Window Repair-1954-1958


Windows After 45+ years, expect the windows to be fully dysfunctional. Rebuilding them is one of the most important things you will do to a trailer, as it is imperative to prevent rain and critters from getting inside once you start on the interior, and since most windows won’t open, it is hard to get read more »

’65 Caravel – Axle Damage


A Bump in the Road… Breaking an axle and skin panel damage Coming back from the Mendocino Coast in April of 2003, we decided to go down the Bohemian Highway from Rio Monte to Santa Rosa via Occidental. This scenic trip was ended with a loud bang and the sound of tearing and scraping metal. read more »



One thing that has improved since the Flying Cloud was made in 1956, is the method by which to stabilize and level the the trailer when camping. If you ever traveled or camped, you know what I mean. The standard of the era was the Reese aluminum screw stands. A pain to install, limited in read more »

Exterior Trailer Lights


In order to haul the trailer back and forth from the storage area, one of the first orders of business was getting the running lights and stop/turn signals working again. After 45 years, every gasket, seal and socket had turned to crumbs. All the steel parts were very rusted and corroded. The Bargman company made read more »

Tongue Jack


The original Atwood jack had been bent some time in the past. We used the new beefier 2000# Atwood, which is larger in diameter than the 1000# original that bent, necessitating enlarging the hole in the tongue frame. On the other hand, the handle is now made of cheap metal with a plastic handle that read more »

Hehr Roof Vents


One of the things that frustrates Airstream owners is the condition of their aluminum vent lids and lifters made by Hehr(1951-1965). Some opt to put in Fantastic Fans, freeing up parts to repair the remaining vents. I was lucky enough to collect enough parts over a 3 year period to restore to original condition our read more »

Bowen Hot Water Heater Covers


Hot Water Heater Covers Some 1950’s-1960’s trailers have had their Bowen hot water heater covers removed in past HW heater replacements, and the installer failed to reuse the Bowen cover, installing the modern flimsy painted cover instead. To help restorers fabricate, or have sheet metal shop fabricate one for them, I’ve started collecting a series read more »

Vaillant Water Heaters


In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Airstream offered as an option an on-demand water heater made in West Germany, the Vaillant. It was also very popular as an aftermarket heater for those trailers that did not initially come with water heaters, such as the small 16-18 foot trailers, and in many cases was hung read more »

Water Tanks


The original potable water system consisted of a small (12 gallon) aluminum water tank under the front window and copper tubing over to a hand operated siphon pump by the sink. Since this trailer is meant to be self-contained, a much bigger system was needed, and tanks were placed up front under the new dinette, read more »

Overhauling the Door


The doors used on Airstreams until 1965 are more like “hatches” than entry doors. They had a low height, and the mechanisms used to secure the door and open and close it are unlike conventional doorknobs. The seals on these doors are usually always melted away from age, and the screen is often damaged, but read more »