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Old 08-26-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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1970 25' Tradewind
Baton Rouge , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Newbie Needing Advice…

Greetings Air Forum, we just purchased a 1970 Tradewind that we would like to completely remodel and could use some advice on getting started. Does anyone have a remodel priority list they could share?

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
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2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Welcome to the AirForums! Glad to have you with us!

Same list I would use for any motor vehicle or trailer meant for human occupancy.

In very broad strokes…
1 - Make it safe. Anything that has to do with its roadworthiness, risk of electrical shock, etc.
2 - Make it comfortable. Anything to do with the ergonomics that isn't a safety issue.
3 - Make it yours. The personal touches that don't affect safety or ergonomics. The decor.

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Old 08-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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Make sure it physically sound and worth restoring. On a unit this old, check for rust outs on the frame. Check that the suspension axles are working well by checking for drop when jacked up and spring when they are down as well as that the have a downward direction of the trailing arms when trailer is loaded. Then check whether the air conditioner works. Make sure the floors are sound. Once you really know how much you are going to have to put into it to make it go down the road rather that looking for another one in better shape, check the brakes and bearings. Now you have made your down payment and are ready to start to spend money. Figure out how you are going to use the trailer and figure how much time and budget will be required. Now it is time to start buying parts.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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1972 25' Tradewind
Hopkins , Minnesota
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 437
I'm in the middle of doing a '72 Trade Wind 25'. I think it really depends on how far you want to go with it. I would determine the condition of the sub-floor first. If it needs to be replaced due to water damage, then you may also be looking at frame damage due to rust. If those things are true, then you are (probably) looking at a shell-off restoration. If you are not a welder, you will probably want to find a good one and take the frame to be repaired. Then you will want to treat the frame for rust and get it painted to prevent any further deterioration.

I would hold off on new axels, wheels and tires until you have an idea how long it is going to take you to move the project along. Tires have expiration issues and torsion axels do not do well sitting idle for long periods of time.

If you are going to replace the floor, take everything out of the interior. Take pictures and notes about everything. Catalog everything, so you know what you have and what you want to re-use. Take the old floor out carefully and in as many large sections as possible. You will want to use the old pieces as a template to cut the new floor....especially around the front and rear profiles. Although there are plenty of debates on what material to use for your new sub-floor, a good option is 3/4" Medium Density Overlay Marine Plywood...not the stuff from the Big Box Store. Get the best you can afford. Caution: High Density Overlay Plywood may have a coating on it that resists sealing and painting, which you will want to do...both sides and especially the edges.

Read everything you can on the Forum...lots and lots of great information here. Take and post pictures of your progress. Ask plenty of questions.

Good Luck and Welcome to the Forum!
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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If it is usable as is, use it for awhile and you will soon develop you own remodeling list, if any. There's a certain amount of "make do" in all of them.

The available weight you can carry is very limited, always keep that in mind. If you bring something in that wasn't there before, you probably have to take the same amount of weight out.

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Old 08-26-2013, 02:55 PM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,157
Find and repair/seal any leaks to make her watertight before you start remodeling inside. Windows, doors, hatches - all need to be checked and probably have new gaskets installed. Check her over thoroughly outside, looking for missing or popped rivets, and gaps in seams, especially above the floor line.

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Old 08-26-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by kdhouston View Post
Greetings Air Forum, we just purchased a 1970 Tradewind that we would like to completely remodel and could use some advice on getting started. Does anyone have a remodel priority list they could share?
1) Allow 1 year and $20,000

2) Fully assess floor and frame condition before proceeding. If poor, plan a shell-off or find another trailer

3) Axles, brakes, wheels, tires, hitch, exterior lights

4) Roof/wall leaks

5) Everything else

Have fun
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
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1970 25' Tradewind
Baton Rouge , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Thank You!

Protagonist, thanks for posting my first reply! I’m already planning #3 on your list but know that we have to tackle #’s 1 and 2 first. It’s good to know that you are in Louisiana!
Dwightdi, the frame, suspension and subfloor are solid and we have a new, working AC. The trailer pulled great but we need to get the brakes and bearings checked.
arktos55343, I’m not sure if our plywood subfloor is marine grade but it is sturdy and painted. I am thankful that we don’t need a shell off restoration. I appreciate the guidance on the new axles (I assume this is a must-have expense?) and tires. The trailer will be sitting up for a while we are working on it.
Doug, there are so many pretty things I want to install on the trailer that I know your advice will be a necessary challenge!
Chris, we’ve already had 2 rain days since picking up the trailer on Saturday and thus far, we are watertight. We have a mix of glass (probably original) and Plexiglas windows and many of the gaskets and calking look messy. The seams are good on the exterior but I have not inspected all of the rivets. I will start cataloging and taking photos – being organized will be one of the few free things that I can do on the project!
Jammer, I hope we complete what is needed in a year. I have not put a pen to the finances of it yet but $20K sounds like a fair estimate.
Thanks to you all for your welcome and guidance!

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