RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-05-2019, 11:45 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 34
Looking for advice renewing a 1964 Tradewind with Double Floorplan

We bought a 1964 Tradwind with a Double floor-plan. We bought it because the outer skin was in great shape and the interior seemed to be mostly original.

It turns out we have some rear end separation and the expert helping us with that pointed out quite a few things that aren't original, so our plan changed from a minor restoration to a renewal. This is what we are starting with:


The previous owner was pretty clueless about RVs in general and explained his workarounds for not using the RV's systems, which made us think nothing worked
However, I've gone through all the major systems and:
  1. The fridge lights and cools down to 40 degrees in about an hour, then the temp rises to 45-50 degrees and stays flat.
  2. The stove appears to work perfectly, but I haven't tested the temp regulation in the oven.
  3. The furnace appears to been replaced with a 12V only custom ducted furnace. The expert helping us suggested it might be undersized. It appears to work perfectly.
  4. The fresh water system works, but is a mess. Who uses radiator hoses for fresh water filling?
  5. The air conditioner works, but the expert suggested that it was too heavy and not supported correctly based on the number on interior panel rivets that have popped.
  6. The 12V/19V electrical system doesn't seem to make sense, but seems to work most of the time. Sometimes lights won't turn on, then they suddenly work normally.
  7. The 120V system works, but I could see some insulation degradation when I was trying to figure out why the furnace wasn't working in the 120V switch mode.
  8. There is a HUGE leak somewhere between the bathroom sink and tub.
  9. The water heater lights and runs, but it is finicky. The pilot light blows out when it starts to heat and makes some good explosions occasionally.
  10. I do not know how to test the toilet and black water tank without making a mess I don't want to clean up. The expert mentioned that the original toilet is heavy and we may want to replace it with a composting toilet.
  11. The Zolatone appears to be original and is in great shape where visible. However, any hidden wall (closets, etc.) has been painted with primer and/or white paint.
  12. The wood appears to be in good condition for its age. But it is butt ugly.
  13. The kitchen appears to have been completely reconfigured and all countertops were replaced along with the sink.
  14. The floor appears to be pretty solid expect some sponginess at the entrance.
  15. The original tile has been covered with ugly carpet.
  16. The fiberglass wall covers (Wiring in bedroom, flue for fridge) are cracked where they connect to the wall.
  17. It appears to have the original axle.
  18. The kitchen fan works great after I replaced the switch

We do NOT want to do a frame-off restoration. Our current plan includes these steps as a minimum:
  1. Remove everything in and under the bathroom so the expert can fix the rear end separation.
  2. Put the bathroom back together with new plumbing
  3. Replace the toilet and black water tank
  4. Patch the floor at the entrance.
  5. Replace the fridge
  6. Replace the counter tops
  7. Clean and refinish the wood
  8. Replace the 12/19V electrical system sources and relocate over an axle.
  9. Replace the fresh water system, plumbing, and add a small grey water tank beside the fresh water tank.
  10. Replace the air conditioner
  11. Add a Zip Dee Awning because a regular awning is a pain in the butt
  12. Try and replace the flooring
  13. Replace the front gaucho with a two-person dinette
  14. Replace the axle

We are thinking of making some of the following upgrades:
  1. Remove everything in the trailer so we can patch the floor and replace the caret and tile in one go instead of trying to cut around the layout.
  2. Remove the existing floor and repair any frame issues from the inside, paint the frame with POR-15, replace the insulation, replace the floor. (The expert doesn't seem keen on this idea.)
  3. Replace all the plywood on the interior with new plywood to replace the butt-ugly wood and make it easier to match old to new.
  4. Replace the fiberglass drawers with proper drawers.
  5. Replace the oven with a cooktop because no one ever uses the over and we can get more storage and cover the cooktop with a counter when not in use.
  6. Change the layout to two twins with a more open floorplan like the Safari.
  7. Replace all doors with rolltop trabour material like a 70's airstream
  8. Should we run new 120V wiring through the floor an
  9. Spray Zolatone over the existing walls

Any comments, advice, or suggestions are appreciated. I'm slowly reading through the forums, but my big questions are:
  1. Is it possible/practical to replace the floor with the body on. I did glance at some posts that seemed to suggest it was possible, but a little complicated.
  2. Are there any paid/free material to help me build booth-style seats with springs like the ones found in a diner. or 60's car
  3. Should we replace the water heater. The expert wasn't keen on the idea if it works.

Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide. This is our first Airstream. The renewal on our Great Dale House car was mostly mechanical and cosmetic.

Finally, Does anyone need any of the parts we may not be using after the renewal. The expert suggested we have quite a bit of unobtanium here and there.
idougal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2019, 07:33 AM   #2
Rivet Master

1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,786
Looks like a fun project. It is a lot of work and money to renovate correctly. It seems like an overwhelming project, but one item at a time gets the job done. On some projects trying to patch the floor without removing the shell is more troublesome than removing the shell. Your call. I know from experience you can do a much better job on the chassis and axle with the shell off. You have a pretty thorough work order. Things will change as you get into it. In the 66, we installed a cooktop with a small microwave below where the oven would be. An “on demand” water heater has worked out well in both our trailers. There are so many improvements you can make over Airstream’s original. I like rebuilding where all interior looks original with the modern amenities hidden. Also, there are a lot of Streamers in your area that have the experience in renovations. Reach out. Let me know if you want to discuss. Good luck
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Renewing Classified Ad Cracker Dollars & Cents 4 08-21-2011 05:12 PM
Renewing Insurance kamadeca Insurance & Claims 13 03-27-2007 08:10 AM
renewing old refrigerators eubank Refrigerators 20 12-24-2006 10:16 AM
renewing interior wood paneling mjmcwhorte Cabinets, Counter Tops & Furnishings 16 01-06-2006 12:05 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:02 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.