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Old 04-07-2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
1970 31' Sovereign
1962 26' Overlander
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Schwenksville , Pennsylvania
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Don't Freak Out!!!

Hi Everyone...
We are new to the Airstream Club - we just purchased a 74 Excella (31') last week. We are pretty much working with a shell.
We have removed all of the original 'cabinetry' , etc. Ours has a rear bath - which was gone when we bought it.
Okay..now, for the freak-out question...Is it possible and/or reasonable to use Ikea kitchen cabinetry to replace the plastic ones that were in there?

I know, I know..not the best quality..however, we would like a fresh, new look (and smell)..and just don't know what to do.

Any and ALL suggestions for the kitchen, bedroom, and couch would be much appreciated..Pleeeeease tell me where to purchase things that will fit, look nice and not weigh too much!!!!!! Hmm..that's asking alot isn't it

Thanks
~Alison
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:05 AM   #2
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Welcome! No, not freaking out. Search for threads from "smokeless Joe". His Argosy updates are increadible using Ikea cabinets (and some custom as well). He hollowed out the shells or cabinets and lined them with aluminum (in white) to save weight.

Good ideas are out there!
Marc
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Congrats on your purchase and welcome to forums!

The biggest challenges with using pre-built cabinets are the extra weight and fitting them inside an interior that has a curved wall.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnali1414
Hi Everyone...
We are new to the Airstream Club - we just purchased a 74 Excella (31') last week. We are pretty much working with a shell.
We have removed all of the original 'cabinetry' , etc. Ours has a rear bath - which was gone when we bought it.
Okay..now, for the freak-out question...Is it possible and/or reasonable to use Ikea kitchen cabinetry to replace the plastic ones that were in there?

I know, I know..not the best quality..however, we would like a fresh, new look (and smell)..and just don't know what to do.

Any and ALL suggestions for the kitchen, bedroom, and couch would be much appreciated..Pleeeeease tell me where to purchase things that will fit, look nice and not weigh too much!!!!!! Hmm..that's asking alot isn't it

Thanks
~Alison
Hi Alison, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new trailer.

As 3Ms75Argosy mentioned, a poster called "Smokeless Joe" has done an extensive renovation on his trailer, and used a lot of stock Ikea cabinetry in the process. You can find his renovation thread at the link below, and the bits about the Ikea cabinets start around page 6 or 7 (though I would advise reading the whole thing, there are lots of great nuggets for your research).

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...ase-18448.html

As yukionna stated, the challenge with using stock cabinetry for a trailer application is primarily one of weight, and secondarily one of fitting the irregular shapes of the inside of your trailer. SmokelessJoe addresses both of those issues in his thread.

Good luck with your renovation, and the people around here love pictures, so you should start your own renovation thread to update the forum with before-and-afters of everything you do.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnali1414
Hi Everyone...
We are new to the Airstream Club - we just purchased a 74 Excella (31') last week....Is it possible and/or reasonable to use Ikea kitchen cabinetry to replace the plastic ones that were in there?
Kevin and Alison:

Be very careful of hanging "things" (especially cabinets) from the walls or ceilings. Remember, there is a goodly amount of shake, rattle, and roll in these units when travelling - the higher the cabinet is mounted, the more abuse it is likely to get a lot of abuse.

The mount AND the cabinet need to be "pliable" to work with the movements of the shell, and not against it. Hopefully there is enough left of your cabinetry to see how the original overheads were mounted. On an Airstream you should not just screw an overhead cabinet onto the walls - the mounts need to leave a bit of a "wiggle factor" so the overhead cabinets will not tear themselves apart. The original mounts in a lot of the units are sort of a "floating" arrangement where the cabinet is not hard mounted to the shell.

The floor mounted cabinets are subjected to less vibration and movement, so a "stock" cabinet should have a higher rate of success.

Good luck on your rebuild - remember the three most important things to being well liked here on the forums are pictures, pictures, and more pictures.

Glad that you have joined us. The "search" function located on the upper right pull down of the "Forum" opening page will soon become your best friend. Unfortunately, it is not very "smart", so ask simple (one or two word) inquiries, and be prepared to ask in multiple forms, i.e, "wheels", "tires", and/or "rims".
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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Ditto to the weight issue. It's quite interesting to remove interior fittings and see how light they are. The gaucho (couch/bed) is an amazing study in function and lightness. soldiermedic recently posted about an aftermarket version -- http://www.airforums.com/forums/f38/...inc-40657.html.

Your empty weight was originally 5035-5065 pounds. (Was the A/C in this weight??) The Airstream link doesn't list the payload capacity (GVWR minus Dry Weight), but I'd suspect something just over 1000# unless you actually have the manual to tell you better. It would serve you very well to pull this off to a truck scale before you start, get a sense of the weight of the interior furnishings, and then have your restoration not exceed 5200# or so.

The axles been replaced yet? You'll probably need new ones if you intend to travel a lot. There are countless discussions in the running gear section of the forum page.

Pictures? We like pictures!
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnali1414
Hi Everyone...
We are new to the Airstream Club - we just purchased a 74 Excella (31') last week. We are pretty much working with a shell.
We have removed all of the original 'cabinetry' , etc. Ours has a rear bath - which was gone when we bought it.
Okay..now, for the freak-out question...Is it possible and/or reasonable to use Ikea kitchen cabinetry to replace the plastic ones that were in there?

I know, I know..not the best quality..however, we would like a fresh, new look (and smell)..and just don't know what to do.

Any and ALL suggestions for the kitchen, bedroom, and couch would be much appreciated..Pleeeeease tell me where to purchase things that will fit, look nice and not weigh too much!!!!!! Hmm..that's asking alot isn't it

Thanks
~Alison
We have used Ikea cabinets in our home as well as two rental properties we own. I will tell you that the quality is far superior to the stock products you can purchase from other home improvement warehouses. Secondly they have a very clever hanging system for wall cabinets which is basically a steel track that mounts to the wall studs and allows you to adjust and level much more easily.

My only concern as stated in other threads would be the weight factor, they are quite heavy as they are made from very dense MDF material. But for durability and quality, you can't go wrong.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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I really like the Ikea cabinet idea as used by Smokeless Joe. The MDF/ chipboard in the construction is a dense/ heavy material so cutting it away or replacing as much of it as possible would help alot. The hardware they use is great stuff; hinges, drawer slides, pneumatic closers, even the drawer sides are pressed steel. I like that you wouldn't need a well equiped shop to make the cabinets work, that getting a nice square/ true build should be easy and that as mentioned in SJ's post he can switch out parts as they are interchangeable.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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1974 31' Sovereign
1970 31' Sovereign
1962 26' Overlander
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Schwenksville , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 17
Images: 5
Thank you guys sooooo much...Looks like we'll be headed to Ikea sooner rather than later!!

Oh - as for the 'axle' question..no, we haven't replaced them..All that mechanical stuff is my husband's department..Decorating = my department..hehe..
I will go out and take some pictures later..
Wanna know the best part about my original post? Kevin says we have a Sovereign ... not an Excella..LOL.. Told you I was new to this
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnali1414
Wanna know the best part about my original post? Kevin says we have a Sovereign ... not an Excella..LOL.. Told you I was new to this
You are both right--the Excella in that era is a Sovereign with a nice blue stripe, and slightly different appointments. The Excella 1000 was top of the line, followed by the Excella 500, then the Sovereign. Many people painted blue stripes on their Sovereigns in order to have more "snob appeal".
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