Renovation and Updating of a 1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper

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.
Featured post

Replacing the Cabover Window

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”

Removing the Front End Cap

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”

Roof Panel Installation

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”

Removing the Roof

I decided to replace the entire roof panel because:

  1. 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.
  2. Since I have to repair a number of the front panels anyway, Continue reading “Removing the Roof”

Removal of Interior Panels and Insulation

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”

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