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Old 04-15-2006, 06:30 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Norfolk , Virginia
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How far do we go?

I've been wondering just how far we should go in restoring our rigs. I know if a part breaks we have to decide to fix it or replace it. Like the Univolt system. Do we try and rebuild it, or toss it and go modern? How about seats? Should we re-cover the ones we have, or upgrade to something better? Rebuild the engine, or get one in a crate? Paint the thing or polish? Replace the carpet, or go floating floor?

At what point is it no longer "stock" and "original"?

Would you pay more for a coach that had all original parts, even if somewhat threadbare? Or would you want one more modernized?

We all want to be safe and confortable, but where should we draw the line?

Steve
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:09 PM   #2
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Steve,
I think it will all boil down to personal perference. I plan on keeping my 1975 for a while (at least until the 34' I want comes along ) I have been updating systems as I go. Great strides have been made in technology in the past 30+ years. Univolts were great...30 years ago. Now we have AGM batteries 3 stage chargers, 12volt fluorescent lights, fantastic fans, etc. If my unit had been pristine in near show room condition I probably would have left it alone. But my unit had been misused and abused, so a complete gutting and reworking of a lot of the systems is the order of the day. I am replacing the overhead automotive style bulbs, which are a serious heat source and battery killer with fluroscents. The sink and bathroom light fixtures look vintage but have had fluorescents installed in the orginal fixture. I like the look of the 70's vintage interior so most of it remains with some gentle updating of the colors and new foam for the gaucho and beds. I don't worry about resale value, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay me for it, and I could probably never get back what I have in it. But that isn't what I bought it for.

Aaron
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:15 PM   #3
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Leavenworth , Kansas
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Cool It's all personal....

Like Aaron, we are upgrading as we rebuild. We originally thought we would be purists and replace everything with vintage stuff, but we are finding that the lighting equipment has greatly improved over the years and with our aging eyesight we need all the help we can get. And checking all the wiring as we go, is making us feel more safe and secure.

We are so happy that we have real wood in the trailer and that it cleaned up beautifully. That's one thing that we will not change. The previous owners severely damaged one of the base cabinets, but we will replace it with a custom cabinet stained to match the original. (It helps when your son is a custom cabinet maker for a government contractor). We are also kicking around different ideas to make the living area to suit our needs and not to provide just extra seating and sleeping space. Of course, the gauchos were missing when we got it, so it made the decision easier.

I think the joy of ownership of an Airstream is the fact that you can make it your own and don't have to follow any specific rules and regulations (except for safety issues), unlike your home where you are restricting by zoning laws, and building permits, and home owner's associations, and set back lines, and ...... well, you get the idea.

Everytime we get one more project completed we feel a real sense of accomplishment, unlike the feeling when I vacuum the living room floor for the umpteenth time, or do laundry, or make the beds; you know, regular housework.

I love my silver whale...
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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Chummy provides two important avenues of relaxation. One is the camping and he second is the projects I can do on him. Whenever I am almost done with one project I am already planning my next. I do not think you can go to far if it is what you want. Then again if resale is a major concern this may not be a good way to invest your money.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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I agree with you Chaplain Kent, owning an Airstream is not a particular good investment as far as money goes, but I am sure we all agree that the rest of it is well worth the muss and fuss. What I fear is that when my days of driving are done, things I have done to my coach will make it hard to sell. But, if most everyone else is updating, than if you want to see a pure vintage coach, check out a musem.

I usually don't do anything to Bullet until something breaks, but the updating of the lights sounds interesting. Thanks for the idea Aaron.

Beth, I am sorry that the gauchos left your beloved whale. Did they go back to the Pampas? lol. I have no idea what a gaucho is, other than the cowboy kind. But, I bet you figured that out real quick.

I think what I will do is just keep all of the stuff I take out and hand it over the the next owner. I am guessing that there are more packrats out there just like me.

Thanks for the advice.

Steve
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:32 PM   #6
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Smile Well said Beth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver 67
I think the joy of ownership of an Airstream is the fact that you can make it your own and don't have to follow any specific rules and regulations (except for safety issues),
Everytime we get one more project completed we feel a real sense of accomplishment, unlike the feeling when I vacuum the living room floor for the umpteenth time, or do laundry, or make the beds; you know, regular housework.
Really well put Beth. This forum is a great place for ideas Steve, we've used many of them. Lots of adaptations that make the trailer more convenient, like for boondocking, etc. There's so many nice threads with great ideas, Uwe's, Pahaska's Classic 28, don't forget the VAP and other sources like Airstream Life...seems like each day we find a new idea to use in our trailer that just makes it more ours.

Wow Beth you really summed it up about a sense of accomplishment its so true! Great post and nice thread!
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:07 PM   #7
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Steve,

Being a purist myself, I wanted to keep our Sovereign as original as possible. What I found out was that original is good, but I found out that modernizing and still maintaining the appearance of original is best. No, I don't have the original Hehr vents anymore, but I can tell you that the new Fantastic fans rock. No, I don't have the original avocado Kodel carpeting, but the new Marmoleum and carpet combo look fantastic. I did go out of my way to make the galley original again, and I don't regret the decision. I did upgrade the toilet, simply because there was no toilet. Whether you decide to keep your trailer original or modernize is up to you. Ask yourself these two important questions: 1) Can I live with what I've chosen five years from now? and 2) Do I plan on selling my trailer, and can I get out of it what I've put into it?

Either way, good luck to you.

Frederic
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:52 PM   #8
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Frederic,

That is sound advice about living with what we have done five years into the future. As to getting out of our toys what we put into it when we sell, I really don't think I will ever even break even! Not that I am complaining, it is a labor of love. But no matter what I do to it, it will always be a 1982 MoHo, and its base line value will be determined by that. I just don't want to get so far out in left field that no one will want it. Of course if the price of gasoline keeps going the way it is, few will be able to afford to drive it around the block. I guess it could become a guest house and a way to escape hurricanes. Come to think of it...

Anyhow, thanks to all for their advice.

Steve
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