Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-28-2010, 11:41 AM   #15
2 Rivet Member
rovercamper's Avatar
1971 25' Tradewind
Grottoes , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 28
Images: 10
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
Renovation is fairly subjective. Somewhere on this site, someone described renovation vs restoration - and I believe that renovation included lots of new *modern* mechanical/electrical components and also updated conveniences (appliances) with custom interiors. Could encompass A LOT of work. Restoration could also be a lot of work - but would likely be more dependent on the condition of the trailer to start... there are plenty of 70's out there with good interiors and working systems.
There's also renostoration in between

rovercamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #16
Stefrobrts's Avatar

1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,818
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
I bought one in pretty good shape, took it camping, worked on it in the winters, and it has pretty much been done for the last couple years (we've had it 7 summers now). Nothing to worry about except to fill the water, hook it up, and go camping. I know someone else who bought theirs before me, decided to do a complete shell off floor replacement with the newest high tech materials, and upgrade it with all the bells and whistles, who hasn't had it out of the driveway yet. Just like a classic car, the project is all about where you start, and what you plan to do with it.

The number of people abandoning projects are because of folks who jump right into their first project. They expect it will be easy, it's more work than they thought, it's more money than they thought, they get in over their head, they burn out, and they sell it unfinished. This pattern applies equally to cars, boats, houses, and old Airstreams. However many people do the same thing and come out the other end with a beautiful trailer they love. I don't know how to predict which group you'll fall into


Stefrobrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 12:30 PM   #17
4 Rivet Member
arcamedies's Avatar
1993 30' Excella
Lakeland , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 343
Images: 69
Blog Entries: 5
Once you do all the above math and convince yourself that what the heck I may like it and if not I can always sell it, you may need a psychatrist after getting one, to help with the dependency of the addiction of having one.

Got one one, fixed it, love it, making my second trip to Florida in a year 2000 miles round trip and I can sell it for more than I have in it, if the Doc can cure me.
arcamedies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 01:10 PM   #18
Rivet Master
Shacksman's Avatar
1960 28' Ambassador
Vintage Kin Owner
1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,160
Originally Posted by Airstreamdmb View Post
....The one most concerning to me is the axles and inadequate frames. I'm handy but far from knowledgeable on inner-workings of brakes axles, and terminology surrounding the suspension. This suspension issue appears to be a major concern with separation, sagging etc......
Don't worry so much about the suspension. For $800 installed, per axle you can have everything new. Includes axle, brakes, bearings, seals, brake drums, pre greased and ready to roll. All of them 70s and back really need this and it's a great way to get started. I've done at least a dozen this year and they all ride much better for it.
Doug & Terry
60 Ambassador Int.
98 Safari
56 Flying Cloud
68 Tradewind
1950 Spartan
Shacksman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #19
Rivet Master
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
Lots of good advice already.

You need to look at your abilities—restoring requires skills of an auto mechanic and home construction. How much money can you spend and how much will a specific trailer cost you to fix? Money pit? Probably, even a relatively new one has issues and maintenance costs of any trailer are high. Do you have the tools?—if not, figure that into your costs.

One that has been treated well and is in good shape may have things break, just like an older house. If you find a good used one, figure you'll need more money for stuff that breaks next week or next year. You'll need a tow vehicle to fit the trailer. You may need a hitch, sewer hoses, fresh water hoses, and all sorts of stuff that everyone uses with an RV. Some may come with it, some may not.

You can do the research on this here—start with 2air's link and then just look around on the Forum to get an idea what you're getting into. Some models are notorious for problems such a rear or front end separation—avoid them unless it has been fixed properly. A lot of research is time consuming, can be depressing, and requires sorting through opinions that may not make sense, but in the end will save you a lot of grief.

You can have inspectors look at it and give you an idea of the shape of the unit you're interested in, but the good ones can go fast. Inspectors are listed on the right side of the Portal page.

Yes, some buy blind, get started and realize they are not the right person for this. They may sell a partially restored trailer cheap to get rid of their mistake, but it may be right for you.

It is often said no one gets what they have put into a restored trailer, and that may be a way of getting an older one at a reasonable price. People sell for health reasons among others and those trailers may sell reasonably. Everybody can win in those sales.

It's not a journey to take lightly, but the results can be good or better if you are realistic, patient and careful.

Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #20
Rivet Master
Splitrock's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,395
Blog Entries: 20
It's probably been mentioned already but I've found all the parts I've needed for my trailer have been available. To me, that's a pretty big consideration when starting a repair/replace trailer fix up project. Try that with a '76 Forester.

Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 04:36 PM   #21
2 Rivet Member
1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 87
I used to work in IT for a huge RV dealer selling everything but AS. In my experience the build quality on most brand new SOBs is just down right horrible.

Ask yourself how many other RV manufacturer's brands do you regularly see 40+ year old trailers running down the road?

DaveAbad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 04:52 PM   #22
4 Rivet Member
kevin242's Avatar
1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 393
Images: 16
All RV's are things that "take money out of your wallet" (I won't say money pit).

Purchasing a new trailer means you spend big bucks up front, higher insurance fees, taxes at time of purchase, higher licencing costs and endure rapid depreciation. If you took a loan for the RV you are also paying interest every month. If you paid cash - you aren't earning interest on that money anymore either...

Purchasing an older trailer means you spend less money at the time of purchase and then possibly spending hundreds or thousands of dollars renovating, restoring and/or repairing.... but this is not always the case. We put only a couple of hundred into ours and everything is solid... a bit retro, but solid.

At the end of the day when choosing older vs. new:
  • What's your real, honest "cost per night" (factoring in interest, depreciation, etc.)?
  • Can you do the repairs yourself, or will you have to hire it done (hiring might still be cheaper than buying new...)?
  • Do you typically change RV's every couple of years?
  • Is owning from new REALLY important to you?
  • Are you happy with pre-owned?
  • If you only camp one or two weekends a year, have you considered renting?
  • Can you REALLY afford new?
No right or wrong answers - it depends on you being honest with yourself.
Every home needs a dog, and every dog needs a home.

1977 25' Tradewind (with two ... three... FOUR dogs)
2011 Ram 1500 Quad cab, 5.7 Hemi, tow pkg.
kevin242 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 05:56 PM   #23
3 Rivet Member
1965 28' Ambassador
Malta , New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 100
keeping both

yes my plan was to keep both until i was able to use the Airstream. I'm aware that the market is poor for resale so it would make no sense to sell the Jayco right now. I do want to be able to camp and I do want the project too. I see nice deals on the classifieds but they are all half way across the country from where I live. I live in upstate NY. Is there a way to buy from such distance or am I better to take what I can find within 4 hour drive???
Airstreamdmb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 06:36 PM   #24
2 Rivet Member
1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 87
That depends on your circumstances. We knew exactly what we were looking for and waited until it showed up here in the classifieds. When it did and we confirmed everything with the PO, we left the next day, drove just over 2,000 miles round trip. But for us t hat's part of the adventure.
DaveAbad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #25
Rivet Master
Minno's Avatar

1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,157
We found one from the forum classifieds in Mississippi for the price we wanted and a great PO who was more than willing to be very honest with condition and sent us tons of pictures. It worked out very well for us. We found out later that there are people that are willing to go inspect for you in the area you are looking to buy in. We are in those ranks now. You could try that if you find a trailer in another part of the country and want someone to look at it for you.

Minno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #26
Vintage Kin
slowmover's Avatar
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,284
Images: 1
A well-built travel trailer can't be included in the same sentence as "motorhome" when we say "money pit". And it isn't even in the same galaxy as an airplane or a big sportfisherman.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 07:42 PM   #27
3 Rivet Member
1965 28' Ambassador
Malta , New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 100
found it

found a 1965 Ambassador and am picking it up this weekend. Can't wait.
Airstreamdmb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 08:36 PM   #28
4 Rivet Member
elfirebob's Avatar
2007 25' International CCD FB
1970 23' Safari
1956 16' Bubble
Jamul , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 254
Images: 159
Right On!
Have fun and don't forget the primary purpose, go camping!

Stream Safe,
Bob U-
San Diego, CA.
The " TinDen "
2007 25' International FB
1970 Safari 23' Land Yacht
1956 Bubble 16' California Whale Tail
Charter Member 4 Corners Unit
(View all of elfirebob's images)
elfirebob is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pit Bull vs Homeowners Policy 345bill The Pet Forum 66 08-14-2010 10:08 AM
If you have the Money Honey Over59 1950 - 1958 Cruiser 13 05-15-2010 06:20 PM
Pit Mix & RV Parks dre00 The Pet Forum 56 12-12-2008 07:30 AM
Fridge pit stops BillTex Refrigerators 10 07-31-2007 08:00 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.