We brought her home-she was in rough shape but she was ours. A 1969 Airstream Caravelle!!
So, this is a 1969, Airstream Caravel, in slightly rough shape.
Out on the road:
Most trailers are measured by the size of the box but Airstreams are measured from the ball to the end of the box. So, even though this Caravel is considered an 18 footer, it is actually only a 15 footer since you must deduct 3 feet to account for the length of the tow hitch.
We named her Charlene and fell in love with her on sight. But, alas, after taking her to her first Airstream rally and spending a couple of nights in her we decided that she was just a wee bit too small. Maybe her size wasn't right because we took our four chihuahuas with us, maybe we had size envy because lots of folks at the rally had very large Airstreams (27-31 footers), or maybe it was just because the bathroom was right next to the bed.
So, it was time to fix her up and send her on her way.
We did a lot of scrubbing and cleaning. And re-built some of the missing features. Although we didn't realize it at the time, we were extremely lucky that the sub-floor was in excellent shape.
Now a word about renovating an Airstream. At first we thought that it was important to stay as original as possible and there are still many folks out there who stand by that rule. However, we have met many more who did their own thing, gutted the insides and just did whatever they wanted to. It was liberating to realize that there was so much freedom. There are however a couple of things to keep in mind. The original engineers put certain items where they are for weight distribution. For example, the fresh water tank is located in the front of the unit and balances out the weight with the black water tank, which is located in the rear of the until.
The front of the Caravel came with a Gaucho bed. It's kind of like a futon and folds from bed to couch and back again. after living in it for a bit, we decided that what it really needed was a dinette. So, we tore out what was originally the front gaucho (what was left of it anyway) and built a dinette instead.
As you can see, the table can be pushed down flat for an additional sleeping area.
Underneath the new seating area is the new fresh water tank.
The galley kitchen needed some wood replaced and some re-finishing.
We took out the wood cabinet above the fridge to make room for the new retro so cute microwave.
The bed slides back to create a couch with storage bins underneath it. At bed time, the top piece slides out to be a bed.
Charlene"s wet bath:
What is a "wet" bath ? Basically, it means that the shower floor is also the bathroom floor.
So, we feel really good that we left Charlene in much better condition than we found her and after three months of hard work we sold her to one of the "sisters on the fly" and was renamed Hi Ho Silver.