning rail and the area of the body under the awning rail.  Then there was the area in front of the trailer
where the trim piece attaches near the bottom of the shell.

I reasoned, "Wouldn't the caulking adhere better if it were shined?"
After seeing the results, I just could not stop myself!

My grandson saw the opportunity to test the new shine.

Looked really good so far. Let's do more!

Polishing aluminum is addictive!

What a difference it makes!

My choice for polishing this alclad aluminum travel trailer is Nuvite's Nu Shine II.
It was purchased from  "Vintage Trailer Supply."

Grade F 9 (very course) was selected for the "first cut" due to the heavy oxidation and light corrosion.
The second pass polish will be done with a grade F 7 (less course).

To what degree and when to stop polishing is a personal decision.
My goal is to make it look "Stunning!"

The 100% wool polishing pads were also purchased from "Vintage Trailer Supply."

Polishing an Airstream trailer is hard work.
I followed the detailed polishing instructions in the publication listed
 on the "Vintage Trailer Supply's"web site.

The tail lights, marker lights and other items were removed to make the job easier.

I polished the entire top of the trailer by gaining access through the "open" hatches.

After a few days (and sore muscles) the "first cut" polish on the trailer was almost complete.

Seeing the results after polishing was fun but it did uncover some serious issues.

The battery box on the front of the trailer needed to be removed.
Considerable corrosion was found behind and below it and will require much attention.

During polishing the buffing wheel helped locate a few buck rivets that
were not installed correctly at the factory.
Several were removed and will be re-installed properly.

Inspection of those rivets from inside the shell showed evidence of corrosion and leaking.

Lots of work has been accomplished but there is much more to be done.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Roof Work

One of the items needing attention is the "antiquated" refrigerator vent. 
It did not provide proper venting for the refrigerator. 

The vent is small and will be replaced with a more efficient style. The vent was poorly designed and caused some damage to the skin of the trailer.  

Excess heat and soot pooled in the area above the old refrigerator.  While inspecting this damage I poked my finger through the outside skin. 

 Vent path was not well defined. Heat and soot build up caused damage.

The new vent was located and installed above the future position of the refrigerator.
This is the new style vent and will look good on "SeeMore."

I measured and marked the shape to be cut out.

The base fit perfectly after it was trimmed for the ceiling rafter.

Nice dry-fit here.

Hood sitting over the vent looks good and will provide proper venting.
Screws will be used on both ends of the vent hood to attach it to the roof.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Roof Inspection

The goal for the trailer is to get the top sealed up and the windows repaired before winter.  Working on the interior of the coach will  be much easier in a dry environment.

  A thorough inspection of the roof revealed several deficiencies.
I will need to prioritize these repairs. 

The awning rail that runs the length of the trailer on the curb side had multiple pop-rivets installed in place of, and in addition to, buck rivets.  An inspection from inside the coach revealed holes in the center of the pop-rivets that allowed light and water in from outside.  Obviously, this problem will need to be repaired. I will remove the rail, clean and re-install with all new buck rivets.

View from inside the coach showing random extra holes for pop-rivets in the awning rail.

Awning rail removed and all caulking cleaned off the shell.

The area under the awning rail was polished during the repair.
The rail was polished while in the shop and off the shell.

Yes, I think this trailer will shine!

The awning rail was thoroughly cleaned and straightened before re-installation.  Holes from an old awning bracket in the skin will also have to be repaired.
Plans for the future are to use a "Rope and Pole" awning.

Large head buck rivets were used to fill the holes.
Looks a lot better to me.

A backer plate was placed on the inside of the skin to accept the rivets.
Note: Messy caulking. It gets on everything!

Awning rail re-installed.  

The top of the trailer has three openings for vents.  An air conditioner is sometimes installed in the center opening. Each opening will require special attention.  Two of these openings are 14 inches square and will need to have the trim ring removed to allow installation of a "Fantastic Vent."  The opening near the front of the coach is called an "astradome" and is 14 by 24 inches.  It will receive a new "Lexan" reproduction cover from "Vintage Trailer Supply."  

Rear vent opening with trim ring removed.

Astradome opening near front of the trailer.

The possibilities of leaks from dried out caulking must be eliminated.
The astradome will be removed and cleaned. It will then be repaired, shined and re-installed to ensure a leak-proof seal.

Astradome removed, straightened and cleaned of all caulk and sealants.

Reworking the astradome took quite some time.

The top of the trailer needed to be shined as well to make for a good seal.

Astradome re-installed and well sealed.

The inspection inside the coach revealed a few roof supports that were damaged. Those roof supports will need to be replaced and improved to provide adequate support. The middle opening needs extra support (instead of wood) should an air conditioner be installed at a later date. Added support will allow easier access to the top of the trailer.

Center vent opening with trim ring removed.  Note: damaged support from installation of an air conditioning unit.  I removed the wooden supports installed here by previous owner to support an old air conditioner.

Replacement "C" channel was added and "doubled-up" with existing metal to provide strength.

Photo of aluminum supports added to the roof structures.

The condition of the roof will require some further polishing to allow repairs to be done efficiently. 
Access to the roof through the openings at this stage is an added advantage in the areas that are otherwise hard to reach.