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Old 04-15-2006, 12:21 PM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
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Keep the original interior?

I'm going to start remodeling the inside of my 72 Safari. Reading these forums there seems to be two opinions about keeping everything original and remodeling for comfort. I'm in the comfort category. I like to have a "real" bed that I don't have to make up from scratch with sheets everytime I want to sleep in it. Plus, my boyfriend is rather "portly" and the "coziness" of squeezing into the double gaucho every night on a long trip would probably get very old. What I'm wondering is should I keep all the original stuff I take out? I have a 23 footer with the front gaucho and the middle double bed gaucho, both in pristine condition since the coach was hardly used during its lifetime. What I plan on doing is completely removing both gauchos. In the front I will put in a custom queen-size bed (there's a mattress factory here that will make curved mattress for a very reasonable price). Where the center double bed gaucho is I'm going to make a dinette that folds into a single bed. Based on the opinion that "all original" is more valuable it seems that if I want to sell it someday, it would be better to have all the original stuff I took out. But that's a lot of big, bulky junk to keep around for potentially a long time. Opinions?
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_Hwy_Lady
I'm going to start remodeling the inside of my 72 Safari. Reading these forums there seems to be two opinions about keeping everything original and remodeling for comfort. I'm in the comfort category. I like to have a "real" bed that I don't have to make up from scratch with sheets everytime I want to sleep in it. Plus, my boyfriend is rather "portly" and the "coziness" of squeezing into the double gaucho every night on a long trip would probably get very old. What I'm wondering is should I keep all the original stuff I take out? I have a 23 footer with the front gaucho and the middle double bed gaucho, both in pristine condition since the coach was hardly used during its lifetime. What I plan on doing is completely removing both gauchos. In the front I will put in a custom queen-size bed (there's a mattress factory here that will make curved mattress for a very reasonable price). Where the center double bed gaucho is I'm going to make a dinette that folds into a single bed. Based on the opinion that "all original" is more valuable it seems that if I want to sell it someday, it would be better to have all the original stuff I took out. But that's a lot of big, bulky junk to keep around for potentially a long time. Opinions?
Hi;

I'm not familiar with your year of trailer.

I'm not so sure keeping the original furniture (bed/gaucho) is all that important. It is important to keep anything molded out of fiberglass, like the bathroom, because you can either sell it or have it repaired and put it back in and it will serve you nicely. You might keep stuff for a while, clear a place to put it and then when you're more familiar with the value or the ease of replacing it with new, decide to sell, keep, or whatever.

We are doing a similar thing to ours, putting a bed in the back. I don't want to sleep in a tiny or separate beds from my spouse...

i.
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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I personally would be hesitant to dig in to a coach if it is a pristine as you say. You are right that it will be worth more if it is all original. Now, let me be clear: If it IS pristine. And I mean immaculate. In fact, I would suggest that you could find another coach that has had interior alterations or removals, buy it and sell your current one for a lot of money. Then use the proceeds to upgrade the altered one to your tastes. If you put that model up on eBay, and positioned it so that it was obvious just how pristine it is, I imagine $6000 or more would not be out of the question.

However, it is your coach and you can do with it as you will. I would suggest keeping the parts you remove. You can store them in the coach during the winter or maybe you have an attic in your garage?

John
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Old 04-15-2006, 02:34 PM   #4
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I don't know about "pristine", just really good shape to my newbie to AS eye. The problems with are "internal". Water system has a leak somewhere. Furnace doesn't work. Water heater won't light. That sort of thing. It's at an RV dealer now to get those things taken care of. The interior upholstry and all other internal features, like the bath are just like new. Somebody recarpeted it in a very amateur job. I want to replace the carpeting with Pergo. As for the rest of the interior, being a 1972 (it's a Land Yacht model, BTW) the foam just doesn't have any bounce left in it. The coach originally came out of Oasis in Arizona in the mid-80's and has sat partially under a carport here in the dry NM climate. (the front end cap suffered a few serious hail dings in a monster hail storm a couple of years ago.) It hadn't been towed in five years and had been used, according to the PO, only about a dozen times since 1985 when they bought it.

Which brings me to why "this" one is so important. It was my first Airstream love. When neighbors of my parents (now deceased) parked it in thier driveway in the 1980s I lusted after it. On the way to and from my parents I used to drive by their house slowly--like some stalker-- because it was so beautiful. Yeah, I'd watch them go by on the road. But this was one I could actually see close up and it wasn't moving so I could study the cool little ovoid windows and its sensuous curves. Only other Airstream nuts would understand. Now, it's mine. Also, I paid $7500 for it.

The way I plan the modifications they, could be removed and the whole thing put back if somebody wanted to have it all vintage. It would be light fabricated metal (my son owns a metal shop) frame with plywood on top for the bed and dinette. It appears--but because I haven't actually started to take things apart--that I can just unrivet and remove the front and mid-gaucho apparatus. Please, anyone correct me if I am totally wrong.
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:08 PM   #5
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You're only talking really about replacing temporarily the sleeping parts of the trailer. You just might be able to do that, meaning take out the sleeping stuff, put in a temporary (maybe just attach to the floor) and keep the other stuff to put in later.

Yep, you've got aluminitus, you're among friends. You're being smart though, don't make any big decisions until you're sure what you want and what you can do. Keep researching and the decision will come to you. I wish I knew more and could help a little better, but I'm the person who threw away an entire rear bath not knowing it could be prettied up and resold or re used.
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:18 PM   #6
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BHL,
I assume the gaucho assembly is similar to the one in my 1975, yes they can be removed as a unit (more or less ) if you remove the cushions and the plywood you will find that the unit is fastened to the wall using a channel, the rivets on the channel can be drilled out, mine also had some big screws but I think those were added by a PO (previous owner) I don't see anything wrong with wanting to customize your Airstream. I do like the idea of saving the parts. I do that with a lot of projects, because you never know when something is going to become unavailable.

Aaron
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:47 PM   #7
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Its your trailer you bought it and you own it. There is nothing that says you have to leave it the way Airstream made it. Do be careful!!!!! What might seem like an impovement at first may lead to problems down the road. Think out carefully what you want done then do it. I have seen the front couch removed and recliners put in its place, its a thought but then what happens to the tables on either side. Take your time and think it through then just do it. You can always reinstall the original if you don't like it. I loved most things about my 74 International except the twin beds in the middle of the coach, it was hard for me to design an acceptable way to put in a queen bed and still be able to get to the bath in the rear. We sold it and bought a rear queen model, it was cheaper in the long run.
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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Just do not throw it away. Anything from an Airstream has value to someone right down to the brown painted screws. I took out the gaucho in our 75 Tradewind and then rebuilt it to fit inside our motor home. There is a corner of my garage devoted to Airstream parts, anything that comes off get saved and put in that corner. Frequently, I will scavenge that corner for a part.
As for original versus your own, I agree that it is your trailer do what you think will be best.
Good luck to you.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:04 PM   #9
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Stop! Put Down the Wrecking Bar and Step Away From the Airstream

Dear BHL,
Since you've been lusting from afar for more than two decades, and you don't have a tow vehicle, there is no need to consumate this relationship too quickly. Unrequited love is afterall the most romantic kind. You have time to really think about your options and what restorations and renovations will bring you near-term enjoyment and still enhance the long-term value of your long coveted Airstream.
Tarheel is technically correct, it is your trailer, but once violated it will never be "original" again, and this could be very important if your infatuation falters and you decide to unload this trailer when you start thinking, "Gee, if I only had two more feet, my bozo boyfriend wouldn't seem so portly."
So, here's the deal. In August you'll have the opportunity of a lifetime to see what 60 vintage Airstream enthusiasts have done to their trailers. Time is running out. Make reservations to attend the Rocky Mountain Vintage Airstream Rally in Creede, CO. Tell them you will stay in a motel but wish to attend all the functions. Then, spend five days exploring your options. This will be a good place to learn about tow vehicles as well. Here's the link:
http://www.rmvac.org/
Good luck. Give me a holler if you need any help. We just live down the road a piece in Four Hills. We restored a '76 Safari 23' that is still here in Albuquerque.
Ken
P.S. Please, look at my post on towing in the mountains of NM and CO before you buy a tow vehicle.
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