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Old 02-11-2016, 05:55 PM   #1
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1966 24' Tradewind
Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2
Should I take the plunge?

I have an opportunity to receive free of charge a 1966 24' tradewind. It is in terrible condition and requires ground up restoration. I am appealing to the community to advise me if I should take this on. I'm handy but no mechanic and have never restored a car or any mechanical device but did work in the equipment rental biz for years so I'm not completely ignorant. How much should I expect this to cost if I do all the work myself? Is this something the average joe can accomplish. Please consider the unit only a shell all the windows etc need replacement as do all the bath fixtures and appliances. Should I drag this beast home?

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Old 02-11-2016, 06:05 PM   #2
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,154
Images: 24
I bet the concensus will be that it will be twice as hard as your worst expectation, cost twice as much as you imagine, take twice as long as your longest estimate, and be the cause of your future divorce. Oh and you'll never sell it for a fraction of what you put into much less that value of your labor. So yeah, if you're okay with above, go for it.

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Old 02-11-2016, 06:38 PM   #3
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 674
Go for it!! Average joe's can accomplish anything. Minimal cost is $8000-$20000. Shell off restoration is where you are. 2 years minimal for average joe. Can you do it- yes you can. Do you have time and money, only you know. Good news is that is not over the top! 😎
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:48 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
No, if it needs windows and everything else, leave it for someone else. Post #2 says it all. Old Airstreams are not all that rare. Get one you can use if you want one.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:20 PM   #5
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 723
Part of this depends on whether you want to get into the RV lifestyle sometime soon, or get into a major long-term construction project.

Years ago I bought a '65 Overlander with the idea of restoring it. Never happened. By the time I tore out the rear bath and really saw all the time, work, and money that was required, I just bought a nice new 5th wheel to travel with and used the Airstream as a prop on my 5-acre photography studio property. I made good money for years using the silver twinkie as a background in some of my high school senior portraits.

While I'm sure that restoring that trailer is do-able, be aware that it will be unbelievably consuming of your time, thoughts, attention, and money, for a significant period of time. If you would gleefully give all of that, beyond initial expectations... perhaps you should give it a go. Otherwise, buy an RV that suits your needs and start RVing!
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:04 AM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the input. I think I'm gonna pass. I already own a travel trailer we use nearly every month and I'm of an age now I don't want to be tied down to an expensive project. I do have the time but don't have a really good place to work on it. It would have to sit on my side yard and be an obstacle for the duration. Looking at 400$ just to get some tires on it to haul it home.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:17 AM   #7
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1972 27' Overlander
Woodburn , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 131
Depends on how much money and time you want to spend , do you have a suitable place to refurbish it ? Be prepared to buy plenty of tools you don't have and will need .
If it was me I would grab it in a second with out a thought and never look back but that is me and not you .
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #8
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1975 27' Overlander
Twin Cities , Minnesota
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 503
Images: 8
Are you the type who can gut and rehab a bathroom including plumbing and wiring?
Do you have the skills to replace the axles, or the brakes, run gas lines, sleuth out and fix problems with the furnace, fridge and water heater?
Do you have the spatial aptitude to envision and redesign an ergonomically correct, aesthetically pleasing floor plan?
Do you have the knack to do fine carpentry, upholstry, fit and finish?
Do you have the dough?
Do you have the time and motivation to devote to a rather long project?
If you answered no to any of the above I suggest you pass and buy something that is done already.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:33 PM   #9
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2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 823
I saw one that was a '63 or '64 the was gutted and used as a storage trailer for construction site.. it had a large table top to put blueprints on as well.

they make a nice storage and office trailer. easy enough to do.. strip it, wire in some outlets and overhead lights, put wood paneling on bottom of walls, get the vinyl bead board and bend it around the ceiling. put a nice table top in and some shelves,, polish the outside and hire it out.

Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Airstream Club, Unit #161, Region #3
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