Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-14-2016, 07:26 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Vintage Airstream Questions

Hey All,

I am new to the forum and I have been doing a fair bit of reading. I am about to take the plunge and I thought I would reach out to the community to avoid as many surprises as possible.

I am looking to get into a 1960's 31' Airstream. My intention is to create a retail space for my girlfriends clothing line.

The exterior obviously needs to be appealing, so the skins would need to be in good shape or I would need to have the body restored to get that beautiful silver shine.

The interior would be gutted and designed to accommodate retail, most likely removing the need for plumbing (unless she demands a bathroom for days she is working). Having a construction background and a network of people in the field, I am not too concerned with this part of things, but any ideas regarding the type of costs/issues I can expect here would be helpful - IE electrical materials, best practices, etc.

Then there is the actual frame, ribs, etc - is there anything I should be looking for here? I am no welder and my instinct is to buy one already gutted and that has had some work done. I work on 1965-66 mustangs and have enough background for the axel and brakes, I think. Is this a mistake? If I needed to have work done on the frame and sub-panel what kind of cost and time turn around can I expect? The goal is to have this up and running in a few months - Money is there, but time is an issue...

Anyone have resources in the Los Angeles area for body work and frame work?

any/all insight is appreciated. I will be trolling the forums trying to gather as firm an understanding as possible...

Bmilos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2016, 12:46 AM   #2
Rivet Master
InsideOut's Avatar

1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,740
Images: 97
First off, welcome to AirForums!

Sounds to me that you kinda answered your own question...

For what you are looking to do, in the timeframe you are looking at, it would be best to start with a gutted, but solid shell. You will save money & time in the long run. If you buy an "as found" trailer, then gut it, you may save money on the purchase price - but you won't know what you have bought until it's too late into the remodel. Then you will be at the liberty of someone else's timeframe and availability to get major issues addressed. If you start with a solid empty shell, it'll only be a "fit & finish" - not a potential total rebuild.

Vintage Airstream projects always take longer than expected...

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!


Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | Sisters on the Fly | Tin Can Tourists
BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2016, 08:45 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Hittenstiehl's Avatar

1965 24' Tradewind
1962 28' Ambassador
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,309
Images: 9
Sounds fun and pretty!

An empty trailer/gutted will be easier to inspect and less work.

Poke around for soft floors. Roll underneath for a good look at the integrity of the frame if you can see it under the belly pan. Find your leaks before you put in any product. electric cord for plugging in or a quiet generator should do for electric.

The old bathroom areas make nice storage areas or fitting rooms.

Put her seat/counter/greeting area near the door.

LOTS of images online or Pinterest.

Area 63 Productions, Uwe Salwender near Rancho Cucamonga is a great source and he may even have some empty shells sitting on the lot.

Hittenstiehl 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
New vintage Airstream owner - Black Tank questions aboudre1 Our Community 7 04-01-2015 08:34 PM
Mexican Insurance Questions, Questions! CaddyGrn Travel Beyond US/Canada 5 01-31-2014 11:23 PM
Battery and inverters questions for vintage Airstream Collapso Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 4 08-01-2012 10:09 PM
Questions, Questions, Questions LowellN Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 5 10-28-2004 07:23 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 03:29 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.