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Old 06-25-2009, 08:51 PM   #15
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1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
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"The eager are not experienced and the experienced are not eager."

Welcome to the forums!

Given your plans to gut (or start over), I would not pay more than $2500-$3000. The problem is that you'll undoubtedly have structural issues to deal with (rear end separation/floor rot/frame rust) which will slow you down quite a bit.

Here's my general view of units for sale and price ranges:

$9000-$12,000 - original owner condition or competently restored

$4000-$6500 - all original (including appliances) with hidden problems which will either be addressed (costing possibly thousands more)

$2500 and below - obviously fixer uppers, but well worth it for the one willing and able to restore it (look for straight shell above all else, but plan on structural repairs and appliance replacement)

There are obviously exceptions to the rule, but I would try to avoid the $4000-$7000 range as I see that as the "get burned" range

With all new appliances (nearly a given, in my opinion if 20+ years old), you'll eclipse $10K pretty easily unless you're extremely handy and frugal.

I don't think most newbies can imagine the sheer number of hours involved in a restore until they've done it, and once they have...$10,000 looks pretty cheap when they factor in their time.

Given your chemical sensitivities, this could be an even more challenging task than most of us have already undertaken. I would seriously evaluate this before proceeding further. As a father of 8 (15, 11, 10, 9, 7, 6, 4, 1) and yes, we homeschool as well, I have spent more time away from my family than I care to recount, and while I'm happy with my custom Sovereign, I'm not sure it was worth all the hours I missed with my family (not to mention my frustration during the process).

If I were in your shoes, I would not take on a restoration project but look for one (and be willing to pay for it) already restored with which you can make minor modifications. But I've done two Airstreams (72 Overlander, 73 Sovereign), so my opinion is obviously a bit jaded.

Good luck in your pursuit!

Ron Kaes
Psalm 112
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:55 PM   #16
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Some green airsteam ideas..............

It's obvious that you are on the ball, have good taste, and like cool stuff.
So for now you are researching the feasability of gutting an Airstream and
transforming it into a healthy green living pod.
I am sorry but I think that I gave advice, only with insight looking through my own glasses while sitting on my empty wallet. Now that I know why you want a trailer specifically for gutting, it all makes sense. But I would get an estimate from a company that restores Airstreams?

Trailer insulation can easily get moldy. Plan on gutting the interior walls to get at the insulation. Someone here on the forum redid his interior with aluminum panels. It looked real nice. Try a search on ozone generators, for eliminating mold. Also if you don't run your fridge nonstop, or leave the door open, it will develop mold in a heart beat.

Another Airstreamer replaced his ABS plastic tub, and had a stainless steel tub made. (You can clean stainless with olive oil ).

You had a question about vents. Fantastic Fans, are very popular option to have installed in the ceiling vents. They work well and are efficient. But they suck heat out as they are exhausting the gallon of water that each person exhales or sweats out each night. As stated, RVs aren't good in winter climates. Water coming in and waste going out is prone to freezing.

To Natasha, Non Formaldehyde enzyme based waste water treatments
like Ridex powder, are available at many grocery stores, and home centers. A little more expensive ( not neccesarily better or healthier ), green liquid enzyme types ( like RV-Trine) can be found at RV stores.
Those are the two that I use.

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Old 06-26-2009, 02:41 AM   #17
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1968 28' Ambassador
1982 24' Airstream 240
Venice , California
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In Ithaca?

Are you planning on full timing in Ithaca? I lived in Syracuse for a year and it was very cold and snowy in the fact, we had a blizzard that kept us immobile for 3-4 days and the snow level was above the first floor......I am not sure it would have been fun in an Airstream.....but maybe I am might want to contact Uwe here on the forums for an estimate of time and cost to do a full remodel as you are contemplating.....we are nearing the completion of our 68 Ambassador and are thrilled with the outcome that he built. Good luck with your sounds like a great adventure. pj
Paula & Ed
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Bandit our Boxer
WBCCI # 8252 Air#13593
1968 28'Ambassador
2011 GMC Yukon Denali
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:37 AM   #18
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Love It Here , Colorado
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I noticed several AS trailers in the forum's "classified" section that are already gutted and in the $1000-2000 range. Didn't spend much time looking, so not sure if size fits your requirements, but would think it would save you some time and money if you find one with good outer shell and inerds gone??? Also, if possible, you might take advantage of any members in a potential trailer's location who could help w/trailer's worth/problems. Hope it works out for you. Good luck.
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

"When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:15 PM   #19
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1976 31' Sovereign
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 47
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Waste-water treatment

Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
To Natasha, Non Formaldehyde enzyme based waste water treatments
like Ridex powder, are available at many grocery stores, and home centers. A little more expensive ( not neccesarily better or healthier ), green liquid enzyme types ( like RV-Trine) can be found at RV stores.
Hi Mandolin Dave,

You had some great tips and ideas in your post. About the waste-water treatments, were you saying none of the enzyme based cleaners are better than the formaldehyde-type ones. I have no idea about that subject, so you'll have to clue me in. Is there any product that is healthy?
Terry & Natasha Turner
'76, 31' Sovereign International Land Yacht
Remodel Madness

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Old 06-27-2009, 06:51 AM   #20
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Ithaca , New York
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I appreciate everyone's input, especially regarding 4-season living and potential mold problems. I am going to contact Taylor Design Healthy Homes Taylor Design Healthy Homes, safe environment living and ask them how long their waitlist is currently - I am impressed that this company has been doing healthy airstream renovations specifically for MCS clients for a long time now. Thanks for all of the feedback!

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