Friday, May 8, 2009

Tanks and Axle

With the old subfloor nearly up, I've been working on tanks and a new axle.  Once the floor is completely up and cleaned out, I'll drop the belly pan, probably by cutting it and leaving a 12 inch border.  Before I can tackle new floor, I need to get my tanks in, get some welding done, and replace my axle.

Tanks are hard to find in stock sizes that fit my frame, but custom tanks are more expensive.  The other thing that makes it hard, at least for me, is that while I basically know what I want for tank sizes and placement, I don't really know where I'll want fittings yet--I can't think that far ahead.  My black tank will be above the floor, so it's no problem now, but the grey and fresh go in the frame.  I decided to get ABS tanks for both largely because I can easily weld in fittings later with ABS cement.  Bought two 24 gallon Valterra fresh tanks that measure 8" x 16" x 48".  That's more capacity than I need, but gives me flexibility.  The ABS Grey tank came from Icon Technologies in Canada, measures 8" x 33" x 48" and holds 33 gallons.  I'll have to get some crossmembers in the frame moved, but they'll fit easily in the 51" I have inside the main frame rails.

Colin Hyde in New York has been running one of the premiere Airstream restoration facilities .  I emailed him about some axle decisions and happened to time it just as he is busy setting up a new company on his own.  I know he's busy and he's got a lot on his mind right now, but even so he probably spent nearly an hour on the phone with me going over options for my installation.  Cannot thank Colin enough.  He's the best.  He'll be ordering me a new torsion axle from Axis, replacing my old spring axle setup.  It'll be a 5000 pound axle derated to 4200, which should give me quite a bit of latitude in the way I setup and load the trailer.  It'll get shipped to my welder, so axle and tanks can all go in at the same time.  Big steps forward!

Started stripping my rear endcap, too.  The old Zolatone is coming off, but this is not going to be one of my favorite jobs.  Kicking around the idea of having polished aluminum on the upper inside and baltic birch replacing the lower inside aluminum.  Not sure yet, just thinking.


  1. Looking good. I'm enjoying following your progress.

  2. Yup, looks good!

    I stripped all of my lower interior bathroom panels on the bench outside the trailer, but I gave up stripping my ceiling and am going to simply overlay fresh aluminum. It was just too hard to work over my head like that, and I didn't want to remove the upper panels and celing. This will give me a chance to relocate some lights and switches as well. But, for 13-panel endcaps, I think you're doing the right thing in stripping it, if bare aluminum is the look you want. I think a polished endcap will look great with Baltic birch panels below.

    Keep it up!

  3. Thanks Marcus, makes sense to me. That overhead stripping is really bad.

  4. Steve, I've been doing a lot of paint stripping on my Overlander and found an airless sprayer (for application of the stripper) and a pressure washer (for removall of the stripper and paint) is a very effective method. Although I'm working on the outside of my trailer, at this point in your project, the inside is essentially outside anyway.

    I started out brushing on Removeall and using scrapers and brushes to remove the paint. I was ready to sell the trailer. This weekend I learned that rather than mess with scrapers and brushes, the pressure washer blasts the paint off with ease as long as the stripper is sprayed on and let to work for about 24 hours.

  5. Thanks, Norm, I sure wish I could use a pressure washer too. It'd make it a lot easier.

    Problem for me is I'm working in a storage lot, so I don't have access to running water.

    I'm getting it. I will. A little at a time. Definitely think Marcus is right on the overhead: that's going to turn into new aluminum instead of stripping the old.