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Old 07-05-2005, 02:58 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1963 16' Bambi
Philadelphia PA, and Takoma Park MD
Join Date: Jul 2005
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general electrical/wiring in 62 bambi

hey all, i'm new to this forum and airstreams in general. my mom just acquired a 1962 16' bambi. i have been assigned all the non-cosmetic tasks(naturally). i am not an electrical engineer, and i have no idea how to go about dealing with the electrical system in the bambi, since im sure it cant be in full working order. my biggest advancement is that i've discovered where the battery goes. anyway, i need to know where to find someone who would be qualified in checking out the wiring, someone who knows airstreams, or at least similar trailers. also, is it usually neccesary to replace a lot of the wiring on trailers like mine if they havent been maintained in quite a while, and how would one go about messing with the wiring inside of the walls, since it is riveted? thanks..im sure ill be posting much more soon
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:26 PM   #2
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1961 22' Safari
Vienna , Virginia
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Hi Roadtrip,

Welcome to getting to work on your Mom's Airstream! There are a number of fellow airstream addicts in the area--so you aren't alone!

What you face is pretty variable, depending on what grade of airstream you have (there were different options for wiring, depending on what the original owners were willing to pay) and depending on what's happened over the duration of time since 1962. For instance, most 1961s had paper covered wire, but ours, which is an "international" model has regular plastic coated stuff (which I suppose was really high end stuff those days). Your wiring may or may not be problematic.

There are different ways to mess with wiring (and plumbing, for that matter) depending on what you face. Like regular construction, you can always fish wire or conduit through the walls. Alternatively, the high maintenance approach is to remove the inner walls by drilling out the rivets.

Good luck!

Our Airstream adventure continues!
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:56 PM   #3
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1963 16' Bambi
Philadelphia PA, and Takoma Park MD
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hello again, i just had a friend who is experienced in automobile restoration come over a take a look at the bambi to give me an idea of what's going on in there. he noted that there appeared to be two electrical systems, a 12 volt (from the battery) and a 110 volt. i've learned that in the front there are two light sockets on either side, 2 powered by the 12 volt and 2 by the 110. i also learned that my bambi is actually 1963, not 62. anyway, i dont think it's paper coated wire, because when i removed the light socket it appeared to be pretty decent looking rubber/plastic coated. he also reccomended sticking a battery in and going around with a voltometer to see what works...but there doesnt seem to be any fuses coming out of the battery box, looking from the inside.
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:01 PM   #4
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1963 16' Bambi
Philadelphia PA, and Takoma Park MD
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 46
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ok...um..let me get more specific and maybe i will get some answers. was it originally two electrical systems( 12 volt and 110)?, and what does the battery power? also, i am slightly worried about sticking a battery in there and seeing what works because i dont know what kind of condition the wiring is in-maybe there could be a short circuit?
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:15 PM   #5
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I am suprised that you didn't find any fuses. My '59 has two glass fuses (old fashioned screw-in fuses) for the 12V system. One is for the air compressor for the pressurized water system, and the other is for general lighting. Like your Bambi, the light fixtures in my '59 are all dual voltage, with one socket for 120Vac and one for 12Vdc.

You might find a small breaker box for the 120Vac in the rear. By code, the ac breakers should be within 18" of the shore power connection.

Don' try to fish wire through the walls. It's nearly impossible due to ribs with grommets.

Here is a picture of the 12Vdc fuses.
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