Sierra Nevada Airstreams -|- Restorations

Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States in a recreational vehicle.

Jeanette – a 1951 Cruisette

2008 Before restoration began

Photo Gallery of the Restoration

Comments from Jason

December 8, 2008 - My little gal isn't in very good shape at the moment, it was a trash can in its previous life before me, but here's a "before" shot (see above). I will be starting the resurrection in January.

March 11, 2011 - I wanted to update you on the progress with Jeanette. I have completed the fabrication of all windows, and have glass in all but the rear, which I am picking up today. Holes have been repaired-large ones with patches, small ones filled with rivets. I have also re-skinned the storage door as well as the street side section that had multiple access doors installed in the 70's. Old tail light holes have been covered, and I have found a refurbished original "nite owl" tail light for her. I have decided to keep the original look of the single stop light and not install turn lights. Rather, I am installing a "pigtail" with a connector plug that will add magnetized towing lights for travelling, and then disconnect and store away when not on the road.

I have removed the old flooring, replaced it with new plywood and installed the new vinyl flooring. I am sending some photos of before and after floor shots, plus some of the "things" I found under there. What a dirty job that was!

I have decided that I am going to do the interior in Birch, and have opted to stray from one of the original design aspects of the cruisette- The single skin front and rear ends. Since this is going to be an all-weather, family trailer, we decided she needed to be insulated throughout. This has, however, proved to be one of the more difficult things to engineer. The center section was originally double-skinned, with insulation, and thus was not difficult to figure how to frame it with wood, in order to have something to nail the birch to. Oh yeah, and it was all STRAIGHT! The curved end sections had no framing whatsoever, having a single skin.

The solution I came up with was to de-rivet a few areas along the seams of the segments, and install brackets to mount wood to, with rivets so as to not look at all different on the outside. That was a challenge in itself, but then I had to figure out what to use for the frame. I didn't want to use plywood for fear of it delaminating over time, but I needed something that was 1 1/2" thick, but no wood is capable of bending that much over such a small length. I ended up cutting "ribs" out of 2 x 10 solid wood, using a jigsaw and going off of individual cardboard patterns for each curve. What a pain. But in the end, it worked out splendidly. The running lights have been wired, the interior electrical and LP copper line has been stubbed out, and I am in the process of insulating and installing the birch ply now.

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