Video # 9
On this episode of Classic Rides, restoration and bodywork specialist, Kevin Tetz renovates the bathroom of the vintage 1970's Airstream Overland Yacht Trailer. According to Kevin, during the 1970's, Airstream produced a lot of models with a rear bath and center bedroom lay out. And the land yacht he is working on is one of these.
According to him, about twenty-five percent of Airstreams in the seventies had a rear bath. This was preferred by a lot of people because it gave them a bathroom that was as big as the ones found in small apartments. They had a full tub, shower, nice surround area and even some storage area. They made it this way to off set the weight of the forward mounted water tank, and reduce the tongue weight of the trailer. The downside of this was that you had to go through the sleeping area to get to the facilities.
Kevin points out that this trailer's sink, tub and the surrounding surfaces are faded and discolored. The light fixtures are dated and old looking. The window tint is peeling as well. In order to get ideas on renovating the bathroom, Kevin turns to some online forums such as the Airstream Knowledge Sharing Forum and the Vintage Airstream Forum. These forums have Airstream owners sharing their renovating tips and experiences, from which you can gain valuable insight.
After getting the inspiration he needed, Kevin gives the bathroom a new look by applying a fresh coat of paint on the surfaces, adding new fixtures and a really cool aluminum wall treatment. According to him, the biggest problem with painting this Airstream's bathroom is that there are several types of plastic involved.
The tub surround and sink area appear to be a ABS type plastic, while the walls appear to be an acrylic type. The material of the bathroom counters is uniform throughout so they can be sanded down and finished with a gel-coat sealer. To do that, use a wet-sanding process with fine grain sand paper. This means using a wet sand paper with soap and water. The soap lubricates the surface as you sand. The surface cracks and stain miraculously disappeared!
When painting, it is crucial that you do proper surface prep and choosing the compatible paint to your surface. For the tub and sink ABS plastic surfaces, he chooses an epoxy paint system because this adheres to many surfaces. No matter what paint you use, it is best to remove the fixtures first. Thoroughly clean and sand the areas. Then mask off the areas with painter's tape.
He then demonstrates how to paint the sink. He tells us to mix the paint as directed, and let any bubbles settle before mixing. He recommends using a small roller to produce an even coat. He uses two coats on the sink. He says that the sink can be color sanded and buffed if it has surface flaws using an ultra fine sand paper. He then paints the sink and counter top with a soft green paint. He uses a silver spray paint for the trim.
He also preps the other surfaces by sanding them down first, then proceeds to painting them using a similar process as he demonstrated earlier. He lets the paint dry and cure for at least twenty-four hours before proceeding with the rest of the bathroom.
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