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Old 06-28-2014, 05:07 PM   #1
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Houston , Texas
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Cost of Professional Interior Renovation

Hi, I have long wanted a vintage airstream and have found what looks like one that is in good condition as far as frame, subfloor, etc. The interior has been gutted. It is a 26 foot 1965 Overlander. I am simply not very handy and would need to have a professional do the interior renovation. Before purchasing the airstream I was wondering if anybody has had a professional simply do an interior renovation and if so approximately how much it cost. Also, if anybody could recommend somebody in Texas it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time.

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Old 06-28-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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MORE than you think.

Before you even TOUCH the interior, you need to know definitively that the frame, floor, electric, propane lines and plumbing are in good shape.

If you fail to do that, you could end up tearing out most of the new interior to fix those issues. You'll also almost certainly need new axles, but they could wait until nearly the last thing - when the unit is roadworthy and the interior is nearly complete or complete. (Axles don't matter until you're ready to get on the road!).

IF someone started a renovation and did a good serviceable job on all of those unseen systems, you could still spend at least $10-$20 thousand for the interior work alone (which includes appliances like the refrigerator, oven/microwave, stove top, exhaust hood, sinks, toilet, shower enclosure and faucets, water heater, furnace, air conditioner, battery charger/converter, plus options like an inverter, television, sound system, recording system. That doesn't leave a lot left over for cabinets, bedding, cushions, tables, seating, curtains, shelving, etc.

Of course the sky is the limit if you want high end. See SmokelessJoe's "contemporizing" thread for an innovative approach to the whole process. And then there's what Matthew MacConnaghay (never can spell that) spent - less than $200K but still a chunk of green.

Of course some appliancess could be bought gently used and I'd rarely miss stuff like the TV & sound system. You could also furnish it a bit at a time. Many get the "tin tent" and add a porta-pot, a card table and chairs, an air mattress, microwave, a fan/heater and go for it. Then you build out as time and money permit.

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Old 06-28-2014, 07:58 PM   #3
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now being enjoyed by Heath and Mary in , Vermont
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Here is a link to the main thread for the Smokeless Joe Airstream re-think that Foiled Again was referring to:

And here’s a link to the travelling outfit ( or only the trailer ) for sale:

1976 Airstream Argosy 24 for sale in Toronto, Ontario

Just for your guidance, I spent MUCH, MUCH MORE than the asking price - and this doesn’t count the 2 year rental of a house along Lake Erie, three hours from my Toronto home - were I started the project - NOR a minute of my time, 5 years worth of it and counting!

So, PROFESSIONAL, - even more, I should think.

The only professional restorer I know is CRAIG DORSEY. He’s an American, once based in California, who now lives and works in CANADA, near Digby, Nova Scotia. We had a chance meeting at his shop when my rig went through that part of the world a couple of summers ago:

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That’s a ways from Texas but start there. Or buy mine and save all the headaches.

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Old 06-29-2014, 02:32 AM   #4
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Paul Mayeux at A&P Vintage Trailer Works near Paradise, TX (not to far from DFW airport) can do restoration work. There have been units they restored that only the shell was reused due to rust and rot and missing pieces. In those cases, a lot of zeroes follow the first number on the check. It is not unheard off for a complete modest restoration pushing $60,000. When one gets into exotic woods and custom decorative metal work the price increases rapidly.

I used them to install a comprehensive 800 watt AM solar system and do a disc brake conversion on our new Classic.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:02 AM   #5
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1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
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I agree with the prior comments. First be 100% sure that everything is sound and all electric and plumbing is up to date.
If the Interior is already stripped out, but the electric behind the walls is still original, i would strongly suggest to remove all interior walls, all insulation, then do an entire wateriest and seal all leaks and whatever might leak. install new insulation and wiring.
I would also drop the belly pan if possible to check all framing / plumbing and insulation.

You do not want to spend 10’s of thousands on a interior, and having to tear everything back out after a while.

As far as cost , it really depends on what you want to do... i’d say for just the basic to go camping, considering having to buy all appliances, you are looking somewhere above 25K.

hope that helps.

Resurrecting one Airstream at the time..
maybe one day i save them all
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:03 AM   #6
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Houston , Texas
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Thanks for the replies. I'm fairly confident the major items like frame, electrical, plumbing, etc. are in good shape as this person had those items done and just lost interest or something. I certainly will get everything checked out before doing the interior. Really appreciate the replies as well. I'm going to reach out to the restoration company above and see what they say. We don't want an over the top restore and electronically I'd prefer to keep it as simple as possible as it increases the chances I'll be able to fix it (I.e. No tvs, other new items, etc.).
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:41 PM   #7
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Austin , Texas
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Texas Vintage Travel Trailers

Texas Vintage Travel Trailers

Eric Stolz

Eric Stoltz - Vintage Airstream Restore, Rebuild, Repair - Central Texas (New Braunfels, Austin, San Antonio, Houston)

And some of his work

Picasa Web Albums - Eric Stoltz

Usually a long wait............

He states an all new interior ("really cool") starts at $12k here:

Eric Stoltz - Vintage Airstream Restore, Rebuild, Repair - Central Texas - New Services

He did my Avion in 2008 or 2009 for the PO - interior is original, but "refurbished" (taken out and refinished). See my public profile for an interior shot. The work speaks for itself.
1966 T-27 Avion
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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I'd touch base with Top. He's a member here. A good stand up guy that could tell you where you stand and how to proceed. About three hours from you. Call him!

Top's Texas Vintage Camper Restorations | Harker Heights, TX 76548

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