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Old 07-02-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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1980 24' Caravelle
Luling , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Floor work 1980 Caravelle 24'

Hey all!, This is my very first post, and I must say I'm very glad I found this site. I recently acquired the said 1980 caravelle, and after reading several posts on this site that recommend re-doing the floor regardless, I decided I would. ---This post is just to get some recommendations and tips on starting and how I should go about it. This is my first ever airstream/RV project, so any and all advice will help. I am a minimalist, and am just looking really for the bare essentials as far as advise goes; aesthetics are not required. My main question is should I just rip up all of the plywood ( as one section seems to have rotted a hair), and also rip up the insulation, and get all new material in there?? I'm hoping to get some pictures on here soon to help with my query. Thank you all....
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Floor work 1980 Caravelle 24'

Greetings dochollidaye!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

I would encourage you to consider the historic value of your Caravelle before making the decision to gut it and make major changes. The Caravelle was a one year model of limited production particularly in the 24' length. This coach rides on a narrower chassis than the standard Airstreams of the same year - - and, if I am not mistaken, the width of the interior floor is 7'.

If the floor is sound with only one or two soft spots, a repair is a practical consideration. My Overlander had one soft spot that was repaired by my Airstream dealer almost 15 years ago and the repaired original floor is still going strong.

I am not saying don't gut and rebuild, rather; just consider what you might be loosing in the process.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:24 PM   #3
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1980 24' Caravelle
Luling , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Thank you very much Kevin! No i did not know any of the historical value of this airstream, I purchased it for $1300 dollars, and just want it liveable for off-grid desires. I really just want to make sure it is sealed up from the bottom and the top. That is my only concern. I will get pictures on here ASAP. Perhaps I can get help pertaining to other questions I have with it.

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Old 07-03-2011, 12:50 AM   #4
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Wow.... $1300 GREAT DEAL

Post some pics!!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:06 AM   #5
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1980 22' Caravelle
1975 20' Argosy 20
woking , surrey
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 94
Images: 15
go for it

I am now on my third caravelle, first two were 24 footers, now a 22 footer. I also closely worked on other airstream mainly pre 67.

I find the caravelle (which applies to a lot of later airstreams) a lot easier to do than the earlier airstreams, that is if you want and do preserve the interior. Everything has been put in with rivits and if its still original, meaning as little repairs, new appliances etc put in, you should be able to take the interior out in a day, and put it back in in about a week, including cleaning etc etc.

The moment that you start customizing it will start to take much longer, depending on your tools etc. My 22 footer, I will post pics when done, has taken me 3 weeks of personal work and a other 2 of hired labor. That one has been totally redone, including systems, polishing etc etc.

All had, apart from rot near the water tank, bad floors under the shower. That is the only area which is a bit harder to take out with out damaging the showerstall, but you may want t consider deleting the shower anyway. I dont k ow of anyone here (uk) who actually used their shower.... al campings have facilities better than on any caravan. Turn it into an extra cupboard, drying cabinet, what ever.

The reason for saying do the whole floor is that the caravelle chassis is not necesarily exactly strong and welded well. My three caravelles varied hugely in terms of materials ( width and shape of beams) andwere more badly corroded than pre 67 ones. in two of the three the a frame was so bad that it could have failed and if that happens you ruin your trailer making it unrestorable.

the added benefit is that you will have a chance to really. clean and check the whole caravan.

If its your first project and have no tools, workshop etc....... just do the rotten bit and take of the belly under the a frame to check. You could even consider just taking the front settee out and back, its the easiest bit of te interior to do


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Old 07-16-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forums. I would suggest that you read as much as you can measure and take lots of pictures. Its great fun but try to be realistic about your project. I ordered axles over a month ago still no word on delivery!! Good luck!
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