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Old 02-03-2015, 09:21 PM   #1
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1971 Tradewind 25...diving in head first. Please help.

So like many on this site i read many links and researched on the renovation approach. Then i found this one a few hours away from home and got a great deal..(i think) for 2,500. Now is the plan of removing everything inside and rebuild from the floor up. From what i have read and gather, since i am at the floor go ahead and check the frame. The axles, tires and brakes need to go which is fine. My plan which is still formulating is to remove all the bad 70's wanna be plywood and not yet decided to paint the original inside walls or replace. first and foremost i plan to start from the ground up. If i am so far off base please free to tell me so. thank you and here of some of the pics at the lot where i bought it and still is. The RV place that i bought it are going to replace the tires and brakes before i drive it home. much appreciated for your time.Click image for larger version

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Old 02-03-2015, 09:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwjr View Post
So like many on this site i read many links and researched on the renovation approach. Then i found this one a few hours away from home and got a great deal..(i think) for 2,500. Now is the plan of removing everything inside and rebuild from the floor up. From what i have read and gather, since i am at the floor go ahead and check the frame. The axles, tires and brakes need to go which is fine. My plan which is still formulating is to remove all the bad 70's wanna be plywood and not yet decided to paint the original inside walls or replace. first and foremost i plan to start from the ground up. If i am so far off base please free to tell me so. thank you and here of some of the pics at the lot where i bought it and still is. The RV place that i bought it are going to replace the tires and brakes before i drive it home. much appreciated for your time.Attachment 231663Attachment 231664Attachment 231665Attachment 231666Attachment 231667Attachment 231668Attachment 231669Attachment 231670Attachment 231671Attachment 231672Attachment 231673

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Old 02-03-2015, 09:35 PM   #3
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If you have no previous experience with trailer renovation, I would recommend holding off on starting with gutting the trailer. There is much that may be worthwhile and difficult to replace if damaged.

Your choice is dear to my heart - that's what we bought 5 years ago.

We started with the absolute necessities: sealing all the seams and replacing the axles and patching the most obvious floor damage. We carefully removed the gauchos, documenting the process in case we wanted to put them back in. Then we started camping.

Camping let us get a feel for the trailer - where we wanted to sleep, what we liked or didn't like about the layout. As you can see from our blog, we kept the floor plan nearly intact, replacing the fake ply with real birch. Even with using the original wall channels it was a huge amount of work to bring it to the cozy home on wheels it is now. We're so glad that we got to know and love the trailer first before jumping in with big plans we might have regretted later.

Pics of our trailer and some of the work are in our blog in my sig line. My husband did the electrical and plumbing, I did the fabric work, nearly all the woodwork and most of the epoxy, including forming the new shower pan from scratch.

Feel free to ask any particular questions. We know just about every rivet in our 1971 25' tradewind.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:40 PM   #4
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Also, if the stove works, treat it with care and keep it. Four burner RV stoves are hard to come by and the new ones, from what I've heard, aren't as sturdy as the old ones.

If I'm reading your pictures correctly, it looks as if someone has replaced some of the copper piping with pex. That's a good thing.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:42 PM   #5
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Ah the tin pickle blog!. i read that very carefully after my purchase. thank you all for all that information and love what you did to it. i do hear you on my inexperience and being hesitant but i bought this with a goal, so stubborn i shall be and gut it with the lovely help from all of my contractor friends on the fit out. my main concern is the plastic walls and whether or not remove or paint them? Also the insulation behind it. there are so many questions that i have as i am sure everyone had at the beginning. thankfully their are alike minded people with knowledge to share.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:44 AM   #6
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By "plastic walls" I assume you mean the walls that stick out from the shell. In a boat, they'd be called bulkheads. (The interior of the shell is aluminum and is part of the structure, so you can strip it but don't remove it.)

Ours weren't in very good shape. They're made of pressboard with laminate on the surface. Ours had swollen from water damage at the bottom and some had numerous holes drilled in them. The wall between the pantry and the middle room had over 50 holes in it! Laminate won't take paint easily. It would take a lot to scratch the surface enough to hold the paint, and even then it wouldn't take much to scratch it down to the laminate again.

If you replace the walls, be sure to keep the channel that they fit into. It's a bear to bend new channel. Also, hang on to the U-shaped clips that fit inside the channel and keep the wall board from falling out. I don't think you can buy those anywhere. If you don't want them, someone else will.

Good luck with your endeavor. We love our Tradewind and I hope yours brings you as much adventure and happiness.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:43 AM   #7
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Woo. Another '71!

As webspinner said, there are a lot of parts that others can use if you're changing the interior. I'm putting my '71 back to stock. I'm still looking for the interior plastic AC cover for an Armstrong because mine was missing when I got it.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:28 AM   #8
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looks like a great trailer to work on. I see a new power converter in there and if you have pex already you are way ahead. Why gut it? You have great bones to work with.
Might need the black water tank replaced or at least the surround done, as that could be the reason the belly pan is hanging some. A common problem and fairly easy to address.
Best of luck with your new project..Keep posting photos we all never get enough.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:16 AM   #9
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If you are doing the brakes check the axles, I will bet money they are original from the pics and need to be replaced. What part of the country are you in. Wether you are doing a lot of the work your self or not hopefully you have a good, trusted dealer or airstream service specialist close. You will need it. We are now doing it professionally in Charlotte and still learn something or see something new everyday day.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:31 PM   #10
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Welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. Thanks for posting all the great pictures of your Trade Wind. Jumping in the deep end with both feet sounds familiar. Old Airstreams typically have many, many needs. Before you start, get it home, and do a careful assessment of your trailer from the ground up. Tires, brakes, axles, frame, subfloor, plumbing, electrical, appliances, shell, windows, door, vents, etc, etc. Make a list of all the stuff that's worn out or doesn't work. Then you'll know what needs to get done so you can travel safely and comfortably. It appears yours is in pretty darn good shape.

Sounds like you are doing some research here on Air Forums. Read a couple of the "full monte" renovation threads and see what others have done. Make special note of the time and dollars it takes to renovate one of these vintage Airstreams.

I have a 66 Trade Wind which looks a bunch different than your "new body style" that came out in 69. I did not have to "gut" the interior as my subfloor was only rotted in the rear bath. So that was replaced and "while I was at it" I cleaned and painted the frame, installed new holding tanks, floor insulation, new belly pan, new plumbing, re-modeled the bath, new water heater, new furnace, new water pump, new converter, and on and on. I figure I got 700 hours in the thing and more to go. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy working with my hands and hand tools.

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Old 02-05-2015, 07:28 PM   #11
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Great find for $2500. Looks complete, straight and in good condition.
One pic seems to show a standard A/C only fridge. OK as long as you're on the grid.
The previous postings have nailed down all the usual concerns.
I'll just add that the laminate cabinet panels are easy to change out to wood using 1/4” veneer plywood. I've gone with Hickory. The doors are a bit tricky but do-able. If you're replacing tambour the commercially available sheets are too thick for the tracks and need to have the backs relieved.
Hope you enjoy your new Airstream and welcome to the world of Vintage trailers.


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Old 02-05-2015, 08:48 PM   #12
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If that oven works, hang on to it. They work wonderfully!
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:34 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. i am waiting to hear back tomorrow about wheels,brakes and axles. I plan to just bight the bullet and replace it all. they do look very old and fragile so it is better to focus on safety. will update when i know more. thanks again.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:45 PM   #14
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That looks like a very clean trailer, especially for 2500. There is no Wanna be plywood in there, its all plywood and may be fully sound even 44 years later. If you want to rebuild it from the ground up then go for it, but it may not be necessary. You can take it down to the walls and then rebuild from there. Or you can get some use out of it and see how you like it and maybe you will have different thoughts.

Looking through the pix, it looks like they replaced the original water heater and fridge with household units. That may be fine or you could consider going back to RV appliances, depends on how you want to use it. I would also drop the belly pan and see what the frame looks like. Remove the old pink fiberglass and see what the subfloor looks like. Paint and preserve it and put some solid foam board in to re-insulate it. You could do all that when you replace the axles.

Take some pictures of the rear especially around the area where the rear frame comes out to support the bumper. Also see if you can get a looksee into the rear area by the sink and tub and look for dark, punky wood. That is the area that suffers from leaks the most since water tends to run to the back and then collect in-between the inner and outer walls. I'd also look to seal up the plumbing vents on the roof and the running lights and around all the window frames. Keep the water from getting in should be the first order of business and then you can move on from there. Good luck and keep us posted.
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