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Old 05-07-2009, 01:25 PM   #15
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1963 24' Tradewind
Anderson / Sun City , Indiana / Arizona
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I have a very similar '63 Tradewind in Anderson, IN that I have restored.

I had a new axle installed last month at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH. A '63 requires that new holes be drilled because the axle maker (Henschen) has changed the alignment beginning in the 1970's. I watched them install my axle, and it was much more than just bolting it on. After the initial installation, they aligned the axle so that it tracked straight, and adjusted the camber of each wheel with a hydaulic jack that looked like it was made out of a forklift. Even though it is claimed that the axles are self aligning, Airstream had to make minor adjustments to both orientations.

My trailer height did not change (much to my surprise), so the rule of how much tire shows on 7 panel and older Airstreams does not seem valid to me. While at the factory, I measured several Airstream wheel opening and discovered that early trailers (like ours) were not cut up as high. While the "how much tire is showing rule" seems valid on Airstreams made since the 70"s, it did not apply to my '63. My torsion rods had become rigid, but had not sagged. However, the original axles on my Tradewind looked just like yours. They probably need replaced, but from my experience don't expect to see any more tire with a 22 degree starting angle axle.

Newer trailers have their wheel opening cut higher to expose more tire.
The wheel opening (on newer trailers) seems to have changed to accommodate radial tires. It is somewhat of a challenge to get the wheels with radial tires on and off the axles on 1963 and earlier Airstreams. The original bias ply tires were just enough narrower to make a difference.

Even though I see no more tire than I did with the old axle, the ride is MUCH improved and I am glad I installed a new axle.

I believe they charged me about $1100. Well worth it for a professional job.

Mike Brumback
1963 Tradewind
WBCC #1200
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:33 PM   #16
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1963 24' Tradewind
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Originally Posted by kristen_w View Post
Thanks Inland RV! I will be heading to that area this summer, so I may have to stop by!
Thanks Sixty3! Good to hear from someone who has the same model! Do you think if it has the original back tank, it is possible to be in usable condition? How did '60s RVers use these trailers off-grid without a gray water tank??
If there are any signs of water, should I give up on it, or is there such a thing and minor, livable water damage (as in, the floor could be patched and not replaced)?
The black tank is probably (?) ok, the tank valve, the one to drain the tank may need replacement, they can leak, and that can leave a puddle of *$@#^< on the ground, it's not an expensive fix. I use a portable tank called a Blue Boy (mine is gray), when full take it to the dump station, i only put the gray water in it, NOT black. In the 60s we put the gray water on the ground. Repair of floor depends on the level of the damage, BAD= repair now, MINOR= repair can wait if it's not in a traffic area, (like at the front door, or the bathroom), yes things can be patched. Should you get the trailer??? If the price is right!!
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #17
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Will the trailer be towable to Muncie or Indianapolis (20 miles or 85 miles) to get the axle replaced? Recommendations for who to have do it in those locations?
That short distance would not hurt the trailer anymore or less than it already has been.

Andy
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #18
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Close enough to Jackson Center

Looks like Muncie is only about 100 miles or so from Jackson Center.....maybe you can just tow it there and have them replace the axle...the could look at some of the other stuff as well perhaps.....although I don't have any experience about how they are with vintage units.......pj
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:35 AM   #19
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After crawling all over that trailer (with help from inspector Grand Master! What a huge and delightful help!!), it seems it needs all of its systems replaced. The shell is beautiful and intact, as is the interior. I encourage any of you to take a look at it.

After much soul searching, I've made a list of what I am and am not willing to restore. Furnace, water heater, and LP system... too much. Only one of them? Maybe. So this trailer is a 'no go' for me. Taking advice both from Mike (Grand Master) and vintageairstream.com's Price Guide, I am now looking for one in nicer condition, that I could use sooner, and fix up as I desire or restore, etc.

I have come back here, because I found one that looks very nice online. It is a 71' TradeWind for $9500. The drawback is it is in New Mexico, so I can't easily go see it.
1971 Airstream Travel Trailer The owner did send me about 22 pictures

It looks nice, with some slight body damage near the belly pan. What do you guys think? Any red flags? I am going to find an inspector out there to check it out, and would like to know if you think there is something to be watchful for!
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:11 PM   #20
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That's a distance

I recommend you look for a trailer closer to where you live.....just IMHO..............the logistics of getting that trailer to you worries me.....good luck...pj
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:26 PM   #21
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Out of curiousity, did you try the classifieds here? Judging by the pictures (and the list of repaired items) there appears to be a pretty nice 67 Overlander that's 26 miles away from you....

Tom
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:58 PM   #22
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Nice looking trailer

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Out of curiousity, did you try the classifieds here? Judging by the pictures (and the list of repaired items) there appears to be a pretty nice 67 Overlander that's 26 miles away from you....

Tom
I agree and if it really has had the sub floor repaired, that is a big item on Vintage trailers....because the subfloor is an integral part of the whole structure of the trailer, that is very important.......I can't stress that enough. pj
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:41 PM   #23
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Kristen,

Check out vintagecampers.com. He is up in Peru, IN. He goes through his trailers and seems pretty honest about them. Currently has a few early 60's Airstreams.

Good Luck,
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:28 AM   #24
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Hi, Kristen, and welcome to airforums.com!

Jeepers, you are in Indiana, and next door to Ohio. I have no data on it, but you're probably within a 4-5 hour drive of thousands of trailers; why, there are more made in those two states than anywhere else on the planet.

All that to say, I would encourage you to take your time and really get into the habit of looking and learning. I can almost guarantee you that as you go along, you will change your mind several times as to exactly what you want to buy, in terms of size, style, and age.

Read the for sale section here, but use kijiji.com and craigslist.com and even Google to find the local ones, too. You're more likely to find the jem you seek in one of those, than in any "national" advertising or ebay, plus buying local is a big plus, as you will find.

While I applaud your lack of fear of buying one that is far away, there is a big plus in getting out to actually see the many varied styles that were made over the years. Like I said before, I bet you'll change your mind several times, and the more trailers you actually get into, the faster that process can happen.

Good luck, and keep posting about your efforts.

cheers,
Aage
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:52 AM   #25
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Hi Kristen

Again Welcome!

I started Airstreaming about 5 years ago, looked at vintage, gently used and finally bought new - so that I could hitch up and GO.

With 5 years experience under my belt here's my advice.
  • I really respect all restorers - but many spend months or even years rebuilding a vintage unit, and most will have at least $10K to $15K in parts invested into renovation, plus a few thousand more for welding or other specialty work beyond their comfort zone. If they added the cost of their own labor even at $10 per hour - the total cost of a frame off "full monte" is more likely $40K. The end result can be STUNNING if they don't give up in mid stream.
  • New is nice and the 2 year factory guarantee... and when you look at purchase plus restoring cost... well New isn't a bad way to go (BTW you always negotiate off "List" price 15% to 20% if you're good!)
  • Gently used. Do you know how many of us buy then want a bigger or smaller unit? You win, we eat a big steaming pile of depreciation. Been there, done that. Ain't going there again. (winning the lottery... then all bets are off, I'll have a herd of them, and a cute young blond guy to wash and Walbernize them!
The great news is that you DON'T have a tow vehicle. Look at a LOT of Airstreams, find the perfect one, then select a vehicle which will work well to tow it. You could have your Airstream for 30 years, you're going to trade tow vehicles more often than that.

By the way, we just went through 9 days of straight rain. If you're doing long distance traveling or fulltiming, get one you can live in without going bonkers if the same thing happens to you. Bigger is better within reason for long term use... I have the 25 FB SE Safari and it's darn near perfect (but I'm doing a lot of putzing around modifying it.)

Paula
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #26
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Couldn't have said it better myself.....

I agree with Paula...........and especially the "gently used" option......you will spend the most with "new" and "vintage" unless you are doing the work yourself.....if you need something for this summer....the "gently used" option is the best solution......and please do not buy sight unseen ---don't ask me how I know that....paula (in California)
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:08 AM   #27
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Kristen, there is all kinds of us single axler's out here. I prefer the single axle as it tends to be more kind on gas usage, and easier/quicker to manuver.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:58 PM   #28
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1963 22' Safari
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Kristen, I too am from Montgomery Co. If you find a trailer under 19' in your search let me know. I will keep my eye out for you.
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