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Old 08-19-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Carrboro , North Carolina
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Advice from experienced folks...

So I've wanted an Airstream for years and years and have decided to take the plunge. My dream would be to find a 60's-70's trailer that maybe requires a little TLC yet one that systems are intact without the need of a major "gutting" type renovation. My husband and I have 3 children (7,9,11) and I'm finding it difficult finding ones that can sleep 5 that are aren't huge. I would love to find something between 19-25'. I love the idea of a Safari but wanted to ask if anyone knew other models that could fit the bill or ideas of modifications I could make to a smaller model to sleep 5 fairly comfortably. They kids are small still, so I want to utilize that to have a smaller trailer. We would like to use that space as an office beside our home and I would definitely like one with a bathroom of some capacity. Also are there any vintage trailer finding "checklists" available on this forum to utilize when I'm checking out a trailer, to know which systems or qualities are most important to find when buying vintage to know if I'm getting a good deal. I have a good background on old home renovation to know such things but with a trailer I'm behind the curve. Thanks any advice offered!

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Old 08-19-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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Fitting 5 into a smaller trailer is a challenge. The kids are small now, but tend to get bigger as they age.

A Trade Wind with twin beds and bunk beds added could sleep 4 in the mid section. An additional one or two could sleep on the front gaucho. A conversion to a dinette in the front could make it more usable as a part time office and still give you the ability to convert into a sleeping area as well.



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Old 08-19-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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1993 29' Excella
dunnegan , Missouri
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 99
I would suggest finding an older Airstream in good working order, then figure out how to fit in it. No matter what size you buy, with three kids camping, eventually it will feel like a clown car. Enjoy the process, enjoy the kids (they grow up too quickly), and when it just gets too overwhelming---start a campfire...sing...roast marshmallows...
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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2010 30' Classic
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South of the river , Minnesota
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I too have three kids, almost the same ages as yours, all girls.

Airstreams do not have layouts that maximize the number of beds. Except for a few extremely uncommon and hard to find "bunkhouse" models, and some equally uncommon bunk bed arrangements in 1960s era trailers, you will end up with a layout where some people will have to share beds.

If your children are unaccustomed to sharing a bed, consider a twin-bed layout where you and your husband can share the couch and two of the kids can have the twin beds in the bedroom, at least as an alternative.

I have a 30' trailer and would not want anything less for the five of us.

Almost all 1960s era trailers require restoration to be usable. Mid 1970s-mid 1980s trailers are probably the most inexpensive and in at least some cases will require minimal repairs.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Carrboro , North Carolina
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Thanks for ideas thus far... I've been searching around and it looks like perhaps maybe a Trade Wind could be a possibility...25' not too ginormous but has the twins in the rear and sofa in the front. Man I do love those Safaris though. How hard is it to do a dinette conversion from a sofa I wonder?Fortunately I'm used to feeling like a clown car in most of our life's situations.Also I'm liking the bunk bed idea. Is that something that needs to be built or are there kits?
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
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1968 20' Globetrotter
Thousand Oaks , California
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Posts: 124
Hi Chrissy,
I bought a 1968 Globetrotter and have spent a few years restoring it to what we want. Any 1960's to early 1970's trailers will probably see you replacing the flooring(meaning maybe a floating floor to rid the old tiles or carpeting), maybe putting in a gas/electric fridge and attending to the heating. If you dive into a vintage be ready to go slow and commit to alot of learning as you go. But boy is it worth it. When your done you will have a very special trailer. You definitely can modify your dinette to build beds. Plans are on the web. This is a great Forum. Welcome to the community.

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