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Old 07-16-2013, 05:05 PM   #1
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1957 22' Caravanner
1964 26' Overlander
1954 29' Liner
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1953 Liner

I've certainly got the bug now! While at BASH IV this lovely trailer came up on eBay. Luckily I was within an hour of the seller's location and able to go and see it in person. I asked Frank Yensan to go with me so that we could determine what the overall condition of the trailer was and hopefully exactly what it was.

I did my research and became as familiar with the 1953/54 model year. Oddly I had just purchased an original 1954 Airstream sales brochure which has the 1954 Liner in photo and drawings. It was clear to me it was not a 54. Airforums has some information about the Liner in the 53/54 model year and this trailer follows that information.

The badge number is 5006 so it is most likely a California built trailer and most likely built early in the year as the Liner numbers start at 5XXX, I'm assuming 5001.

My architect hat has me thinking that if they were doing what I would have done then these very early large Liners were in somewhat of an experimental stage and I'm guessing were probably somewhat customized. The interior fabric of this trailer is similar to one in Texas that I believe is an Ohio trailer and it is similar to a later badge numbered one made in California. This one however is very simple.

The exterior is fairly straight, however it has some modest damage, nothing that can't be fixed easily enough. All of the exterior lighting, except the running lights appear to be original. I think the running lights are from the 60s. I'll post photos and see if anyone can ID them. The trailer has 15, yes 15 operable windows and all work and have all parts.

The interior is a mess, but it appears that everything is there, minus of course the stand alone stove and the Marvel refrig...if anyone has a stove they want to sell PLEASE let me know. There are 7 metal lockers with wood doors and those wonderful 40s early 50s door catches, the interior of the lockers holds the story of the true paint color which is a wonderful zolatone that I hope can still be matched. The kitchen counter was modified so the wonderful cracked formica is gone but hopefully a nice piece of it will turn up so I can restore the countertop to its original state. The galley drawers and cutting board a in fantastic shape.

The bathroom is way cool. It has the original sink, formica, the cabinet, light fixtures, frosted window glass, glass shower door and shower pan. The toilet was replaced. It is roomy and will make a great bath when the trailer is restored. I love the bathroom it is probably my favorite part of the interior so far.

The true 1954 Liner had a very different kitchen layout and a slightly different bath layout...adding further to my instinctive feeling that this was an early 1953 kind of prototype. The rear bedroom is similar, however this one has no drawers under the two twin beds. Instead it has nicely built hatched space under the bed. I think it became quite obvious to the builders at the factory that this was not a good option (where would all the cushions go when you need to get into the space) and so the 54 Liner has two drawers. In this model there is also no night stand between the beds. I cannot tell if the original was removed or if there just wasn't one there. The back storage hatch is currently filled with a window air conditioner...which I will be removing very soon.

I hope this thread garners a little more feedback than the one I have going on the restoration of my 64 Overlander...even though that is one cool trailer as well LOL.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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Thanks for the adventure!!!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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Nice! Very orig looking. Are you planning to stay original?
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:49 PM   #4
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Yes I prefer to go back to the original layout as much as possible. I'll update and hide all of the modern items as much as possible. It's a beautiful trailer and I couldn't imagine destroying it thank you for your post!
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Oh good! That's wonderful. In that case ill subscribe to this thread and hopefully be able to watch your progress. Keep the photos coming and I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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Congratulations on your purchase. I saw that unit on Ebay and was wondering about the serial number and factory. My double door liner is O5006 and early Ohio built unit. You can see my thread here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f334...ner-17291.html

Good luck in your restoration.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:28 PM   #7
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Not a '54

I would say it's not a '54 because of the shape of the rear end. It's a "Bread Loaf".

Love those tail lights! I'd follow a '53 anywhere.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:40 PM   #8
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What an awesome trailer. There are so few of these early long trailers, and even fewer that get a proper restoration. Can't wait to see what Frank can do with it for you.

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Old 11-07-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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1957 22' Caravanner
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Just a little progress

Baby Steps

Didn't want too much time to pass without updating what's been going on with the Liner. Well first I had to finish the Overlander...and now that that is pretty much behind me my attentions are back to this wonderful trailer!

It's been parked in Frank Yensan's yard since July, it'll likely stay there so that I and he can work on it as my finances and his schedule allow. It is a special project and one that I know Frank wants to be a part of and well I can't imagine doing it by myself...have no desire to and can't imagine anyone else I could trust to do what I have planned for this beauty.

I'm taking baby steps, giving everything a lot of thought and NOT jumping in just to take the trailer apart...there is just no need. That said I've pretty much eliminated all the junk the PO put in or stored in it...including a bunch of mid 60s pieces and parts of some other Airstream...kinda strange a remodel job with parts from a trailer 20 or so years younger.

The plywood is toast and the shell leaks EVERYWHERE LOL. So really when the time comes it will be a shell off restoration. I'm debating about taking the windows out as they are in remarkably good shape and I'm not convinced that they need to come out. I can restore the sashes and leave the frames as is. Since the interior skins will come out I'll be able to seal the joints from the interior and as well the exterior...we'll see.

But today I finally got the new tires, it has to be able to be moved from time to time and I might just use it as an aluminum tent next year for a rally so others can see it. The axles are in remarkable shape! I'm assuming the trailer sat for a very long time in its prior life and so they just didn't get a trashed as one would think. I'm hoping to restore them and just keep using them...

It had a trashed electric jack that has now been replaced. I took off all of the junk on the hitch, cleaned the metal, painted it with a rust eating paint and installed the new jack...its all temporary since I'll be doing a proper frame restoration later. But I found a curious stamp in the side of the hitch...V742...no idea what that refers to ...anyone?

I'm posting a few other photos...just cause it is a cool trailer to take pictures of
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:45 PM   #10
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1953 32' Liner
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wow i have a 30 foot liner number 5002 from cali i am restoring her just started i was lucky enough that i am the second owner and she has all her orginal parts stove fridge etc. could use any helpful info i can get
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:05 PM   #11
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How can three Cali trailers all have the same serial number?
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:02 PM   #12
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Frank,

I am confused, mine is O5006, an Ohio trailer, 57BB is 5006, a California trailer and Alesha's is 5002, a California trailer, or did I miss something in this thread?

Bill

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Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
How can three Cali trailers all have the same serial number?
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:59 AM   #13
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now im confused but the tag by the door says 5002 i can e-mail pics to you i tried to post here but it wont let me the title says 1953 airstream vin 5002 my thread says i have 11 comments but i cant figure out how to pull them up first time on a forum
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:10 AM   #14
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i will be more that happy to e-mail pics to anyone the title says 1953 airstream vin 5002 the tag by the door says 5002 and is a cali tag not ohio im guessing as to what model it is im thinking a liner but i can send pics if someone can tell me what it is i tried to post pics but it told me the size was to big if you can help me with that one ill post pics
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by aleasha View Post
now im confused but the tag by the door says 5002 i can e-mail pics to you i tried to post here but it wont let me the title says 1953 airstream vin 5002 my thread says i have 11 comments but i cant figure out how to pull them up first time on a forum
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i will be more that happy to e-mail pics to anyone the title says 1953 airstream vin 5002 the tag by the door says 5002 and is a cali tag not ohio im guessing as to what model it is im thinking a liner but i can send pics if someone can tell me what it is i tried to post pics but it told me the size was to big if you can help me with that one ill post pics

Check out post #7 of http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...ics-44928.html and resize your photographs.

PM us if you still have trouble.

Kevin
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:01 PM   #16
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1957 22' Caravanner
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Lol I think we certainly have three distinct trailers, Bills is an Ohio trailer, mine is a California we just share the same serial number. Now #5002 I'd love to see photos of....please don't take it apart too quickly have you figured out how to post pictures? Also how can we get a 1953 Liner section started???

Michael
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Frank,

I am confused, mine is O5006, an Ohio trailer, 57BB is 5006, a California trailer and Alesha's is 5002, a California trailer, or did I miss something in this thread?

Bill
No, I am the one confused. I thought all of you had 5006. I see it is just two of you.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:21 AM   #18
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michael, yes i do have pics posted took some tome to figure out how to post them but i got it done i uploaded them to the photh\o gallery would love to talk to you we are in the process of restoring her from what a understand when we got her she was a custome show model and when we removed two drawers and one pannel it had show or show job written on it the old man who bought her died and my x-husband and i got her from the daughter her dad was the only owner i am now the second i got her in the divorce lucky me
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:43 PM   #19
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1957 22' Caravanner
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Alesha, where would I look for your photos? I checked your profile and it says your trailer is a 32' Liner? Mine is the 29' version shown in the 1953 airstream sales brochure. Anyhow would be great to see pics of yours! Ask any questions you'd like as well...
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:57 AM   #20
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Decided to go for it. I'd already decided to take the shell off on the Liner. But, however, after restoring 15 of the 17 window sashes, leaving the front window for last, I realized I HAD to restore the window frames as well.

Never having removed a 13 panel interior end cap, the whole prospect made me incredibly nervous...but it was decidedly easy. The portion of the cap over the front window was screwed rather than riveted, the only rivets were on the overhead rib.

Removing the front window was fairly simple. The putty behind the eyebrow was mostly missing and dried out. The putty behind the head and sides of the window was in somewhat better shape. Clearly the material was well beyond its useful life span.

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I neglected to mention removing the 12 foot multi panel ceiling. As most of you probably know this piece is bench riveted from three pieces to make the one piece. It's then brought into the trailer through the front window hole where it is installed with pop rivets. Interestingly this trailer has 7/32" pop rivets. The piece came down fine and is rolled up waiting to be removed today.

Next we tackled the wet bath enclosure. I've read that these were installed on the floor of the trailer before the shell was placed. Apparently most remove these beauties by cutting them up. Since I plan to reuse the compartment cutting was not an option. After looking the cabinet over I realized its sheets of aluminum in three sections riveted together. So I figured if it was assembled it could be disassembled.

The aluminum cabin is enclosed in a birch plywood cabinet. First the wood had to be removed to get to the cabin. Here is where I found a real treasure. It appears there was real pride in the making of the wet bath cabin since it is signed...and numbered! As the photo shows, John 5006, is signed on all of the panels.

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I continued removing windows as I've decided to removed all of them, restore, and then reseat. Their being off the shell is going to make polishing and body work much easier.

The interior portions that have been removed are going next to my studio in DC to be used in an upcoming exhibition I'm putting together about Airstreams...stop by if you're in the area.

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