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Old 01-04-2003, 10:42 PM   #1
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The Real Thing

Howdy all,

I'm still agonizing over my impending A/S purchase. You know, the newer the model, the fewer issues you take on...but there are a few things that are important to me, and these are:

- real wood vs. veneer/laminate
- glass vs. lexan
- porcelain vs. fiberglass/plastic

Can somebody illuminate me as to the last year these particular materials were in production? I've read some of the info before, but I can't seem to find it when there's a special unit I'm checking out, and it'd sure be cool to have it in one spot.

Also, as far as I have observed, the only models to sport my coveted dinette layout are the Ovedrlander and the Safari. I notice the current Bambi has it as an option, but there will be as many as four of us, and my son is 6'...

Thanks in advance,

Impatiently awaiting Mobilization


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Old 01-04-2003, 11:05 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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The Real Thing

Greetings Holly!

If you are thinking in terms of a Vintage Airstream, solid hard woods weren't used to my knowledge (1950s-1970s). The cabinets were plywood with various hardwood veneers as the top layer. The solid hardwoods didn't come into play until sometime in the early 1980s if my notes are correct. The various tambour materials were a feature of the 1970s coaches.

My notes indicate that Airstream never used acrylic of any kind for windows in Airstream coaches, but did try some acrylic products for windows in Argosys, the Minuet in particular. You might find Lexan or Plexiglass as an aftermarket installation for front windows damaged during use or as a replacement for the Corning Glass Windows utilized from 1966 through 1968.

Porcelain for bath and kitchen fixtures to my knowledge would pre-date 1960 with the exception of the toilet. Some Airstreams between 1960 and 1964 had porcelain kitchen sinks, but it seems that by 1964 most of the kitchen sinks were stainless steel. Porcelain toilets were used through at least 1964 and possibly later - - the problem today would be find necessary replacement parts to keep them functional.

So far as the dinette arrangement is concerned, at least as it applies to 1960s coaches there weren't many offered in stock floor plans. The Overlander during the early part of the decade had a free standing table that was replaced by the "credenza tables" that would continue through the 1970s. It seems that what few were offered were in the smaller trailers under 24 feet. I am not as familiar with Airstreams beyond 1975, but do understand that the dinette was an offering on some of the larger trailers starting sometime around 1980.

It seems that the dinette was far more available option in the Argosy coaches as it was illustrated as a standard floorplan in a number of the sales brochures that I have seen for 1977-1979 Argosys.

Good luck with your search!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 01-04-2003, 11:14 PM   #3
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I was soooo hoping you'd chime in - are you sure you're not an encyclopedia?!

I'm amazed and impressed with your familiarity with all things Airstream.

Please everyone, if this is all going over old and tiresome ground, do let me know and I'll bother people via PM with my newbie questions!
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Old 01-05-2003, 04:11 AM   #4
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I'm always learning something new and beside, this forum is about learning, so continue to ask away!!!!

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Old 01-05-2003, 08:28 AM   #5
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Desired Dinette

Hi Holly,
My '59 Trade Wind at 24' has the factory dinette which was a must have for me when I was seaching too. I'm 6'4" and can still get in and out although the act of getting in next to the galley cabinet is not pretty. I did some modifications to the booth when I added a larger polypropelene fresh water tank under the front window. The booth is now 'C' shaped as opposed to just the two side benches. Below is a photo. If you would like more, just let me know.

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Old 01-05-2003, 12:01 PM   #6
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Beautiful! That's exactly the look I'm after. I'd love to see more pictures, and if you'd like to share details about the actual modification to the horseshoe design it would be great.

I'm not an experienced carpenter, but I'm willing to tackle a project like this.

I don't know where to begin, though, so any guidance you have will be money.

Thanks again for sharing.


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