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Old 01-28-2014, 04:40 PM   #1
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1964 17' Bambi II
Ogden , Utah
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How much $ to restore a Bambi II is too much?

We recently purchased a 1964 Bambi II all original trailer & paid a pretty penny for it. We love it, but it needs some major repairs, like a new axle, battery & wires, fuses, partial belly pan, door lock & a few other things. The outside is in pristine condition with a new polish job, new paint on the bumpers & two new propane tanks. Much of the work we can do ourselves & enjoy the trailer while we are working on it. It is by no means a total restoration job. The couch material is in perfect condition, stove & frig are great, sinks & floors are in very good condition. Windows need some work, but are functional, we'd like to redo the cabinets to our own liking & it needs a shower curtain, no big deal. We'll probably end up putting $5K into the trailer before we're through.
Do these trailers really go for $25,000 to $35,000???? Seems like a lot when one can buy a new one or a larger model for much less.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mcaslaon4449 View Post
We recently purchased a 1964 Bambi II all original trailer & paid a pretty penny for it. We love it, but it needs some major repairs, like a new axle, battery & wires, fuses, partial belly pan, door lock & a few other things. The outside is in pristine condition with a new polish job, new paint on the bumpers & two new propane tanks. Much of the work we can do ourselves & enjoy the trailer while we are working on it. It is by no means a total restoration job. The couch material is in perfect condition, stove & frig are great, sinks & floors are in very good condition. Windows need some work, but are functional, we'd like to redo the cabinets to our own liking & it needs a shower curtain, no big deal. We'll probably end up putting $5K into the trailer before we're through.
Do these trailers really go for $25,000 to $35,000???? Seems like a lot when one can buy a new one or a larger model for much less.
It is worth what it is worth to YOU. Professional restorers work for people who are willing to pay to own a great classic RV. If you've watched "Pawn Stars" or it's spin off "Counting Cars" you should realize that most people lose money when they sell their classic cars, motorcycles, etc. Airstreams are no different.

I asked the very question you did ... and I bought new. Others make the "I'll take a diamond in the rough and polish it". Each choice is equally valid. Being honest with myself - for vintage, an old house cured me of the romance of renovation and if I want vintage, I'll be better off coughing up major cash to have someone competent do it. If your hobbies include woodworking, etc... GO for it! (Oh by the way, the new and nearly new unit will also never be worth what I paid for it - they do depreciate too.)

happy trails, Paula
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:02 PM   #3
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What's your goal? Do you want to make it yours and keep it indefinitely? Or are you thinking of it as a "starter Airstream" and thinking you'll sell it on in a few years and you're concerned about getting your money out of it?

$5k in maintenance/updates on a 50-year-old trailer is a pittance, really. I've spent close to that in the last 3 years on my 24' Argosy that was easily usable when I bought it, but I wanted to make it really good. It frankly doesn't look much better than the day I bought it, but has some nice upgrades and I wouldn't hesitate to set off for anywhere the road would take me.

There seems to be a great market for the tiny models. I don't know about the specific price range you quoted, but I've noticed they always seem to cost more than I'd care to pay, and they seem to get purchased pretty quickly if they're priced right. At $25k it would need to be special AND perfect AND you shouldn't be in a hurry to sell it. There's a very pretty restored+modernized '65 Caravel that's been in the Classifieds for a couple of months at $22k, for example.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mcaslaon4449 View Post
Much of the work we can do ourselves & enjoy the trailer while we are working on it. It is by no means a total restoration job.
That's all I would need to hear. Go for it! You must have paid that 'pretty penny' for it because you loved it. Fix it, use it, love it, and you will get more out of it than the money you invest. Our trailer is practically a twin to yours, and it doesn't really have a value I could put a number on, because we have spent ten years making memories in it and couldn't replace it. Make it your own, enjoy the ride, and don't worry about how much it is worth.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #5
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I do not think about what the value would be when it's finished because you bought it for your enjoyment or at least we did and never figure on a resale. The kids might but then again we have been telling them for years that we are spending the inheritance so they may want to sell. I have seen them sell for 17k to 35k but the condition is the deciding factor. This is just my humble opinion cliff
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:59 PM   #6
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It's great that you're starting with an intact trailer in good condition. Make it solid and usable and go have fun.

But it won't be worth $25k without comprehensive work. Most trailers this age have some floor rot, some mouse infiltration into the wall insulation, some frame rot, and various other major problems. Trailers that cost that much have been basically stripped down to nothing so that you know none of those issues lurk beneath. (Or at least they should be. If not, the buyer is overpaying.)

I've seen a restored $27,000 Caravel and it was a great trailer with tons of work involved. Having that done professionally, BTW, would probably cost another $40k (at least) in labor.

I think you can put in the work you mention and you'll lose little if any money, assuming you do that work yourself.

Finally, why pay that money instead of buying new(er)? The vintage look. The light weight. The practicality of the floor plan (which they don't make anymore.) Pros and cons either way.

Tom
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