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Old 01-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
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1967 17' Caravel
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Landenberg , Pennsylvania
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Smile New Aluminum Addict: 67 Caravelle

Hi,

For years I've been noticing these aluminum gems and had a passing interest after looking at a late 70s model once.

Recently the thought of taking off on a "drive about" hit and somehow we ended up looking at uninspiring white box trailers that made the trip seem not worth the effort.

Then I saw a few vintage Airstreams that were modernized and polished and I thought to myself, "I could do that". After all, I've renovated houses, built small boats, restored some cars---this could be fun, rewarding, and then we (my wife, Julie, of 37 years) could do the "drive about" in style.

About three weeks ago I called a local RV dealer and upon inquiring as to whether they had any vintage Airstreams I got a rather curt reply, "No, we don't have anything like that."

Anyway, I went there the next day to look at some of the RVs they had and just see if there was anything that might tickle my fancy. After walking over the enormous yard of hundreds of RVs in every size and shape I was about to leave. As I turned and looked toward the back of the lot about a city block away the sun peeked through the clouds and I saw the faintest suggestion of a silver dome in the distance. I turned and walked briskly in that direction. As I came nearer there was no question that it was vintage tin. What was it exactly? A Caravelle--cool. The body is not all dented-great! It looks like its been here a while. I took pictures, checked the serial number and headed to the office.

The salesman was less than excited. "Several people have tried to buy it and the buyer doesn't want to sell. We can't even get the owner to call back."

Disappointment. I went home elated at the find and discouraged at the prospect of not being able to buy this sweet little thing.

Next day I called the manager and explained that I "really" wanted to make that sweet little piece of tin mine and I'd do anything to get the owner's number to try to buy it and get some of the storage fee paid to the RV center. To my surprise , he agreed and gave me the owner's number.

I called right away and told him I was dying to park this tarnished little piece of metal in my drive way so that I could spend every waking and sleeping hour thinking and dreaming and working on her! He teased me by saying tha the thought that he could accomodate me--but no price. He call me in a few days.

Oh the torment! The wait! The worry! When will he call. Days passed. I called and left messages--no reply! Finally this Monday I summoned up the courage to call again, expecting final defeat! He answered--finally--"Oh, sorry I've just been busy sure lets do it." "Great, I said, what do you want for her?"

He threw out a price that was very reasonable and I accepted immediately. Yahoooooo! I own an Airstream. Not just an Airstream, but a Vintage Airstream! Not just a Vintage Airstream, but a Vintage Airstream Caravelle! And not just a Vintage Airstream Caravelle, but a Vintage Airstream Caravelle--with nice clean, sleek curves--and none of that ripley, cellulite around the thighs. Man, she's beautiful

I have no owners manual so I am in the dark about most of the systems. I have lots of experience renovating houses and boats so I am somewhat familiar with what needs to be done and not too intimidated by the overall project.

I could sure use someone to consult with on upgrading systems so I don't have to reinvent the wheel--so to speak.

I also would like some opinion on how important it is to retain "originallity" in the scope of modernizing and making a trailer that is usable.

I spent the day today trying to sort out the wires in the plug to the tow vehicle--after several hours I got a few running lights to light up.

I towed the trailer to a place today to get new tires, have the brakes, bearings, shocks, axle check.

Is there anyone out there in SE Pa that wants to meet my baby and tell me about systems, etc.

Located near Kennett Square,PA on the Delware/Pa line.

Thanks in advance for your joy, and help.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums vonzellen, 1967 is a good year isn't it. Do you have the original owners manual? I can help with some of that if you need.

How about some pics? Love to see your new beauty.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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1962 26' Overlander
Daleville , Alabama
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Welcome. You sound like us lol. We brought our Bonnie home about 3 weeks ago, we eat, sleep, and think alumunum, 24-7. Its sounds crazy but it has taken over our lives! Our baby is in real bad shape from years of neglect. We are in the process of putting in new floor. The forums are a huge help and so very friendly. Enjoy, Susan
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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See! can,t even spell it now lol Susan.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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New Orleans , Louisiana
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Six hours today installing new VCT tiles in my '69 Safari, I know the symptoms!

You done good! Caravelles are very special trailers! Congratulations!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #6
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1961 22' Safari
Venice , Florida
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Congratulations! I'm a firm believer that the right little, neglected Airstream goes to the right owner. She was waiting for you!
We have a '61 Safari and with your background it shouldn't be horrible to fix. My husband took everything out and fixed and replaced stuff. The Tin Can smelled really bad...We sanded and tung oiled every piece of wood...It's been so much fun. And, we are almost done. Just a little more plumbing and we hope to post pictures. My next "honey do" is to polish it! Check out local vintage Airstream groups, I bet you have a few!
Good luck,
Frannie and Tim
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:42 PM   #7
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1957 22' Custom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonzellen View Post

I also would like some opinion on how important it is to retain "originallity" in the scope of modernizing and making a trailer that is usable.

Located near Kennett Square,PA on the Delware/Pa line.

Thanks in advance for your joy, and help.
Oh the excitement!
On the subject of originality, read RJ Dial's section. An opinion I agree with.
http://vintageairstream.com/rr_topics_pricevscondition.html

Also read the " major renovations" section here on the forums.

Good luck.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:58 PM   #8
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West Linn , Oregon
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Aaahhh - the excitement of a new Airstream owner! What an amazing adventure you have ahead of you - enjoy! Almost all of your questions can be answered in the Forums. Use the Advanced Search option to narrow down your hits. Be prepared to spend HOURS (very enjoyable ones!) reading other people's restoration threads and blogs, and to be amazed at the creativity and skill of your fellow 'Streamers! You can go to the "Forums How-to's & Support" from the main page, and find out more about navigating around the site.

Most of all - please keep us updated on your progress! Pictures are always appreciated, especially before and after photos. I wish we'd taken pictures of ours from the beginning. We purchased our Argosy two weeks before a planned camping trip, and were so worried about getting her ready that it never occurred to us to take pictures of all the work we did.

Good luck!

Sharon & Sean
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:02 AM   #9
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Welcome

Vonzellen-

Welcome and thanks for sharing the story. Here are three good links to get you through the storm. There great places to start:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Welcome to the Frontpage - The Vintage Airstream Podcast

Caravel - Airstream Forums , the Caravel threads.

Best of luck with it.

John
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:04 AM   #10
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1967 17' Caravel
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Landenberg , Pennsylvania
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67 Caravelle Owner's maual

Thanks everyone. Can anyone tell me where I can get a 67 owners manual online?

How do you get those steps down?

Thanks, Steve
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:08 AM   #11
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1965 Manual

I tried to post the ilnk to the '65 Caravel manual that used to be online. Does anyone have an updated link? I thought it was on airstream.net.


In the meantime, Vonzellen, if you'd like a copy, send me your email address by PM and I'll email it to you.

John
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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HI Steve,

On my Safari, I found just by pulling forward on the indented area of the trim directly centered under the door will release the steps.

I found this while face up underneath them! Neighbors screamed and children cried with the language that was heard after that incident......
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
I tried to post the ilnk to the '65 Caravel manual that used to be online. Does anyone have an updated link? I thought it was on airstream.net.


In the meantime, Vonzellen, if you'd like a copy, send me your email address by PM and I'll email it to you.

John
John,

I believe you must now be a paid member at airstream.net to be able to view the archived manuals.

Steve, great year, enjoy! We love pics!!!!
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:57 AM   #14
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Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonzellen View Post
Hi,

For years I've been noticing these aluminum gems and had a passing interest after looking at a late 70s model once.

Recently the thought of taking off on a "drive about" hit and somehow we ended up looking at uninspiring white box trailers that made the trip seem not worth the effort.

Then I saw a few vintage Airstreams that were modernized and polished and I thought to myself, "I could do that". After all, I've renovated houses, built small boats, restored some cars---this could be fun, rewarding, and then we (my wife, Julie, of 37 years) could do the "drive about" in style.

About three weeks ago I called a local RV dealer and upon inquiring as to whether they had any vintage Airstreams I got a rather curt reply, "No, we don't have anything like that."

Anyway, I went there the next day to look at some of the RVs they had and just see if there was anything that might tickle my fancy. After walking over the enormous yard of hundreds of RVs in every size and shape I was about to leave. As I turned and looked toward the back of the lot about a city block away the sun peeked through the clouds and I saw the faintest suggestion of a silver dome in the distance. I turned and walked briskly in that direction. As I came nearer there was no question that it was vintage tin. What was it exactly? A Caravelle--cool. The body is not all dented-great! It looks like its been here a while. I took pictures, checked the serial number and headed to the office.

The salesman was less than excited. "Several people have tried to buy it and the buyer doesn't want to sell. We can't even get the owner to call back."

Disappointment. I went home elated at the find and discouraged at the prospect of not being able to buy this sweet little thing.

Next day I called the manager and explained that I "really" wanted to make that sweet little piece of tin mine and I'd do anything to get the owner's number to try to buy it and get some of the storage fee paid to the RV center. To my surprise , he agreed and gave me the owner's number.

I called right away and told him I was dying to park this tarnished little piece of metal in my drive way so that I could spend every waking and sleeping hour thinking and dreaming and working on her! He teased me by saying tha the thought that he could accomodate me--but no price. He call me in a few days.

Oh the torment! The wait! The worry! When will he call. Days passed. I called and left messages--no reply! Finally this Monday I summoned up the courage to call again, expecting final defeat! He answered--finally--"Oh, sorry I've just been busy sure lets do it." "Great, I said, what do you want for her?"

He threw out a price that was very reasonable and I accepted immediately. Yahoooooo! I own an Airstream. Not just an Airstream, but a Vintage Airstream! Not just a Vintage Airstream, but a Vintage Airstream Caravelle! And not just a Vintage Airstream Caravelle, but a Vintage Airstream Caravelle--with nice clean, sleek curves--and none of that ripley, cellulite around the thighs. Man, she's beautiful

I have no owners manual so I am in the dark about most of the systems. I have lots of experience renovating houses and boats so I am somewhat familiar with what needs to be done and not too intimidated by the overall project.

I could sure use someone to consult with on upgrading systems so I don't have to reinvent the wheel--so to speak.

I also would like some opinion on how important it is to retain "originallity" in the scope of modernizing and making a trailer that is usable.

I spent the day today trying to sort out the wires in the plug to the tow vehicle--after several hours I got a few running lights to light up.

I towed the trailer to a place today to get new tires, have the brakes, bearings, shocks, axle check.

Is there anyone out there in SE Pa that wants to meet my baby and tell me about systems, etc.

Located near Kennett Square,PA on the Delware/Pa line.

Thanks in advance for your joy, and help.
Congratulations, and good luck with your renovation. You should definitely take a look at the Major Renovation threads that 65CV posted above.

Also, be aware that often vintage Airstreams that look perfect, still have major floor rot and frame rot issues lying under the surface. You should definitely check your floors and any frame pieces that might be visible from below (if any of the bellypan is detached, you can check there. If not, you might consider pulling some of it down to inspect the frame).

Finally, regarding your question about keeping it original-- my opinion is that it is YOUR trailer, so you should do with it as you like. However, if it's in good original condition and only needs some minor refurb, then I think it's a shame to see restoreable trailers get gutted and altered dramatically. In those cases, you can sometimes find someone willing to buy an excellent restoration candidate from you, while you go look for a trailer in poor condition that you can gut and remake in any style that you like.

As far as resale, trailers restored to original condition are generally going to be easier to sell, and are going to fetch higher prices, than trailers that are significantly altered.

Good luck!

-Marcus
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