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Old 03-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
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Think I've found one that works!

An Airstream model, that is. I have been searching high and low trying to determine which AS model would work right for my family. We have two kids and I really prefer for them to have their own seperate bed (for my sanity and theirs). Also, my wife and I need a place to sleep. The tradewind seems like a perfect fit. I really like some of the layouts I have seen where people have turned the front into a dinette that works also as a sleeper for two. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to be possible to add bunk beds to the tradewinds?

I guess I am looking for advice on which years may be best and what level of technical skills would be necessary to do some of the modifications I have seen on these forums to make a tradewind fit what my family needs.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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Think I've found one that works!

Greetings cptkel!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams!

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Originally Posted by cptkel View Post
The tradewind seems like a perfect fit. I really like some of the layouts I have seen where people have turned the front into a dinette that works also as a sleeper for two. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to be possible to add bunk beds to the tradewinds?
The 1960s through 1970s Tradewinds are popular for the reasons that you indicate. During the 1960s, it would be rare to find a Tradewind with a front dinette . . . and before 1965, most if not all would be single axle . . . the transition to tandem axles was made during 1964 so 1964 presents a mixed bag of single and tandem axle Tradewinds. A front dinette was optional during much of the 1970s, but wasn't particularly popular. During the entire era from the 1960s through the 1970s, the Tradewind would have been available as a Twin bed floorplan that offered the option of bunk(s) above the center twins. Some years the bunk option included one or two at the purchaser's choice while other years the bunk option included both bunks. The design of the bunks transitioned over the years with some of the bunks being a floding wooden mechanism while an aluminum framed "hammock bunk" was the standard in other years.

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I guess I am looking for advice on which years may be best and what level of technical skills would be necessary to do some of the modifications I have seen on these forums to make a tradewind fit what my family needs.
The livability of the Trandwind didn't change markedly, but there are some differences that may make one Tradewind more desirable than another:
  • 1965 and later Tradewinds would have tandem axles . . . something that can make for a greater sense of security while towing . . . prior to 1965 single axles would have been standard with tandem axles being a special order option.
  • Prior to 1974, the Tradewind would not have had a standard gray water tank so it would be necessary to make gray water provisions in today's world . . . a gray water tank can be added, but it is a project that can become expensive.
  • Prior to 1964, the Tradewind would not have had a Power Converter (Univolt) unless added by a prior owner. The 1963 and earlier Tradewinds would have had a dual system with light fixtures having both 120-volt AC and 12-volt DC light bulbs, and transformers would provide power to the furnace blower and water pump motors.
  • Prior to 1964, the Tradewind would have likely been equipped with a pressure water system rather than the demand water systems that are familiar in today's RVs. A galvanized steel tank was often used in these systems, and it is this tank that has something of a reputation for becoming home to pin-hole perforations that result in floor rot below the tank. Modern replacement pressure tanks don't tend to be available in sizes that will work with the space available in Vintage Airstreams so the usual fix is to install a "plastic" tank and convert to a demand water system.
  • 1964 and earlier Tradewinds would have the door-within-a-door and a stacked pair of jalousie windows beside the entry door. These are two features that owners tend to either love or hate. Theay are among my favorite features on my 1964 Overlander.
  • 1968 and earlier Tradewinds would have a single front window with 1966 through 1968 having Corning tempered glass windows (curved). 1969 and newer Tradewinds would have a single front window flanked by wing windows for a total of three windows across the front.
  • During part of the 1970s, the Tradewind would have been available with thermo-pane windows. These windows tended to loose the seal between the panes of glass so it isn't uncommon to find the windows clouded in as found Tradewinds with this option.
I wouldn't necessarily exclude the idea of a Tradwind with the front lounge, particularly one built prior to 1966. During this time period, and possibly through 1968 or 1969, the Tradewind would have been equipped with a drop-leaf dining table that provides accommodations of comparable comfort to typical home dining arrangements. This arrangement provides more open space where younger children can play during the day if the weather becomes uncooperative.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Kevin!

I guess I have been leaning towards the 70s era models. Solely due to being a bit newer. I guess I will need to really consider the info you relayed.

Regarding the bunk beds, I have yet to see one in the classifieds with the bunks. I assumed they were something that was added at a later date. Do you know of any other years and models that would have came with bunk beds, so that I may look for those as well?

I am thinking if I could find one with a single bunk above one of the twins and a front lounge I would be golden!

Thanks again.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Think I've found one that works!

Greetings cptkel!

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Thanks for the info Kevin!

I guess I have been leaning towards the 70s era models. Solely due to being a bit newer. I guess I will need to really consider the info you relayed.
Something else that I didn't mention was that the 1960s era Tradewinds would have interior cabinetry made with veneer plywood of good quality while the 1970s models utilize a plastic laminate in their cabinets. When considering Airstreams as old as even the newest Tradewind will be, the condition will be an indicator of the prior owners pride in ownership. You might find a 196X in near showroom condition nearly as easily as a 197X. When I purchased my 1964 Overlander, I was looking for something no older than 1985, but found my Overlander with a pristine original interior and good floor and chassis.

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Regarding the bunk beds, I have yet to see one in the classifieds with the bunks. I assumed they were something that was added at a later date. Do you know of any other years and models that would have came with bunk beds, so that I may look for those as well?
The bunk beds were factory options that could be installed to order at the factory or installed as a dealer installed option at a later date. While most Airstreams advertised on the Forums are owned by enthusiast, not all are, and some owners don't recognize the bunk option . . . particularly those from part of the 1970s that folded up and looked like a cushioned back on the lower bunks. Unfortunately, many of the 1960s Airstreams seemed to have the hammock bunks, but often they seem to have become separated from the trailer as it passed through the hands or prior owners . . . my Overlander had twin hammock bunks, but they disappeared between the original owners and myseld (the second owner was not aware of Airstreams and treated it as "just a travel trailer").

In the newer trailers, Airstream produced several trailers that have arrangements that might work. One was the Airstream 25 SS (SS=six sleeper) that was manufactured in the late 1990s. There were also six sleeper arrangement in 25 and 30 foot Safaris during the early 2000s. The down side to the newer Airstreams is that they are quite a bit heavier than the 1960s-1970s Tradewinds.

Good luck with your investigation and research!

Kevin

P.S.: Sometimes the six sleeper with the rear bunks was referred to as a "bunkhouse" floorplan, but I don't know whether that term was utilized in Airstream literature.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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I will add the AS 25SS and safari to my models to look for. It's not that I was counting the late models out, however, some of their high prices were what I was trying to avoid.

As you said, if the PO tend to remove the bunks the chances of me finding one seem small. Would there be certain characteristics within certain models I could look for that would allow easy addition/modifications of a bunking system?

I know that floor rot is something to be concerned with, especially if I am looking at the 60s and 70s era AS's. How would one detect such problems when looking at an AS for the first walkthrough? Is there an available checklist to go through when looking at used AS's?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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1967 Trade Wind 24:
1967 Airstream Trade Wind For Sale | Vintage Airstream Classifieds

1977 Trade Wind 25:
1977 Airstream Trade Wind For Sale | Vintage Airstream Classifieds

These are two that I have my eye on. I really like the 77, but the 67 makes my wallet smile. Would adding a bunk to either of these be a real challenge? What are your thoughts on both of these listings?
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:19 PM   #7
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Think I've found one that works!

Greetings cptkel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptkel View Post
1967 Trade Wind 24:
1967 Airstream Trade Wind For Sale | Vintage Airstream Classifieds

1977 Trade Wind 25:
1977 Airstream Trade Wind For Sale | Vintage Airstream Classifieds

These are two that I have my eye on. I really like the 77, but the 67 makes my wallet smile. Would adding a bunk to either of these be a real challenge? What are your thoughts on both of these listings?
You would encounter similar challenges with either Tradewind when it comes to fabricating bunks. To gain necessary clearance above the top bunk, you may find it necessary to remove the ceiling roof lockers above the existing beds. It may take a little more "engineering" to get adequate bracing for the upper bunks in the 1977 since the bulkhead walls are a plastic laminate rather than the veneered plywood of the 1967. The over bed windows may pose a challenge in both the 1967 and 1977 . . . I suspect that the windows may be more of a challenge in the 1967 due to the style of window operators utilized in that year. In either year, I suspect that a portion of the over bed window will be blocked by the top bunk. There are several threads here on the Forums that chronicle installing bunks above the center twins. . . the process is similar whether the candidate Airstream is a Tradewind or Sovereign. Most of the threads that I have read where bunks have been fabricated have involved stationary bunks above the original center twins, but I believe that there are one or two threads where the upper bunks were designed to fold upward and secure against the ceiling.

Good luck with your investigation and search!

Kevin
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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Have you thought about a 70's Safari? Rear bath with twinbeds and a gaucho in the front.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Wasn't there a couple years mid/late 60's had aluminum wire that might be an issue but not necessarily. Also original tiles would of had asbestos in it. Not a problem if not disturbed. Not huge if it is either. I believe they were called AV tile but I could be wrong. I would guess most likely they would of gotten removed along the way. I think as Overlander 64 has said it comes down to condition and/or willingness to fix the problems that will go deeper than you think at first. I bought mine for top dollar for what it was and now I am redoing it. But what I got for my money even though I am replacing floor etc. Is not smells, no snakes and dead vermin, the frame was in very good shape, new axels and tires. But I did get lots of labor and $$ on new appliances. Some of it is to make it more mine. I should say I also got to use it for two seasons right off the bat. Good luck I think your investigating ahead of time will leave you in good stead

Tony
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