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Old 07-22-2002, 10:36 PM   #1
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Talking How deep am I getting?

When I was a kid in the 70s, my much older brother worked for an Airstream dealer as a mechanic. I guess he instilled in me a disdain for "box trailers" as he called them, because I just can't bring myself to seriously look at anything besides an Airstream.

However

Money and I are hardly the best of friends, heh. For what I'm looking to spend initially, I'll be lucky to get a gutted model with the wiring harness intact. I don't have a problem with this, as I enjoy restoration projects, but I have to wonder. Just how deep of a money pit am I getting into?

Surely someone can give me a ball park range for this.... take a 1950, 33 ft Spartan. All the glass is there, the body is in pretty good shape. The floor is supposedly good (haven't seen it yet). It's _gutted_. What do you think it would run to have the toilet, sink, and shower in working condition (remember I'll have to buy the things), and have the electrical system online? Nothing else. No stove, no fridge, no pretties. Just the loo and the accompanying black and grey water tanks, hookups, etc.

I ask because I need to be able to use this as an overnighter a few days a week while I work in a different town. I can handle the rest of the trailer being "under the knife" but I _have_ to have the bathroom in a usuable condition, and the electrical system needs to be complete so that I can hook up a fan, or a drill, or whatever.

I know no one can give me an accurate price range, no telling what kind of stuff I'll use, but surely someone can tell me if I'd be looking at $3000 or $13,000 to get it this far?

Any advice, information, would be appreciated.
Jade
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Old 07-22-2002, 10:57 PM   #2
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Spartan

Jade,
Spartan is a good trailer, although gutted you'll have your work cut out for you, check out spartans at www.vintagetrailerlinks.com I dont know about prices though except if its gutted I would insist on a pretty cheap price as there is alot of work ahead of you. Is this the one that keeps coming back on ebay?

John
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:05 PM   #3
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Oh I feel rather stupid now. I didn't realize that wasn't just some obscure Airstream model. Well I would RATHER an Airstream, lol! But for what they have it listed at, it sure has my attention.

It's on Ebay, didn't know if it had been on there before or not. It bothers me that there are no photos of the interior. I realize it's gutted, but I'd think if the floor was in good shape, the seller would want people to see that.

My brother agreed to install the stuff I need on it, so that saves me the $50 an hour labor costs, or whatever it is these days. But I realize just buying the parts will take a chunk. I wouldn't worry about it, but like I said, I need to get that done ASAP if I get it, so it would be an upfront expense, not something I could spread out over several months.

I'm bad for diving in with my eyes closed, but I thought I'd better pick up the clue phone before I jumped in and bid on this beast. Mostly I liked it because it's a big one. I want something I can convert to sort of a cross between a hotel room and a mobile office for all my computer equipment. Something that big, I can reroute the bath to the side over the axles, and then use the butt of the trailer for my computers, keeping them out of sight of anyone who decides to stick their head in for a visit.

Jade
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:31 PM   #4
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Talking Airstream wannabe

Alot of people make that mistake, they think when they see an aluminum trailer it must be an Airstream . If/when you do move it the towing system will likely need attention befor you even move it, wheels, tires, brakes, wiring, lights, hitch, that in itself could be expensive upfront as well. And that is just to move it from point A to point B. At 33 feet I dont know if it could be transported but probably could. I would definitely look at it before buying it, remember what W.C. Fields said 'theres one born every minute'.

John
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:31 PM   #5
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New ideas ... old trailer

There are several ways to look at the rebuild or buy. When ya rebuild anything, the knowledge of that project becomes very well known. You can do all "your way". The projects I have done mostly got used equiptment where ever I could. I still refuse to buy an RV refrig. I use home depot or cosco apartment size units. I always have and use an inverter with some batteries. There are many salvage RV places. The important part of a rebuild is to make some sort of "plan".
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:31 PM   #6
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jade,
it should be easy to get a parts list together and estimate the repairs and modifications you are about to do.
Just go to inlandrv.com or one of the other discount rv parts and check the prices - I would guess that you aould be spending about $2k for a nice restroom/shower with hot water, if you don't count the labor. Maybe less if you go the budget route.
Usually it's better to spend a little more and get the good stuff.
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:44 PM   #7
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Re: Airstream wannabe

Quote:
Originally posted by 83Excella
remember what W.C. Fields said 'theres one born every minute'.

John
Hrm so how come I can't find one of these suckers to sell me a 30+ ft Airstream for a grand??

I went to the Spartan site.... from the looks of the ones trashed out in Billy Joe Bob's cow pasture, it looks like it wouldn't be too difficult to find a junker closer to home, for likely much less. Not to mention, their discussion board wasn't exactly teeming with excitement over the one on Ebay. I think maybe I'll just hold out for an Airstream.

Jade
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:50 PM   #8
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check www.iowaboys.com
they have used inventory for sale, sometimes cheap, but usually good for restoring. They are in Los Angeles, however. The trailers listed are often in other states.
Also, there are a few good sites with used airstream traielrs on the web. go ona search perhaps, or maybe one of the other memebetrs would have some links for you.
Uwe
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Old 07-23-2002, 01:54 AM   #9
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I found by 1956 Bubble on this site. I gutted the inside but the shell was in great shape. I don't have a clue on what I'm doing. Just asking alot of questions with some great people out there helping me out. What the heck, that's what lifes all about.....if it was so predictable it been really boring.

http://www.airstream.net/classifieds/index.phtml
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:25 AM   #10
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Jade , This link http://vintageairstream.com/rr_topic...condition.html is to RJ Dial's site I found it to be very helpfull ! Good luck on your search for the perfect A/S ! Tom
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Old 09-18-2002, 11:04 AM   #11
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Hey Jade where you been and what have you found?

go here to Williamhenshall's stuff: http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo....php?photo=249
It can be done apparently.

Where in Texas are you located?

My advice (since you are puter savvy) is shop, shop, shop! Dig,dig,dig!
Airstreams I presume are plentiful, and they must turn up in estate sales, and probate actions quite often,(as many owners are probably very-senior in age) there are probably many in storage for years, Lots of times survivors just want to hurry upand liquidate the estate. Course I don't know how to search out such proceedings, but (as PT Barnum didn't say)'where there's a "will"...'well you know.
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