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Old 09-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1968 17' Caravel
Clarkston , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 10
68 Caravel underbelly repair

Hi all,

As I read the misc. threads posted I am so impressed with the knowledge and skill of so many working on their Airstreams - especially those doing full restorations! Very cool!

I would simply like to restore my '68 17' Caravel to basic working order. Some prior owner cut away the belly pan to install a grey water tank. A later owner removed the tank because it hung much lower than the axel. I have decided to go with a "blue boy" and leave the trailer in "as close to original" as I can. (The rest of the trailer is in very good original condition.) I am attaching a photo of the cut away section below the shower, and the associated plumbing. Any suggestions of how to begin and carry out this project would be much appreciated.

I have also posted a photo of my trip home with the sweet thing. She will be a great addition to our family!

Thank you so much!
Clarkston, WA
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,261
Congrats on the new acquisition.

So, when you say "project," do you just mean repairing the belly pan?

I would suggest an alternate plan, which would be to buy a "vintage grey water tank" from Vintage Trailer Supply or the equivalent. These tanks are less than 4" thick and are designed to fit within the frame rails of vintage trailers. You could plumb this up, then replace the missing section of belly pan, and you would not only have an original looking trailer, but you would have 16 gallons worth of grey water storage as well.

If all you want to do is return it to "vintage appearance," then the first thing you will have to do is address that drain trap that is hanging down from the shower. It doesn't look like they made much effort to keep it tidy, as the tank was going to hang way down anyway, but you can get a lower profile trap. Second, you need to get a sheet of aluminum and pop rivet it onto the area that needs to be patched. I don't think you want to replace the whole belly pan, as it wraps up over the C-channels in this year.

Good luck!

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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2016 30' Classic
Currently Looking...
Hinckley , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 609
Images: 4
On Carvels there is a plastic cup that covers the trap. It about 6" x 6" with a flange on the edge, riveted in place. Heck use a Tupperware container for a cover. The rest is just flat stock aluminum. Use big 3/16 bus rivets. You can get then a eBay. Your patch is what, about 4 foot x 4 foot. It's no big deal at all. The sewer outlet is Thetford. You will need an adpter to fit a regular sewer hose.
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