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Old 10-29-2011, 11:37 AM   #21
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Cost of Caravel restorations

I figured out how to access the photos as soon as I wrote that dang post.

My husband and I bought a Caravel about a year ago, this past spring we finally had the owner of TK RV's come pick it up and take it back to his shop. (We had no T.V. anymore.) Finally we went and saw how it was progressing yesterday. He very subtly told us that we paid too much for it and we needed to be careful about how much more money we sunk into it for we would not get the money out of it.
This was depressing for me since I was the one researching the prices of vintage a/s from 14'-19' sizes. We managed to talk the peddler down from $7900 to $7500 since there was a huge scrape on street side and several patches. The plan was to put 3 grand more into it, no more than 10 grand. He said to get it usable, sell it to another sucker (not in those words) take a loss and start over with a 22-23' models which we can get much cheaper. My husband was not bothered, but I was, since I am the one who did all the research and found this one. I felt very lucky finding one nearby in which I did not have to travel but 2 hours. We couldn't see paying someone to haul one from the east coast to TX.
The plan was to have them check out and fix any propane, electrical and give us prices on body work. We planned on doing the interior ourselves.

I was disturbed, this was a hobby, not to turn and resale, but to fix up for ourselves for weekend trips. Then I saw your renovations; Vonzellen and then saw Modarch's. Now I am more frustrated than ever, wanting to fix "Sylvia" up, but worried hubby won't want to do as much because of repairman's comments. Yes, the repairman was a recommended a/s person. We really do like him and know he was being honest with "If it was me..."
He replaced the axel so far and wanted to get the propane lines capped where we weren't going to use it.

So, long story-I'm wondering how much you all have put into your Caravels? I am sorry if it is rude to ask money questions, but it may help us know what we can afford to do and what we cannot.

Thanks for any encouragement.

Jerri
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:55 AM   #22
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so right after he told you paid too much and had too much in it, did he then offer to take it off of your hands to make it all better?
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:16 PM   #23
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Jerri, when we bought our 40 year old Airstream, we didn't plan on it being an investment.

Did we get it for a reasonable price? Yes, considering that we didn't want to drive more than a couple of hours to pick it up. We maybe could have found a cheaper one, but we would have waited much longer and driven much farther. It wasn't worth it for us to do that.

Have we put more money into it than it will be worth? Very probably, especially if you consider the time we've invested as well. But we've gotten almost as much satisfaction out of making the plans and decision and progress on the renovation as we have out of sleeping in the thing.

We've used it a lot. In the long run, it may or may not be cheaper than staying in hotel rooms, but that doesn't matter. We've gone places we just wouldn't have gone without it. That's worth it.

The question is not what your trailer is worth on the open market. It's what it is worth to you. If you can afford what you put into it and the work that it takes to have it meet your needs and you like it, keep it. It's not all about bargains. It's about time and enjoyment.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:56 AM   #24
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Thumbs up 67 Caravel Costs

I paid $2500 for my Caravel two years ago. Subsequently, I've spent a total of about $8000 on repairs and upgrades. So, I have about $11,000 in mine. The axle replacement, new tires and wheels was one of the biggest expenses. Everything else I did myself. I rebuilt all the cabinet doors, installed a new vinyl floor, epoxy coated the bath fiberglass, installed new faucets, a new hot water heater, fantastic fan, bought a used refrigerator on ebay, painted the counters, made and installed all new cushions (thanks to my wife's sewing abilities), installed a new converter/charger, new battery, new wiring set up. Stripped and polished the exterior (more to do), and installed the stainless quilting in the kitchen. It was a lot of work, but not that bad. So you paid $5000 more than my trailer. OK, a Winnick special is about $50,000 used. So, lets say you get it to the level of my trailer and you're happy with it and it cost you $17,500. Is that so bad? You'll have to ask yourself that. Can you guys do most of the work? If so , you can do this for not too much money. If you can't do the work and others have to do it--it will cost a lot more.

Call me if you need to or want to discuss this, or details of the renovation.

Steve Sell 302-234-9999
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:03 AM   #25
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Steve,

Just checked out your pics. VERY nice! My wife sews but isn't confident in doing upholstery. Tell your wife her upholstery job looks great! I know the $$$ add up in a hurry and getting an upholsterer to do the upholstery is a major expense. Had your wife done upholstery before? Love your trailer!

Michael
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
so right after he told you paid too much and had too much in it, did he then offer to take it off of your hands to make it all better?
Actually, he did not, he is anxious to get the basics done and get it back to us. He just lost his tech who did alot of the work. But, I am still looking on the market and not seeing any Caravels cheaper than what we paid for ours. I did see one completely renovated for 10 grand, but the floor plan was so changed I did not think it would sleep more than one. He really is nice, and really was trying to tell us we would not get that money back-but that was never the plan!
Maybe he is mixing us up with someone else.

I do suspect he called the dude who sold it to us and told him what the thought. He called him a peddler. I do think we should of paid less, do to the skin damage, but I am not sure how much.

Jerri
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webspinner View Post
Jerri, when we bought our 40 year old Airstream, we didn't plan on it being an investment.

Did we get it for a reasonable price? Yes, considering that we didn't want to drive more than a couple of hours to pick it up. We maybe could have found a cheaper one, but we would have waited much longer and driven much farther. It wasn't worth it for us to do that.

Have we put more money into it than it will be worth? Very probably, especially if you consider the time we've invested as well. But we've gotten almost as much satisfaction out of making the plans and decision and progress on the renovation as we have out of sleeping in the thing.

We've used it a lot. In the long run, it may or may not be cheaper than staying in hotel rooms, but that doesn't matter. We've gone places we just wouldn't have gone without it. That's worth it.

The question is not what your trailer is worth on the open market. It's what it is worth to you. If you can afford what you put into it and the work that it takes to have it meet your needs and you like it, keep it. It's not all about bargains. It's about time and enjoyment.
This is exactly what I felt. I looked into how much it would cost to have someone drive one from the east coast, I do think we could of talked him even lower than we did, but felt when would one come along this close to us, just the size we liked.
I have been told it was crazy to spend that much money on our old dogs, but they are family and we knew when they were ready to go. Same thing, we love Sylvia and miss her even being in the yard. We will cut our teeth on her and have her for weekends. Maybe we find a 22-23' for retirement, but by Golly, Sylvia deserves to be loved!
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:19 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by vonzellen View Post
I paid $2500 for my Caravel two years ago. Subsequently, I've spent a total of about $8000 on repairs and upgrades. So, I have about $11,000 in mine. The axle replacement, new tires and wheels was one of the biggest expenses. Everything else I did myself. I rebuilt all the cabinet doors, installed a new vinyl floor, epoxy coated the bath fiberglass, installed new faucets, a new hot water heater, fantastic fan, bought a used refrigerator on ebay, painted the counters, made and installed all new cushions (thanks to my wife's sewing abilities), installed a new converter/charger, new battery, new wiring set up. Stripped and polished the exterior (more to do), and installed the stainless quilting in the kitchen. It was a lot of work, but not that bad. So you paid $5000 more than my trailer. OK, a Winnick special is about $50,000 used. So, lets say you get it to the level of my trailer and you're happy with it and it cost you $17,500. Is that so bad? You'll have to ask yourself that. Can you guys do most of the work? If so , you can do this for not too much money. If you can't do the work and others have to do it--it will cost a lot more.

Call me if you need to or want to discuss this, or details of the renovation.

Steve Sell 302-234-9999
No-It's not so bad if you love it and are proud of what you did. I have no idea what a Winnick special is, but I get the point. My husband has done wiring in the home, put in a wooden floor, has built furniture, shelving, and I can sew. I think we can do this. I just wish we had the money to fix up the house and the trailer-maybe we can get a discount for buying in bulk.
Thanks so much for posting your rennovation and what you learned and money spent-we understand more of what we are getting into now.
So far, we have spent about 3 grand just having him put in a new axle and brakes and wiring and capping some propane lines, and patching the floor in one spot.

Thanks again,

Jerri
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:53 PM   #29
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Sounds to me like you're well on your way to having a usable trailer again. I spent $6k to buy mine, and have spent at least that much on a new floor in the front half, axle, new fridge, furnace, charging system, batteries, and little things all over. But I wouldn't have it any other way. We've had our trailer for 8 years and we love it.

I wouldn't trade up to a 22', I haven't seen one with as useful layout as the Caravel. I really think it has the best, most flexible layout they designed. The couches turn into beds, the bathroom has the shower in the middle, so it's roomy all the time, it's like they gave every area a double purpose, so it feels much bigger than it is.

Lots of people looked at it as disposable when we got it, like we'd just use it a few years and then pass it along for something bigger and better, but we haven't had any intention of doing that. It's lightweight, easy to tow, easy to park, easy to store, and we've even had rangers put us in tent spots when the RV park was full because it's so tiny! We really enjoy our little trailer!

Good luck with your Caravel. If you love it, just keep working on it and don't worry about how much you spent. If you're not selling it, that doesn't matter, right? If you plan on doing most of the work (I did most of the work on mine, and hired out things like welding and propane lines, and axle installation) then just take your time and do it. By next summer you'll be able to start hitting the road and enjoying it, even if it isn't finished.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:17 AM   #30
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67 caravel

I've not seen your Caravel but when I evaluated my project I had to decide if I was going to do a "Ground up" renovation or do it in a way that I could do it fairly quickly and get to use it sooner rather than later. I chose the latter, but I am still finishing some things as I go along. I focused on getting the things done so that I could use it.

Maybe you can do the same thing. Now that the running gear is in tact you can get the plumbing right, check out the heater and get it operating, maybe you don't need ac until you need ac. Think in terms of systems and projects and you could make up a plan and schedule for a period of months or years and get it to where you want it.

The skin: I considered a huge decal/graphic design on my Caravel instead of polishing. The added advantage is that with the right design you can hide or minimize body damage. Just an idea and maybe cheaper than replacing body panels. Also, it adds a uniqueness to your trailer.

My wife used the old cushions and took them apart and used the pieces as a pattern for the new material. She's not done upholestry before. She used the original zippers. I bought the foam at Joanne's fabric, cut it, glued it, and cut out much of the fabric using the old pieces as a template.

Get the systems working. Wraps some colorful fabric over some foam temporarily and go camping. Improve it bit by bit as you go. Maybe you'll decide it's great and spend the extra money to upgrade it. Maybe you'll decide you want something else.

Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:41 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonzellen View Post
I've not seen your Caravel but when I evaluated my project I had to decide if I was going to do a "Ground up" renovation or do it in a way that I could do it fairly quickly and get to use it sooner rather than later. I chose the latter, but I am still finishing some things as I go along. I focused on getting the things done so that I could use it.

Maybe you can do the same thing. Now that the running gear is in tact you can get the plumbing right, check out the heater and get it operating, maybe you don't need ac until you need ac. Think in terms of systems and projects and you could make up a plan and schedule for a period of months or years and get it to where you want it.

The skin: I considered a huge decal/graphic design on my Caravel instead of polishing. The added advantage is that with the right design you can hide or minimize body damage. Just an idea and maybe cheaper than replacing body panels. Also, it adds a uniqueness to your trailer.

My wife used the old cushions and took them apart and used the pieces as a pattern for the new material. She's not done upholestry before. She used the original zippers. I bought the foam at Joanne's fabric, cut it, glued it, and cut out much of the fabric using the old pieces as a template.

Get the systems working. Wraps some colorful fabric over some foam temporarily and go camping. Improve it bit by bit as you go. Maybe you'll decide it's great and spend the extra money to upgrade it. Maybe you'll decide you want something else.

Good luck.
That is the plan, to do as we go, after running gear is fixed. I am wondering if anyone knows someone who has cut and riveted in place their own skins? How expensive is it and how hard is it?
Also, the foam cushions from Joann's-I wonder if the density will be enough to sleep on and withstand years of sitting and sleeping. I planned on using old covers as templates. There is a place that specializes in different types of foams and will cut to measure, about 2 hrs. from us. Just wondering about the density for sleeping/sitting.

Thanks for letting me bug you.
Jerri
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:01 PM   #32
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Watch out when you get foam..There is a BIG difference. You won't like it, but the expensive stuff is the best and makes a big difference. It is one of those things most folks don't consider when they buy a fixer upper....and the previous owner says it has all new foam....or the new ownertrying to cut a corner.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:02 AM   #33
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regarding foam

I don't thing there is 4 inches of foam that would be that comfortable to sleep on no matter what the quality of it as I a big guy. I have 6 inches of foam on my boat with an additional 4 inch memory foam topper and it's pretty acceptable. But, just 4 inches on an Airstream---I can't believe it can be that great. That said, the density of the foam from Joannes seems good.

There are many fabric shops that will make up the cushions for you and as I remember the cost was $100 to $200 per cushion for labor.

My solution for comfort in my Caravel is air matresses. They have come a long way on quality and comfort and I have two twins from Walmart that cost about $20.00 each. When it's sack time we blow them up and place them on top of the two beds--on top of the 4 inches of foam. It's nice and cushy. In the morning we pull the plug, fold it up and stow it. Pretty easy and comfortable.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:30 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by jerbear315 View Post
That is the plan, to do as we go, after running gear is fixed. I am wondering if anyone knows someone who has cut and riveted in place their own skins? How expensive is it and how hard is it?
Also, the foam cushions from Joann's-I wonder if the density will be enough to sleep on and withstand years of sitting and sleeping. I planned on using old covers as templates. There is a place that specializes in different types of foams and will cut to measure, about 2 hrs. from us. Just wondering about the density for sleeping/sitting.

Thanks for letting me bug you.
Jerri
Jerri -

I documented a Caravel panel replacement and cushion rebuild in this thread. The panel replacement was pretty straightforward. See this post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f145...tml#post619887

I did a combination of urethane foam and latex foam for cushions. We do a lot of travel and I wanted to reduce weight. If I were more concerned about comfort than weight, I would go with all latex. Here's the link to the cushion post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f145...tml#post791665

John
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:50 AM   #35
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Cushions - Cost.

Quote:
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Watch out when you get foam..There is a BIG difference. You won't like it, but the expensive stuff is the best and makes a big difference. It is one of those things most folks don't consider when they buy a fixer upper....and the previous owner says it has all new foam....or the new ownertrying to cut a corner.
Cushions and drapery will be the single most expensive item in my restore. Not that all other things were cheap. It will cost more than all plumbing (sinks, tanks, hot water heater, etc), AC, fridge, axle+tires, the combined amount of new aluminum, and the cost of the initial trailer.

I am getting about 160 inches of seat and back cushions which will be both for sitting and sleeping. Material and labor is about $2400 (not including the draperies). This is from a lady who does custom drapery work and may be on the high side, but I know her work.

I have to admit that when she gave me the quote, I said to myself, damn. But my wife was right there and did not bulk. I know it will cost double. What I am paying for the trailer and what my wife now feels she can spend on something.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #36
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That is right in the ballpark. It is a big surprise to many . 600$ for a nice set of drapes is the next surprise.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:36 PM   #37
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Drapes - Cost

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That is right in the ballpark. It is a big surprise to many . 600$ for a nice set of drapes is the next surprise.
Drapes, five windows, roman shades, plus the bath "door" curtain, will be about $1700. Again, I think way too high, but my wife thinks that is what a good custom job costs.

This lady came out with the fabric twice for comparison. It includes the hanging hardware, though I told her I would be the one hanging it. I cannot trust others poking holes into my walls.

I also have to admit that I would not have spent this money early in the restro, but, I am to the point that I want to get it done. I have to outsource to get things complete. And since this is our bed, I want it done well. My usual efforts are to do it once, twice, maybe more when I take on a new skill and am not satisfied with my work.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #38
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Thanks

Your pics just took my camper from floor replacement to full frame off restoration! The wife looked over your pictures and was also convinced that this is what we need to do! Great pics! They are definitely going to help with our project.

Kevin
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