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Old 05-27-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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Complete redo of mechanics, electric, plumbing, etc.

Anyone every taken a Airstream MH that has been sitting for almost 20 years and redone all the operational stuff short of engine and transmission, rear axels, etc.

Supposedly the engines runs well, the basic drive components work, but nothing to do with the electrical system, Plumbing, generator, A/C etc. has been used for over 17 years. So it seems a complete redo is necessary.

Any ideas on how much that might cost, just looking for a high low estimate as I have no idea. But I assume, all window seals replaced, any rubber part anywhere replaced. Probably new roof top a/c (2), new tires, and probably more.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Robert
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:24 PM   #2
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For 16 years it was in a hay barn, outside for another 3 years. Maintenance done to the engine and transmission all hoses, belts, water pump, replaced, rebuilt carb, today parked under a carport.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
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The really big question that will determine answers to your question is this........How much of the work are you expecting, willing, able to do? How handy are you, if not, how much would you like to learn.

If you really want to know everything about your coach and don't want to be helpless stranded on the side of the road; you need to start working on her. The more systems you work on the more comfortable you will be driving her to far off places.

For the stuff I'm not sure about, like mechanics, I have a friend that owns a 325 that can help out with a phone call if I have a question. Sunday, for example he's coming to help me replace my vent with a Maxxair and also cut a new vent into my rear lounge for another Maxxair. I in return help him out in other ways.

If your coach was stored indoors, which it seems to have been, you may find a lot of systems just need to be cleaned out with a bit of elbow grease, cleaner and lubricant.

Roof air may need just a clean out (drains) and a recharge.

The electrical is probably fine but turn things on and start pulling fuses to find out what systems are turned off on what fuses.

Air compressor again will need a clean out and lubrication. Lines should be okay but air tank maybe old and rusted out inside.

Plumbing can be redone with Wirsbo/Uponor expandable Pex A piping. A little practice and constructing a lot of the piping out of the coach helped immensely. Anyone can do this and the tool can be rented.

New tires I already wrote about. You can put on the tires yourself and balance with dynabeads or Centramatics but a tire shop doesn't charge too much.

As far as window seals, see how they are first.

Do one system at a time:

I would replace all fuel and return lines from the gas tank first with Ethanol friendly fuel lines. We have lost a number of coach's lately from fuel fires.

Get the engine running with oil, coolant and thermostat change. Drain transmission fluid and rear differential fluid.

Air compressor and air ride system check

Brakes: New master cyclinder as your old one probably has jelly in it and will damage a seal as soon as you push the pedal down. New fluid with the new master and fluid flush. Check pistons in callipers for movement and replace if necessary. New pads all around.

Suspension: check everything and replace bottom ball joints if any play at all. See Henderson Supersteer products.

New wipers.

After that, it's just gravy.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by image360 View Post
Anyone every taken a Airstream MH that has been sitting for almost 20 years and redone all the operational stuff short of engine and transmission, rear axels, etc.

Supposedly the engines runs well, the basic drive components work, but nothing to do with the electrical system, Plumbing, generator, A/C etc. has been used for over 17 years. So it seems a complete redo is necessary.

Any ideas on how much that might cost, just looking for a high low estimate as I have no idea. But I assume, all window seals replaced, any rubber part anywhere replaced. Probably new roof top a/c (2), new tires, and probably more.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Robert
15 to 20K
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thanks folks!

Well, I must be joining the Airstream cult with lots of good Karma. I just got off the phone with a photographer that also just happens to be a vintage car restoration nut.

So, he is going to not only take photo's for me but write a report on what he thinks needs to be done.

Cool.
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:28 AM   #6
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15 to 20K
The number sounds reasonable to me, but could you suggest where in Austin a person would likely be able to procure such services in a timely manner?

I'm curious because we have tremendous difficulty in Houston. RV-related labor is $120 per hour across the board, but there's so much demand even at that price that it's difficult to get anything done. And then the number of hours that they tend to book on any given task seems pretty high to me.

OP, our Airstream MH is not as old as the one you are looking into, but even at nine years of age we have had our share of repair and replacement challenges and of course there will be more as it continues to age. We've replaced the electrical converter, almost all of the gray and black water plumbing system, propane tank, fridge, cab carpeting, miscellaneous rusted hardware throughout which is a process that is still ongoing (screws and other pieces were not stainless), furnace thermostat, upgraded the shocks, sway bar, horn, plus we've added solar, a three-camera monitoring system (backup and both sides), TriMetric battery monitor, a bunch of other little stuff, and we are in the process of upgrading to lithium and upgrading the headlights (older MH's don't have projectors which can be a bigger problem than many people first realize).

Most of that work we did ourselves. If you get into that type of thing on a DIY level, expect it to dominate the recreational component of your life over a time span of years. You're either working on the rig or camping with the rig, but as the other poster correctly noted, once you get a lot of this type of stuff completed, you roll down the road knowing that your rig is not going to fail in any way.

If you'd like to read about our repairs and upgrade adventures to get a feel for what's involved, here's our blog:

http://interstateblog.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:43 AM   #7
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The number sounds reasonable to me, but could you suggest where in Austin a person would likely be able to procure such services in a timely manner?
..
To make it simple, I would divide the restoration of a classic Airstream Motorhome into 4 Areas:
1. Mechanical maintenance and repairs
2. Coach systems (plumbing, gas, electric etc)
3. Interior decoration
4. Exterior (aluminum/windows) maintenance and restoration

Each of the areas requires a different skill set and just a few of us dare to tackle all of them. If I would be looking for a service shop, I would first identify which category the service falls under and proceed accordingly.
For example:
Austin has a mobile Rv repair guy (Dan with TDRV) that will come to your house and do certain RV related repairs. I doubt he would replace your ball joint or help you decorate your interior
Truck service centers will tackle many of the heavy truck repairs like balljoints and front end alignments.
You can find several ads for exterior polishing, some of them need to be approached with caution.
etc, etc



Image360 (Robert) contacted me and I offered him a full check up (all 4 areas), along with teaching him the systems and giving him a preliminary cost estimate (I would expect to be paid for my time). This is not my business and I am not really interested in doing any of the work, but it would get him started to look for the right people to do the work.

We have a big network of Classic Airstream owners and I would think that others would be more than willing to offer a similar service in other areas.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:25 PM   #8
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Not going to happen

Thanks all for the input, but this one was in such bad shape that it would have taken easily well over 60K to fix. Not in the budget or worth it. Suggested to the seller that they sell it for parts, but the guy is going to retire soon and make it his project. So good luck to him!

Robert
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:22 AM   #9
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"I recently purchased a 1988 325 in great shape. The interior is almost like new. The question I have is I plan to turn this into a bike rental and sales space. I plan to pretty much strip all but the kitchen and bath out. I've put these interior parts up for sale on Craigs list, and have a couple of interested parties. It's a orignal wood based cabinets, walls, etc. Grey chairs, Blue couch, etc. All in great shape as this 325 has less than 20K miles on it so it's been very little used.

The issue I have is I have no idea what this is worth. What is a pretty much perfect original interior of a 1988 325 MH worth?

Thanks for any input.

Robert"


So that post and thread was complete BS?????? He hadnt even bought the rig? Whoa, thats really weird. There have been long and well thought out responses to the questions he has posed here on the forums......hmmmmmm. Never seen that behavior before!

Mike
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:31 AM   #10
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I think Robert was considering to buy a second Classic Motorhome, which this thread may be in reference to. But I am not sure. One thing is for sure, If I would live in the same town where I live in, I would beg for my opinion on these classics
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:44 AM   #11
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....... One thing is for sure, If I would live in the same town where I live in, I would beg for my opinion on these classics
If I lived in the same town as you Peter, I would be camped outside just to watch you working!
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:38 AM   #12
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Complete redo of mechanics, electric, plumbing, etc.

Peter if I lived in the same town I would be camped out next to Martin and bring you lunch everyday just to see the work and listen to sage wisdom.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:45 PM   #13
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Peter if I lived in the same town I would have dropped my Argosy off a LONG time ago so you could finish it for me
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:54 PM   #14
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peter if i lived in the same town i would have dropped my argosy off a long time ago so you could finish it for me :d
:d:d:d:d:d:d:d
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