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Old 05-27-2009, 01:28 PM   #1
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1969 25' Tradewind
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Update and Trailerworks in Beaufort SC

Hey, first an update; we did not buy the trailer in Hawkinsville that we posted last summer. However, we did buy a 1969 Tradewind, that had seen better days. It had been kept at a hunting lodge, and had not been hooked up to any electricity or water for a couple of decades. The bathroom had been removed and the floor replaced (the guy did save all the stuff he took out).

My husband and I had planned to try to do alot of the work, but we are not very handy with this stuff.

Has anybody used Trailerworks in Beaufort SC? We took ours there a month or so ago, and were wondering if anybody else has used them? He hasn't gotten start yet as he has a backlog right now.

Thanks,
Elizabth and Tom Curry
Augusta GA
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by da_lizard View Post
Hey, first an update; we did not buy the trailer in Hawkinsville that we posted last summer. However, we did buy a 1969 Tradewind, that had seen better days. It had been kept at a hunting lodge, and had not been hooked up to any electricity or water for a couple of decades. The bathroom had been removed and the floor replaced (the guy did save all the stuff he took out).

My husband and I had planned to try to do alot of the work, but we are not very handy with this stuff.

Has anybody used Trailerworks in Beaufort SC? We took ours there a month or so ago, and were wondering if anybody else has used them? He hasn't gotten start yet as he has a backlog right now.

Thanks,
Elizabth and Tom Curry
Augusta GA
Keep in mind that a non-Airstream dealer cannot buy parts from the factory, unless they are physically there.

Typically, they will use brand X parts or buy parts from a dealer, which usually costs the owner, more money.

They also are usually not up to date with Airstream know-how's.

But, there can be exceptions.

Andy
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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Trailer Works

We live within 1/2 hour of Beaufort and had heard about Trailer Works through associates who had Trailer Works polish their Airstream. We happened to be in Beaufort yesterday and decided to go take a look at their operation. We found lots of Spartan's and some Airstreams too in storage, in various condition, from polished needing inside work to very rough.
There were several employees working on the interiors of a Spartan, a couple Airstreams and a new model of a line they make from scratch called "Retro". Interiors were being finished in birch plywood, exteriors in aluminum.
They had two other models of their "Retro" line which look like "canned hams", approx, 11' & 14' completed, cute, approx. cost between $15K-24K according to Dick, a nice man who showed us around and gave us a tour. Eric was not there, out of town, so we did not meet him.
The shop is not big, I would say two bays that hold two trailers each, so they were full. Some work was being done on a huge Spartan located outside. We did not see anything finished.
We were there basically just to see what they do and what they have in storage. We might like to do a project if we can find the right trailer. We may have to stop by again when they have something finished.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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I don't know anything about your shop, but since you are close to Atlanta I will put in my plug for RV restoration up in Dalton. Gary has done two projects on my sovereign and I have been very happy. He is a very ethical guy and has lots or metal and wood working experience. If you don't take it to inland RV or out of doors mart he is just as great.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:31 PM   #5
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ckeysor's plan sounds like a good move. somewhere that you can look in on every few weeks or so.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:53 AM   #6
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As noted by Frank, I posted my experience with TrailerWorks and Eric Drugge on my Yahoo360! blog. The blog post is fairly detailed... and I felt putting it on my blog was more appropriate than posting it on the Airforums. Anyone with any questions, please feel free to PM me here or send a message through the Yahoo! system.

I think Elizabeth and Tom are on the right track, asking about a shop before making a financial commitment. We tried to do the same thing, but things don't always work out as you might like. One thing we did differently this time around is to meet the shop owner face to face. (Actually, my wife did... but she's a much better judge of character than me). Another bit of advice is trust your gut instincts. I had a feeling early on that we had chosen the wrong shop... but rather than pull the plug early, I let things slide too long.

I think everyone wants a shop to do quality worksmanship, be responsive, listen, and be open and honest. Hey, things go wrong. Mistakes happen. Just tell me the situation and let's work together to make things right. My wife and I try to be good customers. In turn, we try to spend our money at businesses we trust and respect.

At the end of the day, I think you have to look a person in the eye and decide if you want to do business with him or her... and every so often, you're going to make a mistake. That's business; that's life. No matter how much due diligence and background checking you do, it all comes down to sticking out your hand and saying, "Let's give this a whirl." I wish you the best of luckd and remember:

Airstream dreams never die... they just oxidize.
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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We took the camper to him in April. Eric had an appointment that day in Hilton Head, but arrived shortly after we did. The workers that were there started giving us a tour, and Eric finished when he arrived. They showed us the shop and the trilers they were working on at that time. He gave us his ideas and stated he would get an estimate together, but it would be the end of the summer before he was finished with our trailer. He has not gotten an estimate together yet, but says he has begun work on the exterior, and has charged a deposit on the credit card. The work that was being done on the other trailers looked great, but I too prefer more communication.
We appreciate the replies, and will keep all the information in mind when decisions come up. We also appreciate the info about the place in Atlanta. We had not really been able to find anyone to work on it, and were really happy when we found Trailerworks. We will keep you all posted.

Thanks,
Elizabeth and Tom
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #8
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We are finally finished with TrailerWorks. My wife received the invoice and a refund check in the mail yesterday. I had an evening meeting so I didn't get home until very late. According to my wife, the invoice lacked the details we hoped to find, however, I suppose it is all water under the bridge now.

I guess if you are going to own and renovate a vintage Airstream, being a starry-eyed optimist helps. I wish Elizabeth and Tom the best of luck. I would also encourage them to post their experiences here. One of the reasons we went Airstream is because of the strength of the community. The more vendors or contractors realize we all share our experiences, the greater the incentive for them to provide high quality customer service. Open and honest communication helps reward great Airstream-related businesses and it gives a reason for not-so-great firms to improve.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:16 AM   #9
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I bought my 1950 Liner from him and had a little work done before I picked it up. Communication or lack there of was a big issue. We talked often before I made the decision to buy the unit. But once he got my check and I tried to communicate work to be done I got nothing. He was never around to take calls or return them and there was never a response to an email. He would have gotten more work from me if he would have responded to my attempts at correspondence.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:49 AM   #10
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We were in Savannah last November when a storm took out the Carefree awning that came with our 1980 Excella. After contacting the Zip Dee factory and two Airstream dealers we called TrailerWorks which is about an hour north of Savannah. They were, by far, the least expensive quote. Eric & company were great to us - had our new awning installed and back on the road just as promised. We would definitely do business with TrailerWorks again.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #11
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According to Eric Drugge, the owner of TrailerWorks, we were the only unhappy customers his firm ever had. While I find this difficult to believe, I'm sure TrailerWorks has had a number of satisfied clients (like Mapley). In fact, one of the reasons he gave for the delay in beginning work on our coach was the "rush" of spring work related to routine RV repairs. Hey, someone was getting something fixed... it just wasn't us.

Our experience with P&S Trailer Service out of Helena, Ohio has been fantastic. Steve and Kevin respond promptly to emails and phone calls. They are friendly, professional, knowledgeable and seem really invested in giving us what we want. And like CapnTom, I'm a loyal customer kind of guy. I would have no hesitation recommended P&S to others or spending more money there myself.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:42 PM   #12
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Not that I personally have had to, but very good friends that also restore trailers professionally have on more than one occasion had to go back and remove the entire interior to replace the replaced plywood so it actually went under the "c" channel. The other issue besides that was removing all the self drilling screws that were pulled out of the frame but still in the floor. I hope their technique has improved and they are doing it right. This is a small community and if you do shoddy work it will bite you for sure.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:29 PM   #13
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I called Trailerworks twice in the last two weeks and left a message for Eric to return my call and emailed once. I have never had a response. That would be enough for me not to use him but have read the comments here that have affirmed my decision. On a 2000 34' Limited w/Sofa Slide I want to have the sofa uphostered, new curtains, some wooden cornices built, some walls painted and pergo flooring done and thought it would be more efficient to have it all done in one shop. I am now getting it done with folks who specialize in each separately. I have contacted JPA Drapes and Sliver Threads on the curtains for information and questions.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:01 AM   #14
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Tammy at Silver Threads does my curtains. She is excellent.
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