We finally found our Avion! Meet Lucy! She’s a 1973 Avion LaGrande 25′. Ain’t she a beaut?
I had been obsessively searching for a 1970s Avion All-American 23′. The shorter lengths are rarer (especially the 23′). And I wanted one in super fantastic, original condition.
Avions are better built (structurally and interior finishes) than their better known Airstream sisters. You can do some simple research online to read more. Though ours is a 73, here’s a link to an 1972 Avion Brochure. (BTW, 1972 was the first year Avion added the grey tank, and we highly recommend having a grey tank.)
Though Avions are not as common, they are less expensive than their fellow Airstreams. Avions were built between 1956 – 1990. They aren’t terribly difficult to find, but I started narrowing my search to specific years and sizes and then adding the “fantastic” condition requirement, so I knew I had to be patient to find her.
In 1966, Avion or newer Avion for the spray foam insulation (instead of fiberglass) sandwiched in between the shells. The foam insulation strengthened the shell, and I didn’t want to offer mice fiberglass batting to take up residence. I also preferred the body style with fewer aluminum panels at the corners (to limit leak penetration points).
In 1978, Avion trailers began to put on weight again. There was a previous weight hike when they switched to spray foam insulation. They also changed their windows in 78, and I preferred the look of the aluminum frames (for purely aesthetic reasons), so I decided I would look for the years 1973-77.
I had my requirements: 1973-1977 Avion 23′ preferred (which is really 24′) or 25′ (which is really 26.5′) in super, fantastic ORIGINAL condition. I didn’t want ANY cosmetic updating. We would handle the design ourselves if needed. The hunt was on!!
It took several months of looking EVERYDAY. I checked ebay, SearchTempest for Craigslist, and FB Marketplace. I was obsessed with finding her. It was the same when I searched and found our Uhaul CT13, Sally.
And finally, after five months of really aggressive searching (I was “light” searching for several months before this 😂), she popped up 45 minutes away!! Honestly, I would have driven to Canada for the right trailer, so we were just SUPER lucky!!
So, here she is!! This is the all original tour of Lucy! Leave me a comment below with what you’d change! Paint? Counters? Curtains? Sofa?! (I mean sofa for sure, right??)
Bought our 73 avion travelcade today, she is a beauty and will need a few minor maintenance things. Like a good bath and shine on exterior?? Suggestions?? Also gonna need a couple of things on the inside done?? Wherw to order or how to begin?? Also would love to know where to find a manual. Ty
Our Gold Road
Congratulations, Pam!! Our Avions were truly built to last and you will LOVE yours!
We used Dawn dish soap, a sponge, and lots of elbow grease to clean the exterior skin. Some owners recommend WD-40 for a temporary shine (but it would need to be reapplied). Our wonderful Avions have an anodized finish which strongly protects our trailers. They are not meant to be highly polished like some of the old Airstreams. When cleaning, do not use any products with chlorine or bleach as they can damage the anodized finish. ALSO, do NOT use any steel wool type pads. They will cause tiny scratches and leave itty bits to rust/corrode your skin.
As for a full manual copy, there is a 2 part PDF available for download under the files tab in the Avion Travel Trailer Owners Club facebook group. Search for 1973 Avion and it should pop up for you.
If you have any other questions, give us a shout!! Cheers!
I owned a 32 ft-10.6 meter, triple Axel Avion.
Equipped with a full size bed, in the back next to the full size bathroom. It was so sweet.
Unfortunately it was melted by a wildfire that we had up here in Santa Barbara.
But when the insurance company pays me for the damage I definitely will be buying another one they are sweet and they beat the price that people pay for those outrageously expensive airstreams which were not worth the money the people pay for them.
I’ll see you on the road again soon.
Hi Stephen! We are so sorry to hear about the wildfire and resulting damage. Was this the fire in October last year 2021? (I lived in Camarillo years ago and spent lots of time in SB, and I pay attention to news about the environment.)
I 100% agree that the Avion beats Airstream hands down in build quality, and fortunately, we don’t have to pay AS prices for a better-built trailer! Are you a member of the Avion owner fb group? I’m often hunting the good deals on our trailers and share them there with the members there. It’s like finding treasure!! …and then sharing them with people I know will give them a good home. 😉