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Old 08-29-2003, 12:46 PM   #1
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New owner

Hello,

I just bought my first Airstream, a 1958 Caravanner 22' and towed it home from Kentucky to Georgia on Highway 27. I just wanted to introduce myself, I know I'll be searching these forums a lot for advice as I start working on it.

Michael
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:23 PM   #2
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Well where is the pictures?

Kewl another Caravanner in the ATL!

Now tell me this: Divider wall between the bed and bath just above the rear window, next to the light....do you have a hole that lets light into the bath? is there anything over it?
PO added a light to our bath but it looks to me Old Wally just put a lens or something next to that light over the bed as a litg for the bath. Sure would love so what's there on yours. If that hole is factory, I'm missing the cover that went over it.
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:43 PM   #3
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pictures

Here are some pictures of my 58:

http://homepage.mac.com/mivester/PhotoAlbum6.html

59Toaster,

No, there is no hole in the dividing wall between the bath and bed on mine. The wall divides the window and there is, I think, a slight gap there between the wall and the window. My bath has no light, just that small portion of the window with a curtain over it. There is a small pipe thing in the ceiling of the bath that goes out the roof. Is this some kind of vent?
Mine is missing the original curtain for the bath and the divider curtain between the bed and kitchen.

do you have pictures online of yours?

ps. I also downloaded some pictures of a 1956 Caravanner that was for sale before it sold that might be of interest to you, these show the bedroom sink with the concealing lid that they apparently stopped doing by 1958.
Michael
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:13 PM   #4
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The pipe is the vent for the black water tank. Pull that chrome bezel off the top and make sure that seal is ok.

I'm getting ready to replace the floor from a leak and I suspect that is where the leak was. My Father-in-law was the PO of ours. He recently caulked up that vent to fix a leak I was told by my Brother-in-law. Was a lot of freash caulk under the bezel. From what I have seen the correct seal is a peice of rubber or foam rubber and some Valchem around the pipe. Inland RV may be able to get it if not it would not be hard to make if you can find the material.


Well I have some pictures but they are in the Airstreamphoto's. That's down right now. Some problem with the software and a firewall. Should be up soon.

Looking at your picture...WOW it's in such great shape! I wish ours was half as good of shape as that. We are missing the RV fridge. I wonder if ours came with a Marvle like your or a newer unit. My wife always remebers a square face fridge like they show for the 59 at www.vintageairstream.com .

Our cabinets are a little different. We have a open shelf over the fridge instead of the full cabinet to the ceiling. Our table folds into the wall so we don't have the lower street side window at the table.

Ours was the first year of the forced air heater that is located in the side of the cabinet with the stove instead of the radiant unit you have next to the door. That slim door on yours is not on ours. The fridge is all the way to the door and that space is included in our wardrobe that has double doors.

59 was a year of a lot of first. Our windows are a little different and don't have the curved perimiter and the mutton bars. The wheel opening changed shape also. Our battery was mounted below the front window.

Our water heater is located under the bed becide the storage door. I don't see a heater cover on yours there. Where is it mounted. I don't see the access pannel on either side. unless it's under the fridge.

It looks like our galley overheads are posisitoned differently as well. to the right of the sink our overheads end flush with the end of the counter. Then we have one over the bed.

Yes we have both the shower and bedroom folding partions. My understanding is that Lowes or HD have some that are very simular that a few people have substituted. I need to replace one because my Father-in-law managed to shoot it and the reefer door in one shot. LOL The reefer door was what kept it from goint through the front of the trailer. He replaced it with a 110v unit.

I have been staring at your pictures for 30 minutes. I just cant get over how good of condtion it's in. Really gives me something to work towards. Is that the original zolotone or has the walls been repainted?

What side of town are you on? We will have to get together sometime.
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:31 PM   #5
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Michael,

Now I have refrigerator envy! (Our '52 Cruiser was missing the original fridge.)

Your Caravanner looks great. Congratulations on the purchase and welcome to the forum.

Doug
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:42 PM   #6
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59Toaster,

Some of the drawbacks of mine I noticed once I got it home and had a chance to explore around in it is that the fridge and water heater are both electric, which explains why you didn't see the vent. I would have liked to have them be gas for remote camping but I like the original fridge too much to swap it. My electric water heater is located directly below the oven. The PO of mine has another one, also a 58, that I looked at too. It had the galley storage placed like yours and hanging from the end of it above the table is a gas lamp. Mine has no gas lights. The gas is just for the oven and heater.

Those are the pictures I was sent when I inquired about it and I stared at them for hours before actually seeing it in person. When I did actually see it in person, it was a little different, it was the first Airstream I had ever been inside of and it was smaller on the inside and bigger on the outside than I imagined. There are a some imperfections that don't show up in the photos but overall I think it's in really good shape.

I live right intown atlanta but for the moment the airstream is staying with my parents in Carrollton. I wanted to practice backing up for a while before trying to get it down my driveway, which is a pretty tight squeeze.

Whereabouts are you?
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:46 PM   #7
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...and the zolatone has been painted with a sort of creme colored latex, the original zolatone can still be seen inside the closet and other cabinets.
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Old 08-29-2003, 08:51 PM   #8
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We are up in Marietta off Hwy 5 a few miles from Town center.
After seeing the pictures of the inside of yours I'm a little embaressed about the current condtion of ours.

This is the day we brought it home. It had been at a campground in Adiarsville for the last 5-10 years. It was still in regular use during the summer by my Father-in-law but not on the road. He has painted over the Zolotne twice. Fist was with a white and the second time was the baby blue. I have to do some res resoration to the cabinets including getting rid of the two peices of panneling. Other then that and some damage to the Refer flue the main cabinets are intact. The bed/bath partition is delaminating and I will have to replace that.
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Old 08-29-2003, 09:03 PM   #9
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Here's a picture of the original electric refrigerator in my '59. Still works great. Use it as an icebox when on the road. Look closely at the center left and you will see a wire rack that is identical to yours.
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Old 08-29-2003, 10:05 PM   #10
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Ohhh wow I didn't realize that rack was original!

I know ours had a 2 way fridge because I have a flue. My wife has some pictures form the early 80's and it showed a wfood grain faced RV fridge but I don't if that was original. An original has a small access door just above the floor but it pulled air though a screened vent under the coach. At some point a vented door was added above that access door. My goal is to find the correct style reefer and patch that added acces pannel. Smily had two for sale but I was tight on cash at the time. Wish I had scraped it together and bought one of them.

ivesterm: I feel like I just hyjacked your post. Sorry. Jump in here and take it back please!
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Old 08-30-2003, 04:11 PM   #11
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Thanks for the welcomes Doug, Toaster, and Mark. Doug is that Cruiser really only 24 feet, it looks so much longer than mine in your id photo?

Toaster yours looks nice too. I really like the gas light. I'll have to look for one of those. Is that white curve above the fridge the flue?

Mine doesn't have a battery anywhere in it, though there seems to be a spot for one under the front sofa where the water pump is (which looks newer). The pump doesn't seem to tie in with the electric just has two wire clamp things that look like they attach to a battery. Mine was mostly used plugged in at a camp for years and years I believe.

When you replace the floors are you removing everything? The cabinets and all?

Michael
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Old 08-30-2003, 05:28 PM   #12
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You unit should be a Air over water system if it has a water tank. What it does is the water tank is pressurized. It can bepressurized at the tim of fill with water pressure, with a air hose or bycle pump on a shrader vale on the fill neck or with the optiona Grover Airpump that would be located next to the water tank. It's possible that it has been converter to pump on demand like a newer camper has. Getting repair parts for the grover is getting difficult I understand.

Our has a grover but it has been used as a Park model for several years so I don't know if it functions. It sounds like yours was a Park model since it is all electric. Normaly on our units the battery would be in a box on the front mounted under the window behind the tanks. Our unit was orderd so it could be run without outside power. everything in our unit will run either 12v or 110 or propane. That's why ours has the propane lantern.

Yeah I am pretty sure I will be removing all the cabinets even if the floor is solid in the middle. I want to get rid of a few transformers and run centeral converter for the 12v items like fans. I also want to replace the copper water lines. They have about 20 compression fittings from freeze up repairs. I'm going to replace with a plastic product that they use in newer units that is much less suseptable to freeze damage. I think it's called EPD.

I also have some concern with the water tank. I want to pull it out and fully inspect if for corrosion. If I find any concerns I will probably convert to pump on demand and have a stainless steel water tank fabricated with a clean out opening on the top. I also want to put a gray water tank in.

Another reason for pulling the cabinets is I want to strip as much of this blue paint off. Having the cabinets out will make that easier. Then I can make a decision about paint. I'm thinking about and automotive enamal in a white or offwhite. Again with the cabinets out I can go in there with a paint sprayer and apply it. I can restore the cabinets in the shop and redo the finish and install.

Going to take a week off towards the end of Sept to work on this. The big issue will be just how much floor repair I need to do. If I find any rot in the middle or half @$$ repairs I'll pull the shell and redeck the whole thing. I only want to do this once and never again. Let my kids deal with it when they inherit it.
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Old 08-31-2003, 07:13 AM   #13
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Michael,

The Cruiser is 24'-8", not too much longer than yours. The i.d. is a PO photo; maybe he used a wide angle lens, because it does look stretched out. A few feet can make a difference, though. when we got it home, it looked real long up next to the house. The back end is hanging over a retaining wall since it won't fit in the driveway.

Our trailer wasn't in as good condition as yours, but we had no idea we'd end up gutting it. It was alot more work than we wanted, but now I'm glad it's done because we found more rot in the floor and a crack in the frame that is now fixed. All the original parts are in the garage awaiting cleaning/refinishing. The new plywood floor is almost done. I replaced a section at a time, since we don't have the equipment or space for a frame-off restoration. I'll try to attach a couple of interior photos we took when we brought it home.

FYI: I got replacement gas light parts from Mark's RV. They have lamps, too, but I don't know if they are the vintage style.
http://www.marksrv.com/index.shtml

Toaster,
I lived in Marietta with my folks way back when Jimmy Carter was president. We were off Lower Roswell Rd. Is the chicken still perched out by the four-lane?

Doug
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Old 08-31-2003, 10:44 AM   #14
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The big chicken is still perched off of Hwy 41. It seems like they've restored her a bit so that her eyes roll again and her beak opens and closes but I'm not too sure. I grew up in Smyrna, live downtown now but work up in Kennesaw.

Michael
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