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Old 10-07-2009, 10:42 PM   #1
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1966 17' Caravel
austin , texas
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Newbie 1966 Caravel owners: What to do first?

Hello,
We happily purchased our first AS and towed her back to Texas from AR. We had a blowout on the way home on the hwy and managed to change the tire (luckily we had a spare) but it did do some damage to the trim and metal. We are really excited to get going on anything we need to do first, our primary concern being of safety.

What do you think we should repair/replace/work on first? We thought we should replace the weather stripping around the windows and check for leaks.

My husband and I are new to the entire experience of trailers but we are excited to take it on
Thank you everyone!
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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1962 24' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
1959 22' Flying Cloud
weatherford , Texas
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Check the running gear, I started on the outside and worked my way in! Replaced the marker lights, tail lights etc. This way if you need to tow for outside help it "all works" What part of Texas! Im in DFW area. cool trailer!
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Yay! Welcome to the forums. Lots of happy Caravel owners here

I think starting out by looking for and stopping leaks is a good instinct. What is it like inside? Was it sitting, or being used regularly? A well used trailer is often in better shape than one that has sat for a long time without attention.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:50 AM   #4
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By looking at your pictures, it appears that the trailer is sitting a little low and, with that in mind, you may want to focus on a new axle first. Caravels are notorious for axle challenges. A new axle will make a huge difference.

The windows in the year of your trailer can leak easily. Be sure to replace the seals around the windows, the door, and any access doors to storage from the outside. Clean and seal the seams all over the trailer to make sure there are no leaks.

After all of this is done, you can focus on other repairs.

Congratulations! She is a cute trailer
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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1966 17' Caravel
austin , texas
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
Yay! Welcome to the forums. Lots of happy Caravel owners here

I think starting out by looking for and stopping leaks is a good instinct. What is it like inside? Was it sitting, or being used regularly? A well used trailer is often in better shape than one that has sat for a long time without attention.
I was told the PO had her out in July for a camping trip but not very frequently.

The inside is original with original appliances that work (supposedly). It did come with it's little cot that makes a bunk bed. For now that is being stowed behind the bed, as half of it's hanging apparatus is missing. The walls are vinyl clad, except at the front. It has been repainted a flat white (over the texture), which also covers a layer of flat blue (as we discovered by removing one of the light fixtures).

Just tried to attach some photos but our internet is running slow tonight...

Your little Caravel is lovely. Can't wait until we can actually spend a night in ours.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:44 PM   #6
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1966 17' Caravel
austin , texas
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Originally Posted by centennialman View Post
By looking at your pictures, it appears that the trailer is sitting a little low and, with that in mind, you may want to focus on a new axle first. Caravels are notorious for axle challenges. A new axle will make a huge difference.

The windows in the year of your trailer can leak easily. Be sure to replace the seals around the windows, the door, and any access doors to storage from the outside. Clean and seal the seams all over the trailer to make sure there are no leaks.

After all of this is done, you can focus on other repairs.

Congratulations! She is a cute trailer
Yes, we were wondering about that old axle. I hope it won't cost much. We are hoping it will come in under $1,000. Now heading over to the "Seals, doors and Windows" section of this forum - it looks like there's a lot to do
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:58 PM   #7
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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We had a local RV repair shop put a Dexter axle under ours. Total cost was about $800. We've been running happily on that axle since 2004. It made a huge difference in how the trailer rode - things inside would get all shook up during a trip, now it's smooth as silk.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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2005 22' Safari
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Heck, just go out and spend the night. You really don't have to go somewhere. Plus if systems aren't working - you can gio back inside the house. Plan on having a blast - and then you will.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:52 AM   #9
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nice looking caravel,i'm looking for the same thing.the first thing i'll do when i find one is to replace the axle,without hesitation.then replace the tires at the same time.good luck restoring you caravel,looking forward to some more pics.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #10
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1966 17' Caravel
College Station , Texas
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Another Tx. Caravel 66'

Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilaji View Post
Hello,
We happily purchased our first AS and towed her back to Texas from AR. We had a blowout on the way home on the hwy and managed to change the tire (luckily we had a spare) but it did do some damage to the trim and metal. We are really excited to get going on anything we need to do first, our primary concern being of safety.

What do you think we should repair/replace/work on first? We thought we should replace the weather stripping around the windows and check for leaks.

My husband and I are new to the entire experience of trailers but we are excited to take it on
Thank you everyone!
Hi, We bought our 66 Caravel Fall before last. She spent all last year in the shop in Lockhart, for new axle, shocks, capping some propane lines and fixing one floor hole in under bathroom sink. We plan on doing as much more as we can by ourselves, but with my research I agree with others-Axle replacement comes first!
We are in College Station and are complete newbies regarding airstream and renovation. So, it would be great if you were somewhat close and we could help each other out! It's very overwhelming, because you find more and more that needs to be fixed it seems!

See ya on the forums!

Jerri (I have pics of Sylvia on my Gallery.)
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #11
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1966 17' Caravel
austin , texas
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Another Tx. Caravel 66'

Hi Jerri,
Sounds like you have done quite a lot!
After many months of waiting, we finally ordered the vent covers. They were out of stock for the longest time at Vintage Trailer Supply and we didn't want to pull out the trailer for fear it would rain. We still have not done anything with the axle, which is next. I guess we've been waiting all this time to have "extra" money to replace the axle.
Hubby is wondering if we should forgo rivets and just screw the vent covers on. I honestly don't know - maybe some more experienced people on this forum will have an opinion.
Remember last year when we have that Artic freeze for a couple of days? Well, a line must have burst cause our Caravel started to leak water once it thawed. We're not sure exactly what that was yet.
We're in Austin so not too far from College Station. it would be great to help eachother when we can - your message is a good motivator!
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:07 PM   #12
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1967 17' Caravel
georgetown , Texas
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Newbie Neighbor in Georgetown

Hey,

I live in Georgetown and I just purchased a 67 caravel off craigslist. Small world! I am going to pick it up this weekend, sunday. It is on Lake Limestone about an hour east of Waco. It is completely gutted and quite a project but I just couldnt pass it up. I have a 63 Shasta trailer that my wife is making me sell before i bring this one home. We should get together and learn from each other.

My cell is 512-639-2569 and the name is Ken.

Thanks
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:24 PM   #13
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Wickenburg , Arizona
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"Hubby is wondering if we should forgo rivets and just screw the vent covers on. "
No, use rivets.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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1966 17' Caravel
College Station , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilaji View Post
Hi Jerri,
Sounds like you have done quite a lot!
After many months of waiting, we finally ordered the vent covers. They were out of stock for the longest time at Vintage Trailer Supply and we didn't want to pull out the trailer for fear it would rain. We still have not done anything with the axle, which is next. I guess we've been waiting all this time to have "extra" money to replace the axle.
Hubby is wondering if we should forgo rivets and just screw the vent covers on. I honestly don't know - maybe some more experienced people on this forum will have an opinion.
Remember last year when we have that Artic freeze for a couple of days? Well, a line must have burst cause our Caravel started to leak water once it thawed. We're not sure exactly what that was yet.
We're in Austin so not too far from College Station. it would be great to help eachother when we can - your message is a good motivator!
I would love to have help, but it's like the blind leading the blind?!
You have many folks in Austin area to help, there is a large A/S club there. There are more resources and RV areas that deal with A/S in your area. The Camper clinic, TK RV in Lockhart is where we have gone, Tom is a great guy.
But what we can do is figure out how to friend each other and keep posted of what we can do to help each other out! We joined the A/S club the group is "The Heart of Texas Unit" it was based more out of Austin and promote that they are the funnest! However, ours has been in the shop and we haven't gone to one group campout yet! I figure if I can get my hubbie to go, we will get many folks to see our fixer upper and give us ideas, and we can get ideas too.
I'm bad about checking messages, I work 10 hrs a day 4 days a week as a home health pedi nurse. It's time for a 3 day weekend and it's our 5th anniversary this weekend!

Jerri
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