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Old 06-12-2009, 09:46 PM   #1
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Woodywhite's Avatar
1960 18' Traveler
1975 27' Overlander
La Honda , California
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 59
New kid on the Airstream block

I've always thought Airstreams were beautiful and seems that one entered my life without really trying. My father-in-law purchased a 27" trailer to live in, and then got subsidized senior housing, so we "inherited" (read that as "paid for") his twinky. Unfortunately it was so big that my Ford Ranger couldn't tow it so it has served as our guest cottage for that last 5 years.

Then last week, some friends decided to move and couldn't their 1960 vintage 18' twinky to their new home so I offered to buy it. The good news is that it's small enough to tow with my truck so I will actually take it on the road. I took possession of it a week ago after we got a bobcat with a trailer hitch on the bucket pull it down the dirt switchbacks and around the trees to get it off their property.

Although it in really pretty good shape, I have been online trying to find some details to help me with my trailers rehabilitation. I found one source offering a cd with brochures and spec sheets, so I intend to order one.

I do have a couple of questions for you more experienced folks.
1. Does anyone know of a resource for a reproduction of the manuals for old trailers?
2. I know my trailer is an 18' trailer built in 1960, but I can't find anything that tells me whether it is a "Footer" or a "Traveler" How does one tell the difference?
3. My trailer came with a spare tire but I don't see any place actually designed to hold it. Where is the spare supposed to go?

Thanks in advance for your help. I've already learned quite a bit through your repair forum section, and am sure I'll have more questions in the future.

Thanks again,


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Old 06-12-2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
SAN DIMAS , California
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Welcome to the forums! sells owners($30) & service manuals($60), but only back to 1972. There's a member on the forums that has copies dating back quite far, but don't know the name (sorry). Maybe someone will chime in and add their 2cents about who it is. In the mean time here is a link to trailer manuals archive:

The Vintage Airstream Club

They have some 1960 model info that might be helpful.

Good luck and enjoy these forums, they have very interesting, helpful info & advice.


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Old 06-12-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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There is some interesting reading here: 60_18foot
It talks about 18 footers in 1960 and the different names they were called.


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Old 06-13-2009, 03:17 AM   #4
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: I currently do not own a 2nd Airstream
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Hi Bob and welcome. A friend of mine also has an 18 footer that's CA made and his is a Traveler. Can you post some pictures and share your serial number / VIN? This will help determine the plant of manufacture which will help identify the model name. My guess is you have a CA unit.

My '59 doesn't have a place for the spare either and I didn't want a bumper mount as it puts too much weight back there and it just messes up the clean lines of the back end anyway. I toss it in the truck bed when we head out.

You've come to the right place for your questions. Keep posting them and you'll get the answers. Post some pictures when you can.

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Old 06-14-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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1960 18' Traveler
1975 27' Overlander
La Honda , California
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 59
Thanks to all of you. I read through the links, and it looks like I will assume I have a "Traveler" until I see something that indicates otherwise. The airstream link actually had parts of a 1960 manual so I'm part way there.

I was going to post a photo of my VIN plaque but am having trouble figuring out how to get it into this note. Drag and Drop doesn't take and the add image icon only refers you to a url which I don't have for a personal photo. I'll figure it out.

Anyway, the plaque indicates that my trailer was made in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. and is number 18DS-0312. There is another number (160) in the bottom right hand corner of the plaque.

Again, thanks for help. As I get deeper into the rehab, I will have more questions. In reviewing the photos from the 1960 18' article, it showed different interior arrangement than mine. As soon as I figure out how to add photos, I'll start a new thread to see if it looks like anyone else's


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Old 06-14-2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
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To post a picture

Welcome to the forums!

To include a picture in your post, while in the "Reply to Thread" window where you compose your message, scroll down to the "Additional Options" section and click on "Manage Attachments" will get a pop up window where you can browse your hard drive for the images... Once they are located, click "Upload"...the pictures will upload and be indicated in the window. When you have uploaded all the pictures you need (up to 10) through this window, close it...then when you post your message the photos will be included in your post...

Good luck!
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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1960 18' Traveler
1975 27' Overlander
La Honda , California
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 59
Thanks. I'll give it a try.
As a test, I added the VIN picture, and a photo of my Airstream.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:01 AM   #8
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1967 22' Safari
2005 30' Classic
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Cool find, Bob. What's the tow rating for the Ford Ranger and weight of your 18 footer? Be careful on how you hitch it all up and what you carry.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:14 AM   #9
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1963 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
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Nice find!! When you get the time some pics of the int would be nice. Looks
like you have a sweet little AS there.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
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Woodywhite's Avatar
1960 18' Traveler
1975 27' Overlander
La Honda , California
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 59
Thanks. It was really a case of right time, right place.

According to my manual, the Ranger has a tow capacity of 5000 pounds, and as near as I can find with a comparable trailer after searching the internet, mine weighs about 2200 lbs dry. So I should have a good margin of error when the trailer and truck are loaded. I still have to get a hitch (lights, brakes etc) put on my truck, which I plan to do in the next couple of weeks. The same listing puts the tongue weight for the trailer at about 200 pounds. I still have to find this on the truck.

Here are few interior shots. The trailer spent the last ten years as an office behind a friends house. They had built in a custom desk in the aft of the cabin but had kept the original cabinets/couch. I have now replaced the original couch/drawers, and the shelf under the front window.

After looking at a number of photos on the forum it appears my aft section is a bit different than others. If it was not original, it was a well done replacement as all the wood (framing and skin) matches the other cabinetry well. The wood is the same, the varnish has a matching patina, and all the hardware matches. Have you ever seen any other with the same configuration as in the photos below? Note also that the table (which has a different formica that the rest of the trailer) slides into the cutting board slot, and has the standard folding leg.

I don't know if the appliances are original but appear old enough to be. I'm told that they all work but haven't gotten to them Thats next on the list after I get new propane tanks and fittings. Oh yea, and the tires, and the belly, and the curtains, the mattresses .... And this trailer is in pretty good shape. It's almost as old as I am so I guess I can forgive it needing some TLC to get it in shape.

I'm having fun. Thanks for your input.

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