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prairieschooner 07-17-2014 07:27 PM

1958 Traveler Restoration
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I have (again) started the restoration on the '58 California Built 18 Footer or Traveler.
The Traveler is very much original so I am going to strive to keep it that way. During the restoration of this '58 Traveler I will attempt to keep as much of the original trailer as possible. The floor had some problems but I was able to make the repairs with the sell on! I removed the original Linoleum and found a bad spot near the rear access door (typical location that is under the bed).
I was able to carve out the soft wood then I treated the area with thinned out Epoxy Resin (West Systems Epoxy that was thinned with denatured alcohol) to ensue that all of the soft wood was treated. I was then able to re-laminate the plywood floor using the Douglas Fir plywood with same thicknesses. I then treated the entire floor with thinned out epoxy resin.
Here are a couple of pictures showing those results.

gpinews 07-18-2014 05:05 PM


I own a 1957 Airstream Traveler. Does your say Traveler on the outside anywhere?


RM66caravel 07-18-2014 06:35 PM

Cool airstream great year can we see some more pictures please? You are doing an outstanding job!

prairieschooner 07-19-2014 12:39 AM

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LG, no where is there a model on the trailer. From what I have been able to read about these they were the California built 18' Model although the Ohio version was a Pacer. Since they were an "entry level" they did not get a badge, not sure why Ohio versions got badges yet the California versions did not.

Cliff, here a couple of pics of the outside and one of the Galley Cabinet after the repair. There were numerous leaks that resulted in the bottom of the furniture rotting. Mine had Oak Ply skin over the Douglas Fir framing. I removed the skin, repaired the framing and then re-skinned the furniture. I am getting closer to being finished with that phase but still not completed.

It would be allot easier to just replace it all but then it wouldn't be what I am looking for at the end of the project.

RM66caravel 07-19-2014 04:08 AM

Are you planning to shine her up? You have done a wonderful job on the furnishings! Keep the great work and have fun with her.

Yes I said that! Or did I?

prairieschooner 07-19-2014 08:44 AM

I just started again but yes on the Polishing. I did buy some Nuvite and started that under the areas for the Lights. I will post some information on those a little later but I am restoring them as well (crazy?)

The furnishings aren't completed yet but getting close. As you know, it takes more time to restore than to replace.

prairieschooner 07-20-2014 07:01 AM

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I tried to save a little time by leaving the inside of the cabinet doors. I used my heat gun but with the glue being so dry the plywood skin came loose so I removed the inside skin on the three doors and will be laminating new skins as soon as I figure out jigs. Here is one of them ready for repair.
I also rewired the tail lights and made other repairs on them. They should be ready for installation as soon as I polish the area behind them.

prairieschooner 07-28-2014 07:38 AM

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Progress is continuing on the Interior. I have 5 Drawer Fronts and 1 Cabinet Door finished. Pictures to come after I get them mounted.
I found this Brochure and wanted to post it here for others looking and myself, here is the link to all of them;
Document Archive - Airstream

Melody Ranch 07-28-2014 07:59 AM

Steve.....A suggestion....I would consider painting the inside of the tail lights white...not grey or silver. It gives the most reflection and light where you need it with those original tail lights.

prairieschooner 07-29-2014 08:04 AM

Thanks! thought of that later and painted them Silver after they and the Original Side Lights were finished with the repairs. I welded Coupling Nuts to repair the Side Lights and then used new pieces for the Bulbs. I will be installing those as soon as I get the Compounding Pads from Amazon and can get those areas polished.

prairieschooner 08-02-2014 07:50 PM

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I thought that I should post some progress. Here are some pics that I took while replacing the skin on the Cabinet Doors. This shows the door before, after stripping the skin, during the laminating and after installed.
This is the Galley Cabinet and is now ready for the final stain and finishing. I am thinking that I will be finishing the cabinets with Watco Danish Oil.

60's Iron 08-02-2014 09:23 PM

Good work Piratesteve. I to am restoring a Traveler. I remember your posts from when I started mine years ago. Mine sat for a long time while "life" went on. I'm also back at it. I installed the Marmolium today. I'll post about the experience in the flooring section. I replaced 75% of the perimeter floor, installed subfloor now Marmolium. Next up cabinets. Trying to keep it as original looking as I can. What are you doing for heat, and holding tanks? Looking forward to watching your progress.

prairieschooner 08-03-2014 08:06 AM

Thanks Greg
It is surprising how "life goes on" and that is why mine sat too. I considered using Marmoleum as well but I was out voted (happy wife...happy wife). I just looked at your posts and your flooring does look good.

The Cabinets consume allot of time with all of the details and trying to stay as original as possible and reusing the original framework where I can. Re-skinning the Cabinet Doors took a day for each side clamped in place to ensure that the Glue had time to cure before I took it off of the Table (I am using a solid core door for my work table). One of them needed some framework repairs but now that is behind me.

We have an LPG Heater near the door, it has been stored but will be installed later since it will be in the way for now.

There is a Fiberglass Holding Tank under the Toilet. Since I am going to be using the original 12.5 Gallon Freshwater Tank I am going to stay with that. I will be starting the Plumbing soon so the rest of the decisions will be made then but I want to stay close to original but with usability in mind.

It will be fun to watch your progress!

60's Iron 08-03-2014 08:58 AM

Steve any chance of getting a picture of the toilet? That request sounds weird.....

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