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Old 08-21-2008, 09:49 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
pinedale , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Thumbs up accidental airstreamer

Hi everyone, I was surprised to find so many people interested in airstream trailers, I am working in wyoming and rent is really outrageous here so I started looking for a trailer to stay in, I didnt want to spend too much as I was going to use the trailer temporarily, now my experience with airstream trailers goes back to a hunting shack in northern mn, where there were two trailers set up, one was a 40 foot reefer trailer and the other was an old airstream. the camp had been there for 36 years when I was invited to go there dont know how old the airstream was but everything worked in it and it was warm at around 0 degrees. and when we built a new shack and moved the trailers out the lights still worked. that is why I wanted an airstream. I found one on craigslist in a couple days near sun valley idaho. I bought it sight unseen and went to pick it up with my wife and daughter who were here for the summer. they thought it was embarrassing.

the trailer is a 31 foot excella 500 1971 and it had frozen and the water heater was split like a melon, so I parked it on july 4th and ordered a new water heater, I needed to move into it on august first so about july 30th I started working on it, first I replaced the water heater and removed all the old plumbing and replaced it with pex skipping the holding tank as time was short and I was going to be hooked up to the campsite. then I moved it to the campsite and it gets down to the upper 30's here at night (7100ft) and the furnace wasnt always starting so I tore it down and found several bees nests in the birdcage fan but still it wouldnt fire sometimes, I suspected low voltage because the fan was kind of lethargic I replaced the battery and found some of the fuse holders on the univolt system were bent and not making the connection. now the furnace works all the time. the last plumbing item I had to fix was the bathroom faucet, it was a strange looking contraption and after a few attempts I went and bought a new one and took my hole saw and punched a couple new holes in the vanity top for it.
overall I would say I am very impressed with the quality of the original construction and how well it has stood up to the years. now I am looking at getting ready for the -40 degree nights that are coming fast, I am thinking about either a vent free auxillary furnace or a direct vent, I really dont want to cut a hole in the wall but it might be necessary.
I am planning on pulling this thing back home with me in the spring and doing some real restoration work on it there, I would like to get set up for boondocking and maybe update the cabinets although they are in good shape still. I would like to attend some rallys next summer and get some ideas from folks who have been doing this for awhile.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Good luck with your new baby.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:09 PM   #3
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Sounds like you're well on your way to a really nice trailer. Lots of folks love these trailers just for the reasons you've discovered - they seem to last forever, with a little care and maintenance. Plus some of us think they look really cool!

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Old 08-21-2008, 10:49 PM   #4
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,624
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Welcome, JD...looks like your "journey" has was no accident, me thinks. Admirable venture so far, and by the time you're through this winter you will have learned a lot about your Airstream. You won't regret it, I bet. There's lots of info on the forums..poke around in the subforums and search for buzz words related to wintering in the Airstream and what you will need to do to keep the systems up and yourself warm...others have done it and so can can learn form them...

Good luck and have a blast! And welcome to the "aluminum family!"
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair & PastPrez, 4CU/WBCCI
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:29 AM   #5
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1999 27' Safari
Kent , Ohio
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 806
welcome and congrats. You will find this is a great place with a wealth of knowledge and info. Br carefull of the furnace. I might reccomend a Co2 tester on hand while sleeping
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:57 AM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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Welcome to the forums. There is an entire forum section devoted to winter living:
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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