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Old 02-29-2012, 10:57 PM   #15
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2006 22' International CCD
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Elk Valley , British Columbia
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Just keep in mind that unless it is a faithful restoration, an investment as large as yours might not be worth much to someone else. I myself would not buy some one else's project... especially if they described their process as you just have. Because I would likely end up ripping out everything and starting over.

I'm not saying your quest isn't just, and probably a lot of fun too, but be careful if you are going to measure the success of the project by what it is worth (cash value) in the end. Build it because you are going to GET something out of it other than money.

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #16
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by Elkhart View Post
I started reading through your restoration thread and I have to say it was very impressive! How on earth did you know exactly what needed to be done for each step? You sounded like you do this sort of thing all the time

I personally wouldn't have known ANY of those fixes if someone hadn't straight up told me exactly what to do. I can follow instructions with the best of them, but something tells me there isn't a "Remodel your Airstream in 2437 Steps!" workbook out there anywhere.

Hard to say where it all comes from I guess. Many years of remodeling our house room by room, including structure, plumbing, electrical, drywall, trim, cabinets, etc. etc. I've built quite a bit of furniture over the years too. Rebuilt engines, done some body work, built decks, porches, ponds, paver driveways - the list is quite long. Having a dad and father-in-law teach me skills helped too. I'm a computer engineer by trade (learned that in the Navy), although I work with mainframes and large networks, so no, I cannot fix your PC, laptop, or tablet. Heading off the eventual questions there...

Plus, I have a wonderful wife who is an accomplished sewer and quilter, and she's right there next to me working on all this stuff. Between the two of us, we seem to have pretty much everything covered.

Add to that reading and reading and reading the restoration threads posted by the wonderful people on these forums who are more than willing to share their knowledge and answer questions, and its not really as hard as you might think. There are many people here who I admire and could never hope to acheive the same quality of work.

It's all tedious and time consuming certainly, but fun and well worth it in the end.

Now for a secret - for the most part, stupid mistakes are not posted! If you can't dazzle 'em with knowledge, baffle 'em with bs...


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Old 03-01-2012, 04:51 PM   #17
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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Another option for $55K ($5K Purchase + $50K Resto) would be to buy one already restored or at least with all the hard stuff done for around $15-20K+ (check the classifieds) and just take on or re-do the fun stuff to your taste.

Lot's of options with your budget...we bought ours for $5K then but about $18-20K into it all DIY. Our current trailer has been appraised & is insured at WAY MORE than our investment...we did start off with a newer, smaller one in better shape the first time around. But when we started out, we were in the same boat as you - total novices.

Just break it up into smaller projects and go for it! Ask lots of questions, get to a vintage rally and read all the major restoration threads you can get your hands on.

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Old 03-01-2012, 05:17 PM   #18
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 268
Sounds like you are getting ready to check off on one item within your bucket list. As you see from the responses the variety of Airstream coaches that many have worked on. Length, year and floor plan.
Post 1974, all Airstreams included a grey tank. However, with 50K, you easily can have one installed prior to 1974.
I looked for the history of the coach itself. The legacy you can continue by becoming the owner, if you can capture that history through the WBCCI number.
We were handed a great deal with the 1972 LY International back in 1995. Third owners. Not the most desirable coach by some due to its history with Beatrice and of course the long length. I will argue with today's accommodations at RV parks we are well past the 1970 mindset. And the coach by the way was taken care of by the PO, so we lucked out.
We've put about $28K into it over time to include a 35 gallon grey tank, new leather U-shape dinette, replaced panels (3), three vista windows, new axles, floor, bath HW, electric waste, and on and on. So for under $30K we have an Airstream that weighs only 5600#, but has all the toys. Next year we will take a trip to P & S, drop it off to get the outside redone, at a not cheap price, but done right and be under $35K with a new Airstream, in my books.
The cost comes with the tow vehicles as we are on our fourth (4) and at $50K ea, do the math, the Airstream is still what we own after almost 20 years.

Some may think that is foolish with the money invested, or spent, but we've seen America twice, to include 90% of the National Parks, park it at the Beach April-August, the mountains Aug-Oct and then winterize it, if we don't plan on going south when time permits.
So, your dream is there. It can be bought with a new one saving allot of stress and aggravation, but will that fulfill what you are looking for to include that precious time with your Dad?

Life is short, live it to its fullest and continue the legacy of a good used Airstream that is looking for the adventure it was built for. The new ones need a start as well, as that is always an option, but based on our experience, I'd buy used all over again.

Good luck with you purchase, remodel and dream.

Happy Airstreaming.

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Old 03-07-2012, 11:36 PM   #19
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2012 28' International
Antioch , SF Bay Area
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Posts: 330
Hey - not crazy at all!! I wanted to do what you're thinking about but the hubby about had kittens just thinking about it! We both work and have crazy careers and have no place at our house to work on a project like that ... not to mention we don't have the proper tools and probably are lacking some of the skillsets as well The hubby wanted to buy new but I really didn't like the new interiors that much (not to mention the prices) so we compromised. We bought a 20 year old AS in fabulous condition -- we camped in it the first day we picked it up! After fixing a few necessary things we started thinking about modifications and after camping in it a bit and doing some research we found a guy near us and our project started! Right now, we're getting close to being done - we've been doing it in stages as we can afford it and also working in between camping trips. We'll be well under your overall budget when we're completely done and it's gonna be a little showpiece!!
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:28 AM   #20
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Life is shirt! We are having a wonderful time with ours!
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:34 AM   #21
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If u R crazy, W E L C O M E to the aluminum world.....Have fun....Lots of resources if u get in a bind...Just ask here......

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