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Old 11-26-2006, 02:42 PM   #1
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1969 18' Caravel
1978 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Virginia
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New to the forums and our '69 Caravel!

Hello to all of you helpful folk:

We have been reading the forums for the past few weeks, sort of stunned by the impulsive purchase of this very original 1969 Caravel. Feeling kind of overwhelmed, hard to know where to get started, also excited all at the same time!

Now as winter is fast approaching here in Richmond, VA (though the temp today was near 70) we feel we need to get a few things in order. Our first priority is to find an adequate replacement for a missing front left (streetside) wing window. It's now temporarily covered with plastic but want a more solid fix. Glass or Lexan, we don't feel picky but we are a bit dizzy with all the discussion of sealants, gaskets, tapes and aren't sure how to proceed. Of course there are many, many more questions. We would certainly welcome thoughts and the support of other Caravel owners. We feel lucky to have found this sweet trailer (photos to follow when we learn how to post them!).

We were lucky to get this trailer (1st of 150 + callers); PO had obtained the A/S in trade for tree work he'd done. It has sat unused (and unloved) for at least 10 + years. We remain hopeful but realistic about the long road ahead. We anticipate needing some partial floor replacement, have questions about wiring (some electrical does work), battery type, water tanks , how to check for other leaks and heater (OK, it's clear we are really green).

We are having fun discovering all the little nuances of this trailer. Thanks in advance for your help! This seems to be a great place for fellowship and learning. How did anyone every accomplish anything before the internet made all this communication possible??

We are Stephen and Allison living with two young kids in Richmond, VA.
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Old 11-26-2006, 03:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to the AS world

Hello,
My wife and I also live in the Richmond area, however, we're in the process of relocating to Lynchburg. We have a friend who has a mid '60's Caravelle parked at VA Tech that needs me to tow to town as he doesn't have a tow vehicle yet.
Maybe we can link up.
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Old 11-26-2006, 03:39 PM   #3
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congrats on your caravel----
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:30 PM   #4
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Caravel a neat model of Airstream. We were looking for one or a Bambi. Could not locate one in New York State. We found our 20 ft GT an love it.
We have met some wonderful people on Forums with all the information we needed. ENJOY....the work and the friends you will meet.
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Old 11-26-2006, 06:23 PM   #5
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Welcome Stephen and Allison and congrats on your new "baby".

We have a 69 GT - and most of the internals are the same.

You have a special year - change over year - and one particular element was the shape of the wing windows.

I am afraid you have no choice but to replace it with Lexan. Unless of course you are really lucky to find another 69 that has one still intact.

We have a hole bunch of picutures when we changed our out. Both were intact but once the oldy started to travel it did not take long for them to break.

If we can be of any help just give us a hollar....
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:21 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Forums and Airstreaming. Best of luck with your Caravel.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:04 PM   #7
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1969 18' Caravel
1978 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Virginia
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Hi Folks. Thanks for all the quick replies! It really makes us feel welcome. Reached a high point after we posted here. Was toying with a wire in the Univolt and suddenly I had all the lights come on instead of just the rear half. Not a bad way to end the day and Thanksgiving weekend. Even the old Dometic seemed to begin to cool. The door looks very rough with dry rotted fiberglass and mildewed gasket. Should we try to keep the unit going and replace the door or remove the entire fridge?

We realize that the wing window replacement is going to be a tricky one.
We really appreciate the willingness of others to share their photos and tips with us.

A question: to replace the wing window do you need to remove the rivets and frame surrounding the window?? And if so, where do we find a primer on rivets? Has anyone tried to cut Lexan with a jigsaw?

Thanks again for your help and we will keep checking the threads for Caravelers and GT'RS.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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window

Nice choice of Caravel!

Yes, you can cut lexan with a jig saw....and drill thru it without cracking problems. Be sure to leave expansion space. If you use lexan be sure to get lexan SR. ( scratch resistant.)

If you want a real window, let me know. I know where there is a source.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:13 PM   #9
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congrats on the Caravel find. I've been looking for months now and found one in I think it was Ohio but was too slow on the draw. Can't believe there was one in Richmond. I'm guessing it's more luck then persistence.
I'd go for the quick fix with Lexan and then try and find a replacement window later. Chances are you will have to replace some of the floor. Good luck and use the search for anything your having issues with. I just keep reading and wanting a trailer more every week.
I guess I'll find mine one day. Since some here have 2 or 3 I'm sure there is one for me somewhere.
Remember to enjoy your time with the kids. They grow way to fast.
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:23 AM   #10
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Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivrCtyStrmr
Hi Folks. Thanks for all the quick replies! It really makes us feel welcome. Reached a high point after we posted here. Was toying with a wire in the Univolt and suddenly I had all the lights come on instead of just the rear half. Not a bad way to end the day and Thanksgiving weekend. Even the old Dometic seemed to begin to cool. The door looks very rough with dry rotted fiberglass and mildewed gasket. Should we try to keep the unit going and replace the door or remove the entire fridge?

We realize that the wing window replacement is going to be a tricky one.
We really appreciate the willingness of others to share their photos and tips with us.

A question: to replace the wing window do you need to remove the rivets and frame surrounding the window?? And if so, where do we find a primer on rivets? Has anyone tried to cut Lexan with a jigsaw?

Thanks again for your help and we will keep checking the threads for Caravelers and GT'RS.
Welcome to the forums! Congrats on your great find!

We have a 1963 Bambi. Although it isn't the same model we have several things that are similar...I am posting a link to my husband's thread that he did when he restored our trailer last winter. Lots of work...it is quite lengthy, but he has lots of cool pictures, explanations, and stuff that can give you an idea of what to do when you repair, etc. If you have specific questions, just send a PM (private message) and we will get back to you!

http://www.airforums.com/forum...mbi-17925.html

Good luck and have fun!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:58 PM   #11
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We are Stephen and Allison living with two young kids in Richmond, VA.

Hey guys!! We are also here in Richmond VA!!

Send me a pm and I will give you all our address and phone#

Look forward to meeting you all!!!

Abe
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:32 PM   #12
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1969 18' Caravel
1978 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 35
Thanks for all the help! More questions ...

We continue to be so thankful for all the continued interest and support and technical expertise as we "get our feet wet" with this new to us '69 Caravel.

Thanks to Melody Ranch and GT6921 for their window input and tips for how we can get covered in that realm before winter arrives!

We never knew there were so many airstream folk in this neck of the woods and we hope to link up with those of you who are nearby.

Owning a vintage Airstream has been a longtime dream of Stephen's; Allison is trying to get on board and all the repairs we can manage will help to make this dream more of a reality for our family of four.

It looks like the consensus is that rivets needs to be removed in the window replacement process. How can we learn to become accomplished riveters and leak finders??

We know very little about the viabilily of the appliances. The Dometic refrigerator appears to cool but it is also very mildewed and cracked in the door and gasket. The Bowen hot water heater seems original; we haven't yet figured how to tell if it is even functional. The stovetop seem to work, but we've not yet lit the oven. We have no idea whether the Hydro Flame furnace is viable. Does anyone have an ordering of priorities for newbies to get started?

This is just a start. We will continue to read and search for answers. Any offers of help will be welcomed.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordTruck
Hello,
My wife and I also live in the Richmond area, however, we're in the process of relocating to Lynchburg. We have a friend who has a mid '60's Caravelle parked at VA Tech that needs me to tow to town as he doesn't have a tow vehicle yet.
Maybe we can link up.
Hey FordTruck,
Sorry you are leaving Richmond, but we hope to see you in the future!
Maybe we can meet at Highland Haven Airstream park, Its near Roanoke VA
here is a link:http://www.vahighlandhaven.org/

Abe
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
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Green Cove Springs , Florida
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Welcome to the forums! I'm sure you will be happy with your vintage Caravel.

As far as a primer on riveting, I was given this book when I first got into my aviation career. It has a lot of quick reference info and primers in it and may be a good start for you. I would find a way to practice on something to get the technique down. It's not that hard (if I can do it, it can't be).
Have fun,
Baron
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