In 2014 I went through an ego-shattering job loss in Pasadena that eventually made me realize I can take responsibility for what I learn and how I spend my time and live.
In January 2015 I got hired by a competitor in Berkeley.
Then my co-workers started jumping ship. We lost half the company to people quitting or being fired. Around the same time, I was renting a small room in a house for $1000/month and my landlady started giving me bogus terms to add to my lease renewal. All this, plus learning in 2014 how easily dreams can be smashed and rebuilt, motivated the purchase in April of my gutted 1962
Tradewind. Buying and refurbing one was something I'd always fantasized about, but never considered realistic. I felt that way until I'd lived in it a week. "Woah, what the hell do I think I'm doing? I can't do this."
I paid $2400 down and agreed to $800/month until the total paid was $13,600. You are welcome to tell me I got ripped off. Rent was about the same when you include the deposit, in fact a little more than what I'm paying now. I've been boondocking since June, I'll be done paying it off next July.
I got fired in September. It was awful, but not as bad as the first time. And I live in a way where I can easily tow my home anywhere now. That's pretty great, not having to worry about how to find an apartment once I find my next job.
I want to do a total refurb. Shell off.
I know very little. After five months living in it and reading every day about Airstream refurbs, I know considerably more than I started, but you may as well just assume I know next to nothing.
Many, many have told me to give up. So many people told me I didn't have the know-how to do a refurb and it was too ambitious a project. Perhaps. Many others also told me living in it and boondocking would be impossible. Wow. I can definitely comment on that part: not true not true not true.
I want to learn as much as I can about this thing. It's my Everest. Failure is acceptable to me, but I'm just not there yet. I want to go ahead and plan my refurb and see how far I can get.
I want to make architectural plans for it first. I want to make professional quality ones in a CAD program if I can. It seems like a cool skill to pick up and that would leave me with a portfolio piece. And from everything I've read, it seems like everything depends on everything else and making a solid plan is the best place to start. Then I can use that as a construction road map when I'm ready to start. (I also don't want to begin construction until I'm done paying it off.)
What I mean by "everything depends on everything else," well, for example: say you want to just put in a shower, but you need to figure out stuff like if your placement of the bathroom will hurt your tongue weight, and where the pipes and holding tank go, and how the wiring fits around that and what kind of insulating material to use, but to know the wiring you first need to know where you're going to put lights and appliances, so you have to have your interior design planned out...
So that's why I want to make a really solid plan that I feel good about starting construction with.
(It's really frustrating to talk to naive people who say "Hey, how about we just rip out the walls now and see what's under here, and then figure out what to do next?" or "I think the first thing you should do is shine the outside so the neighbors think it's more attractive and complain less. That's probably pretty cheap, right?")
So...uh...if anyone can help me with planning, send me a message. I've got some dogma-violating ideas you're welcome to criticize. I'd be particularly interested to talk to anyone who can help me learn drafting and/or CAD.
Here's a photo album with pictures of my Airstream and some sketches I made: https://goo.gl/photos/4z6VxmbhSEDuH9xz9