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Old 08-19-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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1958 18' "Footer"
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Is it a '56 or '57 Caravanner

I just bought a 13 panel Caravanner. The problem is, the registered year is stated at 1963. The Serial # is 9134. The interior is like most '56 trailers that I have seen. It has no shower, no vanity in the dresser, no hot water heater.
If anyone has any ideas, or anyway I can show the DMV that they made a mistake would be very helpful!

Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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1957 22' Caravanner
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The vintage Airstream photo site shows the '57's starting at 9100. Mine is 9153, very close to yours and seems to look just like mine did when I got her.

Best model and best year, but most would disagree!

-steve
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlyman View Post
I just bought a 13 panel Caravanner. The problem is, the registered year is stated at 1963. The Serial # is 9134. The interior is like most '56 trailers that I have seen. It has no shower, no vanity in the dresser, no hot water heater.
If anyone has any ideas, or anyway I can show the DMV that they made a mistake would be very helpful!

Thanks!
Nice trailer,can you show proof of serial numbers listed on the Airstream website and what year your trailer should be titled under?
Definitely a 57 and not a 63
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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I did read somewhere that the 1956 didn't have showers and the vanity, but I think that was a restoration blog, nothing to back it up. The confusion was increased since as Steve says, the Photo Archives says '57 starts at 9100 but the '56 says that it goes up to 9158. So Steve, since you are a '57 at 9153 clearly that 9158 number is not quite right.
Thanks!!!
Carolyn
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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1957 22' Caravanner
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I'd guess things were kinda fluid back then. There were things in my trailer dated in 1956, like the upholstery cushions. I know mine was sold as a '57 since I've spoken to the original owners, but it wouldn't be surprising if the trailer was actually made in late 56 and sold as a 57.

Anyway, it's a great model and it looks like you have a good shell to work with and at least nearly all of the windows.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Good luck getting the California DMV to admit they made a mistake about anything!!! You may have to try several offices to find a sympathetic (and intelligent) clerk. You might have better luck at an AAA office. Gather all the documentation you can find- the more official looking the letterhead is, the more bureaucrats seem to respect its validity.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
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BTW- great looking rig. Yours has the interior I wish nine had, namely all intact please post lots of pics, they are extremely helpful to many of us!
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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I am going to start a restoration thread this week with lots of pictures! I know it is a long haul, and I am not done with my Traveler, so I guess, I am going to do the Caravanner first since I have all the parts.

Steve, I also have the fiberglass end cap in the front. Ugh!

I don't know where I could find the documentation for the DMV, but I will keep looking!
Thanks everyone!
Carolyn
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
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The detailing looks like our '56 Safari. Curved corner cabinets, gold veined marlite, VAT pattern, etc. Looks like you've got a nice trailer!

When we bought ours, it was registered as a '57 although, Airstream did no make a Safari in '57. Oftentimes, the year they were sold was later than the year it was built and they were registered - thus the confusion.

We took our trailer to the local Airstream Dealer and asked them to do a VIN verification based on the info we printed off from the Vintage Archives website. They did it for free, we then took that VIN verification form to the DMV and got our trailer registered as a '56 as it should be.

We did the same thing with our 1946 Curtis Wright Model 2 - it's paper work said it was a '47. Again, they weren't made in '47 and we found the documentation to back that up, took it to the Airstream dealer (post-war CW is sort of akin to an Airstream, 'cause Wally Byam worked there). They filled out a form and we were on our way to the DMV to get that one squared away too.

Shari
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #10
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Wow, amazing renovation Shari!! Thanks for the information. I am glad it was so easy to register both of yours with VIN Verification, I just need to find something that will help verify since the photo archive is not clear!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
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I would choose whichever you want ('56!) and just take that info with you - they aren't going to get that technical by looking it up themselves...at least with us. They just looked at what we brought supporting what we had. If you want it to be a '56 then just take the '56 info if you want it to be a '57, then just take the '57 info.

Look for clues in the other models for the same years to help you determine...'56 is the year they had those curved corners & gold-veined cabinetry as an option...thats what we ha(d)ve.

Good luck regardless!

Shari
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:50 PM   #12
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Another data point. We own a 1957 Caravanner with serial number 09230.
The interior looks just like ours with the rounded corners and the gold veined sliders and lighting fixtures. It has the plastic front interior end cap.

I see two differences. One is the drawer under the bed. Mine is a narrow drawer that opens toward the front of the trailer. The other is that mine had an electric refrigerator with no exterior vents.

Jim
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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Nice trailer! I just tried to buy one like it that was in the woods of Michigan, but was outbid. Probably just as well. Yours looks to be in great shape.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:03 AM   #14
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Looks can be deceiving!
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