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Old 02-08-2016, 06:46 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 26
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Faux wood paneling; preserve or update: that is the question

I'm restoring a 73 Argosy and trying to keep things as original as possible (and practical). What are the general thoughts on retaining value of original interior vs modifying it? I'm considering painting over some of the faux wood panels just to tone it down a bit. However, am also concerned about what it would do to value if I ever decide to sell it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:23 AM   #2
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The short answer to your question is that generally a beautifully done job - either as a restoration or as a "bring up to today's look & standard" will get a better return than a slapdash job either way. The value of the finished job is always the figure that the seller is willing to accept and still find a willing buyer (or one who's so rich he's willing to pay an outrageous amount to satisfy his every whim.)

The next best answer is that even someone like Jay Leno knows he'll never get his money back out of what he's put into his cars. If you hire someone to do the work, the labor will kill you. If you do it yourself, even the appliances, flooring, leak tracing and remediation, curtains, and on and on and on... will be about triple what you originally budgeted.

There's a thread on here about a very heavily modified Argosy - just go to the "google" option under SEARCH and type in "contemporizing" and you'll find it. It's as beautiful and innovative job as I've seen here in 10 years.

So final answer. If you do something totally coo-coo you'll probably never find a buyer (Pamela Anderson's white Airstream complete with round bed and stripper pole). If you keep it reasonable, you should enjoy it for years (your Real R.O.I.) and pass it on to your kids. There are a few "flippers" who buy old barn & field farms, scrub the algae off the outside, clear out the stored clutter and obvious vermin signs, make very basic repairs/ replacements - like replacing 20 year old tires with salvaged from a junkyard trailer tires, and put them up for sale for a profit.

I don't know anyone who's a professional restorer who restores them "on spec." They might hold an inventory of "ready to be restored" units, but work doesn't start til a fish bites on the line.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:55 AM   #3
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Im sitting here debating the same exact thing... Do I paint the wood or just clean it up and leave it original.. ugh!
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #4
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If you don't have to tear into it to do repairs and the vinyl fake wood coating is not pealing then leave it there. I plan on upgrading mine to real wood piecemeal as stuff needs replacing and I get time to mess with it. I think the Argosy had vinyl over aluminum panels which is more durable than the vinyl over laun plywood. If you go all out you will have much more than it is worth as stated above.

Paula (Foiled Again) knows what she is talking about.

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Old 02-29-2016, 10:18 AM   #5
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With no offense to anyone who has painted the vinyl/wood coated interior panels of Argosy's or Airstreams, I have never seen one which looked better in person (not photos) than the original. It always looks like a paint job. There are just too many surfaces, some very small and hard to paint. Once painted, if it yellows, or chips, it just looks old.

The only exception I can say to the above is using Krylon paint for plastics on the yellowed headliner ends and refrigerator vents and other surfaces which have yellowed to what I call Old Banana Yellow. When those surfaces are a nice white, they so drastically improve the looks of the interior, that the original wood like surfaces becomes decent. Also, you can replace the refrigerator panels with white plastic laminate and get rid of those large brown areas. If you have the Ugly Green (in my opinion) countertop surfaces, they are fairly easily replaced with new laminate.

I would be very careful about any decision to paint the wood look vinyl cabinet surfaces.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:38 AM   #6
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I am on the other end of a Reno of a 72 Overlander. I left the walls, but brought in color with other items


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Old 03-01-2016, 07:17 PM   #7
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I'm just not sure about ruining something that's original and in decent shape 😕
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:19 PM   #8
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I think I will try to keep it as original as possible without keeping anything that is completely unfixable
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:18 PM   #9
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Went through the same conundrum, I may change her in the future but right now after two years renovating - I need to camp!


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Old 03-24-2016, 05:50 AM   #10
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Your problem is my problem.... for, now I will leave as is and keep my options open for the future!
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:36 AM   #11
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:18 AM   #12
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I for one find that keeping the trailer preserved as much as I can, makes me feel good. Some love to completely redo the interior and make it their own. Whatever floats your boat... its like car customizing. It can vastly change the value up or down.
My current Airstream had some silly designs painted all over the wood. Stripping it was well worthwhile and restoring it to close to an original look transformed the inside. I have updated some things but for the most part just made it look better and work for us.
As for a 70's trailer, I am not a big fan of those vinyl covered walls, but when cleaned and made to look as good as they can, they capture the groove of a 70s era trailer, for whatever that is worth.
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:53 AM   #13
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Hey Alan - far out man !


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Old 03-28-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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I dig ya brother
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