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Old 05-10-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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1969 18' Caravel
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Foothill Ranch , California
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Great progress on floor replacement

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This is my first post so please cut me some slack if I don't get it right immediately.
2 month ago I purchased an 1969, 18 foot Caravel from a Craigslist guy living around the corner.

The trailer looked in decent shape and I just had to hand over the cash. As a trained cabinet maker, I immediately had some plans to modify the interior to suit our needs. We have a kid in a wheelchair so the floor space needs to be as open as possible. I started to remove some items and it wasn't long before the entire shell was empty. What the heck did I get myself into??? The floor had at least 3 previous attempts to be fixed as well as a major hole in the rear so replacing the floor was the next task on the list. To the rescue came Uwe from Area63 as clearly, this task was a bit above my head. (The home owner associated doesn't allow me to screw around in front of the garage too). I towed the Caravel to his shop in Orange, CA with my 2003 Eurovan last Monday and within 5 minutes, the rivets were just flying all over the place. (BTW after CrazyLev defected from using an Eurovan to tow his baby, I guess I am the only one now here on this forum to do so)
So off we went and Uwe & Lupe did a great job in replacing the entire floor in just a couple of days at a very reasonable price. He not only led the work but allowed me to work alongside which allowed me to learn how this hole thing was build to start with. It saved me some money and was a lot of fun - I can only recommend his great work and attitude to get it right.
I will post some more pictures from us replacing the floor, adding 3 tanks, welding and painting the frame, removing the antenna, patching some holes and setting up the Eurovan with a nice hitch.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:06 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Welcome to to forums, EuroAir. Thanks for posting the photos and the story behind your new (old) Caravel. Keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
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Keep us posted on your progress. With your cabinet maker background we'll be interested in seeing your skills demonstrated in the build out process.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:28 PM   #4
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Glad it worked out for you. This one's going to be interesting...
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:27 PM   #5
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1969 18' Caravel
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OK guys, here are some more pictures from this 1969 Caravel project.
To keep it in chronological order, I started with the ones that show the trailer in the state I bought it. As you can see everything looks like one could go camping next weekend and my wife asked why the heck anyone would rip this apart?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:42 PM   #6
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On top of the tread you have seen the pictures from the fun tear down process that I could easily manage on my own.
Below are some pictures from the actual floor replacement including the frame prep (welding, rust removal, acid wash & POR15) that Uwe from Area63 has done.
We also power washed the interior to get rid of most of the insulation.
- Enjoy
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #7
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Lastly I thought you might get a kick out of my back-up tow vehicle.
Same age as trailer, 40 hp, and diesel engine with lots of torque.

Just kidding
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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Bath Design

EuroAir and I have been putting our heads together on a design for a wet bath that would accommodate little Paul, who is a special care child in a wheel chair. Now that the shell is empty inside, and the floor is solid and without prior cuts and holes, this is a perfect time to brainstorm this. Paul needs enough space for himself and an adult to lift him in and out.
EuroAir has already made a cardboard model, and today we discussed the pro's and con's of his design. He is a pro cabinet guy, and knows his way around production snafoos and the likes. I look forward to this challenge, for several reasons. First, I would love to see Paul being comfortable in this little Caravel. Then, it's always good to have a challenge that goes beyond ordering from a website or catalog. Thirdly, if it was easy, anyone could do it....
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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Nice work Uwe! Hey, don't you have a Merc like this too? Paul looks like a great kid.. and it's wonderful to see how you two will work to make his camping experience memorable and fun.

Maybe I should've just towed the TW down to CA and had you do my floor and axle in one fell swoop!

Thanks for the update! I loo forward to seeing more.
Marc
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
Nice work Uwe! Hey, don't you have a Merc like this too? Paul looks like a great kid.. and it's wonderful to see how you two will work to make his camping experience memorable and fun.

Maybe I should've just towed the TW down to CA and had you do my floor and axle in one fell swoop!

Thanks for the update! I loo forward to seeing more.
Marc
I do, indeed. Mine is a 1959 Mercedes 219 gas car. EuroAir has this little Diesel powered gem.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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1969 18' Caravel
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Hi everyone. I finally come around to post an update on the progress I have been making on my Airstream project.
I have the trailer in storage close by and I'll pick it up on Friday nights to work on it over the weekend. Unfortunately, the homeowner association doesn't allow me to park it in front of the house all week.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:22 PM   #12
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First, I have to introduce my construction manager Paul (8). He resides on his observation cushion and makes sure that all tasks are performed according to spec.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:24 PM   #13
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Forgot the picture
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #14
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The old drive gear was worn out so Uwe ordered me a new axle with 4,200 lbs capacity. The goal was to get the trailer as low as possible to the ground in order to better match the tow vehicle (Eurovan) and to make it easier to get into the stream. We had to cut some of the metal brackets to make it fit and the holes didn't line up either. No matter how you look at it, it's just a lot of heavy lifting but I guess we got it done in about 3 hours.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #15
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O.K guys, it's now pretty much one year since I bought my Airstream and opened this thread. I realize that it has been been far too long since I posted some pictures about my progress so here we go:
I finally got the interior walls completed and finished the cork flooring today.
Note the aluminum tracks in the floor that will be used to attach Paul's wheelchair. 70 bucks at Costco was a great deal.
BTW, some of the credit goes to my 2 apprentices who helped me a great deal.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:29 AM   #16
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kids in wheelchairs rock!

tell your boy who has a disability that I'm rebuilding a 1956 bubble so we can take our 7 year old girl: Lila--(who also is disabled)camping. I just thought i'd send a note and let you know that i appreciate your family, that's a cool backup vehicle, and i understand the challenges you face. i feel honored to be my daughters dad-- i bet you feel the same. all the best ted
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:45 AM   #17
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I have been thinking of putting tracks in mine as well, for bikes. There seems to be no great solution when you are carting around three little girls, 5 bikes, 3 changes of clothes per day per girl. A system to strap down the bikes in the middle of the trailer seems ideal.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:59 AM   #18
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I am actually going to put hidden tie down hooks in the hall and living room space to keep stuff from flying around. Love to share some ideas, anyone?
Euro keep up the great work and post pics!
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:55 AM   #19
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EuroAir,
Excellent work. You are doing an outstanding job. I really like the interior.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:33 AM   #20
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Thanks Ted,

nice to see that we are not alone in our situation. Yes we feel blessed. While Paul has severe CP, it doesn't really slow him down. He crawls around the trailer and vacuums the floor, tells me what to do next or explains the neighbor kids what all those parts are about although he is non-verbal. We sure are looking forward to go camping once this project is done.
All the best to your family and Lila.
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