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Old 10-07-2015, 10:23 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Lbdfc , Ontario
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 12
1997, 34ft Classic: To Lift, or Not To Lift (its shell)

So I'm in the midst of buying a 1997 34ft classic with the intention of doing a full renovation. It's in pretty good shape as it is, minus some hail damage. I'm debating whether or not to lift the shell off of it, and I've found that people in here have some very strong opinions on the subject. So I wanted to create a venue to hear those opinions out.

What do you guys think, take it off, or leave it on?

Here's some background:
1) I'm going to be living in this airstream for a few years while I build my house. I'm in Canada, so it's going to have to get upgraded for Canadian winters (e.g. closed cell insulation, dehumidification, possibly in-floor heating, etc)

2) This trailer is also an investment, in that it's going to have its value assessed at the end of the reno, and it will be then listed as a business asset on the company ledger. The higher its value at the end of the reno, the better.

3) The goal is to have this trailer for 30-40 years, and to ultimately use it as a cottage or guest house.

For these three reasons, I've decided to do a thorough, top-down reno and upgrade on this trailer. It will get new everything, incl. axles, with the exception of windows. I'd like to reinforce the chassis if necessary, and add a poly plastic sub floor.

I would have the tools, the shop, and the time to make sure I get it right (using the gantry method), so the question is... to lift, or not to lift?


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Old 10-16-2015, 05:33 PM   #2
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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My opinion is don't spend any more than it is worth, there are better trailers already built for 4 season living for a lot less money.One to check out is Artic Fox......

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Old 10-16-2015, 06:02 PM   #3
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2015 16' Sport
ottawa (greely) , Ontario
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If you decided to buy it take the shell off it ,you maybe will need some frame work ,do it right!
2012 silverado ext cab 4x4 ,5.3 L , 6 speed trans,3:42 final drive,tow package standard box 6 1/2 foot . 2014 honda forza 300 scooter, #2 2015 honda crf 250 L (Dual sport)
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:29 PM   #4
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1972 29' Ambassador
grants pass , Oregon
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does it have extensive floor rot ?

If not I would not pull the shell off.
1972 Ambassador Itn'l 29'.Custom Interior

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Old 10-16-2015, 10:40 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
Lbdfc , Ontario
Join Date: Nov 2014
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TJ - Thanks for the tip, although I was after a 34 ft airstream specifically. I own it now, either way.

Thanks Scamp, I'm leaning that way myself! I want this experience anyway, part of this is about acquiring the skillset.

Airline - that's a good question, judging by the musty smell inside, I wouldn't be surprised if it did. It's getting a new polymax sub floor either way.

Interested to hear what you guys think.
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