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Old 03-03-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
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1958 22' Caravanner
Valdosta , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
'58 Caravanner

Hello All;

I am new to Airstreams but not new to camping or building campers. Basically, wanting to know if there is a way to test the original pressurized water system on a vintage camper, and is there any kind of replacement for this unit?...If yes, then where and who does it so I can have a plan of action for replacement if necessary. Please note, I do own a '58 Caravanner, but I am deployed overseas with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. So I have no access to the trailer at this time. But, all notes will be taken.

Thank you
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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1957 22' Caravanner
Coupeville , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 19
Hi,
I am restoring a 57 Caravanner and have restored two sailboats. My experience is to start over with a sureflo on demand water pump. Works like a champ and is quiet.
Thanks for your service, I am a Vietnam vet.
Erik
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
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1958 22' Caravanner
Valdosta , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
Thank you

Thanks for the reply in regards to the water system...but it is too late, I already have an air compressor and have had built a new water tank built (out of Stainless)..so I am going to use a custom electrical system with PV (solar) panels, and multiple battery system. I was looking at many different on demand water systems and I really did not like any of them. Because, it would take too much if something fails (the pump) to replace while in the field. I can always use a bicyce pump if necessary to keep water flowing if the compressor fails. Since this camper is NOT going to be a full time residence it is going to be a temporary asylum from the stupidity that is the modern world.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:03 PM   #4
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Grandville , Michigan
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Modern World....

Oh how I loved that pithy comment about the modern world. I look around and yes,,,I do see a lot of "stupid"! Thanks so much for your service. I appreciate it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
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1958 22' Caravanner
Valdosta , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
58 Caravanner

I have finally completed the restoration on the Caravanner. New 3/4" subfloor, new tile, new electrical system, tank less water heater, stainless steel single eight inch deep sink, 7.7 cubic foot dometic refrigerator, 17" Atwood stove/ oven combo, polished, etc.... My question here is I am trying to find out how many '58 Caravanners are still around. I own serial number 9365. I know that there was 100 units built in the 1958 model year. So, I ask for that '58 owners chime in so we can figure out how many of are left. I have been told by multiple sources, that I am one of the very few people that still use their 50's campers as a camper and not a set dressing at a car show.

Thank you
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:00 PM   #6
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1958 22' Custom
Hope Mills , North Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 3
Hey Everyone...my husband and I just brought home a 58 ourselves today and are super excited to start our new journey in life.. However... This will really make me sound uneducated... I can't figure out what we have. The man said it was a 58 Custom. I looked on the Internet and can't find a thing. Even though he said its 21 feet, it looks very similar to a 22 ft Caravaner. To be honest we have been on the road all day bringing this thing home so I will dig deeper tomorrow. Can anyone tell me about the "Custom"? All I could find was a generic statement that says it's a combination of a few layouts from that era.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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1965 24' Tradewind
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Post a picture of the trailer and the nameplate or any insignia it has and someone here will help you ID it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:13 AM   #8
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1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
AirAbe: Thanks for your service. I did 20 in the USAF. BigButtUgly ( me ) in Nebraska has a 1958 22' Caravanner # 9389. Purchased w/ many items missing which pleased me as trailer would be gutted anyway. Have had Airstreams so learned they have too many systems, while built for comfortable eye candy. These systems are unreliable, expensive and unnecessary. All limit the rig's parking location and have a limited capability in any severe weather. Too much effort to winterize. As outfitted, everything can be used inside or out. Yes ... many items are Coleman, but several are of my own design: 45,000 Btu 32 qt turkey fryer is pressurized w/foot pump and with a hand held sprayer is my shower. Built an Ice chest whose contents stay below 37 degrees for 2 weeks with a 10 pound ice block (110v frig for backup only). Gasoline cans. Kerosene for heat (military tent heater), lanterns and cooking. 1 pound refillable propane bottles for point source use in light duty heating, lanterns, and cooking. 35,000 Btu wood heater on wheels. Inflatable couches which fold open to queen beds. 1 gallon milk jugs for water. Folding TV trays, tables, lawn chairs and camp kitchen work tables. 6 volt LED "D" cell lanterns and candles. 3,500 watt dual fuel electric start generator on the tongue and the spare tire is carried on the rear bumper. Electric jack and Bulldog coupler. 8 ply tires, 15" steel rims w/ ss baby moons. Will never polish. No tanks, gas or water lines, or 110v installed wiring. Toilets (5 gallon buckets w/plastic toilet seats) are lined w/disposable toddler diapers and large red funnel for those who stand. Small window a/c and curtains to reduce volume to be heated or cooled. 30 below zero to 120 degrees above. Caravanner now @ 2180 pounds and 300 pound tongue weight. Much is transported in my Escalade EXT including a slant ramp which eliminates the need for the folding step and a foldable "Little Red Wagon" which rolls stuff from the cargo bed to inside the camper. Very little invested thus far.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:46 AM   #9
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1958 22' Caravanner
Valdosta , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
Thank you

Well, that sounds like a cool configuration that you have built. I went the more conventional route, using and re-manufacturing the original water tank. Yes, I am still using air pressure to move water through the camper. Also, included in that is a tankless water heater out of a motor coach (Bus) and a new 17" stove, oven combo. The one cool thing I was able to build was the use of a standard household bathroom vanity and I was able to convert it for use in an airstream. In regards to everything we are able to stay out for weeks on end without any real issues except for filling the water tank once a week.

But, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to share your serial number with me. And your configuration with me. So now, we both know of two '58s still operational in the world.

thank you

AK
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:46 AM   #10
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1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
AirAbe: You might be interested in 3 recent changes. 1. Had a ViaAir 100% duty air compressor and small aluminum tank. Chopped the spindles off my Dexter 4400# axle and mounted on left and right swing arms with 150 psi (max) 2.000# air bags capable of 11" lift. Installed them in a way that 100 psi lifts the Caravanner up to a full 11" ground clearance for extreme off roading ( smooth underbelly because solid axle is gone ). 50 psi gives tow clearance of 5' and 30 psi puts the belly on the ground. Raised the mount of the electric jack so at full retraction shaft no longer touches the ground. Had to have 6' taller ball height for 2" receiver for backcountry ( and then can't use the load leveler bars ). Have a 4" drop ball for receiver to allow only 1" ground clearance for high speed runs on the salt flats. Will see how much faster than 100 mph my Escalade (415 hp) can tow the Caravanner. Am hopeful no air under belly will help when temps are 30 below zero. 2. No longer must drag the slant ramp around. Now sits vertical inside and when door opens it folds down using spring arms like rear liftgates of Suburbans et. al. Since I now have air tank will switch to automatic pneumatic. Ramp of perforated metal so not too much air flow reduction from screen door. 3. Replaced 3 roof vent covers with 3" connective openings for wood or kerosene heater exhaust. Also flip over and have wind turbines which vent many home attics. Hope these will eliminate some cabin heat ( provided I have some outside winds). I suspect we are less than 7 of the original 100 each 1958 Caravanners.
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