Our Safari may be in a million pieces right now but…she looks good sitting there! We took the wheels to Wise Powdercoating in Chico and had them powder coated black. They did and excellent job, were very reasonable, and fast! The original baby moons were re-chromed, and for tires, we went with a Yokohoma P235/75R15 truck tire. WooHooo…Let’s go!
After several months of being derailed by work, we are back on track! We have made a little progress here and there over the last few months, but it doesn’t seem like much. Although, when I finally uploaded our pictures starting in January, yes…January :/, we have accomplished more than I thought!
Our trailer never had an A/C unit. From what we understand the proper placement of an A/C unit, if you wanted to add one, was to cut another hole between the two rear vent holes. To us this seemed crazy. Why wouldn’t you just put it in the center? Then we realized the ribs weren’t continuous at the center vent hole. They stopped half way up on either side. To fix the problem, Dan riveted aluminum channel to the existing ribs and buck riveted it to the outer skin. Now the vent hole will be strong enough to hold a new A/C unit and it will be centered on the roof. I’m happy!
We used Trempro to seal all the seams from the inside, installed all the new wiring, got the new 7-way plug wired up and installed new seals on the two front stationary windows. We insulated behind the end caps and got those big boys back up! It was a challenge for two people so we used some big wood closet rods we had to help support them.
That brings us up to date on our progress since the Holidays! Sure doesn’t seam like much but…we are BACK ON TRACK!
Our trailer has the beautiful, frameless, curved Corning glass windows; and Phillips window latches. The first time we cranked them open, we wondered how in the world they had survived this long. The windows are very thin and the way the latches grab the windows and pull them in is just plain scary. However, after cranking them in and out a few times we are somewhat less intimidated by them!
After all the latches were removed from the trailer, I used our die-grinder with a Scotchbrite pad on it. This is the best way we have found to quickly clean up rusty metal and remove corrosion. Once they were all cleaned up, I primed and painted them and replaced the stop screw. They look as good as new, and after checking prices for new ones, I am THRILLED! I used the same air tool to remove the corrosion from the window screens. Next I wiped them down with lacquer thinner and sprayed them with a clear acrylic lacquer. They look great and ready for the new screen and spline.
We are hoping to get the new floor down this weekend…one step closer to getting the shell back on…woohoo!
Winter has arrived early in Texas…stay warm!
When we raised the shell on the Overlander, it was a nail biter. It wasn’t just the raising and securing of the shell, it was the fear, for weeks, that a big storm would blow in and off it would go…like a tin can rolling across the highway! This time was a very different experience. We removed the skins and braced the shell as if we knew what we were doing, then before I knew it Dan started pumping those jacks, and it was up. Now we have the shop space to keep it inside while we work on the frame and install the new tanks and floor, so we have no worries of wind and hail storms. It was a long day but…it’s up and off!
Nothing better than a clever T-shirt and I am loving this one! You can find it at Campbone.
Stripping the clear coat from an Airstream is one of those things you really don’t want to do, but must do if you want to polish it to a mirror shine. When we stripped the Overlander, we used the Aircraft Stripper you can buy at any auto parts or home improvement store. It works fine, but dries out quickly so you have to work fast and do it in sections. Once the water hits it, it wants to seize up, and whatever you do, don’t get the tiniest speck on you! We decided this time we would try a different product. As I mentioned in my last post, we chose to use PG Aerospace PR-5044 Peroxide-Activated Stripper from Vintage Trailer Supply. We weren’t certain how long to leave it on so we decided to do a test area first. This is after one hour and rinsed off with a water hose. It was about 90 degrees out and the trailer was parked in the shade. Woohoo! It doesn’t take much to get us excited! We were out the door and headed to Lowe’s to buy some covers for our paint rollers.
The directions say it can be sprayed, brushed or rolled on but, it’s so thick (bananna pudding) I don’t see how you could spray it. We put on some old clothes and chemical resistant gloves and rolled it on. It went fast and only took about 2 1/2 gallons to get a good thick coat on. We even put it on the bumper, step, tongue and wheels that had several coats of paint on them. After about an hour we pulled it out away from the building and used a pressure washer to rinse it off. Stripping a trailer is a messy job but this product made it much easier and no pain!
The new marker lights, window clips, gaskets, and door latch came today. It’s official, the restoration of our 1966 Safari has begun! We should be camping by Spring! 😉 Ha!
Good grief…it’s been awhile since my lost post! The summer is almost over, and you know what that means… camping with the Heart of Texas Camping Unit! The first camp out has been scheduled for September 19-21 at the Bosque River RV Park in Hico. Thinking about our friends and all the fun we will be missing is all it took to get us itching to get started on the Safari.
We ordered the stripper from Vintage Trailer Supply and will strip what’s left of the clear coat off just as soon as we get some cooler weather. After that, we will be ready to start gutting the interior and removing the belly pan so we can get a good look at what we are in for.
In the mean time, I made a new web site banner for a new trailer! We love this little Safari and can’t wait to get started.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!