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Old 03-03-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
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1980 20' Caravelle
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1980 Caravelle Shell Off Renovation

Wrote the check this week and should get it home in a few weeks. Here are some pics. There is a lot in here that is not original so I've got myself a woodworking project. Any thoughts from you experienced Caravelle owners?
Tim
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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Beautiful!
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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Very nice, looks dent free.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
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1980 22' Caravelle
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Congrats! I haven't seen too many caravelle posts, as I have been looking as well. I acquired a 22 foot, 1980 Caravelle in Dec, 2010.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
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1959 28' Ambassador
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Originally Posted by timzog View Post
Wrote the check this week and should get it home in a few weeks. Here are some pics. There is a lot in here that is not original so I've got myself a woodworking project. Any thoughts from you experienced Caravelle owners?
Tim
Hi Tim,
I have a 1980 24' Caravelle with a front galley in my shop at the moment. I'm doing a complete restoration on it. What info are you looking for?
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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1980 20' Caravelle
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Hi Tim,
I have a 1980 24' Caravelle with a front galley in my shop at the moment. I'm doing a complete restoration on it. What info are you looking for?
Thanks,
Colin
Colin,
I don't even know enough yet to know what to ask. I guess I am just wondering what kinds of things I should expect to do right away and what kinds of things will I be able to do at my leisure? Should I expect the plumbing, tanks, electrical, axles,seals, etc. to be shot or is there a chance that it will all work and I can just use it? I've seen a lot of threads about 50s and 60s trailers that needed full restoration but I wonder if a 1980 might need a lot less.
I'd love to see pictures of the restoration on your 24'.
Tim
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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Colin,
I don't even know enough yet to know what to ask. I guess I am just wondering what kinds of things I should expect to do right away and what kinds of things will I be able to do at my leisure? Should I expect the plumbing, tanks, electrical, axles,seals, etc. to be shot or is there a chance that it will all work and I can just use it? I've seen a lot of threads about 50s and 60s trailers that needed full restoration but I wonder if a 1980 might need a lot less.
I'd love to see pictures of the restoration on your 24'.
Tim
Well,
I've done all of what you've just mentioned plus much more & this trailer had sat most of it's life in a campground. The floor is the critical thing to check first then you can figure out where to start. I can send you a bunch of photos if you like.
Colin
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:32 AM   #8
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I have a 1980 24' Caravelle with a front galley in my shop at the moment.
Wow! Those trailers actually exist?!? I thought they were only a figment of brochures and a picture or two on Vintageairstream. Love that floorplan and all the windows...

When you mentioned the Caravelle on the VAP I thought it was a 20' like my Minuet. I'd love to see photos too if you don't mind.

Tom
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:55 AM   #9
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Tim, that's a good looking Caravelle! I spent a while looking for one before I bought my Argosy Minuet. My Minuet 6.0Metre is very similar in design to the Caravelle 20' - both have a narrow body and a lightweight frame.

Here's what I had done to my trailer - like yours, it was a "survivor" in pretty good shape that was used and kept up, but with a more original interior:

- Frame repairs: These trailers only have a cross-member every 4 feet (other AS have one every two). Two of my cross-members had broken lose from weld failures. I had that fixed, two more members put in, and the whole thing painted with rust enscapulator.
- Axle: They all need axles.
- Leaks: They all leak. Lots of sealant pumped into cracks to fix the leaks. (My Argosy has a unique aluminium-composite floor that happily doesn't rot, so I escaped that issue. It brings other ones, but...)
- The belly pan needed to be partly reattached. Had all of the insulation under the floor replaced. It gets really gross with water and living stuff over the years.
- My plumbing was all surprisingly good, but I had it replaced with PEX.
- Had the fuse box updated to modern blade fuses instead of glass.
- My trailer came with a modern battery charger/converter. They're better than the original stuff.
- My various water and waste tanks are all original and work fine. Same with the appliances.
- Had two Fantastic Vents put in the roof.
- Had a slick deadbolt installed; the door latch/lock mechanisms are nearly unobtainium in this era so I don't rely on the lock and latch to hold the door shut when traveling.
- Lots of cosmetics - flooring, cushions.

Enjoy the trailer. They're really easy to tow and all of the windows are great - provide lots of light.

Tom
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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I'm struggling with know what to do as well. I don't have space to be able to take the shell off and do that kind of work. I go back and forth between I can do it and ah, forget it, take it somewhere (which means at least 7 hr drive away). It seems shell off or on type rennovation is key to the decision making. How does one figure out if this is needed?
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:43 AM   #11
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1959 28' Ambassador
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Wow! Those trailers actually exist?!? I thought they were only a figment of brochures and a picture or two on Vintageairstream. Love that floorplan and all the windows...

When you mentioned the Caravelle on the VAP I thought it was a 20' like my Minuet. I'd love to see photos too if you don't mind.

Tom
Yeah, it's real! My client looked for quite some time before he found it & oddly enough, it was only a few hundred miles from his house. He has owned it for about 5 years. He has owned several other Airstream's over the years but this one is the "keeper". With the front galley & rear bath, the central area is one big "entertaining area". It is the size & weight of a 50's era trailer & it's the last of the Alclad trailers so it shined up really well. The graphics are similar to the 20'er & have all been redone & believe it or not were originally orange & red.......................no blue at all. I guess that's part of the Argosy connection. The interior flooring & fabrics have all been re done, not quite original but in keeping with the era.
I'll post some photos when it's complete.
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:21 AM   #12
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1980 20' Caravelle
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Red face Suzie Belle

I've shared these pics with Tim, but it looks like there is more interest on the Caravelle. I've owned Suzie Belle for six years and finally got around to polishing her last year. Have only heard about 2 other 20 footers in the last six years. The one Tim purchased and one sold on e-bay last week!! I have done alot a work on her but she was in really good shape when I bought her!! Don
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:33 AM   #13
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Pretty, glacierrune! Did you replace decals?
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:04 AM   #14
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Thanks everybody for all the info and interesting posts. So it sounds like I should plan on a new axle, lots of sealant and check the frame for starters. Is the axle something a normal person should try or is it a job for a mechanic? If so, does it have to be an airstream mechanic or can an auto shop or regular RV shop take care of it? Regarding the other stuff, I want to get by with the least amount of work at the beginning so that I can live with it for a while and decide what I really want to do. I look forward to hearing about all of your projects and seeing lots of pics. By the way, it is totally cruel of Colin to wait until he is totally done to post pics. Any chance of some in process photos????
Thanks so much!
Tim
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