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Old 10-07-2004, 01:05 PM   #1
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1969 caravels

We are hoping to find owners of 69' caravels. This is a year that a lot changed with the Caravel. The floor plan is different from earlier and later yrs. We have only had ours for a couple months and are just beginning to work on it. Both inside and out are in good condition. We are replacing some of the flooring and will refinish the original woodwork. If anyone would like to share pictures with us, or just chat about restoration projects. It looks like their are not very many 69' out there.

Mike & Jayne
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Old 10-07-2004, 05:05 PM   #2
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Hard to find

Hear, hear!
This particular year and model are very difficult to find. I think I have spotted more Bambis and Caravels of earlier years, while only a handful of the '69. Please post pics to see yet one more jewel.
Hidalgo
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Old 10-08-2004, 04:35 AM   #3
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1969 18' Caravel
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1969 Caravels

Mike & Jayne,
Hi, and welcome to group!
I, too, am the proud owner of a '69 Caravel. You're right in that they are scarce. I did notice one, needing TLC, advertised for sale in this month's WBCCI Blue Beret. This is the first I've seen advertised for quite some time.
My research leads me to believe that there were 2 standard floor plans offered in 1969. One includes a dinette in the front of the coach while the other had a gaucho/pull-out bed.
I have had my trailer for several years and usually put about 2000 miles on it each year. Much as you are considering, I left mine basically original except added new carpet (originally it had a tile floor but) P.O. had put in indoor/outdoor carpet that just had to go. New curtains,new upholstery. The rest was mainly a matter of cleaning the thing up. I did repair a few flaws in the woodwork, scuffed it up and gave it a couple coats of polyurathane.
Other than that, the inside has only received maint. & repair items like radio/tape player: mine was wired for this but had no speakers behind the grills and showed no evidence of ever having this option (I even had to install an exterior antenna.) Loose counter tops reglued, faucet rebuilds, etc.
Just curious, did you buy your trailer from a young, Michigan, couple that towed it with a Mercedes Benz?
I'm glad to hear of another Caravel finding a safe, loving home. Be sure to post some photos, if possible. Good luck and feel free to ask questions and advice.
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Old 10-08-2004, 03:26 PM   #4
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Smile

Mark,
It is nice to hear from a 69' caravel owner. We will get some pics posted soon. Im sure alot of people will enjoy seeing the difference. I do have a question. On the curtains. We do have the original ones and they could be cleaned and not look to bad. They are tourqoise. hard to match. so I think I may make new ones. I don't see where very many people use the hooks for the top and bottom to slide on the tracks. If we have all the parts should I go to the work to reuse them. We did buy from a young lady who lost her husband a few yrs ago. don't know what they pulled it with. We just lucked out. happened to drive by before she put the for sale sign on it. We also have a 75' soveriegn that didn't need any work. and had been looking for a small one. We love our caravel.
Jayne.
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:40 PM   #5
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1969 18' Caravel
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Smile Caravel Curtains

Jayne,
On your question re: curtains.
Since I am not too knowledgable on the correct terminology, or lingo, of sewing this may be a bit confusing. But, I'll give it a try. Feel free to ask for clarification if you need to.
What I did, (and I can recommend it) is use a combination of original parts and new ones. In my unit all window coverings, except the small one above the range, are of the type with gathered pleats every few inches at the top & bottom. I retained the original hardware that was mounted to the trailer walls (tracks and button snaps).
For the front window I used the original pieces that mount onto the "I' or "T" shape track: these are a small "wheel-like" affair with wire "A-shape" (^) wire attatchment holding an even smaller, little ring. The nylon "wheel" part is what rides on the track. However, to attach the curtain I use regular drape hooks (the kind that slip into the curtain, one behind each each pleat) and put the hook through that small ring on the mounting parts. Be sure to make these curtains plenty long (top to bottom) to allow yourself flexability in hanging them to cover the window and surrounding hardware, as well as easy sliding along the track.
On the side and rear windows the original mounted tracks are different. These are a metal piece with a slot running the length, which creates the "track". For those I used two different methods of attaching the curtains. I used nylon thread to sew on the (commonly used in 70's Airstreams) nylon "tabs" with "knobs" to the back of the curtain: both top and bottom. Then, the "knobs" go into the slots of the track; allowing me to slide the cutains, as originally designed. This works well for the window above the bed. The other method that I used (on my rear window and the large, streetside window) is the afore mentioned drapery hooks attached behind each gathered pleat along the top & bottom of the curtains. I hooked these into regular nylon "travelers" rod (I think that's what they are called) sliders. If you go this route, be sure to get the sliders (they come in packs of 8 or 10) that have a ROUND knob portion to fit into the slot of the track. There are ones with square knobs but I found these do not slide well in the trailer's track.
Finally, for the small window above the stove. My coach had a tattered, worn roll-up window shade there. Since I liked the idea of a shade there, with holders at the bottom to keep it out of the way of the cooking duties, I used the same material as the rest of the curtains; but had it sewn onto a heavy backing. I used this to attach to the shade roller and made my own matching window shade.
I know, I know, this post got pretty wordy. Sorry. I wish I knew how to explain these things better. If you would like, let me know and I'll try to get photos of anything you may be interested in.
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Old 10-11-2004, 08:37 AM   #6
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Mark,
Thanks for the advice on curtains. I do like the idea of keeping them as original as we can. and I don't like the looks of just cotton fabric on a rod. I havn't sewn in yr but this sounds like a great winter project.
Another question. Our windows have a coating on them and it has started to bubble. I wonder if anyone else has had this. and will it come off.I can feel the edge of it and have picked at it alittle but it seems to be on there pretty good. We are working on posting some pictures and havn't figured out how to go about it. any help on that would be great. We would love to see any pictures of other 69' Carevels. with so few of them out there we havn't been able to see what others have done. Can you e-mail us pics of your caravel or are they on the site somewhere.
Thanks,
Jayne
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:30 AM   #7
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1969 18' Caravel
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'69 Caravels

Hi Jayne,
Yes, I would be happy to e-mail some photos of my trailer. I will do so as soon as I figure out how to use my new printer/scanner/copier. I have been trying to get the 'scan' mode to function but haven't hit on the right sequence, yet, to get it to work. I have figured out the 'copy' feature and can get it to 'print' to a degree but am baffled as how to get the thing to 'scan'.
If your windows are the same as those in my Caravel, they are single pane (with the possible exception of the front "wing-tip" windows) so you don't have to deal with the delamination problem that some have had with the older double pane ones. With those the coating BETWEEN the windows of the double pane units bubbles and flakes off.
I believe yours have been coated, by a past owner, with a tinting material. It could have been applied as a spray-on liquid or as an adhesive sheet. I can only suggest that you get several new, single-side razor blades, some Windex, and start scraping this off. The center part of each window should go pretty quickly but use care as you scrape near the edges, so as not to harm the rubber seal around the window.
The film is on the inside of the windows, right? It would prob. be easiest to just close/lock the window and work at it from inside the trailer (after having removed the window screen). But, if you wish, you can remove the window pretty easily. Then scrape and clean it before returning it to the trailer (without having to remove the screen.)
There is a 'trick' to removing the windows from the trailer. If you decide to do that, and have not ever done it before, be sure to ask about this procedure. It's not hard...just takes a few minutes. But, if I understand your question correctly, it would most likely be easier to work with the window in place and stable.
Good Luck & keep us posted.
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Old 10-26-2004, 07:01 PM   #8
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1969 18' Caravel owner: Univolt system question: anyone have schematic of Univolt system? Fuses seem to be OK but must have fried a transitor. I created the problem by using too high wattage in DC mode --so now I can't get the two lights to go back on--fixture is functional, bulbs are now 25 watt.....any thuoghts?
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:59 PM   #9
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1969 18' Caravel
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69 Caravel mystery

We have a 69 Caravel with the front gaucho. We are the second owner to sleep in it but an intervening owner took out the original curtains and most of the tracks. He then decided the leaks were too much and sold it to us. He also installed a window air conditioner into the back window opening. We have the window, and if possible want to add a top mounted AC and put the window back in. Two questions: what type and how did you install the external antenna? AND any idea what the little open-slide "thingy" is inside and right of the door? Looks like a 6" curtain holder but why up against the wall? Would love to see pictures of other 69 Caravels. I think we have a unique year. Thanks, Jacque
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:27 PM   #10
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Jacque, We do indeed have a unique airstream. We have seen very few 69' Caravels. Ours also has the front gaucho. It has been replaced with an RV sofa. But looks and works pretty much the same. There is a small curtain just to the right inside the door. Not over a window at all. just for looks I quess. I am hoping to make all new curtains this winter and keep all the tracks. Have you solved all the leaks? We have replaced some flooring, thinking the leaks were taken care of and now with each rain we have a wet floor.We have used valkum and olympic rivets. and just can't stop those leaks. Let us know if you have any great ideas. We have taken off the antenna and don't plan on replacing it. so we can't help you there. I will get my husband to try to get some pictures out there. We also would love to see more 69' caravels. I have found one archive site with only one trailer pictured.
Jayne & Mike
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Old 11-05-2004, 08:50 PM   #11
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'69 Caravels!

Jayne & Jacque,
Yes, as described, I think the "thingy" to the right of the door is a curtain track. It should appear as a short version of the one above your kitchen counter. Originally, drapes wrapped all the way from the door, around the front of the trailer, to above the kitchen sink.
That has been abbreviated, on my Caravel, to allow easy access to the light switches and electrical plug-in; located on the fiberglass end-cap wall (also to the side of the door). Due to the need to reach behind these curtains to get to those things, I'd think the curtains would become pretty soiled after awhile.
I am still working at getting my 'scan' mode to work so I can post some photos, but I recommend you check this site: www.vintageairstream.com/archives/index.html
There are pictures of many years and models of Airstreams at this site & they are indexed, so it is easy to find what you want. I suggest you look at the Caravels shown in the '70, & '71 listings, as well as '69, since they are so similar.
This site is neat to check-out 'cause it lets you see what others have done with their vintage units, as well as what's original to a degree.
Good luck and keep us advised of your progress!
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:19 PM   #12
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Hi Jayne;

While we do not own a Caravel - you could say the 69 GlobeTrotter is the big sister to the Caravel - save the 3 feet - the interiors were identicle, along with the colour schemes and material used.

I have been lurking with you 69 Caravels for a while - since there is not a 69 Globetrotter section on this forum. Kind of hard to fit in as the 69 year is very different to the 68 and the 71's moved away from the original wood finishings. We are considered the change over year.

We have 100's of pics of our trailer, and parts and pieces as we went through our refurb (one of the lucky ones that did not have to gut her). If anyone wants any of something specific just PM us -we would be happy to help where we can. All the systems are the same as well.

We found a nice couple on this site that had the same 69 GT and we were able to get copies of all the equipment manuals that came with the trailer.

I have posted many photo's throughout a multitude of threads we started to ask assistance back in the Spring/Summer that might help some of you.

A hint on the leaks (we had three) - check the tops of the windows - not just the eyebrowing - but there are two rivet holes that allow water into the window frame itself and over time it finds it's way in through the window fills the well then drips onto the back seat rests then down the wall and onto the floor behind the rear bed. Another biggy is the reflector lights not just on the top but inside - there is a little whole on the top of the lense - if the back of the light is not sealed with "Parbon" the water can get in and follow the wires behind the endcap and then actually drip through the little spot lights. Our last leak was by a portion of the bottom rub rail - it had separated and water was staying there making it's way inside - some vulkum and a new rivet and poof by by the last of the leaks.

The curtain rod mystery could be just sharing parts between the trailer models - the GT does have a window by the door - and it may have been that they just used the same size rods for estectics.

I made all new curtains - and in one of my threads I show the progression - I also have offered to send "How too's" if anyone needs it.

Good luck with your Caravels - and we can be of any help - please feel free to ask any time.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:36 PM   #13
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1969 18' Caravel
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Caravel battery woes

Thanks to all who identified the curtain track. Just couldn't believe that was it; seems impractical when everything else is so functional.

Jayne, our leaks were in the pipes. All fixed. No skin leaks.

Our trouble now is with the battery. Seems something shorts them out. We put in a marine deep-cycle battery and after several months it showed up worthless. We replaced it, and now after one rally trip, the lights won't work and the battery says "replace." We didn't let the battery just sit between our infrequent trips. We have been working on the interior, and are always in and out of it. Just can't figure out what is "killing" the batteries. Hope to take it to electrical-engineer-brother soon. Maybe he can figure it out.

An old trailer takes lots of love and patience, but we enjoy it. My main wish would be for electronic levelers! That and a polish job!

I, too, will try to upload some pictures. Jacque
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Old 12-03-2004, 01:59 PM   #14
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battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacque
Thanks to all who identified the curtain track. Just couldn't believe that was it; seems impractical when everything else is so functional.

Jayne, our leaks were in the pipes. All fixed. No skin leaks.

Our trouble now is with the battery. Seems something shorts them out. We put in a marine deep-cycle battery and after several months it showed up worthless. We replaced it, and now after one rally trip, the lights won't work and the battery says "replace." We didn't let the battery just sit between our infrequent trips. We have been working on the interior, and are always in and out of it. Just can't figure out what is "killing" the batteries. Hope to take it to electrical-engineer-brother soon. Maybe he can figure it out.

An old trailer takes lots of love and patience, but we enjoy it. My main wish would be for electronic levelers! That and a polish job!

I, too, will try to upload some pictures. Jacque


Have you tested the converter? We tested it and found that it was ruining our battery. Replacement is working perfect.
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