|In 1998 we purchased a 1964 Airstream Overlander. The following year, while travelling an Interstate through Ohio, I saw an Avion Truck Camper, and the search began. We purchased this 1965 Avion Truck Camper on Ebay in the fall of 2006. At the time we didn’t have a truck, so I picked up the camper and brought it home from Virginia on a flatbed car-hauler behind our Suburban.
A couple of years after we bought the camper a tree fell on it damaging the roof over the cabover, but fortunately leaving the front curved segments undamaged.
Now we are finally at a point where we can take on this project. The goal is to renovate the camper mostly with modern appliances and materials to make it comfortable and practical to use, not to restore it to original condition.
The side windows in the Avion are well below my eye level, and since I’m building a face-to-face dinette that will be above the wings, they’ll be below eye level when seated at the dinette as well. For this reason I’ve added an additional window. In an Airstream these are called Vista View windows. They are on the curve where the wall transitions into the roof.
There hasn’t been a lot of progress to share on the Avion lately due to the snow and cold temperatures, but I attended an RV show to look for ideas and have spent a lot of time in planning the project and buying things I’ll need when the weather warms up.
One of items I purchased was a set of LED taillights to replace the old ones. I wanted something bright that included reverse lights. On Amazon they are called Continue reading “Taillights and Winter Work”
In rebuilding the camper I decided to make some changes to the size:
- The cabover bed was lowered 3″ to increase head height.
- The cabover bed was extended 17″ forward and 12″ to the rear (over the floor) to provide room for a 75″ long mattress.
- The wings were lowered 3-3/4″
The 1965 Avion C-10 has four jalousie windows with a total 12 panes. One pane was broken, an easy fix, and fortunately there was significant damage to the frames. Several of the operators were broken and were replaced with new ones from Vintage Trailer Supply. All four windows had the operators on the right-hand side, but with the way things will be reconfigured three will be more convenient on the left side, so I made that change. This involves drilling some new holes in the window frames, but was not too difficult. Continue reading “Refreshing the Jalousie Windows”
I was suspicious of whether the cabover window could be reliably sealed against leaks, and finding that it had been sealed shut by a previous owner pushed me in the direction of keeping it sealed shut. A MaxxFan Deluxe fan will be installed above the bed which should be sufficient for ventilation.
The original window is made of two panes of glass laminated together – perhaps to reduce the chance of breakage from flying stones. Moisture had made its way between the panes causing a fogginess around the edges. Continue reading “Replacing the Cabover Window”
Early in the planning I decided that it would be a good idea to have an escape hatch in the cabover area. There are no windows suitable to be an emergency exit. I looked at several possibilities online including the Arctic Tern RV Skylight, Dometic/Heki roof lights and various marine units. In the end I decided to build my own because:
Continue reading “Escape Hatch”
I used several methods for removing rivets: drilling, hammering a sharp putty knife between the panels and a modified wood chisel. The latter turned out to the the fastest and easiest. I found an old wood chisel and ground it narrower so it was about the same width as a rivet head. Then I bent it slightly so the sharp end could lie flat against the panel. Otherwise the thickness of the handle causes the chisel to Continue reading “Removing the Front End Cap”
The roof will be replaced in two parts. While it would be preferable to have it all one piece to eliminate the seam, using two pieces allows me to get the rear portion closed in before starting on the more challenging cabover extension. Using one piece would also involve working with a much larger sheet of aluminum increasing the amount of time I would need an extra pair of hands (or two), and increasing the risk of damaging the panel. The front panel will overlap the rear one by at least 8″ which should provide for a more than adequate seal.
The original roof was .032, but I’m using Continue reading “Roof Panel Installation”
I decided to replace the entire roof panel because:
- The damage at the front where a branch fell on the camper meant that at least the front 4′ or so would need replacement. Cutting the existing roof and adding a panel at the front would have been complicated by the thick coating of aluminum paint on the top and the insulation on the underside.
- Since I have to repair a number of the front panels anyway, Continue reading “Removing the Roof”
Following removal of all interior partitions, furniture, appliances, etc., the next step was to remove the interior panels. The panels are 0.025 aluminum painted with Zolatone, a paint that was also used in Airstreams of the same era. The panels were installed with pop rivets, so removal involves looking at the panels to see how they overlap and drilling out the rivets.
The end caps are made of fibreglass and are Continue reading “Removal of Interior Panels and Insulation”