Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » September 13th 2020, 8:00pm

Leeann_93 wrote:3.08? On an RV? Wow. Should at least be 3.73 and, possibly, 4.11.

But now you get to build the way you want, with the layout just for you.


Hey Leeann,

The 3.08 ratio really surprises me! I suppose it was great for flat high-speed road trips.

A personalized layout is going to be fantastic.. I can't wait!

Warmly,
Dylan
Last edited by Brewtus on September 13th 2020, 8:04pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » September 13th 2020, 8:02pm

CopperFiremist wrote:Image


Same to you haha. Thank you! :D
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby DriveDog » September 13th 2020, 8:51pm

Cool solar plan plus Onan. I've not had one but those I know who have have gotten excellent service from them.

My experience towing near the max rated suggests 3.73 would be good for you, but if spending more time in the mountains, 4.08 might be useful, too.

MN, brrrrr more! But I sure enjoyed a weeklong summer visit many years ago.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby AstroWill » September 14th 2020, 3:21am

Damn, that is really getting taken down to bare bones!

Capacity of that tank shouldn't be hard to figure out, just some simple measurements.

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » September 14th 2020, 11:58pm

DriveDog wrote:Cool solar plan plus Onan. I've not had one but those I know who have have gotten excellent service from them.

My experience towing near the max rated suggests 3.73 would be good for you, but if spending more time in the mountains, 4.08 might be useful, too.

MN, brrrrr more! But I sure enjoyed a weeklong summer visit many years ago.


I'm glad to hear Onan's service has been good. This generator is the original from 1986, so I'm hoping to rebuild it and clean it up well. Thank you for the suggesting those gear ratios. We will definitely spend some time ascending mountain highways, so we will probably do a ~4.08. I have to figure out how many splines the current axles have and find a ring and pinion from the junkyard to get there. MN was definitely cold! Your summer visit sounds like it would be nice.
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » September 14th 2020, 11:59pm

AstroWill wrote:Damn, that is really getting taken down to bare bones!

Capacity of that tank shouldn't be hard to figure out, just some simple measurements.


This thing is a skeleton, for sure! I'll post an update on fuel capacity when I measure out the fuel tank, like you mention. My lazy self wishes the sticker had just included the capacity haha.

~Dylan
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » September 15th 2020, 9:08pm

I started Brewtus to take him around the block and noticed a backwards lurch while the engine started. The steering column mounted gear selector operates like: (R-*sometimes*N-D-3-2-1) and park isn't accessible. This happened after the 2-inch body lift install. Has anyone else experienced this issue or happen to have insight as to what the issue might be? I imagine it is related to shifter linkage and am about to head back out to the garage to explore the linkage workings a bit.

RESOLVED: The shifter linkage needed to be slightly adjusted after the 2-inch body lift install.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » October 29th 2020, 9:30pm

I brought Brewtus in to get weighed on a Cat scale and here's the breakdown:

Starting Weight: 7,193.4 lbs
Bare Weight: 3,415.0 lbs
Start of Building Weight (w/some add-ons): 3,530.0 lbs
Last edited by Brewtus on October 29th 2020, 9:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » October 29th 2020, 9:33pm

First time getting stuck... Fortunately it was in a friend's front yard! Having a locking rear differential will be a nice addition. We are probably going to get an ARB Air Locker for it eventually, along with gearing down to 4.10.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Leeann_93 » October 29th 2020, 11:28pm

Having some weight over the rear axle will help, too.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Rockridge » October 31st 2020, 1:30am

It's the Astro Al Fresco camper!
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby AstroWill » October 31st 2020, 9:47pm

Image
Is this the drifting setup?

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby WoodButcher » November 2nd 2020, 3:45pm

I would love to see pics of the rear frame and how it is attached to the stock unibody
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 3rd 2020, 6:19am

Leeann_93 wrote:Having some weight over the rear axle will help, too.


That's for sure!

Rockridge wrote:It's the Astro Al Fresco camper!


It certainly is airy haha

AstroWill wrote:Is this the drifting setup?


This is the downhill soap box derby setup. The only drift action so far has been one-wheel-wondering into the garage lol.

WoodButcher wrote:I would love to see pics of the rear frame and how it is attached to the stock unibody


Here are a few photos of the extended frame. They cut sections of the unibody apart with a torch and slid in 2.5"x4" steel tubing to extend it. I have welded the extension tube to the original sections in a few more places for good measure.
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 3rd 2020, 6:33am

I swapped the monoleaf for steel leafs from a 2003 Astro and struggled every step of the way... I got them in eventually along with some 2-inch lift shackles for about 3 more inches of ride height in the rear. I'm going to weld in some new brackets to properly re-mount the air ride. It rides much smoother with the steel leafs and new shocks.... No more smashing the bump stops when driving over speed bumps. Being 3,800 lbs lighter probably helps too!

It also needed an emissions test to buy tabs for it. I hopped in, buckled up, and headed to the testing location. I got, "Hey buddy, I think something fell off!" as well as my favorite and unrelated comment, "Custom!" The van passed the emissions test and I was one happy camper. Here's a photo from the road. I was certain the cop passing me would pull me over but they didn't, thankfully.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 3rd 2020, 6:53am

Vivian and I went on our first run of purchasing xps insulation for the build and then cut the floor sections to size (7 feet wide). We're planning on insulating ~5 inches for the floor, 4 inches for the walls, and 6 inches for the ceiling. The goal is to get close to "Passive House" efficiency standards in the living space. I'm feeling really refreshed and excited about finally having "broke ground" on the living portion. We have spent tooooo many hours removing over 3,800 lbs of what used to be and mechanical work. It is time to build!
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby SportsBoy » November 3rd 2020, 1:50pm

Holy cow, that's going to be a lot of insulation. Hope it works out well and doesn't give you too much trouble - good luck on the coming build!
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 3rd 2020, 3:45pm

SportsBoy wrote:Holy cow, that's going to be a lot of insulation. Hope it works out well and doesn't give you too much trouble - good luck on the coming build!


It is going to be a lot, and I'm hoping it isn't going to be too much trouble as well... A major drawback is increasing its center of gravity but I'm hoping having all fluid tanks, batteries, and the generator undermounted will help. Thank you for wishing us luck!
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby WoodButcher » November 3rd 2020, 7:11pm

Yep, I figured the tigers and other conversions did something like that with the floor / frame. We have a member here who has made his own campers by cutting the body off and leaving the corrugated steel floor. While he has said it was adequate I always have thought it needed more.
Aerolite took up the floor and built the frame.
Thanks for the pics.
Just a suggestion from an old carpenter, cut your floor insulation back to have direct connection between your steel floor framing and walls. You can weld in 1/4" thick steel angles 6 - 8" long on each leg that would create good anchor points.

Wishing you success!
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 5th 2020, 2:02am

WoodButcher wrote:Yep, I figured the tigers and other conversions did something like that with the floor / frame. We have a member here who has made his own campers by cutting the body off and leaving the corrugated steel floor. While he has said it was adequate I always have thought it needed more.
Aerolite took up the floor and built the frame.
Thanks for the pics.
Just a suggestion from an old carpenter, cut your floor insulation back to have direct connection between your steel floor framing and walls. You can weld in 1/4" thick steel angles 6 - 8" long on each leg that would create good anchor points.

Wishing you success!


I am interested in checking out the campers you mentioned. Do you have a link I can check out? You're welcome for the photos! Thank you for the helpful idea on the anchor points as well as wishing us success!
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