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Old 02-13-2006, 06:39 PM   #1
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Airstream Caravelle - need info

I'm curious to see if any of you have any information on a 7' wide Airstream named Caravelle. It seems to me this might be French, but not sure. One of the members in our unit has one and can't find out anything about it.

Thanks,

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Old 02-13-2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Pace
I'm curious to see if any of you have any information on a 7' wide Airstream named Caravelle. It seems to me this might be French, but not sure. One of the members in our unit has one and can't find out anything about it.

Thanks,

Lee Pace
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Lee,

For most of the 1950's all Airstreams were 7 feet in width, then 7 1/2', then 8' and now some are 8 1/2'. The Caravel is the name of the smallest trailer from 1965 until 1971.

Bill
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:56 PM   #3
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Caravelle with an e at the end was the littlest one made in the early eighties.

Caravel (no e) was made in the sixties.
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:14 PM   #4
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Airstream Caravelle

Janet,

Thanks, finally an explanaion for our friends. They have been trying forever to find this out.




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Old 02-13-2006, 07:58 PM   #5
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I regret to inform you that I only have one exterior picture of a Caravelle. That unit is owned by a forums member that hasn't posted in a while.

http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/t...caravelle.html
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Pace
I'm curious to see if any of you have any information on a 7' wide Airstream named Caravelle. It seems to me this might be French, but not sure. One of the members in our unit has one and can't find out anything about it.

Thanks,

Lee Pace
WBCCI 7287
72 Tradewind
Greenville, Tx
Try here:
http://vintageairstream.com/archives/index.html
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #7
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According to this list on the Airstream web site, there were 20', 22', and 24' Caravelle models made in just the 1980 model year (although I have found this list to sometimes miss models in certain years, so it's possible there may have been 1981 Caravelle's). I am thinking that the Caravelle's were the Airstream answer to the Argosy Minuet's in that they were narrower, in addition to generally being the shorter lengths. Backing this up is that I believe Argosy Minuet's were made in 20', 22', and 24' lengths and 7' widths from about 1977 thru 1979, so as the Argosy line was discontinued, it may have natural for Airstream to try a replacement branded as an Airstream - The Caravelle. I'll admit, that this is somewhat more of a theory than a proven fact, as I have never personally seen a Caravelle, but I believe I have heard other references that they were only 7' wide.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:25 PM   #8
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My Minuet for a 1980 Caravelle!

The Caravelle was produced in limited numbers in 1980 and part of 1981, that I know of.
If you notice Airstream went from the "Caravel" name from the 60's and 70's to the "Caravelle" name in 1980.
I actually found one of these for sale last year in MO. The current owner TOTALLY gutted it. I ended up buying a good portion of the bathroom and vanity from the people. I about died when they sent me pics of a SHELL! The kicker was that they were asking $8,000 for the shell alone.
The Caravelle was the regular Airstream width. It was not 7'.
It did not have the aluminum floor either.
I have seen a 22 foot Caravelle and it is a single axle trailer like the 6.7 Metre Minuet.
It does get confusing with the different spelling of the model name though.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:58 PM   #9
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Lou,
You've squashed my theory! I'm not ready to totally moth ball it yet, as I still beleive I have heard about some 7' wide early 80's Airstreams, but I will take it under serious advisement. Afterall you are the Minuet expert (well maybe you and Overlander64).

You know the more I think about it, I believe I have heard that the special Airstreams that were shipped overseas for the 1985-6-7 China Caravan's were also only 7' wide. If nothing else, maybe the trailer in question was one of those that didn't make the trip overseas for some reason. Of course I have no idea if those were labelled as "Caravelle's".
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Old 04-23-2006, 05:08 PM   #10
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My Caravelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985air345
I regret to inform you that I only have one exterior picture of a Caravelle. That unit is owned by a forums member that hasn't posted in a while.

http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/t...caravelle.html

Hey there! This is actually a pic of my little Caravelle. I haven't been on this site in quite awhile. Sorry...trying to get through Nursing school... it controls my life at the moment! I think that our Caravelle is 7ft wide and 20 feet long. It is almost completely original and is in great shape, the people that we bought it from took excellent care of it.

We have only used it a couple of time because of our busy schedules. We are contemplating selling her but not sure about what her estimated value is at this time.

The email address that I usually check is cdreibelbis@rockford.edu if anyone would like to email me directly.

-Cara
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:30 PM   #11
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1980 Caravelle

Hi there,

I own a 1980 Caravelle 20'. It's a great little trailer. I bought it four years ago from a gentleman who had it sitting in his yard covered with tree droppings. It looked so sad sitting there, I left a note on his door one day offering to buy it. By the time I returned home, I had a call from him telling me that he was thinking of selling it. Needless to say, after sitting for so long, I put as much money into getting it usable as I paid for it. But that's all part of the love affair. Now I have a sweet little trailer that's easy to tow, park and live in. If you have any questions about her, don't hesitate to email me at sdlyn@cox.net.

Lyn in San Diego
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:23 PM   #12
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Lyn:

Is your trailer only 7' wide?

I've been looking for any information on the 7' wide trailers of the early 80's, but there doesn't seem to be much available. I have an 81 excella 2 that is also only 7' wide. My owners manual doesn't explain this, and so far mine is the only excella 2 that I know of in this width. What few other 81's excella 2's that I've found are all 8' wide. I did find a Caravelle on the Fred's archive site that was only 7'. I think Joe may be onto something with his theory about Airstream filling the need left when they dropped the Argosy. If you have any info on the subject I'd be very interested.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:54 PM   #13
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1980 Caravelle

Hey Charlie,

Yes, my 1980 Caravelle is only 7' wide. I am the second owner. The gentleman I purchased it from told me it was one of the first "lightweight" models Airstream designed. Much of the cabinetry is veneered wood, it has a wooden floor and weighs in empty at approx 2500 lbs. He purchased it in El Cajon, California, just outside San Diego where it is located now.

Lyn
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:46 PM   #14
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That's interesting to know Lyn: Finding detailed info on early 80's trailers so far isn't easy. Talking to an original owner like you were able to is a great resource. I've never been in a Caravelle, but from what you describe the interior sounds similar to mine. My 25' Excella 2 weighs only 3600 lbs dry. From reading here it sounds like all the Caravelle models were only 7' wide which isn't the case with the early 80's Excella 2 models. Here's a link to some pics that I recently posted if you're interested. http://www.airforums.com/photos/brow...mageuser=15121
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:19 PM   #15
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Need info to fight insurance company

I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find some sales of a 1980 Caravelle, 20'. I had a tire blow out which destroyed the wheel well, underneath kitchen sink, plumbing, propane connection, stove, refridgerator and countertop. Dealing with the insurance company who wants to total it. Want to put up a good fight to save her and would appreciate any information you think could help me. Taking it to C & G in Bellflower on Monday.

Thanks in advance,

Lyn in San Diego
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:03 PM   #16
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Oh no - sorry to hear of the damage!

The bad news is, there aren't many of these around. Supposedly Airstream built only about 150 trailers in 1980, due to the gas crisis and leftover stock from the late 70s. I've been keeping an eye out for a Caravelle for months, and only have seen one for sale in that time (and that wasn't a 20'.)

The trailer is very similar to an Argosy Minuet, but I'm not sure that will help you with your insurance agent.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #17
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Airstream Caravelle

Greetings Lyn!

So sorry to hear about your predicament.

What you might do is see if C & G might speak with your adjuster after they have been able to prepare an estimate. Several years ago when my Overlander was damaged, my insurance adjuster was objecting to repair costs, but my dealer who had been with Airstream for many years was able to speak to the adjuster and was a big help in resolving the disputed value. It may be worth a try.

Kevin
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #18
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Thumbs up Repair of 1980 Caravelle

Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your helpful suggestions. We're still battling over the value of the Caravelle. Progressive doesn't seem to value NADA's estimated value. Instead, they are going to Airstream dealers and so far, the news isn't good. But I refuse to give up. I'll have her up and camping again one way or another.

thanks again,
Lyn
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:17 AM   #19
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China caravans?

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Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
Lou,
You've squashed my theory! I'm not ready to totally moth ball it yet, as I still beleive I have heard about some 7' wide early 80's Airstreams, but I will take it under serious advisement. Afterall you are the Minuet expert (well maybe you and Overlander64).

You know the more I think about it, I believe I have heard that the special Airstreams that were shipped overseas for the 1985-6-7 China Caravan's were also only 7' wide. If nothing else, maybe the trailer in question was one of those that didn't make the trip overseas for some reason. Of course I have no idea if those were labelled as "Caravelle's".
Joe,

As a result of interest in 1980 Caravelles on another thread I looked to see if Airforums had a section on that model, and came across your post.

We have a 1980 22 foot Caravelle which is the ideal trailer for us. First of all, yes, it is about 7 ft wide (same as our 1960 Pacer) and second of all, it is essentially the same thing as a late 70's Argosy Minuet. I have compared them side-by-side. They are built on the same frame and have many other things in common. They used some nicer components in the Caravelle, metal, for example, where they were plastic in the Argosy, which was the economy model.

So, Theory 1 about the existence of the Caravelles (which they only built in 1980, maybe into 1981) is that they were built to use up the frames left over when they quit building Argosies in 1979.

Theory 2--vastly more romantic--is that they built the Caravelles, narrow and light weight, for the China caravans. I have heard arguments both ways on this. Some say it's pure fiction but at the International at Bozeman one visitor told us their parents went across China in a trailer just like ours.

If you know any more about the latter I would be interested in hearing it!

See you down the road,
Nuvi
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by AluminumLuvr View Post
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your helpful suggestions. We're still battling over the value of the Caravelle. Progressive doesn't seem to value NADA's estimated value. Instead, they are going to Airstream dealers and so far, the news isn't good. But I refuse to give up. I'll have her up and camping again one way or another.

thanks again,
Lyn
You might try to contact Jim Polk (silverpal or silverpal2) I think that is his handle on the forums. He is a professional appraiser and he was able to help us with our insurance claim when our 69 Overlander was broadsided. We were able to show our trailer was restored and collectable.......if you have trouble finding him, pm me...he lives in Ojai.....We also had repair estimates from C & G. Good luck with your claim....sounds like you have a nice trailer.....paula
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