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Old 08-18-2007, 09:44 AM   #1
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1966 17' Caravel
Waterbury , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
New Member - 68 Caravel?

I'm a writer-photographer who bought in 1993 an Airstream Caravel (I believe it is a 1968 although it is listed as 1967 in my profile. I paid $3,500 for it). I used it with wonderful success while I was researching and photographing a book called People of the Great Plains. In three years I drove 40,000 miles out there, from Montana to the Texas Panhandle, and met some wonderful people. The book eventually won three national awards. It is one of four regional books I have published, the rest being about my home state of Vermont. To view the books you can go to
Now my Airstream is in drydock and that's the problem. I know nothing about the renovation of an Airstream and frankly, I have very poor aptitude for repairing or building anything. So I placed it with a service that renovates Airstreams.
So far, the renovators removed everything inside, stripped it down bare and cleaned the inner shell, removed the bellypan and old floor, welded the frame where it was weak, installed a sub flooring. This cost slightly over $6,000. They then changed the aluminum wiring. Cost: $1,500. A designer came in and billed $1,400 for picking fabric and floor but I have not seen any plans and the floor has not been done.
Total cost: $9,214.36.
I can see the renovation cost going far beyond the amount of my bank account and I need some advice on how to proceed. Perhaps there are other renovators that are less costly or am I just in over my head? Thanks for the advice.

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Old 08-18-2007, 10:00 AM   #2
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2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
complete renovations are costly. think of how much you'd pay to stay in a strange bed at night and all the other less desired things that go without an Airstream. you'll have a really nice trailer and an investment, not to mention the freedom to travel that goes with it. some renovate to sell it but you'll get to enjoy it!

set up a plan so that you can use it before the total renovation is done.

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Old 08-18-2007, 10:07 AM   #3
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1962 16' Bambi
Newtown Square , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 402
Images: 7
Hi Peter and welcome to the forums.
I can see your concern but with the exception of the designer costs, it seems that the work that has been performed was worthwhile ie: frame, subfloor and wiring - so long as the subfloor was in fact rotted or soft. Cost on the other hand I can not comment on as I have had no experience dealing with a 3rd party contractor. What are the hourly rates charged? I am sure there are others here that will comment on the costs. What were your instructions to the renovation company? Have they mentioned any axle /brake work needed? Did they save the original interior to reinstall? There isn't much in the way of flooring and material for the smaller units - hard to believe the designer cost was so high (IMHO). Let's hear what others have to say.
1962 16' Bambi (sold )
1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
Airforums# 7906, WBCCI #4248, WDCU
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