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Old 03-15-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
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'66 Caravel 16' Value?

Hi Folks,

First time poster, long time reader. So I'm interested in a 66 Caravel AS trailer i found on ebay. 1965 Airstream Caravel 16ft | eBay

I'm new to the sport and not sure what is a fair value for this beauty. This is a restoration project. Basically, the owner has gutted the trailer except for leaving some of the interior skins up, removed the kitchen and appliances, furniture, all that jazz. Has no major dents, or scratches. He is telling me no major leaks and don't see any water damage in any of the photos.

Here's why i'm interested: New axle installed, frame is in good shape, exterior skins in good shape as well. For the age looks like in good condition other than the restoration part. The owner has also saved all the hardware and curved parts for templating, which is brilliant and shows good forethought.

so what is the benchmark price for a 66 caravel 16' in this condition and how much would it cost to restore? (Minus the labor since i would be doing the work. ) Would like to tastefully restore, but not go crazy and have a pretty small budget couple k to work with.

I'm tempted not to bid too high, but also know this is a sought after model considering the length, weight, and year. Your thoughts? please discuss....

thanks for the help and insight! BH
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:18 PM   #2
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Well, I can only tell you my thoughts. Looks like a nice trailer, but don't be fooled. Looks like the bathroom is still intact. That means you can't see the floor below the bath. I would want to see in person, no way to tell from photos if the floor is rotted. I suspect it is. The frame may look good, but I also suspect there are issues there too. That said it still could be a nice trailer to work on, but realize you would have to replace the floor and do some frame welding. If it has not been done previously, it will almost definitely need it. A new axle is a plus, but only about $600 plus. I can tell you that mine cost more than their current price, but I don't know what the reserve is. If it is under 6 or 7k it might be worth looking at. I think it will take more than 2k to restore it, however this is done over time, so you do as much as you can afford at a time. Total cost will probably be 12 to 14k. That is my guess based on what mine cost and what is going into restoration.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:25 PM   #3
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If it were me I would contact the airstream specialist that replaced the axle and see what he thought of the trailer. I would also make sure the title has the correct serial number on it.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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Depends on how bad you want it, doesn't it? You know it's a lot of work. There's a lot of expense there in appliances, cabinetry, electrical and plumbing. But you could use it like an aluminum tent and slowly build it into your dream trailer if that's what you want to do. Are you buying it to keep?
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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First off, welcome to the Forums! I'm sure you will get lots of questions anwsered here if you decide to take on this project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billhobo View Post
I'm new to the sport and not sure what is a fair value for this beauty.
I would suggest spending some time at these two links:

Price vs Condition
Restoration Resources

They will really help you assess what this trailer is worth in it's current condition and what it will take to bring it back to roadworthy condition.

I believe you will find that the current eBay price of $4000 is already higher than it should be for a Caravel in "As Found" condition...and the reserve is not met yet. Although, if the work already that is done has been done by Colin Hyde, you can trust it has been done well....but there is still lots of work to be done and lots of $$$ to be spent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by billhobo View Post
Would like to tastefully restore, but not go crazy and have a pretty small budget couple k to work with.
New appliances alone would run more than a "couple k". Oufitting the whole interior will run $4-10k modestly IMO. It wouldn't be too hard to spend twice that.

Shari
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
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The owner has also saved all the hardware and curved parts for templating, which is brilliant and shows good forethought.
Saved hardware = good, that original stuff can be hard to find.

However, I can tell you from first hand experience that the "curved templates" are really not much help. If the shell has been removed fully or partially for floor replacement, then the overall geometry of the trailer has changed enough that the templates won't matter. They help, but by no means are they able to be used without verification & modifications.

Don't ask me how I know...

Shari
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post

New appliances alone would run more than a "couple k". Oufitting the whole interior will run $4-10k modestly IMO. It wouldn't be too hard to spend twice that.

Shari
Shari is right on with that. I only 'renewed' my trailer - half a new floor, new fridge, heater, charging system, new axle, new propane lines. When I got done it looked exactly the same, but everything worked, and I still managed to spend about $6k even though I did most of the work myself! It's surprising how fast it adds up
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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That's my experience too, that you can dump a lot of money in these things. New appliances, electrics, pex plumbing, axle, water tank and it looks the same, but we use it and love it (new upholstery helps) It's true, the skins on the one in the pictures look good, the floor looks good- you can peek around the bath to see what the corners are like. The back of the trailer where the bumper-storage is is going to be a problem area for floor rot, but even with a flashlight and iPhone, you can make a first pass and see if it's just awful. The great thing about it is the size. I just towed my 19' Globetrotter 800 miles with my Pilot, and love how easy the small one is to tow. Those Caravel's had a very cool floorplan too, if you opt to put it back the way it was. If not, it's a manageable size to rebuild, and they have that cool curved glass. With the axle, find out who did it and how they sized it, to make sure it's not too big or too small, or at least so you know what you're getting. Appliances are a fortune. The templates I think, since the shell hasn't been removed, should be fine. I did a semi-shell off, and my cabinets went back just fine. I think you really have to screw up the geometry for stuff to not fit. As someone said, you can do bits of it and enjoy it as an aluminum tent on wheels, using it and adding to it. We did this, and it really makes the renovation a lot more fun- you can kind of dream and plan.... Haunt Craig's list and ebay, and whatever other sources you can find for parts, and some pieces can be rebuilt. If you're handy and patient, it could be great. On the other hand, what's the story of the seller? Did they get into it and burn out? Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
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66 Caravel on ebay

It's been about 4 or 5 years since I installed the axle on this trailer. From what I can remember, this is in great restorable condition, however after he disassembled the interior, he stored the components in his basement that got flooded during Sandy. All of the woodwork was destroyed along with the appliances, so sad. Unfortunately I can't remember how the floor was, however in the photos, it appears solid. Assume that it'll require some floor work in the rear though. All in all, this is a great starting point. Hopefully this helps out.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:20 PM   #10
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Dear airstream community,

Thanks for your words of wisdom on this topic. I apologize for the delayed response! been real swamped at work the past couple of days and haven't checked the forum since the last time i posted. Anyways, you all make valid points and i think it all comes down to how bad i want it. The only problem is i can't "kick the tires" so to speak because of the location. buying a trailer on ebay encourages one to over spend, and at this point the reserve hasn't been met so who knows. Can anyone out there have some advice on buying a trailer sight unseen? i only have a few days until the end of auction.

I know appliances and such are expensive, have folks in the AS world had any luck finding used ones at a lower prince? I also had this crazy idea of spray foaming the inside and then hanging the skins on the interior back up, or using wood paneling instead of the skins. kinda like the inside of a sailboat. the only down fall might be the added weight.

Thanks again for the help, BH
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:28 PM   #11
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Hello Colin

Thanks for the heads up on the trailer you worked on a couple years back. my only fear is the whole darn thing got swamped in sandy, more than just the wood work and appliances. any thoughts on the matter? how much is the trailer worth in your opinion considering you're the man from what i hear when is comes to this stuff and you also have done work on this guys trailer??

Happy shoveling, BH
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billhobo View Post
Hello Colin

Thanks for the heads up on the trailer you worked on a couple years back. my only fear is the whole darn thing got swamped in sandy, more than just the wood work and appliances. any thoughts on the matter? how much is the trailer worth in your opinion considering you're the man from what i hear when is comes to this stuff and you also have done work on this guys trailer??

Happy shoveling, BH
I spoke to the owner several months ago about finishing it for him, however the project didn't move forward. I was also concerned about the trailer being flooded, however he said it only affected the parts he had taken out of the trailer & stored in the basement. I have seen, & worked on much worse trailers than this one.
As far as value is concerned, I'm not really sure. Prices for restoration candidates are certainly going up these days, so I guess we'll see by the end of the auction. Keep in mind that smaller vintage Airstream's have always been worth more than the larger ones, due largely to their "cute" factor & the ease to tow them.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:54 AM   #13
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I have spent a huge amount of time and plenty of gas money over the years looking at muscle cars and more recently vintage trailers. I have come to a conclusion for my own use that I will NEVER bid on a large investment unless I can physically put my hands on it. I might buy something that someone else looked at for me but even then I would be nervous about it. The one exception to that rule would be if the item was way undervalued but that doesn't happen very often with muscle cars or Airstreams.
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