12-08-2005, 11:27 AM
4 Rivet Member
1969 25' Tradewind
1971 18' Caravel
, West Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Itís been a while since I have posted anything so I thought I might give a renewed introduction of myself as well as welcome to all the other new members to the forum. You have chosen a great forum of which to be a member. Itís a fantastic community.
Hereís a little of the story of how I came to find my Airstream after several years of watching and waiting.
In March of this year I saw a posting on the VAC website classifieds for a 1969 Tradewind
69 Airstream Tradewind 25'. Photos and website: http://www.angelfire.com/blues2/ampboy/
(by the way although this is not my website I think this site is still available for viewing if you want to see what I was originally)
Owner stated: Rear Bath, Center Double, Fold Down Bunk Above Double, Front Twins. Needs lots of work - I bought it to rebuild and things went ok the first year - my job changed and I can't spare the time now.
That's how the ad first appeared to me on Monday March 21st 2005. I had been checking the VAC website (and the forum) almost daily for over a year and I had let some other bargains go by and regretted it later. On Ebay the prices have doubled (or more) on an average over the last year. I figured at a cost of $1500.00, even with the rear damage to the trailer and the missing parts to the different systems, that was more than a fair price. Even if I couldnít fully restore the trailer I was sure I could sell it later for more than I am paying for it, although that is not my intention. Itís ironic that the first Airstream I had set my mind on was either a 1969 or 1970 Tradewind. My taste had changed over the past two years and I had been looking for a 67 or 68 model. Once I saw the pictures I thought I had to jump on this one. It just felt right.
I spoke to to the seller on Monday evening at about 8:15pm and after asking him a few questions I agreed to pay him the asking price of $1500. I said I would mail him a personal check the next day.
This is where I am now with the restoration/rebuild.
I have completely removed and stored the entire interior (walls, furniture, furnace, water heater, etc.) because I needed to get at the floor for repairs. There was severe plywood rot at the front, inside the doorway, and rear. In the rear I found the black water tank box had rusted and deteriorated and needed to be rebuilt. The rear frame had rust damage and needed to be reinforced and a couple of the outriggers had severe rust damage and required rebuilding. I decided to forgo removing the body entirely and work on each section individually. I have finished rebuilding the rear frame and the tank box and I have reinstalled to plywood sub floor in the rear except for the last section over the black water tank box (the weather in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia -where I have it stored - has not been cooperating as I am working in the driveway).
Finding the leaks and getting them stopped was a chore. One thing I can say about the seams on an Airstream is that they will leak is not properly maintained and my trailer suffered from years of neglect. Advice: take your time to properly clean each seam and use the original sealer from Airstream (I was wasnít meticulous enough the first time and used an alternate sealer and lived to regret it)
Iím not in any great hurry to finish the rebuild (although I would like to be road-ready in time for the Cherry Blossom Rally here in D.C. by April).
I keep a close watch on the forum and some other websites for information, advice, and ideas for updates and modifications I can make during my rebuild process.
I donít regret for one minute the job I have undertaken in rebuilding my 69 Tradewind. It truly is a labor of love.
I am not a great resource for information but if anyone wants to ask about the things I have experienced thus far in my continuing journey as an Airstream enthusiast feel free to email me.