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Old 08-05-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
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New looking to purchase 1st Airstream - 75 Tradewind

First off, HELLO ALL! My name is Eric and I just joined the forums today. I'm 31 years old, married with 2 young children (4 and 7) and live in PA. We love to camp, and are on our second non-Airstream travel trailer (2005 23' Mallard). I've always loved the Airstreams, but have never owned one. My Grandfather was a huge Airstream fan, and over the years owned several of their trailers and two of their motorhomes (both aluminum). About 5 years ago before purchasing our current camper, I asked to buy my Grandfather's 1975 Tradewind, however he was not willing to part with it based on sentimental purposes (I don't think after owning Airstreams for 50+ years he could picture himself without one!) Unfortunatly we lost my Grandfather this past year, and now my Grandmother is looking to sell some of his things, including his 1975 25' Tradewind. I'm hoping to purchase his old Airstream if possible, because I would get both an Airstream which I've always wanted, and my Grandfather's at that.

I would appreciate anyone's feedback as to what I should expect, as I look to possibly replace a 5 year old trailer that with the exception of not being an Airstream is perfect (for us). I would look to revamp/change the inside a bit, but don't have the time or $ to get into any major restoration project. One of my biggest concerns is the tank sizes, from what I've researched on the forums the combination of grey/black tanks is roughly 25 gallons, versus the 80 I have with our current trailer. Also outside storage at a glance doesn't look like much again compared to our current trailer. Is there anything with this model and/or year, that I should be concerned by? Is there anything with an Airstream this age that I should expect to, or could possibly have problems with? How does this model/year compare to other Airstreams (Good, Bad, other?) If I do purchase this trailer, I would like to replace the gaucho in the front with a dinette set, replace the carpet with a hard floor, and polish the shell at a minimum. My fear is that in attempting to perform some relativly modest improvements may turn into this huge project/ordeal that I really can't support (time/$/skill). The good news is the trailer is I believe from looking at it still 100% original, in excellent condition, and was used very rarely, especially the past 20 years. My Grandfather purchased it new and it has always been garage kept. Everything from what I'm told works fine (AC, stove, refrig, etc). The last thing is price, I don't know what this trailer is worth, as it seams the prices on older Airstreams really vary.

I appologize for rambling, but certainly appreciate anyone's thoughts that may help address some of the concerns I've shared above.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

You have a very unique opportunity to get into a vintage Airstream that has been in your family since new. I would not be able to resist going for it.

Others will chime in on the renovations/upgrades.

If you would post some pictures of the interior and exterior , there are members here who can help you with a fair market value.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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New to forums, looking to purchase 1st Airstream - 75 Tradewind

Greetings Eric!

Welcome to the Forums!

IMHO, you have an excellent entre into Airstreaming with your Grandfather's Tradewind. Rarely will you find a 30+ year old coach for which you will know its entire history -- and the family legacy can't be overlooked either. One of my close friends has an Overlander that has been in his family since it was new in 1960 making his children the fourth generation to camp in the coach.

The only thing that I can think of that could be a potential item for replacement would be the axles. The DuraTorque axles of the 1970s era are not known for their resilience, and will take a "set" from extended periods of inactivity effectively reducing significantly their ability to absorb irregularities in the road.

The covered storage would certainly reduce concerns about floor rot, and severe rust on the frame. You will find exterior storage compartments at a premium, but interior storage is exceptional -- particularly if it is a Double model -- the twin model, however would be more family friendly in terms of sleeping accommodations. You may even find that you like the front lounge with Credenza Table -- I know that I have never missed the dinette that I had in my Nomad trailer that preceeded my Overlander. New floor coverings is a very common modification even on the latest model coaches -- it is one that helps to make the coach yours.

The one thing to keep in mind with a coach in the condition that your Grandfather's is likely to be -- is that you can begin using the coach immediately and plan any up-dates at your leisure. With my Overlander, I purchased it in 1995 and made only necessary repairs for the first three season while I identified any items that I wanted to change, and in the end it was just replacing the carpeting and an new refrigerator -- the rest of the interior was just treated to a freshening that included new upholster, drapes, and foam. In 2002, I had the coach polished and Plasticoated at P & S Trailer Service in Helena, OH.

So far as placing a value on a coach such as your Grandfather's, it wouldn't be easy. The wide range that I would anticipate such a coach to fall in the open market would be between $5,000 and $8,000 -- but with the economy in its current condition, the market may not be that robust just yet.

Kevin
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:08 PM   #4
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Hi, this is an old trailer and may need more than you think. As for the price or value, since you are buying it from your Grandfather, I don't think haggleing over the price of it would be healthy for family relations. So you pay what he asks or politely pass. It seems from what you said that maybe you should keep the Mallard to camp in while you are re-doing the Airstream; This could take a few years.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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Eric - Welcome to the forums!

I have a 75 Trade Wind and I think that it is a great trailer. It is just my wife and I and several dogs, but we find it to be just the right size for us.

The big items to look at are axle condition and floor condition. The area where the shell meets the floor in the very rear of the trailer is a good place to look as well as by the door and windows.

The black and grey tanks are small (around 12 gallons each), but the fresh water tank is around 45 gallons. We run out of room in the grey tank pretty quick.

The dinette upgrade is something we have talked about, but have not done. We have a Pergo floor and like it very much and the polish is a bunch of work but I really like the look of a polished trailer.

This is what mine looks like:
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Thanks everyone for your responses, very helpful. I don't have any pictures, but if I do purchase the trailer, I will certainly post some. Any ballpark ideas on what a set of replacement axles would cost? Also, how hard is it to remove the bottom skin to inspect the frame condition?

Richard- I'm glad you provided a picture of your trailer since it is basically exactly the same as the one I'm looking at. I looked at the rest of your pics and your trailer is incredible, the polish outside is amazing. Do you have a clearcoat on it or do you have to keep polishing it all the time? How much work is it to keep it looking so good? I also like the multiple awnings, very nice.

Thanks again for the responses!

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Talking It's official, I'm now an AS owner!

Well guys, I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that I purchased my late grandfather's '75 Trade Wind earlier today. The fact that it belonged to my Grandfather since new adds extra sentimental value, to the already exciting idea of owning my first AS.

First thing to do is figure what I want/need to do about tires, so we can get it home and start to prepare it for our first trip.

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:21 AM   #8
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Congradulations!!!! I'm sure your gramdfather would be pleased to know it stayed in the family.

Now where's the pics??? Post the pics and nobody get hurt...LOL!!!

Dan And Sherry W.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:48 PM   #9
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Talking You asked for them, here they are...pictures!

Well here are a few pictures I took today our our new '75 Trade Wind. The pictures outside were snapped just prior to adjusting our weight distribution setup (huge difference in ride height from newer TT, to older AS, probably around 8" lower on AS) in preparation for bringing it home. The pics inside aren't very good as they were taken after getting home which was late and after dark.

Very excited to start cleaning it up and taking it out for a few fall trips to see what projects we want to tackle first. The '75 AS will be a big adjustment from the '05 TT we currently have (mainly outside storage and tank sizes) but I think in the end it will be well worth it.

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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OMG, Eric.....she's GORGEOUS!!! I hope your wife enjoys this Airstream journey as much as you!
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:28 PM   #11
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Hi, nice looking trailer. I think I would remove the carpet and replace it with wood, vinyl, or tile. Other than that, looks like it's ready for use.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:13 AM   #12
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New to forums, looking to purchase 1st Airstream - 75 Tradewind

Greetings Eric!

Your grandfather obviously loved the coach -- it is obvious it has received exceptionally good care! You certainly have a gem on your hands -- and you can't beat the family history already associated with the coach!

Enjoy your new journey!

Kevin
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:26 AM   #13
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Congratulations. That is one really nice looking old girl. Even her Florida RV sticker is in mint condition, and that's about 30 years old.

Best of luck with your new baby and travel safe,
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:06 AM   #14
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Wow! Fantastic looking trailer! Good thing you didn't let that one get away!

Congrats on the purchase, and here's to making many more years of family memories.

Tom
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