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Old 09-27-2003, 06:07 AM   #1
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Post 1973 airstream tradewind questions

Hello we are interested in purchasing a 1973 25 foot airstream tradewind could anyone help us by telling us exactly how the floor to this model is constructed? also would a british 2.5 litre tdi diesel landrover discovery tow it if we fitted uprated suspension?

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Old 09-27-2003, 08:26 AM   #2
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Tradewind Floor


The floor is plywood. There is a quite lengthy thread here of some members in the process of replacing their floors. Check their running "Docupost":

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(Former 1971 vintage Airstream Owner)
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Old 09-27-2003, 09:20 AM   #3
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1978 25' Tradewind
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I have a 1978 Trade Wind that I tow with a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe. Your trailer will weigh roughly 4500 pounds and have a tongue weight of about 600 pounds,

My vehicle has a 5.3 L gas engine with no turbo, and it's adequate, but certainly not overpowered. I would think you would be in a very high turbo boost pressure situation for long periods of time, putting serious stress on the engine.

Perhaps there's more information on line or at a dealer about your vehicle....

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Old 09-27-2003, 10:35 AM   #4
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Smile Questions about 1969 Ambassador 29ft

I wish I would have found this forum before we bought. We have always wanted an Airstream and we are handy at fixing things, don't have alot of money (3 college age kids) so we found what we thought was a bargain 1969 Ambassador 29ft. for $3500. Its a little longer than what we need. My husband wanted to take on jobs around the country instead of motels and go on vacations. We have so many questions about fixing it up we don't know where to start.

We are looking for a vehicle to pull it .... Checked out the poll on vehicles I got the impression Chev Suburban, Chev 3/4 ton, or Ford 350 are the most popular choices?

Can someone tell me how much this thing weighs?

We think the axles are bad and maybe rear separation? Got this bit of info from the Polishing Guru in CA. What kind of expense and trouble are these going to be to fix????

The underneath is completely enclosed do we take it off?There is some rust on the exposed frame.

Did we make a huge financial mistake (we can't count that will enjoy fixing it)???

Appreciate any input you may have would be great. I really want to fix it up and use it for years to come we think it is the coolest.

Southeast Kansas 1stimers for a trailer let alone a big silver Twinkie
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Old 09-27-2003, 12:27 PM   #5
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I think a '69 Ambassador for $3500 is probably an OK deal if it can be hooked up and run down the road safely.

69 is a bit early for some of the frame problems common in the mid 70's models, I think

For rear end sag, sit on the rear bumper and see if the shell goes down with the bumper or is loose.

For frame problems, look for creases and such in the skin near the axles.

Complete axle replacements can run about $2000 at Andy's (inland RV is the dealer for Airstream axles in the US) or you can get Dexter equivalent axles for maybe half that if you know a good axle place.

There is a tech note for reinforcements to handle the rear end sag, if any - I don't know the cost but I don't think it is too bad.

If frame problems are not too bad, there is a reinforcing plate available to handle that.

The biggest problem is likely to be floor rot or severe frame problems, But this should have been detected before purchase.

That trailer in good shape could be worth $5k to $10k so a bit of repair, if necessary, could be worthwhile.
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:37 PM   #6
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1978 25' Tradewind
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1sttimer, here's your weight.

...and you did good on it - not to worry! Don't go nuts fixing things that aren't broke (like I am!) and just enjoy it!

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Old 09-28-2003, 06:19 AM   #7
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Where can I find tech note on reinforcements

Thanks for the quick responses.

Where can I find the tech note for rear end reinforcements?

and a reinforcing plate?

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Old 10-13-2003, 12:01 PM   #8
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Hello Michael,
I have a 21 foot Airstream that was about 4500lbs that we towed with an '89 Range Rover, we towed it 1200 miles from Washington State to Las Vegas, it towed it just fine. The Rover also has bad suspension. If the vehicle is newer the suspension may be fine just stock.

Best 4x4xFar.

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Old 10-13-2003, 09:21 PM   #9
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Hello 1stimer,

Here is a link to a thread discussing reinforcing plates to support a sagging rear end:

Here is a link to a website containing Airstream Service Bulletin #146 which describes a method to bolt the frame back up to the shell:

I myself have had Inland RV replace my axles/brakes/suspension to ensure that my running gear is balanced in good shape. Andy of InlandRV is extremely knowledgeable.

I have also had my frame re-welded in key support areas at the rear, where my frame was so corroded that I could see pinholes through it.

In addition to remedying a shell separation, many of us have replaced and/or reinforced sections of the plywood subflooring.

Hope it helps,

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Old 10-14-2003, 08:44 AM   #10
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First post to this forum--I too can't believe I hadn't seen this before I bought. I am remodeling a 1967 31' Sovereign, and I towed the thing back to Colorado from Alexandria, Lousiana with a Nissan XE 4x4 pickup. I stayed in 4th the whole trip, but made it at 10 mpg, traveling 60-65 mph the whole way (except up a few hills ). If you buy a smaller tow vehicle, just make sure not to use your overdrive, or you'll leave it behind you...


Jimmy D. Pippin
1967 Sovereign 31'
"Do or do not; there is no try."
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