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Old 10-17-2021, 11:58 PM   #1
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Glendale , Az
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First timer here!

Hello my wife and I picked up an old airstream. Plates were last renewed in 1980

We need help with two things, the first is as first-time restorers are there any tips and or tricks that you guys wish you would have known before you started? Could you share them with us? We're looking to do a complete restoration.

Secondly we've looked everywhere and called a couple places for help on finding the exact year of the airstream with no luck. I've read a couple of the post on here but our model number doesn't look anything like the rest. I have attached a couple pictures
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Old 10-18-2021, 01:06 AM   #2
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Question. Do you have a title? The year, make and model should be on it. If all you have is a bill of sale, do not throw any money at the project until you get a new title. Restoring it is probably a 2 to 3 year project. There are dozens of blogs here and elsewhere on what each element of of a full restoration involves. Read. LEARN. PLAN. Doing the interior before you repair the frame and replace.the subfloor is the first step in producing a "polished turd" - a renovation that has to be scrapped and redone right.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:55 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Welcome to the Forums!

Looks like it is a 1960 Tradewind, 24' long.

My guidance regarding renovating a vintage Airstream would be to hope for the best and expect the worst, and plan a shell-off from the beginning.

You can feel your way there by getting out the buyer's inspection checklist, going through everything, making a list of what needs to be repaired, and then tackling it one project at a time, starting at the "deepest" level of disassembly and working your way out. Or you can do the following:

1) Spend up to two years looking for the trailer that is in the best shape, with the best price, with the best floor plan, only to drive too far to look at a trailer, and buy it out of desperation, as you don't want to go home empty handed.
2) Remove the interior including all inside skins and insulation--store it in a temporary shed (that will become permanent).
3) Build a set of gantries--you'll need them.
4) Lift the shell (using the gantries) from the frame and set aside.
5) Use the gantries you built to lift and flip the frame.
6) Remove belly pan, gas lines, etc., and set aside.
7) Perform all repairs on the frame, address rust and paint (again, lifting and flipping in the process).
8) Install new floor on frame.
9) Flip, insulate the underside of the floor, install retro-fitted grey tanks.
10) Install belly pan with frame still upside down.
11) Install new axles (with frame upside down, using the gantries as a crane).
12) Pressure wash the interior of the shell--make every effort to get rid of the mouse piss and old insulation--this is your only chance.
13) Lift the shell, wheel the frame back underneath, and set the shell back in place.
14) Complete reconnection of shell to frame.
15) Replace all door and window seals, plumbing vent seals, perform any shell patches, panel replacements, AC replacement, etc. (use the gantries as scaffolding to access the roof of your trailer).
16) Seal the inside of the shell, every rivet, every seam.
17) Spray primer on the inside of the shell to not only protect from corrosion, but to seal in funk.
18) Write a mysterious message to the next restorer on the inside of your shell.
19) Rennovate/install any awnings and ensure that any new shell penetrations do not leak.
20) Confirm that your shell no longer leaks.
21) Assess wiring in the shell. Rewire if necessary, realizing what a PITA it will be, trying not to nick any wires.
22) Strip the clear coat off your shell if needed.
23) Polish the areas around the trim, emblems, clearance lights before reinstallation.
24) Thoroughly investigate every kind of insulation known to mankind and then install the pink fiberglass stuff anyway.
25) Reinstall interior skins after thoroughly cleaning them--paint the backsides with primer to encapsulate the old stank you can never wash off.
26) Rebuild electrical distribution system (battery, fuse board, etc.).
27) Layout your future cabinetry.
28) Begin to run water lines, realizing some of them will go under/behind furnishings
29) Start from the rear of the trailer and rebuild the interior furnishings, cabinetry.
30) Lay down new flooring.
31) Rerun the gas lines.
32) Finish installing appliances.
33) Do the blinds/drapes/upholstery.
34) Finish whatever polishing you want to do on the exterior
35) Seal every exterior seam
36) Discover new leaks and throw a fit
37) Throw away all the receipts, as it is just too depressing to know how much you just spent.
38) Count the gray hairs/hair loss that has resulted from the years you have spent on the project.

good luck!
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:27 PM   #4
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Unfortunately no title. And that's great info thank you very much we're going to keep pushing to see if we can find the exact year and then file for an abandoned title.
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:30 PM   #5
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Glendale , Az
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
Welcome to the Forums!

Looks like it is a 1960 Tradewind, 24' long.

My guidance regarding renovating a vintage Airstream would be to hope for the best and expect the worst, and plan a shell-off from the beginning.

You can feel your way there by getting out the buyer's inspection checklist, going through everything, making a list of what needs to be repaired, and then tackling it one project at a time, starting at the "deepest" level of disassembly and working your way out. Or you can do the following:

1) Spend up to two years looking for the trailer that is in the best shape, with the best price, with the best floor plan, only to drive too far to look at a trailer, and buy it out of desperation, as you don't want to go home empty handed.
2) Remove the interior including all inside skins and insulation--store it in a temporary shed (that will become permanent).
3) Build a set of gantries--you'll need them.
4) Lift the shell (using the gantries) from the frame and set aside.
5) Use the gantries you built to lift and flip the frame.
6) Remove belly pan, gas lines, etc., and set aside.
7) Perform all repairs on the frame, address rust and paint (again, lifting and flipping in the process).
8) Install new floor on frame.
9) Flip, insulate the underside of the floor, install retro-fitted grey tanks.
10) Install belly pan with frame still upside down.
11) Install new axles (with frame upside down, using the gantries as a crane).
12) Pressure wash the interior of the shell--make every effort to get rid of the mouse piss and old insulation--this is your only chance.
13) Lift the shell, wheel the frame back underneath, and set the shell back in place.
14) Complete reconnection of shell to frame.
15) Replace all door and window seals, plumbing vent seals, perform any shell patches, panel replacements, AC replacement, etc. (use the gantries as scaffolding to access the roof of your trailer).
16) Seal the inside of the shell, every rivet, every seam.
17) Spray primer on the inside of the shell to not only protect from corrosion, but to seal in funk.
18) Write a mysterious message to the next restorer on the inside of your shell.
19) Rennovate/install any awnings and ensure that any new shell penetrations do not leak.
20) Confirm that your shell no longer leaks.
21) Assess wiring in the shell. Rewire if necessary, realizing what a PITA it will be, trying not to nick any wires.
22) Strip the clear coat off your shell if needed.
23) Polish the areas around the trim, emblems, clearance lights before reinstallation.
24) Thoroughly investigate every kind of insulation known to mankind and then install the pink fiberglass stuff anyway.
25) Reinstall interior skins after thoroughly cleaning them--paint the backsides with primer to encapsulate the old stank you can never wash off.
26) Rebuild electrical distribution system (battery, fuse board, etc.).
27) Layout your future cabinetry.
28) Begin to run water lines, realizing some of them will go under/behind furnishings
29) Start from the rear of the trailer and rebuild the interior furnishings, cabinetry.
30) Lay down new flooring.
31) Rerun the gas lines.
32) Finish installing appliances.
33) Do the blinds/drapes/upholstery.
34) Finish whatever polishing you want to do on the exterior
35) Seal every exterior seam
36) Discover new leaks and throw a fit
37) Throw away all the receipts, as it is just too depressing to know how much you just spent.
38) Count the gray hairs/hair loss that has resulted from the years you have spent on the project.

good luck!
I love the tips and the humor behind this! I can only imagine what a headache it's going to be but we are definitely determined. If it is from the 1960s would it be worth redoing it from bottom up? I've also read a couple posts that mentioned that some airstreams even if they're vintage are still not worth the money put into it in terms of value
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:32 PM   #6
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1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
Southeast , Michigan
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24DSS0533 is a 1961 (not 1960) 24' Tradwind double bed model built in November 1960.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:06 AM   #7
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV0407 View Post
I love the tips and the humor behind this! I can only imagine what a headache it's going to be but we are definitely determined. If it is from the 1960s would it be worth redoing it from bottom up? I've also read a couple posts that mentioned that some airstreams even if they're vintage are still not worth the money put into it in terms of value
Whether you want to spend the time and money renovating, that’s up to you. Personally, my wife and I enjoyed the fun (some people call it work) on both our trailers. The amount spent on a complete renovation depends on your skill set and how much work you want to do yourself. In my mind, the only way I felt the 55 was in really safe working order was to do a shell off. Many have accomplished the same without a full Monty. I think renovating any vintage Airstream correctly is well worth the time, money and effort that will last many years in the future. If you decide to renovate, please start a thread so all can follow. Good luck on whichever way you go.
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