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Old 06-23-2008, 11:39 AM   #29
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Menormy:

I think Vhord put it in perspective with his list of upgrades. It will get into some bucks and time. The positive is you will know your trailer when you are finished with it. I set time aside everyday and weekend to work on it. I worked on mine outside and I started in November. I am still not finished with it. I am close but not done. I didn't do the full monty. I just replaced the floor in the bathroom and used a product that takes dry rot and turns it very hard, solid, and kills the rot in the area by the front door. Mine is at the RV shop getting some things inspected and analyzed. I took the time to take parts of the bathoom cabinets and wood and cut new pieces and painted trim while I wait for them to inspect my Airstream. There will always be something to do. I figure shooting off the top of my head I have put 2500 dollars so far into the trailer may be a little more. Money spent on new

Water heater (Camping time)
new floor material (Nyloboard)
new converter, (Internet)
Sealants, (Andy's, Lightning RV)
screws, bolts, nuts, washers, (Home Depot)
Dremel tool (harbor freight)
rivets, (Northern tool)
paints (Home depot, ACE)
shades ( Wife bought)
curtain material (Wholesale fabrics)
Curtain rod (Andy's)
electical (Friend)
three new fans (Camping time)
5 new tires $85 each (Walton Tires)
new running lights and tail lights. (Norther tool - peterson lights)
new plumbing pex pipe, PVC, many pex valves. (home depot)
paint brushes, (Home Depot)
cleaners, (ACE)
gaskets, (Andy's)
laminate floor (Home Depot)
New Black Tank (Inca)
New box to hold tank (Made it myself)
Welding (Hired for 75 and hour and it took him two hours)


I am sure there is other stuff also. Any regrets????? NO WAY!!!! It has been fun!

Yep it gets to be expensive. I think after writing this list I might have over $3000 in the trailer. No complaints so far. I will know what type of shape it is in and I will pass the trailer onto my kids. My daughter already has her eye on it. Everytime she visits she heads to the trailer. Bonnaroo next year for her.
We tease my son because he is in the entertainment world. We tell him the trailer will be his when he has to do a movie. I keep telling him Matthew McConaughey has an airstream on the movie lots.

SIU Bound

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Old 06-23-2008, 01:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by menormy View Post
Does anyone know if I remove the interior skin and belly pan, can I then tow what's left to a repair facility without causing damage? Or would the trailer require the interior skin for transport?
Ryan
I realize you are talking about a '66-68 trailer so it may be possible, however for others considering the same with a 50's trailer - the answer is NO. In order to "remove" the belly pan - which is integral to the banana wraps - you must drill out all the rivets at the beltline. These are the same rivets that hold the shell to the frame. If they are removed, you basically have a dozen or so bolts attached to the plywood (which is most likely rotted out, or you wouldn't be doing this in the first place) holding the entire shell to the floor. The alternative, which could work would be to just cut out the center portion of the belly pan and leave the banana wrap portion attached then put in a new belly skin bigger than the hole you cut.

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Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
If it is all stripped out I would not worry to much about not haveing them. I towed mine over 1000 miles with thr old xle and no interior skin with zero problems. As a matter of fact I plan on using it all summer as an aluminum tent with no interior or interior skins.
As I recall Kip, haven't you replaced all your panels with heavier gauge aluminum and harder rivets? Wouldn't that be an advantage to towing w/o inner skins? I would think so ~

The bottomline is, I guess it depends on what you have to begin with...I would possibly tow a short distance w/o belly pan on our '64 but not w/o belly pan AND interior skins. I would not tow our '56 a block without either. Having just replaced a major panel, I've seen how flimsy the ribs and skin are independent from each other - given, we had both skins 100% off, but you have to figure the overall integrity is compromised with even 50% of it's structure of the wall (the interior skins) removed.



Good luck in whatever you decide to do ~

Shari
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:23 PM   #31
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As I recall Kip, haven't you replaced all your panels with heavier gauge aluminum and harder rivets? Wouldn't that be an advantage to towing w/o inner skins? I would think so ~

Shari
Yes I have replaced the side skins with .040, AD rivets and heavier stringers. I don't think the belly pan adds allot of structural integrity but the side skins must be riveted to the "C" channel, and with my banana wraps now in between the "C" channel and exterior skin the wraps had to be on. So yes Shari, I spoke hasty on saying its OK to tow without the interior skins. I also added allot of extra rivets at the "C" channel area and just about every where else too. Approx every inch. I also think that the longer the trailer, the more crucial it is to have the interior skins in. The interior end caps appear, to me at least, carry little to no load at all.

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:33 PM   #32
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Thanks for all your help! This is great! Our A/S is a 30' and the frame is very weak leading somewhere to the back which is what made me wonder about driving with structural parts missing. I can move the back bumper approximately 2" up and down so I'm thinking something must be broken on that frame or just rotted off altogether. Is that "normal" or excessive for the rear frame sag?
Not to be dumb, but I thought the belly pan and banana wrap were the same thing..? Obviously not. See why I need to hire this part done? I have no issues with anything else but I just don't seem to be grasping how this is assembled structurally even after looking at pictures. I think I need to find a cut-away drawing or something to understand it as I'm just not picturing what part is what and how it's assembled. I understand the floor is fastened to the shell and the frame but I'm just not understanding how. Does such a drawing exist? I just don't think I would be up to the re-assembly myself. I wonder how much $$$ just the frame/floor would be in labour... did anyone keep track of the hours they put into it? Those who tackled this themselves are more brave than I am for certain!
Ryan
Thanks again!
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:43 PM   #33
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The hip bone's connected to the thigh bone, etc. etc.

Think of the outer skin connected to the banana wrap, which is connected to the belly skin, making a complete cylinder. The stiffeners for this cylinder are the ribs and the floor frame. Like someone else stated it is sort of like a whales stomach. Do not fear however. It is not that bad and if you do it yourself you know what it underneath the skin. I wish you very good progress. I know you can do it!
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:48 PM   #34
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The best thing to do it get to know the people at a shop that can do the work you need. You can work with them to come up with a game plan. Preparation is usually more time consuming than the actual repairs. If you can get everything ready and then have specialists do what they focus on you will be saving as much money as possible. I run a restoration shop in Georgia and we run into this all the time Most of the time spent is getting things taken apart to get to the problem and then actually preparing the area for the repair.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:33 AM   #35
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I think you are potentially way off on this. Most top notch (I.e. GSM, David Winik, etc) professional shops would charge significantly more for a total restoration. From one of those shops you are probably looking for 20-30K just to fix any frame issues, put a new floor in, and re-zolatone. Add in cash for new insulation, dent / panel repair / replacement, new electrics, cabanets, new axles, etc and you are easily going to double that and possible triple it.

My 2 cents (or more)....
I would listen to him... he has laid across the log and even I heard him squeal. The reason most people do this themselves is the labor. Anything you do will take up many more hours than you would ever dream of. That is where your bill grows. None of this is all that hard, it all just takes time. If whoever is doing the job does it right, it takes even more time. Sig is right on there with the estimate of 20- 30k to have someone do the frame and floor items. Then you have all that other stuff to contend with that others have mentioned. I have done everything myself and at this point I have 14 k in it without any labor factored in. 100 trips to lowes for $40 worth of stuff adds up quick. Throw in some $400 items and some $200 items and the credit card is screaming... A professionally rebuilt trailer will cost as much as or more than a new one. It will be ten times cooler than a new one and will last for another 40+ years. Do not be discouraged, If I can do it, so can you.

And John, it is not the hand built international house of pancakes trailers... it soon will be simply, "Frank's Trailers" but not yet... soon.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:10 AM   #36
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True costs....

GSM did my shell, that included windows, roof vents, vent openers, three panel replacements, new floor, beefed up and repaired frame, repaired coupler, and belly pan - basically, a restored empty (no inside skin) shell. I am working up a final posting for my Blog that will also include the total amount at Chevy Ave Restoration that included installing wiring, insulation, inside skin, new zolatone, marmoleum flooring - think ~ $10k. Then I will include the cost of ~$8k in new interior (including installation), and then my time in fixing window openers, plumbing, and polishing, fridge, water heater, furnace, tub restoration, toilet, faucets, batteries, AC, tires, holding tanks, cabinet hardware, etc, etc, etc..... The total number of hours spent on our trailer at GSM alone was 707.5 and @ their rate of $60/hour, this would end up @ $42,450 in labor just for the shell. Add in $4900 in parts below and you can see what just a shell repair costs.



Insulation
Liquid Nails
Plywood Flooring
Surface Conditioners-Md.
Surface Conditioners-Crs.
Surface Conditioners-fine
Conditioning Disks
Conditioning Belts
All Window Glass(8)
Scuff Pads & Roloc Disc
Window Gasket Incl. S/H
Estrip for windows
Stripper
Silicone Sealer
Black Paint
Silver Paint
Fillister head screws
Seam Sealer
POR 15 - Pint
Elevator Bolts
1/4 - 20 Hex Nuts
1/4 Flat Washers
Frame Steel-1-1/2X3-1/2X1/8
Upholstery
Shower Liner
Rubberized Undercoat
Aluminum Utility Sheets
Rivets #1
Solid Rivets
7-Way Bargman Whip
Multistrand 16GA Wire
SS Screws #8
Window Screening
Boomerang Beat Fabric-curtains
Alclad Sheet


More too follow.. but that should give you an idea of what you can expect. Remember, our trailers are 30 feet long - so you can't go by what someone with a 20 foot trailer would pay... since it's bigger, it all takes that much more time... and the time is what kills you!!!!
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:51 AM   #37
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... it soon will be simply, "Frank's Trailers" but not yet... soon.
I hear you get paid a royalty for the use of the word "Frank" Is that why Tim needs us all to donate to the VAP?

Seriously, IMHO if you are not going to do a restoration yourself, your best bet is to find a craftsman like Frank Yensan or David Winick who will be doing the work themselves. You'll get the best result and the most for your money. As you can see from Rob's post... getting the most for your money is very important and as you can see from Rob's trailer, a good result is VERY nice.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:57 AM   #38
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I hear you get paid a royalty for the use of the word "Frank" Is that why Tim needs us all to donate to the VAP?

Seriously, IMHO if you are not going to do a restoration yourself, your best bet is to find a craftsman like Frank Yensan or David Winick who will be doing the work themselves. You'll get the best result and the most for your money. As you can see from Rob's post... getting the most for your money is very important and as you can see from Rob's trailer, a good result is VERY nice.
And from what I hear, Rob even has a working bathroom in there...

...finally.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:03 PM   #39
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And from what I hear, Rob even has a working bathroom in there...

...finally.
Actually, I have to say that cool part of Rob and Zoe's trailer is much more than the list of stuff they've had others do to it. A tour of their trailer is like taking a step back in time including all the period gadgets...even 50's cowboy music. The only thing missing was Gene Autry sit'n on the gaucho.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:54 PM   #40
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Rob and Zoe have poured a lot of themselves into that trailer. It is one of the most beautiful trailers you have ever, or I have ever seen. The level of detail is what makes it so special. They were very lucky to have had a lot of talent working on it from day one.

To all those compliments thank you. I receive no kick backs from the the use of my name or the VAP. I support the show financially as well as physically. I think it is a great resource for the entire community. It can be free if you chose, but something worthwhile is worth supporting.

I think this thread started with the thought that a little prep work could be done and a few thousand dollars later to some trailer shop and you will be able to put it back together. I think it has been stated that it will be far more than a few thousand, unless that is for the materials and you are the labor.

How big a trailer again? How far from Baltimore are you?
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:35 PM   #41
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Baltimore? I hear there's this great new trailer reno/resto shop in Baltimore.

Can't remember the name, though... something about international pancakes...?
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:34 PM   #42
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Thinking about Rob's trailer, what amazes me is when people fixate on the cost. When all is said and done, he will have spent much(?) less that he would have if he'd bought a new trailer off an Airstream dealer's lot. But he got more than that. He got a trailer that is lighter, easier to clean, and more family friendly than anything currently available from any RV manufacturer. Forget that he got to pick his exact colors, layout, wood, etc. Heck, if I could find a trailer like Rob's new on a lot somewhere, I wouldn't be going around bragging to everyone that I'm a vintage owner because I would buy that thing in a heartbeat. Sure it's fun rebuilding one, but the only reason I'm rebuilding an old one is because I just don't like the new stuff that's out there.
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