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Old 10-14-2015, 01:54 PM   #15
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Unless the resto job is a labor of love for you. A lot of people have the unrealistic belief they are making an investment in a restoration job. You would be lucky to break even and that is not counting your time. You could spend the 10 grand on a newer AS or one that someone else has done a lot of the work on and be ahead of the game.
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:14 AM   #16
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1969 27' Overlander
Scottsdale , Arizona
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Originally Posted by PuraVida567 View Post
Hello everyone,
This is my first post here. My husband and I recently fell in love with the airstream rv and the community of airstream enthusiasts. We are looking to buy one to live in full time. We were planning on taking a year to search and restore one, but my husband just got a job offer in Oregon and we might need to leave Feb 1st, 2016. We have two small children and two dogs that will need to have a safe home to travel in by that time. Is this feasible? We have $10k to spend but I was hoping to use some of that for restoration costs too. There is a 31ft Excella for sale near us that we are going to look at. The frame, panels, axels- overall body is in good shape. The interior still has all the walls and appliances but the owner says its a gut job. It looks like the walls and flooring def need work. He is only asking $2,400. Obo.

Am I crazy for considering this excella, knowing our time limit? I do have to say that it will be sitting in my dad's warehouse garage with plenty space and tools to use. He is retired and will be able to spend time working on it everyday. We will work with him a few evenings and weekends every week. We just need it in livable condition to get us from FL to OR. Once in OR we can continue cosmetic repairs.

Here is the link: https://daytona.craigslist.org/rvs/5180754568.html

Any thoughts, suggestions would be great.
Hope you know what you are doing. So Many people start out to restore and find its not their cup of tea in no time short the hit a wall and have it all torn apart and unable to complete it and it ends up auctioned or sold. Though your story sounds like a remedy for divorce and I would say don't do it unless you are fully committed and get along like 2 peas in a pod with kids and dogs. Yikes. The money sounds about right. But the intentions maybe short lived. Never heard of a live in restoration and no one didn't try to kill the other one. Dogs may go on strike! Rethink that one.
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:03 PM   #17
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1972 27' Overlander
Woodburn , Oregon
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Originally Posted by PuraVida567 View Post
wow I wasn't expecting so many responses. Thank you everyone for your information and encouraging words. We understand that full time RVing alone is challenging, but RVing with children becomes a true adventure! And we are excited about it. My husband is a USCG marine mechanic veteran and grew up helping his father with the family's home renovation business. My father built his garage to restore classic cars. So both are very skilled craftsmen and there is no doubt they are capable of restoring the airstream. Time is are only problem.

Thank you Meeks for letting me know about "BoldAdventure" I will definitely reach out to them .

I guess we will continue our search for an airstream without SO much work even if it costs a little more. And keep in mind the possibility of buying one in OR. I was just hoping to have our little home on the road somewhat put together before we left so the kids could have the comfort of their own things.
I can't imagine living in an airstream full time with 2 small children let along with pets also , airstreams were designed for 2 people to live or travel in
As far as your budget goes I spent 4K to buy my 1972 overlander and have spent over 15k just for new upgrades so far mostly all work done by me and my wife and I am no where near done but of course I want everything first class as this will be our winter home when my wife retires , I want to head to the gulf coast in Texas or Louisiana for some great fishing
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:20 PM   #18
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So many people on this site always repeat the "Airstreams are designed for two people". Sorry, but that's nonsense. Just because it's not for you, doesn't mean it won't work for others. This mantra seems to get repeated even more when folks mention small kids. When I first started posting, people told me, we'd go crazy, and it's impossible. Well, THEY ARE WRONG.

That being said, in your time frame, I would avoid and highly recommend NOT restoring an older Airstream. Depending on your budget, I would look for a unit produced after the year 2002.

While restoring an older unit can lead to greater customization, you have to consider all the things that will need repairing and upgrading.

We chose and found a 2007 27ft front bedroom Airstream International Signature for under 30K. We had one small area where the floor needed a patch but other than that it was livable from the start.

We made a few upgrades, new batteries, new tires and solar panels. We reupholstered our cushions, put down new laminate flooring and remodeled our bedroom.



With the slightly newer unit, we could get started on the customizing.

We made the space fit our needs. One of the things I did was remodel the bedroom. I work on the road fulltime, and wanted a dedicated work area. We also wanted a little more space for the kids on those rainy days.

My wife and I are used to sleeping in a small bed, we cuddle and enjoy it. So we built an extra large twin/lounge and a standing desk.



It really changed the experience and feel of the bedroom area. The space on the floor, really makes it feel open.





I can still stand and work, and there is room for our oldest to play on the floor and sit in her bean bag chair. I often enjoy sitting in the bean bag chair to read on the floor, with my legs stretched out.

We added shelves to our wardrobe and other #Airganization items as we call it to suit our needs.





We even customized the fridge, it now has magnetic fronts, the lower half is a chalkboard for the kids and the top half a white board for mom and dad.

[IMG]https=2//scontent-dfw1-1=1cdninstagram=1com/hphotos-xaf1/t51=12885-15/e35/11875530_499285553564690_1130638598_n=1jpg[/IMG]

Everyone has different needs and a different lifestyle. To be honest, we just don't have that much crap. We're minimalist. There are single retirees on this site with more stuff than a family of 4. Be careful whose advice you take seriously. Look for folks who share a similar experience or are living close to how you want to live. Ask their advice and plan in a way that reflects your lifestyle, values, and needs.

It's important to think about how you will live, and start visualizing that. And thinking about what you actually need to live.

You will be surprised to discover you can do with a lot less, be happier and enjoy more time as a family.

So to conclude this, I would look for a unit that you could focus on customizing rather than completely remodeling/restoring. 3 months is unrealistic.

We purchased our Airstream in August 2014 and it took me a number of months to get it to where it is now. And I wasn't restoring it, and still working around a work schedule.

Good luck in your adventures. And if you want to pick my brain, you can find me faster on FB: https://www.facebook.com/boldadventure/
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
So many people on this site always repeat the "Airstreams are designed for two people". Sorry, but that's nonsense. Just because it's not for you, doesn't mean it won't work for others. This mantra seems to get repeated even more when folks mention small kids. When I first started posting, people told me, we'd go crazy, and it's impossible. Well, THEY ARE WRONG.
I agree completely! Everyone has the right to their own opinions. And when you make a post on a forum you have to be open to people having different beliefs than your own.

Three months after we were married my husband and I took one week and traveled from FL to CA with only a sleeping bag and a tent. It was the best bonding experience as newlyweds. We were forced to get to know each other and learn how to live with one another in tight spaces with out loosing our heads. Since then we have tent camped in the snow, rain, by the beach and in a canyon. We are not afraid of a little adventure! And neither our the kids. Our daughter traveled to my husband's home country of CR when she was only 11mos old. She took her first steps in the Bahamas while on a cruise when she was 1yr old.

I know there will be an adjustment period for everyone when we move into the RV, but we will find a way to make the best of it for our children.

BoldAdventure- your RV renovation came out wonderfully. I love the shoe hangers in the closet to hold smaller items. We have a standing desk at home and it is the best. Your little ones are so cute.

Thank you everyone for your advice and tips. We have decided to increased our budget and are looking for a newer model with less work. We also discovered my husband's future employer has an opening in the SE that doesn't begin until April. Which is closer to family in FL and gives us more time to customize our new RV. We will keep you updated once we made our purchase
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:47 AM   #20
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I thought my restoration would be 3 months and $4000. I'm doing a shell off, full monte (as they call it on here) and I'm now more realistically at 6 months and $7000. But I do it all myself and that cost is materials only.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:49 AM   #21
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I do like that the craiglist add says "In middle of restoration". That thing is far from the middle. It's in the beginning 5%.
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:23 PM   #22
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I was able to take my first trip in 120 days from purchase with a fully functional trailer.

In the 2 1/2 years since I have changed and refined a lot via "small projects".

My frame was good overall, I replaced the last four feet and dealt with rear end separation. I patched the floor shell on and with no regrets.

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/g...ps0d9e821c.jpg
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It can be done, but you need a trailer with a good frame and you need to stay at the working.

Oh, I ended up with more like 20K hard cash in the trailer, but I replaced EVERYTHING but the air conditioner.



Brevi tempore!
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:30 PM   #23
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Possible to restore in 3mos?

On the other hand we (the wife and I) made this trailer livable in fourteen days for a total cost of less than $5,500. (Including purchase price)

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Starting point matters, and what a person wants in a finished product matters.

We got this one cheap after the previous owner decided restoration was not for him. The trailer looked like a basket case but all the stuff was there. Replubmbed the fresh water system, cleaned it up good, installed a new hot water heater, put it together and done. It still needs new axles, but after the 1,000 mile trip after restoration it has been a stationary residence.

Brevi tempore!
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:54 PM   #24
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You have gotten a lot of good feedback from everyone on here. Back to your original question, I believe you can make it liveable in 3 months assuming you do not have to gut it and start over, and at least a few of your major systems are sound. We purchased a 1966 26' Overlander last year that had been sitting in a side yard for 20 years. It was work, but it really wasn't in that bad of shape considering. The floors were solid, no frame damage, but every other system needed addressed. I spent about a year on and off getting it to a solid usable shape, hunting for deals like a used DSI water heater, cheap new A/C unit with heat, and so on.

I like the idea of what you are going after, and I would definitely keep looking for the longest newest AS you can afford which would allow you to not have to dig in to deep to get it to a good spot and work for your family.

Good Luck, and post some pics when you find it!
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