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Old 10-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
Montauk , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 28
Newbie! What to expect for floor repairs?

Looking to renovate a gutted 24' 1962 Trade Wind into a mobile recording studio! Through our Entertainment LLC this will be a business investment for recording and touring. We want to get an idea of just how much of a project we're getting into, time and budget wise.

I have not seen the trailer yet myself, won the ebay bid for $1175 and seller says to come check it out before paying, so we're not 100% committed yet. Have to make a trip from NY to Michigan to check it out so I want to see what the forums say before we make the trip!

Info from the Seller:
-He moved it from a neighbor's land about 5 yrs ago and has been using it for storage (last time it was towed).
-No title but he's applying for one, should be able to get it soon.
-Previous owner covered floors with masonite (not all the way to the wall), some parts of it pull up easy, you can see original linolium tiles underneath.
-One leak around the front vent.
-There's water damage in one area where he can put his hand through the masonite as you'll see in the pic.
-Can't see status of frame as the aluminum belly covers everything underneath.
-Outside looks in good condition, only one dent in the front.
-Paint is peeling from inside walls in the pics, not sure what's happening where the floor meets the walls.

Our Plan:
We're looking to create a simple, open space that we will soundproof with layers of rubber and foam inside the walls. No need for bathroom or kitchen but considering a small bar sink and a simple outdoor surf shower. We'd build a desk and some shelving/storage for recording/touring gear. Also want to make the interior electronics solar powered.

My main question at this point is how much time, labor and $$$ can we expect to get it to a point where the walls and floors are repaired and we are ready to start soundproofing. I know it varies a lot but to know some ballpark ranges or previous experiences would be helpful. Do the floors just need repairs or do they need a complete redo? Same for the walls? What are the basic steps involved? We have a few friends who work in construction who can help us, but I don't think any of them have worked on an Airstream before, so what would they need to know to give us an estimate?

We have some $$ and plenty of time to commit in the next couple of months, but we want to get it ready ASAP. What can we hope for and what's a worst case scenario? What's the differences in budget and time if we just outsource everything to a pro? Is this particular trailer is going be good for our needs or should we pay more for something in a more repaired state?

Please let me know your opinions and experiences! Thanks!!
Lauren

PICS HERE: airstream
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
You outside skin looks in pretty good shape for that year. The floor will definitely locally need repair. Some full service RV dealers charge $75 to $100 per hour because they have a fair amount of overhead to cover. Some independent handymen only charge $40 to $50, but you do not know how good they are. Estimate $400 for the floor if it is only in that location.

For a sound studio you will need a lot of 110 volt electricity and a breaker box which could be $400 - 600. If you do not need the water do not fix it. Scrap the refrigerator if you do not need it. Pull out the bed and cabinets if they get in the way. Demolition goes fast so it should not cost much. If you need heat that will set you back $800. You will likely need some new 110 volt lights for $100. Buy commercial ones at big box store rather than RV store. I am not sure how the acoustics will be in an empty Airstream but there aren't that many straight walls so you could put some absorbers up.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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1989 32' Excella
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 46
I just purchased a 1989 Excella 32'. Mostly it's in good shape but the rear floor turned out to be rotted. Today I have the floor almost replaced. The trailer you are looking at seems to need a major overhaul. The floors alone are a lot of work. Everything can be rebuilt and the price is right. But how much time do you have? The title situation is another matter. On my repair I didn't drop the belly pan. Mostly this was because I didn't have a good place to do it. There are very experienced restorers on this site. You can get good technical advice beyond my capability. But I can tell you right now that there is no way of telling just how much damage there is to things like that trailers frame etc. Looks like water has been running through it for many years. All the walls will have the inside skins pulled. It's going to be a mess,and costs will climb,no way around it. From what I've seen so far I don't think solar would be a good idea. That opinion might change as I'm still looking into it. Mostly leaks are the problem with anything that you bolt or rivet onto the trailer. Leaks seem to wind up rotting the floor and then you are back to square one. That old Airstream could be one great and groovy rig but it's going to cost you a lot of time and money. Could be worth it but it's up to you. Also it might not be safe to pull at all in the condition it's in. For all I know that frame could be really rusted,maybe even to the point where it could fail. Not to mention all the other stuff like axles,wheel bearings etc,etc,etc.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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1959 26' Overlander
Montauk , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 28
Thanks for your replies!

It's already completely gutted, just full of storage stuff. The seller's emptying it and driving it 70 miles to the Weigh Station today to get the title. If it makes that trip hopefully that means there's no major frame damage.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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1959 26' Overlander
Montauk , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 28
I'm getting a little worried about the amount of time this is going to take. The original add said "looks like someone redid the floors" where the reality is someone just covered up the floors. Since we're not yet committed to buying, I'm rethinking our options...

Do we spend more $$ on an airstream with intact floors (hopefully less than $5000), gut it ourselves and then start the soundproofing?

Or do we go with one for $1175 that's already gutted and put in a couple of grand and quite a lot of time to completely redo the floors?

How does time/$$/labor compare when gutting vs. redoing the floors? How much can I hope to find an 60's airstream in solid condition when I don't care about the interior and am just going to gut everything?
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:43 AM   #6
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1989 32' Excella
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I've got to say that I'd be concerned also. I'm a artist and will be doing artwork in my Excella. I ran into unexpected floor trouble. Fortunately after the mad wore off I'm enjoying working on the trailer. I have the tools and resources. With a few good pointers from experienced builders on this site everything is now going in a good direction for my Airstream. I like your idea of a portable sound studio. You are going to have some design problems to overcome. While working on my Excella today I was paying attention to the sound coming through the windows etc. It wasn't bad but would it be okay for a sound studio? Maybe if you enjoy working on things and learning this will be a really cool thing. Costs could vary all over the place depending on your skills. It will cost what it costs and take as long as it takes. I'm a bit new to Airstream trailers but an old hand in different types of restoration. If you enjoy working on things and problem solving I'd say,drag that old trailer home and enjoy working on it. Pay attention to things like sealer. I went ahead and put some silicone sealer on mine just to keep water out from a storm that was coming in. I had been warned and knew it was temporary junk sealer at best. I have good stuff ordered and on the way. It's details like this that make the difference.
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