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Old 03-20-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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Hello all, I am looking at an airstream in a field and would like some help please. When i get a chance to look at it from the outside what should i be looking for to help me know what it is ? like the year model and such? Could there be a code plate outside to read? It is a single axle. This has been sitting for the 8 years i was driving school bus. thank you dave
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
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The vin should be stamped on the tongue, alternately there should be a data plate riveted to exterior somewhere in the front.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
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or if you take a photo or photos we can help you ID it. The VIN can be decoded here too.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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looking in a field

Greetings Dave!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdprez13 View Post
Hello all, I am looking at an airstream in a field and would like some help please. When i get a chance to look at it from the outside what should i be looking for to help me know what it is ? like the year model and such? Could there be a code plate outside to read? It is a single axle. This has been sitting for the 8 years i was driving school bus. thank you dave
Most of the Airstream travel trailers prior to the 1980s had their VIN/Serial Number plaque to the right of the entry door. Starting sometime in the 1950s the Model Name was also placed in the same general area . . . sometime on the same plate. I believe that Airstream as well as Argosy had VIN plates attached to the streetside front of the trailer behind the LP tanks. As has been mentioned in earlier posts, if a VIN/Serial Number plaque isn't found to the right of the entry door, the VIN is also generally stamped on the A-frame hitch (but it is often well obscured by many layers of paint and/or rust).




Some clues that may assist in getting a general idea of era in which the Airstream was built, you can also look for visual clues if the VIN/Serial Number plaque can't be located:
  • Front window is a large, single pane unit -- the trailer was built prior to 1969 but most likely after 1953.
  • Entry door is a door-within-a-door unit -- the trailer was built before 1965 but most likely after 1947.
  • A pair of stacked jalousie windows is found next to the entry door -- the trailer was built before 1965 but most likely after 1958.
  • Wheels are split-rim -- the trailer was likely built prior to 1968 as that style wheel had been phased out during the mid-1960s.
  • There is a large, rectangular access panel below the rear window that is very similar in size to the rear window . . . this is called a One-Stop-Service-Compartment that was evidently phased in during 1963 to become standard in 1964 . . . a feature that would remain on rear bathroom trailers through the late 1970s or early 1980s.
  • 13-Panel Front and Rear End Caps (domes) -- the trailer was likely built prior to 1958 but after 1949 (prior to 1949 the center panels formed a distinct "V".
  • 7-Panel End Caps -- 1958 was the first full year for this feature that would continue well into the future.
  • 9-Panel End Cap with "Whale Tail" or "Dutchman's Cap" -- ended during the 1957 model year with its inception being during the 1954 model year.
There is some overlap of the features, but they can help to identify the coach within a decade of its production with some of these features.




Some general Airstream VIN Guides can be found at the following:I am attaching pdf files that contain VIN/Serial Number decoding information for a number of eras in Airstream production.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1950s Airstream VINs.pdf (143.2 KB, 27 views)
File Type: pdf 1960s Airstream VINs.pdf (193.2 KB, 26 views)
File Type: pdf 1967-1968 Airstream VINS.pdf (81.5 KB, 25 views)
File Type: pdf 1969-1980 Airstream VIN.pdf (87.5 KB, 31 views)
File Type: pdf 1981-Present Airstream VIN.pdf (96.1 KB, 22 views)
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdprez13 View Post
Hello all, I am looking at an airstream in a field and would like some help please. When i get a chance to look at it from the outside what should i be looking for to help me know what it is ? like the year model and such? Could there be a code plate outside to read? It is a single axle. This has been sitting for the 8 years i was driving school bus. thank you dave
Well I have a pic and now from the good information I received here. I know it is between 58 to 63. Would like to know model and then maybe work on value? if someone might know. Do not want to get any closer till I talk with owner.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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I think it is a 62 or 63 Tradwinds. The 26 ft. Overlander has dual axles.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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Wheel wells...1959 or 1960. Looks pretty good.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Well I have a pic and now from the good information I received here. I know it is between 58 to 63. Would like to know model and then maybe work on value? if someone might know. Do not want to get any closer till I talk with owner.
I know a very little bit. It has not moved in well over ten years.Thats how long i drove my bus by it. Has been in weather from -20 to highs up to 100 degrees. So my guess would be floor is gone? Frame rust not a clue. I do want to save this trailer and really like it. Not sure how to approch the owner into letting it go. Yes cash works but he's not in need that much. thanks for all the info. dave
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Wheel wells...1959 or 1960. Looks pretty good.
melody ranch, good eye. i was going to say 62 based in the rear end being so similar to my 62 but i didn't see the wheel wells.

agreed, long trailer but not dual axle; my 57 is an overlander and has a single axle but i think 57 or 58 was the last year for it.

I think the value depends on interior. if it were gutted... you might get up to $4k or $4500 out west. If the interior is pristine and perfect original condition, the right buyer might be willing to pay up to the high teens. IMHO.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:58 PM   #10
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They stopped using the Art Deco nameplate in 1960. I'm thinking its a 59 overlander. For sure it needs new axles and probably floor replacement. Here in the northeast that's a $3000-$4000 trailer if its gutted/ trashed inside.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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1959 Tradewind 24' would be my guess (single axle)

check out the International badge on the back, ooooohhhh aahhhh!
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:42 PM   #12
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Just approach the owner with a request that you'd like to look. Once you have him talking and telling you the history... and you can get an idea of the condition, then you can ask "Would you ever consider selling...." Ease into it!
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:23 AM   #13
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Just pull in the driveway and knock on the door

I agree with OilnH2o and I would also add what you said in your post here
" I have been driving the local school bus by your Airstream for years admiring it and daily smiled as I thought of being the one to put it back on the open road and was wondering if ....... ". Any reasonable person will respect you for your job of caring for the local communities children and I would think that this will work to your advantage of them considering selling to you. Also keep in mind that you probably would not have been the first person to ask about it so expect them to need time to think on it. Leave your number with them then wait for a call soon. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN IT HAPPENING AND IT WILL.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:48 PM   #14
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdprez13 View Post
Well I have a pic and now from the good information I received here. I know it is between 58 to 63. Would like to know model and then maybe work on value? if someone might know. Do not want to get any closer till I talk with owner.
Ok Up date I have made contact with owner.. We will no more in three weeks when he will call me.

A few more facts ( I have & would like from you) plate by door

top right corner 24D-0295

bottom right corner 659

what i believe to be made in... ? springs CA. and that is where my mind lost the rest and all i could write down.
Thank you all for your help and i will keep dreaming.
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