Hello from Nashville Tn.
I have just purchased a 1957 Streamline Empress 28"(?) trailer. I would like to get in touch with other Streamline owners as I have no information on this beautiful rig. It is in very good shape. I need manuals..tech info..and especially the history of the company. I can be emailed at address above or snail mail: Phil Kaufman, 9 Music Sq. So. #365 Nashville Tn 37203..or fax at 615 297 2426..phone # 615 297 0960.
I can give you a little information, but only very little. My trailer is a '65 Streamline - 22 foot. It lived all its life in Las Vegas until I brought it here to Houston in 1994. It belonged to my father who was the original owner but sat unused since his death in 1981.
In 1997, I ran across the Streamline Royal Rovers when I happened to be camping at the same location as the local Houston Chapter. While this was a originally a camping club started by the Streamline company, there are only about 3 or 4 actual Streamline trailers owned by members of the club now. The rest are a variety of motor homes and other trailer makes. There are, however, a lot of the older members who did own Streamlines when they joined and they are a source of information.
I do not have manuals, but have wondered if the RV/MH Heritage Society - http://www.rv-mh-hall-of-fame.org/ might be a source. At one time I questioned one of the older members about this possibility, and his thought was that there might be something available in Elkhard, Indiana. The original Streamline Trailers came with a lifetime warranty to the original owners, and when the Streamline Trailer Company went out of business in 1972 or 1973, they apparently left a supply of spare parts on deposit in Elkhart. I did have the address, but can't lay my hands on it right now. This member had been to Elkhart and had seen the storage location.
I am told that The Streamline Company was formed by two people who broke away from Airstream, and started their own company. The trailers were manufactured in Elkhart, and also in Chino, California. Subsequently, these two had a disagreement, and one left and started making the Silverstreaks. The disagreement was apparently about the trailer frame. One wanted two lengthways supports, and the other three. Streamlines have two -- Silverstreaks three.
I do know that the Streamline Company made motor homes, at least for a while. I think that this part of their business was sold to Cayo.
On talking to one of the older members, who had owned several Streamlines (one maybe was a 1957), I was told that "the Steamlines were a much better trailer than the Airstreams available at the time". This is hearsay, so I don't know, but I did hear much the same sentiments from my father. You do hear the same sort of thing from Ford and from Chevrolet owners, so take it with a grain or salt.
I had my trailer polished earlier this year in California and and was told that the way the trailer polished up was remarkable. I relayed this later in the year to Jim Weston who does polishing in Tulsa, and Jim said that it probably made a difference where the trailer was manufactured (mine was in California), as California Airstreams seemed to have a better grade aluminum, maybe due to the aluminum available there because of the aviation industry.
I have several thoughts. First, I suggest that you join the Airstream list. Go to http://www.airstream.net/list/index.html and sign up. This is an e-mail list for Airstream owners. In practice, there are owners of other makes on the list, such as me. The list is relatively small, so the amount of e-mail flying about is manageable. The advantage of being on the list is that you can ask any questions you may have about your rig and its problems and very likely will get an answer. The older Airstreams and Streamlines are not all that dissimilar. Additionally, there are a lot of vintage Airstream (units 25 years or more of age) owners on the list, so that you are dealing with older unit problems. Finally, for the most part, they are a friendly and helpful lot.
There is another start-up organization that might eventually be of help. This is Tin Can Tourists. They are targeting vintage trailers/motor homes such as you have, although they don't appear to be too active as yet. http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Cabana/4868/
You could consider joining the Royal Rovers, but there is no Chapter in Tennessee. The closest Chapter is probably Indiana. At large membership is available.
I assume that you got my e-mail address from my site. If not, go and look there. There is some Streamline information on the site, and also various e-mail postings providing a lot of different trailer information. If you think your trailer is beautiful and in good shape now, you won't believe what it will look like after polishing.
Final thought, I will copy this e-mail to the Airstream list and ask for comments. Aside from any flames I get from the Airstream references, some useful suggestions and historical information may develop. If you sign up for the list, you will see them.
I hope all of this is along the lines of what you wanted.
Thank you very very much. I was really excited to get all that great info. I haven't had much luck till now. I have printed your letter and will use it as a reference. Once again, thanks.
Which came first, the Silverstreak or the Streamline??
As I heard it, the Streamline came first. Incidentally, I found a brochure I have for the Streamliner which among other things shows the various floor plans. I also found a manual for the water heater and the electric brakes and the Streamline wiring code. I will be posting the code and the brochure on my web site.
The Indiana address turns out to be 1213 Main Street, Thorntown, Indiana. I don't know if this is near Elkhart or not.
If you have any questions let me know.
Once again thanks mucho for the info. What is your website? I am still new to this cyber biz, as I am to "STREAMLINING".
My web site is as shown on the bottom of this e-mail - http://www.tompatterson.com . Click on the location which will take you to the web site. Streamline information is in the trailer section.
I thought that you had got my e-mail address from my web site. Obviously not, so I'm curious. How did you get hold of me?
I probably did get your e mail address through your web site. I had been on line for about 4-5 hours searching and leaving messages, and I didn't log where I had been...once more the novice.
Thanks for the wiring info. I am moving the trailer tomorrow (if no snow) and I'm sure it will help. I am really curious about the floor plans and the brochure. Would it be possibe to get a xerox copy of what you have. I would pay for all the expenses? Once again thanks for the help.
You might wait until you see what the brochure looks like. Once I have it out on the web site, you can download the image from the screen to your computer and print it out if you want. When ready, let me know and I'll give you instructions if you need them.
What kind of shape is your hot water heater in? I have an original manual but had to replace my tank because of leaks so don't really need the manual anymore. I think part of the reason for the leaks was due to the tire on that side losing its tread at one point, which beat on and dented the tank. Yours might still be ok. My original water heater was a Bowen Gas heater. The new heater came with a cream painted door, which looked terrible against the polished aluminum. Fortunately, I was able to get a aluminum door fabricated and it looks pretty good..
I also had to replace the drinking water tank earlier this year too because it started leaking. Fortunately it was caught before it did too much damage and rotted out the floor. The original was steel and had an air compresser. The new one is some form of vinyl and has a pump, but I don't see too much difference. Actually, I think the old tank filled whether I wanted water in it or not. I prefer not most of the time and am glad to have lost that extra weight. After all this time you might also have leak problems with this tank too, so you might check it out.
When you have a chance, take a picture of your trailer and send it to me. I will post it up on the web site.
Are you familiar with a Streamline model called a DUKE maybe a 25' 60's or 70's
I am not familiar with the various models but will check with some of the older members of the group and get back with you. "Duke" sounds like it could be a model. The trailer I have is a 22', 1965 Streamline, and it is a "Dutchess". If "Duchess", then why not "duke"?
Where are you located and why the Streamline interest?
Sorry for the delay, Christmas rush. I'm a member of the Vintage Airstream Club and Tin Can Tourist ( found you in the guestbook). My current project is a 1963 24' AVION. In January we will travel to the Hill Country in the Avion and have plans to see a 1960 Airstream and maybe the Streamline. My interest is all the the vintage type aircraft construction trailers. We live in McAllen, Tx (Rio Grande Valley) Let me know if you find anything on a Duke
The next campout of the local (Houston) Streamline group is on the weekend of December 17th. Currently, my wife and I plan to drive out there for Saturday morning and afternoon only, as we have other Christmas commitments for the rest of the weekend. I will ask some of the older members about the DUKE and get what information I can. At present, I am the only Houston member with an actual Streamline, and only one of three in the whole organization, but there are members who have owned them in the past, and they are very knowledgeable. If you have any other questions about the Streamline, and in particular about the DUKE, let me know before the 17th, so I can collect the information for you.
I was out to California this summer and had the trailer repolished. On the way, we ran across two Streamlines, both about 29-30 feet. One was in Van Horn, and appeared to be in reasonable shape although I did not get a close look. I talked later to the owner, who was a young guy living in it. When he said he thought it was worth about $9,000, I lost all interest. Actually, I suspect $1,000 or $1,500 might be closer to real value. He thought it might be a '67 or '68. We also saw another in storage, apparently being used for a place to stay on vacation in Blythe, on the California/Arizona border. That one was also about the same age and looked in real good shape.
The trailers are therefore around, although there are not too many of them. Let me know how you make out.
I did join the Tin Can Tourists, so may run across you. Also, visit my website. I do have some trailer info there, including some information I have and am compiling from the Airstream list.