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Old 10-24-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
New Member
1961 24' Tradewind
Beaver Falls , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Western PA Newbie on the loose

Although this is my first post, I have to admit that I have been a "lurker" on this forum for quite a while. I have always enjoyed the look and history of Airstream trailers but it wasn't until 5 years ago that I decided that I actually wanted to own one of those jems. Unfortunately after a little internet searching and browsing the classified ads I realized that my vision of ownership might take longer than I anticipated. At the time I decided I needed an airstream, well, our family began to grow and inturn the airstream budget shrank

Then last month my luck changed. My brother-in-law purchased a piece of property for his business. The site had been abandoned for a few years and was terribly overgrown. On the property was a run down house that was unsafe and needed demolished and a 30'x50' block garage. My brother-in-law was soley interested in the garage. Tucked between the garage and the house and not very visible was a 1961 Tradewind. Imediately I told my brother-in-law that if he wasn't interested in the trailer I would like to have it. He gave me the phone number of the woman whom owned the trailer and the journey began from there.

I contacted the woman and we scheduled a time for me to view the interior and she gave me some other info as well. Seems the property and the trailer were owned by her late uncle. He had never been married nor had any children so she came to inherit everything. She told me her uncle had purchased the tradewind new in 1961 from Louisville, OH. He brought it home and never moved it again. Then we moved on to the viewing of the interior.

This is where she failed to mention that her uncle was a "hoarder". She opened the door and I looked with total disbelief! EVERY inch of the interior was covered with something. The Tradewind was packed to its gills. I hoped it would not be a stumbling block toward my airstream ownership. With so much stuff littered through out the trailer I realized I wouldn't be able to do a proper inspection. I tried in vain to uncover ares of the floor to check for rot but soon became overwhelmed. I turned and looked at her and asked if she had a lot of interest from other parties. She mentioned a little but they were scared away by the condition of the interior. Now what do I do? Do I walk away or do I take the risk? After all the exterior was great. The trailer had only made on trip in its 50 years of existence so it lacked any creases, dents or road rash. Just had the typical oxidation. So I made an offer of $200.

She accepted under the condition that I was the one to clean the interior. Not something that I really looked forward too, but I did get the trailer for a price that was affordable to me. Because she wanted to move on from the property and the trailer she told me anything valuable that I found in the trailer was mine to keep.

Cleaning the trailer was an experience to say the least. At times it was exciting. Other times it was frustrating. But mostly it was very overwealming!! I would work for a few hours and seem to get nowhere. After a few weeks of picking at it here and there the trailer was finally empty!! And I did find some vaulables. Enough to cover the cost of what I paid for her, the title transfer and I even was up $125. Not too bad. I feel like I was actualy paid to take the Tradewind

Well this past Saturday she made the voyage home. The original owner had the trailer on jacks for the last 50 years. So we lowered her and after tending to the tires and bearings she made the 4 mile trip to my house and now sits in my garage. Finally after all that dreaming, I am a proud owner of a "new-to-me" Airstream.

Wow....sorry that was so long. I just felt that was a fun story to share since oddities like this never really creep in to my life. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this.

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Old 10-24-2011, 01:25 PM   #2

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
Images: 1
Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

Only one thing we like more than a good story around here....


Congrat's on your Airstream, sounds like quite a "barn find".

And you came out on the plus side to boot.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:08 PM   #3
Rivet Master
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1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,626
Images: 2
Yes, Yes, photo's please! what an incredible find. Amongst all the hoard did you find the original paperwork? Owners manual, etc?
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
New Member
1961 24' Tradewind
Beaver Falls , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures prior to the move There just wasn't a good angle to capture all of the trailer. Once it was towed home I shoved it into my garage so that it was out of sight. So, as soon as possible I will take some photos and try to figure out how to post them.

Being that the original owner was a true "hoarder", most of what resided in the trailer was pure junk. He kept every piece of mail, what ever trinkets or gadgets he was given and whatever he deemed as important.

However, the original lifetime warranty is still posted on the inside of the pantry door. From info I have gathered on this site it seems the 1961 models did not come with an owners manual. I did come across some sales brochures from the 1960's and 1970's from the dealership her purchased the trailer along with a couple accesory catalogs. Probably the most important find was the orginal (I believe) hubcaps in a box. He never put them on his trailer...they have a mirror shine without any scratches!!
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
Rivet Master
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1978 29' Ambassador
1974 25' Tradewind
1974 27' Overlander
Indiana , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 667
Blog Entries: 7
Tim...congratulations on your find and new Airstream. There are a few of us here in Western PA that can make that statement. The forums will provide you with a lot of valuable information. Don't hesitate to post or ask for help...most of us have been there, done that! Hope to see you on the road.

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