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Old 08-19-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
69 Tradewind
 
1969 25' Tradewind
Ben Lomond , California
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'69 Tradewind - Restore or Remodel?

Hello fellow AS people! I was gifted a 1969 Tradewind Land Yacht from my Uncle. This beast has been sitting in his yard for the last 30 years, untouched. It looks like it has all the original stuff in it, including the ice cube trays in the freezer. Anything that was near a window is badly sun-damaged and the carpet and upholstery could use some help but for the most part this Little Lady looks to be in decent shape. I am new to the forum and AS lifestyle and am planning on mostly using this as a guest house on my property as we don't have a tow vehicle at the moment.

My question to the forum is; Should I try to restore Daisy (that is what I named her) to her former glory or should I just go ahead and rip-out all the icky stuff and start new?
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums!

The carpet drapes, and upholstery probably qualify as icky, and might as well be replaced. When you rip up the carpet, you will see how badly the floor is rotten, which may set you on a course toward rebuild/renovation, rather than restore or redecorate, but that is a whole different thread.

If the question you are really asking is whether it is "right" to change the look of a vintage Airstream, there are certainly plenty of opinions, but the only one that matters is your own. If you would appreciate a trailer that looks like you are walking into the 70's, then restore it to its "former glory." If not, then redecorate as you see fit. Many, many people who do the full blown renovation of these trailers end up throwing away practically everything but the shell itself, so there certainly is no sin in starting fresh.

Good luck, and welcome to vintage ownership!
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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Belegedhel makes good points. You have to decide. I tried my best to keep my 68 looking as original as possible. That is just me. From the pics of your TW, you have a really nice trailer with everything in place to do fine restoration. Restoring it will be easier, less expensive and there will be much less time involved. To gut and renovate takes lots of time and money and skills (metal work, carpentry, plumbing,electrical, etc) but so does a quality restoration job. If you got it to camp in and enjoy, then I would suggest restore and enjoy. Every missed camping trip is one less fun time with the family. Also consider, as a rough rule of thumb you can double the money you think you will spend and quadruple the time, don't laugh. If you love to work on things and that is your project for the next few years then go for it and gut it and renovate to your tastes. To me, there is just something special about having it look vintage. Good luck and welcome to the forums.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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I personally prefer the resto- mod approach. For my 65 overlander , I kept things vintage looking , but w/ practical & cosmetic upgrades.


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Old 08-19-2014, 04:47 PM   #5
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I like the old look but I live in the present and the creature comforts that go with it so I tend towards update and replace the older unstable materials with newer less toxic products of the day! Led's instead of incandescent pex plumbing not copper. But in the end it is what your needs likes and desires are. You can modernize and at the same time keep the vintage look with hidden USB ports and older light covers with led vise bulbs. Keep us posted and welcome.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
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I second Cochese's opinion. It looks like your trailer is pretty much original and that gives you the chance to replace carpet, curtains, etc. while cleaning & refinishing the hard surfaces as needed. Some things may need repair/replacement (faucets, univolt, plumbing, appliances, etc.) and can be 'modernized' at the same time, while keeping the basic look of the era. You may even want to add A.C.
Ultimately, it's your Airstream and you may personalize it in any way you wish.
'Just my $0.02.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
69 Tradewind
 
1969 25' Tradewind
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Thank you everyone for your opinion! Per Belegedhel's advice, I was worried that I would get ostracized for changing anything in an AS that wasn't completely gutted already, I know there are a lot of people out there looking for something like this. I guess I first have to pull up the carpet and look to see how the bones are doing, as well as plug the girl in to see if the electrical is still working then I can worry about the more cosmetic things.

I am super excited to start my journey and have been killing many productive hours of daylight reading other people's remodels.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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The older the trailer is, the greater "value" there may be in maintaining/preserving the original interior. That being said, an early 50's trailer that has been left in a field for the last 50 years may still not have anything that can be salvaged very practically.

The 1969 trailer you have possesses some enviable design features such as real wood in the cabinetry (they switched to a plastic veneered faux-wood in the 70's), but beyond that, it is essentially a 70's trailer in terms of decor/design. So, express yourself, it is your trailer. Much of the beauty of these revived vintage trailers is the wild spectrum of direction that the owners take in redecorating them. If they all looked like they just rolled out of the factory in 1975, it wouldn't be very interesting.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:57 PM   #9
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Daisy69... Well, how is it going? Thanks for posting the great photos of your Trade Wind. It is interesting to see how much they changed from the 68s. I read where you want your Airstream as a guest cottage. I figure you will want working plumbing and electrical. And you will likely want heat and cooling. Your guest might like a coffee maker and a cool fridge. And your guest wouldn't appreciate leaks and a wet floor. So it seems you will want to make functional the major systems in the trailer.

Then you can refinish and redecorate. New floor coverings (assuming there is no rotted holes in the subfloor), new upholstery, window coverings, and a super new mattress would make it very nice.

You don't have to worry about the axles or frame at this point since you don't plan on traveling with it. Caution, if you make it too nice, your guests may not want to leave!

Keep us all posted on your progress.

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Old 08-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #10
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I have never spent a night in a travel trailer, but I have take on a 1963, simply for the opportunity to learn the multitude of skills listed earlier in the thread

So take my opinion for what it's worth

Your trailer looks beautiful, just check out the water systems for leaks !!!
In my case the '63 smelled musty which is a sign of rot, and was 90% gutted, so I did not really have the option to restore.

Once you start modifying, there is no undoing and going back to original. Every year there are more and more modified classics, and less and less originals. I would think the "experience" of overnighting in your guest house would be cooler, as close to original as possible.

As long as you can clean it up and the water/sewer connections aren't leaking, replace the faded fabrics and do as little as possible to preserve the "vibe".

For what is worth ....
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:41 PM   #11
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1st this is YOUR AS! whatever YOU decide will be right at least for you!
OK it looks like it is in really good condition and you may be amazed at how well everything turns out with a fresh coat of whatever.
My advice is to decide what you will be doing with the trailer ......... from that decision everything else should fall into place. You may even consider not making any significant changes until you can (try to) get the systems working and then use the trailer and maybe even go to a couple of get togethers first.
This Bithchin' older Airstream will only be original until .............
just my opinion, but then I am installing a newer toilet
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:42 AM   #12
69 Tradewind
 
1969 25' Tradewind
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To keep everyone updated; I have decided to not make any BIG decisions until I have figured out how functional the systems are. I spent last weekend cleaning Her up, I had to throw out the curtains because they were disintegrated, the carpet was so far gone that it disappeared as I was vacuuming! The upholstery on the day bed in the middle is in pretty good condition as it was covered in bed sheets for the past 40 years but the front couch is pretty threadbare in some spots so it will need to be replaced. While cleaning, everything seemed to be in fantastic condition. The fridge still held a seal, all plastic storage containers are accounted for, I couldn't find any rot from leakage (but I still need to pull up the carpet to see how the sub-floor is), I was able to open all the windows and air out the Girl, but there wasn't any mildew smell to begin with...just a lot of dust! This weekend I am hoping to pull up carpet, plug Her in and see if any of the electrical still works (also make sure nothing is smoking) and maybe run some water to see if there are any visible leaks. Ill post more photos of the cleaned inside once I have better light to work in.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:55 AM   #13
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Safety Sam here. Based on what I've seen behind the interior skins on my AS, I don't trust the electrical systems in these old trailers. I would suggest you use a multimeter after you hook up to shore power and make sure that your AS shell and chassis is not being energized by bare wires somewhere.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:08 PM   #14
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You can buy a simple 115 volt circuit tester at your hardware store for ten bucks. You just plug it in each outlet positions and it will tell you if you have any ground faults, polarity or "hot" to "neutral" conditions. You will learn about bad outlets, shorts, or other issues. Test every position on every outlet including the one outside.

Your trailer will have circuit breakers located usually in the rear bath, street side. You can turn off all the breakers, then plug in. Then turn on the main, and then turn on one breaker at a time. Test your outlets while doing this. Being a little more systematic while powering up for the first time may help discover any issues.

Remember your Airstream has mostly a 12 volt system that powers the lights, water pump, furnace fan, vent fans, water heater, and what did I forget. If you trailer has a good battery, you might test the 12 volt stuff first. Then test the 115 volt outlets.

12 volt fuses are in the "converter" (converts 115 volts to 12 volts). The converter is located in the back of the trailer. Lights or appliances may not run due to a blown fuse, or a bad blub.

Good luck. My bet says it will all work fine! Your trailer seems to be a "time capsule".

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Old 08-29-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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Welcome to the Forum.

You have a very nice looking “Time Capsule”.
From experience I can tell you that a full blown restoration is very labor intensive, expensive and time consuming. The TW I have now was past the restoration point and we are happy doing a period rehab with hidden modern touches.
Others have commented on the mechanical side of things. I'll touch on the esthetics.

The counter tops, upholstery, and most of the laminate from the bedroom forward are now gone. The seats and counters have been redone using new materials with colors of the era. Laminate plastic cabinet panels have been replaced with Hickory veneer plywood. The orange shag carpet has been replaced with wood grained vinyl planks. The better half found orange throw rugs to place by the door and kitchen. Extra outlets for 110 A/C, 12vdc outlets and TV outlets were added in inconspicuous locations. The dead space above the fridge, what the owners manual refers to as the “towel drying rack”, is now the coffee and smoothie bar.
Apply your own tastes to the project and enjoy the ride in a Vintage Rig.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #16
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1969 25' Tradewind
Ben Lomond , California
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Thank you dbj216! That is some very helpful information. I plugged her in this weekend and nothing happened so I'll have to start troubleshooting....I'm a super newbie when it comes to mechanical and electrical systems but that was part of the draw to fixing this girl up so now it is time to hit the books and learn about Airstream electrical systems!
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:56 PM   #17
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We are all newbies at some point. These Air Forums will gladly assist you with all the problems you will have with your Daisy69. I'm glad you plugged in and nothing caught fire. Now you can test your AC circuits. And you can test the output of your converter. It ought to deliver about 13.5 volts DC to the positive "red" wire to your positive battery post. Check it with your new multi meter with the red lead to the "red" wire, and the black lead to the "white" wire, or negative battery post.

Just for practice , check the voltage of your car battery. Positive to positive, negative to negative. It will likely be in the 12.6 volt range. Multi meters are fun to play with.

David

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Old 09-22-2014, 05:28 PM   #18
69 Tradewind
 
1969 25' Tradewind
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pulling up carpet

So I finally got around to pulling up the carpet! I found a little bit of rot next to the front door, which is expected but from what I can see the rest of the plywood looks decent. My question now is how the heck do you get the carpet pad up off the plywood?! It seems to be glued on every square inch and scraping it up is taking FOREVER! Any tips or tricks would be appreciated. Pictures attached of the carpet & pad, also gratuitous pics of myself and my Corgi "helper" Lottie.

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:40 PM   #19
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Welcome to the dirty work of old Airstreams. Boy, I think your in for several hours of hard work. I've seen folks scrape shingles off the roof with these tools that look like spades. Your hardware store may have a vinyl floor scraper that helps remove glued down tiles. They might know of some better way to remove glued down rubber backed carpet.

Scrapping it off is the only way I can think of. Maybe others will have better ideas. Maybe Lottie can chew it off!

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Old 09-22-2014, 07:50 PM   #20
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We used a flat shovel. It worked great because it scraped big sections at a time and gave some leverage.


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