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pbearsailor 02-08-2009 09:07 AM

First She Had to Take a Ride on a Boat | 1957
6 Attachment(s)
My Island Girl is now on the mainland after a ferry ride from Friday Harbor to Anacortes. She's a 1957 Caravanner, serial number O9153, and has spent the bulk of her life on Lopez Island and San Juan Island, likely at least the last 30 years. Looks like I'm her fourth owner. :D

I want to thank everyone on this forum for so many great threads full of such important information that has made my lurking able to take me from no knowledge to the point that I was pretty comfortable buying this old trailer. :clap: I'm sure glad I took new wheels and tires along!

We'll certainly know better when everything is out and the frame is visible, but I don't see much water damage, all the cabinets can be reused, original Zolatone is still nice, and the shell is practically dent free and straight. Lots of work with systems and holding tanks and everything else I've been reading about is ahead, but I think I've got a pretty decent base to work from.

This will be a slow project for me. My wife has Alzheimers and I'm her full time caregiver. When the weather is nice, I'll be able to do a little of both, but mostly I'll be limited to a couple of days a month when I have respite care to do any serious work on the trailer. That's OK, it's a long term project and that's what I need. :)

First up is some glass for the two frames without. My order is in with VTS for the rubbery bits and Tuesday I'll see about some glass. Safety glass in that front window? :unsure:

As we rolled on the ferry, one of the crew came up and said, "Wow, I love your trailer!"


CanoeStream 02-08-2009 09:30 AM

Ahhh! Caravanners are such nice, airy party Airstreams. We'll be right over... :flowers:

Please keep us filled in. Thanks for the photos -- karma your way!

GR8DANE 02-08-2009 09:47 AM

She is a beauty! Better buy a good supply of window cleaner. Love the amount of windows and the refer is very cool looking!

Congrats and have fun with it!!!

Kevin245 02-08-2009 09:50 AM

Great Looking Pull...

Welcome aboard...What a great find for you. She looks good...and all that glass...

Keep up the postings.



mouth012006 02-08-2009 10:01 AM

Love all those windows.....good luck on your restore...and welcome to the forums :cool:

maxandgeorgia 02-08-2009 10:07 AM

Island Girl is my all-time favorite Airstream model. I love the size, layout, and airy openness of the Caravanner. Lucky trailer to fall into your care; lucky you to find such a gem! Best wishes to you in your roles of caring for your wife and rejuvenating your Airstream. If we ever make it to the Northwest, perhaps we'll meet you at a campfire some day. ~G

silverleeper 02-08-2009 10:10 AM

Great find
Wow, what a great find. 1957 Carvanner. Good luck on the restoration. You might what to put Plexiglas in the front window. It's a big target for road debris. Hope to see you on the road or at a rally.:wally:

ROBERT CROSS 02-08-2009 10:15 AM

Welcome aboard!!
:wally:WOW...what a great looking trailer. The exterior is incredible, hard to believe considering the location.

You have found a real gem, good luck and keep posting.

olddog299 02-08-2009 11:14 AM

Steve, that is a real beauty. I hope your Island Girl brings you many hours of pleasure as you restore her to the true beauty she is. I'm envious, no doubt.

3Ms75Argosy 02-08-2009 11:46 AM

Wow! That's a wonderful trailer. It'll give you even more strength for your wife.

As for the front window, I believe you can order safety glass for it.. I replaced my 3/8" thick glass with some safety glass that was either 1/8" or 5/8" thick... it wouldn't come any thinner. (my memory escapes me right now). You should be able to find a glass shop by you to order it in any size you want... I used Cascade Glass in Seattle if you're running out of luck, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't a supplier closer to you up north.

That trailer is in wonderful shape!

Sixty3TW4US 02-08-2009 01:30 PM

Steve what a great find!! The inside looks fine (from the pics), are you going to drop the belly pan to inspect the frame before you remove the interior? Good Luck!

pbearsailor 02-08-2009 03:53 PM

Thanks, everyone. I'm definitely excited about her. :in_love:

I've been kicking around ideas on that front window. Most important thing, here in our rainy Pacific Northwet is to get something in there pretty soon. Like the thought of plexiglass for resisting rock damage, but I've lived with it a long time on our boat and sure hate the crazing. I'll probably see what's available in safety glass first.

Belly pan outwardly seems to be in good shape other than one bad spot by the door. I want this trailer to last another 52 years, so I'm sure I'll do the whole subfloor, but won't decide if it's shell off or not until I see what I have for a frame. I suppose I might cut the belly pan off, leaving a healthy lip so I can get it back on if I do the floor with the shell on.

Anybody got any ideas on the fridge? I absolutely love the look of that Marvel that's in there, but it's 110 volt only and I'm sure I'd be much better off with a 2 way. I've done some searching but haven't found much. Wondering if there's any way to replace the guts of the compressor system with those of an gas/elec type. Or I wonder if I might be able to modify a gas/elec unit so it could give up its door and live behind that original Marvel door. Really want to keep that look if I can, but the ability to boondock will be very important to me. I dunno, down the road decisions anyway. :confused:

Thanks again for the welcome. Many questions to follow.


73Overlander 02-08-2009 05:19 PM

Congratulations on the great find! I hope that you have a wonderful time restoring it, and better yet, using it.

3Ms75Argosy 02-08-2009 05:27 PM

About that fridge... RV Mobile, RV and Gas Refrigerators is in Everett... they might be able to help you out. They rebuild older fridge units (though, probably not as old as the Marvel), and might have some ideas.

Another thought... just some dry ice from the local Safeway might get you to where you want to go.. then plug in when there.

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