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Old 07-23-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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The right Airstream for me!

Hi guys,
I'm looking to purchase a vintage Airstream I can restore and haven't the slightest clue where to start. My question to you is: IS there a definitive list/website out there describing the features of the most popular vintage Airstreams around? I have very specific ideas for what I'd like to do with it and knowing which Airstream I'll be obsessing over is the first step. Thank you!
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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IS there a definitive list/website out there describing the features of the most popular vintage Airstreams around?
I think you found it Hang out and you will get the answers to your questions not to mention answers to questions you have never asked.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
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Alright, well, do you suggest I maybe describe what I'm looking to do with this Airstream and perhaps everyone could chime in with what model I might be looking for?
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wanderful View Post
Hi guys,
I'm looking to purchase a vintage Airstream I can restore and haven't the slightest clue where to start. My question to you is: IS there a definitive list/website out there describing the features of the most popular vintage Airstreams around? I have very specific ideas for what I'd like to do with it and knowing which Airstream I'll be obsessing over is the first step. Thank you!
wanderful,

Read through this site: Vintage Airstream Home It is the most comprehensive that I know of, especially the photo archives.

Bill
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wanderful View Post
Alright, well, do you suggest I maybe describe what I'm looking to do with this Airstream and perhaps everyone could chime in with what model I might be looking for?
I think that is the perfect thing to do. Ask some questions specific to your intented use or desires, then let the group provide some insight.


Welcome by the way,

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Old 07-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #6
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Okay, well hello. My name is Katie. For four months last year, my boyfriend, dog and I traveled across the States and lived in a teardrop trailer. You can read about our adventures here: Wanderful!!!

We loved it so much we decided we'd like to live on the road full-time as soon as we have the money saved up! This is possible because I work from home running my own web design business. An Airstream will be perfect for us. I've always wanted to buy an old house and fix it up and I think that's exactly what this Airstream is going to be!

I've had lots of ideas about the Airstream (new or vintage? ready to use or restoration project?) Here's where I am now: I'd like to buy a vintage Airstream, does not have to be in perfect condition at all but not something I'm going to have to totally rebuild. I'm going to gut it and then go from there. Sell most of the innards and use what I think might work with my floor plan. I won't have a ton of money, but I'm willing to sink up to $15k into this project (hoping to stay around $12k). I'm going to do most of the work myself with my boyfriend and perhaps his dad (he's got the tools!) I will have the time and space for a renovation.

I have no idea what year or model I'd like. I thought I had read somewhere that the older models are lighter and easier to tow. I think I'd like something around 28' with a bathroom NOT on the end (I'd have the bedroom on one end of the Airstream, and then the bathroom next to it). So what choices to I have there and what are you opinions on those choices?

I've got about a million more questions but I'll get to those later.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:20 PM   #7
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Try going to some rallies, then begin to look and look. It will all work itself out.
full time you may want 28 feet. not to big but big enough.
Ck for rust and a prior frame off restoration or excellent redo.
www.vintagegaristream.com
ck all over that site for info. prices of fixing, prices to buy and places to find things.
Rj Dial does a great job on his not for profit site.
good luck and I am sure you will enjoy your experience.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:32 PM   #8
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The right Airstream for me!

Greetings Katie!

The scan posted below contains the typical floorplans for Airstream and Argosy for 24' through 28' coaches. There were changes from one model year to the next, but the basic concept remained fairly constant from the early 1960s to the late 1970s or early 1980s.



Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:11 AM   #9
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Mid-bath / Rear Bedroom is my favorite layout. More privacy, especially for full-timing.

Carol
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:54 AM   #10
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My experience...

We have a 31' rear bath, and a 25' center bath, both have double bed configurations. Love them both, but to me the 25' rear bath seems more open and therfore more spacious.

The 70's era units are fairly light, but there are some tail sag issues associated with the longer units. The rear bath 31' ers of this vintage seem to be more prone to this condition.

Best of luck,

Kevin
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:27 AM   #11
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Katie,
Lots of good advice and information await you here. Since you live in Jersey, you may want to spend some time at Colonial Airstream. They may not have much in the way of used / vintage, but you will get a good idea of what's inside and some floor plans. The obvious places to frequent are the classifieds here in the forums, e-bay, RV Trader, plain old Google searches, and Craig's list (just beware of SCAMS!).

In addition to vintageairstream.com you can also take a stroll through Fred's Airstream Archives for information and available Airstreams.

Good luck in your search and keep us posted and ask lots of questions, no matter how ridiculous they may seem.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:59 AM   #12
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Based upon your requirements, it sounds like a late 1960s/ 1970s Ambassador (29 ft) or Overlander (27 ft), mid-bath model, will do the trick.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:24 PM   #13
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So as I mentioned before, I'd like to gut the Airstream and use my own floor plan, wanted to know what people's experience was with:

-Purchasing a vintage Airstream from a dealer, someone like Colonial Airstream in NJ (Colonial Airstream - Airstream, Airstreams, Winnebago Itasca, Travel*Trailer, Motor Home Class B, Class C, 5th Wheel - Preowned Inventory), in good shape and ready to be gutted and redesigned.

-Purchasing a vintage trailer from a classified for cheaper and having to re-insulate it and lay down new flooring. I can follow directions pretty well and I figured I could find tutorials on this website for these tasks, but is it complicated or just time-consuming? Please share your experiences!
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