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Old 05-21-2009, 11:06 PM   #1
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1972 31' Excella 500
breaux bridge , Louisiana
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Unsure of Restoration??? help!

My husband bought a 1972 Excella 500 a couple of years ago and it was a complete mess! the cabinet doors under the sink were destroyed, rats had made nests in the sofa, etc. But I started to tackle it anyway after looking at the wonderful pics online. So far it has come out really good. The rv has no leaks, only a few dents and dings on the exterior and is really sound. After scrubbing everything, I painted the entire wall and ceiling a pale yellow and re-upholstered the sofa in a soft brown leather. The throw pillows are creamy yellow, brown and red -- these is the color scheme i am using. I had to rip out the sliding cabinets under the sink (they were destroyed) but hung a wonderful red fabric in its place. I put up creamy 2" blinds everywhere and the countertop is a black/brown/cream colored formica resembling granite. So far, the unit looks really great, but..... the bathroom is another matter. My question to all of you out there is, how much is too much money to put into this camper? What will it be worth when it is completely finished especially since I am not ordering original parts to complete the unit. Should I continue in the direction I am going? Or should I try to sell it now and let someone else restore it back to its original condition? Everyone said I should have taken before/after pics. When it is complete, I will post pics of the new look.

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Old 05-21-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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1963 22' Safari
2020 27' Globetrotter
State of , Washington
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IMO I think a trailer is worth what it is worth to you. Rarely would you restore a vintage trailer and make a profit (but I suppose its possible if you find the right buyer). I also think that a partially finished trailer isn't going to sell for as much a you would want for your effort. The reality is that a restored trailer likely will cost less than a new unit, and you can select your exact finishes, layout, and have the pride in a job well done.

Scott & Megan
1963 Safari from the 1963-64 Around the World Caravan
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:44 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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I can't speak for everyone, but I've noted the longer a vintage trailer is the lower the general interest in it (tow vehicle, parking considerations, etc) which translates to lower pricing* (usually)...

As for monies into it - go price a new or late model and then look at the total investment in your project. A new toilet, new water heater, superior paints and flooring installed, new vent fan will not double their purchase price on the trailer resale price but they will attract more people into considering.

And worth estimates are impossible w/o inspecting trailer, just too many variables...
The days are short and the night is long and the stars go tumbling by.. . ~Airstream~
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
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1978 29' Ambassador
Walnut Cove , North Carolina
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We dodn't plan to ever sell our Princess because we have children who will take over and enjoy it as much as we do. That being said, the comments above are pretty good advice. We have gone with what works for us. We could not afford to do a full restoration and frankly it wouldn't work for ur needs. We set our goals, safety first, functional and things that can be done as we can afford it. We are trying to estalish a reasonable value, I told the insurance company 20,000. That's what it is worth to me, although I would never sell it!!LOL I found out that was a slight exaggeration and reality brings it down around 7-8,000. Our goal was to get it on the road for 2,000 and sweat equity, we have come close but we are fortunate to be in area that the cost of living is considerable less than northern states and the west coast. Good Luck on your project and please enjoy it first before you sell it!
The Silver Queen
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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1972 31' Excella 500
breaux bridge , Louisiana
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
I honestly did not know how popular the vintage airstream rv's were until I started researching airstream restoration on the internet. I noticed that the owners of airstreams were die hard fans of the rv -- and all the clubs! I did not realize how hard it would be to restore and probably took on a bigger project than I had imagined. I will, however, finish the rv. I've been working on it for over 2 years now. As for selling it, I'm not sure....I wanted to have it for my kids to use since we own a camper already. But the more I put into the old girl, the more I like it! (maybe i'll let them use ours and my husband and I get use the silver bullet!
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