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Old 06-10-2008, 12:25 PM   #1
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Livingston , Montana
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Cool Serial no. decoding and purchase advice, 1960 Airstream?

Found a trailer I may buy.

First, what is this Airstream? 24DSS0478

I was told its a 1960 22' Tradewind, but it is 24', yes?

Any insights into this model, year?

I just got a quick peek at it this morning, meeting with the owner this afternoon. It is a renovated trailer.

Here's what he told me...

Trailer has 2 batteries
2 new propane tanks
new water heater
new fridge
new plumbing
new tires
new ceramic propane heater
belly pan pulled and corroded parts replaced
new inverter
new cabinets
cherry wood floor
new dinette
axle, hubs serviced, electric brakes
sway bar
new front end crank
"winterizing kit"
partially polished
pretty straight
rear pink bath
front dinette
futon side "gaucho"
inside partially polished aluminum
trailer looks pretty good, clean, not original, but pretty cool
asking $9,900
I've never owned an Airstream or trailer but I like vintage stuff, have a 58 Chevy wagon for a TV
Whaddya think???
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:36 PM   #2
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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There are others who know a lot more than I do about such things, but yes, the Tradewind in that model year is 24' and the first two digits of the serial# would confirm this. Some people measure only the box, but Airstream's measurements run from the rear bumper to the front ball receiver on the tongue, which is why you often see discrepancies in the descriptions of trailer lengths.

There's a decoder and some archived images here:

60Tradewind

From my understanding, this appears to be a California-built double-bed model.

Good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:50 PM   #3
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovePoppa View Post

First, what is this Airstream? 24DSS0478

Whaddya think???
You indeed have a CA made 24' TradeWind. I was told the SS stands for the Santa Fe Springs plant in southern CA but I have a suspicion it stands for something different. The 478 indicates it was the 478th TradeWind off the assembly line at the CA plant. Sounds like it has been renovated and changed quite a bit but at the bottom of it all, it is a '60 TradeWind.

As the keeper of the Early TradeWind Registry, I'll add you and your trailer to the list. Glad to have you aboard and please post some pictures so we can all see your 'new-to-you' TradeWind.

Brad
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:19 PM   #4
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Haven't actually pulled the trigger yet!

So what's the good and not-so-good about this year and model?

I was thinking 19' to 21'--not opposed to extra space, but thought the shorter ones would "get back into" more remote locations, less taildragging through washes, etc. How does the 24' do in these situations?
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:35 PM   #5
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Since this has been my only trailer, I can't compare it to other sizes but I will tell you that I love my TradeWind. It is just the right size for two on a cold, rainy day where you're inside quite a bit. It keeps relatively warm with just a couple of candles burning or having the propane lamp running. I have little issues with swaying and it tows great. I've had it on some rough roads in the mountains here in AZ to get into some fishing spots and it handles well. They took these on the Capetown to Cairo caravan, although with two axles, and I have found mine to be very durable. I replaced the axle when I first got it and that I tribute to how well it tows.

So, there, go ahead and pull the trigger, will ya?

Brad
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovePoppa View Post
Found a trailer I may buy.

First, what is this Airstream? 24DSS0478

I was told its a 1960 22' Tradewind, but it is 24', yes?

Any insights into this model, year?

I just got a quick peek at it this morning, meeting with the owner this afternoon. It is a renovated trailer.

Here's what he told me...

Trailer has 2 batteries
2 new propane tanks
new water heater
new fridge
new plumbing
new tires
new ceramic propane heater
belly pan pulled and corroded parts replaced
new inverter
new cabinets
cherry wood floor
new dinette
axle, hubs serviced, electric brakes
sway bar
new front end crank
"winterizing kit"
partially polished
pretty straight
rear pink bath
front dinette
futon side "gaucho"
inside partially polished aluminum
trailer looks pretty good, clean, not original, but pretty cool
asking $9,900
I've never owned an Airstream or trailer but I like vintage stuff, have a 58 Chevy wagon for a TV
Whaddya think???
We have the California serial number sequencing serial numbers.

Back then, it's really not that clear.

You could have a 24 foot 1960 or 1961.

The key to it would be the type axles it has.

If they have leaf springs on them, it's a 60. If the axles are torsion type, then it's a 61.

If it does have the torsion axle, we suggest you check out it's condition.

From 1974 and older, the composition of the rubber rods, in time, permitted them to fail. That then allows the trailer to bottom out when hitting even small bumps.

Andy
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovePoppa View Post
Found a trailer I may buy.

pretty straight

not original

asking $9,900

Whaddya think???
What does "pretty straight" mean?

$9,900 is a lot of dough for something a little crooked.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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Great forum, thanks all!

Andy, I read your article on torsion axles. So I take it these are better than leaf springs-but are the leaf springs adequate? Or can and should they be replaced?

Mistral Blue--I meant it doesn't have many dings or dents...
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovePoppa View Post
Great forum, thanks all!

Andy, I read your article on torsion axles. So I take it these are better than leaf springs-but are the leaf springs adequate? Or can and should they be replaced?

Mistral Blue--I meant it doesn't have many dings or dents...
Yeah, I think Mistral Blue is saying that for $9900, he would expect it to have VERY few dings and dents.

But, from the number of new appliances and the amount of work that the seller SAYS has been performed, that price tag could be warranted. I'd make the seller prove that everything works as advertised and show you the receipts for all of the work that he claims has been performed.

And at that price, the subfloor and frame should have been re-worked to near-new condition. No soft spots. No floor rot. No frame rot. I'd ask the seller for before-and-after pictures of the repairs in those areas to prove it. $9900 is fairly close to top dollar for a vintage unit of that size.

Here's a link to a guide that will give you a VERY rough idea for what prices you can expect to pay for vintage Airstreams. This is just a guideline, and in my experience regional variances can be large (I live in Central Texas and prices seem to be 30% higher or more on average). But, it is at least a starting place. Be sure to read all of the text around the table in order to understand how to use it.

Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

Other than that, I can't answer your questions about the utility of the 24' trailer for your purposes, but best of luck!
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