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Old 12-11-2010, 02:04 AM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
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Taking over the family Safari

Well, the day has finally come. I had a good conversation with Dad about it a few days ago and, once we can figure out transportation, it will be time for me to take over ownership of the family Airstream. That will make me the 4th owner. My Grandfather bought it "Used" in the late 60's, and it's been in the family ever since. (no idea who owner #1 was) It's been up and down the Alcan highway, all over the Dakotas, and many points in-between.

For me, this is a huge deal. I spent many a great vacation sleeping in this camper, even if it was just acting as a spare bedroom at Grandpa's house. Then there were the hunting trips, 4th of July's at Lake Pickeral, etc. So, this trailer already means a lot to me. I'm looking forward to spending time in it with my own Wife and Daughter in the future.

I haven't been in it myself in a few years now, but Dad has been taking care of it and still using it every so often. I never really looked too deep into it as far as condition, so when it finally arrives here I'll have to make a thorough evaluation of what kind of shape it's in, and go from there. What I do know is that it's been kept as close to original condition as available repair parts allowed for, so I don't believe I'll be dealing with any oddball modifications. Realistically, the current condition only matters in how much future work it needs.... it's not like I'd pass it up for another one. The only known problem is that the door has been "sprung", whatever Dad means by that. But then again, it's not like he's been pulling up the flooring to inspect the wood and frame. God only knows what it's going to need. I also don't think anybody has actually used the plumbing in decades.

I just wish I could remember what the interior walls were done as, Zolatone or the furry vinyl. It wasn't something that really caught my eye when I was younger. I really hope it's the Zolatone.

Now comes the tricky part.... moving it. It's currently in South Dakota. I'm in New York.

-Hans
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:41 AM   #2
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What is your plan for moving the Caravel from South Dakota to New York?

Brian
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHaase View Post
Well, the day has finally come. I had a good conversation with Dad about it a few days ago and, once we can figure out transportation, it will be time for me to take over ownership of the family Airstream....but Dad has been taking care of it and still using it every so often. <snip> What I do know is that it's been kept as close to original condition as available repair parts allowed for, so I don't believe I'll be dealing with any oddball modifications.
Congratulations! Caravels are great little trailers! How cool to have one you have this sort of history with!

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The only known problem is that the door has been "sprung", whatever Dad means by that. But then again, it's not like he's been pulling up the flooring to inspect the wood and frame. God only knows what it's going to need. I also don't think anybody has actually used the plumbing in decades.
Airstream doors are curved to follow the shape of the body. A "sprung door" usually means that at some point the door was flung open either in the wind or while on the road and it has lost it's curve to some extent. The flattened door doesn't seal properly which can lead to some water leaks . which could mean some floor rot at the doorway floor. Depending on how long this has been going on, it could mean a patch(?) of the wood is required - this isn't un common. Hopefully if there are no other leaks, that's all it'll be...besides dealing with the door to keep it from happening again or getting worse.

If Dad's been maintaining it, let's hope he winterized it last time he did use the plumbing. Otherwise, you may have some split copper pipes, a ruined water pump and maybe a damaged water heater due to water being in the lines during the winter freeze in South Dakota. If the system has frozen, then the you will need to change out the lines with PEX, get a new water pump & water heater. If it has been properly winterized (dry)...no sweat, it should be fine.

The only other thing that is very important, especially on 1965 Caravels is the axle. Not only will the rubber in the axle be hardened which is reason enough to replace it, but the spindles are smaller than on other models and they have been known to snap causing a lot of damage. The axle should definitely be replaced along with the tires if they are 5 years or older.

Quote:
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I just wish I could remember what the interior walls were done as, Zolatone or the furry vinyl. It wasn't something that really caught my eye when I was younger. I really hope it's the Zolatone.
If it is still original, it will have a smooth vinyl wallcovering on the main body and Zolatone on the endcaps.

Again, congrats on the new-to-you Caravel, I hope you'll have as much fun making memories with your family as the memories you already have.

Shari
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:58 AM   #4
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Hans,

Congratulations on having this family trailer take a larger role in your life.

My place is about an hour's drive north of I-90 so a little out of the way but you'd be welcome to spend the night here on the drive back if you wish.

Caravels being so light you may find that the cheapest way to get it home is to fly to Sioux Falls and purchase a used car suitable as a tow vehicle, reselling it after returning to the east coast.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:35 AM   #5
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At this point I have a number of ideas for bringing it home. Some involve me flying out and renting something to tow it back with, if I push it and have a good co-driver I can make the trip in 2 days, not much more distance than a Florida run. That all depends on condition really, I may just take the safe route and have it brought out on a flat bed. The axle/tires is my biggest concern, and that's a long trip for an unknown condition. I know it's taken a few semi-recent round trips 400 miles each way, but all flat Dakota highway. I've got time to figure it out, with winter just coming in I'm in no rush.

Now that the memories are coming back to me, I'm wondering if Dad gave me bad info. I seem to recall a Boxcar Willie 8-track playing from up above the front window. Could be a later year than '65. Never liked Boxcar Willie.

At this point I'm going under the assumption that it needs a lot of plumbing work, I don't remember anybody EVER using the toiler or shower in it on the trips I took, always had houses nearby. If the plumbing is still good, then I'll consider it a happy surprise. In fact, I'm going to take that assumption with a lot of things, and get myself mentally prepared for a lot of restoration, just in case. This was Grandpa's trailer, it deserves to be done right.

I do appreciate the offer on a Minnesota stopover, may come in handy if I take a conservative slow trip back.

-Hans
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
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Hans, you're going to enjoy your trailer! Don't discard the idea of towing it back home. Spend time with Dad repacking the bearings, put some new tires on and tow it home. Have Dad show you how to winterize. Check out www.vintageairstream.com for more Caravel info. Get the furnace running. If you need a copy of the owners manual, PM me.

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Old 12-11-2010, 05:50 PM   #7
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courtesy parking

We live just sw of Cleveland, OH by about 25 mi. You are always welcome to park in our driveway. We have hookups too. Good luck with your family heirloom. We have a little 6.7 m. Argosy Minuet that has been handed down. It is now on its 3rd generation. Lots of mechanical stuff like axles, and etc. to deal with, but well worth the effort.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:19 PM   #8
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These are the fun stories to follow. I was in your shoes only 12 years ago getting my first Airstream from my uncle but grew up RVing like you. My suggestion is to try to find a way to tow it back home yourself. The experience will be fun and full of learning what works and doesn't. Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:13 PM   #9
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These are the fun stories to follow. I was in your shoes only 12 years ago getting my first Airstream from my uncle but grew up RVing like you. My suggestion is to try to find a way to tow it back home yourself. The experience will be fun and full of learning what works and doesn't. Good luck.
If I can make it happen, I'd love to tow it back. I was just thinking the same thing myself before I came on here, that it's the whole point of the airstreams in the first place. It's all about the experiences you have, who you share them with. The airstream is just a means to that end.

Right now I'm just swimming in volunteers, and those who have been volunteered, to make the trip with me. Looks like I'll be planning it around my Nephew's school vacation, he's gone on a couple road trips with me already and is a good travelling companion. He doesn't drive yet though, so I'll have to still pick somebody else to come along in addition to him.

Another good thing about the timeframe involved is that I'll have more than enough time to get the paperwork for registration and such taken care of. I hope it really is a '65, some cool vintage plates for that year.

-Hans
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:25 PM   #10
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65 Caravel

Two yrs ago I bought a 65 Caravel. It hadn't moved in 30+ years. The owner said it had the original tires on it. We put air in them, waited around to make sure it held the air, then pulled it out of its resting place. I towed it 12 miles to my family's cottage that same day. Tires still held air for over 2 weeks until I put it up on jack stands. There was extensive corrosion in the belly- but now it's rock solid. I have it almost complete; except I am looking for some one with knowledge of correctly hooking up the utilities for me in the Western NY area or outer areas.
Good luck with your trailer.

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Old 03-05-2011, 01:09 AM   #11
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No progress on this to speak of, unfortunately. Looks like my trip out west is going to be later in the year than expected... in July. Not sure if I'll be making the trip back yet at that time or not, might just be a normal vacation.

No worries though. I know it's in good hands until it's mine.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:51 PM   #12
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:00 AM   #13
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Hail, Junebugs, Mayflies. They all sound the same on the highway, you just need a different cleaner when you get to the destination.

-Hans
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:21 AM   #14
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Well, not transporting it yet, but heading out to visit Dad in a couple weeks. Looking forward to taking a serious look at how the old Caravel is holding up.

Still not sure when/how I'll be handling the transportation back to NY, have had other priorities and haven't even started looking into it.

-Hans
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