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Old 02-24-2015, 11:15 AM   #1
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 675
Readying a trailer for sale... Should I...

Hello to all of you in this marvellous Airforums knowledge base.

I have a bad case of aluminumitis but not the driveway space to store my addiction. This summer we purchased yet another airstream bringing my collection up to three. As our three (now) teenagers had outgrown our existing ones and they won't/can't sleep three to a bed any more so we decided one of my collection has to go so. So we have spent the good part of the fall and winter restoring the 1969 Safari.

We are getting close to the putting her back together stage and I am torn on what I should do for the upholstery and drapery. Currently it has the original fabrics and drapery throughout..., now well I do know that there is value in an original condition trailer but I am sure that value does not extend to 47 year old fabrics

So this is where I was hoping to get some input. I do not know if I should be putting the money in to redoing all the interior fabrics. Would I see a return of value if I did? or is it one one those things I should leave for the new owners so they can pick a pattern that suits them.

I know I am not the kind that could just pick some cheap fabric smack it on and call it done if I did it I would do it right with good quality stuff, so that is where I am concerned, how much has it cost others to redo their interiors. If I did it I would likely pay someone else to do the sewing.

Also another interior question, If I were to redo the vinyl wrap on the upper cabinet doors would that be taking away from the value of "original" Seeing that I work in a sign shop I am certain I could modernize them but would that affect the value?

These two pictures I grabbed from other peoples pages but they are the same fabrics and vinyl door wraps as are in mine

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Old 02-24-2015, 11:22 AM   #2
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enived2's Avatar
1967 20' Globetrotter
Englewood , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 101
Images: 12
Gosh, that's a beautiful trailer! If I was in the market for another trailer, I would want to buy it as-is and personalize the fabrics to my liking. I know that is not the opinion of everyone, though. Some people will want a finished trailer. As for the overhead cabinets, I recovered mine in fabric very similar to the original covering. The original was torn and stained, so I had to do something. Personally, I am a fan of the original covering. Good luck! It is a beauty!

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Old 02-24-2015, 12:04 PM   #3
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1967 26' Overlander
1955 22' Flying Cloud
1964 17' Bambi II
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,204
Another vote for letting new owners choose fabrics.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:26 PM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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If the fabric is in presentable/usable shape I would sell it as it.
I think it would also depend on the over all condition of the exterior of the trailer. If the exterior is in really good shape then it might be worthwhile to rework the fabric with something more modern and clean smelling.
My personal view is that I would pay more for a really nice exterior. The interior can be fixed much easier.
Steve, Christy, Anna and Phoebe (Border Collie)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley with adjustable stinger
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:15 PM   #5
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2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
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Check on the prices for the reupholster, but reflect it in the price that would make it easier to sell, if fabric needs replacing I would a bet the foam will have to be replaced, too. If you get the total price you will know what it will cost the new owner and let them decide.
but I agree with previous posts on look and aroma of old might be hard to sell sob except Airstream is for the retro inclined.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #6
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1961 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
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I would gently clean the fabric, eliminate any odors, stitch and patch up any holes and stuff a little more extra padding in if has major sag. Then I would add some solid colored pillows to cheer it up and make it look retro vintage cool instead of dated sad. The new buyers can then easily update the fabric to coordinate to their color scheme.

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Old 02-24-2015, 04:14 PM   #7
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
I would gently clean the fabric, eliminate any odors, stitch and patch up any holes and stuff a little more extra padding in if has major sag. Then I would add some solid colored pillows to cheer it up and make it look retro vintage cool instead of dated sad. The new buyers can then easily update the fabric to coordinate to their color scheme.
Agree completely. Advertise "clean, cared for and ready for you to makeover, update, restore or renovate" Some love Airstreams for what they are, some for what they can become! (Not unlike Harley Davidsons.)

There are a couple of vendors members who make curtains, etc. You might ask them for pictures - which you could place around the Airstream showing what the "after" look could become.
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:53 PM   #8
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 675
hmm, lots of good ideas. I did wash all the fabrics that would let me. The zipper on the long goucho is seized so I couldn't get it off. The fabric has kind of a crunchy feel which I don't like. maybe I'll try rewashing them and use a fabric softer to see if that helps some.

Another question for the counters I will be redoing, I've been trying to find some new old stock of the discontinued aqua boomerang Formica and can't find any remnants big enough to use anywhere. Wilsonart has a line where they can print anything you can give them so I reproduced the design here at work (changing the design just enough to avoid copyright protection) and sent it off for a quote, I just got the quote for the custom made laminate shipped to me in Canada, its about $450 for ONE sheet...eek... anyone seen any leftover in their neighbourhood stores?
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
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2006 30' Safari
Divide , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
Clean--then clean again--and again. I can change the fabrics to my liking, but nothing turns me away like an aroma that you can't quite place in a trailer. And yep, I am super picky and can tell when someone is trying to cover odor. Watch the corners and the fridge seals.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:36 PM   #10
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
Aqua boomerang formica was used in the 50's and early 60's but not in the late 60's such as your trailer. Looks like you have the ugly green which was popular at the time and dates a trailer horribly, unless it is a museum restoration. Maybe you have the yellow/slightly green I can't tell. It is less objectional but no prize.

I would just use a simple white Formica if you are doing the counter tops. It always looks good and is never really out of date. It is cheap and available too.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:47 AM   #11
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1972 31' Sovereign
Hauula , Hawaii
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 51
I vote for original fabrics, but doubt that fresh, new fabrics would hurt the value, as they are essentially consumables.
On the subject: What about the bathroom color? My 72 is all original, but I dislike that yellow bathroom color--don't know how yellow was ever attractive for that room! Would changing it to white hurt the originality factor/value?
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:45 AM   #12
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 675
Hmm, Steering get away from my aqua boomerang countertop plan.... I guess if I skip doing the fabrics, the vision in my head of what she would look like completely done is dead anyway and I do agree that colors and patterns are such a personal taste so I'll look for something good more neutral for the counters and leave the fabric as is. Maybe I could take the long goucho somewhere to have the zipper repaired so I can at least wash that one.

The cushions are really sound still and don't have any smells, them and the covers have been living my living room behind my couch for the past half a year so I'd definitely notice. I'll have to see If any smells pop up when I take my upholstery steam cleaner to them.

I replaced the plywood in her front end and that took care of the musty smell she had when I got her. But I'll tell you one thing I did discover really has a stinky, could be be mistaken for mouse pee or some kind of refer leak or something that I should share with others that are trying to find a source of a smell, is that rigid insulation board stuff. When we ripped up the front sub floor we had to chisel out the old spray foam insulation in some areas to get the new elevator bolts in and repair a couple outriggers. Man, that spray foam in the undercarriage area in my year was GOOD sh*t, in most areas where we chiseled it out the underlying metal and paint were perfect. After the repairs and floor replacement I first attempted to spray closed cell foam back in there but as I was doing a shell on resto....well let's just say gravity sucks...and spray foam stays attached to long hair in months.

I had a hat on but I dragged my ponytail through some foam that had hit the ground. After wiping the worst of it out with paper towels I figured the minor bits would wear off quickly with natural hair movement and washing. NOPE, looked like bad dandruff for months, lucky it was at the back of my head so I couldn't see the look of disgust from people standing behind me in the grocery line. Only my darling teenager had the constant enjoyment of telling me about how it looked like dandruff and laughing it me for months, every time he was walking behind me. Little booger...

Anyway when I bought the foam from my local hardware store rather than grabbing the truck I brought it home in my car which is a Toyota matrix and hold lots of stuff. Well I didn't even clear the parking lot before I realized how yucky that stuff smelled, it was so strong it made my eyes literally water, I don't know if it just an issue with it needing to offgas because maybe it was a brand new batch or what, but it was a horrible smell. Had I brought them home in the pickup I would likely have never noticed. I left my boards outside in the rain to wash and air out a few weeks before using them and we haven't wrapped up the belly pan area yet so it has had a couple months to off gas so hopefully the smell will be all gone before I wrap her up. But boy, I pity anyone that may have that ridgid foam in their walls as insulation that are trying to place the smell.

Oh and as I did an air gap style of insulation in the under floor area I used a shower cap to protect my hair when I went back under to seal the around the edges of the ridgid foam with the closed cell spray foam. Live and learn and learn..
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:16 PM   #13

1968 20' Globetrotter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 451
Yup, The “nose knows” Entering a trailer, my olfactory sense engages before my visual.

With all your skills and talent... supportive, humorous, and kindly informative contributions, I'm absolutely baffled that you don't have an old Pfaff 130 on hand to tend your fabric needs.

Buy a fish or learn to fish...

Sewing isn't rocket science, it's working with sheet goods much the same way as sheet-metal, plywood, linoleum, drywall... Just a different method of joining and fastening. Few persons know the trade well enough to discern between an 80% good enough job and true art. I'll bet it'd only take you a couple hours to figure out how to make a benign colored Sale priced muslin-like fabric “case” for your foam that a Buyer could cover eventually with their “personal” choice. Then you have clean new fabric to augment the sale.

We bought new Serta foam, made a muslin case to cover the foam, and made a second cover with twenty dollars worth of boring IBM beige fabric. The first case lets the second case slide freely which prevents wrinkles. We display our favorite Pendleton as our decorative layer.

Today, sewing may not be viewed as the manliest of skills, but I'll bet I'm not the only fella on this forum that has an English wheel standing within reach of a sewing machine.

My awning is home-made too, With a Pfaff 130 and $20 worth of Sunbrella roll-end sale.

I'll agree that boomerang pattern predates your trailer. I built my counter-tops back when Formica coral, aqua and blue were still available. They are grey because as a recessive color(if you consider grey a color) it adds an illusion of spaciousness and clashes with nothing. The GT feels big inside.

You like boomerang, and the grey is still findable. It looks great with stainless, and is “sellable”.

If the overhead door vinyl is intact and clean, I'd leave it original. How wonderful to not have tambours! To me, having the last of the wood interiors, dictates a responsibility to preservation. You already know that the failing coat of clear lacquer on your ash can be restored easily with light Scotchbrite prep and ”re-nutrienting” the surface with a lacquer soaked rag. Lacquer is a good coating because you can quickly build it up in thin layers and it blends well onto itself.

I feel that offering a trailer clean, unscented, and close to original, without major appliance repair issues to the purchaser, but some room for their personalization, makes the broadest appeal.

I'm wondering if others are wishing that you rethink your decision and keep the nearly most remarkable Airstream trailer ever made??

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Old 02-26-2015, 02:53 PM   #14
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1957 22' Caravanner
1960 26' Overlander
1963 24' Tradewind
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Hey Sign lady
Love this post. I'm working on a 69 Globetrotter that's very similar to the first pictures you posted. I vote for as original as possible.
I do have a question as to what you'll do for flooring? I'm thinking about install the original looking VCT.

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