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Old 06-08-2013, 02:06 AM   #1
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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'69 Tradewind Father/ Son Project

While searching Chicago Craigslist for a "cheap" camper to use for our family summer vacation (then sell when done using) this summer, I accidently came across an Airstream in my price range. The camper had been in storage for 5 years. 1969 Tradewind Land Yacht 25'.

We had sold or Class C rv this spring (hated not having a vehicle when we arrived at our destination) and we were trying to decide which direction to go with campers. I love vintage campers. I had just finished dabbling with a vintage 1982 Palomino pop-up that I picked up cheap and was in excellent condition for it's age. I ended up making a homemade "toy hauler" (hillbilly toy hauler) my wife's words .

Back to the 69 Tradewind; I paid $1500. The trailer was started on the gutting process. There are a few exterior panels that had been previously replaced with the wrong aluminum and therefore has corrosion holes starting. The whole thing stuck of mouse droppings! However, surprisingly the tail lights worked once I hooked up to it. BAM, I was on my way home 50 miles away. That trailer pulled like a dream behind my 05 Tundra. (Even though it had been sitting in the same spot for 5 years). I took my time going the backroads.

My wife would be surprised when she got home later ! I didn't tell her my plans, because I knew she would rain on my parade. Needless to say, she wasn't that mad, but wasn't totally "on board" until some of the neighbors were just as excited as I was about the camper! (We camp all the time with our cul-de-sac crew). Now she is addicted as I am with the nostalgia of the Airstream idea. She is constantly looking up ideas. We have a clean slate and can make it whatever we want. I will be updating this forum throughout the process. My 10 year old son, who is my main helper, went up and hugged the camper when he first saw it!

This Airforums.com site is a Godsend! After reading from so many members experiences, gives us the courage to tackle this project. Special thanks, off the bat, to Aerowood and Zeppelinium for their project post, so full of information. I'm sure there will be many others.

Let the journey begin!
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:11 AM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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Btw, this is what a " hillbilly toy hauler" looks like.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:16 AM   #3
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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As bought. PO started gutting.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:18 AM   #4
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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Helper
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:21 AM   #5
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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Started removing interior panels so I could seal all leaks and do complete re-wire and re-plumb.
Major mouse infestation! I had no idea! Stinky! Time for mask and helper to get out.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:17 AM   #6
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural, blink and you'll miss it , Missouri
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What fun! Looks like a great project! (all but the mousey infestation!) Good luck. Thanks for the pics!
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:11 AM   #7
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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I've heard people talking about finding airstream builder graffiti, but how about this? Someone forgot their wrench before they covered it with insulation. Original insulation Leeds me to believe wrench came from original factory. May never know for sure, but I will tell you I will leave it in there for luck!
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:19 AM   #8
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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Belly pans off. Hopefully we will have lift off this week. Next I need to pull ac and antenna to get them out of the way. Kind of frustrating.....the deeper I go, the more things look like they are in need of repair.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Very impressed with what you're doing. Why is it that every single project seems to have "scope creep?" It looks like all I have to do is "this." Then when I do, I find
"that" also has to get done....or, since I have it apart I might as well.... Keep your son involved in this project. He'll never forget it, or the time he spends with Dad (the best part of all).
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:08 AM   #10
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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Well we had lift off this week. Started out trying to jack with floor jack.....I don't recommend doing it this way. Eventually I used a gantry between 2 oaks. That worked much better. It also helped once I discovered the front hold down plate. Thank God I was able to see other's pics of their frame and notice what I was missing. Fun part for John was when I told him he will have to pull truck n trailer forward. He's 9 almost 10. We "got er done'!

Floor was a rotten mess. Frame will need some replacement. I found a bunch of rv parts on Craigslist for a good deal (fridge, stove, power panel, table, hood, pump. Unfortunately the fridge didn't work, (been a rough week). Taking a stay-cation next week to work on frame welding.

I was finally informed of some Great news this week. My axel price came back 65-75% less than budgeted.....finally a break! Wife was about to put the breaks on the whole thing......
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:22 AM   #11
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We are impressed! We are working on a 66 Caravel but have run into nothing as bad as yours. You are making awesome progress and will be camping before you know it. We have hit a two week off and on rain so not much progress. Are you adding or enlarging either the black or gray tank? Thanks for all of the pictures and your family is doing an outstanding job.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:48 AM   #12
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going well, how bad is the frame? if i were to do it again and had a half decent frame i would true it all up and then weld a few gussets in around theaxle area as mine had twisted in this area, the interior panels on mine were also highly infested with mouse, even after pressure washing them with industrial cleaner they still stank and i ended up replacing them all, long run aluminium designed for roofs is a pretty good option (relatively cheap as well)as one side is already painted! but before doing this check for thickness as there are different grades for roofing. It's alot of work, yours is in better shape than mine that's for sure i'd still like to slap the guy that sent me my salvage yard camper.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #13
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1969 25' Tradewind
wayword , South Dakota
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Thanks for the advice and ideas Mr. Green. Frame needs some attention. I will sturdy up the frame while I have access to it. Going fishing in Canada next week, so camper is on the back burner for now. Time for a needed break from the project.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:53 AM   #14
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salzburg , salzburg
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your frame doesn't look too bad, a few patches and a couple of outriggers and por15, i don't know if you have access to something like this http://wueko.wuerth.com/medien/produ.../pdf/05539.pdf

but i think this is one of the best wire brushes to rid rust and underbody sealant, if i was going to clean a frame i would try and get the frame standing on it's side so you don't have to work bent over and use that brush, you maybe able to lend something like it if you know someone in a body shop, the heads are quite expensive though but you'd probably only use a couple

what's wrong with the fridge? usually it's just a thermostat that's gonbe on them pretty easy to replace, you should get it checked before giving up on it.
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