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Old 04-26-2014, 10:30 PM   #11
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My Aviator overhaul

Greetings fellow Aviators! The snow is finally gone and I have had my Wright-flyer in my driveway for a week now. Thanks to the warnings from others, I was expecting issues and they were certainly right. The good news is, after 7 cans of spray foam, construction adhesive, caulking, angle aluminum bracing, a prop rod, construction lumber, tie straps, screws, hinges, lock nuts, and 30 hours labor, my Aviator is now, front to back, the way it SHOULD of left the factory! The funny thing is, I enjoyed every minutes of tearing it all apart and putting it back together correctly. I find the Aviator very unique and worth all the work. I would be happy to share what I have learned to anyone who is interested.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #12
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I have been looking for "what needs attention" on the forums. I have made a couple of "changes" to compensate for engineering/design flaws. Though minor, they need to be addressed. If you have a list of suggestions, observations, successful adjustments/repairs/modifications, etc., I would like to review it. I agree with you on the "worth all the work" statement. Thanks in advance for your sharing your info.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:14 PM   #13
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aviator repair list

Get your coffee and get comfortable, this is a long post!

I started at the front with the cover for the propane. First of all, the cover had big gaps at the seams and would not clear the chain hangers of my WD hitch. I had to loosen and slide the brackets forward just to open the cover. Second, I found the cover hard to open and even harder to close. Even the center latch was bent from the strain. To fix these problems I first removed the left gas strut and replaced it with a prop rod I made from 3/8 steel rod. I then removed the metal bracket nuts and raised the cover by 1/2 inch. I replaced both the nuts and incorrectly sized lock washers with locknuts. The cover is now aligned and opens and closes quite nicely.

If your trailer is like mine, if you look carefully underneath the body where the frame angles towards the tongue you will find two very large holes, one on either side, that lead into the trailer behind the dinette wall. I didn't want a family of raccoons moving in so I cut out the wall behind the cushions and filled the front area with spray foam. ( 7 cans!)

Most of the screws in the storage lids under the dinette cushions were loose, so I removed them all and dipped them in adhesive before putting them back in. I did this on all of the cabinets and drawer slide screws throughout the camper.

When the table was lowered to a bed, I noticed when my son sat on the edge, the table tipped to the point it looked like it was going break. I replaced the 2x2s under the table with 2x6s and added outriggers that fold down under the table when it is converted to a bed. It is much more stable now.

Most of the screws that hold the back of the kitchen cabinets to the wall were missing or had fallen out because they were screwed into the foam wall. I took a 4 foot piece of aluminum angle and screwed it horizontally to the wall studs. I then was able to attached the cabinets and gas line clamp to the aluminum.

The stove was just sitting loose on top of the counter so I siliconed it to the counter. I also cabled-tied messy wiring, re-aligned the cabinets doors, and fixed various other cosmetic issues.

I filled the plumbing chase in the water filter cabinet with spray foam. It looked like just the kind of place mice would love to get into.

I removed the grab handles outside the doors. They were pitting on the outside and full of water on the inside. I sanded and coated them to keep them looking nice. I drilled small drain holes on the bottom and siliconed around them after putting them back on. I also had to adjust the door latch as the dead bolt did not line up causing the keyless remote not to operate properly.

Like I posted earlier, I actually enjoyed doing the work and in spite of the terrible quality control, every time I step inside I still think what a cool trailer the Aviator is and don't regret buying it.


I hope this helps and other things you may come up with I would like to hear about.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input. I think I'll just go down your list and see what I find. I'm noting some variances between yours and mine.

I hadn't thought about removing the gas springs on the front cowl but will see what happens. Rather than using the normal WD chain attachments on both sides, I purchased the bolt-on version and use the electric jack to lift the trailer & truck and hook the chain in place. After verifying location, drilling and bolting the hook plates on, I welded them - just in case. I had a hard time matching the finish, no prob on the color ;-), so it has 4 layers of paint on the effected area.

You mentioned a center latch on the front cowl. Now I'm curious what model you have. Wright Flyer or Electra? Mine is a WF and doesn't have the center latch. MFGR may have added it when they discovered the issue rather than changing the latching configuration. After looking at the latches and the latch plates, I realized that we are dealing with an engineering issue. The latches actually pull the edges of the cover toward the center. Especially with the load of the gas springs pushing the middle out. Mine would "unlatch" while pulling driving down the road. I added an adjustable "spreader" between the latches to offset the load caused by the angle of the latch plates. (hope that makes sense).

I did have a major leak on the fresh water holding tank. It was the seals on the level sensors and the dealer was prompt in making repairs - no complaints. I now have a drain hole in the cover on the bottom with a threaded plug. Must have been 20 gal of water in there when I discovered it.

I am a little concerned with the material used for the shelves in the upper and lower cabinets and will look at adding small aluminum angle to reinforce the shelves. Mine has aluminum angle at the mounting locations for the cabinets. I think they were figuring things out as they went along.

So, what's up with the remote lock, mine doesn't have it. Gotta look into it.

Overall - I'm with you on the trailer. It's great. I like almost everything they did. I like the layout, form & function, looks, just about everything. I like the choice of materials, the fiberglass roof, etc. For my wife and I, it's a great fit. We haven't had guests yet but will in June (somewhere in Colorado). I saw another WF half way between San Antonio and Houston, Texas. He was at a rest area and we were on the highway. Would have been good to meet another Aviator owner.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:44 PM   #15
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I also have the wright flyer. It one of the first ones built with the serial # 1908. I think you are right about them figuring things out as they went and it would not surprise me if things are different on yours. I also thought the front cowl lift mechanism was not engineered properly. I have also thought about reinforcing shelving but maybe they are stronger than they look.
I hope not to have any water leaks, I haven't actually hooked up the water at my house but they did have it running when I did my delivery inspection so there shouldn't be any surprises. The good thing is, in theory at least, water leaks should do no harm!

A keyless remote was included with mine just like on a car. That seems to work pretty good. I haven't figure out the keypad entry yet, but I am not all that worried about it.

Colorado sounds great. Our maiden voyage will be in June to a South Dakota ranch rodeo. We also have a few weeks planned on Lake Superior. At some point I would like to escape the winter for a few weeks on Mustang island in south Texas. It would be fun to meet or camp with other owners. With only 70 built, the club is pretty small!
If you ever make it to Minnesota let me know.




I
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:37 AM   #16
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My vin is 1907.

The only reason that I'm interested in the remote door lock is because my wife struggles with the keys. Same with the last trailer. She drives a prius and we don't lock our house, so she doesn't use keys any more.

I did struggle washing dishes because of the upper cabinet location over the sink. Finally got it worked out - stood with my legs spread apart to lower myself down - finally got comfortable. It might just be that there is something there and it messes with your mind - I didn't hit my head but was concerned that I would.

One other thought about the cabinet doors: the material that the hinges are attached to is soft even with the aluminum outer skin. I am working on adding a very small angle aluminum to the recess, top to bottom, to distribute and reinforce the hinge mount. Might add a limit rod or chain to keep the cabinet wall from getting stressed/bent when the cabinet door is opened too far.

I'm leaving today for Corpus Christi and then to Port Mansfield for our annual "Fishing Trip". It's a bunch of long time friends, guys only, etc. No RVs - we rent a house for the week.

It was 96 deg. yesterday - come get a taste of summer.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:16 AM   #17
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I could use a taste of summer about now. it is 35 degrees and snowing heavily! At least the snow won't stick this time of year.

I believe I read somewhere the serial numbers started at 1905 so that would make yours the second one built and mine the third. they should be very similar. Be sure to look carefully for those holes underneath. They are not obvious. The only way I noticed them was seeing daylight after I removed the panel behind the dinnette. I would think the keyless entry control should be somewhere. Maybe at the dealer in a desk drawer. That is where the sony tablet and all the keys where kept for mine. Let me know how the cabinets turn out.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by KenHwy61 View Post
I could use a taste of summer about now. it is 35 degrees and snowing heavily! At least the snow won't stick this time of year.



I believe I read somewhere the serial numbers started at 1905 so that would make yours the second one built and mine the third. they should be very similar. Be sure to look carefully for those holes underneath. They are not obvious. The only way I noticed them was seeing daylight after I removed the panel behind the dinnette. I would think the keyless entry control should be somewhere. Maybe at the dealer in a desk drawer. That is where the sony tablet and all the keys where kept for mine. Let me know how the cabinets turn out.

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Not a taste of summer but eye candy for ya! ,)
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:05 PM   #19
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The sun, the ocean, the beach... it all looks great, but where's the girls?
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:39 PM   #20
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The sun, the ocean, the beach... it all looks great, but where's the girls?

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Sorry, here's a camera pan out! LOL
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