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Old 11-26-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 19
1980 24' Caravelle

I just purchased a 1980 24' Caravelle. I live in Idaho and the Caravelle is in
Ottawa Illinois. I will be going to pick it up at the end of Feb. when I go to attend my moms 90th birthday. In the mean time I was wondering if anyone
could tell me were I might find some information on this particular model.
I have been searching around in this forum, at the Airstream site and other places with not much luck. My brother checked it out before I purchased it
and reported that it was all original and in fair condition inside and no damage to the exterior skin. it was parked under a tree and has some discoloration
on the top. If any one can tell me anything about this unit it would be much
appreciated. What the actual dimensions are and what some common problems
may be. My plan is to start from the bottom, keeping the good loosing
some weight opening it up a bit and modernizing.

Thank You,
Dennis Proksa
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:39 AM   #2
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1980 24' Caravelle
corpus christi , Texas
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Posts: 272
24 ft caravelle

Dennis
I am looking to get a 24 Caravelle since there is not much info out about them any you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
What is the interior height?
Do they come with a heater?
How many roof vents are there?
What is the inside width?
Inside front to back?
Do you have any photos?
What have you hade to do to it?
Thanks
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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1980 24' Caravelle

Greetings Dennis Proks and thehandyman!

Airstream hasn't been generous with information regarding the 1980 Caravelles. It was a one-year model, and there is a fair amount of speculation regarding the reason for its introduction and discontinuance.

Based upon a number of clues that have surfaced over the past few years, there are a number of us who have suspicions that Airstream had planned to continue the Argosy Minuet series past 1979 into 1980 . . . and when those plans were cancelled Airstream was left with order commitments for frame and chassis components for the still-born 1980 Minuets. These parts for which the parent company was obligated became the spring-board for the 1980 Airstream Caravelles in 20, 22, and 24 foot variants. Some of the clues have included:
  • A sales brochure for 1980 Argosy products surfaced a few years ago.
  • The Caravelles are also narrow . . . I believe the same 7.0' as the Minuets.
  • The Caravelles with a few minor changes feature the same floorplans as the Argosy Minuets.
  • The Caravelles were also promoted for their light weight characteristics.
While it is also possible that the Caravelle was simply an attempt by Airstream to provide a lighter weight travel trailer for the down-sized tow vehicles of the late 1970s early 1980s . . . the possible link to the Argosy Minuet is something of a curiosity.

Kevin
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #4
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 19
24' Caravelle Rebuild

Handyman,
Interior ht. is 77" It Has a suburban furnace,2 roof vents, width is 6'-8" at the floor,length is 19'-8" inside. It turns out that I have had to do a complete rebuild of the frame and full floor replacement. As for as the frame goes....
The original frame had some serious rust/rot issues. I removed the bad parts
and replaced them then I fabricated all new outriggers out of 16ga. material
and added 5 additional outriggers on each side. In addition I added a rail made from 1/8x1-1/4 angle and 1-1/4 square tubing around the entire perimeter.I also added 2 extra cross members between each existing cross member. among other reinforcements and additions. The frame was then neutralized and coated with por15. The original frame just seemed to be quite inadequate. The original floor was 1/2" CDX and was quite spongy. I replaced it with 1/2" baltic birch plywood and encapsulated it in marine epoxy resin. I originally removed approx. 1000 lbs of original equipment and hope to keep the dry wt to under 3k. All replacement cabinets will be aluminum as well as the booth frames and convertible sofa/bed frame. I also replaced the original axels with
Dexter Torsion flex 2500 lb axels ordered through Inland RV. Andy was a great help.

We are now beginning finish work on the inside. It is a great deal of work but I am sure we will end up with a unique and very durable unit. I will be posting many images as soon as I can find the time. A picture is definitely worth a 1000 words.

Best regards,

Dennis

@ Blackrock Forge Inc.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:23 AM   #5
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Greetings Overlander64

Hello Overlander,

Thank you for your information regarding the 1980 Caravelle 24'. As you can see by my post to the Handyman I have one. I was hoping for one in a bit better condition, but this is what I have. It has been a great experience so far
and I think the worst is over with. I really like the narrow light weight feature of this unit. Some way along the way I heard these Caravelles were made for the export market featuring their narrow width for narrow roads overseas.
I think your explanation is probably correct. Any way thanks for your reply
and I am sorry for my slow reply.

Dennis P

@Blackrock Forge Inc.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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1980 24' Caravelle
corpus christi , Texas
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Dennis
Thank you for the info.
Sounds like you have had to do a lot on yours.
I picked up a 24ft Caravelle last week so far I have not found any major issues. Small spot of wood rot at the back where the bumper meets the backend. Have not got the rest of the belly pan off yet. Out side is in really good shape. Original Coleman AC and power converter still work. Plan on replacing those anyway. Inside needs some work will replace the front couch with a dinette.
Still waiting for my owners and service manuals to come in to figure out some of the wiring.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:52 AM   #7
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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Hello HandyMan
Congratulations!

I would check the front end under the couch, under the fridge and the rear for floor rot. Those are the places mine was the worst. The entire mid section was good.

Regards,

Dennis
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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1980 24' Caravelle
corpus christi , Texas
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Trailer was stored inside for 15 of the last 20 years and used only a couple of times a year. Have been looking and poking around have not found any more than the spot about 3inches in the back. I am sure I will find some more once the rest of the belly pan comes off. Hope not though.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:05 AM   #9
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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Being stored inside makes all the difference. You will probably only have to replace
small sections and thats great.
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:41 PM   #10
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1980 24' Caravelle
Prince George , British Columbia
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How's it going with your 24 footer? Any photos of the interior?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:10 PM   #11
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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It's going pretty well. All of the structural stuff is done. Frame rebuild,and reinforcement and new 2500lb axels. I built new aluminum cabinets and booth frame. New sealed SS battery box for 2 Trojan T105 6 volt deep cycle batteries, fuse box and Inteli-Power 9200 battery charger, Fantastic fan. I have a long way to go but I have been down for about 3 months due to work load. I will post a few photos as soon as I get a chance. I am building every thing I can from aluminum and baltic birch plywood. My goal is to keep the finished empty weight to about 2600 - 2800 lbs.

Thanks for your interest.
Dennis
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:12 AM   #12
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1986 34' Limited
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Conifer , Colorado
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There was an article on the 1980 Caravelle in Airstream Life, fall 2013 issue. Fred Coldwell wrote the article I believe. You might enjoy reading it over. I gather the Caravelle was designed for towing with the downsized vehicles of the era.

David
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:20 PM   #13
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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Thanks David, I will check it out.

Dennis
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:42 AM   #14
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1980 24' Caravelle
corpus christi , Texas
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I do not get Airstream Life any ideas on how I can go about getting a copy of the article? Always looking for info on these trailers since so little is out there.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:51 AM   #15
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The article is in the Winter 2013 issue of Airstream Life which I read last fall. It is on page 34 and written by Forrest McClure. I gather from the article the Caravelle trailers are rather rare.

You can order back issues of Airstream Life on their website. You may like to subscribe as we find the magazine interesting on all things Airstream.

www.airstreamlifemagazine

David
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:08 AM   #16
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1971 18' Caravel
Nokesville , Virginia
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Dennis,
How did the rebuild turn out. I am thinking of having a frame built for my 71 Caravel and was wondering how your frame worked out.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:11 PM   #17
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
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The frame worked out really well. If you look at the photos I posted in this thread you can get an idea of what I did. I added cross members and added a full rim band. My frame was in awful condition. I will be posting final photos one of these months. I will be finishing up completely by spring.
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:21 PM   #18
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Did the project get finished up? I'd really love to see any and all photos of the project. The frame photos look great. I'd also like to see your aluminum cabinetry. Please share.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:51 PM   #19
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1980 24' Caravelle
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 19
Three years later!

Thanks for asking! At long last! Here are some photos and a list of improvements.

Outside:

5 New tires
2 New 2500 Dexter Tortion Axles
Custom Aluminum Wheels w/Centramatic Balancers
Anderson Equalizer Hitch w/Sway Control
Rebuilt frame-stabilize, prime, paint
New floor 1/2 Baltic Birch plywood, coated in marine epoxy resin
Custom Locking Stainless Steel Bottle Rack
New 30# Aluminum Propane Bottles
Custom Stainless Steel Entry Step
Custom Stainless Steel storage box with secret latch, behind bumper
Belly Pan, 50% New Aluminum
Custom Aluminum Rock Guard for Front Window w/Gas Springs and Latches
300 Watts Solar and Charger w/MPPT Controller
Exterior Stripped, Polished and Waxed
New Blue Line Vinyl Inserts Around Body
Original Door Handle Fully Restored
New Insulation Under Floor-Fiberglass and Foam Board
New Front Leveling Jacks
New Gas Lines

All custom INTERIOR:

Custom 5 Memory Foam Mattress 54 x 74 w/Custom Sofa Bench Seat
Custom Dining Booth w/Table Converts to Bed
Many Storage Areas
Custom Aluminum Cabinet Frames
Fully Restored Refrigerator w/Powder Coated Front Panel
Marmoleum Floor
Fully Restored Window Frames and Hardware w/New Screens
Upper Cabinets w/Plexiglass Sliding Doors and LED Lights w/Dimmer
New Fantastic Fan
New Gray Polycarbonate Ceiling Vent
New IKEA Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink w/Drainboard
New Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets from IKEA
Custom Stainless Steel Backsplash, and Range Hood with Filtered Fan and LED light
New Formica Counter Tops and Dining Table
All New Window Seals
New Door Seal
New Paint throughout
New Auto Switch Propane Regulator, and New Braided Stainless Steel Pigtails
Custom Medicine Cabinet w/Mirror
Tankless Hot Water Heater w/Double Wall Vent and Stainless Steel Shell
All interior and exterior Lights LED
2 New 6 Volt 250 amp hr. Deep Cycle Batteries
Progressive Dynamics 4 Stage Smart Charger, Computerized 60 Watt
All new 115 v Receptacles
Cushions for Dining Booth Upholstered w/New Fabric
All New PEX plumbing
Custom SS Curtain Rods and Curtains
Pump at sink to draw Fresh Water from Bottles
Cabinet Doors by Race Trailer
Baltic Birch plywood cabinet exteriors with Varathane Finish
Custom Powder Coated Aluminum Vanity
Custom Shower-Powder Coated Aluminum
Bathroom Floor, Stainless Steel
Airhead Composting Toilet
Custom Forged Copper Bathroom Sink
Corian Bathroom Counter
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:18 PM   #20
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1986 34' Limited
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Very, very nice Airstream you built. I'm glad you showed us the end result. There aren't many Caravelles around.

David
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