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Old 04-25-2016, 01:09 PM   #1
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1967 17' Caravel
Austin , Texas
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Posts: 144
Future new '67 Caravel Owner

Hello, new to the forums. My elderly uncle (82) recently lost his wife and thus is getting ready to move from Arkansas back to Texas. In the process, he is down sizing and trying to raise cash by selling a lot of his "stuff". His '67 Caravel is on the chopping block and promised to me. Now, I just need to find the time to make the trip from Austin to Jasper area and back. This will be my first RV and thus first AS.

So, until I can find the time to pick it up, I have been doing some research. My main concerns are:
1. Bed length: I am 6'-6" and my wife is 6'-0". I will probably length the street side Gaucho and install a dinette in the front. My uncle has removed these original items any, so not much remaining originality will be lost.
2. Heat. It gets hot in Texas and I like to keep cool. Will remove the bathroom window unit my uncle installed and add a/c on the roof. It is my understanding that the trailer will be pre-wired and plumbed for a/c. Will go with either Coleman Mach 8 at 13.5k btu or Coleman Polar Cub at 9.2k btu. Will the 9.2k do the job?
3. Going to store the trailer at my mothers little country cabin and use it as a spare bedroom. Trying to solve the waste issue while it is parked and was thinking of a compositing toilet. Good or bad idea? If good, what brand provides best bang for the buck and smallest size?

After above, it will be just inspect and repair as needed. Will probably upgrade kitchen finishes, etc.

Can't wait.

BTW, I still have not figured out how the gaucho cushions work. I think there are three cushions, but how are they stacked/position when in couch mode? Also, how does the couch/bed mattress support work when pulled open (i.e. Masonite slides on top of plywood...how is different material thickness handled?
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:59 PM   #2
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1967 17' Caravel
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A few photos...


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Old 04-25-2016, 03:05 PM   #3
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1967 17' Caravel
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A couple photos...

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Old 04-25-2016, 10:08 PM   #4
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Newcastle , Oklahoma
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Future new '67 Caravel Owner

I owned a 67 caravel. The 9.2 will freeze you out if you want. Like all trailers it takes bit of time to cool them after traveling. Nice looking Caravel.


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Old 04-26-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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1969 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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Great looking trailer. I brought my family's 69 Safari to Colorado after it sat unused but well maintained and stored under a cover for a few decades. Here is what I found - the trailer looks and works great but a lot of the infrastructure to make it livable had become unusable and needed to be replaced. The good news is the body and frame are straight and the floor is rock solid having been stored in New Mexico since new. So I made three lists - safety items, convenience items, and cosmetic items. Safety got addressed first of course - things like the LP system (needed new connection up front), electric safety, hitch and towing, brakes, tires, new battery, CO2 and Smoke detectors, etc.. Then I started on items that, while I could be confident if I slept in the trailer that I would actually wake up the next morning, that without the items working it would not be enjoyable to live in it even for long weekends. So we found the copper water tubing was shot, the water pump was a goner, water heater was shot, and on and on. I also had to replace the roof A/C which was not inexpensive but well worth it. It's a journey but well worth it - enjoy!
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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I have pictures of the gauchos in a 1967 Caravelle. I can send them if you pm me. it includes the slider areas etc.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:25 PM   #7
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Here's some pics
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:33 PM   #8
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1967 17' Caravel
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I agree, safety first. New tires will be hauled with me to pick up trailer. Once home, all system will be checked, rebuilt/repaired, or replaced as appropriate. My main hobby is restoring cars and I am in the construction business, so all bases covered. Just have to learn about RV's and AS in particular. Keep suggestions/advice coming.

Thanks for gaucho photos, still don't understand how cushions are placed when configured as sofa.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:42 AM   #9
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The 2 cushions in the front fold together and stow in the cabinet where the table is attached, then the legs slide back.



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Old 04-27-2016, 08:48 AM   #10
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1967 17' Caravel
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Sorry, was wondering about the street side gaucho. I think I am going to do a dinette in the front. Currently, dinette is on street side.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:43 AM   #11
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Don't have pictures yet, but just finished rebuilding the streetside gaucho. I copied the ideas from a Minuet I own and am planning the cushions as follows:
The seat cushion and the back cushion are 'hinged' together at the back of the seat cushion and the cushion for the back has a 1/2" ply wood piece that serves as the base when the cushion is serving as a bed. When the gaucho is put into the 'couch' position, the back cushion folds u and rests against the bolster that is above the gaucho. I don't plan any masonite as the 1/2" ply that is the seat is secured to the gaucho rails and moves out with the front of the gaucho when it is extended. The back cushion brings its own 1/2" ply with it for the bed. I have seen a third, narrow, cushion used with a 1/2" plywood back as well that allows the gaucho to be extended further to make a wider bed. The narrow cushion stows under the seat cushion when the gaucho is in the couch position.
The street gaucho is normally 76" long, but it shouldn't be much of a task to make one longer if you take out the cabinet at the front end of the gaucho. There are usually electrical items to deal with under there but, if you are redoing the electrical, they will be gone when you are through.
The wiring is 12 gauge aluminum, by the way. There is likely a coil of wire in the ceiling which is meant to serve an AC. It MAY be copper 12g. A roof top AC may need to have some bracing done to the roof, depending on what was done when it was built. (I plan to take my Caravel to an outfit that knows how to install the AC properly even though it means about 225 miles one way...). I also plan the AC to be 13,500 btu, a Dometic unit.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:07 AM   #12
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Gaucho

Here are a couple of photos of the gaucho structure w/out cushions.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:42 AM   #13
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1967 17' Caravel
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Great information, thanks! I am beginning to better understand and it seems there is more than one way to accomplish the task. I may draw something up and post for comments/confirmation.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:32 PM   #14
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You can get the glass for the back window from Vintage Trailer Supply and Inland RV, as an aside. Not a bad job to replace it.

You might look at
http://vintageairstream.com/
especially the restoration section for ideas and projects.
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