How-To Articles

Price vs. Condition

Vintage Airstream Values The question that always get asked by newcomers and existing owners alike is, what is an older Airstream worth? There is no “Bluebook” for older trailers, and the N.A.D.A. Guide stops at 20 years. The premise is that beyond that point, the trailer is fully depreciated and any value left is intrinsic. read more »

Refrigerator Replacement & Repair


Installing a New Refrigerator Refrigerators are durable appliances if the burner orifice and chimney are kept clean and free of misguided “adjusting”. With no moving parts, they can last forever if maintained. But even then, there are times that they need to be replaced. In the case of our original M16 Dometic, it had been read more »

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 »

Sofa Beds (Gauchos)


It seems that the front and side pull-out sofa beds often get removed for various misguided reasons over the years, and later owners wish to restore the original functionality and layout during a restoration. Because this comes up frequently, I have made a colored assembly sketch of both a side and front installation. The actual read more »

Brass Thetford Dump Valves


Thetford Brass Dump Valve Courtesy of Colin Hyde from GSM Vehicles, here is how to replace the old dump valve assembly that was found on ~1959 – ~1964 Airstreams. This valve frequently leaks, and the old style sewer hose fittings aren’t available anymore. Remove the old valve assembly completely right back to the brass casting 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 »



Boring stuff, but important. Early on I thought the existing insulation could be saved, but for the most part ended up getting replaced. The stuff below the floor got replaced of course with the new floor, but the insulation between the walls had it own issues too. There were two kinds, some sort of white 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 »