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Old 08-08-2020, 10:52 AM   #1
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1969 Tradewind Double or Bust! (Help me find it?!)

Hi fellow Airstream enthusiasts! 👋🏻

Longtime Airstream enthusiast, new to the Air Forums! I'm on the hunt to adopt a clean ~1969 Airstream Tradewind Double and would love your help on this journey!

I visited the factory a decade ago (1/3 of my life! &#128517 and have always been fond of the history, design, quality, and community. I've read half the AS books out there and finally the stars have aligned where finding an Airstream of my own makes sense!

A little background, in addition to professional work I volunteer guiding mountaineering and outdoor trips for college students. This has taken me across the USA to 48 states, 3 territories, unclimbed summits and beyond! The 3 photos are from highway AS spotting on a recent trip to Grand Canyon NP, those were the only 3 seen that trip; interesting they spanned from 1950s to brand new. Maybe some are part of this group?!

Needless to say I'm semi-nomadic and driving cross country happens 3+ times a year so having an Airstream home base is the goal. I'm also versed in classic car ownership & preservation, and converted my Jeep from 2 to 4WD last year. So to preface your questions, yes I'm sure I want a vintage Airstream and the love/hate relationship that comes with the unending cycle that is fixing and preserving all things old. I'm a glutton for punishment like most vintage owners would admit I'm sure. I also passed highschool woodshop 1 & 2 with flying colors if that ads to my capabilities in old AS ownership!?

Why a 1969 Tradewind Double?
1. I'm fascinated by transportation history from steam power until today so it had to be vintage.
2. The wider footprint in 1969+ will fit my space/work needs better for seasonal living.
3. More stable with 2 axles, but small and light enough still to be pulled by less than a full size pickup when needed. I've towed horse trailers, cars, and a variety of other things so I know lighter is better when possible!
4. The Double for outdoor gear storage definitely has more value to me than the extra open space and sleeping that the Twin affords.

I'm of the mindset that you don't ever really own classic cars so much as you're the custodian of them until the next owner comes along. Same with my Airstream aspirations. I'm leaning towards trying to find one that's as original in appearance as possible with all systems functioning (or nearly anyway) and fully roadworthy. Functional upgrades like newer appliances, warm white LEDs, etc are all great too. Even though 1969 is my target year I'm open to early 70s Tradewinds and maybe even full renovations depending on the trailer but will have to see what is available! Not opposed to specific repairs or restoration work as needed either.

One of my favorite quotes to cite when people say places are "boring" or "that state is flat with nothing to do":

"Adventure is where you find it, any place, every place, except at home in the rocking chair."
-Wally Byam

Open to all sorts of sage wisdom, advice on the search process, and leads to find the (hopefully rust free) Airstream of my dreams! Feel free to reply here or direct message me! Would love to see photos of other owners 25' Tradewinds.



The one in this ad is essentially just what I'm looking for! I imagine this one is long since sold however having been listed 2 years ago:
https://www.airstreamclassifieds.com...nnessee-220027


-Gary from Ohio
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:11 PM   #2
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See photos below! The post took a few days to show up so I'm only just adding them now.


Question for those of you in the WBCCI.
If the trailer you buy has ghost numbers and that member number is now open and available, do you choose that and put those 'original' red numbers back on? Do you simply take the newest number in line? Or neither and chose a number that has significance to you for some reason or another and then see if it's available?


I'm driving 4 hours to checkout my first Tradewind tonight and it has potential! Wish me luck
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:21 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Welcome from Colorado and welcome to these AirForums. You have done your homework and have targeted one of my favorite models, the Tradewind.

My son has a 69 Globetrotter 21'. I mention this as the 69 model year has unique "3 square corner" windows which are hard to find glass for. The 1970 model year trailers have the now standard "2 square corner" front windows which are much easier to service should a rock hit one on the road.

I had a 1966 Trade Wind twin that I did extensive renovations, thus my afflictions for the Trade Wind. As you mentioned, it is a very nice size.
However, the 1966 to 1968 model years had unique Corning curved glass windows, which are also difficult to get parts for, and are prone to leaking. Airstream abandoned that idea in 1969. 69 was the first year of the new body style. Here is a photo of my 66 Trade Wind.

Good luck with your search. Let us know when you find one.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f17...ml#post2053792

Link to our 1976 Renovation Project:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...ct-202081.html
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the warm welcome David! The 66 Tradewind you had looks great! Definitely leaning towards the 74-75 Tradewinds now learning they have the grey water tank but really open to input from everyone across the board.

My intent with the double would be to use the center bed area as bike storage for a road and mountain bike inside full time and out of the elements. (remove and storing the original bed elsewhere). Would love ideas or photos of bike racks or setups others have created in the past that are clean, minimalist and could be removed later without any damage to the trailer. Maybe this hasn't been done?

I'd consider the 80s models with the rear bedroom/center bath but is then where would the bikes go?! Short of sharing a bed with them...

If a 30'-34' would work I could have a whole 'bike room' with them hung vertically but my TV is not up to that sort of payload.

To those curious my inspection of the first AS (an Overlander listed as a Tradewind) in Detroit last night was not what I expected. Needless to say, glad I followed all the Airstream inspection guides and didn't get tunnel vision on the first one I saw. Will likely detail and share my experience in another thread.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:51 PM   #5
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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It's me again. I think the 70s trailers make great project trailers. The body is the modern shape and standard Airstream construction, they have good windows and doors. The frames like to rust in this vintage, and the interiors were made with a lot of plastic laminates that didn't hold up well. So, you get deeply involved in a big renovation project and build the trailer you want.

You mentioned you take your bikes with you traveling. There are some nifty front mount bike racks for Airstreams, and same with rear mounts. Here in Colorado, folks carry the bikes "outside" on racks all the time. Few complain of thieves.

I've got twin bed models. I've taken them apart many times. A guy could remove one of the twin beds (easy to do) and have plenty of room for the bikes. The other bed frame could be made full twin size (36x75) and is a comfortable sleeping surface. This would be easier than removing the wardrobe closets on the double model.

I'll start a debate. I like the 80s trailers better than the 70s, I think they are made better. They are more expensive in the used market. They would save a lot of renovation time.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f17...ml#post2053792

Link to our 1976 Renovation Project:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...ct-202081.html
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:17 PM   #6
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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Here's our '69 Tradewind 25' front twin bed/living/dinning room with side double bed across from kitchen , rear bath .
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Glen & Jane 1969 all electric Airstream 25' TradeWind
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1998 Chevy Tahoe

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Old 08-13-2020, 10:25 AM   #7
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David,

Thanks for the extra insight! I know myself well enough that if I dismantled and built an entire storage setup in a twin, it wouldn't quite match the original design and that would spiral into redoing a whole trailer from the ground up! A long term aspiration for sure but not compatible with my timeline of having a fully functioning AS by early Spring 2021. (I have a lot of ideas to rebuild one with lightness as a core objective; in the vein of the new Bowlus Road Chief, starting with composite subfloor versus heavy wood etc without sacrificing any function.)

Plus the mountaineering gear I have means a variety of backpacks, mountaineering boots, mountaineering axe etc that make the doubles wardrobe style storage very appealing.

As far as the bikes go, since my tow vehicle is a modest Jeep I'm equally concerned about keeping weight off the tail to avoid any pendulum effect while towing as much as the safety/security of keeping them inside being somewhat fragile lightweight racing bikes. If I did have them outside I'd want it to be a 2" hitch wheel-mount rack (Kuat, 1UP, etc) I could swap onto my Jeep when I go overlanding further into the wilderness than a trailer can reasonably make it.

If I converted to full electric would it be feasible to weld a 2" receiver for a wheel mount rack on the front tongue in place of the weight/volume of the propane tanks? Things to consider I suppose. Even then I'd still want space inside to keep them out of the sun and temperature extremes.

My reservation about going up the 1980s models is don't they gain weight over the 70s models? and lose a certain degree of that vintage appeal, both from model year and the less retro interiors? I envisioned keeping the dry weight at 4300lbs or less to be my ideal target.


Glen and Jane,
Thanks for sharing, I love the blue wheels and the 2 door Tahoe TV, you don't see many of those out on the road, even when new and especially now! Did you go with Fantastic fans on yours? Looked at your short build thread and it looks like you've put a lot of attention to detail in!


Do you boondock with yours in all electric? My long term aspiration is to be able to fully operate off grid for as long and as cost effectively as possible. Solar panels and LED everything for sure, but gas is arguably the most efficient fuel source for fast cooking and inline water heater, and heating the trailer right? Really curious on the volume of fuel and cost needed to keep a 25' AS at 55' all winter, especially somewhere like Colorado?
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:37 PM   #8
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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You are right, once Airstream left the 1970s behind they started building trailers that were heavier. They are still considered lightweight for their size, but heavier than the pre 1980s trailers. The 50s and 60s were lighter yet than the 70s.

It might be with all your gear you will be in the market for a bigger tow vehicle. You throw 500 pounds on the rear bumper of your current vehicle, plus occupants and gear, things can get over limit pretty fast. And towing in the mountains is a different experience as I have found out. There is much less air at altitude, and engine horsepower goes down significantly. I see visitors with trailers off to the side of the road with the hood up frequently on the road to my town. And I see them at 30 mph struggling up the 7 percent long grades.

RV furnaces are quite inefficient. We have been in the Airstream in 30 degree days and nights where we used 40 pounds of LPG in 4 days. I have a catalytic heater in the Overlander and it is quite efficient, but it produces water vapor and doesn't distribute heat very well. Folks do use solar panels, big batteries and big inverters to stay "off grid" so to speak. Here is a photo of my son's 69 staying near a ski resort. Not my idea of a fun time.

I enjoy spending other people's money.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f17...ml#post2053792

Link to our 1976 Renovation Project:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...ct-202081.html
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