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Old 07-22-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
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Help. Guide to Airstream model year changes?

OK, long time lurker. First time poster.

Been following this forum for a while and think I have the general flow. Lots of super cool people here, who are very knowledgeable and very into the brand.

I am shopping (hard) for a mid '70's to early '80's in the 23-26 foot range. I like this era because it is relatively modern, while still hanging onto the old school Airstream style that is missing (in my mind) from the newer stuff.

What I am having trouble with is understanding the different models available and the year to year changes that happened in this time period.

This info is relatively easy for cars, but seemingly impossible for Airs. I am not necessarily looking for info like, "In 1994 the toilet was moved 4" to the right."

But what I do want to know is significant model changes with respect to style or function. For example, the '82-'83 body change is pretty apparent. But I just can't find much info on year-by-year changes.

Any help?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

If you want to do some digging, check out the following link, where you can find, by year various pieces of literature that went with each model.

Document Archive - Airstream

Another option, for some light reading, is to read any of several of the books that have been published about the history of Airstreams (Wanderlust, Airstream: The history of the Land Yacht, etc).

You might also buy the DVD of back episodes of the Vintage Airstream Podcast (The VAP). You can listen to the old episodes and absorb a lot of information on your daily commute.

Or, you could narrow your questions down, and just ask them on the forums. Be specific ie., "what was the last year for a door-with-a-door?" vs "what is the best model?"
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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Kind of hard to pin down exact changes from year to year, many time Airstream made running changes in the middle of a production run. A good resource to look at is Vintage Airstream there is a year by year break down of trailers and lots of pictures of the various models.

Aaron
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:38 PM   #4
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The Document Archive is super helpful. I am in the process of slaying a forest of trees printing these out to review.

From a cursory glance, it seems the big challenge is going to be finding something to stick a queen bed in.

You Airstreamers must like to sleep either very cozy or in separate beds with the floorplans I am seeing. :-)
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXAir View Post

You Airstreamers must like to sleep either very cozy or in separate beds with the floorplans I am seeing. :-)

There were 'two person' bed models although in the early to mid seventies there were only a handful. There were many pull out/conversion beds, available.

We're not antisocial folks, but the twin beds offer more storage space and more open floor space in a trailer. The pull out two person beds are a little nuisance to open and close day after day.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
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There were 'two person' bed models although in the early to mid seventies there were only a handful. There were many pull out/conversion beds, available.

We're not antisocial folks, but the twin beds offer more storage space and more open floor space in a trailer. The pull out two person beds are a little nuisance to open and close day after day.
Thanks for the note. Totally get it. Seems like the target then is one that offered rear twins (center bath) to convert to a queen and then just crawl over. But that seems to take out a lot of the cool <30ft. '70's stuff.

Or could just blow out the entire interior and start again....
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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PDXAir

I had the same feeling until I got my 89 Excella with a rear pedestal bed. It was set up to be a walk around bed, what a farce. I built some brackets and attached them around the perimeter at the same height as the old bed frame. Cut 2 pieces of 1/2" ply to fit and added hatches with covers to get to all the hidden storage. Made a template and took it to "The Original Mattress Factory" here in Raleigh, NC. and they made mattresses.
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