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Old 06-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
Join Date: May 2011
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I'm importing one to Australia and blogging about it including costs

Hi all,

I know there are a couple of other Australia threads but I wanted to get this one up in the open.

I have just bought an airstream - a '74 Tradewind and I'm importing it from Idaho in the USA to the port of Brisbane.

The best part is that I'm blogging about it every step of the way. Including all the parts that people are usually coy about, like costs. I've exposed exactly what it is costing on the blog. In short it is costing me less that $8,000 for overland and shipping transport.

I have contacts for the cheapest and best shipper I could find. There are lots of tips on how to do it all. Little things that you would never think about like having copies of documents and keys sent to you in the mail in advance of having the trailer shipped. Or hiding a set of keys on the outside of your locked trailer while it is shipped so that customs don't have to smash a window to do an inspection on the US side if they need to.

http://australianairstream.blogspot.com/

In Australia you also need to become an importer to bring one in. This allows you to save a lot of money. It isn't hard, you just need to fill out a form and submit it to DOTARS. It takes about 4 weeks to be approved. Your trailer will take about 6 weeks to ship.

Anyway, go take a look at the blog. It is shaping up really nicely.

Let me know if you have any questions (or want any topics covered) and I'll try to answer them on the blog as well as here so that everybody can benefit.

Good luck finding your dream trailer - I'm having an awesome time!

Matt.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
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Hi,

Just checked out your blog. Nice that you gave credit to Mark Evans.

I did a double take at his photo, though. It's one of mine from the first Branson Rally. (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...tml#post464637 {the middle left photo}) He gave a nice demonstration on polishing. Interesting how stuff pops up when you put it on the internet.

Keep us posted on your progress here on the forums too.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:23 AM   #3
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
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Hey Vaughan,

Thanks for the encouragement on the blog.

I grabbed that shot from this page at Flickr...
Polish-3 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I sent an email to the page owner there "Soldier Medic". Is that you?

I left it for a few days and didn't hear back so I just went ahead and posted. : )

If you would like me to take it down and use another just let me know. Otherwise, I'd love to give full attribution. Just let me know which handle you'd prefer I use.

Thanks Vaughan.
Matt.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:26 AM   #4
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...sorry, and crucially Vaughan; nice shot of Mark!

It was the best one I could find in my quick search.
Matt.
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Hi Matt,

Soldiermedic, Steve, is a good friend. I met Steve and his family in person for the first time at that rally in Branson. We've stayed in touch since then off and on. He made a few trips to Arkansas when there was a Airstream dealer in Searcy, AR and some of us would get together for some time and a meal with Steve and his family while they were here.

You're certainly welcome to use the photo. Like I said, I did put it up on the Internet, so that's kind of like letting go. They are really out of your control when you do that. A photo credit would be nice, though. I'd appreciate that. You could credit it to Vaughan Wingfield.

Speaking of photos, be sure to post some photos of your trailer and the site. Sounds like a good project. You mention you plan to refit it as a studio. What kind of work do you do?

I will be following your progress.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
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Hey Vaughan,

Attribution is in.

And a new post is up! "STAGE 1: Deciding which Airstream you want".

Also, here are a couple of photos (there are more at the blog on the photos page in the top navigation)...
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:26 PM   #7
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Hi Matt,

I appreciate the attribution.

I agree with you that the 70s vintage trailers are good looking units. I also think that the 80s ones share more with them than either do with the earlier vintages. You can see photos of my 83 Excella here View From the Sofa to the Rear - Photo Gallery.

Your Trade Wind is certainly in better shape on the outside than my Excella. It's a beautiful trailer. My Excella has large hail damage on the front cap. Word was when I bought it that it had been towed through a hailstorm. The price reflected this, though. Perhaps someday I'll replace the three panels up there.

Thanks again,
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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1966 30' Sovereign
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Wow! Matt, I am impressed with your very thorough documentation...this is a great "how to" blog you have going! Looking forward to seeing more, especially once you get her home...
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:01 PM   #9
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I look forward to reading your blog. You are going through quite the process to get your airstream. Much easier for us here to just drive a few hours and pick one up, I hope the Tradewind makes the trip well for you after all of that hard work!
Doug
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:04 AM   #10
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
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Vaughan, the Excella looks be-yoo-tee-ful. That is a nice piece of trailer you have right there!

I love the comfy-chair in the optimal viewing position. I'd be locking the door from the inside and putting my feet up and "disappearing" all sunday afternoon.

Bah, dents. What are you gonna do. I've always had spotless cars. I have one right now that I've kept dent-free for almost 8 years and my nerves are shot any time I take it anywhere. Last year we bought my missus a 2nd hand late model Subaru Forester with 2 dents on it and while I still wash and polish that thing too, I don't walk around it checking for dents every time we return to it in the parking lot. I hope this isn't too smutty for the forum but, y'know, somebody already busted it's hymen and you think differently about it after that point. : ) I enjoy her car more than mine because I worry about it less. I hope it is the same for you with the Excella.

Thanks for the well wishes Doug and mnmhays. I hope it arrives OK after all this effort too. Actually, that reminds me; I'd better double check that the shipper has organised insurance to the full value of the trailer.

More updates soon.
Matt.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #11
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
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Hi all,

I have put up a new post on the blog: "Stage 2: Finding The Right Airstream"
Australian Airstream Trailer: STAGE 2: Finding The Right Airstream

It compares the various approaches that Aussies (or folks from other places outside the US) might take when tracking down and evaluating purchase candidates.

- eBay
- Online Austream classifieds
- Employing an agent
- Craigslist

Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions / corrections.

Thanks.

Matt.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:02 PM   #12
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Hey All,

I've been going with the blog for a few months now. There are lots of posts on there. I've just put one up about an approach for designing your Airstream renovation.

Australian Airstream Trailer

and specifically...

Australian Airstream Trailer: The Airstream Renovation as a Designed Experience

There are a bunch of photos up there.

Here is a taste of a few...





Matt.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:08 PM   #13
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Blog update

*** NEW AND IMPROVED POST. NOW WITH MORE PICTURES IN EVERY SPOONFUL***

Hey All,

I've been going with the blog for a few months now. There are lots of posts
on there. I've just put one up about an approach for designing your Airstream renovation.

Australian Airstream Trailer

and specifically...

Australian Airstream Trailer: The Airstream Renovation as a Designed Experience

There are a bunch of photos up there.

Here is a taste of a few...

Matt.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:01 AM   #14
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The trailer looks happy there! Beautiful countryside. Looking forward to your design improvements.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #15
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
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Hi all,

We are a good way into renovations, but before I show you the results so far, I wanted to talk about how we designed a floor plan.

I've put up a new post on the blog.

Australian Airstream Trailer: Design: Floorplans

Let me know what you think.
Matt.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:30 AM   #16
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Hi Matt,

Great to see a fellow Aussie loving the tin car trailers.

Just purchased a 72 Silver Streak. See pics.

We recieve in a couple of weeks. Will post more when I take delivery.

Very funky.

Cheers Matt
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #17
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1976 Argosy 22
New London , Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattmorphett View Post
Hi all,

I know there are a couple of other Australia threads but I wanted to get this one up in the open.

I have just bought an airstream - a '74 Tradewind and I'm importing it from Idaho in the USA to the port of Brisbane.

The best part is that I'm blogging about it every step of the way. Including all the parts that people are usually coy about, like costs. I've exposed exactly what it is costing on the blog. In short it is costing me less that $8,000 for overland and shipping transport.

I have contacts for the cheapest and best shipper I could find. There are lots of tips on how to do it all. Little things that you would never think about like having copies of documents and keys sent to you in the mail in advance of having the trailer shipped. Or hiding a set of keys on the outside of your locked trailer while it is shipped so that customs don't have to smash a window to do an inspection on the US side if they need to.

Australian Airstream Trailer

In Australia you also need to become an importer to bring one in. This allows you to save a lot of money. It isn't hard, you just need to fill out a form and submit it to DOTARS. It takes about 4 weeks to be approved. Your trailer will take about 6 weeks to ship.

Anyway, go take a look at the blog. It is shaping up really nicely.

Let me know if you have any questions (or want any topics covered) and I'll try to answer them on the blog as well as here so that everybody can benefit.

Good luck finding your dream trailer - I'm having an awesome time!

Matt.
Hi Matt, I love the blog! Thanks for sharing. Just a few questions, if I may. Are Kiawah Lines still in business? Can you share some more detail about what conversions you needed to have done to ship it, if any? I notice the door is still on the right, how did you get around compliance on that?
Thanks so much for whatever help you can offer.
Cheers, CC
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:17 AM   #18
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
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Stage 1 Renovations Complete

Hi All,

We just completed the majority of the interior renovations to our 1974 Airstream Tradewind (I'm the original poster to this thread so look back to see before pictures).

Here are some of the highlights...
Completely updated layout
240v throughout for power - including uninterruptible power supply (we get a lot of trees falling over power lines up here in the hills).
12v lighting including LED strip lights recessed behind a panel in the ceiling.
Bamboo floor
Bar fridge
All new upholstery
2-pak high gloss desk
(Replica) Eames soft cushion executive chair.
Dinette that converts into a kids bed
Couch that converts into a double bed (retained and modified from original)

And, pictures because I know how much you guys love pictures...
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #19
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Hi Matt
This is awesome! I am now going to carefully read your blog. I am planning to import a trailer into NZ so i'll be interested to see how you made your selection without physically viewing it. i am no mechanic so i'll be relying on specialist restoring/refit help here in NZ so trying to figure out what sort of condition to buy in. Thanks for yr contribution !!
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #20
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 27
Images: 5
Hey Red,

Mine is permanently sited so I haven't had to deal with any compliance issues. Having said that, I have seen many, many, vintage Airstreams over here (registered and on the road) with doors on the right hand side.

Just as you can get a special allowance for vintage left hand drive cars, I'm quite sure there is a way around it. You'll need to do your own research.

Eric Wegeman is doing something along these lines. Try tracking him down.

I suggest you buy something from the states in good, running order. Ideally currently registered (i.e. it must be good enough to have passed rego over there) and move forward from that point.

Google "Mark the Airstream Guy". He can act as an agent for you in the US. He can inspect, tow, arrange purchasing and shipping if you like. He was a great help to us. Otherwise, just make sure you do all the obvious over-the-phone checks you can. Most of it is about integrity - ask people questions about things you can see in the photos to determine if they are prepared to lie.

If I can help any further, jump across to my blog and ask some questions over there.

Good luck.

Matt.
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