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Old 10-24-2018, 03:25 AM   #1
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1960 26' Overlander
Wervicq-Sud , FRANCE
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 281
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Interested by Caravel pre 68'


Former owner of an 1960 Overlander A/S (2 years ago), I'm interested by the Caravel model pre68 because I prefer the old red round taillight like my Overlander.

I was failling in love with this small model and now I have a little car with a 2800lbs towing capacity (trailer loaded).

I have already in my garage the US hitch with the 2inches ball and electric brake system.

That I think to know, the Caravel model is relatively hard to find, I wish to buy a Caravel in 2 years approx. because I need to have the perfect budget to buy one, around $15.000, that's right? A model in good condition, no body and frame work needed. The interior can be the original or not.

What do you think about the budget compared to the condition of the A/S?

What is the best year for a caravel, it has many different between 65', 66' and 67'?

Many thanks per advance.


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Old 10-24-2018, 12:19 PM   #2

1968 20' Globetrotter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 553
It wouldn't be impossible, but you're going to have to be in the right place at the right time to find a $15,000 late sixties, good skin, frame & floor, rolling, Caravel. The pool of fifty+ year-old Airstream Caravels for sale is very small. Comparatively few were manufactured. Seems there are many more 1967 Overlanders for sale than 1967 Caravels. A measurable number of ďsmall", vintage Airstreams have already been exported to around the world. The value of vintage trailers appears to increase as the length and weight decreases. Many of the small trailersÖ Bubble, Bambi, Caravel, Pacer, Wee Wind, are already ďcollectedĒ. If I were looking to find one, I would broadly advertise my interest

'65-'68 Caravel AKA ďfive panelĒ (ďPanelĒ refers to exterior end-cap segments, the '64 Bambi II was also a five panel, the '63 Bambi was 7 panel.)

3Ē frame depth unique to Caravel

Lighter, 5-lugbolt Henshen axle prone to spindle failure

All have unpainted weave embossed vinyl clad interior, no Zolotone paint

All have the same wet-bath, and small above floor black tank

Depending on year and trim options, oak, ash, mahogany, walnut interior

Tail lights can be housed in a casting or plain round tail-lamps let into shell. I don't see any consistency. A 1968 Caravel could have either style. There was an International-ďishĒ upgrade option, which may account for tail-light configuration

Sometimes slight difference between Ohio and California builds

Older style flat glass in 1965Ö Curved Philips-Corning glass '66-'68, of which 1968 is least troublesome

Very improved door hinge 1968 only

Less ominous, more aircraft-like sculptured front interior end-cap 1968 only

Circa 1968 is only year with closed cell foam insulated floor

The sixties Caravels were all great campers. If I were looking for one, a '68 with ďland yachtĒ trim would be my first choice

There are good threads pertinent to CaravelsÖ

There's a finite number of vintage Airstreams, How many are still hidden in barns, fields and forests is anyone's guess.

While you're searching the USA, add a '66 Shelby GT350 and a '47 Knuckle-Head to your list.

Good Luck...

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Old 10-24-2018, 07:43 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Very good history description of the Airstream Caravel. I agree with Aluminuminum that the 68 is very good indeed. I had a 66 Trade Wind and can attest to the "unique" window problems. The 68 is a better design.

Good luck in your search. I restored one will be well over twice your budget. The longer trailers are indeed less cost. Maybe a 20' Globetrotter would be a possibility.

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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:39 AM   #4
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1960 26' Overlander
Wervicq-Sud , FRANCE
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 281
Images: 12
Thank you so much for your answers and precisions, a lot of details I didn't know...!

I agree that the price increase when the length and weight decrease... To buy one, I agree also to be in the right place at the right moment.

Thanks again for all and the link.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:55 PM   #5

1968 20' Globetrotter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 553
Globe Trotters Rule!

I agree with David about the GT. They've been around since the beginning, in the form of a small, lightweight Airstream...

The sixties GTs are great campers.

21' 1972GT #3380/420

20' 1968GT #2990/370

19' 1963GT #2770/ 390

The 19' Globe Trotter could be weight trimmed to meet your criteria.

My 1968GT weighs under #3000. My TV weighs under #4000, and has 200HP 3.3L V-6. If I drive smart, I can better 14mpg.

For sway and distribution, I use Reese Mini-lite hitch. I know that the Euro tongue/brake actuation differs.

Just for looks, and general bad-assedness, I'm building a 1968 Chevy Suburban K10 (1/2 ton 4X4) for the GT's new TV. It has cargo rear doors, and its original High Torque 327 4-Barrel, Dual exhaust. It's a project... They'll make a sporting pair.

It takes a long time to find this old junk in the USA.
Good luck
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:41 AM   #6
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2005 25' Safari
1968 17' Caravel
Leawood , Kansas
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 15
I agree whole heartedly about how the planets will have to align to snag one. I had a '65 GT in the yard behind my mom's get away from me and then got a little more serious. Mine showed up in RV Trader and when the owner's daughter texted me back that it was still available 36 hrs after it was posted, I VINMO'd a deposit after seeing more pics on a friday afternoon and then flew to Houston at 6 am the next day with cash and inspected it and paid for the trailer and got the title. I flew back and put it up on to get it home. It was in KC by Wed at midnight, but all the while, it felt like a drug deal, that could go bad. I can say for the cautious buyer, it may be nearly impossible to snag one for a good price.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:55 AM   #7
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1960 26' Overlander
Wervicq-Sud , FRANCE
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 281
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Yes, I can find an A/S model like a Caravel (Globetrotter or other), I'm looking for Caravel because I've seen that's the lightest model vs Globetrotter / Wanderer etc. except Bambi but this one is too expensive for me.

So, I have a weight imperative, I wish tow the A/S with my daily car (EU car) who accept 1200kgs for towing (2650lbs), I can up to 2700/2750lbs max but this weight is when the trailer is loaded... and I think you wrote for empty weight

Here, my towing system I've already at home (weight distribution and ball mounths in 2" and a 2 5/16") because, like you wrote, the euro system is very different, no travel trailer has electric brake, normally it's forbidden but vintage trailers have 30 years old or more and the law permits this exception.

If I can find an Airstream with good floor, frame and shape with red round rear light, I will be interested (the interior can be not the original). Now I'm not closed to putting $20.000 on the table in order to find a A/S in a better condition.

When I'll be ready to buy one, I have a frind who lives in Austin (TX), he can buy quickly the trailer than me who lives at 10 hours flying...

I like your Chevy Suburban, perfect tow car for an old Airstream.

I agree with you too Docflyboy, sometime to make a very good deal, you have to take risks for transaction... it's a little what I have to do, I send money (20 or 30.000 USD) to a person who could disappear in nature, I could not do anything... but it's the better way to make a good deal, I can't go to USA during 6 monthes and hope that a good deal appears...
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:05 PM   #8
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1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 282
did you see this?

Lucky you, there is a 65 caravel for sell in the classifieds now by a dealer:

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