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Old 09-02-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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1962 22' Safari
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Around the World Airstream #6768

As a few of my AirForums friends know, I am overdue to make an announcement . . .

Last weekend I bought a surviving Airstream from the Around the World Caravan, #6768, a 1962 22’ Safari. I picked it up near St. Louis, MO and pulled it back home to Michigan.

This Airstream is in rough, but amazingly original condition. It seems it sat in the woods for about 10 years before being hauled out last year after trees were cut to extract it.

The skin has a few dents and scrapes, but not too bad overall. All of the original appliances are still there (although untested), as are all of the original cabinets (with some water damage near the floor, but not too bad). There is one hole through the floor and quite a bit of mouse poo to be cleaned out. The only modifications I have identified so far are:
  • One roof vent was missing and one was replaced by a galvanized steel cap
  • Replacement rectangular tail lamps were fitted to it a long time ago (they don’t work).
  • Carefree awnings had been added to the street side and rear window a long time ago. They are now “toast”.
Best of all, the trailer has a list of countries visited on the front curb side corner as well as stickers from some of the countries visited on the ATW caravan on the inside of the door within a door.

Here are a few photos taken before pulling it home . . .
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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Joe,

Thats a real treasure.. lucky it fell into your hands so you can bring her back.

Congrats.

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Old 09-02-2011, 09:42 PM   #3
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In order to get it home, I had to install temporary lights. With the help of friends, I also got the brakes hooked up and working before the trip home. The old brakes grab amazingly well, perhaps because they have not been used much. We had to rewire the umbilical cord to get them working. They were actually wired to the backup light pin, so they only worked when in reverse before we discovered the issue.

I need to say a BIG THANKS to my friend Bob W. for helping me find and purchase this trailer.

I am still trying to formulate a plan for what work I want/need to do on this trailer, but the overall plan is to try to repair what is there rather than to replace things. I intend to make a fully functional survivor out of this trailer, not a highly polished factory fresh restoration. I want it to be as close to the condition it went on the ATW caravan as possible, but I know I will have to put a new axle on it fairly soon.

I guess that's all for now. Interior photos should come later, but I just wanted to make a little announcement.

Here are a few photos of the trip home . . .
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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Very Nice find - a true survivor. You are doing right by her.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:17 AM   #5
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So glad to see another one rescued. I hope to see it get on the road soon.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:24 AM   #6
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I am so excited for you! She will live again!
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
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Awesome

That is great! I saw this trailer on Craigslist and I am so glad that someone on Airforums was able to get it. It will be great once you've put some time and restoration into it.

I have seen some of the vintage state stickers for sale that are coming off your door. If you have an interest, here is the link.

airstream on Etsy, a global handmade and vintage marketplace.

I love reading the sticker "shadows" on the trailer. What a history! You probably can have a good graphics shop remake those if you want. I think the family member selling it said they had "back-up" or some sort of documentation to validate the history of the trailer. Did you see any photos of their trip or did they have any of the original paperwork? Very cool!

Good Luck! We look forward to watching your progress!

Tina
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh2bcarefree View Post
That is great! I saw this trailer on Craigslist and I am so glad that someone on Airforums was able to get it. It will be great once you've put some time and restoration into it.

I have seen some of the vintage state stickers for sale that are coming off your door. If you have an interest, here is the link.

airstream on Etsy, a global handmade and vintage marketplace.

I love reading the sticker "shadows" on the trailer. What a history! You probably can have a good graphics shop remake those if you want. I think the family member selling it said they had "back-up" or some sort of documentation to validate the history of the trailer. Did you see any photos of their trip or did they have any of the original paperwork? Very cool!

Good Luck! We look forward to watching your progress!

Tina
Hi Tina,
Yes, this is the ATW trailer that you posted on AirForums. It took a while to finalize the deal because of title issues.

As for stickers, my current thoughts are to preserve what is still there and not add anything that was not there when I bought it, but we'll see if I change my mind as I work on it.

As for the exterior lettering, I am less sure whether I should repaint or reapply (e.g. vinyl stickers), or just leave "as is". We'll see. I am in no hurry there because I may not be able to undo something if I act too hastily and later change my mind.

I did get some paperwork from the previous owner. Nothing specifically related to the ATW trip, but I did get things like the original receipt from when the trailer was first bought, in the name of the original owner that did go on the ATW caravan.

I am still trying to piece the ownership history together, but I am guessing that I may be about the 5th owner overall, but only the third family to own it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:01 AM   #9
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Very cool! Please keep us posted on your progress. What a great piece of history you have!
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
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That's a great find, and I'm sure we'll all be interested in following your progress with it.

Not sure, but to your comment regarding the axle, didn't the '62 models have a spring axle? If so, it should be failry easy to replace or add to the existing ones, I would imagine.

[edit: it looks like torsion axles were begun to be used in all models starting in 1961]

And while looking at the list of places they visisted, (the front curbside shot, with the "ghost" of all those names), I smiled to see that it had been to "FLORDIA". Perhaps they were tired when they put that one on...
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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Awesome Joe, thanks for the pictures and glad it got home safe and sound with you. Let us know of anything else you need for it, hopefully we can help track down those parts!

Do you have any interior shots?
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
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[edit: it looks like torsion axles were begun to be used in all models starting in 1961]
Correct. This Airstream has a torsion axle, luckily bolted in, not welded in as some early trailers had. That should make changing it easier. BTW, all Airstreams on the ATW caravan were required to have torsion axles.

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And while looking at the list of places they visisted, (the front curbside shot, with the "ghost" of all those names), I smiled to see that it had been to "FLORDIA". Perhaps they were tired when they put that one on...
Actually, the "Florida" on the trailer was not a destination, but their home town. The original owners, and ATW participants, Ralph & Geraldine Cramer were listed as residing in Urbana, Illinois at the time of the caravan, but apparently they moved to Cape Coral, FL after the caravan since that is the city and state name painted on the trailer and that is listed as their home town in the WBCCI Directories I have from 1966 to 1979. (I do not have 1963, 64, or 65 Directories, so I cannot confirm what city they listed as their home town those years.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:16 PM   #13
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Actually, the "Florida" on the trailer was not a destination, but their home town. The original owners, and ATW participants, Ralph & Geraldine Cramer were listed as residing in Urbana, Illinois at the time of the caravan, but apparently they moved to Cape Coral, FL after the caravan since that is the city and state name painted on the trailer and that is listed as their home town in the WBCCI Directories I have from 1966 to 1979. (I do not have 1963, 64, or 65 Directories, so I cannot confirm what city they listed as their home town those years.
Isn't it all the more odd then that they never corrected an obvious spelling error/typo like that? Perhaps it became a running joke with them. "Oh yes, we're from Flordia."
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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Isn't it all the more odd then that they never corrected an obvious spelling error/typo like that? Perhaps it became a running joke with them. "Oh yes, we're from Flordia."
Guess I have been too overwhelmed by my new toy and hadn't noticed the spelling issue, nor did I apparently catch your subtle joke about it. Sorry.

Just trying to figure out how to get this trailer water tight as soon as possible. That is job 1. My first shipment of gaskets, vulkem, etc. (and new tail lights!) arrived from VTS yesterday.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:18 AM   #15
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Congratulations on a great find!

Hi Joe:

Congratulations on acquiring one of the ATW trailers! It could not have ended up in any better hands. Take your time and enjoy the preservation and making-functional process. We'll all be watching and enjoying your project along with you.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:55 PM   #16
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Here are the only two photos I currently have clearly showing #6768 on the Around the World Caravan. The first is in Bangkok, Thailand and the second is at the Kremlin in Moscow. I inserted a closeup on #6768 in the upper right corner of both photos.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:56 AM   #17
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Awesome Joe! Nice to finally see some pictures, you sounded like you were going to explode with your excitement when we spoke...Fred's right, it could not have ended up in any better hands. Can't wait to watch you bring it back to life and read all about it both here and in the VA...enjoy the journey ~

Post some interior shots when you get a chance...no more holding out on us!

Shari
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:44 AM   #18
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Thank from all us who cannot preserve the past. Someone must SAVE THE PAST to keep THE PRESENT FROM DESTROYING IT. If this happens then the future is less appealing. jim
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:22 AM   #19
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Wow! Glad you got it. You are very fortunate, and so is this Airstream.

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Old 09-18-2011, 08:38 PM   #20
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Update 1: Lorrie and I have never named any of our previous Airstreams, but this one, #6768, called out to Lorrie. She gave it a name almost as soon as I got it home. It is now known as "Cramer" in honor of the first owners and ATW Caravan participants Raplh and Geraldine Cramer. I now tend to use "Cramer" in casual conversation, but seem to want to call it by it's number when typing here on the forums.

Update 2: Today was the real first day attempting to work on #6768 (a.k.a. Cramer). We pulled the trailer home from the storage yard with the plan to replace the inoperative tail lights with new ones from Vintage Trailer Supply, replace the umbilical cord, replace the door weather stripping, and maybe do a little seam sealing if time permitted. That was the plan - reality got in the way.

I did not want to install the new tail lights until I was sure the wiring was OK. After trying to troubleshoot the tail light wiring for two or three hours, I came to the conclusion that the problem was open circuits in the wiring, not bad bulbs or bad bulb sockets. I got so far as remove the belly pan access panel to look at where the umbilical cord ties in to the trailer wiring and found some wires that had chafed to the point that the copper wire strands were exposed, but then decided there was not enough daylight left to go further. No trailer lights installed, no umbilical cord installed. 0 for 2. I buttoned everything back up and went on to task 3.

I did get the old weatherstrip removed from the perimeter of the entry door and did get new "Wide D" weather strip from VTS installed. The door now seals tight, but too tight - the door is hard to close and must be slammed. But good enough for now. At least it will not leak through the winter. I ran out of time to do the same for the Door within a door, so that will get new weatherstrip next time. Task 3 one half (1/2) done as the sun was close to going down.

I didn't get any chance to get to task 4, sealing seams. I barely got the trailer back to the storage yard by dark.

Summary, 6+ hours spent (including travel time to the storage yard). One half (1/2) out of 4 planned tasks done. No new photos worth posting. So goes vintage Airstream ownership, maintenance, and restoration.

= = = = = = = = =

Question: Since the umbilical cord wiring was mixed up, I cannot trust wire colors. In looking where the umbilical cord ties into the trailer wiring under the access panel, all of the trailer wiring is red. The three tail lamps wires are all red, but they have varying numbers of knots tied in them (1, 2, and 3) to identify the various circuits (Park/Tail/Running, Right Stop/Turn, and Left Stop/Turn). Does anyone know if there was standard "knot coding" used by Airstream in the early 1960s? Working alone it is hard to test wires from one end of the trailer to the other to know how many knots are used for which lighting circuit. Of course I'll double check, but having a good idea where to start would be nice for next time I try to debug the tail lights.
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