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Old 07-15-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Electricity in 1959 Traveler? and awnings?

Hello all,

My husband and I are searching for a vintage airstream. We have our eyes on a 1959 traveler, but we're curious about a couple of things:

First, please explain how the electrical system works... And are the interior lights run on that?

Secondly, is there aftermarket awnings available to slip into the awning rail? What about switching an awning from a "pole and rope" style to trailer mounted?

Thank you for all of your help!
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:37 PM   #2
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r&kweber ~
The lighting on a '59 model depends on the model designation of trailer. A standard had just the basics and no frills which means no 12 volt lighting among other things. It would still have the 110 volt lighting with power supplied through the shore power cord. A Land Yacht had a 12 volt battery, interior 12 volt as well as 110 volt lighting as well as other upgrades. The International had all of the upgrades as the Land Yacht as well as other improvements. Not sure what these would necessarily be on a small trailer sauch as the Traveler. The is a previous link here somewhere on the Forums that explains all of this in detail and I don't want to type it all again so I'll look for it.

As for the awning, the rail on an early Airstream of this era is the same whether you use a pole and stake type of awning or an attached one such as a ZipDee.

Brad
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:44 PM   #3
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Here's the info from an earlier post ~

"LAND YACHTING...the better way to travel"
In reviewing some early '60s Airstream promotional material I have, I found a two page info sheet entitled "LAND YACHTING...the better way to travel." I'll post some of the information:

"A 'Land Yacht' is a personal highway cruiser manufactured by Airstream, and specifically designed and outfitted, down to the last luxurious detail, for unlimited road voyaging. A Land Yacht is no mere house trailer, or so-called mobile home, pressed into service for weekend or vacation use. Indeed a conventional trailer no more resembles a Land Yacht than a canal barge compares to travel-cruise luxury liner." Wally at his best

On the second page of this flyer, is the best designation I have found to explain the distinctions between the model lines:

"The Airstream Fleet
Every Airstream is built to the same rigid construction standards and must satisfy the travel specifications of the world's most adventurous roamers – the Wally Byam Caravanners. Chassis, running gear, body design and basic equipment have proved their ability to take the punishment of Etheopian roads as successfully as they cruise the turnpikes of Pennsylvania. The same essential comforts are found in any Airstream—airfoam beds, efficient space heater, well-planned galley and attractive interior decoration.

The STANDARD Airstream features the famous road-worthy qualities of all Airstreams. It has the best in convenient equipment and appliances such as an ice-electric refrigerator, electric hot water heater, 110V wiring, copper water lines with easily accessible input connections and regulation drainage outlet.

The LAND YACHT Series If you plan to spend time away from the beaten path where commercial facilites are not available, you'll probably want one of the Land Yacht series. All Airstream Land Yachts, from 18 foot to 30 foot models, are completely outfitted for extended stays away from the standard light, water and sewer connections. The equipment that makes this self-containment possible includes a pressure water system with tank and air compressor, 12V electrical system (in addition to the regular 110V wiring) with battery and 12V light fixtures—this also operates the air compressor that keeps water running to all faucets...a gas refrigerator and gas hot water heater...a marine-type toilet equipped with hand spray flushing device to conserve water and the Airstream sanitator, to provide toilet convenience away from a sewer hookup.

The INTERNATIONAL LAND YACHT Series is the last word in travel luxury, combining every Airstream engineering achievement with elegant interior furnishings. Beautiful materials are used for the upholstery; draperies are tastefully lined; matching bed spreads are included as well as wall pads to give the appearance of a couch. All fabrics are chosen for carefree maintenance and resistance to wear under the most exacting conditions. Cabinets are exquisitely finished. Self containment is developed to the highest degree in these models. Any new equipment available here or abroad is tested for possible inclusion to make the International the most independant and luxurious. The basic additional features include a water purifier, 12V electrical system throughout including a 12V ceiling ventilator fan and 12V outlet for a shaver and other appliances. Two oversize gas tanks with automatic switch-over regulator, space heater, police-type radio antenna and deluxe hub caps. The features of the International Land Yacht models are not "frozen," they are subject to constant improvement to give their owners the very best.

There is an Airstream model to suit your dreams. Whichever one you choose will take you on the happiest travel-adventures anywhere in the world.


*If it isn't an AIRSTREAM, it isn't a LAND YACHT"

This use of the term Land Yacht is probably not the first use of it in Airstream literature or promotional materials. Wally sure had a way with words. This is, no doubt, a reflection on his days as an advertising exec.

Brad
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:46 PM   #4
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Thanks! Another question? Did these little travelers have a fresh water tank and water heater? If not, are they easy upgrades?
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:49 PM   #5
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You answered my second post as well. Thanks again.

If we get the trailer, we'll definately post some photos...
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:50 PM   #6
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These early Travelers should have both but depending on designation of model, may not have a compressor to pressurize the tank or may not have the gas feature for the water heater.

I've seen a few of these Travelers and they are really cool. I wouldn't hesitate to get one if it has any potential at all of being restored.

Brad
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:03 PM   #7
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I think there might be a little variability in use of the term "Land Yacht" in 1959. My '59 Tradewind was not badged as a Land Yacht, but it did have the pressurized water system, gas water heater, full 12V system including dual lights and vent fans, "self contained" toilet, and ducted furnace.

The only non land yacht feature is the 1-way (120vac) refrigerator.
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:14 PM   #8
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Don ~

I have found a few of the early '59's to not have the LY badging but some of the features of a Land Yacht model too. It seems there were some discrepencies between the factories as well. The only certianty back then appears to be that there were no certianties.

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Old 08-03-2006, 10:08 PM   #9
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Awnings...

If you want to go "original" Vintage Trailer Supply has awnings that look pretty cool. Otherwise you might want to install a Zip Dee Awning. Might ask folks which they prefer and why before the investment.

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...Search=awnings

We have a vintage trailer and we prefer not to have any more "holes" in it than necessary... it is just one more thing to possibly fix. Besides we like the vintage look.

Do a little homework and you won't be sorry. Have fun!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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