Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   1970-79 Tradewind (
-   -   '72 TW renovation - How it began & how it has come (

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 06:28 PM

'72 TW renovation - How it began & how it has come
1 Attachment(s)
I was looking for a project and found it on Craigslist with a clear
disclaimer from the seller that he didn't know anything about what shape it
was in, but thought it was tow-able. "as-is". What follows is my journey
with my "project" trailer. Enjoy!

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 06:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
So I bought it for $3050. There was a little problem in that it was in Oregon, 17 hours away. I borrowed a friends proven heavy hauler and headed north by myself in pursuit of my dreams. All it actually need was a new tire and one brake fixed. Ya ho I am on my way home.

eljay 04-26-2013 06:59 PM

Things are as they should be! I have a 68TW. We can compare some notes! Pics, we need more pics!

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 06:59 PM

2 Attachment(s)
This was in October of 2012. On my way I stopped at an RV park to check out what I had actually purchased.

68 TWind 04-26-2013 06:59 PM

Fine Business on the Trade Wind. We love our 68. Post some pics of it when you can.

arktos55343 04-26-2013 07:04 PM

Congratulations on your 'new' Trade Wind! I bought my '72 Trade Wind last summer from a farmer in southern Minnesota. She hadn't been on the road for a long time.

I decided to do a complete overhaul....since the rear bath was completely gone, and there were quite a few problems with the floor. Raised the shell and pulled the frame out late last fall. Took it to a welder for repairs, and then had it sandblasted and painted. Unfortunately, a long winter then set it has been sitting under a tarp for the past 6 months. Today was the first day that I could remove the tarps and get started again. Tomorrow, I get started on a new floor....

Have a great time with your new baby!

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 07:12 PM

Ok so there was no place to sleep or sit, no furnace and AC didn't work and the infamous wet bath only had a working toilet but everything else had holes it...but it turns out that most all of the systems WORKED! Refrigerator(2 door); hot water heater; stove top and oven, water system (city water); lights and electrical worked. Since I am a bit handy and had restored another trailer 35 years ago (as though I can remember what I did), I felt that I had made a steal at the winning bid of $3050!!!

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 07:14 PM

Thanks for the kind wording for my posts. I finally decided to do this and will post pixs too.

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 07:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The exterior was not great in that it had a few scratches and dents from a sideswipe with something, the clearcoat had burned off of the top and looked terrible on the end caps and sides. And we had a major lowwww riderrr look with axles that were shot.

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 07:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
We wanted the twins to be as wide as we could get them and still walk normally down the aisle. I decided to make them 36" wide and the space was 79" long. I had to tear out the original framing for the gaucho beds, which lacked the parts to make them work. I built a frame out of 2x2's, covered by 3/4" ply and built in three 22" drawers on each side. Hint: don't use lightweight drawer slides, use the thick silver ones.

For the mattress I bought a king size memory foam 12" from Costco, and cut it in half and trimmed off the ends with a serrated breads knife. really hint: use a powered meat slicing knife instead.

This is how they came out and are they comfy.

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 07:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I bought some walnut veneer with the adhesive back to cover the drawer faces and frame. gets close to a match with the wood like coatings in the trailer.

Next in line to do was repair and buy more tambour for all the cabinets to keep some of the original look. It turns out that it is a bit expensive and not all that easy to work with. Hint: the replacement stuff is thicker that the original so you have to cut off some of the backing to get to work.

Chatthayer 04-26-2013 08:04 PM

2 Attachment(s)
It came out fine, but it needs fine tuning to help with the sliding. I also couldn't get it to work on the lower slider below the kitchen sink. I ended up gluing the tambour to 2 doors and it looks good.

Tom Nugler 04-26-2013 09:13 PM

Welcome to the world of Vintage Tradewinds.:clap:
Looks like you've found all the usual concerns hiding in a '70s Airstream and already experienced the joy of tambour.:rolleyes: Now you're over the hump.
We have a TW double and you’re correct about reinforcing the bed frames. I used 2 extra slides from the gaucho I removed from up front.
Since you already have that great empty space up front where the gaucho and table used to reside may I suggest putting in a dinette?
A number of Forum Members have done this and the results are measurably better than the stock couch and fold out table.
Enjoy your new Tradewind and keep posting.

Good Luck,

Chatthayer 04-27-2013 05:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My next project was to replace all the lights on the rig with LED, since we boondock a bit. I read a bit on the forum, and bought them on ebay. They were inexpensive ($2.77 each) but in hindsight I would have waited for brighter led's that fit like the car light do. I had to do a lot of adaptation, but a pad of 48 is like one car bulb, so they work.

Chatthayer 04-27-2013 05:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My next job was to do something about the outside. I purchased 2 gallon of removal 220 and did 2 applications with a paint brush, leave overnight, and power wash the old clearcoat (and any other paint it gets on) off. It worked very well, but showed what the sun damage had done to the top and down partway on the sides. This is at purchase.

Chatthayer 04-27-2013 05:44 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I bought a cyclo polisher to start the refinishing process. I thought that it would be enough to get the corrosion and weather damage off. Not really. I would take the advice of the perfect polish people and start with compounding polisher (looks like a grinder but lower rpms (3500 max) to take off the bad stuff, and then use the cyclo. This is before:

Chatthayer 04-28-2013 03:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This is after and having used rustoleum royal blue for the stripping.

Chatthayer 04-28-2013 03:28 PM

I also decided to go stock with the wheels. I painted them the dark grey I used on the lower wraps. After 3 tries, I found the baby moons that fit at: Airstream Hubcaps-Travel Trailer Wheel Covers AirStream Baby Moon Hubcaps-Retro Chevy
I also should add that at 62 and not a workout guy, I will probably hire one of our local Cal Poly Univ. student to redo and continue the polishing. The time I spent was a killer.

Roadrunner 04-28-2013 03:35 PM

Starting Our "74" TW
1 Attachment(s)
Steve and Vicki...nice work on your Tradewind. I am about ready to start in on our "74" Tradewind. Make sure you seal the outside before doing anything else. Mine is sealed, removal 220 is next on the list, then new axles...keep us posted on your progress. Great idea on the foam mattress cut down. I did that on our "78" Ambassador.

Indiana, PA

WBCCI 4871

Chatthayer 04-28-2013 05:37 PM

4 Attachment(s)
The next project was to build a dinette in the empty space up front. There are so many great ideas in the forums, but I had specific specs in mind. I wanted a full 48" table and side seats. I wanted to lay the table into the gap between the seats and have an 80" inch length bed. I built the frame from 2x2's, covered with 1/2 ply, the ends caps were 3/4 inch ply, and I covered it all with the walnut self adhesive veneer. I installed 2 end access drawers with heavy glides this time. the drawer closest to the door is for tools, and the other holds table top stuff.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.