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Old 08-03-2006, 08:16 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Girard , Pennsylvania
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What have I got into?

Been a camper for years traveling in motorhomes and living quarter horse trailers. Got a first older Airstream by happenstance and am intrigued by it and how it has survived the years so well! Am trying to figure out whether to restore completely original decor or am I allowed some lattitude in decorating before I ruin it's vintage appeal? All opinions are appreciated. Trailer is totally original and I am afraid to ruin something by changing it. HELP!! I want to get started.
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanorfarm
Been a camper for years traveling in motorhomes and living quarter horse trailers. Got a first older Airstream by happenstance and am intrigued by it and how it has survived the years so well! Am trying to figure out whether to restore completely original decor or am I allowed some lattitude in decorating before I ruin it's vintage appeal? All opinions are appreciated. Trailer is totally original and I am afraid to ruin something by changing it. HELP!! I want to get started.


Hi and welcome to the forums
What year and model Airstream is it?Do you have any pictures you can post of the interior?
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:49 AM   #3
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Hi Alanorfarm and welcome. Re your restoration question, each is entitled to their own opinion but milne is that it is your trailer and should reflect your taste. Restore it the way you would want it. Good luck on your endeavor. joe
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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Joe said it perfect. You will receive tons of suggestions if you ask for them but remember, there are no rules and it should look like YOU want it. Having said that, if you plan to resell it later, that might influence some of your decisions.
At this stage of the project, I would recommend you start with the systems (LPG, plumbing, electrical, etc) because if its an older unit, chances are better then not, they need some attention.
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:59 PM   #5
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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What to do, what to do...

Hello and welcome to the forums!

I think most everyone has their Airstream reflect their personal taste. Airstreams are not quite like classic autos where there are "purists" at the same level. Most folks keep the outside looking pretty original, but the "inside" that is the personal part. Surf the site and look at all the pictures you will get a good idea of what goes on!

If you plan on keeping the Airstream forever, then just go for it! If you plan on selling it not to distant in the future, then I would tend to keep things simple. Zebra skin and such may not appeal to everyone... Depending on what you do, it is easy to let it all get away from you and soon you will own an Airstream that you have spent way more on than you will ever get from it when sold.

Have fun! I would tend to be sure all the appliances, etc. are in good working order and such first!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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Hello Alanorfarm and welcome to a great place to exchange info on Airstreams! Looks like you're already getting quality advice. Mid-70's Airstreams began using a lot of plastic and they look dated compared to the earlier models with plywood dividers & cabinetry. Even the light ply cabinetry gets tired with age. The challenge will be doing anything as light as either. The most valuable and sought after Airstreams have been the shorter models. Even with them the decisions of an owner should be based on what is no longer workable for structural or operational reasons (eg, appliances).

At the Midwest Forums Rally this year I saw a 1968 26' Overlander that had a very nice interior re-do. The owners left the cabinetry original but departed significantly with interior color (almost a sponge painted darker red), worked out their own drape scheme without trying to stay original, and had a great gypsy assortment of gaucho cover & pillows. They had talked things through with a designer friend. It was kind of funky, which allowed everything to mix with the ply cabinetry that they left in place. I'm not sure I'd have been able to come up with the great atmosphere inside their trailer.

Girard, eh? My dad was from Clarion. I spent a lot of time vacationing there in the 1960s before the interstate came along. His dad walked pipelines for PNG (if the company name exists any more at all!). I know Cook Forest has been mentioned in a few threads on the ASForums. Clarion has an Airstream campground. I feel a need to get back there to talk with a surviving uncle ... some day I hope. Welcome again!
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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Keep it Original; For Awhile...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanorfarm
Am trying to figure out whether to restore completely original decor or am I allowed some lattitude in decorating before I ruin it's vintage appeal? All opinions are appreciated. Trailer is totally original and I am afraid to ruin something by changing it. HELP!! I want to get started.
First make it roadworthy; tires, wheels, brakes, bearings. Replace axles if necessary.

Second, make it functional. Get everything in working order; H2O system, H2O heater, furnace, fridge, air conditioner.

Third Make it esthetically pleasing and pleasant to use.

Projects become longer and more expensive when we do step three first only to discover that we must rip out that which we have already done to fix some problem with plumbing, wiring, or flooring.

RVlover and 68Overlander are technically correct,of course. It is your trailer, but once violated it will never be "original" again, and this could be very important if your infatuation falters and you decide to unload this trailer.

Most prospective buyers of vintage Airstreams are looking for original, well maintained trailers. Too often, an exuberant new owner will start his project by ripping out the original interior only to discover that he has more serious "issues" to contend with at which point he trys to unload a formerly original, now demolished piece of junk.

In the end it's your decision, but few people keep these things forever; and it's nice to recover part of our investment. This can be difficult to do if our "improvements" are not appreciated by the population of potential buyers.

Go slow at first. Attend a vintage rally or two. Get some perspective. Go for it!

P.S. Show us some pictures. Please!
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:59 PM   #8
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Welcome

Hello and welcome to the forums lots of good and advice here. I to use to show quarter horses small world. We have a 75 and just love it and I have pondered with many ideas. I have left everything pretty much as it was, I have found that retro is coming in strong again so it is easy to find things to match our 70's look. We are going to pull the carpet up and install laminate flooring and I had the gaucho recovered first thing, we also added a queen mattress to the back bedroom the twin just did not work. We dont plan on selling our trailer so as I do things I just do it to my style.
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:32 PM   #9
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A 79 31 footer is vintage in the fact it is over 25 years old but is really not a classic and has limited appeal to most of the collectors. This is a good family trailer or one for a couple who wants to park in the south over the winter. The smaller older trailers are in more demand on the west coast and trendy people. they bring alot of more money than the 31's. The 31's with the rear bath out of the 70's also have frequently problems with rear end sag and separation so I would check that out before you start counting your profits. Most people do not make any money by remodeling 31 footers. If you have already paid for it make it your own and enjoy it.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #10
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Wow, can't thank you all enough for the sounding board. This is a first time over the web try for me and it was exciting to read all the replies! I will try to get some pix put together and posted...it may take me a while, I am no computer wiz. Figuring out this forum thing is a first for me. You are right, the gold plastic looks a little tired.
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