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Old 10-10-2017, 09:21 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1957 22' Caravanner
San Rafael , California
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 6
Total newbie needs help identifying parts on 1957 Caravanner

Hi community! First off I apologize in advance if I am not posting this in the correct area or asking questions that have already been answered on the forums before. This is my first time posting but have spent many many hours scouring the forums for info (have to say it's not that easy to find the info I am looking for but maybe I am not searching correctly)

Anyways I have a beautiful 1957 airstream caravanner that I am working on the upgrade systems while trying to keep as much of the trailer in its original form as possible. Currently I am focused on electrical and plumbing systems. I know the tank for the toilet needs to be replaced. After researching the forums I think I have figured out the the waste tank (black water) is not under the belly pan but sits above the floor under the toilet and I am assuming that the pipe that comes out from the belly pan attached directly to that tank and then was meant to drain into a hole (I guess in the 50's they just dumped their waste directly into a hole?!?). I believe what I have is obsolete so now I am trying to figure out how or replace. I am working with the folks at vintage airstream supply but would love any advice from the community on this as well.

see attached photos. Would love any input from the community if I am on the right track. Also (and I recognize this is likely a dumb question) can anyone tell me what the two little hoses are on the street side of the belly are?

Thanks in advance!

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micahman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6,534

That's a very nice looking trailer !!!

I do understand the desire to "keep it original". Toilets and electrical have come a *long* way since 1957. Step back a bit and take a look at the modern options for toilets that may eliminate the black tank. I'm not saying they are the only solution, just that now is the time to do the research. You *will* need a gray water tank as well on the "new" trailer....

On the electrical side, modern converter / chargers and LED lighting is *way* ahead of what they had "back then". Again, not a "must do", but something to dig into and think about.

Plumbing and electrical, for the most part, are hidden away once the renovations are done. You can still have the "look and feel" of a classic, without it actually being 100% classic. For some that is bunk and yes, I get it. For others, it works.

Decisions !!!!


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Old 10-10-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
Rivet Master

1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 897
One of the hoses coming out of the bellypan may be the roof mounted AC condensate. Hopefully the PO ran a line in the wall versus letting the AC drain on the roof. In our 55 we installed gray water tanks from VTS. We'll add a fresh water tank and a composting toilet. Most of our camping is in national or state parks where there are public facilities, so composting made sense. Good luck, Bubba
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:32 AM   #4
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
You *will* need a gray water tank as well on the "new" trailer....
I don't have a grey tank on my 71 and don't plan to put one in. Here out west there are still plenty of places you can drain grey water on the ground. For those places that this would not be PC carry a blueboy which can do double dooty (sorry) to make a trip to the dump station without hitching up. It's only wash water folks and you can rig up a filter if that is not green enough,
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:56 PM   #5
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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I'm thinking that pipe is the shower drain. Pour some water down the shower and see where it falls out.
Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly
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