Avion travel trailers were built from 1955 to 2002. Ours is a 1979, 34V, built on a 2” x 6” steel frame, with bumper hitch. The body is built of an interior aluminum skin, coated in vinyl to look like canvas wallpaper, riveted to an aluminum frame. The lower exterior walls are storage compartments all around the coach, and a rear trunk holds the spare tire, freshwater hoses and access to the bathroom plumbing. The outside of the frame is covered in anodized aluminum. The cavities between the skins are filled with spray foam insulation. The belly pan is enclosed and the floor is a layer of rigid foam sandwiched between two layers of plywood for insulation. We rebuilt the roof of the coach. Stripping a white latex coating, repairing and resealing all the seams, rivets, and joints, and adding all-new utilities to the roof. Bath vent, both cabin roof vents, the A/C and all the vent covers were replaced. Over 415 rivets were replaced on the roof alone. Five 200-watt solar panels are installed at the back of the roof coach. The windows are jalousie style and provide a lot of ventilation, even in the rain. All the awnings are ZipDee. The 22’ main awning is brand new, and all the other awnings have new fabric. We went with a really bright and cheery yellow awning, and certainly don’t regret the choice.
All the interior utilities have been replaced. Water is heated by a PrecisionTemp on-demand hot water heater. The LP furnace is the Suburban, 32K BTU. The fridge is a NorKool from Canada, 12V over 110V. It operates on 12 volts, drawing only 4.3 amps. A tinywoodstove.com wood burning stove is located just inside the door. It works like a charm.
The countertops in the kitchen area are made from cherry wood harvested and milled at our house. About 80% of the cabinetry is original, and has been painted. One of my favorite parts is that the drawers are nice dovetail joint boxes and on ball bearing glides. We sleep in the front of the coach, on the first king-size bed we’ve had as a married couple. The bed doubles as a lounge during waking hours. All the sinks, tub and toilet have been replaced. We use a Natures Head composting toilet in the bathroom. The liquid waste part of the toilet is plumbed into the black tank or can be collected in the factory pail. We operate off the freshwater tank most of the time, rarely hooking up to city water. All supply lines have been replaced with PEX. A carbon block water filter is located under the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking. A 55-gallon freshwater tank is located over the axles, the 30-gallon grey water tank is fore, and the 30-gallon black water tank aft. The freshwater and city water inlet has been upgraded and an outdoor shower was added to the curbside, rear. The back access door also gave us a sweet spot to bathe our pal, Indie.
Five 100AH lithium Battleborn batteries are located below the rear twin bed, along with the Victron solar charge controller and 3000-watt Multi-plus inverter. The electrical system is 30 amp. We installed a Progressive Systems EMS and an exterior weather boot for the shore cable.
The coach sets fairly low, and the overall height is only 10’. Two 40 pound LP bottles are mounted on the tongue, near the hand crank tongue jack. The only battery on the tongue is a small battery powering the emergency breakaway switch. The suspension has been rebuilt with Dexter Easy Flex Equalizers and aligned, and all the brakes, drums and hubs are new. I was happy to find the coach included all 7 aluminum tire rims when we bought it. Since the coach is low to the ground, with rounded corners, and three axles, it tows quite nicely. We don’t feel the effect of trucks passing and wind like other taller coaches do. A hardwired camera is located at the back of the coach, and is viewable, along with a second camera on the van, on a large color screen in the cab. All the running lights, brake lights, and lenses have been replaced. We are impressed with the stability of the coach. Items in the interior are in their places after a day of travel, and the coach feels solid when we are parked in high wind. We tow the coach with our van, Sunny. We’ll include a run-down of the van soon.