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Old 03-09-2014, 12:13 AM   #1
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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Just bought '63 Globetrotter: Need source for entry door/windows

Hi, this is a completely new venture for me but I've been a long time airstream enthusiast. I'm not exactly sure what kind of undertaking this is going to be but I'm never afraid of a challenge so I'm eager to learn and find out more. A friend told me about this forum and so I'm hoping to find out some info to get me started with this restoration. I'm looking for an entry door and windows. Does anyone have a good source for this? Thanks so much
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:22 AM   #2
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Although anything can be rebuilt or repaired, the damage I see in that photo would put the trailer in the totaled category. You need a lot of $$ or a lot of very special skills to bring that trailer back to life. I doubt that it is worth the effort.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:24 AM   #3
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1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
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boy I say....
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:06 AM   #4
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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Restoration ready

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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Although anything can be rebuilt or repaired, the damage I see in that photo would put the trailer in the totaled category. You need a lot of $$ or a lot of very special skills to bring that trailer back to life. I doubt that it is worth the effort.
I'm being optimistic about this. I believe in your first statement in that anything can be rebuilt or repaired. I'm a General Contractor and do mostly restoration type work. The homes some think should be torn down, i rebuild to better than new. I spoke to a sheet metal co here in town and got the pricing on replacing the panels and they are only $100 each for a 4'x10' piece. I have a friend who owns a body shop and has a contract with a school bus company so is familar with riveted aluminum work. I plan to do all the demo myself and then use my plumber and electrician for that work. I believe The frame and axial are solid and so are the other sides. To me its a challenge worth the effort so I do welcome any advice that people can offer to put me on that path.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
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The axle may be solid, and that's not a good thing. Do you know those segments use compound curves, and trying to make new ones is difficult at best?
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:44 AM   #6
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Your best hope

Best and probably only hope....See this ad in the classifieds. Smashed 1963 Globetrotter

From your initial explanation....I see you on an uninformed and really impossible path. There is WAY more involved that having someone with riveting experience in a local shop. WAY MORE.

Good luck.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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For the time and money it will take to fix that baby, you could purchase and rebuild 2 other 1963 Airstreams that start off in reasonable shape.

That's a serious over the top project.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:29 AM   #8
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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Best and probably only hope....See this ad in the classifieds. Smashed 1963 Globetrotter

From your initial explanation....I see you on an uninformed and really impossible path. There is WAY more involved that having someone with riveting experience in a local shop. WAY MORE.

Good luck.
Thanks for the lead on that 63. Not sure where they are located but I did contact them. I'm definitely uninformed at best so hopefully being on this forum can help put me in a direction. Of the few replays I've gotten, they are so far negative but that's ok because I'm trying to figure it all out. This may very well be an impossible path but I'm going to try my hardest to make it possible. They don't make 63 globetrotters anymore so be nice to keep her alive. Cheers!
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:36 AM   #9
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I guess the question is do you want a trailer, or a challenge? As many of the other responders above have pointed out, it looks like you have a challenge, and a big one. The repair work you need on that trailers goes way beyond the work that is normally done to fully restore a trailer. Your best hope might be to find another wrecked trailer of the same era, and try to frankenstein the two together to make one unit. Without a donor trailer, you are looking at a lot of difficult to obtain parts: windows and frames, interior formed pieces that go around windows, the domed interior endcap, and the formed endcap pieces that make up the exterior rounded ends (they aren't flat sheets, and they aren't manufactured anymore, either). Some bits and pieces might be available as a reproduction part, but most will have to come from a donor trailer.

You mention finding a source for sheet aluminum in your area--be sure you are buying the correct metal for your trailer. It needs to be 2024 T3 Alclad in a .032" thickness.

Anyway--if you are looking for a challenge, I'd say you certainly have one, but if your time, patience, and resources are inexhaustible, you might have some fun going at it.

good luck!
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:08 AM   #10
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hmn, I'm also struggling to see a good part on the trailer in the pic but that said if you want to rebuild it more power to you. As Belegadhel mentions 4' x 10' sheets of the correct aluminum are what you want and they are closer to $200 a piece. The end cap segments are tricky but I found Dallas RV has some resources that you might want to check out, again not even close to cheap. I'm most probably going to try making a couple of segments for my project on an English wheel but it is going to be expensive in terms of material and time. (I've made twin otter engine cowl repairs and parts this way before so I know it's possible but very very time consuming). Vinstream as posted above can probably help you out with rib sections that are damaged and windows are not that hard to find. If you cost it all out, skins, windows, segments etc it'll be scary though.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:58 AM   #11
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As Melody Ranch mentioned above, it must be pure serendipity that there is another smashed 63 globetrotter available. Only problem is that it is in Washington, from the looks of the ad. Still, if you buy it and have it flat-bedded down to Austin, it may end up costing you $1000, but you will still be way ahead. Each of those formed end-cap segments will cost you in the hundreds of dollars to buy, and if they have to be shipped to you, the shipping will add up fast too (because the box is so big), if you can find what you need.

There are sources for used vintage Airstream parts. You might look at vintageairstream.com in the resources and suppliers section, and you can see a few suppliers.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
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I hope that you understand that you'll get get a differing variety of comments, and assess them before fully committing to this project.


Many people here have great expertise, and are very polite and helpful. On this forum there is an answer to about everything Airstream. From my perspective, I have to ask, semi-jokingly, Are you serious?? April Fool's Day isn't for a few weeks yet, so maybe you are?? Serious that is...


If it has great sentimental value, like you grew up camping in it or Grandpa's death-bed last words were “Save the Globe Trotter”, go ahead, you should definitely do it.


If not, and you insist on rebuilding a wreck, that looks like someone has already begun to part out, you will become a most formidable Airstream restorer. You will incur great cost in time and money if you do it right. It has been advised, and I agree, You WILL have to buy most of another trailer to fix the one you have. I can speak for many that we have way more into it than it's marketable value, but I guess that's the price of the honor, satisfaction, and distinction of vintage restoration. Working on my trailer is the most fun thing I do. I even want to work on it when I'm camping.


I really understand how enamored one can become with a Globe Trotter.

But... Way cheaper to part/scrap it out, borrow $5000 @ 10% amortized over 5 years, that's $110 a month ( Truly a drop in the restoration cost bucket). Then buy a roadworthy “builder” and go camping while you fix it up. That's assuming you want to go camping more than having a challenging project for the next three years. There is an incredible amount of labor and learning curve time just fixing up a nice straight one.



If this is about the challenge, or sentiment, and you have the time and a boat-load of $$, It can be done, and you'll have a very impressive "BEFORE" photo...



Best wishes...
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:22 AM   #13
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Looks like 11 replies, and 100% of them are telling you "don't do it". The only ones that could be considered at all positive are the "it can be done, if you are real handy with $$$".
Step back, take a deep breath, and decide if you want a trailer, or an eternal project.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:29 AM   #14
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Now that's a project!!!!
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