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Old 11-02-2010, 11:46 PM   #1
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Question Help - '61 Bambi

I'm looking for advice from all you long-time airstreamers:

I looking at buying a 61 Bambi. The interior is stripped down and (beautifully) refinished as a trade fair trailer. I think I can work with that but want to know about some start up costs.

first question - trailer brakes. The people selling don't think it has electric brakes. How easy is it to install them - - or did the Bambis come with this model and they just haven't connected them up. My tow vehibcle is not that powerful so I think I need them.

second question - I could pick up the original frig/stove, sink, lighting fixtures - - are these items that people doing restorations would be interested in?

third question - - I'd need a new rear side window (glass broken); fixing door with new lock; two new glass slats for the door window; outside little side light covers. It has two new rear light covers but not the trim to keep them in place. so those things I'd be looking for - - easy? supplier?

fourth - - the exterior is in pretty good, shiny shape - - but there is one dent (with no fold) on the upper rear curve - - is it harder to get a dent out on the curve and can a car repair shop do that?

I saw a reference to Dick McIntyre doing some Airstream fix-ups in Oregon - - is he still doing that. Or do you have any other suggestions.

Looking forward to help from you experts!
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:38 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! I'm no expert, but I did own a 62 Bambi at one time.

Would this happen to be the Bambi I saw in Vancouver a few weeks ago at the Mushroom Festival? I didn't get a close look at it at the time.

I think it should have electric brakes. If it does not, and it has the original axle, you might want to consider getting it replaced with a new axle with complete new brakes. New running gear is a wonderful thing. I had mine done at RV Pro in Hazel Dell in 2004.

If you can get anything that goes with it originally, do so! You will not regret it. I'd rather haul something to the dump later than wish I had grabbed it when I had the chance. Yes, some of that stuff is valuable to restorers.

Vintage Trailer Supply is a great place to look for all those items (door locks, etc). The broken glass should be flat, so you can have it replaced by any glass shop that can cut a piece to fit. VTS will have the weatherstripping you need to put it all back together.

The dent is tricky. You can research it here. I would not trust a car repair shop to touch my trailer There are Airstream dealers in Milwaukee and Eugene, I would take it to them for an estimate to see if they thought they could pop it out first. As long as the seams next to the dent are still sealed so water can't get in, it's just cosmetic.

Good luck, that's a rare find, and although it's been converted, it can certainly be turned back into a sweet little camper!
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:44 AM   #3
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ouch a new axle sounds expensive!

I think the RV Pro in Hazel Dell closed down - don't know if it moved. I was going to ask them but it seems to have disappeared.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:51 AM   #4
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Really? I'm shocked, they were there just a few weeks ago, a friend mentioned buying some supplies from them. Well, I'm sure there's other places around that are qualified to do the work. Really a new axle isn't as big a deal as it sounds like, but it will set you back a bit ($4k for mine). When you're dealing with a 50 year old trailer, it's definitely something you'll want to prepare yourself for!
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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Couple of things to consider.
1) From the description this project will take a lot of time, many 100's of hours- do you have the time?
2) Old appliances are just that OLD,
3) Dents can be pushed out from the inside, you will never get it perfect. Aluminum does not "work" like sheet metal. Also, the rear inside skins must be removed, a big job. Windows should not be a problem if all the frame and mechanism to open them is intact. If not, you may have problems finding parts.
4) You are easily going to spend $4-5K even if you do all the work yourself, Airstream projects take way more time than you think and way more money. Not a problem if you know what your are getting into and returning a good Airstream to the road is worth it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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I had a friend who lives in Hazel Dell swing by and take a look, and they said RV Pro is open and busy as usual. Just so you know they're an option if you find yourself needing work in the Vancouver area.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camjo98686 View Post
second question - I could pick up the original frig/stove, sink, lighting fixtures - - are these items that people doing restorations would be interested in?
Um, yes. I'll gladly take any and all off your hands for free or compensation. Your choice. Please don't take them to the dump!
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