Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   1959-69 Tradewind (
-   -   *'65 TWIND Henrietta Revitalization* (

Hittenstiehl 08-04-2013 08:23 PM

*'65 TWIND Henrietta Revitalization*
5 Attachment(s)
Hello fellow streamers,
You welcomed us to the Forum in June and we have started, with the help of skilled craftsmen, to revitalize our 1965 Tradewind, Ser. #SO245526, named Henrietta. We consider ourselves handy, or did until we came on this forum and saw the amazing work you all do. So we will try to do as much as we can and leave some of the tasks for professionals. We are former tent, pop up and now (in the big leagues) Airstream campers. We identify with both camping and yes some glamping, although we had not heard of it until now. As my DH says the ground is much harder and farther away these days. We are in our early 50's, still working and live in AZ in a subdivision with a homeowner association. So no parking at our house to pop out and so some quick work on it. We are not focused on keeping it all vintage or original but staying somewhat middle of the road. We are missing the goucho, fridge, and toilet and have the tub, sinks, cabinets (though in poor repair) and stove plus old squirrel cage. The water heater was replaced but is old, and we have the stove and original fresh water metal tank. So we will not go shell off, not floor out but maybe interior walls off to replace insulation and check out wiring. Currently the trailer has the belly pan off, all insulation out, old heater ducting removed and is getting ready for gray and new black tank. The learning curve is great but between the forum, messaging with the members and lots of calls to Inland and VTS we will figure it out.
Thanks for all your support
Here are a few pics you ALWAYS ask for.

MarkR 08-05-2013 03:22 PM

60's Airstreams are the best . . . and Tradewinds are the best 60's Airstreams . . . your mileage may vary (although it appears it doesn't - vary)

Condoluminum 08-05-2013 03:29 PM

Congratulations and that looks like a great starting point for a project... Too bad about the HOA and lack of options to just rush outside in the evening and pop a few rivets or add a little insulation.. Hopefully you have connected with Ken and Richard and others in the WBCCI 4CU who have done renovations along similar lines.. It really helps to talk to someone who has survived the project to feel better when you are having a bad day....

Hittenstiehl 08-08-2013 11:15 AM

Make it road safe.
4 Attachment(s)
Making it road safe is one of first steps. We store away from home and will be bringing it home on occasion to work on it and will be towing to MVD and service shops. As we pulled away from the PO's house it creaked loudly and drug a bit because of the flat spots in the tires. We went directly (slowly across surface roads only) to a service shop We updated the plugs, checked brakes, tires and added safety chains. Here are a couple of before shots.

Hittenstiehl 08-08-2013 11:33 AM

Checking Breaks and Tires
4 Attachment(s)
Brakes needed some work and parts came from Kentucky. Tires are severally sun damaged with lots of sidewall cracks. They were inspected and if we keep our speeds low and surface streets only we can still use them for a while we are working on it. Hear are some pics for the visual folks. And while I am at it please excuse the incorrect terminology of the various parts. I know if will bother many of you as I refer to things with their incorrect titles. Please feel free to correct me as I go. While my husband knows most of the correct terms he is not the one posting. :)

68 TWind 08-08-2013 12:29 PM

Looks great and has lots of potential. Enjoy the process but remember it will take you longer than you think (usually much longer). No problem if you realize that on the front end. Also, it will cost you about twice what you think you will spend (or more depending on your budgeting) All those little trips to HD and ACE add up- as do axles, tires, appliances, fantastic fan, plumbing, electrical components, and on and on. I still enjoy working on mine as there always seems to be something I can be doing to it.

Hittenstiehl 08-08-2013 01:08 PM

Thanks 68 T Wind
You are so correct on both accounts. We paid 1900 and felt we got a good price. At that point we had been reading Airforums for a couple of years so we had a SMALL clue. Recently we were admiring a 28' Overlander w/Twins on this classified and the $9995.00 price tag was out of our budget. With that in mind and after reading a post by Minno on keeping track of money we decided to do a excel sheet on all our money spent so far as we are not very far along. I put in EVERYTHING and included services, shipping and taxes. NOT to my surprise we are quite a ways up there in price already and we are nowhere near to being on the road yet. Then we subtracted the cost of what we are paying other people to do due to lack of skill sets, tools, room etc. It was a good education but we will keep ours for now and have the pride of doing some of it ourselves.


Hittenstiehl 08-14-2013 09:37 PM

Clean up and take photo's
4 Attachment(s)
We brought her home for a "clean up weekend" with permission from the HOA. Lots of neighbors stopped by for a chat and peek. Our goal was to clean her up, take lots more pictures and try to make some sort of priority list and define some goals.
We do intend to bookdock/drycamp and occasional hook up.
We don't want to do shell off if possible.
We would love twins (has double) but double closet/vanity storage is great.

Took out the carpet, took out the dorm room fridge, gathered all the screens and vents.

Floor doesn't look to bad, most of the dark spots are adhesive from the previous peel and stick. The fold up table is missing the leaf and in poor condition but a friend is interested. Fridge was yucky and went to dump with an old mattress.

You are seeing in from the door, the hallway by the double bed and the area where the goucho isn't and dinette may be and then where the fridge was with the vent in the floor.

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 12:25 PM

65 TW some Original Parts
6 Attachment(s)
Thought I would show some of the original (?) interior parts that may or may not stay. Don't worry I will offer any that will be removed and not take them to the dump. You are looking at the:
Fresh Water Tank (Pressurized bike pump outlet outside)
Magic Chef Stove next to the Stainless Steel Double Sink.
The International squirrel cage Heater.
The Antenna Directional dial?
The Thermix Catalytic? Heater
The Duo Therm Air Conditioner
Do they work, air conditioner no, not sure on the rest.

Fun Stuff

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 12:27 PM

Forgot to mention the gas lamp
Sorry forgot to mention the favorite Gas Lamp in the previous post. Just need a globe with they still make and it will stay whether it works or not because it looks neat.

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 12:56 PM

65 TW Some Original (?) Exterior Parts & Pieces
8 Attachment(s)
So here are some of the original (?) things on the exterior of the trailer. You are seeing the:
The Original Vent (streetside) from under the sink International Heater
The Battery Compartment (streetside under double bed moved to tongue)
The Compartment (streetside)for access to Water Heater and Converter
The hanging underneath gage (streetside)(forgot what this is for) and the unknown hole (for what)
The very short Power Cord (streetside rear corner) out of a plumbing pipe?
The (special :)) 65 only Tail Light Housings that are crumbling
The Pump/Pressurized bike pump for the interior fresh water tank
A Antenna (streetside right rear corner)

PS. The vent is no longer in that spot as we picked a fight with a large delivery truck at the tire store. We lost, seems the body of Henrietta fit through the gap but we forgot about the slight extrusion she had in her hip area ie. the vent. But I kept the Vent and will try to hammer it out and put it back in place if for looks only.

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 01:28 PM

65 TW Exterior Lamps/Lights
7 Attachment(s)
Here are some shots of the Exterior Lamps/Lights. We have decided to go LED and hope to get the rear tail light housing redone by the craftsman referred by Minno. As you see we have many generations and choices. Soon to be all one.

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 01:35 PM

65 TW One more (favorite) exterior Lamp/Light
1 Attachment(s)
So in reviewing the post I left off my favorite Exterior Lamp/Light. I have heard the porch light/night light referred to as the scare lamp and we refer to this one as the scary lamp. (The very large one) I am sure it had a good use for the PO.

PS. And yes for you very observant readers that is our scare light next to it that initially had glass in it when I took the pictures for the previous post and it has since crumbled under a mere touch.

worldinchaos 08-16-2013 02:12 PM

This looks like a great project!! I haven't seen an unrestored/unrenovated one with so many intact parts in awhile. I'll be following the progress-- keep it up! :D

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 04:12 PM

Thanks and what a Thread (yours)
World in Chaos

Just read your entire thread (and subscribed). You have both done a very nice job on the restoration and the thread with both your explanations and the photo's. Appreciated some particulars like the original Marvel Fridge in a early post, the door that opens (in my opinion) the correct way against the wind. The curves and quality of your wood craft, the Bargman Gravity Water Fill Door, Magazine rack w/Vintage Trailer Life and Wine Storage.

I'm learning that aside from the plethora of good advice and how to the forum provides enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation.

Is really a forum faux-pas to multi post to oneself. Oops. I think I will keep on since I'm more getting my documentation caught up for the thread than anything else.

Hittenstiehl 08-16-2013 06:45 PM

65 TW Original (?) Interior Lamps/Lighting
4 Attachment(s)
Here are the interior lamps in varying stages of upkeep. They do work and the current plan may be to keep them, service them and replace the plastic covers. The Gaucho area pendants appear to be broken at their hinges so we'll see if they remain. Although we would like to keep as much as possible it is also tempting to add something new especially when you look at the renovation threads
The lamps shown are:
Pendant Lights curbside gaucho (matching ones streetside)
Forward overhead Lamp (by astrodome) without shade
Vanity overhead Lamp across from double bed
Bathroom Lamp with improvised shade (over the great tilting bath mirror)

worldinchaos 08-17-2013 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl (Post 1341384)
World in Chaos

Just read your entire thread (and subscribed). You have both done a very nice job on the restoration and the thread with both your explanations and the photo's. Appreciated some particulars like the original Marvel Fridge in a early post, the door that opens (in my opinion) the correct way against the wind. The curves and quality of your wood craft, the Bargman Gravity Water Fill Door, Magazine rack w/Vintage Trailer Life and Wine Storage.

I'm learning that aside from the plethora of good advice and how to the forum provides enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation.

Is really a forum faux-pas to multi post to oneself. Oops. I think I will keep on since I'm more getting my documentation caught up for the thread than anything else.

Ha! You are too kind. It's all about making it up as you go. Basically everything I did was from another thread here on the forums with only a few exceptions like the water heater, pull out catalytic heater drawer, etc.

All of those famous threads have so many great walkthroughs that really helped me understand how to take things apart and more securely put them back together. I took a lot of pictures of the end-products, but not enough of the building process.

Anyway, keep up the work!

Hittenstiehl 08-28-2013 10:05 PM

65 TW Belly Shot's
7 Attachment(s)
So Henrietta is 6 feet up in the air and enjoying the view. The belly skin is off and we can see underneath. She is getting ready for a new black tank, Thank You Inland RV, 2 new gray tanks, Thank You VTS and some P trappy things, also VTS.
What you are seeing is:
Henrietta practicing her Tradewind maneuver (I know a poor pun attempt)
Two images of New Black Tank in dry fit w/braces holding it up
Old Heater Ducting in Insulation
Curbside area's with drip port (for what)
New Gray's on deck
Old Shower P Trap
Fun Stuff!!

Hittenstiehl 08-28-2013 10:19 PM

65TW Still Underneath
3 Attachment(s)
Once the insulation and heater ducting got removed you get a clear picture of the under floor, electric and room for gray tanks. After much back and forth we decided to remove the ducting for the squirrel cage heater and will likely go with another source for heat later on. The ducting was taking up 6 inches or more underneath and we chose to use that space to fit the gray tanks into.
Now you can see:
Two images of the under floor without insulation, staples and treated with Flexseal and a gaggle of wiring.
Still Fun Stuff and money

Hittenstiehl 08-28-2013 10:52 PM

65 TW Battery Box and Stretched Metal
7 Attachment(s)
So while she is up the air may as well do some other things also.

Pictured are a new handy dandy electric Bulldog Jack, Thanks E Trailer
Stretched metal on the tongue
Repositioned the propane tanks to fit the batteries (2 6V golf cart) on the tongue instead of under our heads in bed
Had a battery box made at air conditioner shop, Thanks Ranch Sheet Metal Welded the cranky things for the WD bars
Welded a broken hinge on door (before and after, the lower hinge)
Had a new spare tire handle fabricated and lots of silver spray paint to make it all look shiny, Thanks Ace,

Hittenstiehl 09-08-2013 07:35 PM

65 TWIND Black Tanks and Bumper
6 Attachment(s)
Time for an update, progress is very slow but we are dealing with the issues of time, money and the ever learning curve. Can't store at home and we are working with a friend who fits us in between his real jobs. The black tank is in and they 2 greys are next. You can see where the metal cross bars under the floor have been cut flush to better fit the 2 grey tanks across the bottom. The back (stinky slinky area) storage has some new diamond plate metal for the top lid and a nice black piece for underneath.

You are looking at:
Black Tank installed and painted black.
The subfloor from underneath with the center supports cut flush.
Back storage area has a new top diamond plate and bottom.

worldinchaos 09-13-2013 08:51 PM


Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl (Post 1347139)
So Henrietta is 6 feet up in the air and enjoying the view. The belly skin is off and we can see underneath. She is getting ready for a new black tank, Thank You Inland RV, 2 new gray tanks, Thank You VTS and some P trappy things, also VTS.
What you are seeing is:
Henrietta practicing her Tradewind maneuver (I know a poor pun attempt)
Two images of New Black Tank in dry fit w/braces holding it up
Old Heater Ducting in Insulation
Curbside area's with drip port (for what)
New Gray's on deck
Old Shower P Trap
Fun Stuff!!

I'm surprised that this first picture isn't getting more love and attention. Awesome. I love seeing the trailer like that, it seems like a good way to show the apparent simplicity of the Airstream design (despite being rather complex)

Hittenstiehl 09-14-2013 07:33 PM

Flying High
Thanks for the comments World in Chaos.
She is still up there looking over a neighborhood kind of cute and kind of venerable. Aside from being eager in general for her to get down from there so we can get to the next projects. We are waiting for her to come down so I can double check my ghost numbers. I had reported them for an inquiry and the checker had a question but as of now I can't see the numbers (6ft up in the air) until she puts her feet back on the ground. Maybe some day I can use that photo on one of the monthly photo contests.


Hittenstiehl 10-04-2013 02:29 PM

Let there be Grey/Gray Tanks
7 Attachment(s)
Update on Henrietta's under belly progress:

The underneath portion of the plumbing ie, black/grey/hep-vo seems to be almost done. The grey tanks fit very well, Thanks Steve/VTS.

You are seeing the Black Tank with pull handle, the routing (photo's may not be in correct order) the Hep-Vo, grey tank with temporary holding straps (wood slats) and the drainage plugs. The trailer framing, where the black pipes goes in and the cuts are, will be re-supported with new welded metal and the straps (now wood slats) across the tanks will also be welded metal straps to support the weight of the water. The drainage plugs are sideways to give us a little bit more clearance as they were a big long initially for off roading comfort.

We also got our new propane tank regulator installed w/a before and after.

It's slow but its progress.

dbj216 10-04-2013 03:26 PM

I am learning a lot from your thread. The photos are great. I wish you good luck on your renovation. I have a 66 Trade Wind that needs a lot of the same stuff as yours. Keep up the good work.

Will you mount a new toilet on top of your black tank? Will you remove any of the big fiberglass bathroom parts? My wife says the Trade Wind bathroom looks like an outhouse. I thought the padded toilet cover was a nifty design, especially considering the bathroom door is usually open in a small trailer. Who wants to sit on the gaucho and admire the toilet at the other end of the trailer? The padded cover makes it look like a window seat.


Hittenstiehl 10-04-2013 05:32 PM

Thanks and new Toilet coming
3 Attachment(s)
DBJ216, thanks for your comments. I am not exaggerating when I say we could not do this without the forum. We previously considered ourselves handy around the house but the people here have skill sets beyond belief and they share. They also answer questions they have answered 100 times before for other new overwhelmed owners.

In reference to the bath ours is not in real bad of shape, has the tub and sink but was missing the toilet. Not quite sure it was the attached version but from other pics I think it had to have been but the fiberglass edge of the tub is in good shape and nothing looks like it was cut off or removed. So a new Dometic 320 awaits in the guest room closet. Waiting to decide if it will be put on a riser to give it the right height for a comfortable sit. (And I will pose that question to the forum for feedback when its time).

The plastic bi-foldy doors (sorry forgot what they are really called) were in bad shape and both of them have been removed and we will likely put a curtain on a rod for privacy between the bedroom and bath.


Hittenstiehl 12-13-2013 07:14 AM

Progress Update
7 Attachment(s)
Time to do a couple of posts to catch up on Henrietta's progress.

Installation of the grey tanks was completed and the fit is excellent. Drainage plugs have been installed on the street side of each tank to assist with drainage when needed.

Photos show: placement of tank (s), the dry fitting of the pipes, wooden temporary strapping, the welded on strapping and the drainage pipes which were changed from straight down to a bend as they were a little long and we imagined them hitting something as we went down a forest road.

Insulation was installed between the subfloor and tanks, the tanks and belly pan and wrapped around all the piping.

Water test was completed without any leaks. Onward!!!

Hittenstiehl 12-13-2013 07:36 AM

Progress Post
8 Attachment(s)
Tanks are done so belly pan goes back on. We are reusing the pan sections that are good and adding a little bit of new where needed.

Why not do it all new? We asked ourselves that also and the answer is: to recycle when possible, to watch the ever busting budget, we are paying to have some of this work done due to HOA restrictions at home etc.etc. Maybe next time.

Photos show:
old pan pieces reinstalled
new additions
drainage plug poking out
the transition piece between flat belly and new black tank area
the valve area

"the only thing constant in life is change"

Hittenstiehl 12-13-2013 07:53 AM

And the beat goes on.......
3 Attachment(s)
So while we were underneath, yes its slightly out of order, a slight electrical update.

Hittenstiehl 12-13-2013 09:24 AM

Progress Post
6 Attachment(s) we are trying to button her up underneath so we can take her down from her perch (yes she has been up there since June) we take a closer look at the tires. We knew they "were" bad and they are "still" bad, go figure. Plan was to attend 4CU Thanksgiving gathering. We live locally so the total trip maybe 70 miles but will they hold out. Don't want to add our experience to the "blowout thread" so we decide to get new tires".

The spare tire rack was hard to work, hard to get to and the handle was nearly impossible to reach.

Coupler is also giving us fits. It wont let go of the ball when we try to unhitch so it time for the big boy.

Photos show:
Old tires
Waiting for new tires
Reworked spare tire rack under front belly
New Coupler

Hittenstiehl 12-13-2013 10:21 AM

1st Outing and Lessons
3 Attachment(s)
So the time to head somewhere instead of the trailer repair yard was finally here. (4CU Thanksgiving Rally) We worked Thanksgiving and had our family meal on Friday. The dishes at home were piled high but we were outside the trailer repair yard hooking up for our first outing. We had new tires, new coupler and managed to get her out of the air without crushing the new grey tanks. Its dark, slightly chilly and we were hooking Henrietta up with our headlamps on.

Not so fast there newbies............1st weight distribution bar goes on easily,
2nd bar doesn't want to cooperate. We twist, we turn, lean, angle, shimmey, on knees, bent over, you know the drill it won't go on. Argh!!!!!! Oh wait, there's a little metal tab hiding up underneath. Its hard to feel and right where the bar goes in. REALLY this is not our first time using the bars but we click the metal tab and a few jiggles later the 2nd bar finds the sweet spot and goes in. Yeah!

Not so fast there newbies.......again.......that nice new coupler is several inches longer than the old coupler/ball set up. Swing the bars toward the trailer and bingo they are now too short and the chains don't reach the lifters. (Yes we could have saved 30 minutes if we had swung bar #1 towards the trailer)

This learning curve sure is enriching my vocabulary.

We didn't let that stop us as this entire last year of working on the trailer had been with this goal in mind. We threw the bars in the trailer and hook up and take the freeway for the first time (new tires). Yes we can feel that the bars are not on but we take it easy.

The next morning does NOT disappoint in the least. Fabric tents, Pop Up camper we will NOT be back as we have upgraded to ALUMINUM(okay an ocassional tent night is possible as we will not be able to take the Airstream into Havasupai).

Photos show:
Lost Dutchman, Apache Junction Arizona w/4CU for Thanskgiving. It was wonderful, they were very gracious and warm and Henrietta is such a blessing and fun adventure.

Hittenstiehl 12-13-2013 11:15 AM

What's next and more lessons
2 Attachment(s)
We had such a good time at 4CU Thanksgiving and the attendees were very friendly and full of good ideas. Since we got there Saturday we missed several people and hope to meet them on the Picacho New Years Rally.

With the short time between the two events we're not sure how much else we will get done to the trailer but we would like to have some improvement. We decide the WD and sleeping arrangement will be our next task. When we got back we went back to her favorite spot, the trailer repair place, to get the weight distribution set up decided.

We purchase a new WD as ours was not looking very good. So the hangers for the chains need to be moved, yes we just had ours welded on, and we learned there is a definite pro for having them bolted on as they could have been moved more easily.

So the tongue accessories were taken off, taped off, and the old hangers removed and the new hangers and knob welded back on and tongue accessories reassembled. All done right?

Newbies, Newbies, Newbies (seems this is a recurring thread).... not so fast....the chains fit on the hangers, the hangers/lifters lift up (but that was before all the accessories went back on the tongue). ARGH!!! when they were dry fit for proper spacing and height clearance the battery box and tanks had not been reinstalled on the tongue. Now the tanks were in the way.

The husband and trailer guys figure out a way to lift the tanks without getting in the way of the front window and they set to work on that.

I visit an upholsterer and discuss foam density for our double slide out. We order two 5 1/2" denser piece(s) and add 1" softer pieces on top. They will be cut and glued together at production and we will have them upholstered in commercial grade fabric so that when we take off our bedding the bed can double as a seating area. I go home with armloads of fabric books for homework. The foam will be in soon but the covers will not ready until after Picacho but the sleeping should be better than the blow up mattress.

Just made our Christmas lists for our family Secret Santa drawing and it had all VTS stuff on. We are sharing our Aluminum affliction.

Murphy must be a jolly old fellow for all the amusement he see's with newbies everyday. How many trailers does it take to not be a newbie anymore?

Photos show:
New WD set up

dbj216 12-13-2013 05:35 PM

Hi, my Trade Wind is up in the air waiting new axles, new tanks, and new heat ducting. But only two feet up. Budget buster, but needed parts for the trailer to run the next 50 years. I learned from your tank install photos, thanks. I'm renovating the bathroom a bit, but will try to keep the 1966 décor. I also have a new water heater and new furnace to install and make work. I like my heat in cold Minnesota!

Thanks for the thread. We learn from each other at the Air Forums.


Hittenstiehl 01-28-2014 09:54 PM

So where were we..oh more lessons!
8 Attachment(s)
So at last update I mentioned a problem with our current WD so we ordered a new weight distribution and upholstery in preparation for our 2nd outing to Picacho w/4CU.

We got the new WD bars, rewelded the sway knob, lifted the propane tanks so the bars can lift up, we should be good to go. Picked up the foam from the upholsterer so we can try sleeping on it at the next outing.

We take it back to our parking spot and have some water to work around in our parking spot. Yes it rains in Phx on occasion. Yes those deep furrows were very soft and we got stuck so we couldn't get it back into its spot any deeper but it was good where it sat.

Couple weeks later we return, hook up and head out. WHAT ANOTHER we go through the hook up and raise our fancy (to us) new jack. Gosh this is better than cranking the old wobbly up. So we start to pull off the dirt parking spot and our friend MURPHY slaps us newbies upside the head yet again. KABAM we hear as we gently leave the dirt spot and cross the sidewalk. Now what, seems we raised the jack but failed to manually lift the jack the remaining 3 pinholes and we just barely smacked the sidewalk at the dirt. Really? yes our brand new welded jack was jacked up and bad. We head over to the trailer shop to get it looked at. They tighten everything up and say we can safely drive just maybe not a good idea to unhitch. And yes the new WD bars, no we can't use them because we just broke the part that lifts the back of the truck up. ARRRR

Murphy be dammed we are persistent wanna be Airstreamers and we head out. Great time at Picacho thanks to 4CU. Meet more great people with mad skills and generosity. Watch out for the quiet ones they usually have lots to share but are often modest about their skills.

The sleeping was great on the foam versus air mattress last time and it has since been covered in fabric.

A couple of pictures to ensure I am not making this up and because you like them.

Newly installed parts and modifications for WD system
Water & Mud
Jacked Jack
Street side double bed before, foam with sheet and beautiful upholstery

dbj216 02-05-2014 10:16 AM

I bet many of us have pulled away only to discover we forgot on of the "depart" steps. I have left my tongue jack down before, I have left the tire chocks in front of the tires, I have left the steps up and I have left my door dead bolt unlocked. The last one resulted in my door blowing open at 60 mph. I figured I would need a new door as it was now 1" away from the seals on the bottom. I was lucky the door could be repaired with some gentle forming back to shape. Aluminum metal workers can do some magic things.

Newbie mistakes are part of the learning process. I use a check list and Ellen verifies I have done all the steps before we depart, both inside and out. She kicks my butt if I forget something. Make yourself a check list. It doesn't take long before you have it memorized. It can save you some grief. To error is human by the way.

I like your new gaucho materials. Did you also replace the foam cushions? And very wise budget allocation on the new tires. Do all that is necessary to avoid tire failure. At least our Trade Winds have dual axles, 4 tires. A blow out is pretty scary on a single axle trailer.


Hittenstiehl 02-05-2014 11:40 AM

Thx DBJ for the encouragement. So far all our mistakes have been fixable and not to expensive. And to think I started a thread called "show me your checklist" better get ours done and use it.

The upholstery is from scratch and professionally done there was only a old throwaway mattress there to start. There are two pieces of foam inside, a 4 1/2" piece of dense foam with a 1" piece of softer foam adhered/glued to it. That gives a firm overall sleep with some cushy on top. The two upholstered pieces you see are separate so when we pull the bed out the back piece slides down. We will put our mattress cover and sheets on the upholstered pieces. The fabric is a commercial grade we pick out of the upholteres book.

How are your axles, tanks and ducting going.

dbj216 02-05-2014 02:01 PM

3 Attachment(s)
My axles were delivered last week, thanks Colin Hyde. Colin did exactly what he said he would do, and I like that. Good job! But the axles are the last thing to assemble before I set it back on the pavement.

I did hang my new black and gray water tanks. I think I have the method figured out for a good installation. I found Inca Plastics in California good to work with on my new tanks.

The furnace ducting plan I haven't got figured out yet. I want to blow heated air from the furnace clear back to the bathroom in 6" by 2 1/2 oval ductwork. I didn't want to sacrifice drawer storage space with flex ducting inside the trailer. And I want a heat register on the curb side. The oval ducts fit well in the stringer slot openings, and that is what Airstream used for cold air returns. BUT Airstream didn't have a gray and black tank in the way! So I have to convert to 4" round flex to get around the tanks, (and to heat the tank "compartment". I am having trouble finding duct fittings that adapt to the 6" oval ducting. I can't find a 6" oval to 4" round fitting, yet.

My project is on hold as I recover from heart bypass surgery last week. Dang the luck! But I have a new lease on life and should be able to enjoy my Airstreams for many more years, both traveling and fixing. Project delay is much less of a hit than a major heart attack!

So I will watch you guys do your Trade Wind from way up here in the frozen tundra listening to wolves howl at the moon, and steal your good ideas!


TouringDan 02-07-2014 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by dbj216 (Post 1412148)
My project is on hold as I recover from heart bypass surgery last week. Dang the luck! But I have a new lease on life and should be able to enjoy my Airstreams for many more years, both traveling and fixing. Project delay is much less of a hit than a major heart attack!

So I will watch you guys do your Trade Wind from way up here in the frozen tundra listening to wolves howl at the moon, and steal your good ideas!



Nothing like burying a little thing like "heart bypass surgery" in the bowels of a reply. I hope that you are recovering well. Glad that you found out in time that this was needed. Keep us posted. At least it is the middle of winter and you are not missing any nice weather.


dbj216 02-07-2014 06:22 PM

Thanks Dan! I'm 12 days down steam of the surgery and feeling much better. I guess this is a "full monte" on my major systems instead of my Airstream. I wonder if Surflo has a pump that would fit my chest? I look like I was in a knife fight and lost!

Nope, not missing any nice weather. But we Minnesotians huddle around the potbelly stove and talk Airstreams.

Now I'm just going to sit back and watch Hittenstiehl and the gang renovate their 65. Should be fun!


Hittenstiehl 02-08-2014 09:23 AM

Astrodome on, not that hard.
10 Attachment(s)
We brought Henrietta home for part of a weekend to get some chores done. One of the first parts that we purchased was an Astrodome as we were missing ours (Inland). After lots of forum searching, reading and suggestions from our 4CU friends, we finally had enough confidence and decided to tackle the project. It should be noted that our frame was intact, we had the arm brackets, we had old lifters but they would not lift (yes we tried a variety of methods to unstick them first), we purchased new lifters (Inland).

-We took our old doggie door off: just lift off and donate
-We popped up through the roof hole and cleaned the area thoroughly just because it needed it. We used any cleaner we had that worked, green pads, paint thinner, mineral spirits, steel wool etc. Hours of scraping and Mineral Spirits worked best. Although the dome doesn't touch the roof we wanted a fresh tight water seal up there.
-We inserted a rubber weather seal strip (3/8" Home Depot) in the track of the metal frame to keep the dome from sitting on the sharp edges
-We laid the dome on for dry fit and tried our best to center on the metal frame and marked our holes for drilling
-We drilled holes with a sharp 1/8" drill bit, high RPM's, patience and firm pressure but not hard. We drilled through without splintering or cracking the dome. (yes some shavings do get stuck inside the plastic layers)
-We used #6-32 Zinc Machine Screws with Nylon Lock Washers (versus riveting). We fastened the lifters to the dome and used TremPro on the screws for water sealing. We used long screws to start with and cut the extra length off with a Dremel cutting wheel.
-We lined the edge of the interior of the dome with the firm solid foam stripping included
-We sealed the top of the roof around the framing and rivet area that we had previously cleaned (TremPro/Vulcuem)
-We angled the dome up through the roof opening, set it down into place and attached the mechanisms.
-The dome fit, the lifters snapped into the existing arms and it is centered. The original screen fit back on, however because the space between the bottom of the new lifters and the handles is longer than the old lifters the screen isn't pulled up snug to the frame. You can see (in photo) that we are using our handles in the sideways position to keep the screen up tight. (better solution still being worked on).

It feels good to have this project completed as all our travels were being done with a large hole on the roof open to the elements while sucking in air, leaves and more dust than usual.

dbj216 02-08-2014 05:57 PM

Well done. David

Hittenstiehl 02-08-2014 07:16 PM

Thx David and speedy recovery to you.

Hittenstiehl 05-27-2014 06:03 PM

New Window and Door Screens
8 Attachment(s)
A long overdue post. (We are working on two trailers so its been a while since last post)

We recently rescreened our (1965) windows and we had not done that task before. We were headed to Vintage Academy and knew it was going to be warm and we wanted the ability to have our windows open and several of the screens had holes and years of dirt in them. DH is a bug magnet so holes in the screen was not going to work.

We used Aluminum screening from HD and bought the wood handled spline tool and new rubber spline.

We worked on a high topper table and it was a good two person task. We followed the instructions on the package but still cut the first piece of screen to short as it needs some room to sink over the edge into the grooves. We taped the screen frame to the table to keep it still. We then taped the piece of screening over the top of the frame, to the table on all four sides. As we got into a rhythm we only used tape on two sides as the screen material as we felt 4 pieces was holding the screen to tightly. The material needs to give as you force it into the grove. We found with the masking tape on all four sides it was more prone to stretching out the screen. So we switched to one person holding two sides of the screening and the other two sides being taped and we would switch the tape and holding as we worked around the sides. The wood handled tool worked very well but its more patience and less push on the spline. As you push on the spline the screen needs to give and the spline needs to sink into the grove past the thicker edge. Once it pops down past the thicker part of the frame and down into the groove you can tell it settles into the frame. On the corners we used a gentle poke with a household door key until it was seated. We used the spline as a whole piece and fed it out of the bag and cut it on an angle when we got to the end.

On the screen door we worked with the door in place and did the lower piece first and then worked on the curved upper. We precut the curve into the screen and started the install on the top. We started in the middle of the top and went one direction from top, down one side, then went back up top and started in the other direction and came down the other side. That way the screen stretched across the curve in each direction and then we snugged up an excess material on the sides while the helper held onto the bottom of the material.

We cut the remnants of the screening off with a sharp razor knife that we just ran gently along the aluminum frame for a nice close finish.

The task was not difficult, the difference was very noticeable, the screens were tout, clean and much more presentable.

The pictures show our products, some of the steps and the after:

Hittenstiehl 11-17-2015 09:56 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Henrietta is on the shop for her new Axles and Shocks. Looking good up there. Before pics, Will follow up with an after picture if I get by the shop.

OilnH2o 02-13-2016 03:18 PM

This looks a lot better than jacking up and crawling under - the way we did the new Dexters on our Overlander you saw! (And now aboard for the ride!)

Hittenstiehl 02-14-2016 07:41 PM

Thanks OilnH2o. It's always fun and a little anxious to see it raise up on the forklift into the sky but they are pro's and do it often.

Hittenstiehl 09-11-2016 07:38 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Never did a follow up post on the after. As you can see there is not much difference. Sorry for the poor quality of the photographs. The darker picture is before and the lighter one afterwards.

While there may not be much visible difference at the wheel well the ride is night and day.

We were breaking things off every trip. Granted they were things that need replacing or fixing but maybe not right that moment.

Several trips since then and very glad we made the investment in new axel's.

OilnH2o 09-12-2016 08:20 PM

I think it's the ride that counts!

Hittenstiehl 09-12-2016 08:25 PM

Your are correct and the ride is great. Thanks Oil.

Hittenstiehl 06-23-2017 12:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Painted the entry door that was clean but very old and grimy looking.

Now it's bright and cheery.Attachment 288023

dbj216 06-24-2017 05:08 PM

Looks nice. Mine is old and grimy looking, just like me! We're a match set. Maybe I need a paint job.


Slats 06-24-2017 07:41 PM

I find it lifts my spirits to do stuff like that along the way. I windexed my windows the other day just for the heck of it.

Hittenstiehl 07-09-2017 09:19 AM

2 Attachment(s)

DH had done such a nice job installing our astrodome some years ago and we used it regularly.

While working on the trailer early this summer we started leaving the dome and the other vents and some windows open to give it some relief from our extreme heat and we don't typically have much wind here.

On our way home the other night a monsoon storm was blowing pretty good. When we got to our neighborhood we could see the street strewn with leaves and small branches. As we pulled into the driveway we had a large dark object laying in the driveway.

Arrggg, a breeze caught the dome and ripped it off the lifters destroying one of those too. Our dome may have already been weakened by it's swelling in the heat. Over time it had gone from a gentle curve to a large swelling inside. Almost like two layers of plastic had separated with a large air bubble inside. Luckily it hadn't rained also.

Time to put a pice of wood up with a tarp and decide where next dome us coming from.

Attachment 289037Attachment 289038

TouringDan 07-09-2017 11:44 PM

Sorry about your Astrodome situation. I leave my car window down a lot feeling bad for the interior getting so hot- and then it rains.

Very nice looking new Astodome you are installing. Where did you order it from?


Hittenstiehl 07-10-2017 08:32 AM

Thx Touring Dan, it was all our fault but frustrating non the less.

The pictures are of the one that ripped off.

You can see one hanger ripped off above the screen on the interior shot. The other hanger stayed attached but to the dome which was laying in the driveway. On that second image you can see only one hanger and the ripped/broken section on the other end.

That Astrodome was from Andy at Inland and a very nice quality. The smoked color let some light in while providing some shade.

That dome is made from a product that escapes me at the moment. Essentially pouring a liquid compound into a pre maid form. The dome had swollen in the last years. Both outside and inside like a distention. We assume the swelling of the formed dome is from our extreme heat both onto the roof and inside the trailer. The dome ripped away right at the joint to the lifters so maybe the swollen plastic had been weakend and the wind gust caught it just right.

We store the Airstreams in our driveway but not under cover, yet.

We actually have another/spare astrodome (also from Andy at Inland) but it was earmarked for our 62 Ambassador. The Ambassador has a piece of sheet metal bolted over it's opening. (Maybe this is why we had not installed the second one yet)

At this point we're going to put the spare dome back on the Tradewind and maybe consider a dome from VTS to see how that dome holds up in our sun.

Our little Globettotter that we got last year has its original (fiberglass?) dome but it's on its last leg and will need replacing also.

dbj216 07-10-2017 05:34 PM

I read in these forums about the many Airstream mistakes we humans make. Taking off from a campsite with the roof vent open is one of them. The vent usually rips off at highway speeds. Inland RV says they sell a lot of them due to this human error.

Then there is forgetting to lock an exterior compartment door and having it lost in a ditch, or not locking the entry door and having it fly open and get sprung, or leaving the steps down, or the stabilizer jack, etc, etc.

Don't feel badly, we all do it.


Hittenstiehl 12-09-2017 10:25 PM

Today we had a wonderful and bittersweet day.

We sold our beloved 65 Tradewind Henrietta to a very excited new owner.

Funny twist was she brought an acquaintance who will be her
fixer/helper/mentor. (Unbeknownst to either of us) He is also an acquaintance of ours who we consulted when we first bought her. So he knew the trailer, although he didn't recognize it in the Craigslist ad, and could see it's progress despite how much still needed to be done.

The viewing and negotiations went well and money and title exchanged hands smoothly.

Another Airstream convert, we will be able to see their progress by checking his website and we can focus on our other two.

Thank you for your knowledge, sharing and encouragement, especially David.

slowmover 12-09-2017 11:26 PM

Had me laughing out loud with your way of description. Great thread.

Bye-bye Newbie-ness

dbj216 12-10-2017 10:58 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Hittenstiehl: Thank you for your kind words. Well, I sold my beloved Trade Wind too, last August it was. The mid sixties trailers are special, and that is a major why I decided to sell it. The mid sixties trailers have many unique parts that are hard to get or no longer available. Corning curved glass, Phillips operators, Herr vent operators, Bargman L100 locksets, fly off cargo doors, big door hinge, special body parts and what else.

Mostly I wanted another project Airstream. I know, I'm sick. I wanted a trailer that I could expose my adult sons and families to the joys of Airstream travel. They both enjoy outdoor adventures. A later model vintage Airstream has less special parts, and of course less vintage look. I guess I went from twinkie to bread loaf shape. The Overlander kinda looks like a late model Airstream even though it is 42 years old.

You know, I never spent a night in the 66 Trade Wind. My wife much prefers her 86 Limited. That's the one we use for our long trips. Lack of use is another reason I decided to sell.

I'm now happy to be working on another vintage Airstream, though not as special as my former 66 Trade Wind. I think this 75 Overlander will make a good family trailer in the future. Broken stuff will be easier to fix or replace.


Hittenstiehl 12-10-2017 11:14 AM

David I've watched your new project also. You are a great encourager on these forums

Our 65 was our first love and we learned a lot and put some of it into practice. We camped in it quite a bit as a boondocker and showed it to lots of folks in our travels.

We have now since acquired our keepers, a 61 Globettotter in original shape that needs love. A 62 Ambassador that has had a shell off and is empty inside. The different sizes will allow us off road travel and longer haul in comfort.

Then of course there is still our 1960 Chrysler Imperial and our new to us house.

So possibly still on project overload but more manageable. With two trailers one will always stay campable, even if just silver tent status.

TouringDan 12-14-2017 07:20 AM


Originally Posted by dbj216 (Post 2044106)

You know, I never spent a night in the 66 Trade Wind. My wife much prefers her 86 Limited. That's the one we use for our long trips. Lack of use is another reason I decided to sell.



Surprised that you never camped in your beautiful 66 Tradewind. You know what they say about the journey being more important than the destination. Hopefully your Overlander will be more suitable for camping for your family. Plus you can apply all the lessons learned on your Tradewind renovation to the renovation of your Overlander.


Glad to hear that your Tradewind went to a good home. My 66 Tradewind is definitely a keeper. Not sure about the 95 34 footer. I suspect it will be once I start working on it though. I tend to get attached to things and don’t want to sell them.


Slats 12-14-2017 03:55 PM


I tend to get attached to things and don’t want to sell them.
I'm with Dan on this point. My motto is "Get in a rut and furnish it." My vehicles must have at least 200,000 miles on them before I am ready to part with them. I've only owned two houses, the first for 15 years and the second and current one for 28. Suits have to be beyond stitching back together before they land in the Goodwill box. Shoes get new soles and heels so long as they are still capable of holding the stitches. Marathon and 10K tee shirts remain wardrobe staples long past the time when they are no longer meet the standards for wearing in public. The only thing that separates me from being a hoarder is that I use the stuff I have and only buy new, or lightly used, replacements when I part with something.

dbj216 12-14-2017 06:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Truth be known I may enjoy working on old Airstreams more than camping in them. And truth be known I enjoy the challenge and enjoyment of something new.

My son took the Trade Wind out several times. He liked it over his Globetrotter. But the Trade Wind has all these special parts and I was worried about a broken window or door lockset or something else. My son is one of those who has bad luck with things mechanical. So I'm trying something new with the 75 Overlander.

Here is a photo of the Trade Wind actually getting used. We had an enjoyable two nights out. My son said the Trade Wind worked good in spite of my meddling with it.


rasmuw 12-14-2017 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by dbj216 (Post 2045329)
My son said the Trade Wind worked good in spite of my meddling with it.

That Trade is worlds better because of you.

dbj216 12-15-2017 05:54 PM

Thanks rasmuw: I'm sure it is better than when I towed it home. It had no appliances except the stove and the AC. The plumbing didn't work, but the electrical system was okay, even in aluminum wire. It had a bad case of floor rot under the toilet. The axles were shot, and many little things didn't work right, like the stove vent fan.

It was fun to get it back on the road with everything working normally. I hope the new owners enjoy traveling with it as much as I did working on it.

Hittenstiehl did a lot of major work to this trailer. I'll bet the trailer will also make it back on the road with all the comforts it came with originally. The new owners will be fired up.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:35 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.