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Old 07-04-2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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Best ROI - Curtains, carpet or upholstery?

My 1975 Argosy 26 still has the original orange/gold carpet in pretty nice shape. Front gaucho has the original yellow/brown/white uphostery also in pretty nice shape and the front curtains appear to be original in equally "pretty nice" shape. Last year I replaced the bedroom curtains with new made by James P. Ambruso, Inc. Pricey but I couldn't have been more satisfied with the curtains.

It will cost about the same to either replace the carpet - probably with a combination of wood laminate and carpet, have the guacho recovered or replace the front curtains. I have made a mental committment to do one of the three with in the next six months. Also I will probably sell this trailer with in the next 2-3 years and may not get around to doing all three. I need help prioritizing these three upgrades in terms of Return On Investment. I am leaning toward doing the curtains first because they seem to be viewed as difficult to do and they are pretty expensive to have professionally done to the standards of the Ambruso company - I think that potential buyers see this as a major expense that they won't have and we all like to think that we can tackle carpet and uphostery ourselves.

I'd like to hear other forum members thoughts on these three upgrades and the order I should do them. Also I need help in convincing my wife to let me order the curtains. Thanks, Roger
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:25 AM   #2
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Oh wow. That is really subjective, IMO. There are some folks who would like to keep it retro, and some who would want it totally redone to modern specs.

The problem you will run into is replacing one or two things with more modern but having the rest still be vintage. I would think if you *have* to do something to it, go with the flooring in a neutral shade that goes with the gaucho and curtains. Most people do see flooring as a major effort, either physically or financially (or both), where recovering a gaucho or sewing/having curtains made sounds a lot easier. (To me, the curtains sound the easiest/most simple/cheapest of all three.)

Myself, I wouldn't do anythng to it, then play up the retro aspect of it when you market it to sell.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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"Don't do anything" usually works for me. Washing the bedroom curtains shortly after I purcahsed this trailer left them in shreds and that was the reason for replacing them. They are a close match to the curtains still in the front but naturally they look brand spanking new and crisp and that causes an obvious contrast with the older ones. I have thought about replacing the carpet with a match to the original and covering the guacho would be done with something similar to the original - thus keeping the vintage look but it seems like a lot of people prefer something other that carpet on the floor.

So, would I be better off, say, replacing the carpet with a match to the original vs. replacing the front curtains? The orange counter tops will keep me from straying to far from the original color scheme.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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Dang, I am with you on the curtains. I washed the front curtains on our moho--the fabric held up fine but the coating I didn't really notice on the liner shredded all over the washing machine. I'm sorry you had to deal with that, too.

If you really felt like spending the money you could replace the carpet, but you said it was in pretty nice shape, so why not leave it?

You could get SilverThreads to make you new front curtains, they would be crisp and new and match the back ones. She should be better price-wise than the place you used, and I have heard nothing but glowing reviews about her work.

Do you mind posting some pics of your Argosy? I (and everyone else here) just love pistures!

Susan
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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Alumatube, I'll try to get some pictures posted. You're probably right about leaving stuff alone. I purchased the Argosy partly because it was in such great original shape. A real time capsule. I have seen the posts and the pics of SilverThreads work. Had I not already used Ambruso (prior to discovering this forum) I'm sure I would have contacted her. But now, If I do replace the rest of the curtains, I would want them to be exact mates to the rear - so I'll probably go back to Ambruso if I do it.

I see from your profile that you are interested in vintage sports car racing. My brother just purchased a old Lotus Europe or Europa?? that he intends to eventually race. He does a lot of restoration work on old MG's and Jags primarily and he attends a few vintage races every year and has participated in a few rallyes.

I have a '77 MGB for sale. 19000 miles. Maybe you know someone that might be interested. If so - Hook me up.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:18 PM   #6
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I am glad you found someone to do such good work on your curtains! It's sadly a surprise in today's world to find someone to do high-quality work that you are happy with.

That's awesome about the Lotus, and yes, it is a Europa. That car shares the front suspension and wheels with the Spitfire. Neat little car--congrats to him! He probably knows some people I know, from the association with vintage racing.

You are more than welcome to send me the info and a pic on your B and I will see who I can get it out to. PM me if you are interested and I will send you my email address.

Susan
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:18 AM   #7
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I say leave it as is. Especially IF you are planning on selling it shortly. No matter what, the new owner will want to customize it to their liking and will feel less guilty tearing apart old stuff instead of new. The exception would be if things are soiled or damaged beyond repair (like the bedroom curtains) - then fix or replace.

If you must replace something, I would say the orange shag carpet would get my vote - I don't know too many people that would love or miss that! But be careful of what you replace it with - you are trying to reach a wide audience when it comes time to sell. Upholstery is a pretty personal aesthetic...it gives the trailer it's personality IMO. So, my approach would be to create a "neutral" envelope and leave the "splash" for the next owner.

Shari
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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A different perspective

I hope this comment isn't to far off base but..... Airstreams are not finical investments IMO. The return for the labor and money spent on them comes from the satisfaction of ownership. For some of us, the satisfaction may be from the refitting, for some simple ownership, for others the satisfaction is from use. It is unlikely I will do much better than breaking even when it is time to sell my Trade Wind, but I consider all the time and money put into it well spent regardless of if I ever get a penny out of it. The way I would think about return of investment in this case would be 'what improvements will improve your enjoyment of the camper?'; that makes the most sense to me and let the resale dollars fall where they may.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:02 PM   #9
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Personally, fresh "original" curtains didn't mean much when we were looking to buy. Ours has some that were from a store and had the tabs sewn on the top. They do the job. The back windows only have blinds. They also do the job.

If the upholstery is in good shape, that is a big plus. Our gaucho had a nice solid cover on it so we don't have to live with the 70s orange flowers, which is a big plus.

We have replaced the carpet with vinyl flooring (faux hardwood plank type) and I will eventually do something different to the windows and possibly the upholstery. That is the order in which we will "renovate" but it really is personal choice. Carpet doesn't fit our dog filled lifestyle so it was the first thing to go.

All in all, remember it is a 30+ year old trailer and resale is relative to what buyers are willing to part with at the time.
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