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Old 09-29-2016, 08:25 AM   #1
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1969 25' Tradewind
Chicago area , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 4
New member w/ 1969 25' tradewind rehab project

Hello airforum,
I stumbled into a garage sale and saw a lonely AS sitting in the yard. Asked if it was for sale and before you know it...I bought it! That was a week ago and I can't get my mind off of the new project my wife and I have on our hands let alone our daughters (2yr old and new born). I been considering the AS as my 3rd kid and recently most expensive haha. I am the third owner with the second owner buying it and never getting started. Most recently it has been sitting in the yard for 10 years.

I will be putting it in a storage lot today (stupid HOA we live in) and work on the repairs when time allows.... still trying to get my plan of attack figured out. Any advice would be much appreciated...

Does anyone know of a volunteer inspector on this forum in the Chicagoland area?

My idea of a plan is:
Inspect axles breaks and shocks
fix one spot of rotted out floor
Inspect electric
Inspect insulation
Inspect plumbing
Inspect appliances

Here is a pic of the exterior

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Old 09-29-2016, 08:32 AM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
Chicago area , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 4
2nd attempt at posting the picture...whoops
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
McHenry County , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,152
Images: 5
Welcome to the Forum and the world of Vintage Airstreams.
Looks like you’ve been doing some research and have identified the common problems.
I’d suggest checking for water leaks around the vents, windows and doors then making sure the trailer is winterized before putting it on storage.
Running gear is next. Mainly tires and lights to start. Axles, floors, interior and appliances can be checked later. With a little work and luck you’ll be hitting the road next Spring.
Lots of info here and members willing to answer any questions.

Good Luck,
AirForums # 2806
WBCCI / VAC # 6411

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.
Avid supporter of trailing edge technology.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:16 AM   #4
3 Rivet Member
1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 179
Beautiful looking exterior!
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:34 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1974 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 69
Originally Posted by Gches32 View Post
2nd attempt at posting the picture...whoops
Looks good on that end (and from that distance). I just pulled the rearmost floor sheet out from our '74, and I'll likely be removing two or three (or four) more. Have a close look at the rear bumper/trunk and the condition of the skin right there - basically, the horizontal materials stackup is steel / aluminum / steel / plywood / aluminum, and then the rear wall is aluminum / steel / aluminum. The flat top surface of the bumper storage compartment allows water to collect into the horizontal sandwich and the plywood retains the moisture, causing substantial electrolytic corrosion over time. The horizontal rub rail that is riveted along that joint also allows water to be trapped and cause issues over time. These two things together are major players in the dreaded "rear end separation" that is common with many older Airstreams. For what it's worth, our trailer passed the test (jump on the back bumper and see if the body back there moves along with it) - but there was no way it would have lasted another year or two of regular use.

Still, in the end, restoring / rebuilding a 40 year old Airstream is worth it, from the perspective of having a cool trailer that you can't otherwise buy. Just be ready for some significant work.

In terms of inspections - Electrical and plumbing faults are unlikely to kill you but make sure your propane stuff doesn't have leaks, and that the furnace doesn't have corrosion issues in the heat exchanger.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:45 PM   #6
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1967 22' Safari
Long Beach , California
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 87
Hello Gohes 32:

Well, now you've done it!

I imagine if you towed your trailer to your storage yard, you may already have a weight distribution hitch and possibly a friction sway control bar. You probably also have a brake controller and electrical connection. Tires need to be good also.

Assuming you have towed it, you know if the brakes are working, etc. These kinds of things are necessary to keeping your family safe.

Assuming the inside of your trailer is as nice as the outside appears to be, you might consider taking the family for a short trip to he nearest campground before winter sets in. You will know lots about your trailer when you return.

You can always improvise for a few days. For example if the refrigerator isn't working, you can always throw a bag of ice inside.

Your new trailer doesn't need to be perfect before your family can start to enjoy it. -- Have fun!
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:20 PM   #7
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1969 25' Tradewind
Chicago area , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 4
Tips and advice noted. Thanks! Def want to make sure the family is safe during our getaways.. turned out we ran out of time today and moving day got postponed till tomorrow.

Inside isn't as pretty as the exterior yet but nothing is missing and just needs some attention. Will get some more pictures posted when downloaded.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:36 AM   #8
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,502
Good plan. I'd add check all the running/brake lights as #1 or #2.
Check with wiring early on as you may have aluminum wiring, my 68 does. Don't be scared of it, just make sure all connections are tight and corrosion free. You will need to pull all the 120V outlets out just far enough from the boxes to tighten the screws and check for corrosion. I found only a couple of loose connections but the outside one was very corroded.
Actually not much you can do about insulation without removing the belly pan and interior skins.
Finally, we used ours as an aluminum tent on several trips as we worked to put all the interior back in. Had a lot of fun camping sleeping on the floor and not worrying about rain.
Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:53 AM   #9
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 690
Images: 3
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on being a new airstream owner!

We too have an airstream a 2 year old daughter and a baby. The memories you'll make travelling with the kids in a vintage airstream are priceless.
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:58 AM   #10
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1958 26' Overlander
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 355
Welcome to the forms. Hey join the WBCCI club (Wally Byam Caravan Club International) and join the VAC ( vintage airstream club). Lots of people to help you there to. Also rallies and Caravans to do and great people to meet. Learn more at the web site.

1962 Tradewind 24'
VAC 3rd VP
WBCCI #9380

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Old 09-30-2016, 07:49 PM   #11
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,200
Images: 1
69 is a rather unique Tradewind you have there. Folks spot the 69s due to the "square corner"front wing windows. 69s were the first year of the new body style that has a more rounded shape. They also have the new design windows as opposed to the Corning curved glass "frameless" windows like my 66 Trade Wind has.

My son has a 69 globetrotter 21 foot single axle. We've done a lot to it so far, and more to do this winter.

Your trailer will likely need a lot of time and money in renovations to become fully functional. It doesn't have to be done all at once.

The first priority is to make it safe to tow. Tires, brakes, bearings, exterior lights, hitch and tow vehicle are all important.

Then clean the thing and start making a list of what it needs. Fixing frame and subfloor issues are needed before selecting fabrics if you know what I mean. You can go camping in a safe to tow and clean trailer with sleeping bags and air mattresses on the floor like an "aluminum tent".

Airstreaming is an adventure for sure.

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