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Old 10-24-2009, 11:16 PM   #1
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1985 25' Sovereign
1966 17' Caravel
Philly , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 45
Our interesting Caravel Wiring

Hi everyone!

We recently got a new Airstream, a 66 Caravel. Its a great little trailer , but it looks like the wiring is in bad shape. Judging by the liberal scattering of mouse droppings, by guess is that the critters have been gnawing away at the wires over the past year.

We need to get the running lights, turn signals etc working so we can move the trailer and use it a bit while we slowly upgrade everything. Went I opened up the inspection panel where the umbilical cord is connected to the trailer lights, the red and brown turn signals and the green running lights cables were rotted through and pulled straight out from under the floor. So now I have to find a way to wire up the rear lights. It seems like the mice have bitten through the wires at somepoint just behind the wheels.

So after poking around for ways to fix this I have some questions:

# It seems that the curb-side tail lights have two bulbs in them (one for running lights and a brake/turn signal combo). However, the right side has a single combo bulb, with no sign of the stoplight line. Which configuration is original? How should the black stop light be wired into the configuration with the single bulb?

# Is there anyway to get to the broken wires with out ripping out the internal skin (I really dont want to pull the entire bathroom out just to fix a couple of lights)? I thought I could go in through the belly panel, but on the caravels this seems as hard as the interior skin. Any suggestions?

# Does any one have a wiring diagram for the '66 caravel?

I'm hoping to start a full restoration, just as soon as I've moved the mice out and the weather gets a bit better. I spent today lying under the trailer in an inch and half of water

Caius
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:21 AM   #2
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Corona , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumsmug View Post
Hi everyone!

We recently got a new Airstream, a 66 Caravel. Its a great little trailer , but it looks like the wiring is in bad shape. Judging by the liberal scattering of mouse droppings, by guess is that the critters have been gnawing away at the wires over the past year.

We need to get the running lights, turn signals etc working so we can move the trailer and use it a bit while we slowly upgrade everything. Went I opened up the inspection panel where the umbilical cord is connected to the trailer lights, the red and brown turn signals and the green running lights cables were rotted through and pulled straight out from under the floor. So now I have to find a way to wire up the rear lights. It seems like the mice have bitten through the wires at somepoint just behind the wheels.

So after poking around for ways to fix this I have some questions:

# It seems that the curb-side tail lights have two bulbs in them (one for running lights and a brake/turn signal combo). However, the right side has a single combo bulb, with no sign of the stoplight line. Which configuration is original? How should the black stop light be wired into the configuration with the single bulb?

# Is there anyway to get to the broken wires with out ripping out the internal skin (I really dont want to pull the entire bathroom out just to fix a couple of lights)? I thought I could go in through the belly panel, but on the caravels this seems as hard as the interior skin. Any suggestions?

# Does any one have a wiring diagram for the '66 caravel?

I'm hoping to start a full restoration, just as soon as I've moved the mice out and the weather gets a bit better. I spent today lying under the trailer in an inch and half of water

Caius

If your Caravel has a lot of mice droppings, for health reasons, you should gut the trailer, and remove the interior metal.

You may find mouse droppings within the walls, in some places.

Certainly, you would not want to restore a trailer, that will take time and money, and risk the chance of it being hazarous to a persons health.

Once you gut the complete interior, there are many changes and upgrades you can easily make, starting with the original "Univolt" which in your case is not a battery charger, but a simple transformer with output voltages of 12 and 19 volts AC.

The only way you can charge the battery now, is when you tow the trailer.

That's far removed from today's standards and systems.

You can also add a gray water tank if you wish.

You should also remove the complete underbelly, and search for more mouse droppings, and then address the issue of the frame condition as well.

I feel you will be making many posts, asking many questions. Many people on this forums can offer facts and opinions. You will need to weigh what is the best for you to do.

Examining the complete trailer, inside and out, and all of it's appliance and fixtures, before you spend any money on anything, is a wise move. Getting the complete umbrella answer as to the condition of everything in and on the trailer, before you do anything, will save you many headaches, as well as money. Once you know all the problems, and the costs, you can plan your budget accordingly.

Welcome to Airstreaming.

Andy
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:39 AM   #3
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
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Congrats on your purchase!

Andy has sage advice, as usual.

Here are two things that may help. For the best documentation of the teardown and rebuild of an original caravel, something like 300+ pictures, find CJohnson's pictures. I don't have a link handy but he also has an off-forum picture site.

The Vintage Airstream Club has manuals online, including a '65 Caravel. See The Vintage Airstream Club
. You'll see an electrical schematic there.

Good luck.

John
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