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Old 08-23-2014, 06:10 AM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
Augusta , Georgia
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Posts: 123
Laminate flooring for interior walls???

There is a 1970 Caravel posted in the classified. The interior walls appear to be painted laminate flooring. If this is the case any ideas on installation technique? If I've completely missed the boat on material would appreciate thoughts on what these interior walls are.

1970 Airstream Caravel 18’ for sale in Bella Vista, Arkansas


ps - i've dropped a note to seller, but looks like new to the forums for purpose of selling trailer - thx

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Old 08-23-2014, 08:27 AM   #2
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Hmmm, not sure about that one.

It looks nice in the photos, but...if the "wood planks" on the walls are installed over the aluminum skins, I would be concerned about the added weight. If they are installed in lieu of the aluminum skins, I would be concerned about the integrity of the monoque construction of the trailer.

Nice as a static guest house/showpiece...not sure how it would handle moving down the road over time. Curious to read what the seller's response is...


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Old 08-23-2014, 10:35 AM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
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It does not look like a camp ready trailer. It looks more like a mobile office. There is no bathroom from what I can tell. The price is way out of what I would even think about paying unless it was 100% restored to original and was camp ready. I would also be worried about the weight.

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Old 08-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
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No bathroom, toilet or shower, no kitchen. No range. Dorm type refrigerator. Cute but not a camping vehicle. Way too much money.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:11 PM   #5
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1967 26' Overlander
Bugtussel , Oklahoma
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I like the way the wall covering looks and can see achieving that effect with very thin material that had been cut and installed to look like flooring. Actual laminate flooring would be very heavy.

I certainly hope the seller can get the 30k they're asking. That would mean I could probably get 40k for mine when it's done. Then I could buy nice newer model.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:22 PM   #6
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1973 25' Tradewind
Augusta , Georgia
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Heard back from seller indicating it was wood planking. Included in response was "We had a gentlemen here locally that works on RV's for a living do it. It was his first one but he has done numerous ones since." In followup dialog asking about installation details seller indicated "... they are thin strips of birch that were glued to the metal wall and then there are very small nails that were shot Into it." Mikextr looks like the winning answer.

Specific to the interior under discussion, I've built several wood stripped canoes in recent years and wondered about this look as an interior for the Airstream. This is closest thing I've seen and thought it could be pulled off using engineered flooring. There are always numerous boxes in clearance bins at local big boxes. Regarding thickness, might have to run through the re-saw once or a couple of times through planer.

I acknowledge the input and views on all the various other aspects related to the trailer. For complete disclosure I have a 1973 Tradewind that I'm putting interior back into. I just can't get excited about reinstalling the vinyl clad walls. Always looking for alternatives.

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Old 08-23-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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1970 18' Caravel
Bella Vista , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Hi Dennis - I didn't think about checking the forums once I posted my airstream online. We have camped in this quite a bit and my wife does not like the thought of a toilet/shower in such a small camper. We grill outside and always make sure that there are clean facilities where we camp. If we had a larger trailer it would have made sense for us to have these facilities in the camper. The last time I weighed the trailer it was approx 2500 pounds so actually a little lighter than how it was built originally.

As far as the planking on the walls, this was my wife's idea to bring some texture to the smooth walls. The birch is .25 thick and was just 4x8 sheets from Lowes. He then cut them into strips and routed each edge on each board. It was a lot of work for him to do. The boards are then glued onto the metal wall that was restored as well. It holds up extremely well as we have taken on some long trips

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Old 08-23-2014, 03:50 PM   #8
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The engineered flooring idea might work but you may have to find a way to slice the pieces, making them much thinner. This may be difficult because most engineered wood is laminated to plywood or other types of substrates.

Why don't you get some beautiful birch or ash and plane it into thin strips yourself? It will have to be made quite thin to work with the Airstream compound curves. Maybe steam will help in the corners?

If you spray painted the whole of the interior shell in matt black or navy and then applied the natural wood strips the "reveal" would be very dramatic.

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