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Old 10-30-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
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1966 17' Caravel
College Station , Texas
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Somewhat newbie, bought a caravel '66

Greetings Aluminati,

I got on the forum a couple weeks ago asking questions when I was searching. My husband and I found a 66' Caravel last week 2 hours from us and decided to buy it. I had preferred a Bambi of course, because of the floor plan.
We were excited, now we are overwhelmed, just not knowing where to start. We found one small spot of rotting wood underneath bathroom sink area, some cabinets show water damage,very subtle. The cushions are all original clearly since they are crumbling. Propane refrigerator doesn't work. Some windows have been replaced with plexiglass and one is just caulked shut! One big gouge on the door side, many small dings, and a few patched areas. Seller did most of the skin cleaning and we just need to polish. The phrase; What have we done? keeps coming to mind...
We do not like the dining room set up, very tight. Husband toying with the concept of trying to make an angled diner. Countertop needs to be replace. Oven looks great. Fiberglass in bathroom has small hairline cracks, but it everything seems good besides that.

So many questions, not sure where to start. Husband took pictures, joined up under "uncledan" and will post pictures and start annoying others for advice!

Jerri
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:09 PM   #2
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Yay, another Caravel! If you look at the pictures of my trailer (which has an angled dinette) you can see how nice your Caravel can be when finished, and we love the floorplan best of all. I have yet to be in another trailer that I thought I would like to own more than my Caravel (and we owned a Bambi as well, it felt crowded). We've had ours 7 years and my husband insists we will never trade up!

Don't let the soft spot in the floor worry you too much, there are solutions for small areas of rot - everyone has them somewhere! The other problems can be tackled one by one. For short trips you can hold all the food you need in a cooler. The windows can be tackled one by one. Plexi isn't too bad if it's done right, I have one plexi window and it's held up just fine.

Most important, there's nothing wrong with your trailer that someone here hasn't already tackled, so I hope you get lots of help to figure out all it's little problems. Congrats on your new toy!
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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Be patient, don't let all those 'fixes' overwhelm you. Get some pictures going. Deal with those things one at a time. Lots of people here will talk to you about everything...I just think they are out trick or treating right now. ...
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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Greetings!
HMMM, Aluminati. Sounds like something from Dr. Who... but I like it!

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Old 10-30-2010, 10:21 PM   #5
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The greatest...a 66 Caravel. I can't believe you like a Bambi better. Wait and you will discover the differences. Look for rot at the front door, under the front window area under the water tank also. Check the black tank ...notorious for cracking out where the pot sits directly on it. Start looking for original Corning windows....they do show up in the ads. Leaks are common from the stove vent also....look under the upper cabinet. Bet the axle needs attention too.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:49 AM   #6
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1966 17' Caravel
College Station , Texas
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Thanks 4 welcome/Caravel 66

Thanks for all your encouraging words. I have looked around the forum enough to know we have a tremendous support group. I was worried there would be some purists who want everything to stay original as possible.

Stephanie, would really like to see pictures of how you did that angled diner, I thought I saw at least one person in this group who also did that, but maybe it was your husband-? BTW I am originally from Walla Walla. We just came back from a visit.

My husband is having a hard time getting logged on. They did not send him an email, he needs to try re-registering.

Looking forward to making new AS friends.

Jerri
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:59 AM   #7
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The angled dinette was an original option in the Caravel. They are supposed to be rare, but at the biggest rally I've been to there were 6 Caravels and every one had a dinette!

Here is a picture with measurements of the angled tabletop

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f137...ble-70183.html
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:02 AM   #8
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1966 17' Caravel
College Station , Texas
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Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
The greatest...a 66 Caravel. I can't believe you like a Bambi better. Wait and you will discover the differences. Look for rot at the front door, under the front window area under the water tank also. Check the black tank ...notorious for cracking out where the pot sits directly on it. Start looking for original Corning windows....they do show up in the ads. Leaks are common from the stove vent also....look under the upper cabinet. Bet the axle needs attention too.
Melody, I read on some post you restored a Caravel, and had axle replacement shipped by Andy to some place in Dallas.
We are in CS, and the local RV place quoted a loose figure of $2500. We were wondering if the Camper Clinic ll in Buda (Austin area) could do us better. Dallas is about 4 hrs for us, but we have family there. Rather not tow it far at all until the axle is replaced. What kind do I need to get (I never heard back from Andy) and about what do you think is a decent price for it all?

Jerri Lawson
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:24 AM   #9
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Here you go

Try these guys. They are the brains who ran the Camper Clinic Airstream work.



" As you now know, I have ventured on my own and opened as TK RV & Auto. We are a consignment lot and service provider, our goal is to provide quality and honest service for all Airstream needs; from Body Damage to Electrical to Plumbing. We have a certified Airstream technician and certified Airstream parts, so we can do all Airstream repairs as well if not better than our competitors; plus we are $20.00 per labor hour LESS on all repairs! We need to see you during the early months of 2011 so that your Airstream can start 2011 ready to travel!

We are located at 7980 U.S. 183, just south of the intersection of Highway 21 and North US HWY 183 (soon to be State HWY 130 Toll Road), Lockhart Texas.
512-573-3325 and 512-398-3737
TRY US! See the attached flyer for monthly discounts!
TK RV & Aut

They can tell you all you need. Negotiate the price too. I no longer recommend the Dallas reference.
I have used axles and brakes from Southwest Axle Co. in Dallas. Check their WEB pages and get a good idea on pricing and their items. Wheels and brake assemblies are something I got from them.

Go to the Vintage Rally at Tres Rios, Glenn Rose, TX, in May. Take the Caravel regardless of completion. If it rolls...take it. Great folks and help there.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:38 AM   #10
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1966 17' Caravel
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Thanks so much, I will try to talk my husband into going to a campout in Feb. in Austin and maybe the vintage rally. We need to find something to sleep on at least.

Jerri
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #11
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On another thread you asked...

NB= New Braunfels??
So, if he doesn't want any new work, I guess there is no point in giving out his information on the web?
I got a Caravel last fall and finding someone to help us newbies...has been a major pain in the butt. Now, last sunday my husband was rear ended and it totalled our tow vehicle...but I can find someone to help us at least replace the axle, I will rent a T.V.!

Jerri Lawson
CS"

Jerri,
Sorry to hear about the accident. I hope your husband was all right.
I'll answer it here since it isn't really about polishing. There are many people around you that can help. I'm about 100 miles from you.

What besides age makes you think the axle must be replaced right now? If there are other things that need to be addressed first, you should put the axle off until later.
How is the general condition of the trailer?
Fresh water?
Waste water"
Propane system?
Have you fixed the windows?
Melody suggested a few things for you to check. How were they?
Do the brakes, lights and tires all pass the safety inspection?
Don't be afraid to use your trailer. That is what she was made for!
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:07 PM   #12
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1966 17' Caravel
College Station , Texas
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We had researched the Caravel and everyone that has one, said; "Replace the axle" because they have a history of busting, and they need to somehow have the shocks welded onto the axle.
We have no idea about anything else, the propane system, the lines have been taken disconnected since they went under the axle (clearing the belly skin) the water/waste systems we know nothing about. My husband has had a shasta before, but that is the extent of his knowledge of trailers. His username on here is uncledan. The window on the front has plexiglass and was silconed shut, the rest are fine. Large gash on the curb side that is has putty of some sort to fill in the gap. The cushions have disintegrated, so we need to get something at least temporary before we can sleep in it.
I have heard so many stories about the Caravel axles that I am afraid to haul it even, even though the seller hauled it here from Temple area.

Jerri
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:17 PM   #13
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Ok I see. Wow! How did I miss a Caravel only 15 miles from my house? Oh well. Can't get 'em all! I'd be glad to help you get her on the road.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:21 PM   #14
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wow, the thing sounds like a train wreck. maybe you should drive it off a cliff, or give it to me.!!..just kidding..my suggestion would be to look first at the axle, make sure that's o.k. then go from there. have fun with it. if the work that needs to be done on it is not something that you can enjoy doing yourself then find somebody else to do it for you. the forums are an unbelievable resource! take advantage of that. the help you can get here is just amazing. but first and foremost...HAVE FUN!
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