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Old 11-10-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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Silvr Surfr's Avatar
1974 25' Tradewind
Western , Pacific Northwest
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11
Rivet '72 27' Overlander OR '67 17' Caravel?

Our friend's have offered to swap 'streams with us as we have been on the lookout for a smaller Airstream (for looks, towing ease and flexibility) and they need more room. We're really having a hard time making a decision though and are hoping ya'll with your expertise and experience can help!

Ours is a all original '72 Overlander, EVERYTHING works perfect. Some of the tambours are broken though. Original Thermador (I bake in it often), double bed in the back, new blue stripe awning, it's a jump in and go trailer.

Our friend's is a '67 17' Caravel. Wraparound dinette w/ newish sleeper. Needs new electrical, new kitchen cabinets, the bathroom has to be pulled out and refinished & the bathroom floor is rotten and has to be replaced. 2 windows are plexiglass and the front and back windows do not open and are wrapped in wood. There is no awning, which is important to us. The skin is in decent shape and it's cute.

We love our Overlander but feel the Caravel is a rarer find (Overlander's seem to be a dime a dozen) and it seems that fixed up the Caravel will have more value.

What do you think? Is this a good swap or are we crazy for considering it and all of the work????


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Old 11-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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1977 27' Overlander
1973 27' Overlander
1963 19' Globetrotter
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,259
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My 77 Overlander is mostly original,with everything working,it could still use some fine tuning.As for trading for a 67 Carvel that needs that much work,no way.The hrs. just keep building up,and so does $10-$100. little things. Dave

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Old 11-10-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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1967 20' Globetrotter
Campbell , California
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 368
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Restoration tasks aside, I think your biggest challenge would be adjusting to the size (and don't forget that '67 Airstreams have aluminum wiring). In my opinion, size is the biggest challenge of all with these trailers. On the outside we all want the smallest trailer possible; easier to tow, better economy, fewer size limitations with campsites, etc.. Whereas with the interior, we want it to be as large as possible; more room to move around, additional storage, fixed bed, larger bath, etc... On a positive note, the shorter trailers seem to sell quicker than the longer ones, so if you find that the Caravel is just too small then a quick sale shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,621
We spent a while shopping for Caravels this summer before we bought our Argosy Minuet. I get the feeling that, thanks to the increased prices the small trailers bring, the two trailers you mention are probably pretty close to one another in value. Something about that seems wrong in my gut, given the differences in condition of the trailers. But given that the cheapest Caravel we saw anywhere was $6000, and it's fairly common to get an Overlander in that price range...

Two important notes though: the Caravel probably needs an axle (the spindles were prone to snapping, letting a wheel part ways with the trailer), so you need to budget that additional money as well. The correct curved replacement glass is also costly - IIRC, around $250 a window from Vintage Trailer Supply.

When we bought the Minuet, it was very important to us to get a small trailer. We like its compactness and it is crazy easy to tow, with the light weight and narrow body. But we also found that 20' was a really good length for us (not 16-17') space-wise. (Yeah, wish we had a fixed bed, but can't have it all.) I also wonder how much you're going to like going from the cush of the Overlander to a somewhat ratty Caravel.

If I was in your situation, what would I do? Probably sell your friends the Overlander...and then find a nicely restored late-60s or 1970 Globetrotter for $12k...

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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1974 25' Tradewind
Western , Pacific Northwest
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11
I just realized that I never thanked all of you for your advice!!!! I thought I did, but I see, I did a million thanks for all of your wise words. We took everyone's thoughts and our own into consideration and didn't make the swap. Instead we sold our Overlander and bought a '74 25' Tradewind that needed a little work, but not too much. It's a little smaller, which makes a happier and still has a dedicated bedroom plus the dinette we've been wanting. We've been working on it on and off since September and can't wait to take After pics to go with the Before pics. It's so much fun to have a new project! Thanks again!
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caravel, overlander

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