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Old 02-21-2011, 11:37 PM   #15
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I guess I am a little confused Oliver...
Are you after a Motorhome or a Trailer?
Unless I missed a line somewhere most of your questions are directed toward trailers, and I think you would be better served posting in the Trailer section, not the Motorhome section.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:41 PM   #16
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One more question... do the septic tanks get smelly and unplesant after a few days? Without getting into TOO much detail, what's involved in um, emptying them out? I guess they are taken in somewhere to be drained?

What capacity of water or better yet, how long do you suppose the onboard tank would be able to hold out without any outside hookup? Enough for daily showers and meal prep for a week?

Thanks again!!
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
I guess I am a little confused Oliver...
Are you after a Motorhome or a Trailer?
Unless I missed a line somewhere most of your questions are directed toward trailers, and I think you would be better served posting in the Trailer section, not the Motorhome section.

Sorry, I didn't realize that I was in the motorhome section... I am definitely interested in a camper trailer. Unless of course anyone would care to suggest a similar alternative to what I'm considering with the '66 Trade Wind that might weigh in over practicality and convenience? I know next to nothing about this pastime, but I love the '60s Trade Wind trailer and so far am very much sold on the idea of it...
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:51 PM   #18
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Sorry, I didn't realize that I was in the motorhome section... I am definitely interested in a camper trailer.
I guessed as much... Maybe a Admin can move the thread to the best section to serve you!
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
One more question... do the septic tanks get smelly and unplesant after a few days? Without getting into TOO much detail, what's involved in um, emptying them out? I guess they are taken in somewhere to be drained?

What capacity of water or better yet, how long do you suppose the onboard tank would be able to hold out without any outside hookup? Enough for daily showers and meal prep for a week?

Thanks again!!
Tanks do not get smelly in a way the end user would notice. There are drained in a "dump station." Or a "full hookup" campsite. My 25 trailer has approx 40 gallons of fresh water, 40 of gray water (shower and sinks), and 20 gallons of black water (toilet) in the three tanks. For me I can stretch it for a week with daily very short showers, and using outside restrooms during the day when possible.

For wilderness camping you will have to conserve resources compared to on grid living.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:32 AM   #20
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Oliver I think with a mid sized SUV a smaller trailer would be in order. I do know of someone who has towed a 31ft witha minivan but i wouldn't recommend it. It's all about having proper control and not so much power. You don't want the tail wagging the dog.
Yes modern appliances can be purchased and are about the same size and have the same capabilities as the older ones. There are of course some modern advantages like automatic ignition of water heaters and furnaces and fridges that automatically select electricity when available.
An alternative to a storage facility is to rent a seasonal campsite where it can be stored ready to use and for the off season as well. It is a trailer and when you want to travel just hitch up and go.I operate a campground myself and have several people who use it as a base camp for their trips and can still camp here on other weekends

To answer your questions about septic and fresh water. No the tanks do not smell up the trailer and there are products available to control odor and promote decomposition of the waste. The trailer is equipped with a drain outlet and a sewage hose to empty the tank into a dump station at a campground. The water from the sinks and showers is not contained in a mid 60's model so either an onsite sewer outlet is required or a portable tank is used to capture and dispose of this water. Waste water has two terms. Black water is from the toilet and grey water is from the sinks and showers. Airstream did not start putting grey tanks into their trailers until 1974.
My trailer has a 50 gallon fresh tank and solo I needed to refill every two weeks. Once again conservation is the key. The shower heads have a pause feature. The procedure is to get wet, pause, suds up, off pause and rinse off. It is also needed as the water heater is either a 6 or 10 gallon. By comparison most houses have 60 or 100 gallon tanks.
If you purchase one to renovate start with the structure first. The frame, floor and shell need to be in good working order. The running gear like axles tires and brakes need to be fully functional and safe. Then you can do the cosmetics like cabinets and upholstery and appliances. All to many people jump in and want to install hard wood floors and reupholster the couch, change the drapes and think they're ready to go.
Think of it like a house you wouldn't paint a house with a crumbling foundation and be safe living in it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #21
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Thanks again Chris,

I think that once I find the right trailer and am ready to go forward with all of this, I'll probably end up in the market for a Jeep which would make the most sense... and hey, I hear the Grand Wagoneer is being revived next year, not bad timing!

As to campsite storage, do you mean that it would be kept outdoors at a sort of 'parking lot site' or regular campground amongst other weekenders, and if so, would there be any oversight required? The problem is the winters here in Eastern Canada. I'm not even sure if the campgrounds are open to the public year-round, nor how an antique Airstream would stand against our icy, snowy, windy, cold seasons, and whether it'd be a good idea to put it through all that. I'm imagining it covered in rust and surface body/structural damage come the spring. Unless of course there are indoor storage facilities for the off-season... I'd even be willing to store it Stateside if there were more options nearby. I'm not far from either the New York or Vermont borders, but of course our seasons are really not that different. In fact, I think you guys caught the short end this winter! Is it also a smart idea to leave it for several months unattended and publically accessible to everyone? I think I'd be worried about vandalism or break ins; maybe that's just the cynical city dweller typing...

As to maintenance and restoration, I definitely plan to put a lot of thought and care towards the structure and mechanics first, before aesthetic renos... but am very excited about this whole impulse and hope that by next summer I'll join the ranks of vintage vacationists here!!
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:08 AM   #22
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Y'know, I have one more question about the Trade Wind model that I've been trying to gather from photos online... It looks like the layout opens into a very small sitting or possible den area (depending on how it's refurbished) with a limited kitchen and counter space separating the back end of the corridor-like space from the bathroom in the rear. Can anyone tell me whether the sleeping area exists in this space to the rear of the 'kitchen' or as I've seen in certain photos, directly opposite the counter space? What size fold-out would this space generally be able to accommodate, and does anyone know roughly the sq. footage of the bathroom, just to give me a better concept overall of the layout and space of the trailer? Finally, what material is used for the build of the interior structure - (ie. walls, ceiling)?

Thanks!!

PS - Does it take a lot to get used to driving with one of these things hitched behind your vehicle, and how significantly does it slow down travel time? Are you travelling at roughly 1/4 your avg. speed?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:19 AM   #23
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Oliver,

Take a look at the information on this site: Airstream, Inc :: Specs - 1970 It may answer many of your questions.

Regarding your travel speed, it depends on how fast you drive now. Some states limit your speed to 55 MPH. We travel at 55 to 60 MPH and average about 50 for the day.

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Old 02-22-2011, 10:22 AM   #24
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Thanks very much!
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:58 AM   #25
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I've been reading through the specifications on Trade Wind models between 1966-1968 and am wondering what the biggest differences are between the '66 - '67 - '68 models? Were there any variances or aesthetcal differences in the body design?

Also, do you think that jumping up to an Overlander model would be a significant increase in size? It only affords an extra 2' but I'm thinking more in terms of practicalities as mentioned earlier (forest camping, city maneuvering) - is it something to consider or would this be inching closer to what might be considered a full-sized camper?
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #26
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Oliver the type of campsite I am talking about is rented on a seasonal basis I.E. it is parked on a camping lot with usually full hookups(power,water and sewer) and the campgrounds are usually open between 5 to 6 months of the year. The rest of the year the trailer is just left on the lot(winter storage) until the next season. My campers are able to come up off season and check on their trailers and shovel the snow off the roof. Airstreams are made of aluminium and don't rust and the curved roof helps with snow dispersal. They will not collapse from the weight of the snow. I'm in the snow belt region of Ontario so I see quite a bit of snow here. My trailer has spent it's entire life outside(38yrs) and has never been damaged by snow in any way.
Indoor storage will run you at least $100 per month while winter storage at a campground is usually $100 for the six months. Depending on where you locate the trailer will determine if there is any threat of theft/vandalism. I personally have never had any issues of that kind here. Some of my campers don't even lock the door to the trailer for the winter so I do think it's just a cynical city thing.
Talking about the Jeep find out it's towing capabilities and compare it to the weight of the trailer you would like to get. You don't want to get too close to the maximum towing limits but leave yourself some room below weight limits. Like I said it's all about control not power. There are plenty of threads here discussing towing set ups so just start reading and you will have a lot more insight towards your vehicle choice.
I was just looking at the 65/66 tradewind layouts on Airstream website and the bathroom probably is no more than 32sqft(4'long front to back and 8' wide side to side). There are two layouts. A double bed with vanity or two twin beds. The double would probably be 75" x 48" and the two twins each would be 75" x 30".
The inner panels that is the inside of the shell is aluminium and is painted in the 60's models and vinyl clad in the 70's models. The bulkheads(interior dividing walls) are usually wood only 1/8" thick. Cabinets and furniture in the 60's models are wood and aluminium framed and panelled in the 70's models.
Towing does take some getting used to but Airsteams tow the best of all trailers. Slighly slower speeds, leaving greater distances for stopping, wider turns and of course learning how to back up are all that is to it. Once you have it all set up go to an industrial park on a sunday and practice manouvering and backing up before setting off on your maiden voyage.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:24 AM   #27
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Thank you so much for all of that info Chris, it's been a huge help!
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:37 PM   #28
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Hello OliverB,
You have asked many good questions, and there have been many good responses. However, in the end, experience might be the best way for you to get a feel for whether or not this type of recreation is for you. I completely agree with wasagachris that you should first rent a unit and try it out before plunging in head first. Good luck.
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