There are lots of ideas in my head, am I going to add solar ? How many batteries ? 6 volt or 12 ? What am I going to use for a toilet/black tank as the OEM is shot. I want to add a grey water tank. I am going to refinish all of the original wood cabinets. What will I use for a floor finish ? All LP lines will be new. I'm going to add Corian counter top in the kitchen . What color will I paint the interior ? You guys have all gone down this road so I'm preaching to the choir. But I'm a one man army so the pace is slow/steady. I've rebuilt cars,boats,motorcycles etc. so I am not intimidated by long builds. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel !
These are similar questions I had, and when I bought my Avion, it was at a similar state to where you almost are. Mine had the structural fixed, and the. Leaks fixed. But the only original pieces that came with it were th upper cabinets, the sink a nd a few other bits and pieces.... So you might have a few more original bits, but you can choose what you reuse, and what you replace. Like the bathroom, you can go original, and build a replacement tank, you could go the inexpensive route, and go with a porta-potti, you could go with a composting toilet, you could go with a recirculating toilet or a cassette toilet. So many ideas, so many options. As you replace the floor at the wings you may want to make a decision at least which direction you might be going. A flat floor will work for most of the options, but the raised floor will be needed for the OEM. Good luck how ever you proceed, but if you have any questions about what each option offers, let us know!
Look in' Great! You will love your Visions! We have had ours for a few years now, and they are the best for hauling a TC on a SRW F350. If you do any driving without the TC, they are a bit rough riding, but tolerable.
Good luck on the rest of your trip! Looks like a lot if fun!
I know I easily have a year to two years worth of work ahead of me to finish every last detail but that does not deter me.
It takes courage, persistence, patience, money and vision to restore these antique campers. Thats why everyone of them is unique -
As I have mentioned before. Some try to finish everything before using their TC, but if you are able to get it far enough to use it, it gives you some satisfaction and encouragement to stay the course. It also gives you some direction as far as what changes make you happy, and what changes need a little but of tweaking...
Mine is still a work in progress, yet we use it as much as we can. And that is what makes it fun!
Open your photo in Photobucket. Click in the box that says Direct. When you click, it will copy the data automatic, if not, copy it. In RV.NET, click on the photo icon. On the box "Enter the complete URL for the image.", paste the data from Photobucket. Make no entry in the Height box. Enter 640 in the Width box. Then click finish.
It looks to be in pretty decent shape. The cabover isn't sagging at all. Could use a bath, and probably a reseal. Check all the old copper lines before using th propane, as these older campers of ours, especially in wet weather, can corrode and develop leaks. Great price you got it for, and keep us posted as you get more pictures and start working on it!
Garry in Kodiak, AK
I just pulled the C-10 off so that I can get some much needed maintenance done to my F350. It needs ball joints, U-joints, and inspect bearings. It needs brakes checked out, e-brake fixed, and then just normal oil/fluids changed... I also found the front axle u-bolts a bit loose, but can't loosen or tighten... So I am ordering up new front U-bolts. I am getting this stuff all fixed since snow may be flying soon, so along with all that, I need to get the plow all ready too...
Not exactly fun stuff, but necessary.
I have purchased a Ford 2013 F250 4WD diesel Supercab to carry my Avion around on.
I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences with various tiedowns. The '82 Ford the Avion came on had Torklifts up front and Happijac tabs bolted to the side of the bed for the rear tiedowns. I'm thinking perhaps Torklifts all around might be the most secure solution. Your thoughts?
BTW, I have gone back to Plan A, wherein I rebuild the camper as an independent, slide in and out unit, without the access hatch cut into the back of the cab and the front of the camper to allow actual passage between the two units.I was just too far down the road for the major course correction that required.
The dogs are just going to have to find happiness sticking their noses thru the sliding windows in the two rigs.
The reattaching of the shell to the aluminum frame is proceeding slowly but in a fairly straightforward manner. Back into the swing of Avion restoration! Pics soon.
I have the torque lift. They are great! But if you need to buy, buy the super hitch first with the tie downs, since the standard do not interchange with the superhitch ones...
A very good friend of mine did this very thing to a 1990 Dodge Cummins ex cab longbed. He was moving to Kodiak, Ak and while driving to the ALCAN with a very heavy tandem axle haul mark, and while traveling about 70 mph, he hit one of those pesky frost heaves. It launched truck and trailer into the air. But with all that force, and the heavy trailer, it bent the truck frame in the same place just not as far. He continued to drive the truck after fixing a few minor things the remainder to Kodiak. Then used a large piece of I beam two chains and a hydraulic jack. This happens a lot on the ALCAN. Overloaded trailers, excessive speed and frost heaves or bad road conditions.
That advertisement should have used StableLoads. The truck rear is too low and the front too high.
THat is the way those old Dodge Trucks rode. I owned a 1968 D200 Camper Special, and totally empty the truck rode level. With just a few hundred pound canopy and camping gear it would sag. But I have filled it with several thousand pounds, and it never went much lower, and hauled all that stuff and a 1800lb boat from Nor-Cal to Washington state with no problems. That little 318 wide block and the 727 auto would take you where ever you wanted to go. But the power steering by "Armstrong" and the semi-power 4 wheel drum brakes were another issue all together...
Liked the styling of the 68, but the chassis was a little lacking...
Our maiden voyage in 2011 with our partially renovated 1966 Avion is documented here.
We found that one of the best and cheapest things that helped us in sub freezing weather was "reflectix" insulation. It is sort of like foil backed bubble,wrap, but it works very well when placed over windows.
I also echo the others of recommending the Wave 3 cat heater. It will keep you warm and toasty down to near zero, depending on your insulation, but keep a vent cracked, and a carbon monoxide detector going if using thru the night.
With some careful prep, and a little ingenuity, you can have a great time regardless of the weather conditions! :-)
Garry in Alaska
The Avion Camper's floor is made to be setting on a firm surface. It isn't strong as a structure itself. When setting it on a flat bed or a truck bed, those beds provide additional strength. As a combined unit, they are strong.
An example is that an Avion can't be lived in with it up on it's jacks. I wouldn't dare lift it up with a full fresh water tank.
While I agree with your statement for a stock, unmodified Avion.... I know with mine and it's 2x4 framed and 3/4" decking would be fine on a truck chassis minus bed. The same goes for D1s. His is eliminating all wood and replacing it all with aluminum tubing. So I have learned that imperative statements, have to be reviewed to what is implied, and then evaluated. But I do agree with you for bone stock Avions, especially any that have been compromised, which is most now after this many years...
I will qualify my background. I worked in the auto body field from 1982 to 1985, and have continued as a hobbiest restoring antique cars and trucks since. I also was a nuclear mechanic on submarines for 23 years. We used rubber isolators on equipment to reduce vibration and noise. When using rubber body mounts there will be some movement, but if you hard mount some steel cross beams across the front and rear of the truck frame so that you can use the rubber body mounts as far to the outside of the coach as possible. Body mounts are rated in pounds they can support. You have to use the right number, and sufficiently spaced to support the intended weight. The further to the outside that you can place the mounts the less the camper coach can torque the mounts and cause misalignment to the cab. The rubber mounts will take up the minor twisting the factory Ford frame will have when in off camber situations. You may not need a soft seal between the cab and coach, if both the cab and coach are rubber mounted. All trucks have some amount of twist when going off road or in off camber conditions. On our campers, the tie downs usually provide enough give for these situations. I hope this allows you to contemplate options. You will be the one doing the job and driving it. But maybe this gives you a few more things to think about as you continue to build,
No matter what you decide, keep the pics coming! I am so jealous of that aluminum frame. Some day....
Large soft Body mounts between the bolts to the frame and the camper may work best for this type of mounting system, where you want relative solid mounting to the cab, but still maintain some flex to the frame. You may want to add some large steel plates to your aluminum floor and use those to mount the rubber body mounts to the original bed mount locations... just to add a few more ideas to the mix! ;-)
We're in semi-contact with Cayo about ordering the plates for the roof repair. I think they are very busy...so patience is called for. In the meantime, I am wondering what, if anything, has been decided about slide in compressor fridges? I seem to remember D1 talking about his research. I'm looking at the Engel 60 quart front open. (Because that's what Sweet Jane wants). It has a Sawafuji F-Series "swing compressor". Anyone have any experience? I will probably get a second unit that we'll put in the cabin of the truck that will be only a freezer.
I can't comment on that particular compressor, but we absolutely love our Engle MT45! It works really well, even with our large family. Engle makes a great reliable product in my opinion, and ours is going on 2 years with not a hitch!
Many of you know I have been rebuilding and modifying my 1966 Avion for several years now while using it as much as possible.
I have run across a new in the box Girard on demand hot water heater. It will fit our Avion with minor modification. But I don't want to get it if it is not reliable.
That said, let the comments begin!
I have the added disadvantage in that i do not have a ladder to access the roof yet... So I need to address that as well. I am contemplating purchasing a tubing bender, and then buying aluminum heavy wall pipe, then build a rack and a ladder. This would then allow mounting solar.
But in the next few years we will be moving to warmer country, and I am looking to add A/C, so I have to evaluate roof space, vents, A/C, solar etc before I start building my rack. I would like to have a place to store fishing rods and a cooler too, but those are only wishes....
The bigger question is what is the best way to attach a rack and ladder to the Avion? Rivets? Screws? Through bolts?
This is me taking the canoe off the top.
Hope that fixes the pics!
Who would have known just a few years ago there was very little about Avion campers, and now there are hundreds of pages of builds, modifications, restorations etc all available on this "little" thread!