Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-16-2016, 01:35 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1971 18' Caravel
1970 27' Overlander
Vintage Kin Owner
Hawthorne , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 82
Considering an 1966 Avion

There's a 1966 27' Avion up for sale about an hour's drive from me. They're not asking much for it, and it looks like someone who is downtrodden has been living in it; likely the appliances, carpet, and A/C will have to go. But it doesn't look like it's leaked and apart from a soft spot by the door, the floors seem to be sound. Only a little frame rust. I'm seriously tempted . . . I'm working on a 1971 Caravel and coming to the depressing conclusion that me and my three Labbies are going to have a hard time adapting to a gaucho and dinette, but no real bed. ... and 18' is a little too small.

Questions:
1. There's a list of 'trailer inspectors' on the portal page. Have the people on this list volunteered to do inspections? Is it reasonable to contact someone who lives a few hours away from where the trailer is? Or to contact someone who has a newish AS to look at a 50 yr old Avion? It looks like most of the people listed in Florida have posted less than a dozen times and quite a few of them are in the 'looking' category.

2. I'm finding only sketchy documentation on the weights. I'm not ready to buy a new tow vehicle. Any suggestions as to where I can find weights for the thing?
sandgrubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 01:50 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Vintage Kin Owner
N/A , N/A
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 989
Images: 1
Dr Gradless' website has a ton of info: http://my.execpc.com/~drg/avion.html

Facebook has a group called: "Avion Travel Trailers & Avion Parts For Sale Nationwide"

You can also find more info here: http://www.silveravion.com/

and here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...storation/info

Best of luck!
rostam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 05:34 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,061
Blog Entries: 2
Avion Travelcade Facebook page.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 05:37 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,061
Blog Entries: 2
Stand on rear bumper to see if it's solid. Softness by the door is a common problem, easily fixed. No shell off restoration needed on Avion.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2016, 06:03 PM   #5
Tom T
 
Tom_T's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Orange , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 901
Sandgrubber -

Avionstrean & Rostam have given you some good links on Avions, & another source is to by the "Silver Beauties" CD with a bunch of Avion documents on it which you can print. IIRC there's a 1966 Factory Brochure in there too, & may be online at one of the websites recco'ed too.

You can also do a ton of online research with the simple google tools, but use both the straight search & images search - then go to the pic's host page for more info. The trailers for sale webpage from here-AirForums, TinCanTourist & Craig's List ("Craig's Lost" ;-) are all good tools too, as well as looking on the Vintage Camper Trailers magazine website too.

But be aware that the GVTW & HW weights listed in there will be dry & empty & without most options that were available then (as with AS & other trailers then & today). So you'll have to do some math to add up what is on there + water (tank at front wall adds to HW also), LP, house battery (stock is at the front wall on the A-frame), etc. - then compare with your TV's capacities.

Older trailers were lighter than today's, mainly due to lighter materials with better construction - so that 27' Avion won't be nearly as heavy as a modern AS wet & loaded.

As fro the PPI - IMHO you're better off getting a local who does the vintage trailer resto's to look it over for you before you buy - because a cheap trailer upfront can end up costing a lot more once fixed/restored - than just getting a better one to start with. You can still ask a local to look it over for free/gas money before paying a resto shop for a full PPI.

Then you can also ask the PPI shop to include their "opinion of value" (not an "appraisal" unless they're also licensed for that), which will get double duty on the PPI as documentation of agreed value for insurance purposes. We did that with our AAA agreed value policy when we got our `60 Avion T-20 in 2012, as well as the PPI & us going to pre-inspect it ourselves before paying for the PPI - so I'm giving you what we were advised to do & actually did do!

As for Avions - they were advertised back in the day as "Better than an Airstream" & most folks who restore them today agree - including the AS resto guy who advised us & did our PPI.

So a good one will be better built & easier to work on than your Caravel, as well as being more roomy at equal size - since they're wider & have a more headroom, aside from you're looking at longer models.

If the 27' is a stretch for you due to size, too heavy, or bad condition - then you might want to look at the shorter & lighter 1960's H-24 - which had the same choice of permanent double/standard/full size bed or 2x twin beds (with & without upper bunks), but in a bit smaller package. For just you - if the labs can fit in a full size bed or on the floor - then that option is great because it has the full length dresser on the side where the other twin bed would otherwise be. Also IMHO the dinette is better than a gaucho sofa in the front - more usable, versatile & still converts to a double bed too. I could live full time in an H-24 easily, but my wife needs her space!

However, you may still find that the Avion T-20 or T-21 will suffice - since it's more roomy & wider than your 18' Caravelle, even though it has a gaucho sofa/bed amidships. We just leave our full bed out most of the time, & then I have tons of extra room for chairs & campsite stuff under there. We also looked at some 17' & 18' Caravelles before finding our T-20, & we too felt they were too small & cramped looking for our tastes. Our sofa only goes up when we're at a vintage rally & giving the public tours so it's easier for visitors to walk around inside & it makes it look huge - compared to the AS of the era.

There are a few other Avion owners on here, & hopefully they'll chime in too! Tweetie2 in MN is a serial offender with 2 Avions & 1 AS.

Best advice is to be patient & find the best condition one you can for the price in your budget. Because all of the trailer collectors are laser focused on AS - especially the <20' ones like yours - their prices tend to be a bit over-inflated, whereas the Avions tend to be more reasonably priced - even though they're more rare & better built - plus longer 20'+ vintage trailers are less sought after & so less pricey, even if more usable.

So the good news it that you can probably finish up your Caravelle resto & sell it at a gain, & put money back in your pocket after buying the Avion of your dreams!

Good Luck with Both!
Tom
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20
///////
__________________
Tom T
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-22 Cayenne S, EH, etc
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner) + 1970 Eriba Puck
Tom_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2016, 07:21 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
1959 28' Ambassador
Albany , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 10
Sand grubber,Well, what I would do is go look at it yourself if it's only an hour away. Do a thorough inspection crawling under and everywhere inside. Look for telltale water leakage and soft spots in the floor. If possible try all of the systems (electrical, water, gas, etc) to see what works. I wouldn't bee too hasty to throw out any original appliances. Many things can be fixed.
We LOVE our Avions and are in the process of restoring a 1964 Avion T-21 at present. Our plan is to keep everything original in this one, except the water heater. It all depends on what you like and plan to use it for. We just camp in ours, not full-timing it.
The best of luck to you and I hope you get it...you won't be disappointed owning an Avion!
tweetie2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2016, 04:53 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1971 18' Caravel
1970 27' Overlander
Vintage Kin Owner
Hawthorne , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 82
Thanks everyone for advice. I took the leap and it has arrived. I got it for $3k + $100 for delivery. The A/c doesn't work and the heater has been removed, but everything else seems to function. So much easier to work on than the AS . . . the windows will take regular curtains, the cupboards, regular doors, few challenging curves . . .yet not entirely a box. It doesn't even look like I'll have to do window gaskets!

Have attached a few photos. It's getting dark and I couldn't get much of the inside.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20160218_180541534.jpg
Views:	412
Size:	81.7 KB
ID:	257503   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20160218_180605682.jpg
Views:	325
Size:	77.3 KB
ID:	257504  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20160218_180850568.jpg
Views:	249
Size:	40.2 KB
ID:	257505  
sandgrubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2016, 08:02 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,061
Blog Entries: 2
Not bad, good luck and good camping.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2016, 09:28 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
7GenTex's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Briarcliff , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 83
Welcome aboard!

Here is a link that will show you "the bones" of the trailer in the first couple of pics.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1174053...1194/1965Avion

Links says 1965, but the data tag shows as a 1966.

I bought it about 3 years ago after a full refurb in 2008-2009 (pics)

My 1966 T27 (above pics) weighs in at around 5,000# after refurb.
TW was light at around 475#, but with a ProPride hitch, it is now around 725# (on the ball).

I pull it with a 2014 F 150 SuperCrew 5.0 with a 3.55 locker - works great.

Had a 2013 F150 SuperCrew with the 3.5 EcoBoost and a 3.55 locker before that - worked better! (EcoBoost has low end pull like a diesel)

Standing on the rear bumper will tell you nothing on an Avion, unless the bumper / mounts are rusted......?
Avions don't get the shell separation deal like some Airstreams.

It has a stout frame (triple I-beam) compared to an Airstream, and the original floor is a triple layer of wood - foam - wood. All can be replace with shell on. Spray foam insulation in the walls / ceiling.

Many older Avions have a small access panel cut in the belly, up near the front, for the trailer wiring pigtail hook-up that is a good spot to see the front frame condition via.

Make sure your axles, bearings, brakes, rims, tires and suspension are attended to as NUMBER 1 !

FYI - it is anodized - you can't polish it up like an Airstream (without de-anodizing first)...but don't go there.

Enjoy!
__________________
1966 T-27 Avion (Sold & missed already!)
7GenTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2016, 05:06 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,061
Blog Entries: 2
Actually standing on the rea bumper on anAvion can tell you if you have severe frame damage from rust, not normal on an Avion but can be a problem under some conditions. Thus trailer as near the gulf coast I believe so checking fir frame damage was important. Looks like it's a good deal. Might still have the split rims, be careful. Yes Avions do not suffer from rear end separation, but rusty frames are still possible.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2016, 05:57 AM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
1955 30' Liner Commodore Vanderbilt
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Linden , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 276
Congrats

Congrats! Welcome to the anodized side. We switched from a 63 Bambi and now have a 1966 21T which is currently being refurbished by Chuck Cayo in Michigan. We have been watching the restoration process on and off over this past winter. Can't wait to see the finished product and go camping in April. Chuck is a MASTER when it comes to Avion Restoration.

Regards,
StevieB
StevieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2016, 07:56 AM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
1959 28' Ambassador
Albany , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 10
Congrats on your purchase!! Now the fun begins. We have one that is anodized and an older one that is polished. I love them both. The anodized is definitely less work. Good luck with your restoration and enjoy the process. That's when you really get to know your trailer.
tweetie2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 04:36 AM   #13
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Chatham , NY
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Avion

Question regarding an Avion 1966 trailer. This is coming without ac our heat, is this something that can easily be installed?
Robertbaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 04:53 AM   #14
Rivet Master

 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 17,531
Welcome to the forum . . . FWIW this thread is 5 years old.

You could send a PM private message by clicking on the user name, and choosing that option from the drop down menu.

Good luck,

Peter
__________________
Let the music lift you up . . .
[Robert Frost reading live -- 2 minutes]

OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 08:21 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
redthies's Avatar
 
1963 19' Globetrotter
1967 17' Caravel
1974 29' Ambassador
Whiterock , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertbaker View Post
Question regarding an Avion 1966 trailer. This is coming without ac our heat, is this something that can easily be installed?
Yes, heat and AC are very easy for a qualified person to install.
redthies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 01:54 PM   #16
Tom T
 
Tom_T's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Vintage Kin Owner
Orange , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertbaker View Post
Question regarding an Avion 1966 trailer. This is coming without ac our heat, is this something that can easily be installed?
For Peter - we have so few Avion owners on here, that it really doesn't matter how "old" the thread is - we'll still help a fellow Avioneer (if that's a word). So he's fine to ask on here, since we look out for each other!

Robert - I agree with Redtheis - you can add AC & Heat to your Avion. You don't say which model & length Avion you have, but the location of them would vary. If you're qualified - you may be able to install some or all of them.

The options will be both original & new equipment options.

For AC it was a basic box then - as it is now - so I'd recco going with a new one using R134 Freon (or the newer stuff) that's low profile for easier clearance, & if you want it to blend in more, then get the white shroud & paint it or have it painted Silver to match the skin. We have ours in the forward vent, but all Avion vents were wired for fan &/or AC (1 AC unit in shorter Avions, 2 in longer ones).

A 1966 Avion will have the anodized aluminum skin which can't be polished, without stripping off the anodized layer chemically/manually then polishing, which IMHO is not worth it - just get the anodized aluminum cleaner & wash it regularly thereafter (IIRC they started anodized skin in the 1963 or 64 model year, which is in those Avion documents). So an Aluminum Silver spray paint compatible with the plastic type used in the shroud will give you a great match from ground level, & close up.

If your vent fan is missing or non-op, then get a Fantastic-Fan vent fan with either the smoke, clear or white plastic or stainless metal lid - depending on if you want daylight from the vent or not &/or the look you want.


For heat -

You can do partial & maybe full heat in the AC unit(s) - but the so called "heat strips" are pretty useless even here in mild SoCal. Many of the Dometic, Coleman, etc. AC units can be had in heat pump form, which will give you both heat & AC from the same unit, but that may not be enough for you in NY & the Northeast/Northern Tier States if you do winter camping.

Other "New" or modern heat options are either the catalytic heater(s) (1 or 2+ depending on your trailer size, or to add an RV forced air unit.

Olympian is catalytic that I've seen installed in the same cabinet/wall spot as the original tall heaters in Avions & other vintage kin (the bottom combustion air, top exhaust air & LP is all already there - unless a DAPO ripped them out), with a cabinet/door added above.

One source is VTS -
https://vintagetrailersupply.com/int...lytic-heaters/

The other is to add one of the compact RV forced air heaters at or near the original heater space, or where the water heater or Fridge are already plumbed with LP gas & in/out air as noted above, but they can be placed anywhere if you really want to replumb & add vents, etc. Then you can run the forced air vents in the cabinetry, kick space, etc. to where you want to place the outlet vents to suit your particular Avion.

The Atwood/Dometic is the make/model recco'd to me for our 1960 Avion T20 by a well respected AS/Avion/etc. Restorer (Uwe S. at Area 63 Productions here in SoCal, formerly a mile from us here in Orange CA), which he feels are better built & better size than the Suburban units.

One source is VTS -
https://vintagetrailersupply.com/int...nces/furnaces/

But if you're into the originality & vintage thing, then you may be able to find one of the original tall vertical wall mounted LP radiant heaters that came on them originally by checking the vintage trailer restorers, parts sellers, evil-bay, Tin Can Tourists, & the Silver Avion, etc. websites/spacebook for the parts.

Avion expert Dr. Gradeless Avion website:
http://my.execpc.com/~drg/avion.html

Avion Group:
https://www.facebook.com/Silver-Avio...5472889843516/

Those are actually pretty good heating for our Avions, since they were all insulated in the floor, walls & roof - although not to today's energy efficiency standards.

The Silver Avion website has a section with original documents, photos, sales brochures, trailer & appliances/options owners/user manuals, etc. that you can download to help with your Avion.

http://www.silveravion.com/

Also, Vintage Trailer Supply sells parts etc. for vintage AS & Avions, etc. & they have a CD for sale called "Silver Beauties" which also has a section with period Avion brochures, pix, documents, ads, etc. - which is an excellent resource.

https://vintagetrailersupply.com/cd-...uties-vts-242/

Avion used all the same appliances as their other Silver Twinkie cousins including AS, as well as used on the same era Canned Hams. So you just need to look for the same make, model, size/capacity for any of the heaters.

Here are a couple of vintage parts sources, but there are many more local in NY & around the country for the above & other used vintage parts - as well as new items.

https://vintagetrailersupply.com/

https://www.vintagecampers.com/

Make sure to comparison & sale/coupon shop for the "modern" appliances Heater, Water Heater, AC etc. at places like local Trailer/RV shops, Camping World, eTrailer, etc.


Water Heater -

You didn't ask about it, but it may be another appliance due for work or replacement - or it may become one of your "while I'm in there" items to do with the heater.

Also the 6 or 10 gal Atwood/Dometic 2-way Water Heater is the LP + Electric water heater that we have, & as recco'ed to replace non-op/non-repairable originals - since they mix their over-heated hot water with cold water to get the equivalent of a 10 or 16 gal water heater respectively (not their more pricey Exothermic Units).

However, you do have to maintain the mixing valve, & may need to replace it every few years. Our 1960 Avion T20 was restored with one in2007, and I've had to replace the mixing valve in 2018 - so 10-11 years lifespan & about $70-100 for the part/kit to replace it yourself or by a shop. There are topics on here about the Atwood Mixing-valve.

Again - one source is VTS -
https://vintagetrailersupply.com/int...water-heaters/


Also FYI - there's a Avion Travelcade camp-out in Elkhart IN, coming up in mid-July, & you may find some other vintage Avion owners, parts, fun times, etc. there. Look for their Facebook page.

https://tincantourists.com/event/202...on-fellowship/

2019 Video FYI -


Good Luck!
Tom
///////
__________________
Tom T
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-22 Cayenne S, EH, etc
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner) + 1970 Eriba Puck
Tom_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 05:07 PM   #17
Rivet Master

 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 17,531
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
For Peter - we have so few Avion owners on here, that it really doesn't matter how "old" the thread is - we'll still help a fellow Avioneer (if that's a word). So he's fine to ask on here, since we look out for each other!
. . .
Of course . . . the goal was to let him [a new user, with only 1 post] know that a PM might be the best mode of contact for an old thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
You could send a PM private message by clicking on the user name, and choosing that option from the drop down menu.

Good luck
. . .
Peter
__________________
Let the music lift you up . . .
[Robert Frost reading live -- 2 minutes]

OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1966


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"silver avion" avion C11 airstream "truck camper' "slide-in" aluminum eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 09-14-2013 06:20 PM
1966 STREAMLINE not AIRSTREAM or AVION= VINTAGE eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 09-29-2010 04:40 PM
1966 STREAMLINE not AIRSTREAM or AVION= VINTAGE eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 09-08-2010 06:10 AM
1966 vintage avion 21' camper (like airstream) eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 08-18-2009 04:10 PM
1966 avion 21' camper (like airstream) eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 07-21-2009 04:00 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.