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Old 07-09-2022, 10:26 AM   #1
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1959 24' Tradewind
McCullom Lake , Illinois
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1959 Tradewind Project

Hello all

New owners here. Happy to be part of this amazing community.

We purchased our 1959 Tradewind just under 3 months ago now. It has already been quite the journey and a learning experience. And we are just getting started...Ha.

We decided to start renovation thread for a few reasons. The first is for the insights and advice from others. Also to help maintain momentum for the marathon. And to put it all out there to help others with their projects.

Since we are a few months into the project the posts for awhile at least will have bit of hindsight to them. So please bear with me. I hope it will be helpful to some people.

So I guess we will start at the beginning....
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:13 AM   #2
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The purchase

So the trailer was a project abandoned by a previous owner. Exterior in excellent condition. No major dents. A couple of side panels had been replaced. Newer running lights. Windows redone at some point.

Belly pan was open. Frame had been sanded and painted at some point. Some surface rust but otherwise looking ok. Floor had also been replaced at some point.

The interior had lower skins removed and set aside. No interior otherwise. Some parts of cabinets but nothing complete.
Lots of extras Included. Tools, rivets, roll of 2024, misc parts. A refurbished working Marvel fridge, working original princess stove, heater, lots and lots of extras.

Initial red flag was the leaf springs g mounting bracket. Advertised as newer leaf springs. The welding looked sketchy at best. But.....

We absolutely fell in love with the looks of the trailer and what we might be able to do with it. So we went for it.....
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Old 07-09-2022, 12:59 PM   #3
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Glad you started a reno thread. We can follow along and pick up a few ideas. If needed, ask the questions. Good luck
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Old 07-09-2022, 01:19 PM   #4
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Be fun to keep an eye on!
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Old 07-09-2022, 07:07 PM   #5
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I'm going to join in also. I like the Trade Wind model. You will enjoy making this old Airstream new again.

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Old 07-11-2022, 02:59 PM   #6
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1959 24' Tradewind
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First things first..

The first order of business after getting home was the trailer getting off to the shop to get the leaf springs delt with.

This turned out to be both a complete waste of time and the best thing that could have happened...... So after 3 weeks of the trailer not being looked at I decided to bring it home. In those 3 weeks I had immersed myself fully in my new airstream world. Listened to all 367 episodes of The VAP as well as reading as much on the Airstream forums as I could.

Feeling more confident we decided to remove the remaining interior skins, endcaps, and insulation. Also we opted to remove the wiring that a PO had started. Next up a full methodical inspection of the trailer, talking notes as we did. Turns out we may have been blinded by the beauty and missed a few things. Ha. Just a few...Attachment 419251Click image for larger version

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Old 07-11-2022, 03:59 PM   #7
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Good deal, youíre off to a good start. The VAP has a lot of good information from Colinís experience. Hated to hear Tim was discontinuing the podcast. I had asked Colin whether the horizontal stringers should be attached to the ribs or not. They all appear to float and just add a bit of rigidity to the exterior skin between the ribs. He said to definitely attach each end to the adjacent rib. I donít think that takes away from the shell flexion too much. Anyway, just a thought.
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Old 07-11-2022, 05:30 PM   #8
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1959 Tradewind Project

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Old 07-12-2022, 08:25 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I have enjoyed reading posts and threads by everyone who was posted on here and learned alot from you all ready. So very happy to have you aboard. Don't be shy with the advice. I am gonna need it.

Bubba L
Thanks for the tip on the stringers. I will definitely put that on my to to do list. Yes that was a bummer about retiring the show. I was so excited to find the show. And then after like 3 episodes he retires. Ha..still lots of content there though.

Thinking about 3 more posts or so and i should be pretty close to real time.
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Old 07-12-2022, 09:58 AM   #10
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Old 07-15-2022, 03:39 AM   #11
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I too listened to all of the VAP podcasts. Great place to start. Between the podcasts and the blogs from the restorers you already have subscribed, I think youíll have most everything you need to know to complete the job.

And when you are done youíll have a new trailer that you donít have to worry about because you know it was done right. ~ Mark
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Old 07-15-2022, 12:09 PM   #12
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Post Inspection Blues...

Well after all our inspections and note taking there were a range of things from minor to major that we noted. As I go through these please be aware I am not trying to insult any previous owners. As repairs are usually well intentioned. And it takes effort to even attempt these things. But the theme of our trailer seems to be that a lot of work had been done to it in the previous decade. Just not quite done right. So with that laid out....

On the minor end.
-Things like missing grommets.
-Running light wires getting pinched
-7 way whip with truck charge wire cut -Things like this.

On the moderate end.
-A PO had replaced a couple of exterior skins at some point. And they were done fairly well. But all Olympic rivets were used. Probably done when interior skins were still on. So Olympic would have been easier. But those will need to go.
-Leaks....well they all leak, but we got leaks.

On the major end.
-Floor - while the floor is still solid. 3/4 instead of 5/8. And more importantly run the wrong direction. So the seam running north/south has an additional 3/4 piece stabbed in under. A problem for my tanks
-C channel - a confluence of issues
First thing of note is only screws holding it down. No outrigger bolts. And galvanic corrosion in those spots to the point were they wouldn't hold anyway. Also every rivet attaching the body to the c channel. You guessed it Olympic rivets. All of them....yikes. at least it made it home. We also discovered that in some spots the plywood floor was cut too short width wise. Leading to the C channel half floating on air.
- Frame - Visually not too bad. But the problems lie within. Again in the last decade some one sanded and replaced parts and painted. Just the wrong paint. Some heavy pitting at A frame going under shell. Small rust holes in both rear main frame rails near last crossmember. Bumper section had been replaced previously. Also realized that my leaf spring bracket/frame mount issue is separation from rust. So questionable frame condition in that area.


Wow that was long winded. Sorry for that. I will find some corrisponding pictures.

Bruce
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Old 07-15-2022, 12:22 PM   #13
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C Channel issuesClick image for larger version

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Old 07-15-2022, 12:34 PM   #14
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Frame issues Attachment 419458Attachment 419459Attachment 419460Attachment 419461Click image for larger version

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Old 07-15-2022, 12:42 PM   #15
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Olympic rivets Click image for larger version

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Old 07-15-2022, 12:44 PM   #16
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Think it will cover any of this?? Haha.....Click image for larger version

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Old 07-15-2022, 01:34 PM   #17
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I already tried that. It would if you were still the original owner.
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Old 07-18-2022, 05:43 AM   #18
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And so begins the odyssey. With the rare exception, if you find a trailer that old, you are looking at a shell off to put it right. But you were planning on that, right? When I bought the Safari it just had a new floor installed. I was pretty deflated when I realized they had installed it over a junk frame.

The frame around the spring mounts is concerning. You will know better when it out. How is your welding? - Mark
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Old 07-19-2022, 05:29 PM   #19
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steinVT View Post
And so begins the odyssey. With the rare exception, if you find a trailer that old, you are looking at a shell off to put it right. But you were planning on that, right? When I bought the Safari it just had a new floor installed. I was pretty deflated when I realized they had installed it over a junk frame.



The frame around the spring mounts is concerning. You will know better when it out. How is your welding? - Mark
Mark

The odyssey has most definitely begun. We are definitely going to do our best to make it right. But yea....shell off was definitely not part of the original plan. We tried to find one with the heavy lifting done. And we did. Just not done right. Like you we were super deflated by this realization as well. But live and learn I suppose and although my bank account my not be happy with me. In the end this is going to be an essentially brand new beautiful 62 year old trailer that will out live me.

Unfortunately is been about 20 years since I've done any welding. So of course the one thing I planned to outsource is going to be one of the largest ticket items. Hah.

Bruce
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Old 07-21-2022, 10:29 AM   #20
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Bruce -


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it did not appear to me that the C channel was anchored to the outriggers at any point. All I see are rather smallish wood or sheet metal screws securing it only to the subfloor. This would make towing the trailer on a moderately bumpy road in a brisk side wind an invitation for the shell to go airborn.
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