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Old 02-19-2009, 06:31 PM   #1
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1965 17' Caravel
Jamestown , New York
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Question Looking to buy an Airstream


Last summer, I found a restorable Airstream while doing yard maintenance for a customer. I have been into the Serro Scotties for quite awhile; but I've wanted an Airstream that wasn't too big for a long time. It's a 17 foot Caravel and it has been sitting at his cottage for 30+ years. I have talked with the owner and he wants to sell it in the spring. If I can come up with a reasonable price he'll sell it to me. I can't get it out of my mind- I think about it constantly! I have the Vin # JO175641, now it's registered as a 1964 but doing vin research by what i've found on the websites its saying its a '56. So I could use some help with that. Opinions on what I should ask for price. I was thinking low-balling it at 800$. I have looked at the "price vs. condition" sheet- but I feel it's good to ask those with experience. I will post some pics -so if any of ya'll could help me out. I would be humbly grateful.

Dave Hallberg
Bemus Point, NY
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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It's not a 1956. It is a precurved window. 1964 may be right. It needs new axle. Check on price at Inland RV. Do you have any idea what condition the inside is in, the floor in the back under the bath, ect.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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I thought the Caravel's first year was 1965.

I could be wrong.

Definately needs a new access hatch door made on the streetside.

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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It definitely is a 1965. It has the jalousie window in the opening door, similar to the 1964 Bambi II but has the suicide door and the one piece door hinge. Good luck in working out a deal on this beauty.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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Another welcome - you will certainly find good information in this site. Best of success in the project.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:37 PM   #7
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I found has a good rule for pricing.
YOu should figure in good working order about 12-15000 so how much and then if you have work done aat 90 dollars an hour labor ouchee what is your ball park total then add a bit more.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:11 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forums! This is the place to learn all things Airstream! A Caravel is a great little trailer ~ nice find. Regarding price, in this economy you might find something a little less than a year ago... do a little homework. Search past ebay sales, look at craigslist offerings, and here in our classifieds ~ as well as anywhere else you can find dollar amounts being paid for a Caravel. There are quite a few threads on things you should look for, etc. For the age, you will likely need a new axel, and you will likely need to completely rewire her. It will be worth it. Kick the tires, and literally light the fires (see if the stove, refrig, oven, heater, etc. works!) She will also likely need a a new floor or at least part of one if she has been sitting outside... But don't let any of that daunt you.... it is worth it! Restorations are a labor of love, and one rarely, if ever, will sell one for more than they have in it...

I'd buy it!
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:39 AM   #9
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What a great find!! Take a deep breath and make your checklist before you buy. It does look like it needs a new axle and you need to check for leaks etc....see what condition the floor is in.

Good luck with the possible purchase! Ask lots of questions...we are here to help.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:04 AM   #10
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JO175641 - This is a 65 Caravel made in Ohio. It's a great find and I would buy it in a heart beat. The axle needs to be replaced for 2 reasons. The rubber is shot from sitting and these units had weak spindles that would break off on the road putting a hole in the side where the tire and wheel would exit.

These trailers are very desirable and have a tremendous resale value.


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Old 02-20-2009, 07:05 AM   #11
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Based on what I see from these pictures I would pay the $800 low ball you suggest. The shell alone is worth that, IMHO.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:39 AM   #12

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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard from WNY

What a great find.
Your experience with Scotties should be helpful in the evaluation. $800 is well worth it. Point out the obvious to the seller, bargin,bargin,bargin but don't let this one get away. PM me if you need anything, we're in Hoover Beach.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:52 AM   #13
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What a great find!! Don't let this one slip away. Caravels are great little trailers and this one looks to be a great candidate for restoration. One thing different I noticed is that both of the WBCCI numbers look to be attached to a piece of aluminum and riveted to the shell. Just more places for the water to get in.

Best of luck in getting this one.

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:58 PM   #14
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1965 17' Caravel
Jamestown , New York
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Thumbs up Looking to buy an Airstream

Thanks for all the replies. This is a great forum. I couldn't really get a good look inside; the owner uses it for storage so it was pretty chock full of stuff. Has all original wood and appliances inside. He did tell me some mice got in and chewed holes in the cushions and what not. The window on one side doesn't close. Yes, i'm sure there is more wood rot that is unseen to the owners eyes. I can only imagine. Also, the wood is rotted as soon as you walk in at the door. Obviously, the floor pan is probably shot. I tried taking some pics of the bottom. I love restoring old things to the new. I can't wait until this snowy weather breaks. Thanks for clearing up the year. It was a bit confusing. So I need a new axle, electricity, (would be scared as hell lighting up the fires for heat,stove, etc, since sitting around for 30 years), I'll get my friend to do it. lol. Do these Airstreams have insulation between the floor boards? Walls?
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