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Old 12-01-2002, 06:00 PM   #1
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Smile Need help identifying old Airstream!

Wow, I'm really excited, and I need some advice here.

A few days ago, Tom and I were traveling through a little town about 45 miles from us, taking pictures of some property for a client. (I'm a realtor here in KY.) Just after crossing over a little bridge, I happened to spot what appeared to be a very old A/S trailer sitting all alone in a mass of old brush and tangled treelimbs. I'm almost positive it was an A/S. It was already starting to get a bit dark outside, and we had a pretty good drive ahead of us, so we didn't stop and go back to check it out. I made a mental note (that's scary ) of where it is, and I fully intend to go back. I'm guessing it's been sitting there for many years, and that the owner has no idea that there are folks out there who might love to have it.

Can anyone tell me how I'll be able to tell how old it is, or what model it is, etc.? The next nice day we get, I'm going to drive back and take a closer look at it, and I'd like to know what I'm looking for. I'll definitely take a camera along, too.

In a small town like that, it probably won't be difficult to find out who it belongs to. Wouldn't it be fun if the owner would just let me haul it away for him? Fat chance, huh?

Any advice?


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Old 12-01-2002, 06:33 PM   #2
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Need help identifying old Airstream!

Greetings Cherie!

I too did a little Airstream spotting on my way to Symsonia, Kentucky to drop off my Minuet for some interior restoration at Fowler Interiors. Didn't spot anything intriguing as you may have encountered. It seems that most vintage Airstreams dating back to the 1940/50s era had their serial numbers and model identification information on the side next to the entrance door (usually forward of door). Some generalizations include that pipe frame Airstreams were produced prior to 195x - - identified by a circular pipe protruding out the rear of the unit as well as part of the front hitch assembly (see 1947 and 1948 Liners at site below). Another identifier can be front and rear window shape as well as number of panels - - many collectors really seek out 13-panel trailers with "dutchman caps" (see 1955 Buble at site below) - - refers to the shape of the center panel that when viewed presents a shape similar to the dutchmen's cap. There are photos of Airstreams of several vintages on my personal page from the '99 Wagon Wheel/International Rally at:

1999 Wagon Wheel Caravan through Ohio

The photos may give you some clues to work with especially if the trailer has lost its identification plate(s).


Kevin D. Allen
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Old 12-01-2002, 09:10 PM   #3
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Cherie ~

Once you get that clear day & your photos, you may also want to compare them to the ones in the This website is another great source of vintage Airstream photos.

Good luck ~ please post pictures of "your find" & the story that goes with it!

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Old 12-12-2002, 06:16 PM   #4
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Talking Tomorrow's the big day!

Okay, tomorrow I'm finally going back down to check out that old Airstream we saw off the road a couple weeks ago. We've had some nasty weather here (freezing rain, snow, ice, etc.) lately, so I haven't ventured back. I'm going tomorrow with an adventurous friend, a camera, a flashlight, and a copy of all the advice I got here about recogition features of vintage Airstreams. We didn't really get a good look at it, so I'm hoping it's really an Airstream, and that it's as old as I thought.

Stay tuned! I'll report back (with pictures) tomorrow night!

That is, if I don't have a hiney full of buck shot!

Wish us luck!

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