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Old 12-11-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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New Member Intro, Airstream Motorhome Restoration.

Hi Everyone!
Just found this forum and like what I see!
Already posted in the Pic sticky, but thought I would post an intro thread.

We are neck deep in a couple of projects...
Priority is our 1984 Airstream 345LE.
We bought her in KS in 2010 as a runner in need of TLC...
She had a fresh engine and suspension work, but has a crease on the passenger side that will need a 22' sheet of aluminum to replace, plus a couple of rear curved segments.
Here is some pics from the day we got her.
The drive back to CA was a BLAST and went with only a leak from the water heater and a blown fuse!
Best section she did 8.5mpg, which was better than we expected.

We are still away from using her, as there was an issue with Smog here in CA(missing equipment), but every week we make progress.
The biggest change has been brought about by the need to get the shell watertight...
Each joint and seam needed resealing, so we stripped the old clearcoat and polished before sealing!
Results are pleasing we think...

Lots done and still lots to do.
Window seals are done, and winsheild is next, altho I think when we have more $ we will replace both sides, as one has a crack, and the other is starting to fog at the edges.
Painting the roof white is coming soon to seal and reflect heat. Replacement of the TV antenna, and everything on the roof needs to be resealed before that.
Interior is in good shape, aside from a couple of soft floor sections because of leaks.

We also like to go offroad...
so a while back we bout this "Slightly modded" converted Van, that will get a new interior, and be used to camp in where the Airstream cant go!

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Great picture of that Airstream MH. I just love those old Airstreams. And most interesting van camper. Happy trails.


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Old 12-12-2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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Fantastic looking motorhome, I bet you get lots of complimentary remarks, I especially like how you have managed to get that mural on the side to change from different perspectives.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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have you also checked in on the sister forum...Airstream Trailer & Motorhome Owners Community ?

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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Love that Airstream MH that van Rv looks like fun. Great projects looking good.
Tom & Christi Rae Sutler
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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Howdy and welcome! Love both the rigs!
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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That's some Crazy Campers you got there. Nice

I recently bought some simulated chrome spray paint to use on some old trailer wheels. I have been very impressed with the results and it seems to be holding up well. Anyways if I had that airstream I'd be very tempted to use it on those air conditioning units on top. The unit is so shiny those things are kinda sticking out like sore thumbs. Haha
97 Fleetwood Bounder 36S on F53 chassis 460 with as many quads on the trailer that I can fit or get running!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
have you also checked in on the sister forum...Airstream Trailer & Motorhome Owners Community ?


Yes Ken, I am an active member over there... love that forum!

Just found this one and wanted to say hi.
I am still shocked over how many people do not know that Airstream made a Motorhome in the Classic style.
Time to spread the word!

Also, I realized that we need more "cross-pollination" as a lot of our Motorhomes sit on the same chassis, in the case the P30, with the 454. There is a lot of good info here, and over at the Airforums in the Classic Motorhome section.
I will be active in making sure we all know where the good info is!

Thanks for the complements Peeps!

We knew we could not afford a newer rig, and I was looking at HR's from the 80's, but found the wall delamination and roof leaks a big worry.
When we found out that AS made a Motorhome in this shape, AND that the walls do not rot(the water runs down inside and rots the floors instead), it was a done deal!
We love the shape/style, altho the compromise is a little less space, and of course the skin is easily damaged.
We found this one on Ebay, in KS. The plan was to find one that needed work, as we have the skill-set but not a huge budget. The Mechanicals were great, and the interior was pretty good, and the rest we could do in time.

Whilst the laudery list of jobs get longer everytime we look, we are making progress...

I have now collected, and restored all the missing smog related gear, ready to go on.
MH had a Edelbrock carb on it... which runs great, but is not OEM and therefore not CA smog complient..
Correct Quadraject was found and rebuilt.

Restored Quadrajet Carb and Edelbrock Intake(not sure if the intake will fit yet!).

Banks Airfilter and base..

Smog pump and air injection gear.

Restored the Auxillary interior heater..

Repaired a common Kohler genset oil leak, and put the unit on slides for future mantainance..

Built a little curved cover to beatify the aftermarket rearview camera..

Restored the water and Eectrical reels, and compartment..

Restored the basement storage drawers..

And battery tray, which was too far gone to just repair, so it was completely rebuilt, and deepened to accomodate up to 8x 6V Golfcart Batteries. Exterior was polished and the rest Bedlinered.

We have several soft floor spots, so the first order of business was sealing the shell, and the oddly, the polish is the first step. The old clearcoat was toast, so it was a no brainer.
No point in repacing the floor if its still leaking!
Here is(so far..) the worst spots..
Under the bed, in the rear corner..

There is also work needed in the bedroom closet floor... the floorsafe was full of water and a mess..


The leak there was traced to the sewer vent stacks... the seals were toast, so they were repaired and the stacks modded to protect better.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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The plan is to paint the roof and AC units white.
This will reflect the heat, and help seal the joints up there...
The idea of maintaining a polished roof makes me sweat... plus walking around up there is scary enough without it being slick!

The front roof polish/seal is in progress, but lots of dents that will have to be fixed from the inside when I pull the interior roofliner out..

Marker light casting were removed and refinished and I need to get them back on soon before we get more rain!

These will be converted to LED's as well as every other bulb inside and out except the headlamps...

We have recently redone the front window seals and locks, and now they are good.

I have decided to remove the body mouldings for a smoother look, and also replaced the old useless mirrors with Velvac units and the change in vision is huge!
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:22 PM   #10
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Wow. Your making great progress and looks like your doing great work.

Thanks for posting pics. Look forward to seeing finished interior.

I would love to see more pics of your van??? RV. What kind of chassis and drive is on that?

Keep up the good work!
97 Fleetwood Bounder 36S on F53 chassis 460 with as many quads on the trailer that I can fit or get running!
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:04 AM   #11
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Hear, hear. Gread thread bump because I might have missed it. Love these old Airstream MHs, especially when they go through a process such as this one.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:11 AM   #12
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"We knew we could not afford a newer rig, and I was looking at HR's from the 80's, but found the wall delamination and roof leaks a big worry."

It is kind of a moot issue now, but where did you find an HR with delaminated walls. The walls are riveted together to aluminum frames. There really isn't anything to delaminate and the frame doesn't rot. Mine has never leaked nor is my floor rotted. All in all, I think the Airstream is a better motorhome and you've got a great start on one, but I think you overlooked the HR for the wrong reasons. Your Airstream is going to get a lot more head turns than my HR, but I specifically wanted an HR because the walls don't delaminate and they don't leak (Plus I can walk on my roof). We share a lot in common between the two motorhomes in that they share the same chassis, motor, tag axle, etc. Keep plugging away at it and keep us posted on your progress. You're going to end up with a real classic.
1984 Holiday Rambler Imperial
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:46 AM   #13
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Great job and your effort will pay off in head turns. Loved the P30 with the 454 when I had it searved me well and no major issues ever. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
Bruce & Nancy
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:42 PM   #14
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Thanks Peeps!
I think I may have been wrong about the HR wall delam issue, based on your interesting info Quietwater... maybe I just lumped them all together!
The Airstream has a long way to go still!

The whole Van story is at the link below...
Project BigB... a 1977 Dodge Van 6x4! - Expedition Portal!

Here is a small update...
I am working on the both front and rear ends...
Rear end, the bumper is broken, and I am gonna have it welded and see if it will be ok, or will have to be replaced.
While it is off, I will try to repare the ABS fairings behind them.

The front end is stripped and I found a horror hiding behind the bumper...

The front leveler mountings were poorly done, and not factory, and were ugly.... but worst was that the morons who did this left the tops open, and no drain holes!
Look at this...

They will be gone soon, as I have found the correct mountings and will cut those rusty junk pieces off...

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