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Old 04-15-2005, 09:02 PM   #15
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Having dug quite deep into both a 1963 Overlander and a 1971 Tradewind, I must state that there is nothing wrong with the frames on the 70's model vs. the 60's model. As a matter of fact, I found the 70's frame much stronger than the frame under the 63, which was a very flimsy c-profile until it was completely reinforced.
Most of the damages on the 70's trailers can be directly traced to abuse, either by accident or through plain neglect.
I believe that the windows, door frames, skin, and general build quality got much better towards the late 60's, into the early 70's. This is where my experience ends. I have not worked or been around a later model trailer.
I agree that the interiors leave lots to be desired in facto atmosphere and color choices. However, my 1971 Tradewind is still completely intact, plastic and all, which in my opinion is an amazing fact, given that it is 34 years old. Not trying to defend or glorify, simply stating my view.

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Old 04-15-2005, 11:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Lou, is that a challenge? Just wait til I finish fixing up my 61!!! You will be crying turquoise tears over what you said!!!

I've seen 70s trailers done all funkadelic and they can be super fun. There are some points that are far simpler to work on, I hear. But either way, it has to be something that you feel you can love. Any ways you look at it, an old trailer is going to have more complications--from outdated technologies, replacement parts, wear and tear. But getting one is getting a bit of history. And, if you are like Lou and Ken, you may love the 70s--or the 60s or the 50s. Earlier than that, you are getting into true antique territory, bringing in a higher level of complication.

Any ways you slice it, its an airstream...

I guess you could say that is a challenge, Mary. "Put yer aluminum where yer mouth is" sort of thing!
I like the more modern look of the 1970's era A/S and, as all of you know, the Argosy is my favorite! I have torn apart a 1963 Bambi and the dual electrical circuits and galvanized steel water tank did not thrill me! I did this back when the 1970's trailers were still rather new!
The laminated aluminum in my Minuet is in nearly as good of shape now as it was when it rolled off of the line in 1977.
As for the plastic tubs? They were gone before I got the trailer.
My parent's 1973 31-footer still has the original plastic tubs and they are still in EXCELLENT shape. It all adds up to how well the trailer is kept from the time it is new.

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Old 04-16-2005, 05:08 AM   #17
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1980 31' Excella II
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I think Uwe has a good point on how well cared for it was...I thought mine had been abused...(it was) but I went and looked at one for sale the other day that made mine look almost new...and with what he was asking for it....
I have been in many Airstreams, but am intimately aquainted with the 70's models. I like the laminate it easy to keep clean and the interior is fairly easy to disassemble if you need to, kind of like one of those old wooden chinese puzzles I think one thing that happened was the requirements and demands changed (like grey tanks) they added them on without much thought or re-engineering. It happened with the auto industry in the mid to late 70's, they kept hanging pollution control equipment on the cars and they ran like crap and had little power but look at them now. I am happy with my unit, there are many things I wish were done different, but I am still way ahead of the game...I doubt a 30 year old SOB would have stood up to the missuse and dissuse my trailer has taken.

Another thing that draws me to the mid 70's units are the weights, my GVW on a 31' is 7200# that is LESS than the base DRY WEIGHT of the current model I like being able to tow my trailer with something other than a Class 8 truck

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Old 04-16-2005, 09:29 AM   #18
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Is this a challenge???

Originally Posted by pattersontoo
I guess you could say that is a challenge, Mary. "Put yer aluminum where yer mouth is" sort of thing!
Ok, them's fighting words! 70s? Go ahead and hang out in your Partridge Family trailer, Lou!

You're just trailer comes with mai tais and Bert Kaempfert music!

ready to clean the tune of Sergio Mendes and the Brazil 66! Oariá raiô! Obá Obá Obá!
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jani
I just wanted to say that last weekend we went to look at our first vintage Airstream for sale, and we were so disappointed.
If you're ready to dig in and fix up I've spotted THREE airstreams of 70's vintage in this area. Most of the vintage that have been restored are going to stay with their owners for life - too much blood, toil, sweat and tears to ever sell them.

The fixer-uppers? Well you'd better be all business and know what it would cost to repair them - time, money AND skill required. Buy at YOUR price or walk away!

Others out there please help. Isn't there a vintage friendly A/S dealer in New Jersey?

Tin Lizzie
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:50 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jani
I just wanted to say that last weekend we went to look at our first vintage Airstream for sale, and we were so disappointed. I have been looking for about a year, and love vintage, but this was really crummy, and not just the condition. It was a 1975 Tradewind, and the quality was just not there. For example. the small bins under the couches and beds were just so cheap, and so many other things were really cheesy, like 'plasticky',i know that's not a word. But after seeing so many photos, we felt bad that the real thing turned out to be so cheaply made. We have seen the new ones, and they are gorgeous, and made extremely well, compared to other manufacturers. Could this have been a fluke> The only other one there was a 1961 23ft, and it was a total wreck, but I could see that it was maybe made a little better than this '75.
OK, Now I'm curious? Of the quality of the things that you did not like? Do you feel the pieces could have been replaced by previous owners, and, were something less than sturdy replacements?

Or, original equipment. My ’75 and ’76 are both in pretty good shape. I feel very fortunate of that. There is very little signs of wear. The upgrades we are making are for personal preference, nothing more.

The overwhelming reason we chose the 70’s route, other than being stuck in the 70’s () is the fact they have 2 holding tanks, more convenience in this.
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:05 PM   #21
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Where does my '81 fit into this?

I suspect that my '81 Excella 2 has more in common with it's 70's brethern than the 80's Airstreams. Yeah - there's still some plastic and mac-tac in the decor, but that being said I still think that it's an awesome trailer. Although it's just new to us and we've never really used it yet, I just love it. We have plans to update it of course (can you say "dusty rose carpet"? - ugh!) , but we also plan on enjoying it all the while. I never even looked at any other trailers before buying this one, but I've checked out a few SOB's since and have no regrets. SOB's even 10 or 15 years newer don't have the features or build quality, heck most of them look older than my 24 year-old Airstream! Just my 2 cents - P.
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:27 PM   #22
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They are all good years. As you go older, they get much more difficult to find. There are ton's of 70's, 80's and 90's around in great condition. If you go with those years, you are more likely to find something that does not need a whole lot. Now my 58....... it needs a whole lot of work.

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Old 04-16-2005, 03:43 PM   #23
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Thanks Stephanie for the reply, I know I will continue to look for one, I have seen some great remodels online. And even though I know it would be easier just to buy another brand (and probably cheaper,) I do love the exterior , shape and materials,and overall design of the airstream. I have an audi TT which is curved and rounded and also reminds me of the Bahaus designs of the 30's-just like the airstreams bring home that whole look and feel. ;D
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Old 04-16-2005, 03:51 PM   #24
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Hi David, thanks for that information about the 'Beatrice'years. I had never heard of that before and now it makes complete sense! And I will look for those later years, as you suggested. I like to think I'd be happy with a 60's trailer, but the truth is, even though my husband can do that kind of work, (he's great with any kind-of repairs he's ever tried)
he doesn't really want to do it. I can't blame him, we want the airstream for vacationing in and not just for the goal of fixing it up. And ,while I'm good at decorating, I don't really have the 'knack' of construction/restoration,so he'd have to do mostly all of the hard work.
And I love old things ,always have, but he prefers new. oh well. opposites attract, I guess! :-)
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:17 PM   #25
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Hi Craftsman,
That's funny that you said that, I was just reading a book by Todd Olham about how ugly the 70's interiors were! I kind-of like that nostalgia stuff we grew up with. I've seen some other brands of 70's trailers on ebay selling for a lot, and they've got the orange shagcarpeting and olive appliances! lol.
I bet your Airstream is beautiful now that you changed the interior materials. I can just imagine how great it would look with some real wood interiors. And I did like that they put cool little storage areas all over the place. As you said, I also think weight was an issue. I love the new ones too, but 50K is a bit much for my taste and budget. :-)j.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:20 PM   #26
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Hi Ken J., I guess I was just not expecting them to look like that, I had read and heard so much about Airstreams, and we have seen the new ones, and they seem to be made so much better than other RVs. So I was surprised, but like I said, this was our first time seeing the older ones, and I'm sure there are other older models that are built much sturdier, or not as 'plasticky'.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:25 PM   #27
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Thats good to know Annette, that you think your trailer is good. I really don't want anybody to think I was looking for perfection. I just thought the bins and the doors on the pull-down closets were cheaply made. And this trailer could have been so much nicer, but the man selling it didn't even do anything to clean it up (sweep the floor?) or straighten it up. And he was supposed to be a restorer, so I thought we would see some cool restorations, but we didn't. And, he was asking $8900 for it too.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:35 PM   #28
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Hi Kevin, and thanks for the welcome and all the good advice. I will keep searching, because I know my Airstream is out there somewhere. Now that the weather is better, I don't mind driving around looking, but it seems that a lot of nice ones are in Arizona and California. So I guess we'll just have to take a trip out there!
(my husband has family out there, so maybe we can combine the two things together!)
I do like the design of the center twins and think that would work for us, and I've seen some pictures of that model decorated really nicely. But I have an open mind to floorplans and lengths and even years. We would like to keep our truck,even though it only has a 5000K towing capacity, because we're trying to keep costs down. So that kind of limits us to the older 23-25 footers or less.

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