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Old 11-05-2008, 06:28 AM   #15
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1973 27' Overlander
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Oh, and folks, don't apologize for the amount of work that's going to be involved restoring this baby...that's half the fun!!! And out of curiousity, how many females have been the pretty much the solitary person doing all the hard core (minus electrical and propane-but doing all the other work: cabinets, veneering, subfloor, the whole nine) AND decorating work on their Airstreams when renovating??
Looks like I will be doing a bit more work to my AS than intended... so I'm one of those gals that's going to get a little dirty. I'm trying to plan to replace my axles over Thanksgiving. I was going to wait until I could persuade some help from a male friend (or two) who initially indicated they'd help. Now they're not so excited. So, I will roll up my sleeves and do it myself. I've had some encouragement from folks on this forum...Next on the list in a new charging/converter to install (my univolt is gone). And to replace all the weatherstripping and screens. I should do some electrical but will delay it as long as possible. Subfloor scares the crap out of me. Hope when I pull up the carpeting that mine looks a bit better than yours! I have already started the upholstery and bought drape material. Trying to decide on how much of the plastic laminate I want to replace. Planning to epoxy paint my bathroom components and interior when time avails ....

So, count another girl in for solo work! But when the camping starts, I usually find a few people *willing* to help me sit by the fire, grill some food and drink some cocktails. Hummmmmmm And I thought having a trailer would be different than having a boat.

Cheers to you - love the start of your phoenix....
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by funkill View Post

Looks like I will be doing a bit more work to my AS than intended... so I'm one of those gals that's going to get a little dirty. I'm trying to plan to replace my axles over Thanksgiving. I was going to wait until I could persuade some help from a male friend (or two) who initially indicated they'd help. Now they're not so excited. So, I will roll up my sleeves and do it myself. I've had some encouragement from folks on this forum...Next on the list in a new charging/converter to install (my univolt is gone). And to replace all the weatherstripping and screens. I should do some electrical but will delay it as long as possible. Subfloor scares the crap out of me. Hope when I pull up the carpeting that mine looks a bit better than yours! I have already started the upholstery and bought drape material. Trying to decide on how much of the plastic laminate I want to replace. Planning to epoxy paint my bathroom components and interior when time avails ....
So, count another girl in for solo work! But when the camping starts, I usually find a few people *willing* to help me sit by the fire, grill some food and drink some cocktails. Hummmmmmm And I thought having a trailer would be different than having a boat.

Cheers to you - love the start of your phoenix....
You know what's funny? I can deal with the subfloor, it's the electric and the propane that scare me to death.

Made a deal with a co worker-he has a camper (not an A/S) and we have a few things in common. I am an amateur ghost hunter, and him and his wife enjoy going to the many different ghost towns around Washington, Oregon and points reachable. He is all excited to have someone to go on trips with, so he offered to do the electrical system for me. "Buy the supplies and a case of decent beer and both you & Lino hang out for the afternoon/weekend, and I'll do it". His father in law is head of some electrical union so he knows how to do the bulk of (if not all) of it.

Am planning on finding someone to do the propane install too, because that I am terrified of as well. Electrical and propane, to me, are the two things I don't want to mess with on my own. I am sure I can figure it out as I have put together many a grill on my own, but don't want to take chances here especially with the couple of hookups we need to do.

So nice to meet another can-do type of female! Woo hoo! Today was great because I had a crappy crappy day at work, and it was fantastic to go out to the Airstream and work on the demo work-am rebuilding a lot of it (can't save a lot of the wood so demo'd out the top of the twin beds, am trying to save the drawers) but man, swinging that hammer and slamming the wood was such a great stress relief....I loved it!! I think this project is going to just be a BLAST!!


ps thanks for the compliment on the ink!! I want to start on the leg piece (want a full leg piece full of stars) but that's going to wait
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:52 AM   #17
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1970 25' Tradewind
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I do know the feeling you are having right now. I am putting 70 back together now. I got the water tank back from the shop this week and will be putting it back in this weekend. I had some significant rust, did some cheap metal work for beefup of crossmembers, and I guess the hardest, nastiest part was removing all the DEGRADED insulation. The wood was basically mulch and powerized. A good dust mask/respirator is a must, and a good large wet/dry vac. Get ya some of those nice dishwashing gloves too.
Enjoy
Adam
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:07 AM   #18
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If you want to feel better, look at my blog (signature). The floor in our '67 is really ugly in places. As for electrical, plumbing and LP... don't be intimidated. I grew up under the tutelage of a man who thought finish carpentry meant getting a smaller chain saw. The way I learned about electricity, plumbing, carpentry, etc., was mostly trial and error. Personally, my favorite trade is electrical because there's often the gratification of seeing a light go on where before there was darkness.

I am reading Sailboat Electrics Simplified. I picked it up in a local bookstore, mostly because my experience is with 110v systems. This is a great walkthrough of 12v electrical systems. There are great resources on RV plumbing as well. I think it's helpful to think of the Airstream as a "degree program" in rolling aluminum. To get your degree, you're going to have to take classes in all sorts of things. It's amazing how much you can learn simply by reading, both on the forums and in other resources. The really advantage to doing this is that at the end of the day, you'll have a real sense of mastery over your Airstream. You'll understand the systems and any problems that occur will be far less threatening to you. So, best of luck and enjoy your classes.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUEHOWIE View Post
And out of curiousity, how many females have been the pretty much the solitary person doing all the hard core (minus electrical and propane-but doing all the other work: cabinets, veneering, subfloor, the whole nine) AND decorating work on their Airstreams when renovating??
Not solo, but I certainly do more than my fair share! I'm not afraid to jump in at all ~

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f91/...irl-31084.html

Shari
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:58 AM   #20
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Being a newbie, I am excited and inspired by all the comments here. I am in the process of buying a '74 Tradewind. It looks good on the surface, and the price was really good. Hopefully not too many problems, but reading all this makes me wonder.
Oh, well, it will be fun, anyway, and give my tinkering husband something to keep busy at on his time off. I do intend to help, but I am semihandicapped, unable to move easily. I do think I did good at least finding this one!!!
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:54 AM   #21
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Ya'll just think of it as a treasure hunt. When you finish digging through the MESS, you will find something shiny on the other side. You may have to polish it a little, but you can't beat the satisfaction at the end.
Adam
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:42 PM   #22
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Think of it as a potentially expensive treasure hunt.

I think trailer renovation (or restoration) is something best suited for chronic tinkerers, putterers, shade tree mechanics and arm chair experts. It's good for people who like to browse in hardware stores or who really care about the nuances of bolt grades. It's a hobby for the curious, the hopeful and the undaunted. It helps to be stubborn and to like solving puzzles.

I don't think one needs to be a "rocket scientist" to do trailer renovations, or a professional in the one of the trades or a master craftsman. The more you poke around, the less mysterious you realize an Airstream is. And with all due respect to the many diehard, Airstreams reflect a wide range of design innovations and design flaws. There are the usual compromises meant to keep manufacturing costs reasonable. There are shortcuts, half measures, quarter measures and just plain mysteries. Even for the amateur, there is room to improve an Airstream. Yes, I said it, without a grounding rod.

Even now, I'm thinking I could replace the existing 12v plant with marine grade, tinned copper wire and connectors... and in 50 years when someone else tears down the Overlander for a rebuild they will say, "Man, this guy did it right" or "Man, this guy was nuts."

I know not everyone may feel this way, but I enjoy tinkering as much as camping. I like the process of refining, improving, reducing, simplifying, perfecting and then starting over. Here's the thing... find one straightforward thing to do. Let's take the hitch. It's rusty. Clean it up, shoot some POR-15, prime, paint, step back. Give yourself a chance to fall in love with the renovation process. Don't try to eat the sandwich in one bite. Have small projects; accomplish small goals. Savor. The key to progress is not allowing yourself to become overwhelmed with the whole of the project.

And beer, beer is important.
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