So, what we did:
In 2005, we decided we wanted an Airstream. Having never owned an RV before, we read everything we could and then decided to buy a used trailer and camp for awhile and make sure we liked the lifestyle before we made a big investment in new or barely used.
Found a 1986 31' Sovereign
for a reasonable price. It had lots of cosmetic issues but everything worked and it was more or less watertight. We bought it and put a few thousand into new panels (had some impressive dents). Got it pressure checked and sealed up and commenced to go camping.
Liked it. Liked it a lot.
65000 miles later, we still have our Sovereign
. Since 2005, it has gotten a new floor (laminate)' all new horizontal surfaces (kitchen,bathroom counter, nightstand, table all covered with Marmoleum), a new air conditioner, rebuilt the cooling unit on the frig, new stove/oven.
It needs new Plastikote but, being cheap, I just stripped the "shoulders" and end caps and polished them mildly.
Is it pristine? Nope. Is it reliable, comfortable, paid for and, most importantly, water-tight? You betcha.
Would I ever buy a "classic" and do a frame off restoration? God, no.
But there are lots of rigs out there waiting to camping. Hope you find one.
Then go and: "Find Your Park"! (Sorry, had to put a plug in there for the employer...)