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Old 09-09-2006, 11:04 AM   #1
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1958 18' "Footer"
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110v Traveler?

We just brought our new (to us) 1958 Airstream home. It looks to be a Traveler because it is a Calif. model. I would like to get the systems up and running but I have a question about the electrical.
There is a Battery that looks to be wired only to a 12 volt DC on demand water pump. The lights all worked (isn't that fortunate?) when I plugged into 120v AC. Is this normal for the 1958 Traveler model?
If I need to run 12 volt DC for Lighting it is not that big of a deal but I would like to make sure that someone hasn't changed something 1st. Is there an easy way to seperate the AC receptacles from the lights? Maybe I am missing something here.
Where could I find a wiring diagram or better still an Owner's Manual for the Trailer? I need to figure out the refrigerator as well.
Steve
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:11 AM   #2
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Steve,
I have very little knowledge of the 50's vintage Airstreams, but I recall reading that they typically only came with 110v lighting. Perhaps 12v was an option. Also I think at that point in time many vehicles were still 6 volt and changing over to 12v. As far as I know no service manuals or owner's manuals exist for those years. Service manuals were not available until around 1972 IIRC the owners manuals started in the mid 60's. Your best bet is this board right here, the knowledge base is staggering. The "search" button is your friend

Aaron
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Old 09-09-2006, 04:23 PM   #3
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Steve,

One of the best resources to read is RJ Dial's site VintageAirstream.com. It can be found here: http://www.vintageairstream.com/index.html

Look at the entire site but especially the FAQ's in the restoration resources section. I believe that it will answer many of your questions.

Bill
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:06 AM   #4
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1963 16' Bambi
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Oh, oh, oh!!!

Post pics of your "new" 58 Airstream! Wanna see!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-10-2006, 05:44 AM   #5
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The previous owner likely modified the unit as early airstreams used a air compressor to pressurize the water tank. I do not think there were on demand pumps at that time. Lots of the trailer had lots of factory options. This one might have been one that was not intended to bondoc and had only equipment necessary for static campground use and therefore did not need 12 volt lights. My 63 has light fixtures with 110 volt lights and and also a special 12 volt light that looks like regular ac light bulbs.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:53 AM   #6
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Hi Steve:

In 1958, standard base model (entry level) Airstrerams were wired for 120 volt electricity and had only one or, if very long, perhaps 2 ceiling lights that got 12 volts from the tow vehicle. All other lights were 120 volts as were the fridge and the water heater (if it had one, it may not have) that hooked into city water by a garden hose. The base model Airstreams did not have any battery and were not self contained or set up for boondocking. But base models could be upgraded with propane appliances. Is your Krefft fridge 120 volt only or can it run on propane?

The intermediate trim model was the Land Yacht and it had a propane fridge, propane water heater, toilet holding tank, and potable water system with a 12 volt air compressor pump (air pressure potable water systems were used from 1958 thru 1963). It was self-contained for boondocking.

The top of the line trailer was the self-contained "International" trim level trailer that had all the Land Yacht features plus additional features, upgraded trim and better soft goods.

Being a small and relatively inexpensive trailer, your 18' Traveler likely is a base model that originally did not have a battery and was not built to be self-contained. The 12 volt demand water pump and battery most likely are a prior owner's addition. All your lights originally were 120 volts only; you will have a add a separate 12 volt lighting system for 12 volt lights, or rewire the trailer so the lights are on a separate circuit from the 120 volt wall outlets if you want to make all the lights 12 volts while keeping the 120 volt wall outlets. Your trailer likely has only two 120 volt electrical circuits, one for the electric water heater (if it had one) and another for all lights and wall outlets on a shared circuit.

There was never a wiring diagram or a manual for your trailer, just separate instruction sheets for each appliance. You will have to trace the wires and make your own wiring diagram. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:49 PM   #7
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1958 18' "Footer"
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Traveler with 110 volts AC and 12 volts DC

I was able to get the AC working today. Thank you Fred Coldwell for your input, I have found a 12 volt DC Light in a dome that also has 110 volt AC Lights. I also have a LPG Light at the Galley/Dinette. Our refrigerator is 110 volt and 12 volt as well as LPG. I have rewired the Krefft for giggles but we are seriously considering a new refrigerator. The old Kreft is trying to work as we speak.
Here are two pictures will post more later. Thankfully I didn't get anything bigger!
Steve
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:54 PM   #8
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110 and 12 volt Traveler

I wanted to post more pictures. Yes that is a 1952 Ford 8N Tractor that I have to use to turn the Traveler around with. The other picture is the view out of the bedroom window. We will be using the Traveler as a Guest Room so I thought I would share the view.
Steve
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:08 AM   #9
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Thanks for posting such great pictures! Lucky guests! Nice view!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:43 AM   #10
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Hi, piratesteve. Nice trailer, but I sure do like that beautiful Ford tractor. When we retire and maybe get a larger piece dirt to call home, I want to get a tractor just like your's. I have been planting the seed; Telling my wife we could have a real nice garden!

Bob
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:41 AM   #11
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Don't wait! Life happens and then we miss something.
I bought this Ford 8N not running and restored it to this stage. Lucky for me because I could not get the Airstream parked without it. Because we live up here in the mountains, There isn't much level or cleared land. My Ford F150 is too long to turn it. I need to disconnect and use the 8N to turn the Airstream and then hook back up to the F150 and back it down the drive.
Steve
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratesteve
Don't wait! Life happens and then we miss something.
I bought this Ford 8N not running and restored it to this stage. Lucky for me because I could not get the Airstream parked without it. Because we live up here in the mountains, There isn't much level or cleared land. My Ford F150 is too long to turn it. I need to disconnect and use the 8N to turn the Airstream and then hook back up to the F150 and back it down the drive.
Steve
Hi, Steve. Good idea; instead of one of those electric dollies for moveing my trailer, I could use the same tractor that I want to use to make my wife's garden to move my trailer too. Any other good ideas to help convince my wife to let me buy a tractor. when we purchase a bigger piece of dirt to retire on?

Bob
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:17 AM   #13
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I am sure that we could convince her! Hopefully we can run into each other at a campsite and after a few Beers or Margaritas she could be pursuaded.
Steve
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