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Old 01-13-2007, 11:45 AM   #15
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1973 23' Safari
Tucson , Arizona
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We bought "Molly" fully restored so I did not have the satisfaction of doing it myself. Altho, after waiting many years for just the right rig for the two of us
I'm glad she was allready done. All the reciepts from the previous owner were included, and some time spent at the shop that did all the work helped us make the deal. Close to 10,000 was spent just prior to the sale. I'ts what we wanted, not having to do much except cosmeticts inside and normal maintance. But there is that satisfaction of doing it yourself.....

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Old 01-13-2007, 02:26 PM   #16
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1965 20' Globetrotter
1956 22' Caravanner
Mendon , Massachusetts
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On my second

I've got two vintage rigs. One is done and used on a regular basis, the other is in the shop.

Let's just say, the second after all said and done will crest $20K. Could it be done cheaper, sure. But I'm not doing it that way and I only want to do this once.

In terms of why spend so much restoring, it's not an ROI thing at all. It's all about building someting for fun and not having a boss looking over your shoulder to see if the dollars make sense... that's why they they call it a hobby. If people don't like my design or workmanship.... piss off

The next rig I buy will be turn key and have a motor certainly will be more than $20k. And it better have a warranty!


56' Caravanner 'The Broomstick'

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Old 01-13-2007, 02:46 PM   #17
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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My policy is not to keep track of these things, and here's why:

in 1996 I bought a 1968 mustang for $4k

In 2003 I sold it for $7k

In between those years I spent about $10k on it, and it was never in a state where it could be regularly used and enjoyed. I never really felt bad about it until I added up the receipts when I was preparing to sell it!

My Caravel cost $6k, but I could use it right away. I figure over the past four years I've put maybe $6k into it. I have enjoyed it regularly this whole time, and it has never been down for maintenance when I wanted to use it. Since I don't intend to sell it, I'd say this was a much better use of time and money than the mustang ever was!

Not to be a Negative Nellie, but my advice to newbies buying anything old that they plan to work on is to buy the best you can - old car, trailer, boat, whatever! It sounds very romantic to buy a gutted wreck and bring it back from the grave, but very few people can do that, and many many people will run out of time, money, or patience with the project. After all, how do you think it ended up gutted? The previous owner probably had the same high hopes and got burnt out on the project, probably spending many sleepless nights hoping someone would come along and take the mess off his hands! So if people ask, I always say buy the best you can, try to get it to a state where you can enjoy it, and work on it as you go along. And never ever count the money!

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Old 01-13-2007, 03:08 PM   #18
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It would take one trip. Just think of all the head turning and life in the lap of luxury!! It is all a matter of perspective.

I tracked the cost of a rebuild of a 1963 garden tractor that I did a few years a go. When I was done and added up the cost. I just about fell over. I learned that the used parts market is a great place.

With my Airstream project I follow Tom's thought. It is all about getting out and having a good time with the family.
Tedd Ill
AIR#3788 TAC IL-10
1967/8 Overlander International Twin w/ bunk/s.
Yes, four kids and two adults in the thing.
Happy wife, happy life.
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:26 PM   #19
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
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I have about $4800 in so far and about another 800-1,000 when done.

That'a the easy add about 300+ hours.

If you offered me 20K today I would say not enough.
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:03 PM   #20
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1960 28' Ambassador
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1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
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That's the good thing about having more then one. I found I need 2 so that 1 is always ready to go. The other always needs something fixed. The 3rd is a long term project, the 4th is waiting, the 5th is good for parts.
I have sold 5 other newer trailers, that only needed a good cleaning, to raise money to keep all this afloat. (At least my wife buys that story)
Doug & Terry
60 Ambassador Int.
98 Safari
1950 Spartan
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:53 AM   #21
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Norristown , Pennsylvania
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Arrow Cost of restoration.

Hi Tim; While I can only speak for myself, with me, the cost is of no deterrent to my lease on wonderful second marriage. COST PLAYS NO ROLE and I will tell you a bittersweet true life's story of faith being good to me, with a happy ending.
On January 28th of 1998 I have lost to breast and bone cancer my Angel wife of 28 years after loosing a six year battle. She was my life and the whole world, despite the fact that she was unable to have children. Our child was a German Sheppard named Sarge who was the smartest working dog ever.
He was killed at age of fifteen and half while working. With a broken heart, I refused to train another dog for this type of work. So, since 1988 we had no dog. In the end of 1996 and in a fourth year of my wife's illness she asked for a large dog and we wound up with 15 lbs of cuddly fur ball which we named Rommel. All thought I have trained him to be a the best behaving pet only, he was my wife's dog, preferring to be touching her constantly. At the age of eight months he was 130 lbs and his favorite time was to pull my wife in a wheelchair on walks on the path by the river. Special harness was made for that purpose into which he could not wait to get in to. Rommel however, would run from any other woman. He could not get close enough to my wife, yet he ran from any other woman. Eighteen months later he was 175 lbs of a sweet King Rottweiler.

Through the last year and half of her illness Rommel was always besides us while I would pick her up from the bed on the morning, while I have bathed her, dressed her and fed her. Always in the car with us with exception of Friday's on chemo day.
I have even resigned from my six figure position as a Chief of the engineering and technical department for world renown engine manufacturer so that I could stay home to take care of her. I was not going to leave her to care by strangers.

In December of 1997 she was declined by the University of Pennsylvania Hospital to be treated any more. We were at the end of the line. During Christmas time in 1997 she has confessed that she lied to me about wanting a dog. Her request was a conn so that I would not be left alone, because she knew Sarge was my best buddy. She also insisted that I promise her that I will re marry because I should not be alone. It must be said here that she was the strongest willed intellectual, I have come to know. Her trust in faith never produced a single tear in my presence during her illness. My reply to her request was negative, knowing that at the age of 52 I had no desire to deal with such involvement. She continued with her request by stating that she will help me to make the right decision. This scared me into oblivion, thinking that she has already picked someone for me. This had me really freaked out as she continued. You do know she said, that Rommel never allowed another woman to touch him, right? This I had to agree too. She said; when you meet a lady to your liking, do not get involved with her, until Rommel accepts her but this must happen within first minute. Imagine the scary chills going down my spine. She continued; unless Rommel accepts, do not bother bringing her back.

Shortly after she passed away, I have forgotten about it because I had no desire to let go of lifetime of fond memories. Eight months later I was by force introduced to a lady who looked very nice with exceptional personality. Eventually I have asked her for a dinner date which she accepted. She was very sympathetic to my loss and her very caring personality which was a form of pleasure to my soul. We started dating strictly as friends, because she parted from a bad marriage and I was not sure if I could ever let go of my past. Such arraignment suited us well. After my first wife' death many Gold digger women visited me at my house and each time Rommel departed. One Saturday night after dinner and before going ballroom dancing, we had an hour and half to kill. Do not know why but something made me offer her to visit my house since she has never been there in our four months of dating.

Walking into the house we found Rommel at his escape stage. I have introduced them while Rommel with his head tilted observed her very intently. I asked her to sit down and offered her a glass of wine which she accepted. Wine was already uncorked in the fridge so it took me less than a minute to return to the living room. Stepping into a living room I was served a shock of my life while spilling the wine on the rug. Rommel was by her with his head laying in her lap while she was petting the side of his neck. She could not help to notice my de lamination and asked what was wrong. Can anyone imagine me telling her the truth at that time? She would have ran out, scarred to death thinking that I belonged in a loony bin. My God I said, his hair will be all over your white dress. Trying to gather my next thoughts
I have gone back to the kitchen to refill the glass. Upon my return I have stood in the door way calling him to come to me. For the first time ever, he refused to move a muscle. Starring at me sideways with the white's of his eye's, he just remained frozen. My louder commands did not help. I have place the glass on the coffee table, grabbed his choker chain in a effort to pull him away. His claws dug into a carpet and he answered with a deep growl.
He was not to be parted with her. At that point my concentration did not exist. She noticed this and could not understand why I was so distraught over it. My dress will clean up she said, do you have a lint roller? Somewhere I replied knowing very well where there was one in every room. Half hour later a retractable leash saved the evening after he was reassured she was joining us for a walk.

Four months later I have designed a engagement ring which was made by my friend jeweler. One night at the ballroom, where everyone knew us, I had proposed to her through a band leader publicly after the first break. One of my employees was hiding in the back room with two dozen long stem roses and a red hanky for me to kneel on. At first, the served shock has forced her to hide her face in her hands and drop the face on the table. Announcement was done with, silence fell that you could hear a pin drop and continued for about thirty seconds after which the question was repeated. All she could do is lift her head off the table and shake her head yes. Following the wedding the truth was disclosed to her about the dog incident. Rommel was born two houses away at the back of her home fifteen miles away from me. Rommel was born 5 days apart from our birthdays which are one day apart.

Over seven years I have experience such marital bliss that there is no cost which would limit me from doing anything that pleases her. And she cannot wait for completion of our 26' Argosy. What is a cost anyway in a face of happiness? So that is my story. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:55 AM   #22
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1996 28' Excella
Where the water tastes like wine , Michigan
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Smile Its more than a hobby!

Thanks for this thread Tim. And Boat doc what a touching story.
Its great reading all the input here. This forum and the VAP have been so invaluable for our trailer work, we started with a 79 Ambassador and currently have a 96 excella.

We regard the Airstream as our family hobby--we don't expect to make any money off of it, and we strive to live within our means so to us it is a fun challenge to see what we can do with what we have. My hubby, Dave, is very handy and loves to solve/fix problems. We like to work together on the Airstream and then take it camping. For example now we are putting in a dinette Dave built and a wood floor. Though our current Airstream is a 96 excella it has given us lots of projects and lots of fun.

All these little changes we make to the trailer add value in that they mean something to us, and we did it together. And then we get to take it out and play with it!
Steph in MI Air# 6996-
I Hockeytown USA!!
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:29 AM   #23
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A great dog, a great relationship AND an Argosy. Sounds good to me. What a great story. I know your wife would be pleased for you.
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:51 PM   #24
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1993 30' Excella
San Antonio , Texas
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Yes, We are still in the process of restoring (Moderizing) a '93 30' Excella. We started to replace the carpet so it is now out. That ment taking out the front sofa, dinnet, rear queen bed and all the curtains. Replaced some rotten sub-flooring and wood in the bath. Have now removed the countertop and plan to replace with a solid surface with a molded sink. Purchased a new stovetop at Camping World last weekend along with memory foam topper, quilted mattress pad and new lights for the dinnet and bath. I don't think we are through yet?? After every purchase I catch myself saying, "Well, that's the last BIG purchase." I've been made a lier many times already. As late as 3PM today I got the price for replacing the kitchen countertop and sink. We will start the interior painting next weekend, then install the countertop and then the laminate flooring. We have the dinnet and sofa stored after restuffing and reupholstered. Hope to camp in mid March. It's great "when a plan comes together".
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:44 PM   #25
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Venice , California
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Originally Posted by muddy_hollow
It's all about building someting for fun and not having a boss looking over your shoulder to see if the dollars make sense...
doug, you must not be married

*by asking the above question,
i verify that i have already used
the search feature to the best of my ability...
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:51 PM   #26
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Putnam , Connecticut
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We are at the 20K mark and will only need "a few more things".
Of course that doesn't include the Duramax.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:12 PM   #27
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Northern , California
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The *TRUE* cost of NOT doing a restoration...

Not having a trailer to camp in last year has taught me something else. There is a cost to NOT doing a restoration. Or a at least not have a trailer ready to camp in.

My daughter reminds me of this all the time, and I have ensure her that we will be camping this year. The pressure is on!

She as well as the rest of my family are giving up a lot of time with me this past year so I can work on the trailer. It's part of their sacrafice, besides the finances involved.

But even at the ripe ol' age of 5, she remembers how much she loves camping, (since she was 6 months) and can't wait to go again.

So, there maybe cost to doing a restoration, but in some ways there is a bigger cost to not do one.
1960 International Ambassador 28'
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:02 PM   #28
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
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cruising this forum over the years has always motivated me to want to do more and more to my Airstream. First my 82 Classic Moho and now my 78 Sovereign. Reality kicks in when I realize I am a school teacher/ i.t. guy and with two teens who quickly eat up the extra funds for any neat project I have in mind.
However, that fact not withstanding, I find ways to improve and beautify and personalize our Aisrtream. It is a challenge to do some of the things creatively while not spending a fortune. And then there are the mandatory repairs that pop up on the cars and home that take me off my beloved projects. ( last week it was two toilets needing they talk to each other or what?)
Most important to me though is as Tim was alluding...the ability to hook that trailer up in a heartbeat and go to some neat campground or park and just enjoy the family time, and the outsdoors, and the memories we are creating each time we go.

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