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Old 09-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #1
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Draper , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 57
Real costs of redo of mid 1970s AS

I have found a couple 70's AS that look really good outside.
Everything still works inside but I realize that certain things must change.
Can you help me with a list and what you guys think it would cost to change?

Everything still works in them according to owners, but I think it would be wise to replace some of these essential items:
Tell me what you think.

New axles, shocks, wheel bearings, tires
New gray tank, blank tank and fresh water tanks
New control panel for measuring levels, etc.
Wire for LED lights, solar, tvs, stereo.
New modern bath for Momma!
New plumbing
Replace kitchen appliances because Momma loves to cook.

Do you replace wiring if all is working?

What have I missed?
What is necessary or not necessary?
What about costs to do it?

Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShullsinUtah View Post
I have found a couple 70's AS that look really good outside.
Everything still works inside but I realize that certain things must change.
Can you help me with a list and what you guys think it would cost to change?

Everything still works in them according to owners, but I think it would be wise to replace some of these essential items:
Tell me what you think.

New axles, shocks, wheel bearings, tires
New gray tank, blank tank and fresh water tanks
New control panel for measuring levels, etc.
Wire for LED lights, solar, tvs, stereo.
New modern bath for Momma!
New plumbing
Replace kitchen appliances because Momma loves to cook.

Do you replace wiring if all is working?

What have I missed?
What is necessary or not necessary?
What about costs to do it?

Thanks!
Everything is still working ??????

Bah Humbug.

Working how well compared to new???

That opinion varies from 0 to 1000.

If the furnace was not used very much, then overhauling it will be OK.

The water heater, being 40 years old, has got to go.

The wiring will be fine, unless there was a shoemaker fooling with it. Univolts can last a long long time.

Replace all the exterior lights with LED's.

Interior light lenses? Depending on what year, they are still available.

The AC, again depends on the past useage factor.

Stove, oven can go but replacement stoves are 3 burners.

The reefer again, depends on how much useage, but for sure the burner would need overhauling.

Water pump, fix it if it's the original Jabsco, or Peters and Russell.

Running gear, replace all of it. The starting angle of the axles can be increased as well as the rating at no extra charge. DO NOT downgrade the brakes to 10 inch, just because it's cheaper. Stay with the 12 inch brakes. Tires, get load range "D" if you get a 25 footer or better. Get balancers that fit on to the drums. Mag wheels look nice but don't do anything for your pocket book.

Replace all the exterior gaskets, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets that only last 2 to 3 years.

Check the floor for any rotting. If you find any, how bad is it????? Leaks?? If it will take a shell removal to replace all of the floor, then pass on that deal. Splicing the floor is not a good idea.

Will the tub/shower, bath sink need refinishing?

Drapes, carpeting, upholstery should be replaced, unless they are in good to better condition.

Tanks will depend on what year you may choose. Use caution, as many older gray tanks are no longer available.

TV antenna?? Replace it if it used the old 300 ohm wiring.

Metal damages?? Depends on what and where.

Coupler lock, LPG regulator, aged out steel LPG bottles??

Condition of frame?? If near salt water, inspect before purchase.

Entrance door hinge/hinges? Door lock condition?

Are all the windows glass, as they should be??

Rear end separation?? If so, usually flooring has to be replaced as well.

Plumbing is OK unless modified.

Control panels for older coaches are no longer available.

Keep the trailer in the Airstream family of repairs and parts, so that should a problem come up when traveling, you can go to a typical Airstream dealer and get the correct parts.

But, before you do anything, make a list of everything you want to do, along with it's costs. Add to that list the hours it will take if your doing the work. Then decide will your budget and available time be able to handle it.

Lastly, make sure you have plenty of that "special" beverage on hand, just in case you screw up.

Andy
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Topping , Virginia
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I've got a '78 argosy. All the labor was done by myself.
2 axles with everything but tires. 1545.00
New water heater and plumbing parts. 395.00
New 3 ft ref and plumbing (gas) parts. 600.00
Rebuild stove and oven. 200.00
Removed heater and replaced with a
Catalytic heater 160.00
Faucets, sinks and plumbing. 700.00
Upholstery and curtains. 650.00
Vinyl flooring. 190.00
All new electrics from 7 prong plug
To fuse box (original) 600.00
There are also many smaller items that were incidental to the above work.
Hope this is a beginning for you.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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I just received a private message from you and answered it, but I am not sure it sent correctly. Hope you got it. Katheryn
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Materials cost in the range of $5 to $8 thousand, labor costs free, but takes a lot of it. Labor cost to have someone else do it is generally prohibitive. Axel's and tires, refrigerator, stove, then gas regulators, faucets, countertops, tongue jack, toilet, and on and on. By the time an Airstream is 30 years old, it pretty much needs everything renovated or replaced, just like a normal home does. My total rehab of my 20' Argosy, which was not in bad condition, just old in every way was about $6000 in materials.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
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I know the closest AS dealer to me gets $120 per hour in season and $90 out of season. I do believe that includes interruptions and stops and starts, phone calls etc. It is worth noting too they don't love your trailer. Just guys working and paying the bills by giving us one.

I do wonder how much the few good outfits that have craftsman's hearts get.

I would love for someone to share their experience going to one of these top notch restorers and what they were charged. I have never read about it.

Tony
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Draper , Utah
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I am very excited. We might get one ready to roll, so that we can get out there before the season passes. However, I am itching to restore one. No, I have no experience but my husband is extremely handy and I love learning. I am thinking that this could be a very fun project for us and our little man (28 months). It would be something that years down the road when it is finished (lol), would be his.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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1979 23' Safari
, Ohio
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70's era

I bought a 79 Safari because I really like the shape-contour of those years. Be forewarned though, the interior of some of the later 70's models is nothing but vinyl covered paneling and funky (not a good funky) extruded aluminum pieces. Some of the earlier 70's years may have used real wood. I gutted mine and rebuilt from scratch. Good Luck!
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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IIRC, 1971 was the last year for real wood.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:25 PM   #10
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Menlo Park , California
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Our '71 Tradewind had plastic over fiberboard. We replaced it all, but kept the original layout and reused the aluminum extrusions. I love the aluminum extrusion construction - it is lightweight and functional. I also like that it looks like a trailer and not like a house.

We kept:
air conditioner, although it needed a new shroud
stove - touch up paint/powder coat for cosmetics, it works fine
kitchen sink
fresh water tank

We replaced:
axles
refrigerator (got a refurbished used one)
water heater
toilet (put in a composting toilet, removed black tank)
bathroom vanity (built new one from wood, see blog)
plumbing lines - pex all the way now
interior lighting - LED lights supplemented with LED strip lights in indirect places
curtains, cushions, blinds - mostly done by us, except for two window blinds
counters throughout - replaced with butcher block, but ugly laminate was still functional

We removed or changed:
furnace - removed completely, plan to put in propane boat heater with visible flame
bathroom shower - built shower pan from scratch (wood/epoxy), no more wet bath
both gauchos - replaced with home build dinettes that convert to beds
carpeting - original was moldy, fixed soft spots in floor and painted it. So far, so good.
faucet - old one had a crimp from being bent
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:30 PM   #11
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1997 25' Safari
Yakima , Washington
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Check out the article at

Price vs. Condition - Vintage Airstream

Not only are there tips on the price vs. condition, there is also a section (Table C), that gives an estimation of the cost of common repairs.

I printed it out in Sept of 2010 from their web-site, so am not sure if it has been updated, but it will at least give you a ballpark idea of what you are looking for.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Why not get a 60's Airstream then you have something that is not plastic coated wood. Or get something that does not take a complete overhaul. I am between $5k and $10k on mine and I have not done much at all to the interior other than get everything working. The little stuff adds up to as much as the big stuff when you add it all up. $100 here $100 there times 20 is significant. Old Airstreams are like old cars, it is much cheaper to buy a restored one or a newer one than restore one from scratch. There is nothing economical about the process and nothing is cheap about it. If you figure the time and money to rebuild on of these things, you can buy a new one. You can't justify buying old with the hope of making it new. It is something you want to do, not something that makes any sense at all.

Not to mention, most people think a restored Airstream is a polish job and some new flooring to cover the rotten floor.

Perry
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #13
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1973 25' Tradewind
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Here is a link to a similar post I asked back in 2010. Many good replies.

How does restoration add up so fast to such big money?



http://www.airforums.com/forums/f348...ney-62649.html

I now know for myself. I haven't added it all up yet but it is approaching $10,000 will be more. Many things I bought are waiting to be installed.

Tony
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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1975 25' Tradewind
Holland , Michigan
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In this post I have a pdf file showing all my cost.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f348...ml#post1050484
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Parts needed: Fan for roof vent or whole vent fan assembly, vented catalytic heater.
My blog for the 1975 Tradewind restoration, Has not been updated in a while but I am still working on it.
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