Project Vintage Thunder

The latest on Project Vintage Thunder, by Airstream Life magazine. Sponsored by George M Sutton RV, Reese hitch, Dometic USA, PPG Paint, Axis Products, GSM Vehicles, and Zip-Dee. Vintage Thunder is an "honest" RV refurbishment and travelogue. We tell you what really happens ...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Underside repairs

Finally, the rusted outrigger on the curbside has been repaired! See picture below of the new outrigger. We had bought this outrigger from Airstream, and the guys at GSM Vehicles installed it. While they were at it, they had to expose some more of the frame, so they took the opportunity to do some cleanup, replace more insulation, and undercoat.

At the same time, Colin noticed that the stabilizer jack on the curbside rear corner was broken. We had known it was bent (a prior owner probably left it down when he pulled away from the campsite), but I had not noticed it was also cracked. It's trash. I'll be buying a new jack to replace it this week.

However, I did know about the lousy state of the belly pan. Especially in the back, the belly pan had corroded around the rivets so much that in several places there was no aluminum left to rivet it to the frame! We did the best we could with it during our mad rush to get ready for the Florida State Rally in February, but it needs to be replaced. I will personally get under there and rivet a new sheet of aluminum in place in the next two weeks. I've already replaced a large part of the front belly pan. It will be easier to do the rear section when the axles are off, so hopefully I can time the job to coincide with that.

I have updated the budget on the Vintage Thunder home page ( At this point we have spent over $11,000 in parts alone! Brett put in close to 300 hours on it, and I have about 200 hours into it. If you add in the value of the donated parts, the parts total would be closer to $15,000 -- and we haven't finished the paint job yet. I'm wondering if we might as well go ahead and gold-plate it now ...


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