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Old 09-30-2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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Fixing a flooded trailer?

With all respect to anyone with current issues, I was just wondering about the possibilities.

Say we got ten brand new Airstreams sitting in a lot in Atlanta. They have been submerged with rainwater up to the windows. If offered to me for 10 cents on the dollar, would I buy one?

I've personally seen what the New Orleans flood cars and boats look like. I wouldn't touch those. But let's just assume that this water was not sewage and fuel polluted.

OK, lets say I just paid $5 grand for a 2009 27 FB. After checking the bearings, lights, & brakes, I tow it to the nearest dumpster. I proceed to throw out all the "damaged beyond repair" stuff like carpet, mattresses, and cushions.

After I get it home and in a BIG garage, I start the disassemble. Disconnect and remove all the appliances and electrical components. Remove all the plumbing fixtures. All the cabinetry comes out. Then the flooring.

Drill out and remove all the interior skins. Toss out all the insulation.

Remove belly pan & Banana skins

Remove shell. Replace floor.

clean

Now build yourself an Airstream.

Replace cabinets with new. Replace all finishes. Repair/Replace all appliances.

When the work is done, how much are you in for? Couple of hundred hours? $1,500 in rough materials? $3,000 in furniture? $3,000 in mechanicals? Lets round up. Say you got $15K in your "new" trailer.

Is it worth it? Many have done this process, its just that this one wouldn't have the rust or rot!

Who here would take this on as a winter project? Geez, I need a life.........
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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If I didn’t have Little Girl already (72 31' Sovereign), yes, I'd pay $5 grand for a flooded new AS and completely rebuild it. That’s exactly what I’m doing now anyway, but she wasn’t flooded. Even soaking wet insulation in the belly pan would be nicer to deal with and clean up than the interesting mess we found. But I think you might be a tad low on your estimate of $15K. Have you prices RV appliances? Of course, it all depends on how fancy and expensive you want to go too.

Are you nuts? Yup. But we all are!

Two things to think about though – insurance might be hard to get, as well as a clear title in some states if it’s sold to you as salvage.

Chris
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
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If I remember right, there is only "bubble wrap" in the belly!

Might be right about the appliances. Figure new fridge, inverter, batteries. Chances are the furnace, stove, HW tank could be salvaged.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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re: But let's just assume that this water was not sewage and fuel polluted.

As someone who was in the ATL flood, let me tell you the water was disgusting. The stench when I opened up the A/S was unbelievable. There was fuel also in / around the flooded area.

re: They have been submerged with rainwater up to the windows.

I can also tell you they were submerged with floodwater (not rainwater) at least 50% inside the units. Water was over the counters, inside the refrig, inside the microwave.

Personally I'd worry about mold after the fact, especially the potential of the unsanitary conditions of the flooded water and what could be growing in the nooks and crannies where you can't see/get to.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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Buy a well-abused trailer rather than a flooded trailer.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:16 PM   #6
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If you had the time, money and space and were somewhat project oriented.. maybe

Its a big project though. You might just spend your time at rally's with friends enjoying the trailer you bought without all the mold and naggin bugs to work out...

But its a toss up.. Depends how I would feel when the offer was presented. lol

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Old 09-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanB View Post
When the work is done, how much are you in for? Couple of hundred hours? $1,500 in rough materials? $3,000 in furniture? $3,000 in mechanicals? Lets round up. Say you got $15K in your "new" trailer.
I can tell you what we spent restoring our '56 Safari (22-footer)...

TIME

More like "a couple thousand" hours, not "a couple hundred". We have spent 2-1/2 years duration of nights & weekends -
I estimate it like this:

2 people, 16 hours each per weekend, for half the weekends each year, for 2.5 years PLUS 2 people, 8 hours each week (evenings), 40 weeks each year for 2.5 years

2x16=32x26=832x2.5=2080 (weekends)
2x8=16x40=640x2.5=1600 (evenings)
2080 + 1600 = 3680 hours
My guess is that is low...we have spent just about every day doing something...and weekends we would often work 12-16 hours on Saturdays.

MONEY

Not including the purchase price or any new appliances (all our old ones worked) except the water heater, we have spent $15K...so add another couple $$$$ for the appliances. Also, the bigger the shell the more it costs to outfit it.

Is it worth it? Yeah...

Shari
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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I am intrigued...

Okay, let's say noone touches these underwater vehicles. What's gonna happen to them? scrap? Now would you touch them? I think there's a lot of folks who would buy them at a low price and basically just keep the stuff that can be cleaned, sterilized and reused. I would bet enough elbow grease would clean a refrig-once ya got past the horribleness of it. I kinda think about the ER folks-they see humanity at its worst physical condition, yet, they put us back together-and I guarantee we aint pretty upon arrival. Well, I guess it would be an individual decision, and would really take a lot-but basically, you'd be rebuilding a new trailer, instead of an old one. Sign me up, I'd tackle it. I figger my pressure washer can undo what the non-pressurized water did.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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Thumbs down

Lets see, it has to be gutted and repaired. $5K, to start... and you will find your "estimates" for time, and I suspect $$ are pretty, well, optimistic.

One of the worst things about flood damage is the electrical, water gets EVERYWHERE, and unless you tear it ALL out, in 1-2 years you will have major problems. I have seen tanks, which have every connection inside and out totally waterproofed in the finest military fashion, that have gone under, and inside of a year they will start to display absolutly un diagnosable problems. They are eventually sent back to Lima Ohio and torn down to the last bolt and rebuilt. and all the connections in an AS are not even pretend water proof...

Or you could roam around the internet and find a vintage trailer, that needs the EXACT same work, for less. (maybe even WAY less) And when you get done, you have a VINTAGE trailer to roll around in...



Would I buy a trailer that needs serious work.. obviously. (see links in my sig)

Would I buy one of those? No way. I have seen flood cars, that "weren't in sewage".. lol... trust me it's in there. Everything from old diapers to dog poo, and everything in between. think about all the chemicals in your lawn, your garage, your shed.. now float those four feet deep, and swim in it.. bet you wouldn't, but hey there is no "sewage". and really because of the way we interconnect the waste water handling in municpalities, as soon as you have a "flood" you have "backwash".

But, everybody picks their own poison. My sister in law nearly broke down in tears when she saw what my wife and I were dragging home, she can not even imagine doing what we are doing, and truthfully, we are having a blast!

SIDE NOTE>> I see you are "always looking for pinball machines".. do you also do Pachinko?

.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:39 AM   #10
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Off topic.....

Boy do I have some stories about a Pinball museum outside of Pittsburgh that flooded.... You talk about bad electrical connections! I stick to collecting pinball machines. Never got into pachinkos.

On topic.....


Maybe I should clarify my definition of "rain water". I had the pleasure of providing disaster relief for Katrina. I served in the hardest hit areas of New Orleans. I stood next to cars, buildings, and trees that looked like God took the sewage of the world and frosted them like a cake. I seen Corvettes and Rolls Royces covered. You would not want to attempt what I'm talking about with one of these.

I'm guessing the flooded trailers in Atlanta smell really bad, and have a residual coating that can be successfully cleaned and disinfected.

We are hearing some passionate advice here. Maybe from two extremes. Just because I'm curious (and usually over-optimistic), let me throw out a question-

Assume you are working in a nice big shop with tools that would make Norm Abram jealous. Friday after work, you back in your Airstream into a stall & pop open a case of Bud. How long does it take for you and your buddy to have that trailer down to studs(frames)?

I'm thinking I can make it to church on Sunday. (See note above about optimism)
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:02 AM   #11
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yes, tear down could be done that fast. Look at how fsat they are built. The clean up would take some time. I say set up a camera on a tripod and go for it.

Three or four guys with a plan and good drill bits. Oh heck yes! When are we goin to start?
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:57 AM   #12
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Depends on what time church is... lol but yeah and since you would not be planning to reuse most of the wood work, or at least I wouldn't, that helps you not having to be to careful in the removal..

Getting the furniture/cabinets etc out isn't to bad.. interior skin.. little bit more involved, but if you had two guys, real drills, (do yourself a favor and as soon as you commit to doing the thing, go on ebay or somewhere and find some pneumatic drills that do 7,000 rpm or better), and plenty of drill bits, and maybe a drill doctor. I drilled about a hundred rivets with a cordless, then my aircraft drill got here (ebay).. I cannot tell you the difference it made. and considering the same number of rivets have to back in, get an air riveter too.

Oh, and I would save the Bud for postmortem... might keep the holes "rounder".. lol
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:49 AM   #13
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I will take one! in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:17 PM   #14
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Assume you are working in a nice big shop with tools that would make Norm Abram jealous. Friday after work, you back in your Airstream into a stall & pop open a case of Bud. How long does it take for you and your buddy to have that trailer down to studs(frames)?

I'm thinking I can make it to church on Sunday. (See note above about optimism)
I'm thinking that you need to include one cheerleader - well, if you want to make it to church on time.


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