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Old 10-15-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Hypothetical restoration question

I just read thru the sticky "Vintage Trailers: What can we agree on?".

This brought up a series of questions that I would like to ask the masses of Airstream owners, and especially those that have done major repairs themselves.

What year/s had the least amount of major and/or minor component failures?
What year/s are now the most desirable for restoration?
What year/s are known to be the easiest to work on?
What year/s were known for the best corrosion protection, in terms of both rust and aluminum oxidization?
What year/s were the trailers known for being "well built"?

And lastly, if you had to do it all over again, what year Airstream would you buy?

Woody
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:28 PM   #2
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all you need to know is 1962. It the best year of all. Now some will dispute this, but do not be fooled, you want a 1962.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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You are so close to being right. You're only about two years off. My 1960 is by far the best AS I've ever owned.

Ok...it's the only one I've ever owned.

I'm a tinkerer and a cheap skate. So i'd get an older trailer that is the size I need for as cheap as I can get it and then enjoy making it wonderful. I love the 1960's. You may need to add or settle for no gray-tank. The door within a door is wonderful. My frame lasted very well. That may be more related to how the trailer was cared for instead of a year thing.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:21 PM   #4
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With all respect, the '60 and '62 models meet all the requirements. . .

. . . but the '59s had that delicious mahogany woodwork!
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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I will submit that you need a desert unit. Contray to popular opinion all old Airstreams do not have floor rot or corrosion issues. The woodwork on my '67 is dry as a popcorn fart but completly sound.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:10 PM   #6
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Yep, you can not answers your questions... it will depend where it was, how it was stored, lots of factors... I have a '68 (the true best year) it was in ok condition, and I still tore the inside out and am redoing it...
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #7
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What year/s are now the most desirable for restoration?
The one sitting in your driveway that still isn't done, at least that's the one my wife desires most.

What year/s are known to be the easiest to work on?

Apparently everyone else's.

And lastly, if you had to do it all over again, what year Airstream would you buy?
That same shell sitting outside....by reason of insanity .
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
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I like our '74, as it is slightly wider and longer than the 1960's units, and has the "modern" equipment such as holding tanks. The 1970's and older had what seems to be better aluminum skin, but our trailer is living proof the frames leave something to be desired. Our '63 was the easiest to tow and work on, as it was pretty simple and basic. That means less stuff to break.
The 24' and shorter trailers have more of a cute factor, but there is a lower limit to practicality. If I was looking for the "perfect trailer" for the three of us, I'd look at a 25' Tradewind or 24' Argosy 24, either in center twin configuration. These are the biggest small trailer, and the biggest small trailer, are relatively lightweight, tow well, and are still large enough you don't have to set up the bed every night and couch every morning, and have a good amount of storage area.
If you want 1950's-1960's, probably a double axle Tradewind would be a good choice, followed by a single axle version of the same trailer.
These are personal preferences based on our own experiences, and some people may have entirely different opinions. If you don't believe me, you can look at the other posts in this thread...
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:26 PM   #9
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Old Bambi or 2005 Safari

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody.303 View Post
I just read thru the sticky "Vintage Trailers: What can we agree on?".

This brought up a series of questions that I would like to ask the masses of Airstream owners, and especially those that have done major repairs themselves.

What year/s had the least amount of major and/or minor component failures?
What year/s are now the most desirable for restoration?
What year/s are known to be the easiest to work on?
What year/s were known for the best corrosion protection, in terms of both rust and aluminum oxidization?
What year/s were the trailers known for being "well built"?
Hi, I would look for an old Bambi or similar in size Aistream to remodel, if it were me; Or as I did, buy a new trailer. Reasons: I would like to re-do an old small trailer due to size. [cute factor]
(1.) Do you have the time needed to re-do a trailer?
(2.) Do you have the space needed to work on it?
(3.) Do you have the ability to do the work yourself?
(4.) Do you have the tools needed to do the job?
(5.) Do you have the money it will cost to re-do a trailer?
(6.) Are you willing to put as much money into restoring an old trailer as it would cost to buy a new one?
Even if you buy a new trailer there are things that need improvements and repairs from time to time. As listed above: The reasons I bought a new trailer versus an an old one.

(1.) No time.
(2.) No room.
(6.) Not willing to spend more on an old trailer than a new one.
These are my opinions.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:49 AM   #10
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I have the 1978 24ft Argosy (mid full bed) and the 1976 31ft Sovereign with rear bedroom. The Argosy is easy to tow, easy to work on, but no real wood and that mid full bed is a pain to make up or try to sleep two people in. The trailer has all the storage you could pack into 24ft. And it's sooooo cute. The 31ft. rear bedroom is a dream to live in, and for my money easier to work on. All the plumbing is on one side, and the heat runs right along with it. I will say that both my trailers were well taken care of by the PO. They came to me with only a few problems. My only caution to you is don't get the VistaView windows because you think they're cool. They are not cool in either sense of the word. They let in lots of heat and unless you completely re-do them, they do not look cool. Actually the trailer you choose should be something to fit your camping needs, not something you can make a profit on. I don't believe there is a profit to be made once you start restoring an old Airstream/Argosy. If it's going to be used for your camping pleasure, get the biggest you can tow, the best kept you can afford and go camping!
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:02 PM   #11
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It's all subjective...

...it really depends on your paradigm. What's a "perfect trailer"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
(1.) Do you have the time needed to re-do a trailer?
(2.) Do you have the space needed to work on it?
(3.) Do you have the ability to do the work yourself?
(4.) Do you have the tools needed to do the job?
(5.) Do you have the money it will cost to re-do a trailer?
(6.) Are you willing to put as much money into restoring an old trailer as it would cost to buy a new one?
The above are all really good questions...

Here's some more:

(7.) How will you use it? Weekends, extended trips or full-time?
(8.) How many months a year? Spring? Summer? Fall? Winter?
(9.) What are your tow vehicle limitations?
(10.) How many traveling companions? Adults? Teens? Small children???
(11.) Any pets?
(12.) Where will you stay? Campgrounds? Full hook-up? Resorts? BLM land? Boondocking?
(13.) Where will you store it when it's not in use? On-site? Off-site? Storage lot? Barn? Backyard?

All these (plus some I'm sure I forgot!) go into the formula in determining what's YOUR perfect trailer. You can always do what many of us have...buy more than one!

Shari
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:02 PM   #12
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>>Diesel1

Dry as a popcorn fart???





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Old 10-16-2008, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2333 View Post
What year/s are now the most desirable for restoration?
The one sitting in your driveway that still isn't done, at least that's the one my wife desires most.

What year/s are known to be the easiest to work on?
Apparently everyone else's.

And lastly, if you had to do it all over again, what year Airstream would you buy?
That same shell sitting outside....by reason of insanity .
Hi 2333; I prefer a 1973 26' Argosy with Stainless Steel frame and aluminum clad floor. "Boatdoc"
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:21 PM   #14
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Boatdoc,

I've followed your threads just like I follow the performances of Olympic athletes....in awe. There's just some people on this forum like yourself, Carlos, a-merry-can, uwe, aerowood (and a few others I am forgetting) who can do incredible work. I think if someone follows some of those amazing threads, they might fall under the alluminitis spell and get themselves into some deep trouble. So, while I did write my reply with a humorous bent, it's pretty realistic, don't you think?
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