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Old 01-28-2016, 09:04 PM   #1
A2F
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Newly acquired 1955 Flying Cloud (I think?)

Hello,

First time poster and Airstream owner here. I just purchased a 1955 beauty! I'm extremely excited, but also feeling a little overwhelmed after looking at the wealth of information available. For the most part... where does one start?! haha

So I'm fairly certain it is a flying Cloud whale tail.. but I could be wrong. The serial number on the title (I am the second owner.. how cool is that?!) matches the one by the door and is only 4 numbers.. not very long in comparison to the ones I've researched. Also, when I registered it, I accidentally put that it was a 20' trailer. Later I found paperwork that stated it is a 22', does this need to be changed with the DMV or is it okay as is?

So I know this would be the perfect restoration project for a purist as everything is in excellent condition and all original.. including curtains, but (don't scream) I want to modify it a bit. Really just give it a face lift but not necessarily keep everything period specific. A gutted Airstream just seemed too daunting so I was excited to find this one. My question is... where does one start? The floor around the door is rotting so I would like to remove the interior and replace the whole floor. That way you can get to the tanks and the frame (as I am sure it needs work) and also be in position to check the wiring. Fortunately I have a bf who is very handy... however, I think he would like to do as little restoring as possible. BUT I think you HAVE to remove some interior walls to check the electrical, which I feel HAS to be done, right? I mean it is old... so I would think a safety hazard? Well anyway, I figured if I can convince him to go that far then we should be able to inspect all the pieces while putting it back together. Only problem is that we only have weekends to work on it and it is stored about 40 min away. Am I looking at a project that will take years to finish at that pace??

Oh! And do most people put new numbers on (not sure if I am seeing a very worn sticker or just the residue from them) the front and back?

Until him and I can get on the same page and the weather clears up I will happily be pinterest-ing away and scribbling in my notebook.

If I do plan to get rid of things (such as original curtains) should I see if anyone wants them before tossing? I plan to keep as much in tact as possible to not compromise the trailer in case someone else in the future decides they want to make it literally look like it came from 1955... but there are a few things that I do want to go. It does come down to personal taste, right?! lol

Oh boy, sorry about the long intro... off to read more about this new adventure!!
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:21 PM   #2
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
McMinnville , Oregon
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That is one cool trailer. Enjoy it and when it is all restored, you are going to be the envy of the trailer rallies.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:42 PM   #3
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
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I can't answer your questions but I can say this....that is one cool looking trailer! Enjoy!
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:02 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Nice unit, and in such original condition!

My thoughts:

If you start with tearing into the floor then you will have to probably remove the interior, then you will get bogged down in all of the other things which could be done while you have it apart, and you will never get to use it.

Yes, the wiring is 60 years old, but there was not all that much of it, and If it works now, I would leave it alone. I would not consider it especially dangerous. It probably has two glass fuses under the rear bed, near the electrical input. Of course no grounds, no GFCI's but an external GFCI on the power input cord would protect the entire trailer and allow you to use it as is.

My vote would be to make sure you have good brakes, wheels and tires, a break away switch and have the propane system checked out. Put a CO detector, fire protector, and propane detector in.

Then go camping! Use it. Find out what works and what does not. Enjoy it. Cherish it. After a year or two, you will know what you want of it. Don't start a huge restoration and improvement project and get bogged down. Don't gut it. Don't have it as a project that never seems to end.

It is a beautiful trailer, enjoy it for now, then later you can restore it.

PS: I had a '54 whale tail for a while. I eventually found it was not right for me and sold it. I hope it found a great home eventually, and was restored by someone who cared. In the year or two I owned it, I simply found it was more than I could do, or wanted to do, to re build it. Like yours, it was mostly original but needed significant floor work which I could not do, nor did it have a bathroom which I felt was necessary for my use.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
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That is a very good idea! My bf completely agrees... or actually he's been trying to tell me that for a while. In his words "That's my boy!" haha. I think he likes when people agree with him.

I think I will enjoy the FC because I wanted something smaller that had a full bed in the back.. not a couch that I would have to make up every night. It has the double sinks and the dinette... a MUST! It pretty much hit everything I wanted in an Airstream.

I think we just need to fix some external hook ups (like the one on the back left) that look corroded and unusable. I guess first I need to figure out what they all are and where they lead. ha!
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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BTW, the numbers are not anything to do with the Airstream. They are the club number from the WBCCI and are assigned by the club. The ones you have, or the shadow of the ones you have may be in use by someone else now, as they are re assigned as club membership changes.

Check out WBCCI.org
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:51 AM   #7
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1955 22' Safari
Great Lake State , .
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A great looking trailer. I would do a shell off full restoration, you have floor rot, frayed wiring, no 12 volts system etc. and etc. This is my thread on my 1955 Aistream Safari http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ent-38289.html hope this helps.

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Old 01-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #8
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1957 22' Caravanner
Port Hadlock , Washington
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Toastie is right. You've got a lot of work ahead but it is so worth the effort.

Read the long restoration threads of 50's trailers and you'll pretty well have all your questions answered.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:43 AM   #9
A2F
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by toastie View Post
A great looking trailer. I would do a shell off full restoration, you have floor rot, frayed wiring, no 12 volts system etc. and etc. This is my thread on my 1955 Aistream Safari http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ent-38289.html hope this helps.

toastie
While shell off would definitely be ideal, we don't have the work space for that unfortunately. But I will definitely be referencing your thread toastie.. thanks!
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:03 PM   #10
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1972 29' Ambassador
1962 19' Globetrotter
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Central , Texas
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A2F,
I second the suggestions of idroba. If it is at all usable, go use it. Make it safe to tow and use, clean it up a little and have some fun.
If you have the trailer 40 miles away and you can only work on it on the weekends, it will take you years and years to finish a restoration or refurbishment, if ever. Once you start taking things apart, it won't end until you have it completely torn down to the frame. Trust me, we've seen it all many times.
Congratulations!
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:21 PM   #11
A2F
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Top View Post
A2F,
I second the suggestions of idroba. If it is at all usable, go use it. Make it safe to tow and use, clean it up a little and have some fun.
If you have the trailer 40 miles away and you can only work on it on the weekends, it will take you years and years to finish a restoration or refurbishment, if ever. Once you start taking things apart, it won't end until you have it completely torn down to the frame. Trust me, we've seen it all many times.
Congratulations!
Yea, that is what I am afraid of. I definitely want to use it, but I also have a vision for what I want it to become... but that can wait. I think we will take the first year to enjoy it and then talk about taking it apart. I plan on having it a lifetime, so if it does take years to complete, that's okay, but I definitely don't want to end up with a shell and pile of parts forever. haha
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:28 PM   #12
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2F View Post
Yea, that is what I am afraid of. I definitely want to use it, but I also have a vision for what I want it to become... but that can wait. I think we will take the first year to enjoy it and then talk about taking it apart. I plan on having it a lifetime, so if it does take years to complete, that's okay, but I definitely don't want to end up with a shell and pile of parts forever. haha
Unfortunately, this is a common all too common.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:25 PM   #13
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
san francisco , California
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2F View Post
Yea, that is what I am afraid of. I definitely want to use it, but I also have a vision for what I want it to become... but that can wait. I think we will take the first year to enjoy it and then talk about taking it apart. I plan on having it a lifetime, so if it does take years to complete, that's okay, but I definitely don't want to end up with a shell and pile of parts forever. haha
I saw that one on craigs over in Sacramento area.
Wish I hadn't pulled the trigger on my project or I'd have gone for it.
He posted here asking if "i'd paid too much"...but never said what price.
I think he was feeling out the forum. Here is the link to his post.http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...ch-143776.html
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:55 PM   #14
A2F
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by twolanehwy View Post
I saw that one on craigs over in Sacramento area.
Wish I hadn't pulled the trigger on my project or I'd have gone for it.
He posted here asking if "i'd paid too much"...but never said what price.
I think he was feeling out the forum. Here is the link to his post.http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...ch-143776.html
Definitely looks like the same one, especially if it is in sac! The CL link has expired. Sounds like I definitely have a Flying Cloud... good to know. I am excited about my purchase, just wish I had the space and time to update it quickly (if there's such a thing)... or had the money to pay someone else to do it. haha But here's to the start of a new adventure!
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