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Old 05-11-2015, 09:09 PM   #1
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
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Atomic's 1968 Tradewind Twin Renovation

Hello! We are just getting started with a major renovation of a 1968 Tradewind Twin - "Windy". There is lots to love about her including a great layout, length, weight, an intact interior, a decent body, and new axles. However, the trailer is in need of a major renovation due to floor rot and an unsafe frame. Over the past few months, we've removed the interior, cleaned the vinyl walls, dropped the belly pan, and removed the rear subfloor. We now have a clear picture of the work ahead of us, which includes a shell off restoration and building a new frame. Like many before us, we are somewhat disappointed in uncovering unexpected major work (especially the need for a new frame). However, Mrs Atomic and I are looking forward to the challenge. Here are a few pictures of the trailer.




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Old 05-12-2015, 05:16 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Wow, that is such a pretty trailer, whoda thunk it needed a new frame. Do you have some pictures of the damage?
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:00 AM   #3
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One of the all-time finest,

If there was a graph depicting the of best of Airstream's entire 80 year design history, the lines would likely converge at the '68 Trade Wind.

Yours will be better than new, how cool...

What's the story with the back window?? It's not “period correct”. Wondering why...

Plenty of help on this forum, have fun.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:36 AM   #4
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Here is an example of the frame damage. Not much was holding the street side A frame to the trailer. The curb side has quite a bit of damage as well. Sad thing is that during the inspection when I pushed down on the front and rear frame it appeared intact. The belly pan hid the damage. I should have lifted up on the A frame as it would have revealed the problem (the front skin pops like an oil can due to the frame bending).

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I think a PO has replaced a couple of windows (rear and small window in the lower SS in the front).

On a positive note, the furniture and bathroom are in good shape, and it has a newer AC/heat pump, water heater, converter, a fantastic fan, and dexter axles.

In addition to the frame and floor, we plan to refinish the furniture, replace the fridge with an RV model, add a grey tank, rewire, replumb with pex, and modify the gauchos to accommodate 5 sleepers. This is going to take a while.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:47 AM   #5
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Challenges are the "spice" of life! Keep us posted as work progresses..

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Old 05-12-2015, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALUMINUMINUM View Post
What's the story with the back window?? It's not “period correct”. Wondering why...
Here is a better view of the non-standard issue rear window:

[/url]

It's nice in that it opens like the street side front window.

Here is inside gutted before cleaning:



Here it is after a good scrubbing...

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Old 05-12-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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Looks like a plastic wheel well on the street side and a metal wheel well on the curb side. Is that the way it came?
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:54 PM   #8
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Looks like a plastic wheel well on the street side and a metal wheel well on the curb side. Is that the way it came?
It was missing the plastic curb side cover. Both are metal above the wheels but the street side had a layer of fiberglass covered with the plastic shell you see in the photo. The curb side had a DIY foam insulation cover.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:25 PM   #9
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1968 24' Tradewind
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After the new frame, I'm likely to need an upgraded TV. For now the taco works... (especially gutted) As an added bonus you can see the non-standard round window on Windy's street side.
[/url]

Here is an inside photo with the rear floor removed.
[/url]
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:41 AM   #10
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Tacoma towing

Hi Atomic 13 ,
I have the same truck and a 24' 65 Trade Wind ( Yet to tow anywhere ) How does the Tacoma do on the towing ?
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:33 AM   #11
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Rocker - My Tacoma has the tow package (6500#/650#) with a stouter suspension and tranny cooler and does fine regarding power on flat to hilly terrain. I typically get 17 MPG at 75MPH without the trailer and 9 MPG towing. We spend a fair amount of time in the mountain west and expect the truck to not fair nearly as well pulling the 4000#/450# trailer. When the restoration is complete I'll likely upgrade to a half-ton 4 door truck for more towing power and room inside for passengers.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic_13 View Post
Rocker - My Tacoma has the tow package (6500#/650#) with a stouter suspension and tranny cooler and does fine regarding power on flat to hilly terrain. I typically get 17 MPG at 75MPH without the trailer and 9 MPG towing. We spend a fair amount of time in the mountain west and expect the truck to not fair nearly as well pulling the 4000#/450# trailer. When the restoration is complete I'll likely upgrade to a half-ton 4 door truck for more towing power and room inside for passengers.
And I griped about getting 19 mpg average with my Tundra with the 4.7 v8. What engine is in the Taco, the 6 or 8? I think I get around 10-11 with it towing, but its been a long time since I had a long tow and the number is always skewed with the non tow miles.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:31 PM   #13
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Bob - here are the specs from Toyota:

4.0-liter V6
236 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (4WD, automatic)

I'm looking forward to a larger truck, with more power, and better fuel economy. Aside from the cost of a new vehicle it seems like a no brainer.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:48 AM   #14
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I'm doing some research into the size and thickness of steel to be used when building a new frame. Seems like many use 5"x2" rectangular tube for the main frame rail and A frame with more variation on how outriggers are made. If one would choose a taller tube, say 6x2, 7x2, or 8x2 would the downside of additional weight be offset by improved trailer strength, room for larger waste tanks, and added road clearance?

I note Airstream added an additional 2" angle to the rear frame to make room for the black tank. I plan to add a grey tank near the axles.

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Old 05-16-2015, 06:41 PM   #15
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Welcome to Air Forums atomic! You do have a nice Trade Wind. I see all that wonderful spray in foam Airstream tried in 68. It is a bugger to remove. It may be some of the cause of your frame rust.

My 66 Trade Wind has the front gaucho, twin bed layout. It is completely different inside as compared to yours. I've been working on mine for almost 2 years off and on. I had floor rot under the toilet, so I replace that section of subfloor and rebuilt the bathroom. My frame was pretty good, no repairs needed. I installed new axles, and new waste water tanks. I also replumbed the trailer including drains, fresh water, and propane system.

It's a fun hobby. I hope to have the maiden voyage this summer. We shall see. I will enjoy following your rehab along this summer. Keep us up posted.

I've had family in Kansas City since the early 70s. Nice city. We enjoy our visits there.

David
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:34 PM   #16
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David, Did you get your trailer out this summer? If so, I hope it went well.


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I hope to have the maiden voyage this summer. We shall see. I will enjoy following your rehab along this summer. Keep us up posted.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:19 PM   #17
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Hi atomic13, No trips yet. The plan is leaving for Denver area about August 7. I still have plenty to do before then. Just today I sand blasted the old Reese weight distribution hitch. I'll prime and paint it tomorrow. We will tow with a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V8. If we get things level, we should be okay. I hope for 9 mpg across Nebraska. And I hope for no strong winds.

All the new appliances are installed and working. The fridge was a budget buster. Maybe I should have stayed with an ice chest! I have a small leak from one of the old propane tank valves. I think it is time for new tanks. But the other tank is holding, and I have no propane leaks in the new system.

I'll let you know how many parts fly off, or how many problems develop during its maiden voyage.

David
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:34 AM   #18
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Tradewind frame rebuild

We recently (like yesterday) picked up our "new" 1960 Tradewind 24 Twin. Our trailers have a lot in common. Good she'll, your interior is a lot better, but I also see a frame off in the future due to rotted frame. I'll know more when I get trailer in the barn and start taking off belly pan. I like your questions about C channel size etc. I hope to stay in touch with you to learn from your progress.
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:47 PM   #19
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We recently (like yesterday) picked up our "new" 1960 Tradewind 24 Twin. Our trailers have a lot in common. Good she'll, your interior is a lot better, but I also see a frame off in the future due to rotted frame. I'll know more when I get trailer in the barn and start taking off belly pan. I like your questions about C channel size etc. I hope to stay in touch with you to learn from your progress.
Cool. We'd love to see photos. And be sure to post in this "registry of tradewinds" thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f116...try-27581.html
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic_13 View Post
Rocker - My Tacoma has the tow package (6500#/650#) with a stouter suspension and tranny cooler and does fine regarding power on flat to hilly terrain. I typically get 17 MPG at 75MPH without the trailer and 9 MPG towing. We spend a fair amount of time in the mountain west and expect the truck to not fair nearly as well pulling the 4000#/450# trailer. When the restoration is complete I'll likely upgrade to a half-ton 4 door truck for more towing power and room inside for passengers.
Welcome to Air Forums.

Looks like you found a wonderful unique Tradewind, one of the best Airstream designs ever. Too bad about the frame damage, but when you get it replaced along with the other upgrades you will really have a like new vintage Airstream.

I love my Tundra with the 5.7L motor, except that it is huge. We just returned from a 2,500 mile trip to the UP of Michigan. Towing mileage was 13.5 with a kayak on top. Very relaxed towing. I only use tow/haul in the mountains (when I remember).

Dan
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