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NataliePK 02-20-2007 11:52 PM

At last!
After our neighbor found an Airstream at auction for $600 about five years ago, we have been looking around for the right deal. This weekend he came by, having found bought another one that he was going to put on Ebay. It's a 1961 Tradewind. It needs a lot of work, but the exterior looks good, the taillights worked, and it towed well from the storage yard. I expect we'll be checking this forum pretty regularly for advice.

The most noticeable damage was that nearly all the wood cabinetry was peeling. At first I thought it had been from a leaky vent, but my husband thinks that because ALL the wood was peeling, moisture accumulated in the trailer while it had been sitting on a lot for 7 years.

No furnace is evident and the refrigerator looks bad. But the stove, sink and bathroom are in very good condition.

We need to track down an owners manual because some things are a complete mystery.

Meanwhile, the kids and the dog are ready to camping tomorrow....

CaddyGrn 02-21-2007 12:50 AM

Welcome to the forums and as a new Airstream owner! There is lots of help here! We have a 1963 Bambi and my husband completely restored it... we are very pleased with it!

Advice: Don't throw anything away from your trailer (except dead mice...) even if it doesn't work or looks icky (green refrigerator...) people lust after old parts many times. If you decide to replace something, post a notice in the free classifieds here. You would be surprised what folks may want!

Check your floor for leaks or soft spots. Most floors of that vintage need replacing.

Your electrical will be sketchy at best. Our 63 had one 15 amp circuit, so don't plug anything in that might need much juice until you check it all out.

Check out the rally calendar! Even if you don't have your trailer ready for the road, you can attend and see what others have done to fix their vintage trailers and talk to them. It will give you lots of ideas and people to talk to. Airstream folks are great!

Post pictures! We love the before pictures!

Good luck and have fun! Hope to see you camping soon!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)

moosetags 02-21-2007 06:17 AM

Welcome to the Forums. You'll find the information that you will need here. Congratulations on your new baby.

rickandsandi 02-21-2007 06:19 AM

Welcome to the forum, what took so long? :lol: You are going to make so many new friends and learn so much that in no time at all you will be sharing your new knowledge with us! Have fun.

SwampBillies 02-21-2007 06:31 AM

Congrats and Welcome! This forum is very helpful. You will find so many nice people here. I am sure you will love your new addition and will be asking yourselves, "Why didn't we do this years ago?"

NataliePK 03-07-2007 12:49 AM

Thanks! This has been great - but I need to stop logging in so late! I must have about 30 unfinished house projects, but this trailer has got me buzzing! What is it about these things?

Moonstruck 03-07-2007 03:16 AM

The thing about these things...
Hi Natalie,
the thing about these things? Living in the UK I tended to think that in the US Airstreams were omnipresent! The fact is that the US is so vast you can't really enjoy Airstreams regularly even as a spectator sport! That's how I started. 1 single Airstream in all my UK travels. I think its an early 60s Overlander(I've only seen the rear end) in an open-ended barn via the fast lane of the M3 from London to Southampton. I decided it was so unusual, so special, I wanted to know more!
Caravanning in the UK is looked upon as an irritation! The roads get so blocked by everyone wanting to get to the seaside that anyone holding up the traffic achieves instant pariah status!
It doesn't help that all these UK vans are SOBs. I know if I trailed down to Cornwall in my dream Airstream pulled by a supercharged Range Rover I'd stop the traffic alright!:D :D :D
The thing about these things? You either get it or you don't! And if you do? Enjoy!!

NataliePK 03-13-2007 10:54 PM

Hi Marc,
They are really special - ours isn't done yet, isn't polished, but I love looking out our kitchen window seeing it in the backyard, with palm trees in the distance. It just looks so cool!

When I was a kid we first travelled in an 11' Field & Stream (2 adults, 4 kids - tight squeeze!). Later my mom cashed in some stocks to buy a larger trailer. She looked at a used Airstream, but found it too dark (I now wonder why). The idea of fixing it up didn't occur to her and we ended up with a 24' Prowler.

We travelled across America several times in the '60s & '70s, and every time we saw an Airstream, it was a big deal. When I told my brother our neighbor had an Airstream for sale (and before I could tell him we bought it) he said, "I want it!"

pinkflamingoes 03-13-2007 11:05 PM

60's Tradewind, woohoo! Join the club. You'll feel a lot less misunderstood and insane the more time you spend in these forums. Everyone here is crazy!

Congrats and pictures please!

BIGED52 03-13-2007 11:11 PM

Hi There!
Natalie, Let me add my welcome to the forums to you... and add that we are here for you. Ask any questions and you will get many answers. Hope to see you down the road. Good luck and Happy Trails! Ed

NataliePK 03-13-2007 11:41 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks, Ed! I have been checking in fairly regularly. I've been picking up a lot of good information already. My husband is moving along with this project more quickly than I expected. He put in the floor yesterday and is working on building a dinette.

If the attachment works, this is the view in our backyard...

BIGED52 03-13-2007 11:53 PM

Natalie, That is a nice looking trailer.... Don't forget to post lots of before and after pictures on the forums so we all can see his handiwork!!! Ed

SteSpot 03-14-2007 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by BIGED52
Natalie, That is a nice looking trailer.... Don't forget to post lots of before and after pictures on the forums so we all can see his handiwork!!! Ed

Looks like you got a great deal and you get to keep it in your back yard...Lucky you!!! Congratulations, pj

Silver Threads 03-14-2007 06:33 PM

Welcome to the forums, as you can see, there are a lot of great people here! Congrats on the new baby. I know the feeling of looking out the window and admiring the view. I think its called aluminitus! We all have it. I go in mine at least once a day and walk around and get excited everytime I do. This is a sickness i think:sad: !!

Goin camping 03-14-2007 09:09 PM

Welcome and sympathy
Welcome in you guys. You can learn a lot and have a lot of fun on these forums.

You have my sympathy because you have clearly contracted an aluminum disorder. You will gladly spend money and once you go camping you'll just keep going and going. Other projects will be forgotten and worst of all you will be drawn to groups of others in shiny trailers where you will laugh, eat and drink. On your way home from these odd cult gatherings you'll be planning your next trip.

sequoiacoast 03-14-2007 09:35 PM

More, more, more pics... We NEED pictures!!

Oh yeah, and welcome!!!!

Fishnstream 03-14-2007 11:02 PM

Welcome from Canada I still consider myself a newcomer to the group here.
Great reading , informative , questions answered before they are asked ,
some one has been there/done that . I also have a Tradewind and a just aquired Hemi, hope it pulls stronger than the F 150 with a 4.6. Water tank replacement is in progress, still snowing here. Take care Fred

flyfshr 03-14-2007 11:12 PM

Oh boy!! A couple more early TradeWind owners. Welcome and I can tell you both, you're gonna love that TradeWind of yours. They, in my opinion, are the perfect size; great to tow and roomy enough to be comfortable when its raining. I can tell you're going to fit right in here. And by all means, post more pictures.


NataliePK 03-17-2007 10:01 PM

"Before" photos
1 Attachment(s)
It's so great to find some Tradewinds! Sometimes I get on a thread posted by folks with "newer" trailers and the issues just aren't the same.

So far, we're dealing largely with cosmetic stuff, which we think will keep us motivated to finish other things, like tanks.

Here is a view looking back, the first week we got the trailer (February). Since then, my husband has removed most of the damaged wood and cabinetry, put in a laminate floor, removed the nonworking refrigerator, built a dinette and cabinet for new fridge and microwave. He also just found fabric for the front gaucho on ebay and will take it to an upholsterer in East LA, so that should be pretty cheap.

I want to wait with the "after" photos when we're done staining & painting. But I am taking pictures of the dinette as we go - he built a cantilevered bench so we don't bump our feet against the wheel. The fun touch is we have a good condition old formica & chrome kitchen table that he's using for the dinette. The whole set up will make a longer bed - he's convinced our son will grow to be too tall for the gauchos!

str8strm 03-18-2007 07:57 AM

Just down the road from you
In Tujunga, we have a 34 foot motorhome (our keeper) and are getting its twin ready for sale. When you get ready for your first camping trip Malibu RV park is close and an easy drive, great views for your shake down cruise. Let us know when you are going and we can probably get a few forum friends to show up. If you are really ambitious there is a rally at the end of April up north of San Francisco. A few folks from down here are caravaning up on that Friday. Have fun and take lots of pics:brows: we also have a guy who does great upholstery work in Sun Valley, and C&G trailers in Bellflower are very knowledgable airstream dealers.

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