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Old 08-16-2009, 08:02 PM   #1
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Olney , Texas
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New members in Texas

Hi. Dan, my husband and I always dreamed of having an Airstream in the family but we've made do with our HR motorhome until now.

We found our beauty in the rough at an auction yesterday and she looked so neglected and in need of some serious TLC. So, we slowly drove home pulling our new-to-us 1963 GlobeTrotter. She doesn't have a name yet - we'll wait until she's beautiful again and see how her personality shines.

Looks like someone had intentions of restoring her because the floor had been removed, all was gutted and either piled inside or strewn outside around it (probably since 2001 since that's the last date on the license plate). 3 windows broken out but outside looks good except for 2 dents (right front and left rear) that will need to be gentled out.

After searching for information on how to restore this little lady, I found your forum - Eureka! A treasure trove of expertise and knowledge!
We're DIY'ers from wayyy back from houses to 2 trailers (not airstreams but holes in roof, etc.) but don't want to make mistakes with this restoration.
I do have a few questions:
Should we restore her to stock condition, having reefer, stove, etc. refurbished? I guess what I'm asking is, will putting current appliances in and possibly modifying the floorplan lower her value (not monetarily but true value)?
If refurbish old appliances, where do I start?
Someone took a crowbar to the door (guess they lost the key?) and ripped a section up - how to repair that?
Where to find replacement parts? Door locks, garage locks, etc.
We have more questions but I'm blank right now.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you! Dayna

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Old 08-16-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Olney , Texas
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Posts: 6
Thank you, SuEllyn & Brian. I'm so glad I did find this forum. I've been studying previous postings for quite some time now and have gleaned much knowledge. This is wonderful!

We are so happy to have found our Globetrotter and hope to have her fully restored in time to take her on some trips to get accustomed to her, before retirement (not too long now). Then we can really travel.

Thanks again! Dayna
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TXHoops View Post
I do have a few questions:
Should we restore her to stock condition, having reefer, stove, etc. refurbished? I guess what I'm asking is, will putting current appliances in and possibly modifying the floorplan lower her value (not monetarily but true value)?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you! Dayna
Welcome to the forums. There are great people here with a treasure trove of knowledge. I can't help you with the technical stuff, but can offer what I've learned from other forum members. Most owners will tell you that keeping your AS original will help it retain value, but it depends on the overall condition, and whether you can repair it to keep it that way, as most parts for your vintage trailer are no longer available. It also depends on whether you are planning on keeping it to enjoy for yourself for a longer time. If you are then most owners will tell you to go head and remodel away to make it suit your needs (decor, layout, etc). Keep in mind that if you do eventually sell you probably won't make a profit, but it will be money invested in creating great memories of your family's experiences while using the AS. Whatever direction you choose be sure to keep us all updated and post lots of pictures, we all love the pics.

Best wishes in your AS project.

Happy Trailering !
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:24 AM   #5
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Hi there and welcome to the Forums from another Texan!

I agree with Mary, it really just depends on how you intend to use the trailer. A true "restoration" to original will likely retain better value, but as Mary said if you sell it you are probably not going to make a profit, and would be lucky to even get your money invested back.

If you really like the original look, then it's probably best for long-term value to restore it to as close to original condition as you can. But if you have changes you want to make, then you should make the trailer comfortable and livable for yourself.

It might be very expensive or even impossible to repair all of the appliances. First check to see what works and what does not, and then it might be best to replace non-functioning components with their modern replacements. Many of these are similar in size to the originals and won't necessarily require major modifications to fit. Some, on the other hand, will require some major mods.

Also, be realistic. This is a 46 year old trailer, that has probably seen a lot of leaks in its time, both exterior and interior. Most trailers of this vintage require major subfloor replacement, and many also require repair work for the steel frames. Check for soft spots around the perimeter of your floor, using an ice pick or screwdriver. Notorious problem points are under the front and rear windows, under the jalousie windows, and right at the door threshold. Also check under all plumbing points-- galley sink, water heater, freshwater tank, water pump, and most especially, your bathroom-- vanity sink and tub supply/drains. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but it is unlikely the floor is solid in most, if not all, of those spots. And floor rot often means that water has been trapped below, leading to frame rot as well. As soon as you get a chance, take a peak under the bellypan and look for rusted out frame members-- especially under the bathroom.

It sounds like you might be in store for a Major Renovation, and to anyone about to attempt such a thing, I always recommend reading the Major Renovations threads, located here:

Many of them are lengthy, but their value is immeasurable in showing you what you might be facing, and how others who have gone before you have tackled these issues.

Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:16 AM   #6
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Hi Dayna!

Welcome to all things Airstream.
Congratulations on your new GT, half the fun will be bringing her back from the brink.

Enjoy the trip.

The journey IS the destination.

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Old 08-17-2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Olney , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Hi, Mary, Marcus and Michael. Thank you for all the wonderful tips.

No, we aren't planning to sell her once road-worthy - we just appreciate AS's and want to bring this old lady up to her former glory. We've set the refrigerator (baby blue color on door - is that correct?) upright (it was on its side) and it needs a new gasket and the magnetic strips are pulling loose so no tight seal. Then, once she sets right a while, we'll plug it in and see if it cools. If not, we might consider buying a larger reefer for better storage on longer trips.

We'll also clean up and check out the stove/oven, too, and if that's operating safely, we might just keep it, too, but I've never used the oven in our motorhome. We've considered putting in an 18" 2-burner cooktop with a microwave mounted below it to conserve space.

The bellypan has already been removed and was stored inside the trailer as well as the wood floor removed so once we get everything else out, we'll be able to inspect the frame for any damage. Thankfully, our son-in-law is a welder by trade and should be able to do any reinforcements/repairs. I've been reading about faulty/aged axles and perhaps replacing the shocks. We might can do the shocks but would it be better to have the axle professionally replaced? And where's the best source for an axle?

After taking out about half the clutter stored inside, we've found the toilet, bath and lav unit, really nasty cushions (nice to have for patterns) and I can't wait to find out what else. Dan found the fresh water tank (hmmm, pretty small) and a grey or black water tank buried in there, too. We plan to mount that above the wood floor in a covered wood box that throne sits on. Hopefully, we'll find the greywater tank, too.

Marcus, thank you so much for providing a link to major renovations! That will really be perused and used in length!

Do we use 5/8" marine plywood for the floor or is something else more recommended? Is it better to fit the curved ends in first and then install the middle sections?

Thank you all so much again! We'll be sure to take pix as we go along. Dayna and Dan

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