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Old 03-15-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
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Endcap skin dents - how repairable?

I'm new to Airstreams and am interested in purchasing one for our family. While looking, I've come across a '67 Caravel which has some skin damage. The owner states the dents are in two panels and they have the replacement panels. I'm not sure if they are the "correct" panels or not at this point. I'm fairly handy, but I'd like to know how much is involved before I get too far along with this one. Sorry, this is the only photo I have available at the moment - I've not viewed the Caravel in person yet, as it's not close to me.



Also, I noticed the wheel well is an odd shape. I'm assuming this may have been a "repair" from an axle failure. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Zach
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:19 AM   #2
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f91/...tml#post561358First off, if you don't already know, there are several different kinds of rivets. Here's the difference between the rivets typically used on Airstreams:

Bucked Rivets - Solid and strong - BUT, you must have access to both sides of the rivet in order to install them. Also, in most cases, a second person to help install them. These are the kind that were originally used on your Airstream exterior.
Olympic Rivets - three legged with heads that look like solid bucked rivets, if they are shaved properly - can be installed w/o removing interior panels. These are often used as replacements for bucked rivets when you don't want to or can't dismantled your entire interior to access the back side of the panels being riveted. Not as strong as bucked but strong enough for most small repair projects and/or non-structural uses.
Pop Rivets - the kind you can get at the hardware store, they have a stem & hole in the center - can also be installed w/o removing panels but were only used on the interiors of Airstreams. They aren't nearly as strong as the other two types and are only used on the interior.

Here's a picture that shows the different kinds of rivets:

Top Row:
Left: Good shaved Olympic Rivet
Right: Bad Olympic Rivet (stem broke off)

Bottom Row, Left to Right:
1) head of bucked (original) rivet
2) back of bucked rivet
3) reflection of bucked rivet
4) pop rivet with Zolotone on it
Sorry - no pic of the backside of an Olympic, but they can be seen here.



Assuming the PO has the correct end cap pieces, it wouldn't be too bad to replace them from the outside only using Olympic Rivets. However, most folks here will agree that in order to repair/replace those two end caps properly you will need to remove the interior end caps to access the backside of the exterior end caps to use bucked rivets instead of Olympics….it's how the trailer was put together originally.

Unfortunately, because Airstreams are built from the back forward, that means you have to take out things in the opposite order they were installed - so that means everything forward of the area you need to access. It would have been "better" if the front end caps were damaged rather than the rear.

It would be a big "first project" for any new Airstream owner regardless of the method of replacement. It would be most helpful and less daunting if you had a friend that has done some riveting nearby help you get started. Riveting is fun - my husband & I are DIY'rs have done lots of riveting - with all three types of rivets described - but it can be pretty scary getting started.

Good luck if you decide to go after this one…or on your search for a different trailer.

Shari
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:17 AM   #3
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Depending on the cost of the trailer and your desire to have it because looking at the picture there are many issues. I have seen them advertised for 2k with fewer issues but that was over a year ago. For starters to properly replace those panels you will need to remove the interior from the closet to the bathroom which if the floor is original you may have to do anyway. The panels are in a leak area and should be buck riveted in (not hard with a little practice) next the ac is not right and is ugly and the fridge vent is wrong. The plumbing vents are after market and the wheel wells have been modified but again not impossible to repair but with all of this considered you are looking at some serious money and time investments and that is just with what I (not an expert) can see from a picture so what does the interior look like ? If he wants more than 1k than keep looking because these can have some costly issues. Go to the repair section and look at the caravels 66 and 67 and you will see what I mean. You can do it but it will be very involved and run 7 to 10 k if you have the tools and yes you will be da expert if you buy and complete the restore or renovation. There is always help in advise on the forum and we will help the best that we can. I did notice the shiny front end but a shiny turd is still a turd just my humble opinion.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:42 AM   #4
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Thank you both for the valuable feedback.

The interior of this one looks pretty good. New upholstery, subfloor, and flooring. New counters and refinished woodwork. Not without it's problems though. The toilet is original but the shower pan seems to have had some repairs. Fridge seems to be missing. Heater is not installed but is included.

Seems like I should let this go though and keep looking. Probably not the best time to be looking. And looking for a smallish AS like this is going to make the search more difficult. But I'll try to be patient.

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. Thanks again for the quick and helpful replies.

Zach
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:04 AM   #5
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Caravel values

Hey Guys

You guys are really low balling that Caravel. Yes it needs a lot and the wheel damage is a big problem but could be lived with. Saying that 1-2k is stealing it! I have not seen a Caravel going for less than $4000 for in years. A good shape unrestored one's are bringing 8-12k. Restored Caravel are going for $16,000 and up. I have seen them north of 30k. My is ins. $16,500 and it is not restored. So what is the guy asking for this one you are looking at?
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:34 AM   #6
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The PO is asking $12K. I recently saw one go for $8K that was in similar shape, but without the skin issues. I've not been looking for long, but I haven't seen anything in the $4K range, much less the $1-2K range. Although, I've seen plenty of "restored" Caravels that guys are asking $20-30K. But that's not what I'm looking for. I just need something that's usable as-is that I can start restoration on as time permits. I've worked on old cars and old houses. I'm fine with projects, and living with things that need to be worked on. But I don't want something that will have to sit in the driveway for 6 months while I put dozens of hours into it all before we can use it even once.

Here are some pics from the interior:





Shower pan seems to have been patched.



Fridge missing. Heater not installed. Should there be a hood above the stove?



Isn't there supposed to be a lamp on the wall at the end of the gaucho?
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:54 AM   #7
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Ace you of all people should know that today you don't buy a house, car or airstream for what it may bring because the market changes really fast. That said the exterior will need a lot and although the subfloor "has been replaced" how many CL trailers had their sub floors replaced right on top the original one belly pan frame and how is the shower cap? Did it suffer from the exterior damage? The frame damage I had repaired was from both water and the axle failure. So he buys it puts 6 to 8k into it he may want to use it and not flip it. All I am saying is that it will need so serious work and if that is not what he wants to do than why invest that kind of money into it. I have spent 9k on ours and I am not even close to finished let alone camp in! Would I take on that project? Only if I could get the trailer for 750. Or less. The shell is leaking with that damage or has been totally Polly coated on the inner shell. The axle needs to be checked and how many band aids are there. You have a beautiful caravel and ours will at least rival yours when finished and my kids may sell it when I croak but not before.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM66caravel View Post
Ace you of all people should know that today you don't buy a house, car or airstream for what it may bring because the market changes really fast. That said the exterior will need a lot and although the subfloor "has been replaced" how many CL trailers had their sub floors replaced right on top the original one belly pan frame and how is the shower cap? Did it suffer from the exterior damage? The frame damage I had repaired was from both water and the axle failure. So he buys it puts 6 to 8k into it he may want to use it and not flip it. All I am saying is that it will need so serious work and if that is not what he wants to do than why invest that kind of money into it. I have spent 9k on ours and I am not even close to finished let alone camp in! Would I take on that project? Only if I could get the trailer for 750. Or less. The shell is leaking with that damage or has been totally Polly coated on the inner shell. The axle needs to be checked and how many band aids are there. You have a beautiful caravel and ours will at least rival yours when finished and my kids may sell it when I croak but not before.
Cliff
Hey Cliff

I am with you. People alway think they are going to save $$$ buying a project. They are wrong! I alway tell anyone looking to buy a good one to start with you will be way better off in the long run. I have owned my Caravel now for 6 years and feel so lucky to have it and never plan on selling it also. It took me 3 year of looking for the right AS before I found it. I owned SOB's and other vintage trailers before I got the AS sickness. So for people looking for there dream Airstream. I say buy something you can use and enjoy camping in now. Then keep looking or saving to make your dream come true.

Ace in PA
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #9
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For 12 grand, no way. For 4 grand, you may be close enough to at least begin haggling.
Taking a look at what I see, and what I think it might cost:

Segments. IF they are correct for the trailer (and I doubt it) and are new, it still is a chore to install. You will not want to do these as your first sheet metal experience. If the segments are used, they may not fit correctly, since they were formed as a complete end when the trailer was built, and may have been stretched or cut to fit a different trailer. New, currently available segments will not fit and look right. We tried this at our shop, and the upper segment had more curvature, and made the trailer look kind of like a hunchback. The two segments, if you paid a dealer to install them, would run about $3K.

Wheel well issues:
Is it only the outer skin, or is there more damage you can't see? You could be replacing inner wheel well, tub, even floor before it's all over. Easily another grand or more.

Shower pan:
NLA. Good luck finding an undamaged one, and if you do, you may well break it removing it from the donor trailer, or installing it in yours.

Axle:
If original, another grand to replace.

Fridge:
Not there. A current model replacement is $800+, plus any modifications that will be needed to make it fit.

Range hood:
That is easy to replace, but the part is, again, NLA.

Period light fixtures:
Again, you will have to prowl auction sites, the forum classifieds, and swap meets to find those, as well as other stuff you find missing.

Furnace:
Easily another grand. Current prices for furnaces are between $500-$800, plus installation and any modifications to make it fit. Count on another hole needed on the outside of the trailer, and possibly the original one having to be plated over.

Air Conditioner:
I noticed in the photos, it's an old Coleman, and the cover looks to be home made. If it works, great, but it looks tacky with that early industrial box up there. If it doesn't work, another grand.

And if the floor was replaced, was it replaced properly, or was it just thrown over a bunch of rotten wood?

So, if you add all this up, and you pay the asking price, you could very easily have $20K in this thing.
So, long story short, unless you really want this one, and are handy with cash, keep looking.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:24 AM   #10
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There is a 1965 caravel on eBay for 2.5k and two on the inter web 1 for 6.5 k so check them out
Cliff
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:30 AM   #11
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I'll be watching this one. Its is in very ruff cond. The res. is not met at $2800. That show really you can't buy one for $800 in the real world.


1965 Airstream Caravel 16ft | eBay

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Old 03-16-2014, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZH904 View Post
The PO is asking $12K.
W-A-A-a-a-a-y too much for the condition IMO. The interior looks nice, but the exterior trumps all in this case - all that interior will have to come out to repair the end caps.

Did the PO say how the damage to the end caps happened??

Check out this Price vs Condition & Restoration Resources info to keep in your hip pocket for the next trailer that comes along.

One more thing…have you seen this Caravel in person? You say you want it for your family…a Caravel is pretty small for a "family" - especially if in involves growing kids.

Shari
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:40 AM   #13
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i agree. i have seen this one listed for a while. it doesn't make sense that they refinished the inside before properly repairing the exterior. to remove the interior endcap panels, the bathroom and overhead cabinets need to be removed. plumbing cut out, etc.

I wouldn't pay near $12k for this. i would consider up to 5 or 6k.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:32 PM   #14
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I definitely appreciate everyone's input here. While I'm looking more at long term ownership and not really interested in resale value, I don't want to overpay and have a huge project to boot. Ideally, I'd like to find something below at or below $8K that's usable as-is and hasn't been hacked up too much by POs. The wheel well problem on this one was a real turn-off. And coupled with now knowing how much of a problem the end cap damage is, I'm definitely staying away at that price.

With this one, I get the impression the PO has not owned it long. I suspect they either got disinterested, ran out of time, resources, both, or all of the above. Maybe this should be a lesson to not get wrapped up in a project, over-extended and over-budget by starting out too high. Although I do have an old Jeep CJ which I probably have 2x into it than it's worth, and I wouldn't trade it for any price, so maybe I don't learn lessons that quickly.

Zach
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