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Old 05-29-2014, 08:35 AM   #15
1 Rivet Member
Houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 8
Wow, thank you everyone! This is all incredibly, incredibly helpful. My original idea was to buy an older AS that was in need of remodeling. I figured that would allow me the freedom to shell it out and rebuild the interior the way I would like it to be. My husband and I checked out an older, 24 foot AS that was in need of significant work and we were both immediately overwhelmed. The amount of work, potential problems, costs, and the size in itself seemed like way too much. I began exploring other options, but the idea of going the AS route reignited when I saw the smaller trailers. It's very helpful feedback to hear that the stock models have a claustrophobic feel to it. It would certainly by great to see one in person so I could get a sense for what it might feel like without the stove and sink. I wouldn't want to use the dinette set-up for therapy. That definitely doesn't seem doable. I would want to modify that to be a couch (I have a few thoughts on how to do that in a Bambi but I also feel like the Safari Sport AS option could work). You may be getting why I wanted to go the older AS route to begin with... that's a lot of stuff to take out or modify that I would be paying good money for if I bought a "newer" model from the 2000s. I'm not sure if it would be cheaper to completely rebuild a smaller trailer and make it custom, or remove some things in a newer model in such a way that I could still re-sell if needed. Lots to weigh and think about.

This is a very newb question, but given some of your comments, I have to ask. So, what's the deal with the toilet?

Thanks again, everyone!

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Old 05-29-2014, 09:00 AM   #16
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1973 23' Safari
Encino , California
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 39
I foresee a problem, which is a privacy issue for your patience. After one bears their sole to you, they then get to squeeze by your next waiting patient. You'll have to have a custom AS fabricated with two doors to avoid that situation. For a different purpose I have had that made at the factory. Was not Cheap!

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Old 05-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #17
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Houston , Texas
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Posts: 8
Well now, Land Shark, that's an interesting thought. Do you recall how much that cost? It's pretty standard for clients to walk through the same waiting area they came in through so you'd run into that privacy concern more often than not. My concern was more about not having a space to wait which I imagine could be awkward. Luckily, some of the organizations it sounds like I would be teaming up with (namely, churches) would allow me to park outside their building which should allow clients to wait there if they're early.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:34 AM   #18
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2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
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Is your practice normally one on one or are more present?

Do not let the problem of removing furniture and cabinets worry you too much. If done properly, they can be reinstalled.

May I ask what your prospective budget is for the unit. $5,000 versus $25,000 makes a huge difference in what I would recommend!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:55 AM   #19
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Houston , Texas
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I work one-on-one. However, it would be great to be able to have enough room for 2 people in addition to me if needed (example: working with a client that would like to bring in her partner for 1 session). In regards to budget, I was hoping I could stay around $30,000 or less. If I can pull this off, I certainly want to do it right and do it tastefully.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:31 PM   #20
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Posts: 2,261
Should be feasible. Your budget seems realistic, and if you don't need the trailer to be "campable" (ie., no need for kitchen, or even plumbing), then you could take a vintage trailer and make it into a "rolling living room". There are usually project trailers that can be found for sale where someone has already gutted the trailer, become overwhelmed, and is abandoning the project.

good luck!
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:45 PM   #21
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New Market , Alabama
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Camping in the trailer is one of my therapies. Bring all your patients to a camp ground.

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Old 05-29-2014, 02:25 PM   #22
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orlando , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 13
My wife is a therapist- We have thought this idea through and through and have not come up with a viable solution for our back yard. I have a 19' bambi 1998 and a 1966 26' Overlander. I have restored them both. Hands Down you need 25' or larger for this. The stock bambi won't cut it. I also worked in and have built food trucks for the food truck industry and I can tell you there are many different challenges logistically when you head out on the road for business.

Your waiting area for clients will be the most difficult challenge. Perhaps putting some sort of battery operated door bell that just lights up inside the trailer when you push it. It would face you. or closed circuit TV monitor. This would be a non intrusive way to let you know that your next client has arrived. (Deaf people use these doorbell lights). Your Clients would have to wait in their vehicles as a waiting area- There is no way you could have clients come in while you were in session unless you had a rear door which those models are not common. Sound proofing an interior wall is not feasible- this interior wall would also cut off airflow to rear of trailer.

You will need to build an "L dinette" or search "J Lounge" on this form. The traditional stock dinette is too close for comfort for your therapy sessions.

You could park an airstream behind your house and set up shop- that is IF.
the neighbor don't complain.

How much $ do you want to spend on this?
Do you currently have a tow vehicle?
Commercial Vehicle Business Insurance will be needed$
Fuel costs will be high

You could get away with a 19-22' Trailer but you would have to re configure /remodel the entire trailer- Do away with sleeping area and kitchen etc. Make large sitting area and have bathroom for sure?

running a generator is loud and draws lots of attention. Make sure you buy the quietest generator on the market- (Honda or Yamaha). $2500
Make sure the Gen. Will run the AC.
where will the generator sit while you are parked?
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:21 PM   #23
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2014 22' FB Sport
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 227
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The mobile therapy office idea

Dr. Overland: If you have never restored a boat, trailer or house (or car, I guess), here's one little bit of advice--


It will cost you a lot more money than you can ever possibly imagine. It will take over your life, completely. Even if you love working with your hands and power tools and reconstructing stuff, you will hate it more days than you love it. Unless you plan on making it your full time job, and making the therapy practice your hobby. If you don't believe me, go to a boatyard down on the gulf and ask someone who's working on his boat if he'd ever do it again. (And this is coming from a guy who loves working with his hands, loves carpentry, built his own boat and musical instruments and used to never turn down a challenge.)

PS: Three people in a 16? You have to be kidding me. Even in my 22, it would be very, very tight. I'm with summerj, except I think s/he is underestimating. I'm thinking 35' minimum to separate admin and therapy space.

PPS: "The deal with the toilet": It's like an outhouse with a flap sealing off the hole. It will freak all of your clients out when you have to stand over them and give them instructions. Not to rain on your parade, but I can't see this being a successful experiment ... though I really love the idea of the mobile office.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #24
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1976 31' Sovereign
Fuquay Varina , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 46
AS Office

I saw an AS in Airstream Life remodeled for a chiropractor office done by Capital City Customs in Raleigh, NC. You might give Dan a call and maybe he can help you with some ideas.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:59 PM   #25
1992 25' Excella
Leamington , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 73
I'm always on the lookout for inspiring commercial ideas and pictures of businesses run in an Airstream. Initially your idea sounds fantastic! Can you imagine the publicity you could get in a vintage AS if you can market yourself to the media? Here I would think a shiny vintage AS would be way ahead of a common motor home in generating buzz. I can picture you on the local TV news. I can even see an article in your professional therapy journal.

I hope you go for it and pull this off. My thought is to try it out on a low budget and if it is working out go for the "full monty!" With some actual experience you will know the exact layout and size that will be ideal. Get a restoration business to do a custom AS for you. Spend $100k+. For a professional (lawyer, dentist, etc.) to spend hundreds of thousands on an office building upgrade is common. It's a write-off anyway. You have a unique angle. The question is can you pull it off?

Someone mentioned wheelchair access. If necessary, how about an Eddie Bauer unit with wheelchair access through the hatch? Just a thought.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:26 PM   #26
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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The wood interior is very soothing...

And it helps with sound and heat transfer...
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 05-30-2014, 08:03 PM   #27
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now being enjoyed by Heath and Mary in , Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2005
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A big problem to overcome is the toilet.

Even if you have a sophisticated all china, home-like appliance like the CONCERTO in my remake it will still seem strange to visitors and you'll have to go into the washroom after every visit to make sure they understood the instructions.

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And the issue of dump stations and dumping has to be thought about. No easy matter when you have a trailer being used in a non-traditional setting.

I pretty much specialize in non-traditional settings and travel but I have a macerator in a " waste management compartment".

You need a macerator or a big motorcoach type vehicle with more waste tank capacity.

The friendly warning about how deeply you can get into this is not to be taken lightly either.

Buy something very close to what you need or have it custom built for you.

There is not likely an inexpensive way to achieve what you want to do.

All the best,
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:06 PM   #28
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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I have an answer for the toilet too...

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If you look real hard you can see my residential flush toilet...

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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