View Poll Results: Should older airstreams be restored OR customized?
Totally gut the older airstream and start over? 96 47.52%
Keep older airstreams totally original! 111 54.95%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 202. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-22-2004, 07:48 AM   #29
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I have that same gun , bought in 1974 when I did a van conversion. It still rivets well and has fixed a number of places on my AS.

As to the original topic of this thread- when I got my motorhome the seat and trim fabric was worn out and I opted to keep the original design of the structure, but upgrade and improve the look and grade of the fabric.

I later decided I hated the old wood grain stripe on the outside, and wanted a new look, I posted a poll to see what others thought about my striping options, and surprise---the results were mixed...some thought it had to stay original while others of course were ok with a new design.

I went with a new design, and have been super happy with the result.

I must say I love seeing a retro look, even down to the accessories and all, but I also really like seeing the creative ways folks modernize and change their Airstream's...looking forward to seeing Swebster's new CCD looking motorhome...all the creative designs and ideas are what contributes to making this hobby (read- obsession) such a personal and fun one.
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Old 04-23-2004, 01:13 AM   #30
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Talking rivet gun

Hey guys!! I went to Lowe's tonight and finally found a hand rivet gun. It is not the Stanley brand--Arrow, but it also has the 360 swivel head and interchangable parts. I can't wait to try it out, but I have to gut everything first. They also had many more sizes than previously! Your photos helped tremendously!! Thanks again so much!!
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Old 04-26-2004, 10:16 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeynstein
There are a couple of reasons for wanting the center bath as opposed to our current rear bath besides the rear separation problem---sleeping accomodations. My husband is a rather large man and the gaucho is not comfortable nor does it meet our needs. My traveling assignments usually last 13 weeks or more--the last one lasted 8 months.
We are also concerned with the curvature of the walls when placing a bath/shower area and I am perplexed as to how to do this and what materials to use. We haven't access to an RV supply dealership, but did see a few on our travels. We would like to have it finished before I take on my next assignment if possible..


Again I advise you to not even think of the bathroom switch.
You will be undertaking very near a "Full Monty" restoration. You will spend much more time and money than you could go and buy a whole new vintage trailer for. You will be frustrated beyond imagination with finding parts, buying parts long distance, recieving parts, etc. most likely not inexpensive and most likely no warranty on the parts. You will be required to be a pipefitter, a plumber, pretty fair body man, an electrician, a damn good finish carpenter, maybe a glazier, maybe a HVAC tech, maybe a chassis mechanic, mighty good with a caulk gun, a good welder, perhaps a long haul auto detailer (polisher), and a servicable seamstress (like Smily) , but you shouldn't need any bricklaying skills. Of course it is good you are already a nurse for all the burns, cuts, slices, splinters, and muscle strains you will encounter. And all this would be fine if there was no imposed time limit over your heads.
Forget it and trade. Believe me a 1974 Sovereign is probably not worth the effort especially if it already has tail sag or rear end separation. Not that those too can not be fixed, they can. BTW center baths get rear end separation and tail sag too.

First you all need to know exactly whether it has that or not.
2nd you need to know the conkition of the axles. You can do fair with weak axles if you are not going to move it far or often. Or if you are not going to sink alot more money into it. But why redo the interior and have bad axles shake all the work apart? New axles= approx.$2000.00 for a pair.
I know this sounds all negative...but it is not. But have a plan. Detailed. Know what you have to work with. And put a pencil to every item and task.
If you have the time and the energy and the willingness to ask for help, you can do almost anything. That's for sure.
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Old 04-26-2004, 10:49 PM   #32
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switching rear bath to center

Wow, I knew that considering to change to a rear bathroom was going to be a chore, but your information has given me much more insight. I have been researching other alternatives, but still have not found anything that I would be happy with as far as sleeping accomodations either. With the information you have given me leads me to believe that perhaps I should just keep the bathroom right where it is, because the more I have looked into changing the rear to the side, everything seems to be adding up expense wise--not to mention all of the labor. It also leads me to believe that should I attempt to tackle this project that I would end up abandoning it and would be left with a gutted mess. I would be doing most, if not all of the renovation myself...If only I could win the Lottery...........
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Old 08-01-2004, 10:30 AM   #33
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I have a 1972 26' Argosy TT. The interior wasn't much good for live-in use when it was new. I have been up-dating the interior a little at a time and enjoy it more and more.
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:19 PM   #34
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My opinion is not exclusively one or the other. I've seen some beautifully restored units that were neither completely gutted nor totally restored to 'original'.
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:05 AM   #35
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In my case I had no choice. My coach was completly gutted out when I bought it.
It had been donated to a church and was being used for storage. I had a hard time convincing the church to sell it to me so I traded an enclosed utility trailer and a $200.00 donation and I was able to swing the deal, (total investment $800.00). My opinion now is I would have been better off buying a working unit even if it needed some work. Only problem there is it would have costed a bundle which I can't afford.
Add $3,940.00 later and countless hours of work over a year and a half, and it still lacks holding tanks, courtains, plumbing and interior electrics.
Best part of all this is that I have really enjoyed doing the "resurection" (except the kitchen cabinet was done by others) and I have learned a great deal here at the forums, thanks to all the members!
Ernie
'58 Traveler 18ft.
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:21 AM   #36
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I think if you have to go as far as plumbing, holding tanks and electrical when considering a restoration it is never going to be cost or labor effective. Take it from someone who started out with the idea of restoring a vintage Land Rover and ended up building anew one. When I say new, I mean everything, every nut bolt and washer in the vechile was new. New chassis, body panels, engine, transmission, wiring everything. People would ask me, " what did it look like when you started. They couldn't believe me when I would tell them that there wasn't anything. The parts and service manual and a bank account. I don't want to tell you how long it takes to build a car by yourself in your spare time as well as how much money I spent. I even bought the spray equiptment built a spray booth and painted every panel before I installed them. When it was complete my wife my son and myself drove it 13 hours to Vermont for the largest British car show on the East coast. It won a first place but it worth it? It's something that I felt compelled to do but I would never do it again. It takes too uch enery time and money away from other things that are more important. I think you have to be careful getting into any project like a Airstream restoraton and ask yourself whats the maximum amount of time and money your willing to commit and then realize that it in reality will take more of everything, and most of the time A LOT more.Having said that , I plan on replacing the complete interior of my 76 Sovereign. At least I'm starting with something and it's in very good condition. As for keeping it original or changing things to suit your tastes and needs? Original isn't the Holy Grail, do what makes you smile.

Jack
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:34 PM   #37
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Ernie,

I have no interior and nothing else on the inside of my trailer. I have to even remove the shell to repair the frame. As for "Original" maybe a original feel, but not a restoration.

As for what Jack has said, I did just about the same thing with a 1963 Cub Cadet garden tractor (read ovver grown lawn mower) Too much time and money. The Airstream is different. The whole family is in on this one. Time is not an issue, we work when we can and money is around. I scavange my parts and will make what I can using what was left of the interior. It is a hobby and a labor of love. When it is done we will enjoy it for years to come.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:43 PM   #38
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Till;
Thank you for the coments and encouragement. Even though sometimes I feel like giving up I'm going to finish the project myself. It IS a labor of love and very rewarding specialy when friends family and strangers see what you have acomplished and just love it and congratulate you on a job well done. I have even been asked if it is new and they can't believe me when I tell them it's a 1958.
I also have to agree with Jack (Craftsman), that it takes forever to complete and that it will cost you a bundle of cash. That is something that I don't have in the piggy bank but something that over the span of the "resurection" (not a restoration) will not be so painfull.
Thanks guys, and stick arround, I'm not done yet!
Ernie
"58 Traveler 18 ft.
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:38 PM   #39
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Depends ...

on the condition of the coach and the age. The older the coach, the more I think it should be restored to something approaching original condition.

If a coach is in fine condition, then I hate to see anything except restoration to near the original configuration. If it has already been altered quite a bit or little original of the original interior can be salvaged, then modify away.
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:02 PM   #40
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I have a question on this topic.

In restoration, are we talking "as deliverd" or as it was at a given time in its life??

I ran into this at the railway museum that worked at.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:19 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by till
..In restoration, are we talking "as deliverd" or as it was at a given time in its life?...
From everything I have read, restoration, in Airstream terms, refers to "as delivered". So, if Tedd wants to do a restoration, he needs to keep that wonderful green interior , light all his appliances by hand, and ignore Axleman's offer of reasonably priced replacement axles.

A refurbishment is more cost effective. JMO.
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:36 PM   #42
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purist?

I've been airstreaming for two years now and bought a very nice 65 globetrotter off a fella in Maine. He had spent loads of time restoring the appliances and interior cabinets/furniture where it was a working 65 trailer. When we got it, my wife and I wanted to personalize it and update some of it for nothing more than to make it easier on us. New mattresses, modified the interior to include a side dinnette, added bal stabalizers, new shocks, and so on. I love my GT and the mods we made, but we have a great many original things. The heater and fridge work great!

I think between the purist (keep it original) and the gut-and-redo there can be a happy middle.

Doug

BTW, I have yet to meet up with a purist. Do they exist? What do they look like? Do they dress period correct?
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