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Old 01-02-2006, 12:57 PM   #1
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1970 23' Safari
austin , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 44
I'm frightened of the 70's plastics

Hi to all. I'm new here, first post. I've got some vintage camping experience uder my belt as I've restored a 72 barth and built my teardrop trailer from the ground up. (pics below).

so we've always wanted an airstream and started to look. of course we bought the first one we found as it was local, has working a/c and exterior was dent free etc. it's a 72 globetrotter.

now, I am finding that I am offended by the plastic wood veneers etc. and my wife is not liking my idea of gutting and rebuilding just to please my eye. we could do w/o spending unecessary $ right now.

my biggest concern is the bathroom sink has a hole it it; I'm talking about an additional hole, not the drain. I see that whole sink and vanity are one big molded piece and my dreams of dropping in a cool stainless steel bowl sink are evaporating.

also, anybody have any good ideas for replacing all the broken roll up doors for the overhead storage? and the faux wood vinyl that coveres everything in the kitchen....

I'm not sure if I should put much effort into this one or try to find a cool 68 globetrotter or safari (I think I prefer some of the safari floorplans)

thanks for any suggestions,

paul schuster
austin, tx


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Old 01-02-2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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2006 19' Safari
2000 25' Safari
1985 25' Sovereign
Fort Myers , S.Florida
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Hey Paul, & welcome to the Forums!

Looks like you’ve done a great job on the Barth, did you build the Teardrop yourself?

I'm with you on the 70's plastic. Not afraid of it, just don't personally like it.

My ’85 Sovereign has some plastic-like wood-grained partition covering, but it is quite attractive sheeting when compared to most plastic coverings. The great thing about the ’85 is all the Real Wood on the inside. (see in my Photo Gallery).

Now the ’65 Safari I have was sought out specifically for the interior (International interior upgrade). The wood is a beautiful dark walnut and the balance is a combination of vinyl clad & Zolotone. Of course, it took quite a while to find one that was all-original, and had as close-to-perfect skin for a total refurbishment program.

Good luck in your searches and decisions. Can I assume you have been HERE to look at the different models and years? ... Don't settle for 2nd choice!

NORM #3305

"... there is nothing you can't fix yourself ...
... if you're handy ...
... with a check book! ..."
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:14 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
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Hi Paul,
Welcome to the forums

I actually like the mid 70's interiors...but they aren't for everybody. Maybe the best thing todo is either A) fix up the unit you have for resale, the short units are very popular B) Sell it as is get your money back and look for the unit you really want.
Run a board search for Tambour and you will find all the info you need to find repair parts.

Good Luck and let's see pictures we love pictures around here

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
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Huntsville , Alabama
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Welcome Paul,

I understand your concern on the plastic interiors. Be sure to peruse member Sneakinup's photo gallery on what he did with his '72 Overlander. With paint, and his own skillfulness, he addressed both what-to-do-with-the-plastic, and roll-up (tambour) doors.

The additional hole in the sink can be repaired - there are many threads on similar damage.

Good luck,
1967 Airstream Overlander International
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:24 PM   #5
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Currently Looking...
Chandler , Oklahoma
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Have a 78 Argosy and I know what you mean about the "wood" and I use the term loosely. I think a lot of the reason behind the use was to make the trailers lighter. They are much lighter than today's coaches. We too had a hole in our sink which was easly patched with fiberglass netting and fiberglass patching compound. Use it under and in the sink, then sand it smooth. You can then use a two part epoxy paint after cleaning the sink, and bring it back to better than new. The "wood" veneer is sometimes just metal, sometimes photos over a thin wood. Regardless, it has lasted almost 30 years and held up beautifully. You will find many, many Airstreams and Argosys still rolling down the road from the 50's units to todays. All are classics. I did stain the wood in mine but I would not recommend that. It's hard and takes a great deal of love. A good cleaning and some shellac would do just as well. Restore if you love the coach, sell if it's not your cup of tea. It's great fun, and the forum members are always happy to help.
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:01 PM   #6
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1970 23' Safari
austin , Texas
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yes, I built the teardrop trailer from the ground up. it was great to have it just how I wanted. the only big mistake I made is the interior length was made exact to my height (5'8") turns out I'm taller when I lay horizontal. so I sleep on the diagonal in there. we've used it for some remote off road camping and into the mojave.

all the links and info sure have given me a lot more to think about. we both love the new CCD units so I guess we could aim our 72 into that direction.


paul schuster
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:19 PM   #7
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Laying ...diagonal


paul schuster
Uhh, does Tanya (with flowers) camp with you?

1967 Airstream Overlander International
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:20 PM   #8
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1960 24' Tradewind
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I was so frightened of the Seventies that I stayed in the Sixties until the Eighties, which was also frightening along with most of the Nineties (for other reasons). So far the "Ots" are okay, although I find myself tripping back to the Fifties now and again.

(nice work by the way . . . and I see that you also have or had a fondness for econolines - I had a 62 Econoline Panel (no windows) for about 15 years - kick myself everytime I see one now)

Aluminumbskull with Led Balloon in Drag
Birch Plywood and Aluminum go together like
Peanut Butter and Chocolate
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Old 01-02-2006, 04:41 PM   #9
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hi- I believe member "pizzachop" took out all his bath fixtures and re-did them to look like new, you could patch your hole and then spray them with whatever he used. Be forewarned though, it isn't that easy or fun getting that stuff out, but possible. It is also possible to re-do your entire interior in real wood, but you're looking at a year of rebuilding (part-time) and mucho dinero. If you want something you can immediately use, and love, you might want to trade for a '60,s model. Or learn to love the faux-wood laminate. I am going with different kinds of doors, other than tambour, while re-doing my '72. But I have the time... good luck, have fun!
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Old 01-02-2006, 04:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TomW
Uhh, does Tanya (with flowers) camp with you?

I with Tom on this one......
Tedd Ill
AIR#3788 TAC IL-10
1967/8 Overlander International Twin w/ bunk/s.
Yes, four kids and two adults in the thing.
Happy wife, happy life.
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:22 PM   #11
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You can make that Airstream as beautiful as the home you sold in Santa Cruz.

You can do it with paint and the imagination I can tell you have by looking over your site.

The suggestion that you look at Sneakupís site is an excellent one.

His work will give you inspiration.

You can, of course, sell this one and keep looking for a real wood earlier version. The trade off might be less old systems for even older systems.

The point is that you donít have to keep the plastic. Itís neither particularly attractive or important. It will be a good palette for making something new - and your own.

(The little BMW 2002 in your photo gallery is exactly like the one I drove in 1972, down to the INKA colour. I wish I had kept THAT).


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Old 01-02-2006, 05:59 PM   #12
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sink hole

Paul, you could also cut the sink out of the bathroom counter and install your stainless steel one, if you don't want to keep it original. It is after-all a personal choice as to what you do with the inside and also outside of your treasure! Go look at what you can fit into that location and git-r-done to your desired taste! You be the judge on what you like... but just remember to keep us posted on your progress. Ed
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:32 PM   #13
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1970 23' Safari
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sneakup's site is very much an inspiration.

I really miss that house back in santa cruz. but we sold for the right reasons. mostly, to be able to build a much better home. we hope to break ground soon. austin is a great city for lovers of modern architecture. santa cruz is a bad city for anybody with aspirations to build anything.

what I'm unsure a/b on this globetrotter is... I guess I can start a list.

the floorplan, I think we might could use an extra 2 feet as there will be 4 of us in there. I see a 1970 safari on ebay, it has two sleeping areas at opposite ends. seems like a better use of space.

and this GT has not been used in many years. I threw a good battery into the box this evening, I got nothing. I guess I expected to get a light to work somewhere, maybe the water pump would make a little whirring sound when I toggled the switch... but nothing.

I guess there is a main breaker in there somewhere, or a slew of blown fuses. I'll try it again tomorrow when I have more light. 12 volt is easy enough, just two wires w/ a few fuses. still, I was hopeful for everything to light up like it was xmas again.

I've also got a box of bamboo veneer that was left over from the tear drop build. that might make it's way into the GT. and I think I can rig the sliding plexiglass for the overhead storage. and I can replace the flooring with either HW, cork, or linoleum squares and then it might find it's way onto ebay.

funny, I was quite happy w/ this 72 till my mom bought a 68 globetrotter! she has now been on the rd for two days from SF on her way to AL (almost florida). I realized the one she bought was much cooler than mine. I really dig that control panel that looks like it was straight out of a 007 movie (the early movies). the control panel of the 72 is not as commanding. anyhow, she'll p/u hers tomorrow or the day after. mom also has a really cool 1969 bmw 2002.

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Old 01-02-2006, 07:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by fuegos100
Hey Paul, no advice on your camper woes, but I did notice you have gotten into large format in the last few years. I have also been shooting LF for about a year, although landscapes are my thing. If you see a guy with a 68 trade wind under a hood stop and say hi, would love to meet you and your family. Good luck


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