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Old 07-14-2008, 10:49 AM   #1
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1966 17' Caravel
Stockbridge , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Newbie Questions

Hi Everyone,
Well, we just got a 1966 Caravel, either the smartest or the stupidest thing we've ever done. She is mostly original and we are trying to decide if we want to keep it original and spend a LOT of time and energy looking for replacement stuff or gutt it and have all new but not be able to use it right away.Is there anyone out there who is gutting a 1966 Caravel and selling the usable parts? If so let us know.

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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1966 17' Caravel
Silverton , Oregon
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 31

I'm restoring a 66 Caravel. It has a gas only Dometic refr. (original I'm quite sure) that seems to work fine. I'm trying to decide whether to re-use or upgrade to a gas/electric. If I upgrade, I'd let you have this one for $50 but I expect it would cost quite a bit to have it shipped from Oregon. It had some minor rust damage that I have repaired and needs a new spark igniter. If you are interested let me know and I'll give you more details.

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Old 07-24-2008, 07:27 PM   #3
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Check with Andy at Inland RV, a forum member or the Vintage Airstream Club. lots of links & ideas. Search the forums and you'll find what you need.

Fersure... best thing y'all have done. Lots of sweat & tears and then, nirvana. Best thing, it's all yours. Good luck.
Bill & Kim
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Chevy Silverado * 2500HD Duramax * LTZ
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The trouble with trouble is it always starts out as fun...
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:54 PM   #4
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Go camping!

Originally Posted by Mary Greiner View Post
Hi Everyone,
Well, we just got a 1966 Caravel, either the smartest or the stupidest thing we've ever done. She is mostly original and we are trying to decide if we want to keep it original and spend a LOT of time and energy looking for replacement stuff or gutt it and have all new but not be able to use it right away.
My suggestion, if your sweet Caravel is roadworthy ~ take her out and go camping! Spend a little time (even if not to far from home) in her as she is... you will learn a lot about how you function in your small trailer and what you would like to improve. Don't second guess yourself, camp in her this season.... make a list of possible improvements, repairs, etc. Compare and then decide.

I would suggest, however, you concentrate on the safety issues first before traveling too far. Be sure the tires are fairly new and in good shape... a tire that looks good, but old... can blow out and really mess up your trailer! Then check your brakes, hitch, lights, and all that. You likely will want a new axle unless that has been replaced already. Lots of threads on new axles.... try the search button for that topic.

Then, camp, camp, camp, and camp some more! Experience is worth a lot. Your personal lifestyle and preferences will tell you what to do!

We have a Bambi and restored her right away, but she was in no way usable when we bought her. We did go nearly totally original with her ~ but seriously upgraded the interior electrical (which was one 15 amp circuit with mousie chews in the wires...) and went through everything. We love our little trailer and use her quite a bit! Big time restoration or renovation is a major job. You need a place to work, lots of tools and time, but many have done beautiful work on their restorations and rennovations!

Good luck and have fun! Get out on the road!

Mrs NorCal Bambi ~ traveling in S Tardis, from the Great State of Jefferson
My blog: Yreka History
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:26 AM   #5
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
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We have parts for a '65


We bought a gutted '65 project Caravel. We have parts.

PM me when you are looking.

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Old 07-26-2008, 06:02 PM   #6
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1966 17' Caravel
Stockbridge , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
John, gotta "john" ????

Hi John,
You wouldn't have a porcelain "john" would ya? Ours is functional but chipped. We only need the bowl as the tank and pedestal it sits on seem to be fine. Where are you located? Shipping on this might be a killer. My husband Dale and I have redone three houses, built a garage, chicken coop,sap house, gypsy wagon, dock, outdoor bread oven, put up fencing, done electrical, plumbing, and drywall in the last 25 years but things were getting dull so we thought we needed another project........LOL. We looked at antique cars, farm machinery, trucks, businesses, and so on but when we saw the Caravel, we had to have her. As we get further along we are finding more wrong with her, some big and some small. It's fun working together, even though we are a couple of old farts. (65 and 55). Anyhow, let us know about the potty. Mary
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
1961 19' Globetrotter
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
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I have some parts... Let me know what you are looking for!
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:26 PM   #8
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1994 34' Excella
1978 31' Sovereign
Mansfield , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 261
Hey Mary,

Welcome to the Airstream forums. I, like most of the folks here, have been in your shoes. We all have asked ourselves "what the heck was I thinking when". LOL

You have already received some sage advice. Make sure your trailer is safe, then go camping and have fun with your trailer. It will help you prioritize your next projects.

Few people, if any, have a 40 plus year old Airstream 100% period restored. Few people, if any, care to go to the trouble and expense... as some parts and all of the appliances are no longer manufactured.

Must haves are airconditioning, water, a working toilet, and lights. Next is a working fridge. After that is taken care of....make sure you have several chilled bottles of wine, an assortment of fine cheese, olives, salty crackers, and some nice "mood" music....then all the rest takes care of it's self. That is what camping is about.

P.S. if you can, find a site near the water, away from everyone else. And go skinney dipping. It is great fun.

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