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Old 07-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
New Member
1968 24' Tradewind
Waterford , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 4
Replacing Curtains in 1968 Airstream

Hi -

We have an 1968 Airstream, 24 ft. and curtains need to be replaced. We want to upgrade just the bottom track to the ones with elastic at the bottom but keep the Kirsch sliders at the top.

Does anyone have any experience within doing this to their Airsteam? I'm wondering if I should just keep with the current tracks and using Kirsch sliders on both top and bottom? Worried about wear and tear and how well they Kirsch sliders will hold up.

Appreciate any help! Thanks
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:23 AM   #2
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1973 Argosy 24
Kitchener , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 949
Images: 1
Some PO removed the bottom tracks on my '73 Argosy and I would love to have them back. The curtains hang too far inboard because of the curvature of the body. Sliders are readily available at your Airstream dealer. Note that the sliders differ for the top and bottom. Tops are "T" shaped and bottoms are "J" shaped.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:23 PM   #3
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1976 27' Overlander
Luther , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1
I am replacing my curtains and am thinking about taking the bottom rail off because mine never were easy to slide. Thinking I will just use Velcro to hold the bottom of the curtain back so it doesn't hang so far inboard.
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:37 PM   #4
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1968 22' Safari
Chico , California
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 45
I have camped in our 68 since I was six (1976) and I would not recommend removing that track!! Because of the heat to the exterior no Velcro or other glued item will stick long term to the wall. We lived with the sew-in flat attachments for 30 years - a total pain because they snap off with all of the sun they get (we have silver space blankets between the curtains and the window when we are parked). I recently bought a bunch of the curtain attachments that slide into the track with the round thick hole for the attachment. I sewed elastic through the hole and attached it to the current curtains, our only option since the dry cleaner shrunk them!! We still got 30 years out of these babies, though, no complaints. It's been 6 years and not one attachment slide has broken.

I am now going to replace these curtains with the original style gold silk look. So groovy. I am going to use the same durable eyes but instead of elastic I'm going to use curtain pins top and bottom. If the tailor can sew in two of those durable attachment lines for each curtain top and bottom I will be able to adjust them better. I can always go back to the elastic if I need to, but won't have to pay someone the extra money to hand see each plastic attachment!!

I hope this helps you, we go for the classic vintage look because so many people want to modernize and therefore the original airstream glory is rare. After all these years, the old girl still functions better than any new camper I've seen... Curtains and all.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:08 AM   #5
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1969 27' Overlander
Troy , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4
I am replacing the curtains on my 1969 overlander. Could you attach a picture of you curtains and hardware you used I attached photos of the tracks in our trailer. The gold is the bottom tract and silver is top tract.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:15 AM   #6
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1968 22' Safari
Chico , California
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Replacing curtains in 1968 airstream

Hi there! I have put YEARS of thought into this and here is what we decided to do but have not yet put the money into. I have camped as both a dirty kid and a parent in the old girls and here are my observations:

1) never use the sew-in curtain slides!! They last about a year and then snap off and your curtains hang off

2) Keep those thick rings that are in your pictures. I have these now sewn directly to my curtains (not recommended, I am changing) and they are bulletproof since they are so thick. We have had the same set for years and they seem impervious to sun!

3) Have your curtains made with the strips for drapery hooks!! This was my epiphany - it is soooo difficult to clean curtains, to remove for any reason, etc. I am going to attach small elastic loops to the plastic rings in the track, and then attach the curtains to the elastic with the drapery pins top and bottom. Easy on, easy off, and you won't pay a million bucks because the tailor has to hand sew each ring or elastic loop to the curtains! I like elastic only at the bottom, the elastic stretches and the curtains look sloppy.

4) Protect the back of your curtains. I am still working on this one, but currently we have the heavier silver space blankets cut to fit the window and taped (discreetly) above each curtain. Every night we roll them down and then then close the curtains - you wouldn't believe the different in heat retention! Our curtain lining over the years has disintegrated to a paper towel consistency. I just need to figure out a way to better attach at the top.

5) If you are making new curtains, here is my battle. We love original, it's very rare to find an Airstream that hasn't been modified. The original curtains were gold raw silk (groovy) and I would love to put them back. The current curtains are ivory, which is also great because it lets in light. I love the gold but it is very dark inside so you have to have the curtains open. Great unless you camp in spots needing more privacy. The ivory lets in light and can be closed during the day and you don't have to turn on the light, but they aren't vintage and you need to scotchguard for dirty hands and dog noses! Great at KOA's and Yellowstone parking lot camping, though!

6) Dry clean your fabric BEFORE YOU HAVE THE CURTAINS MADE!!! We spent so much money on curtains only to have a dry cleaner shrink them about an inch the first cleaning so they don't provide adequate coverage!

I hope this helps you! I am going to take a crack at making my own curtains and use the curtain pins, so anyone with advice on the best UV lining pass it on! Oh, by the way, I really like for UV fabrics - they have awesome prices and are super helpful if you need advice. I will post pics - still trying to decide if vintage is the way to go!

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