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Old 02-02-2013, 06:07 AM   #1
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1966 Caravel with issues

We are new to the Airstream forums and to Airstream. We started the new year buying a Caravel and even if I started this adventure with some reservations I am still excited! She looks good on the surface but.... She does have some issues! Just a few. I will include some pictures soon. Some of the things I have found are superficial but the ones listed below may require a bit of work and money.

1. Modified plumbing with no drain and the flush feed for the toilet disconnected and missing?
2. Wiring modified copper and aluminum and different guages with some going nowhere (found the other end just hanging)
3. Gas line kinked behind the fridge but po said that it is new and she loved it so I do believe her. No the last owner did not do the damage to this caravel but I think that there were a few dozen other hands in the fire!!!!!
4. There is some rot along the back wall which will be dealt with soon.

I am sure that we will discover other items during the renovation, which will be logged for future record. I have the owners manual but diagrams are not of much help as the location of major assemblies are good but connections have been modified or removed!
We will keep updating our progress as we start and continue our adventure. This forum looks to be a wealth of information.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by RM66caravel View Post
We are new to the Airstream forums and to Airstream. We started the new year buying a Caravel and even if I started this adventure with some reservations I am still excited! She looks good on the surface but.... She does have some issues! Just a few. I will include some pictures soon. Some of the things I have found are superficial but the ones listed below may require a bit of work and money.

1. Modified plumbing with no drain and the flush feed for the toilet disconnected and missing?
2. Wiring modified copper and aluminum and different guages with some going nowhere (found the other end just hanging)
3. Gas line kinked behind the fridge but po said that it is new and she loved it so I do believe her. No the last owner did not do the damage to this caravel but I think that there were a few dozen other hands in the fire!!!!!
4. There is some rot along the back wall which will be dealt with soon.

I am sure that we will discover other items during the renovation, which will be logged for future record. I have the owners manual but diagrams are not of much help as the location of major assemblies are good but connections have been modified or removed!
We will keep updating our progress as we start and continue our adventure. This forum looks to be a wealth of information.
Congrats on your new Airstream. What you just described is not uncommon. You have identified issues with your three major systems, water, LP gas and electrical. Additionally, floor rot means you have some issues with structural integrity.

You may want to read some threads on a shell off restoration (even if you don't have the space or ability its good to familiarize yourself) and a shell-on subfloor replacement. Both will allow you to replace the subfloor and require removal of the interior which will give you access to better assess the condition of your major systems.

If you are more interested in some targeted repairs, they can be done on their own but the is a very high likelihood you will find additional out of sight issues when you fix your current ones.

The upside to the Caravel's size is it is easier to manage if you choose to do major repairs. A Safari I worked on was much easier than a 28' Argosy.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:16 AM   #3
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I forgot to mention that there are wires run across the belly pan! Romex and a black both unidentified.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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A very serious challenge is getting to that rotten floor in the rear. It is all under the bathroom module. You will have to remove a great more than you anticipate to get it out.
The wiring in your trailer is aluminum. That is why someone ran it any way they thought would be okay.
An issue you probably have not noticed yet is the copper pipes which have most likely been stretched out or compromised by freeze thaw events.
Those 66 caravels can be a challenge, but they are very sweet little rigs.I have had a few of them come through my shop.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #5
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I said that I would sen some pictures now where the vent is supposed to be and the ac is there are 5 stars (blue) is that factory or PO. Wires under the trailer I have no clue but will be relocating them if they are necessary. No supply connected to the toilet before cutoff? Yes there is some work to do.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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Okay so I got the wrong Pictures but you Can see the belly wires and the stars. And when I applied shore power I tripped the breaker (later found the burnt wire).
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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On the door side I have a 1.5 inch gap on the back of the fender well to the side? I understand that this is a bad sign!! Not the case on the other fender
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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Looks like a nice project. I am working on a Caravel too. Mine is a '65 and have a thread going in the '65 section. Currently I have stopped work until spring because of weather. I'm not sure about your stars, but I don't think they are original. If yours is like mine, you will probably want to replace some of the floor. I am replacing the back half with body on. First you will need to remove the belly pan. Once that is removed you will probably find some frame damage from rust, or maybe some damage by blowouts, etc. It sounds like your fender well problem may be caused by a blowout or frame damage. With the back half of the floor out and belly pan off you can get a welder to weld new frame sections in. It's time consuming work, but take it in steps and take your time to do it right and it will come together.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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Not sure about Franks suggestion of Aluminum wiring. I don't think this is a problem in the '65 and was not aware of Aluminum being used in the mid sixties, but maybe I am wrong. I will have to check mine closer to be sure.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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It does have aluminum wiring if its a 66. I had it in mine and lived with it for years and years. If you are all apart in the resurrection...its a simple fix to replace and add wiring. Not expensive either.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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JEWEL65...Not sure about Franks suggestion of Aluminum wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RM66caravel View Post
We are new to the Airstream forums and to Airstream.
2. Wiring modified copper and aluminum and different guages with some going nowhere (found the other end just hanging)


This forum looks to be a wealth of information.
This, and the fact that it is 1966 Caravel, is why I mentioned aluminum wire. Your 1965 has copper wire. Copper was needed for bullets in Vietnam and that is why 1966 units used aluminum wire.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Another thing about the wires you must use heavier gauge aluminum then copper for the same power/amps so if thinner copper wire was used to replace aluminum wire that would have been the correct thing to do (within reason of coarse).
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
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I will post today's pictures later but took the curb side tire off to get a better look and it's going to be shell off found frame holes. Also curb side has no brake drum and road side has brake drum!! Looks like mix and patch to me but new axle and brakes will fix that!
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