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Old 01-03-2006, 08:40 AM   #1
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1963 24' Tradewind
Pittsford , New York
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Smile New Member Introduction

Just wanted to introduce myself. Picked up a copy of "Airstream - History of the Land Yacht" at a local museum and loved it.

Convinced the my wife and Family (boy 3, girl 6 months) that we need to buy a vintage airstream trailer. I am 41 and work as a web developer (my website is www.vandamme.com). We do a lot of camping (tent and backpacking) but would like to try a trailer.

I am looking for a 17-23' vintage airstream in pretty good shape or one that needs some work where I could fix my self or hire someone to help me.

I will likely have a number of 'Newbie' type questions so please bear with me.

I look forward to joining this family.

Thanks,

-Sig
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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Sig,
Welcome to the forums! You won't be sorry getting into the Airstream universe.

Nice website.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:42 AM   #3
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:49 PM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
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Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search. You will find people here on the forum willing to check out an Airstream you might like to purchase in another state. We all volunteer our time and experience and most can send you pictures.
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:38 PM   #5
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Sig,
Welcome to the forum. All of us will be here to help and answer questions.
Good luck on your hunt. I think it is hunting season for airstreams and no hunting license is required. Just a hitch, tow vehicle, safety gear, oh and of course cash!

Marie
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Welcome. As a fairly new Airstream owner myself may I offer a suggestion. As Airstreams and Argosys are so easy to pull, go for the longer coach. The 24 to 26ft coaches pull like a dream and in the vintage range they are very light. You will be glad to have the extra room without much hassel with pulling and parking. Those kids will be getting bigger and you will be happy for the extra room. Generally the longer coaches are less expensive and easier to come by. Welcome to the forum and let us know what you get.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:34 AM   #7
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1963 24' Tradewind
Pittsford , New York
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Thanks for the offer. I am really excited to get a trailer. I am looking at the follwoing items on eBay:

http://tinyurl.com/93m8p (1966 Airstream Caravel). Pretty far away but looks OK.

http://tinyurl.com/bncnu (1963 22ft Safari). Looks good and very restorable

http://tinyurl.com/by599 (Looks pretty beat but it is only 80 miles from me and I may take a look at it.

Any thoughs on these appreciated. I am still trying to think of my ability/desire to do a full restoration so not sure how bad of a condistion I am willing to tolerate.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:29 PM   #8
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1994 30' Excella
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Sig,
All three of those look pretty rough and will need major work. Also consider that anything prior to 1975 will not have a gray water tank, with your kids this may be a problem. You can put one in but it is a struggle. The Caravelle looks like it will need a new floor. That means gutting the interior and lifting up the shell. The Safari has sat for ten years in one spot and may have some frame problems caused by rust. I purchased a TT which had sat for many years and that was the least of its problems. Trailers and RVs need to be used and tend to wear out quicker when they just sit unused. Wiring dries out, mice and other critters find their way into the insulation, plumbing gets brittle, and then there is this smell of non-use. Give me a well used high mileage trailer or motor home any day.
Have you looked at the classified section on this forum? there are several nice trailers for sale. I do not know what your tow vehicle is but I do agree that the larger trailers are a better buy right now. You might try a PM to RichardT from Bat Cave, NC he always seems to have several nice Airstreams for sale on his property.
Good Luck and my best advice is take your time the right trailer is waiting for you.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:47 PM   #9
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1963 24' Tradewind
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Thanks for looking at those for me - much appreciated. WHat is a Gray water tank and what would be the disadvantage of not having one when you have kids?

Thanks again,
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:54 PM   #10
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
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Gray water is water from the sinks and shower. Black water is from the toilet. On most trailers there are both gray and black water holding tanks. On Airstream trailers made prior to 1974 there is no gray water tank. Waste water from the sinks has to be stored in a portable plastic container - usually on wheels, lovelingly referred to as a "BLue Boy" as they are almost always blue in color.

On a few late model trailers all the waste is stored in one combined tank - also maybe not such a good idea. On really early trailers al lwaaste just ran out a hole in the trailer and into a hole that you dug each night to recieve it. Also not good.
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:02 PM   #11
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Look at the forum calssified too. I found a great trailer there for a friend. There are also forum members who can go look at trailers too far away for you to get to. I found my Argosy on RV Trader Online. Had to drive to El Paso to get him, but it was well worth the drive. It was in good shape and a good price. I have a 24ft and although there is just my husband me, we wouldn't mind having a couple of more feet of space. Good luck in your hunt. It's a lot of the fun in getting a trailer -- looking.
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:25 PM   #12
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1963 24' Tradewind
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Janet,

Thanks for the quick reply. What do most people do that have pre-1974 trailers do? Do they / can they retrofit / add a grey water tank?

How big are the the portable plastic containers? What do you do with them once they get full?

Also, with the blackwater tank - how long can you typically camp for before you have to pump it out?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:46 PM   #13
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Folks w/o/ gray tanks take a blue tote. You can buy them at places like camping world. They come in a variety of sizes from 5 - 35 gals... They get dumped at the dump station at the campground. You can pull them there by hand or drop the pull handle over your hitch ball and drive it to the dump.

How long you can go between dumps depends on how your use water and how big your holding tanks are... My tiny trailer has a 12 gal black tank and an 11 gal gray tank. 2 adults can go four nights (careful use) before we need to dump the black tank. But the gray tank gets full faster. we often take a blue tote along for extra gray water. Ours is about 20 gals - the bigger ones are hard to handle.

One more thing - the black tank doesn't get "pumped" - it drains by gravity and a fuller tank drains better than an emptier one - it's a pressure thing. Welcome to the seamier side of trailering...
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:54 PM   #14
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You can buy Blue Boys in several sizes but the larger they are the heavier they get when full and that leads to the second answer. When a Blue Boy is full you wheel it to a sanitary dump station or lift it onto your truck and drive it there. How much gray water do you use? You wash dishes, your hands, and shower. You clean food and run water to wet cloths to wash those dirty faces of those cute kids. We camp with our 3 year old grandson who can fill up our 50 gallon gray water tank in a weekend! How often do you empty your black tank? Less than your gray tank, since it only holds the solid and liquid waste plus the water to flush it. Although, my grandson can fill that tank as well. If you are in a park with public toilets you can extend the use of this tank.
You might want to go to Fred's page. He has mostly motor homes but is starting to create a list of trailers as well. Here you will find data on various trailers as to sizes, and equipment. He also has a classified section.
http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/index.html
Once again I advise you to take your time, there are many sources for good used Airstreams and quite a few people who are willing to help you find just the right one.
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