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Old 09-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
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'70s A/S Trailer to MH Conversion

An empolyee of ours saw this about a week ago, I think it's for sale. It looks like one of those 1970's Airstream Trailers that was a Motor Home conversion. According to Fred's Airstream Archives, there was a company doing this in the early 1970's. Here's a link on Fred's website.

Fred's Airstream Archives - 1970 Motorhome conversion Classic Motor Home

I knew that I could not find something new that Fred didn't already find!!
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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here's a couple of more photos.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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Cool! I am guessing the front and side impact safety ratings are the same as my old 1975 VW Bus! Zero on the 1-5 scale!

Just skip the medical coverage and buy life insurance.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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Front impact! What about that Greyhound Bus like front bumper!! By the way, where's the front grille?.....air flow for radiator & engine cooling...no problem!!
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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Must be rear-engined with radiator on driver side.

As they used to say of COE tractors: "And if there's an accident you have a front row seat!!

Cool, I like it.

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Old 10-19-2017, 06:55 AM   #6
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Rear window is 1970 or later. Tail lamps are 1974 or earlier.

This looks a Bohmer Reed Motorhome. Not sure of the exact year, nor how many were made. The one you found was made from an Excella 500, which was first introduced for the mid-1972 model year, but the brochure photo model was made from a normal 31' Sovereign.

Could the brochure be of a prototype from 1971 or early 1972, but the one you found be later 1972 or 1973 and made from the then "top of the line" Excella 500. I would expect the MH to be made from Airstream's top model.

It seems to make sense that this would have been from before Airstream introduced the Argosy MH's in 1973 or 1974, but that's just a guess.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:32 AM   #7
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In fact, you can read "Bohmer Reed" on the front of the MH you found:


BTW, I could be wrong, but I don't think the one on Fred's Archives page is a Bohmer Reed. It has too many differences and no Bohmer Reed badging, although the front window shapes are similar:

Or maybe Fred has a photo of the prototype and the brochure and the one you found are production models. Hmmmm?
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:55 AM   #8
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I have a 31' sovereign 1969 that had a conversion in the 80's. It's pretty much a junk heap now...... it has a 500 cubic inch caddy in it. I must say I love the stance and the view sitting behind the wheel more then an actual as motorhome. It's an actual low rider seems like 4feet closer to the ground

The dash in the one picture I like quite a bit how it wraps around.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
As they used to say of COE tractors: "And if there's an accident you have a front row seat!!
I assume that's COE as in "Cab Over Engine" because I used to work for the COE and go camping at COE campgrounds, and COE means something different there.

But back to the topic at hand, do you suppose WBCCI would still consider the motorhome conversion an Airstream for the purpose of meeting the membership requirements, purists that they are?
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:36 AM   #10
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I assume that's COE as in "Cab Over Engine" because I used to work for the COE and go camping at COE campgrounds, and COE means something different there.

But back to the topic at hand, do you suppose WBCCI would still consider the motorhome conversion an Airstream for the purpose of meeting the membership requirements, purists that they are?
....and should it be in the motorhome or trailer section?????
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I assume that's COE as in "Cab Over Engine" because I used to work for the COE and go camping at COE campgrounds, and COE means something different there.

But back to the topic at hand, do you suppose WBCCI would still consider the motorhome conversion an Airstream for the purpose of meeting the membership requirements, purists that they are?
Considering how rare they are, that is a question that may never have to be answered. After confirming that the MH in question was s Bohmer Reed, I Google searched that name and discovered a couple of other AirForums threads about them and one old eBay auction.

I found claims that only 3 Bohmer Reed MHs were ever made, but I have no way of confirming. The eBay ad was selling a claimed 1979 BR MH, but I am not convinced it wasn't older than that. The eBay BR MH was gutted and being advertised as a great option for a food truck. The eBay ad was clearly not the MH in question in this thread, but might have been the unit from the brochure photo. Another AirForums thread might have been the third BR MH, or else it was the same unit as on eBay.

Oh, and back to your original question, IMO only, since the body and most of the interior began life as an Airstream trailer, I'd expect it would be allowed.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:17 AM   #12
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Both fish and fowl, that Moho.

And COE, like "TV" can cover more than one item. Granted, should have used cab over engine. Haven't seen that TV used around here. Yet.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:27 AM   #13
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Considering how rare they are, that is a question that may never have to be answered. After confirming that the MH in question was s Bohmer Reed, I Google searched that name and discovered a couple of other AirForums threads about them and one old eBay auction.

I found claims that only 3 Bohmer Reed MHs were ever made, but I have no way of confirming. The eBay ad was selling a claimed 1979 BR MH, but I am not convinced it wasn't older than that. The eBay BR MH was gutted and being advertised as a great option for a food truck. The eBay ad was clearly not the MH in question in this thread, but might have been the unit from the brochure photo. Another AirForums thread might have been the third BR MH, or else it was the same unit as on eBay.

Oh, and back to your original question, IMO only, since the body and most of the interior began life as an Airstream trailer, I'd expect it would be allowed.
Thank you Joe for doing the research on this motorhome. I know this is a 5 year old thread and I haven't been in the area that this MH was located in years. So, I'll go check it out in the coming weeks to see if it's still there. It's (or was) located about 45 minutes to the west of me on private property on Mississippi Sate Hwy 43 close to Picayune,MS.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:10 PM   #14
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...So, I'll go check it out in the coming weeks to see if it's still there. It's (or was) located about 45 minutes to the west of me on private property on Mississippi Sate Hwy 43 close to Picayune,MS.

We saw it last summer. It was a bit off the road on the right headed north, correct?
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:50 PM   #15
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Here are all of the Bohmer Reed Motorhome links I have been able to find:

2008 AirForums thread that mentions a Bohmer Reed MH in Texas:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...mer-41199.html

2008 AirForums post that mentions a Dallas Craigslist ad for a Bohmer Reed MH:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...tml#post533860

2014 eBay Listing for a claimed 1979 Bohmer Reed in Minnestoa:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1979-Airstr...p2047675.l2557

2014 AirFourms thread about the eBay posting:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f156...me-123511.html

2015 AirForums Classifieds Ad for a claimed Bohmer Reed MH in Dallas, TX:
http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/...-31-minnesota/

Interesting that both the Minnesota and Dallas Bohmer Reed MHs are claimed to be 1979s, but they are different MHs.

The tail lamps can clearly be seen on the Dallas MH and were a style last used by Airstream in 1974 and the side molding are appropriate for 1970-74 as well.

I can't see the tail lamps on the Minnesota unit, but the rest of the MH is very similar to the Dallas unit and it also has side moldings that are not appropriate for a 1979 Airstream, more likely early 1970s. That one clearly has the "International" badge that appears to be missing on the Dallas Unit.

Both these units have a single hinge "suicide style" entry door. The single hinge design was last used about 1972 or 1973.

The unit from this thread is different than both the Dallas and Minnesota units. It is an Excella 500 and from the tail lamps and Excella 500 badges appears to be an early to mid 1970s unit. It has a "non-suicide" entry door with a dual hinges on the screen door.

If the claims are true that only three (3) Bohmer Reed motorhomes were ever made, we can now account for all 3!!!!

The Dallas MH used a Ford 460 engine, while the Dallas MH had a Ford 351 engine. Since the MH on Fred's page clearly indicated Dodge on the front, I think we can probably conclude that it is NOT a Bohmer Reed.

BTW, here is a link to a NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) inquiry from the President of Bohmer Reed Motorhome Conversions, John O. Bohmer from February of 1977:
https://isearch.nhtsa.gov/gm/77/77-1.49.html

It details John Bohmer's inquiry to NHTSA (and their response), where he states that they are in the business of converting 1968 to present (then 1977) Airstream trailers into Motorhomes and he wonders if the completed MH needs to meet present Flammability requirements even though the Airstream bodies may have been manufactured before the rules went into effect. Such an inquiry would have been made before they sold any units to customers, likely during the engineering phase.

Thus it appears that maybe the MHs were made some time after 1977 and maybe actually in 1979, but used Airstream trailers from the earlier 1970s as evidenced from the three (3) models so far rediscovered. It just seems weird that they would have converted Airstreams that were then several years old rather than new models. If they didn't actually sell any until about 1979, they would have faced stiff competition from the official Airstream Motorhomes that were first introduced in 1979 (though Argosy MHs had been around since about 1974). The probably realized they could not make a go competing against Airstream directly.

The mystery is starting to unravel . . . a little bit.
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