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Old 07-31-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Airstream Models

Hi All-

I grew up with an airstream and have longed to bring back my fond memories with my family. From memory, we had a late 60's model, single axel, with the twin benches in front and a mid-ship pull out that my parents slept on. I think it was a 22', but not certain. I don't necessary need to buy the same model/year, but the layout seemed to work. This is going to be a process for me, one that I anticipate will take years to realize. I have strong skills in renovating and building (minus welding), but believe that between friends, my skills, etc, I could take on a project. I am antipating that I will take about a year to save the money and find the right project, and about 5 years to do the renovation (depending upon condition)-to help space out the cost, and still enjoy life. My end goal is to have an AS that we can use with the kids and then continue past into my "golden days" with the wife. I have been reading just about every thread on the site (LOVE THE PICTURES) about works in progress and am both completely terrified and extremely excited.

I would like to find something from the 60's or VERY early 70's, that can comfortable sleep 4. What I am struggling with is understsanding the different models and floor plans that existed during that time-frame. And, without starting a turf war, would love to hear if there is a sweet spot in terms of year and model that I should focus my search on. Any links/guidance/thoughts you have would be more than welcome!

~Scott
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
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Hi All-

I grew up with an airstream and have longed to bring back my fond memories with my family. From memory, we had a late 60's model, single axel, with the twin benches in front and a mid-ship pull out that my parents slept on. I think it was a 22', but not certain. I don't necessary need to buy the same model/year, but the layout seemed to work. This is going to be a process for me, one that I anticipate will take years to realize. I have strong skills in renovating and building (minus welding), but believe that between friends, my skills, etc, I could take on a project. I am antipating that I will take about a year to save the money and find the right project, and about 5 years to do the renovation (depending upon condition)-to help space out the cost, and still enjoy life. My end goal is to have an AS that we can use with the kids and then continue past into my "golden days" with the wife. I have been reading just about every thread on the site (LOVE THE PICTURES) about works in progress and am both completely terrified and extremely excited.

I would like to find something from the 60's or VERY early 70's, that can comfortable sleep 4. What I am struggling with is understsanding the different models and floor plans that existed during that time-frame. And, without starting a turf war, would love to hear if there is a sweet spot in terms of year and model that I should focus my search on. Any links/guidance/thoughts you have would be more than welcome!

~Scott
Scott.

A good starting point would be a 1974 model. That's the first year that Airstream used a "gray water" tank.

Sleeping 4 can start with a 25 foot trailer. If you want more living space, etc, then a larger model would be in order.

Tandem axle Airstream trailers, are far better towing than a single axle.

Should you have a flat tire with a single axle, your stuck, unless you carry a spare. With a tandem, take the flat off, and continue down the road, EXCEPT SLOW DOWN to no more than 40 MPH.

Andy
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:30 AM   #3
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OK...I just found the handy/dandy chart which outlines the different models, so that just leaves....where's the sweet spot. I am thinking between a 22'-25' model as I don't want a beefy tow vehicle....
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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Andy-

First....THANKS FOR THE REPLY!!!! I hadn't thought about single vs. dual, and the points you raised. AWESOME! If I were doing a renovation, couldn't I add a grey water tank? I am anticipating that I will have part/all of the floor off to fix rot. Or am I just asking for it????
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:08 PM   #5
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Andy-

First....THANKS FOR THE REPLY!!!! I hadn't thought about single vs. dual, and the points you raised. AWESOME! If I were doing a renovation, couldn't I add a grey water tank? I am anticipating that I will have part/all of the floor off to fix rot. Or am I just asking for it????
If you buy a junker, that's one thing.

If you buy something that is in decent shape, then that's a very different story.

As always, it's your choice of which avenue you want to travel.

Andy
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:37 PM   #6
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I would say that it is a very safe bet that if you buy a vintage trailer, and it has not already had repairs done to rotting floors, that you will have to do some. The trailers with the body style introduced in 1969 are very prone to rot in the rear-most section of plywood and rear-end separation.

Yes, you can add grey tanks, especially if you are going to pull down the belly skin to do frame and floor repairs. The grey tanks introduced in the mid seventies were quite small, so even if you had one, you might want greater capacity.

Some advantages of the 60's vintage trailers is that they had real wood in the cabinetry, skins made of 2024 T3 Alclad, are less prone to the rear-end separation, and typically weighed less for a similar length trailer.

The 70's trailers are a little wider and heavier, and AS experimented with some different skin alloys that may not hold a mirror polish as well as the Alclad (but still robust and polishable). Cabinetry used a plastic-ish laminate, and the doors on the cabinets used a failure-prone tambour material. I think the 70's trailers have bigger/more windows, so feel more open and less closterphobic.

One advantage of a single axle trailer is its manual maneuverability. I can pull my 21' '73 Globetrotter down my long, tight driveway using a manual trailer dolly, and then spin it 180 degrees so that it is facing the right direction. I couldn't do that with a double axle trailer.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:04 PM   #7
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There's just something about vintage that I adore....my first car was a '58 ragtop bug.....
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