Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (https://www.airforums.com/forums/)
-   Interior Restoration Forum (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/)
-   -   Help! Where do I start? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/help-where-do-i-start-12703.html)

Pezzy 07-17-2004 05:59 PM

Help! Where do I start?
 
I had a very old and dirty airstream thrown into the deal when I bought my farm. It has been sitting at the edge of my field while I renovated my house. Now I want to start on it but I don't know if it is even worth the trouble. How can I determine if it is salvagable and what to do first if it is. I have no information about it and don't know the year or model or anything. Any suggestions?
Thanks

Ken J 07-17-2004 06:02 PM

Do you have a digital camera? If so post some pictures and we can tell you if its worth restoring. Generally, if the skin is dent free and the frame is not rusted, they are not that hard to restore - given that your pretty handy with hand tools. Also if you can find the serial number, that would help also

Regards - welcome to the forum!

Ken

eaglerab 07-17-2004 09:22 PM

You want to keep everything you can clean up and still work with- mainly dont rip everything out and toss it then try to start over; you can do a lot with wood putty and paint.
whatever you do dont haul it off to a junk yard and sell it for scrap because there is somebody out there that would buy it from you to restore it- that is if you decide not to.
I'll second Ken on posting some pics- would like to see it.
I'm currently working on a '69 Overlander Land Yacht. The worst part about restoring this thing is cleaning it. I also suspect that somebody used it as a donor for another A/S that was being restored, because several random things are missing such as cabinet doors, front couch.
You'll need a title if you dont have one. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is located to the right of the entrance under the window engraved on a plate that also says the model (ie Overlander or Caravel).
I have also found this forum not only interesting but quite helpful toward working on the Airstream.
Anyway, looking forward to seeing some pics.
J

jdleezer 07-17-2004 10:14 PM

Below is a link to help you identify pre 1980 Airstreams. Really the question is not how bad the Airsteam is but how far you are willing to go to restore it. Good luck and if possible post pictures. This forum is great place to find help in restoring/repairing Airstreams.

https://www.airstream.com/airstream/p...pre1980vin.pdf

Pezzy 07-18-2004 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken J
Do you have a digital camera? If so post some pictures and we can tell you if its worth restoring. Generally, if the skin is dent free and the frame is not rusted, they are not that hard to restore - given that your pretty handy with hand tools. Also if you can find the serial number, that would help also

Regards - welcome to the forum!

Ken

Yes, I do have a digital camera and I will trek out to the pasture in a very short time and take some pictures. How very kind of all of you for the quick responses! Where would I find the serial number? I am pretty sure it isn't going to be an 80s model as I have had it 10 years now and it was old when I "inherited" it from the former property owner's parents. My brother actually lived in it while he was restoring my 1907 house. Back with pictures soon.
Thanks again!
Pezzy

Ken J 07-18-2004 08:28 AM

Serial number should be on a plate that is to the right of the entry door.

We are all Airstream sick here and love to look at pictures of old Airstreams :)

Ken

robandzoe 07-18-2004 08:30 AM

I'll come get it!
 
Pezzy,

If you don't want it, I'll gladly drive my Suburban down there and get it! Here in Camp Lejeune, NC, and it'd be a cool project at out auto/wood hobby shop for the Marines. We'd call it the MarineStream!

Rob

Pezzy 07-18-2004 09:02 AM

pictures
 
3 Attachment(s)
I can go back down and take pictures inside if needed. The "tape" you see running the length of the airstream is actually an electric fence which is hot. I will have to disconnect it so that I can get in the door without getting shocked. I went ahead and took these since I am on a phone modem and pictures take so darned long to send.
Pezzy

Pezzy 07-18-2004 09:07 AM

oops - wrong picture
 
1 Attachment(s)
Sorry, that last picture was a mistake. Here is the one I meant to send.
Pezzy

Ken J 07-18-2004 09:18 AM

That trailer is - can't see the number on the plate but it is somewhere between 1965 and 1968 - couple of thoughts - the dents may be a bit of a challange to pull, though with a suction cup they should come out pretty good. The biggest concern I have is its sitting in weeds - those weeds tend to carry mositure and rust the frame.

So now that we know what it is - what is your level of interest in restoring? How much time do you have to put into it and how handy are you? That trailer (all trailers for that matter) are restorable. Do you want to bring it to show quality, do you just want something to travel around in - or perhaps something in between. Those old 60's trailers are pretty cool.

Ken

Pezzy 07-18-2004 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken J
That trailer is - can't see the number on the plate but it is somewhere between 1965 and 1968 - couple of thoughts - the dents may be a bit of a challange to pull, though with a suction cup they should come out pretty good. The biggest concern I have is its sitting in weeds - those weeds tend to carry mositure and rust the frame.

So now that we know what it is - what is your level of interest in restoring? How much time do you have to put into it and how handy are you? That trailer (all trailers for that matter) are restorable. Do you want to bring it to show quality, do you just want something to travel around in - or perhaps something in between. Those old 60's trailers are pretty cool.

Ken

Thanks Ken,
I am getting ready to begin year 29 teaching as of next week. While I don't plan on retiring before another 4 or 5 years, I will retire in the not too very distant future and at a relatively young age. I LOVE to travel! I guess I am looking at the "something to travel around in" version although I can see how someone could easily get into it a bit further. At this time, my funds are not great, my time isn't either, and my restoration ability is nonexistent. Having said that, I have some friends who do know something about that kind of thing or can fake it pretty well. As I see it, I need to get rid of the weeds today. I do know the tires are rotten. I have an air compressor and can see if they will hold air at all. Should I attempt to get it from under those trees?
Pezzy

Pezzy 07-18-2004 09:49 AM

serial number
 
I think the number is J 1305524. It is so old that it's hard to tell. The inside is pretty much trashed but there doesn't appear to be a leak anywhere. As much rain as we have had lately, I would expect water or water damage to be obvious if there was a leak.
Pezzy

overlander64 07-18-2004 05:44 PM

Help! Where do I start?
 
Greetings Pezzy!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pezzy
I think the number is J 1305524. It is so old that it's hard to tell. The inside is pretty much trashed but there doesn't appear to be a leak anywhere. As much rain as we have had lately, I would expect water or water damage to be obvious if there was a leak.
Pezzy

If my inteprtation is correct, you have Sovereign International of 1965 Vintage. I believe that the second charachter may be an "I" rather than a 1 - - I know that the "I" in the serial number of my Overlander International was misread by someone at some point in time as the MO title that came with coach had a "1" rather than an "I". My information indicates that the "J" would indicate production in Jackson Center, OH.

The windows appear to be the Hehr untis that were used through the time that the Corning Glass windows were adopted for the 1966 models.

Good luck with your coach!

You will have quite a bit of company in Vintage Airstreaming circles - - there are a number of us who are either teachers or retired teachers. I will be starting my 21st. year this fall - - since I have taught in multiple states, I am not in the countdown to retirement yet (I know that it will be at least 15 years - but probably more) - - in fact I am in the process of moving and changing jobs - - again!

Kevin

Pezzy 07-18-2004 07:33 PM

Thanks Kevin, I think. I still don't know what to do with it! Is there a manual somewhere that tells the adoptive parent of an airstream what to do? I just know that when I look at it I see something that is beautiful and begging to be set loose. I just don't know how!




Quote:

Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings Pezzy!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming!



If my inteprtation is correct, you have Sovereign International of 1965 Vintage. I believe that the second charachter may be an "I" rather than a 1 - - I know that the "I" in the serial number of my Overlander International was misread by someone at some point in time as the MO title that came with coach had a "1" rather than an "I". My information indicates that the "J" would indicate production in Jackson Center, OH.

The windows appear to be the Hehr untis that were used through the time that the Corning Glass windows were adopted for the 1966 models.

Good luck with your coach!

You will have quite a bit of company in Vintage Airstreaming circles - - there are a number of us who are either teachers or retired teachers. I will be starting my 21st. year this fall - - since I have taught in multiple states, I am not in the countdown to retirement yet (I know that it will be at least 15 years - but probably more) - - in fact I am in the process of moving and changing jobs - - again!

Kevin


Ken J 07-18-2004 07:35 PM

If your ready to start working on it, then yes I would pull it out from where it is (should be ok to do that since your not going anywhere) then I would do a general looksy of the whole unit and make a list of what repairs you think need to be done. Generally you attack it from the outside bottom up - so you want to get the axles checked out, look over the frame, clean up the outside, check the coupler, tanks, door lock etc, then its time to start on the interior, go around the whole inside with a ice pick and look for floor rot, check all appliances, do a good cleaning etc. So make up your list and let us know whats on it and you'll get all kinds of advice of fixing it up. If you just want to have a good usable trailer, should not be too tough - although may have to put some money into it.

Ken

overlander64 07-18-2004 08:07 PM

Help! Where do I Start?
 
Greetings Pezzy!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pezzy
Thanks Kevin, I think. I still don't know what to do with it! Is there a manual somewhere that tells the adoptive parent of an airstream what to do? I just know that when I look at it I see something that is beautiful and begging to be set loose. I just don't know how!

In 1965 Airstream was in only its second year of publishing an owners' manual, and it would be several more years before a service manual would be published. You can obtain photo copies of the '65 Owners' Manual from Secretarial Services as described below:

(Quoted from: https://www.airstream.net/FAQ/FAQ_3.html#Manuals )

Quote:

Q: I need an owners and service manual for my Airstream. Where can I get one?
A: The first owners manuals were published in 1964. Prior to that, the owner received a brown envelope containing parts lists and other helpful information on the accessories in his trailer. The VAC has started making these available in the Members Archive section. A service manual with instructions for performing service operations did not exist until 1972.
You can get photocopies of owners manual (1964+) and service manuals (1972-1986) from:

Helen Davis Secretarial Services
PO Box 484 Sidney, OH 45365
(937)492-8885

Prices are about $33 and $70 respectively. After 1986 the Owners Manuals included available service information.

Beyond the owners' manual, and resources like this site there aren't really any books that I have seen that address Vintage RV restoration of any type. A helpful book that is often recommended to novice RVers that describes the functions of the major systems is: RV Repair and Maintenance by Bob Livingston - - your can learn more about this book at:

RV Repair and Maintenance by Bob Livingston

Another site with helpful information about Vintage Airstream is operated by the Vintage Airstream Club (an Intra-Club of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International). You can find the Vintage Airstream Club's web site at:

https://www.airstream.net/index.html

On the homepage, you will find links to several features including the VAC discussion list - - it is an e-mail based discussion list that is dedicated to Vintage Airstream products (those coaches 25 or more years old).

Good luck with your investigation and decision!

Kevin

Pezzy 07-18-2004 09:27 PM

Thank all of you!
 
Thanks to everyone who has responded! I have no idea what will happen next, but I will let you know when it does. I have to set short term goals being a teacher and an ex-special ed teacher. My first goal is to get it up from the pasture and out from under the trees. I'll set another goal once that is done. Since I own a Saturn, that may take some doing.
Thanks a bunch,
Pezzy

eaglerab 07-19-2004 12:20 AM

thanx for the pics
 
a vintage airstream on the brink of a thoughtful restoration is a beautiful sight.
as long as you have a roughly decent shell- no major gouges, gashes or holes then you have a restorable airstream. even with a messed up shell you can find salvage shells and replace your busted parts.
to move it and carry it around for now, you can probably find an old F250 or an old 3/4 ton chevy for around $1000- or maybe even less than that because you just need to get it out of the pasture and possibly haul it down the road and what not
looks like a good size coach, too
about a 30 ft or so but it doesnt look too bad, will just take some time and probably some money
research always pays off. hands down, and this site has people that have been down the road that you and a lot of other people are going down
anyway, good luck and keep us posted

Pezzy 07-19-2004 08:29 AM

Thanks again to all of you!
 
OK, I think I have a beginning game plan. I will see today about checking the links to the manuals and other sites that were sent. First job is to get it out of the woods and up by the house - which is where it has been for most of the time that I have had it. I only moved it down to where it is now about 4 years ago while I finished up the house. Wish me luck.
Pezzy

59toaster 07-19-2004 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eaglerab
You'll need a title if you dont have one. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is located to the right of the entrance under the window engraved on a plate that also says the model (ie Overlander or Caravel).


Tittle? Tittle? We don't need no stinking tittle in Georgia! :D
Serious we don't have to title her on anything older the 15 years I believe. Posestion in 9/10ths the law. I would register it Before I put anything into it simply to make sure it clean SN number. The likelyhood of it not being clean is pretty slim.

From there I would move it out of the weeds like others have said. There are a LOT of Airstreams in Florida with perfect bodies with no frames under them. Sitting on wet soil they start to rust out. Get it someplace where it has some airflow under it and good drainage around it. Inspect the frame as the first assesmenet if it's salvagable. If the frame is rotten then that a REAL big ticket to fix and unless you can weld your talking a LOT of money. It's probably not worth paying somebody else to repair.

If you decide to scrap please message me. I would be interested in parts if they will fit our 59 we are restoring.

Welcome to the madness! :D


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:31 PM.

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