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Old 03-10-2014, 08:46 PM   #1
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New Member.... 1987 Avion 34W

Hello. I just joined the site after reading through a couple of threads detailing Avion refurbs. I am always amazed at the skills, effort, and time that people are able to put into their trailers. I am not the least interested in participating in the rivalry between the family of silver trailers (or tow vehicles, for that matter).... I like them all, for different reasons! Like people, the trailers have their good and bad points, but I like to focus on the good..... and tolerate the bad!

After getting to enjoy several travel trailers during my childhood, including an Airstream (mid-seventies vintage) and an Avion 34V (1981, if I remember correctly), my wife and I FINALLY bought a 1987 Avion 34W last October. It was in pretty good shape.... no major issues at all, just needed TLC and detailing. We purchased it for $4K, after negotiating down from $4,800 to cover a 2000-mile round trip to go get it. Understanding that Craigslist deals can be a disaster, once I had received LOTS of information and pictures, and several phone calls with the previous owner, I felt comfortable about the deal. We went from NW Arkansas to Hancock, MI to get it. Everything was just as the previous owner had described, no surprises whatsoever. It made the trip home without even a hiccup. I winterized it, cleaned up the inside, and have done some on the outside, although this winter hasn't cooperated to get a whole lot accomplished. My first exterior project is to clean the roof and apply eternabond's alumibond tape to the seams. The roof seams have some sort of brush-on sealer on them. It has dried to the point to where it comes off with a little effort, so that shouldn't be as major of a job as others I've seen. I want to replace all 6 electric brakes, inspect/pack the bearings, and clean/paint the frame members and wheel well areas. I also need to tidy up the batteries: a previous owner moved them from the front of the trailer to the storage area under the rear bed. They are in a battery box that is vented to the outside, but it's not quite the professional job I'd like it to be. All in all, it's in good shape and I know we'll enjoy the heck out of it. We might make our maiden voyage to a local lake in April (talk at church about getting a group together)..... will definitely do that in June (meeting friends there), but no set plans, yet, for a long-distance trip. (already had a 1000+ mile trip bringing it home, so I know it tows like a dream.) A trip to the north east is on our sights.

I spoke to the wife of the original owner (husband passed away three years ago) and found out that they took this Avion EVERYWHERE!!!!! From Alaska to Florida... from Maine to Mexico! It was wonderful talking to her.

I grew up in Tulsa, OK, home of the Spartan trailers. I have enjoyed learning the history of those.

Thank you, Air Forums, for letting owners of silver cousins join!!! (If I could get my hands on a Silver Streak, I'd probably be a 2-TT owner! I love the looks of those, too!) I look forward to learning a LOT here.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
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Great story.
Great trailer.
Pictures?
Welcome to the forums.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:05 PM   #3
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Yes, I have pictures to share, but not with me at the moment. I'll post them soon.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:25 PM   #4
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I forgot all about posting pictures. Here are a few.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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Great looking rig and a great price. Congrats.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:57 PM   #6
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I have the roof about 2/3 finished with the Eternabond sealer. I replaced all of the electric brake assemblies and shocks. Here are some pictures of those projects.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:49 AM   #7
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Always nice to see another Avion on the forums. We are welcome here and I for one appreciate it. Good luck, great trailer. Jim
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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Looks like you're ready to go everywhere like the previous owners...
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:29 PM   #9
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Interesting story, I used to have that same model years ago. Another point of interest is that I grew up in Hancock Mi. I haven't lived up there since the early 70's. Good luck with it. I am about to get back to travel trailering with a. Purchase this week. Bye for now. Vagabond
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:55 PM   #10
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Yes it is good to see another Avion owner. Welcome. Mine is a 1978 28.5 model M. I've been busy updating. New fridge, countertops, curtains, etc.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabond Bob View Post
Interesting story, I used to have that same model years ago. Another point of interest is that I grew up in Hancock Mi. I haven't lived up there since the early 70's. Good luck with it. I am about to get back to travel trailering with a. Purchase this week. Bye for now. Vagabond
Thank you. I wish we had had more time to enjoy the Hancock area. It is a beautiful part of the country (in the non-winter months, anyway).
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokeydog View Post
Yes it is good to see another Avion owner. Welcome. Mine is a 1978 28.5 model M. I've been busy updating. New fridge, countertops, curtains, etc.

You've been busy! I've been very fortunate with this trailer... with the exception of a bad ground on the water pump and a wiring issue I had to figure out, everything works! I washed all of the curtains and they turned out very nice. This coming week I'll continue detailing the outside of the trailer with ParBond, and I need to replace the seal under the A/C unit. Once I have all of that done, it'll be just about where I want it to be, just in time for our maiden voyage to an area lake in June.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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Great price, great TT. Less than half of what it's worth, and one-third after all said and done (assuming factory quality is the goal).

" . . I also need to tidy up the batteries: a previous owner moved them from the front of the trailer to the storage area under the rear bed. They are in a battery box that is vented to the outside, but it's not quite the professional job I'd like it to be."

The reason TT batteries are located on the tongue or in the very front of a coach is their weight. While most weight should be centered on the axles one would need to place the batteries on both port and starboard to equalize the load.

Placing any weight of significance behind the axles is a no-no. All trailers will sway given the right conditions, and those modifications which increase that tendency (reducing trailer yaw stability) works against you. These matters are not those of skill at the wheel, but of risk minimization.

Keeping the TT tongue weight at 12-15% of total TT weight (shoot for 13%) is also par for the course.

A reduction in TW accompanied by a further reduction in yaw stability due to weight at the rear of the TT is the wrong path.

Personally, I'd not ever have batteries under my bed any more than I would a gas/electric water heater . . the thought of failure, explosion and fire is more than I could bear.

Also, do the homework on setting up your WD hitch properly. A truck has a hard enough time staying upright and lane-centered, and a big TT only makes that worse. A PRO PRIDE hitch is highly recommended (your low TT price paid for this), as are BILSTEIN shocks plus polyurethane anti-roll bar bushings for the your pickemup. Get rid of the steering slop -- any at all -- and take care of brake drag and alignment on both vehicles.

Your trailer is a known good towing vehicle. I recently visited with man and his family at a Texas rest area with pretty much the same rig . . and it was easy to agree that the FORD mirrors of the period were not up to the task, but that the rest was tried and true (in his family for over 15-years).

I'd pretty much guarantee that you'll never again come across such a good bargain. Treat it as irreplaceable, in all ways.

Look forward to more.

.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:27 PM   #14
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I have owned a 1988 model for many years and they are certainly well built. It looks as if you really got a good deal on yours. Enjoy it, because it will certainly last a few generations if it is cared for.
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