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VAL Digest V1 #70

VAL Digest         Tuesday, November 18 2003         Volume 01 : Number 070

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Topics in Today's Digest:

[VAL] frame off?
[VAL] Buying an Airstream - slightly used
[VAL] grey tank - homemade
[VAL] Sherry - your solar
[VAL] Re: VAL Digest V1 #69


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 10:40:09 -0500
From: Terry Tyler <>
Subject: [VAL] frame off?

on 11/6/03 1:00 AM, wrote:

>> If I don't have to remove the shell from the frame I might be able to get it
>> travel ready by spring with some wishful thinking.  Not fully restored but
>> useable I hope.  With two young children the pop up just doesn't cut it
>> anymore.  To much time setting up and breaking down.
>> Chris

Hey Chris, 

A fringe benefit of doing a "frame-off" is you'll get rid of all the mouse
poop and stink that goes with it on hot days when it's muggy or rainy. You
might want to read the archives on how to do that safely.



Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 10:40:10 -0500
From: Terry Tyler <>
Subject: [VAL] Buying an Airstream - slightly used

on 11/15/03 5:25 AM, wrote:

> The best deals are always slightly used trailers.  I bought mine when it was
> 2 years old and paid almost 1/2 of the new list price.  It was in like new
> condition.
> Hunter

IMHO, Hunter hit the nail on the head with that comment.

When we bought our "slightly used" Airstream ('89 32') last year, it had
that new Airstream smell; everything worked perfectly (even the lights in
the control panel); it included optional equipment purchased by the original
owner when he factory ordered it; the price wasn't even 1/4th of what it
cost new and to this day, it has been a cream puff RV for us.

To top it off, the original owner kept a folder of receipts for all work
done both under factory warranty and during the years afterwards. From the
looks of it, he sold his Airstream within a year after he'd upgraded
everything and outfitted it with dozens of spare parts for caravanning.
Unexpected personal circumstances prompted him to sell it. By pure dumb
luck, we were at the right place at the right time, bought it and have been
enjoying the benefits ever since.

What this says to me is similar to what Hunter said. I would add only that
for anyone who has done their homework and is highly attentive to details,
the best deals are "slightly used" trailers.


"The golden rule in life is moderation in all things" Latin Proverb


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 10:40:11 -0500
From: Terry Tyler <>
Subject: [VAL] grey tank - homemade

Hi Guys, 

With the recent discussion about grey tanks, here's another option.

Our '67 22' has a blatantly simple 1.5 to 2 gallon capacity holding "tank"
for wash water. For us, that's sufficient when stopping at an Interstate
Rest Area for snacks or light meals.  When we're in campgrounds that are
fussy about wash water, I use a 5 gallon (40#) blue boy and empty it daily.
I think of this task as part of my daily weight lifting (?) program.

While traveling, it's surprising how little wash water we create when using
paper plates, cups and plastic silverware.  As expected, we have never
filled our homemade tank with wash water during rest breaks at travel stops.

With that background, here's how I created our mini two gallon+ wash water
holding tank. At the rear of our Safari, the outlet pipe is accessed by
opening the rear bumper lid. The outlet pipe is forward of the slinky hose
storage area. It is directly below the shell and is normally accessed by
dropping the trap door, removing the cap and connecting the slinky.  My
homemade tank uses this connector but not the slinky and not the drop down
trap door. Here's how I did it.

First, I went to my local hardware store. I bought (was  given) two scrap
pieces (and 2 spare scrap pieces in case I made two mistakes) of 3" white
PVC pipe, including an elbow, a can of glue, two hose clamps, a 10" long
section of 3" rubber hose, 2 hose adapters and a small roll of strap iron.

I then measured out two equal (almost) sections of PVC and connected one end
of both sections to the rubber hose with hose clamps.

The other end of the first section of PVC was converted to accomodate the
original outlet pipe cap. The elbow was needed here. This section connected
to the Airstream's holding tank outlet pipe located below the shell.

The other end of the second section of PVC was converted to fit the standard
drain cap. This section was sized to pass through the frame and extend about
an inch or more outside it. At this point, I hadn't cut a 3" hole in the
slinky hose storage area frame nor used any glue. I wanted to be sure
everything fit the way I wanted it to fit.

I then asked my welder to cut a 3" hole in the frame (streetside of the
slinky storage area) so a 3" piece of PVC could slide in snugly (close
tolerances - not a sloppy fit).

My intention for using a piece of 3" rubber hose was to provide a cushion
for vibration between the outlet below the shell and the newly created
outlet hole in the rear side frame. Rightly or wrongly, I thought there
might be vibration or movement of the side frame that was different from
vibration or movement at the main frame. I wanted to avoid having the PVC
crack because of vibration AND I wanted the installation to be simple by
sliding the pipe into the storage area from outside the frame. This rubber
hose in the middle solved both issues.  On hindsight, the strap iron I used
to secure the center part of the storage pipe may have been unnecessary
redundancy, but maybe not.

Anyhow, bottom line is I installed a 3' section of PVC and rubber hose in
the slinky hose compartment. This acts as our wash water holding tank.
Draining this 3' section is straight forward with a simple garden hose
attached to a shut off valve on the hose adapter connector.

I use a hose adapter on the connection outside the frame instead of a solid
cap. If I used the solid cap, there would be no way to control the rate of
flow and I could end up washing my shoes each time I tried to empty the wash
water. This way, I can control the rate of flow into a bucket.

My description may sound like the project was time consuming to create, but
it wasn't. The entire project consumed the better part of a day, including
towing the trailer to the welder. And, it was profoundly easier than adding
a 10 gallon "real" wash water tank. The longest part of this modification
took a week of "thinking" before I had the entire project clear in my head.

This modification is simple, practical,  economical, easy to create and
works superbly for us. Maybe it'll work for others.

The beauty of this email discussion group is we get to read modifications
made by others without going through the trial and error of creating our own
solution. We can judge for ourselves whether or not someone else's idea
might meet our needs.

Rube Goldberg was one of my boyhood heroes. That made this mini wash water
holding "tank" right down my alley - a piece of cake.


"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 21:05:48 -0500
From: "Tricia & Conrad Holsomback" <>
Subject: [VAL] Sherry - your solar

Would you tell us the brand and model of your solar panel.
If we are remembering correctly, it is portable. 

Tricia & Conrad

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Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 22:48:38 -0600
From: "bsshrink" <>
Subject: [VAL] Re: VAL Digest V1 #69

Hey ask the shrink with a 1969 Overlander.  Airstreams keep me sane.
Alumania is better than reality
 Jeff Miller PhD (Please Hand me my Drill)
69 Overfunction
03 Silverado 1500HD>

> Welcome Les
> When you get to feeling like your thinking about Airstreams all the time,
> don't worry about seeing a shrink.
> It's an Airstream thing and they wouldn't understand.
> Your in for a lot of fun restoring that 67, at least it will be when your
> finished.
> Bobby
> Valdosta, GA


End of VAL Digest V1 #70

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