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Old 01-18-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Well, at least it's Aludamin.

Hello everyone. My name is Paul. And I'm an Alumaholic

[sits down]

First off let me say I've been lurking for some time here and have learned a lot so far. I'm the tall one with his hand up in the back row with some of the Avion owners. (Yes. I snuck in.) From what I have seen and read, this has to be the best forum for streamers and their kin. And also one of the friendliest.

Years ago, I owned two 31 foot mid-60's vintage Airstreams (not at the same time) and loved them both, rear end sag and all. And even though I sold them long ago, the cravings have never subsided. Alumaholism is not entirely curable.

Recently, I fell off the wagon, and now I have a '82 Avion 34V. Life is (hic!) pretty good.

It's not an Airstream, of course, but I must say I am impressed. It appears to be as well built as I've always heard, and it weighs a little less than a WWII Bomber, but with more wheels. And, according to the nice people who sold it to me, I got a "pretty good deal on it."
Or was it, "in it."

I will most likely be full timing, like I did before with one of the Airstreams. By "full" I mean, "man, that old guy lives in a camper", and by "timing" I mean, "but at least he bathes regularly."

Anyway, I am very glad to be here and will stumble in from time to time with questions, and perhaps an answer on the occasion of me tripping over one.

My best to all,
Paul in Northwest Central South Carolina.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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Welcome to the fix for aluminuts...or is that nauts?

I live upstate from you...quite a ways, far enough it is known as North Carolina.

Haven't been down in that part of SC in a while but if I do, I would be interested in seeing a nice Avion. Post some pictures in the gallery for us to drool over.

Aaron
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Welcome Section8

Glad to have you on board. I have owned and restored 2 Avions. A 34 ft and a 30 ft. Both were excellent and well made. I like everything about them better than Airstreams except the Recognition and resale value.
I have found them to be a little harder to resale after restoring, than Airstreams are because most people don't know much about them.
They had Airstream beat in almost every category but alas they were made too well and my guess is that Thor could not compete against Airstream at the same price point and still make money or they certainly would have continued to turn them out. They are a wonderful unit to restore and hold on to.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful time camping with it.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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Colored Pichers

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Welcome to the fix for aluminuts...or is that nauts?

I live upstate from you...quite a ways, far enough it is known as North Carolina.

Haven't been down in that part of SC in a while but if I do, I would be interested in seeing a nice Avion. Post some pictures in the gallery for us to drool over.

Aaron
Hi, Aaron. I have heard of that place you speak of, North Carolina. Who knew it was so close? Good place for it too considering its name and all.

I just posted some interior shots of the avion in what I hope is the right place. In the gallery. I don't think the pictures do it justice. It's prettier, I think - especially the parts made from sliced trees.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainstream View Post
Glad to have you on board. I have owned and restored 2 Avions. A 34 ft and a 30 ft. Both were excellent and well made. I like everything about them better than Airstreams except the Recognition and resale value.
I have found them to be a little harder to resale after restoring, than Airstreams are because most people don't know much about them.
They had Airstream beat in almost every category but alas they were made too well and my guess is that Thor could not compete against Airstream at the same price point and still make money or they certainly would have continued to turn them out. They are a wonderful unit to restore and hold on to.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful time camping with it.
Thank you, Mainstream. I suspected as much about the Avions regarding build and also resale vs Airstream. Up front, that lower resale value helped me; it is how I was able to afford it. I am thinking that if I never sell it, it won't hurt me on the back end.

As for restoration, which is something I enjoy, I am aware of only four things I can improve upon:

1. Problem with the roof AC that I believe is thermostat related.
2. Very light "normal wear" areas in the wood finish on the back of the dinette thingy (you can see it in the pictures), and on a couple of drawer faces.
3. Missing the gravel guard for the front window ($400 bucks from Cayo. Ouch).
4. The outer skin is due for a good waxing.

I am betting that I will be posting questions about all four of these, perhaps even in the correct forum section (hopefully).

Of the four, waxing is the biggest job, which is kind of unsatisfying from a restoration point of view. (I realize this means I will probably just have to make up some good lies to tell people about all the restoration work I did for it to look as good as it does now.)

Everything else is pretty much like new, including the original curtains, and the original "winter" and "summer" bedspreads. Somebody really took good care of this one. I am thinking an older couple who rarely spit.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:22 PM   #6
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Waxing an Avion?

SECTION8
The one thing about Avions is that they have Anodized Alum. and that is good and bad.
Good because they do not have clear coat that will wear off. Bad because they water spot and can't be polished to be shinny. You can wax it for some improvement in the luster but the quickist way to make it look like new is to scrub it down and coat it with WD40 or any thin oil with a clean rag. It will shine and look great but it doesn't last long. The good thing about it is that you can do the entire coach with WD40 in less than 45 minutes with little effort and it will look great. The water spots will never come off but will
be unable to be seen when waxed or WD40 coated. If you want to spend the money, take it up to the CAYO Bros. in Mich. and have them Perma Bond it. Its like an extra good Clear coat.
I saw one that they did and it was the most beautiful clear Satin Alum. camper I have ever seen. Looked brand new and no more water spots ever. The Cayo Bros are sons of the Orignial owner and designer of the Avion before Thor bought them out and are real nice guys and easy to talk to. You can give them a call any weekday.

If you have any questions about the Avion please feel free to contact me.
I would be happy to help.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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When I started looking for an Airstream eight years ago I wanted a smaller trailer that was in fairly good conditions. I do not have the skill or knowledge to restore a trailer. At that time I was unable to find a used trailer that fit my criteria.

There were many, many Airstreams in the 30 foot size range in great condition. Unfortunately, they were to big. There were very few smaller trailers available that did not need major restoration work.

At the same time, I also looked into buying an Avion trailer. Same problem, I couldn't locate a smaller trailer. I did find one Avion that almost fit my needs, but it was a bit too long and too heavy to tow with my tow vehicle.

I ended up buying a new Airstream because it was the right size and weight for my tow vehicle. If Avions were still in production and available in smaller sizes I would have seriously considered purchasing one.
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