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Old 02-12-2008, 11:27 PM   #1
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1965 17' Caravel
SAN LUIS OBISPO , California
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Hello All - '65 CARAVEL RESTORATION

Bought a decent 65 Caravel 2 years ago while building a new garage. Now that the garage is finished we can concentrate on refurbishing the trailer. It has a nice home in the new garage. My brother the electrician dialed in the electrical system last year. I just finished cleaning out approx. 100 lbs of dirt from the belly (got to be the filthiest job known to man!) and removed the old axle. Ordered a new axle from Inland RV (buy the best and cry only once!). Ready to install new insulation in the belly and rivet the belly back in place. We spent the last ten years renovating a 1908 house, so the scale of a 17' A/S should be a breeze..HAH! Want to build a new dinette to replace the original gaucho in front. Probably a new fridge and countertop too. Armstrong vinyl tile for the floor........polished exterior? Maybe someday when I run out of things to do !
Thanks to everyone who has posted info and photos - it has helped tremendously! We hope to camp in the "aluminum tent" late in '08 or at the latest 1 year from now.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:01 AM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Welcome to the forum! Congrats, I think the Caravel is the best trailer you can have! But I am a little biased

My 68 Caravel has a angled dinette in the front - all original. It's angled to make it a little less crowded coming in the door. It's a very unique design. I don't think any other Airstreams had that, but they had to pack everything they could into our little trailers.

If you fixed up a house, the Caravel shouldn't even present a challenge for you!
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #3
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Caravel's are very cute! Good luck with the resto! If you have any photos, we would love to see them!
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:28 AM   #4
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Welcomne and good luck with your project. We'd love to see pics of your progreess!
I spent some time in your town while cycling down the pacific coast highway a number of years ago. I can still smell the Thursday night barbeque!
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:36 AM   #5
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An angled dinnette is very helpful, as well as a tapered table. Here's how I did my Caravel, with a priority paid to (1) a permanent bed and (2) more countertop for cooking. This requires a fourth person to pull up a folding chair at the table, but the Caravel is usually a two-person affair, so that wasn't a big deal.

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The table was made in two pieces--a piece permanently mounted to the wall and a leaf with a leg. The cantileaver support is rock solid. You can see the original eybrow shelf here.

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One important modification was the bookshelf in the eyebrow. This had made storage of papers, books, and maps a real pleasure compared to the stock shelf that was installed previously. The back of the bench seat folds forward for storage of folding chairs and tripods inside the bench. You can see the two drawers in the end of the bench (great access small tools when you're standing outside), but you can't see the 13-bottle wine rack under the center of the bench. It's a bit of a pain to get to, since the access is through the front, not through the seat.

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Other "improvements"

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Have fun!
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:43 AM   #6
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1965 17' Caravel
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WOW! You mean there are people like me out there. I have a very similar story. Bought a decent 65 Caravel 1 year ago after I had built my garage ( so I build a little special carport for the A/S). I’ve spent the last 20 years renovating a 1912 house. I plan to dive into the Caravel restoration this spring and am thinking about which axle to order, Dexter or Henschen. I have also entertained the idea of building a front dinette. Just bought a new fridge (Norcold 2 way N300) and Intelli-Power converter. The guy I bought the trailer from threw in a cyclo-polisher with the deal, so I guess I’m in for a polish job somewhere down the road.
I also have great admiration for this forum and the wealth of information available to us new “aluminitus” junkies.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:55 AM   #7
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1968 17' Caravel
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Nice improvements, Zep, looks like you didn't let an inch go to waste!
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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Welcome SSTANK05,
We'll all look forward to photos of the new trailer and it's progress.
I'm in Templeton.
Dave
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:45 AM   #9
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1970 18' Caravel
Leavenworth , Kansas
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SSTANK05: you will enjoy your restro project and their are lots of ideas to be borrowed from others who have "gone before you".

Zeppelinium: Wow, I like what you have done. I have a 1970 18' Caravel too, still trying to decide how to restro it, but have some ideas quite simular to yours. Thinking I want to keep the front dianette so it can still be used as a bed. I have shortened the table by one foot already so it's easier to use. Thinking of removing approx 6 inchs from the streeetside dinette bench and "growing" the kitchen by that amount. Thinking of moving the fridge to the kitchenette side and making a computer desk where the fridge is now. But, I've not made it past the planning stage far enough to put anything on paper, yet...

--Dwight
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:57 PM   #10
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Goucho to Dinette on our '65 Caravel

"Want to build a new dinette to replace the original gaucho in front."

This is how I did ours. I used the oroginal table, and material from the goucho. I added the storage cabinet under the front window and made the dinette for two as a Caravel is really for two.

In the top of the cabinet I added two 110v and two 12v outlets.

I had to buy one sheet each 4x8 x 1/8 burch door skin and 4x8 x 3/8 mahogany panel. Two 2x2 x 8' for frameing, two plastic 8' double window channels for the door slides in the front of the cabinet.

Total cost of wood and electrical was under $200.00.

We like it much better than the original arrangement.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:37 PM   #11
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another '65 and an old house

Add one more old house / 65 Caravel restoration club member.

We're 5 years into a restoration of an 1849 Greek Revival with just the kitchen left. We bought a '65 Caravel last fall that had a new axle and floor. Like Rob on the VAP says, they all leak! We found 18 leaks in a 17 foot trailer.

We pulled all the interior skins last fall and sealed all but one leak. Waiting for a good thaw to start glueing foam strips for the bubble insulation.

Just bought some mahogany today to start restoring cabinets. We are leaning towards the 2 gaucho design, but are seriously considering a dinette like Jim did above.

John
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:44 PM   #12
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Another fun thing

The table is held to the front cabinet with the original rail and has an adjustable leg made from an awning pole. I got another rail from an RV supply and attached it to the inside of the door. When the door is open, I remove the table from it's normal position and attach it outside to the open door. The adjustable leg allows for any difference in hight. Very nice for breakfast outside or happy hour in the afternoon. Don't need to carry another table.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:12 AM   #13
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good link

SSTANK05-

Be sure to see Jim Foster' more detailed overview of his dinette here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...tml#post496825

John
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #14
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Welcome!

Hey Dugster and glad to see you make your first post. It's about time! If your Caravel turns out anything like your house, it will be nice indeed. Looks like you already got some ideas in these posts. Zeps looks really nice. Absolutely post some pics of the progress.

Oh, and watch out for the Fyrzowt. He may try and sell you his Globetrotter
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