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Old 09-07-2007, 01:16 PM   #15
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Getting off the GRID is an awesome idea. I been doing a lot of research on that myself. We live in Florida, near Pensacola and have had to deal with lack of power ever so often because of hurricanes. Planning for some comfort during those times has been a focus of my online research. One interesting item I came across was at this link Free Electricity and Lower Electrical Bills through Solar and Wind Power.. The idea of charging your unit at night was well as during the day time was worth a look. Plus in the redesign of the unit to add items that use less power. It will be interesting to see the project as it unfolds for you. I hope you will find a vinatge Airstream in need of a full rebuild, it is nice when new life is brought to these great older trailers. One suggestion is to use bamboo as your flooring, it is an earth friendly source for flooring that looks great. This is based on the fact it only takes 3 years for the bamboo to reach its full growth, as opposed to other hard woods for flooring. Plus keep in mind cool looking is not always comfortable, think about use and living in the space. One of the tankless water heaters is a good option. Break down your design and see what others have done on here. Been there done that "threads" are on here for almost everything. Good luck with the project. Awesome idea! Another thing you might consider because you are in Ohio, is to go to the factory and see the units being built, it will give you a practical view of why some things are designed as they are. One thing you can ask them about is maybe getting a empty shell to your needs. Not sure if thats possible, but would be pretty cool to design something from a new standpoint. If you do go this route, keep in mind the order time.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaroid
One thing you can ask them about is maybe getting a empty shell to your needs. Not sure if thats possible, but would be pretty cool to design something from a new standpoint. If you do go this route, keep in mind the order time.
The factory reportedly no longer does this for liability reasons. But, it never hurts to ask.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:52 PM   #17
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Ben,

Sounds like you have financial part covered. But realistically, are you prepared to invest the funds knowing that chances of recovering them on resale are not good? Especially if this is designed and built as an "off-the-grid" habitat.

Please understand that I think this is an absolutley wonderful project! I'd love to tackle something like this myself.

I am employed in the "Design World". My architectual office is forced to come up with solutions daily. We are constantly forced to work within the parameters of time & money. Beware of the unexpected and unknown!

When you find your project trailer, you may not be able to determine what all needs repaired, reworked, and rehabed. A rotted floor is not a one-day setback. Tracing a short in your running lights could take an afternoon. A mouse nest in your fridge vent could cause setbacks!

I would think that the success of your project will lie in preperation. Having a LARGE shop available with a FULL assortment of metalworking, woodworking, and painting/finishing gear will greatly enhance your probability of completition.

I get so jealous whenever I watch shows like "pimp my ride" or Chip Foose, or anything on the TNT Powerblock series. When I grow up, I want a building like those! Nice clean concrete floors, oodles of work benches, tool chests that you can actually open, and bright lights. Heck, no wondering they can finish a car in 1/2 hour
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
if you get an argosy, you can paint it without being beaten up at the rallys. i always wanted to get one, paint it like a watermelon and do the interior in pink with black throw pillows...



jp
I love your idea!
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:19 PM   #19
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cursh, i might actually have a trailer that would fit your needs, and i'm looking to downsize from 4 trailers to 3.

right now, sitting in my driveway are a '64 globetrotter, '62 bambi & '59 18D (a one-off). I also have a Wee Wind that's totally gutted, but it's sitting somewhere in Oregon, and I go back & forth between wanting to keep that one or the Bambi.

and i'd be delighted to help you with this project in other ways, being in the midst of gaining a Sustainable Building degree (so far, have certificates in AutoCad, timber framing & welding).

at the very least, you could come take a look at 3 trailers in one spot & gain a LOT of information about size & idiosyncrasies & you could see some of the problems I've encountered (the '59 is polished & half-gutted). Why i decided to polish & then dismantle it is a thought process lost way back in 2005 ....
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:14 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Designer in Ohio - Senior Thesis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
...The final goal is to be as "off the grid" as possible...
We term that "boondocking" around here (no hookups) and you will find lots of info in the forums (The key is storage coupled with conservation). Though I've never heard of anyone integrating a wind turbine into the system it's really just another power source. You could also drop a little prop type generator into a nearby fast moving river or stream too! You'll find good books on the RV+solar subject so you don't need to reinvent the wheel there.

FORUM: Generators & Solar Power

Best wishes,

Steve
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerkid
cursh, i might actually have a trailer that would fit your needs, and i'm looking to downsize from 4 trailers to 3.

right now, sitting in my driveway are a '64 globetrotter, '62 bambi & '59 18D (a one-off). ...
and i'd be delighted to help you with this project in other ways, being in the midst of gaining a Sustainable Building degree ...

at the very least, you could come take a look at 3 trailers ....
That sounds fantastic! Let me get some sketches together with a free weekend and I would love to swing over and look at things/pick your brain.

-Ben
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:24 PM   #22
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It's not an Airstream, but the "MiniHome" is a trailer and embodies some of the "off grid" concepts that may be of use.

sustain | design | studio | miniHome
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:52 AM   #23
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sure thing, cursh!
just give me enough lead time to make sure i have no plans that weekend. actually, at this moment, i don't have any plans at all, not even for the rest of the day. except to maybe finish my coffee & get dressed.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:21 AM   #24
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Just an update ... Cursh & his buddy Harry came by last week & had a fine time kicking the tires on a few of my Airstreams. Of all things, he liked the '59 18D (Pacer-ish) the best because it offers a little more height than, say, a Bambi.

We had fun! He has this wacky idea of a combo sink/wok that I wasn't quite feeling, but other than that we really did some fun thinking outside the curve. Even my b'friend who hates the trailers joined in a little.

These boys have it made in that Cincinnati arts program -- for every few months spent in school, they spend an equal amount of time in internships all over the country.

And I picked up a few pointers for my final project in 3D Modeling (AutoCAD), which will of course involve Airstreams (the visual equivalent of "write what you know).
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:30 AM   #25
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So are you short a trailer or did they just look?

Shari
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:12 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerkid
These boys have it made in that Cincinnati arts program -- for every few months spent in school, they spend an equal amount of time in internships all over the country.
I went through that at the Univ of Cincinnati College of Engineering. The program started in 1903; participation was required for graduation.

It was a great way to "pay-as-you-go", as you could make enough working alternating quarters to pay the tuition. And you were practically guaranteed a job on graduation as you had almost two years of solid engineering OTJ experience.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:40 PM   #27
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Wow, Mark, that is just a really smart way to put a program together. It adds up to a 5-year program for them, but just think how much better equipped you were to not only find a job, but to know what you wanted to focus on.

Shari, Ben will ideally find a trailer that is more stripped down than my '59, which is in pretty good shape, since he wants to start from total scratch. But he's relieved to know that there's one available that suits his needs should he not find anything else. He has to have it by Christmas if anyone hears of something.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
As for the skeptics know that I am a design student. I have been in school for 5 years learning how to solve problems efficiently. Alot of problems can be solved in ten weeks when all you have to do is solve problems and you only sleep 4-5 hours a night.
ah, the innocence of youth.

it's going to be nearly impossible to do the kind of project you want to do in 10 weeks. don't get me wrong, i'm an optimist too, but i live in the real world.

check out this thread that has links to major renovations that have been done/are currently being done. you'll notice most if not all have a track record well over a year...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html
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