B190 roof swap

Restoring a B190? Start a thread here so we can follow your progress!
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RyanC
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 6:03 pm

B190 roof swap

Post by RyanC »

Hi all,

I thought I'd document my B190 roof swap project. I started on the airforums but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of B190 traffic there.

Anyway,
My wife and I have a 1994 E350 cargo van with a 7.3 diesel we've been camping in for probably 7 years or so. Its an old fire department van with only 40K miles on it. very nice shape. Now that we have a 1 year old, the low roof cargo van was quickly too small for the 3 of us.
I bought a 93 B190 that had been badly rear-ended from a nice guy named Andy in Mississippi who deals Airstreams & parts and trailered it home to Upstate NY. (he actually may have had it for sale on here.) I'm working on completely gutting the top, repairing some water damage & removing the top to place on our '94 diesel van. Even with a lot of google searching I couldn't find anywhere where someone had actually removed a B190 top before and placed it on another van, so hopefully documenting this will help someone.
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Last edited by RyanC on Mon May 11, 2020 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RyanC
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 6:03 pm

Re: B190 roof swap

Post by RyanC »

Gutted the top over the weekend.
Typical rot around the front ceiling fan. Cutting the old wooden supports out and gluing in new. Glad I had searched this forum, I saw the 1995 resto thread from Kajun where he cut the supports out so it gave me the gumption to do it myself. I plan on gluing supports back in the same way and then going over them with some bondo-hair. The other roof penetrations surprisingly don't look like they leaked much.
My biggest reservation about doing this project was how hard it was going to be to break the seal of the fiberglass top to the metal roof. I had no idea if Airstream used some crazy hard tough stuff I was going to have to chisel away inch by in or not. Turns out its just screws and butyl tape! I haven't totally unscrewed it yet but just the few feet I did have separated completely on their own. Should be fairly easy to lift of once all the screws are out.
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weekender
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:00 am
B190 Year: 1993
WBCCI: 0
Location: Northampton MA

Re: B190 roof swap

Post by weekender »

Great project -- are you planning to install the B vans interior as well?

RyanC
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 6:03 pm

Re: B190 roof swap

Post by RyanC »

The interior of this B190 was shot. it was badly rear ended in I think 2014 or so? and had been sitting outside since then with the rear windows smashed out. Lots of critters lived in it those 5-6 years. Anything good was sold off before I got it, and anything else is going on the burn pile. The 460 runs great so a family member is taking that for a truck project.
I really just wanted the top anyway, so I'll be making a custom interior for it. The van its going on is already outfitted for camping so it shouldn't be too tall of a task to finish the inside of the top.

Rugster
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:57 pm

Re: B190 roof swap

Post by Rugster »

It's great that you're documenting this here. As you've mentioned, few others are likely to be doing this, but you never know. At some point, someone, somewhere, will be wanting to do the same thing, and will be happy to see your account, with pictures. I know that if I was doing it, I'd be heartened to know that the top is simply fixed with screws and butyl tape. Good old butyl tape. No RV handyman should be without it!

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