Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-12-2006, 01:48 PM   #1
76 Silver Argosy
 
abridges01's Avatar
 
1975 26' Argosy 26
Fallbrook , Southern California
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 85
Send a message via Yahoo to abridges01
How long is a piece of string?

Sorry to lead with such a stupid, and possibly impossible to answer question, but we are very interested in purchasing an Aistream trailer. The problem is different views of hiw best this might be achieved. I would love to purchase an older, 60’s model and then refurbish it to our ‘unique’ tastes, while my darling wife wants to purchase a newer model as she fears the cost and effort involved in a refurbishment. Which brings up the questions, what can we expect in the way of cost for refurbishing a unit that would need to be pretty sound externally, but needing a lot of TLC (possibly a complete overhaul as in eBay item #330015785446) to get the interior done? Any advise will be very much appreciated. Thanks, Andrew
__________________

__________________
abridges01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 02:00 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Condoluminum's Avatar
 
1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,858
Images: 13
Send a message via AIM to Condoluminum
Answer: It depends...

Andrew-

Welcome to the Forums.. You are obligated to now learn to use the "Search" feature in blue bar above... Several excellent prior threads on refurbishing and shops who do work for you.. Legalistic answer above is appropriate, as some here (Uwe in Orange..) have bought or acquired units in need of total reconstruciton and restoration, while others feel new carpeting finishes the deal and they head for a campground...

You should search for shops like Airstream Dreams, Birchwood Beauties and others who do total makeovers and talk to them as well as look at some of the projects documented here. People like movie producer Tim Burton have hired shops to do the work, and paid as much as $50K.. Others have gotten quotes ranging from $20K and up, depending on condition and desired outcome...

One certainty.. If you are not handy with tools, patient, and emotionally prepared to spend more time and money than originally expected, you should limit choices to new or used but late model... A vintage unit from the '60's or 70's is not something to grab up on E-Bay and whip together over a few weekends... You might discover the need to replace axles and brakes, re-weld sections of frame, replace sub-floor and plumbing and tanks, etc etc before you ever get to point of selecting new flooring and upholstery...

There are at least two shops in southern CA who do restoration work.. Inland RV in Corona and C&G in Bellflower... Both have long history with Airstream, and know what is involved.

John McG
__________________

__________________
Condoluminum

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
Condoluminum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 02:42 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
It is like fixing old cars. You can never get back the money you put into them if you have the work done or value your time at more than $5 per hour. If you have to ask the question, you most likely should not do it. Buy the best one you can, that is within your budget, and enjoy it. If you have alot of time on your hands and just like fixing things, then you might consider it an expensive hobby. Call it a large hole in your driveway that you throw money into.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 03:13 PM   #4
Craftsman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Probably the biggest favor that you could do for yourself is to buy a new Airstream that you can use and enjoy right away and then look for a nice Vintage project. but.... if you thrive on a challange , frustration, spending money and just good old hard workthen buy the vintage first.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 04:01 PM   #5
Moderator
 
Stefrobrts's Avatar

 
1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,907
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
I disagree, I've spent a lot less on my vintage than I would have on a new Bambi, and we've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it, and confined it's downtime to the off season.

If you're handy and really want to make it your own, buy the nicest vintage you can, and then do your stuff to it. Don't frustrate yourself by buying a basket case to start out with. This is the same advice I give to someone who is looking to restore their first car - buy the nicest thing you can, because it will still need work and customizing to your taste. In the end it will still cost you a lot less than buying new.
__________________
Stephanie




Stefrobrts is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 04:10 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
2006 28' Classic
Lake Tomahawk , Wisconsin
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 30
A piece of string is twice the distance from one end to the middle! An old question. How far can a dog run into the woods? (Half way then he is running out).
__________________
William Ales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
Craftsman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A pond has a lilly pad growing on it that doubles in size every day. On the 30th day the pond is full. On what day is it half full?
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 06:57 PM   #8
Craftsman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The 29th
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 06:57 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
cosmotini's Avatar

 
1963 24' Tradewind
Highland , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,057
Images: 83
29th?

What's the difference between toilet paper and a shower curtain?







So ... YOU"RE the one!
__________________
Dennis

Air #4056

"Oooh - They have the Internet on computers now!" - Homer Simpson
cosmotini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 07:13 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
toastie's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
1955 22' Safari
Great Lake State , .
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by abridges01
Sorry to lead with such a stupid, and possibly impossible to answer question, but we are very interested in purchasing an Aistream trailer. The problem is different views of hiw best this might be achieved. I would love to purchase an older, 60’s model and then refurbish it to our ‘unique’ tastes, while my darling wife wants to purchase a newer model as she fears the cost and effort involved in a refurbishment. Which brings up the questions, what can we expect in the way of cost for refurbishing a unit that would need to be pretty sound externally, but needing a lot of TLC (possibly a complete overhaul as in eBay item #330015785446) to get the interior done? Any advise will be very much appreciated. Thanks, Andrew
If you hire a lot of the work out, and depending on the shape of the trailer (the floor, wiring, axle, etc.) and the darling wife taste on the inside, your looking at $15,000 plus, and plus the cost of the trailer.

Example: To replace foam seating in a 65 Caravel your looking at $500.00 for the foam, and thats at a sell price, material, 20 yds at $20.00 a yd, $400.00, and labor to put the piece together $600.00 total $1500.00 min.
__________________
toastie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 08:18 PM   #11
Round on both ends
 
SafeHarbor's Avatar
 
1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 783
Images: 39
New, nearly new, vintage? Old trailers can be tricky, even if you follow the forum and learn as much as you can.

You might get lucky.

I got lucky. I decided I wanted a "fancier, bigger" Airstream, and it took me five months to find the right one. As a credit to the previous owner, it was exactly as he described it. Everything worked, and everything was there. There was no floor rot.

So, I sort of paid a premium price for a 1979 model, but I was very happy that everything worked.

Since March 2005 when I got it, I have

* Replaced the oven
* Replaced the water heater
* Removed and repaired the shower pan
* Replaced all the brakes
* Replaced the heating element in the fridge
* Upgraded to a more powerful tow vehicle
* Changed out some water lines
* Changed out the sun-warped vinyl blinds for aluminum ones
* Bought a lot of throw rugs to protect the wooden and linoleum flooring

And I still have some tasks planned for it, like replacing the balky electric trailer hitch and undoing an alteration in the water system plumbing made due to some frozen plumbing in the aft end done before I bought it. And, when I admit it to myself, I really don't like the 80's Arizona-western upholstery. I wish it wasn't in such good shape.

If you get a very late model, a "previously loved" model that was warranteed and actually went camping enough for the owners to take it back for maintenance and adjustment, you can probably avoid a lot of these little irritations that I've enjoyed.

On the other hand, a 60s or 70s model like mine in worse shape could be VERY expensive to refurb, even doing it yourself.

I don't grouse about the things I've had to do for or to the trailer - it's 27 years old, after all, but I knew what I was getting into. Part of dealing with an old trailer is knowing what needs fixing and what can be deferred.

What it boils down to is a way of thinking. If you "gotta camp," vintage enthusiasts like to share their "works in progress" when camping. Others, like me, fix 'er up a little bit and clean 'er up a little bit, in order to go camping. Still other folks kick the tires, light the fires, and go. (Those are the folks with the new and nearly new Airstreams.)

Not an easy decision, eh? I bought the nicest, newest Airstream that I thought I could afford.

Unless you just like the thought of a full-boogey repair and restoration, and the pride in workmanship that comes with it, that's what I suggest that you do, too.

Lamar
__________________
1975 Argosy 28 "Argosy"
1979 Excella 500 31 "Betsy"
1992 Lincoln Mk 7 LSC
2003 Dodge 2500 Cummins "TowHog"
"Lucy Loosehair" the cat - Airstream mascot
Klaatu barada nikto
SafeHarbor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 09:00 PM   #12
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi andrew and welcome to the forums....

i just love threads with cute titles......

as to how much they help with a real question....

well it all depends on the answers....

then of course no one can find all of that great advice....

because of the title....

take a look at this reply....

to another buyer, with a cute title....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/223971-post7.html

man i worked hard for this guy...

who eventually purchased exactly what he didn't think he wanted....

now on a world tour...

read the whole thread, there is lots of good advice,

http://www.airforums.com/forum...uality+control

and see how his thinking evolved...

folks would love to give you advice...good advice

i still don't have a clue.

-how big?
-how much money?
-how much travel?
-time line for any thing?
-2 people?
-where ya gonna go?
-what time of year?
-what features on the inside?
-boondocking or 12 way hookups?
-work space at home?
-storage space at home?
-tools?
-skills?
-do ya want to go now?
-or do ya want a hobby now?
-travel history?
-rv or trailer experience?
-did i ask how much money?
and so many more...

so you need to offer up lots of info...
before we can connect the dots...
do you know the answers yourself?

till then roll the string up and have a ball!

cheers
2air'

of course if your mate has a view...
skip the string, this thread and just agree with her!
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2006, 12:43 AM   #13
76 Silver Argosy
 
abridges01's Avatar
 
1975 26' Argosy 26
Fallbrook , Southern California
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 85
Send a message via Yahoo to abridges01
OK, I'm suitably scared, where's the nearest Airstream dealer? Actually, we visitied ours today and I think the combination of the 'warnings' above and the luxury offered from today's models will probably steer us that way. Thank you to everyone who offered such helpful and forthright advise, I am indebted to you... as I will be to the bank! Cheers, Andrew
__________________
abridges01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2006, 01:26 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
C Johnson's Avatar
 
1965 17' Caravel
Butte , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,183
Images: 326
Send a message via MSN to C Johnson Send a message via Yahoo to C Johnson
Hi Andrew, First off let me say that I bought my 1965 17ft Caravel for 4k and put another 6k into it, and counting. Still cheaper than a new AS by a long way. I enjoyed doing the restore on mine, even tho, I gave up several times . I did an original restore since I like the originality factor. If you are handy and have the space you can do an interior restore.

I looked at the auction that you mentioned. Assuming you buy this particular coach. You won't need axles right away but you will need them in the, not too distant, future. Figure at least 1800 for factory replacements. The Armstrong A/C unit is serviceable and can be repaired if it doesn't work. You will need to do some work on the running/taillights, not terribly expensive, just another project. The seller doesn't say if the fridge works or if the water heater worked before he took it out. Looks like you might need a water heater. You might be able to caress the fridge into working condition if it doesn't work. These are unknowns at this point. Range ? didn't see one. 400$ plus for a new one. Tires, brakes, ? I noticed the windows too, curved glass replacements are spendy too. You can see that things add up rather quickly. If you don't mind working on it this year and camping next year it might be the one for you.

If I had the space and available funds I might pick this one up myself but, then I have a disease called aluminitus. It is incurable as far as I can tell .

On the plus side the outside skin/belly pan looks to be in good shape which is a good thing !
__________________

__________________
AIR # 7276, WBCCI # 7276
Photos of Project 2k5
Project 2k5
Life is a journey, not a destination
C Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
Advice for long term trailering Cheryl Full-Timing 49 07-29-2004 02:58 PM
Tile or single piece vinyl? Andy R Floor Finishes 36 05-10-2003 07:56 PM
The Long Way Pahaska On The Road... 10 09-16-2002 02:00 PM
Trip report (long and maybe boring) mkeith54 On The Road... 4 07-26-2002 10:39 PM
Missing piece for Armstrong A/C? 74Tradewind Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 1 07-10-2002 05:16 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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