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Old 10-13-2021, 08:28 AM   #1
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1958 17' Pacer
Tryon , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 10
Newbie in NC

Well, somehow I ended up here. I have always loved Airstreams since way back when, but have always had motorhomes rather than trailers.

Three years ago I saw a small wooden teardrop trailer at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, and fell in love with the idea of building one and towing it behind my '54 Chevy 3100 truck while crisscrossing the country on back roads.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my wife would never agree to camping in a teardrop with no bathroom. And teardrop camping is really for young people, not for us retirees who have grown accustomed to a more comfortable lifestyle. And the idea of having to get up at 3:00 AM to go use the campground facilities in the pouring rain was unpleasant, to say the least.

So, I started looking at slightly bigger trailers - vintage canned hams from the 60's mostly. But most of those large enough for a bathroom are too heavy for my poor little truck to haul around.

And then I found a '58 Airstream Pacer in NC, just an hour and a half from home, and it seemed like the perfect fit. The bathroom is tiny, but it will work!

So, now I have a new project to work on. Getting her restored back to useable condition gives me something to do. I have always loved working on boats, cars and mechanical stuff, but this is my first experience with aluminum construction. It will be fun learning new skills, and hopefully this is the place to come for help when I need it!
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:42 AM   #2
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Welcome and congrats on the Pacer. There weren’t many made that year in Ohio. If you can work on a boat or car, the Pacer will be a piece of cake. Just a boat load and car trunk full of rivets. If you plan on a thorough renovation, you may want to go ahead and get on Vintage Trailer Supply’s mailing list as “out of stock” items come back in stock. I know this because I just started helping a friend with a shell off reno on a 63 Bambi and parts are hard to find. When time allows, start a renovation thread on your Pacer. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:08 AM   #3
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1958 17' Pacer
Tryon , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2021
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I'm going to pick her up tomorrow and tow her home, and then we'll see how much restoration I need to do. The floor looks incredibly solid all the way around. Hopefully I can avoid having to pull off the shell.

Some of the veneer is peeling in spots on the woodwork, so I may rebuild all the cabinets with Okoume marine plywood.

But first, I just just need to check it out and see what works and what doesn't. I know I need to address the toilet and holding tank issues to get them up to modern standards, and the 110v wiring all needs updating. Glass fuses and ungrounded outlets are what is there now.

At this point, I'd like to keep it as original as possible and just upgrade as necessary. I'm pretty sure the old refrigerator is toast, but we'll see.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saboga View Post
Well, somehow I ended up here. I have always loved Airstreams since way back when, but have always had motorhomes rather than trailers.

Three years ago I saw a small wooden teardrop trailer at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, and fell in love with the idea of building one and towing it behind my '54 Chevy 3100 truck while crisscrossing the country on back roads.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my wife would never agree to camping in a teardrop with no bathroom. And teardrop camping is really for young people, not for us retirees who have grown accustomed to a more comfortable lifestyle. And the idea of having to get up at 3:00 AM to go use the campground facilities in the pouring rain was unpleasant, to say the least.

So, I started looking at slightly bigger trailers - vintage canned hams from the 60's mostly. But most of those large enough for a bathroom are too heavy for my poor little truck to haul around.

And then I found a '58 Airstream Pacer in NC, just an hour and a half from home, and it seemed like the perfect fit. The bathroom is tiny, but it will work!

So, now I have a new project to work on. Getting her restored back to useable condition gives me something to do. I have always loved working on boats, cars and mechanical stuff, but this is my first experience with aluminum construction. It will be fun learning new skills, and hopefully this is the place to come for help when I need it!
Congratulations! Suggest you consider coming to Alumalina next weekend in Marion, NC, if you can. You will find over 250 Airstreamers including experts in remodeling Airstreams with their completed remodeled rigs...plus the seminars and general exposure to all things Airstream by the owners...great opportunity since your already in NC! check it out on the Forum:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f47...ml#post2546179
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:22 AM   #5
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1958 17' Pacer
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Wow, that is less than an hour from here. I will be there for sure. 'Peanut' won't be quite ready for camping in yet, but we can at least come up for the day and see what is going on. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 10-13-2021, 12:49 PM   #6
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Lee, welcome aboard! As was said earlier, please come down to Alumalina and you’ll meet some helpful folks. Looking forward to meeting you.
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Old 10-13-2021, 01:04 PM   #7
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1958 17' Pacer
Tryon , North Carolina
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What's the best day to come? We can come either Friday or Saturday just for the day. If she's up to it, Peanut will come with us. I'd love to get some 'pro' tips on maintenance and restoration from some of those who have done it before.

Will 'day trippers' be allowed? Or will be have to book a campsite even if we are not staying overnight?
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Old 10-13-2021, 01:38 PM   #8
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2021 20' Caravel
Plaistow , New Hampshire
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Congrats.
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Old Yesterday, 07:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saboga View Post
What's the best day to come? We can come either Friday or Saturday just for the day. If she's up to it, Peanut will come with us. I'd love to get some 'pro' tips on maintenance and restoration from some of those who have done it before.

Will 'day trippers' be allowed? Or will be have to book a campsite even if we are not staying overnight?
There is an agenda at the site I posted earlier, if you look around the posts. Sandlapper, (John) is the main organizer. If you PM him on the Alumalina post I sent, he can share his thoughts on best day if your only coming for the day. There are plenty sites if you bring your AS. If I was coming for one day, likely Saturday...lots going on all the time, however, and folks are pretty helpful/welcoming with information...if you ask the right questions!
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Old Yesterday, 06:46 PM   #10
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Welcome from Colorado and to the vintage Airstream hobby. Your Pacer is a rather rare bird and certainly worth the renovation effort. The shorter trailers tend to be more valuable than the longer ones. And you are right, the Pacer can be towed safely with about anything.

Post a few pictures when you get a chance. I just finished renovating a 69 Globetrotter 21'. It looked completely different than your Pacer. 1969 was the first year of the new body style. We installed a larger mid-bath in the thing with a much larger "septic" tank for both wash water and toilet water. You are right, the bathroom is the most important room in the trailer on a rainy night. However, we did not install a shower set up figuring a sponge bath is good enough after a long day's hiking, or a dip in the lake.

David
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Old Today, 01:46 PM   #11
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1958 17' Pacer
Tryon , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Welcome from Colorado and to the vintage Airstream hobby. Your Pacer is a rather rare bird and certainly worth the renovation effort. The shorter trailers tend to be more valuable than the longer ones. And you are right, the Pacer can be towed safely with about anything.

Post a few pictures when you get a chance. I just finished renovating a 69 Globetrotter 21'. It looked completely different than your Pacer. 1969 was the first year of the new body style. We installed a larger mid-bath in the thing with a much larger "septic" tank for both wash water and toilet water. You are right, the bathroom is the most important room in the trailer on a rainy night. However, we did not install a shower set up figuring a sponge bath is good enough after a long day's hiking, or a dip in the lake.

David
Yes, I can go a couple of days without a shower. (Even longer if my wife isn't with me!) And, I have never woken up in the middle of the night with the urgent need for a shower. :-)
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