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Old 12-09-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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Airbus RV

Hello everyone,

I new to this forum and keen on getting into "Airstreaming". I'm curious about an "Airbus" RV in our area and I'd like to do some research on the model(1981) before I have a look at it.

Can anyone lead me to some websites that would have detailed info, or could some of you pass it along? I'm look for specs, layouts, options, etc. I'm assuming these were just passenger models and not campers, but I'd like to find out more.

You can respond here or at cburston@cogeco.ca. Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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I don't think that is an Airstream, it looks like a SOB class A MoHo.
Look at the third picture down, on the left.

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Old 12-09-2006, 11:36 AM   #3
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CHRIS,welcome to the forums and good luck on your serch--
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:56 PM   #4
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I think the Airbus was made by Rexhall (Rexhall Industries)

If you are looking at an Airstream Motorhome then his site and a member's site (Fred's Airstream Archives - Airstream and Argosy Travel Trailers and MotorHomes) are great resources.
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Old 12-09-2006, 08:07 PM   #5
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Hi. Before we can help you, we'll need some more info--we don't want to steer you wrong.
Is it an Airstream-manufactured bus? If so, what is the length? What drive train does it have? (engine size, etc) Where is (are) the door(s) located?
Airstream Commercail discontinued production several years ago, but there are several forums members rehabbing the commercial busses/hearses/mobile labs into motor homes here, you should be able to get some help or at least a sense of direction. Photos are a big help, if you own a digital camera.
Good luck with your project.
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Old 12-10-2006, 10:05 AM   #6
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Thumbs up 82' Airbus

I have a picture I can send...it is an Airstream but it only has a small dinette, small sink, small fridge, and bathroom in the rear.

It seems to be designed as a passenger coach as it has 8(eight!!!!) armchairs. I would like to know of some of you great folks that have rerofitted something like this.

What do I look for on initial inspection besides frame, body, and mechanical viability? It has pumping. What kind of electrical coniguration will I need to expand. I'm not looking at a large reconfiguration...just a time and of course $$ allow.

I have some pix put don't know how to show them. I've posted this again(somewere) but as I'm new I don't know how to navigate this site.

Very much impressed by this site and the welcome I've recieved so far.

Thanks again
Chris
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Old 12-10-2006, 10:34 AM   #7
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Chris,
It sounds like an executive, shuttle or hearse (commercial) version of an Airstream motorohome. You can see some examples of these coaches here (Fred's Airstream Motorhome Class A Archives - Unique Models). Several members here have successfully converted these coaches into motorhomes, travelling showrooms, businesses on wheels, etc.

That said, in all honesty, unless you can steal this coach, you might be far better off purchasing an Airstream or Argosy motorhome that needs some TLC but is already a motorhome. Changing floorplans, installing systems and electricals, etc is a very large project which requires a lot of time and money to get it right.

Purchasing a ready to roll, or restorable motorhome would get you out on the road, enjoying the coach much sooner and for less money on the long run. Check out the classifieds on this site and the Airstream motorhome site to get an idea of what motorhomes are going for and compare it to your planned project. You might be surprised.

In any case, keep us posted on your plans and progress.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:18 PM   #8
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Thumbs up 82' Airbus

Thanks Steven,

Love the hungry look of your MH. Excellent points made. What are the big differences in "systems". It has a bathroom ands small sink(so plumbing exists and holding tank), it has a small fridge(so some electrical/fuse box exists). No furnace or roof top A/C.

My needs,at this point are simple(I'm still camping in a tent!, the idea of an Airstream is to apprease my wife...and keep my ride "Vintage"). I reckon I could still do all my cooking outside anyway.

I figure I could take out most of the 8 arm chairs, put in a fold-out couch/bed and go from there. A new roof top air conditioning unit is a relative simple hole cut in the roof and the lack of furnace could be made up with space heaters.

Talk me into it/talk me out of it! You guys are the experts(having gone through it)...all my ideas are based on assumptions, which usually are way more expensive than I imagine.

Is there an article on pre-purchasing checklist that I could go through so I'm prepared when dealing with the seller? I restore and drive classic cars so I'm reasonably mechanically inclined.

I'm already loving the idea of owning an "Airstream" based on the response I've got so far.

Keep up the posts!!! Thank-you
Chris
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:13 PM   #9
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Having vintage restoration experience is a huge plus for not only a conversion, but just to enjoy ownership without spending $80/hour at your local dealership every time something goes wrong.

Do a search for Pre-Purchase Inspection and you'll find some good threads on the subject.

As far as conversion consider the following:

110V system. Most motorhomes have a generator on board along with a "shore power" connection to supply 110 to the microwave, fridge (3 way fridge which works on 110V, 12V or Propane) along with the AC units and anything else you need (Margaritas in the blender comes to mind).

AC units are a pop through style in all of our units, but getting power up there may require removal of some of the interior skin.

Space heaters are often used in older trailers, but a "real" propane furnce will require a tank, regular, plumbing, etc. Add to this a shower and hot water heater, storetop, etc.

The biggest thing in my mind is floorplan. Moving walls and installing RV furniture is very possible but think about where things are located. If the black tank is under the potty you really don't want to move the potty to the other side of the coach.

All of these changes assume the basic platform is in good working order, the drivetrain (engine and tranny), suspension, tires, brakes, steering, accessories, etc are all working and ready to roll.

Honestly, most of us push the limits of our time commitment and budgets on what came bolted to the motorhome and chassis let alone any major systems installation or changes.

If vintage is your thing consider one of the older Classics or Argosy's for sale right now. It has everything you could need, you can camp in it right away (keep's the wife happy) it looks really cool and you can upgrade/repair systems without havin to engineer every little change.

Again, if you are looking for a project then you certainly have found one and many people here have successfully converted a commercial unit but if you really want to go camping and traveling in an Airstream motorhome and enjoy all of the comforts one of these [old] luxury units has to offer, for less than this project will cost you, seriously consider just buying a motorhome instead.

Lastly, yes owning a Classic is a great experience. It takes committment, a DIY attitude, the willingness to buy parts at NAPA on a regular basis, and a little insanity - but it's really really fun.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:10 PM   #10
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As an example, here is a picture of our 345 that we bought in May of last year. It had 65K miles and everything worked. It cost us $18K and we have done several upgrades, most of which were elective not mandatory. The beauty was we were out with it immediately. This picture was taken in Malibu, CA. about a month after purchase.
Also, since you are into classic cars, go to our Community Forums and look up Off Topic Forums. There is a thread on classic cars where many of us have posted pictures of our other addiction. Ron
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:54 PM   #11
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The great thing about AS Classics is there is alwasy someone who wants to buy one. May not be a quick seller, but they consistently do sell. Other older brands are not as fortunate in the marketplace.
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:17 PM   #12
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Chris, use the paperclip icon or click on the manage attachments bar below the text box when you enter your message to post photos. They need to be a certain max size so real high res. will not work.
I'd be interested to see what you have. Sounds like an executive limo to me. That is unless it's got some very big side doors in the rear quarter.
Does the rear end clam shell open?
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:44 PM   #13
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Strange. When I posted my reply above, there were no other posts listed, although others had replied, and could see the replies. Aside from the fact that mine looks kind of dumb out there after the other posts appeared, I will leave it up for a while to see if our new IT guy can figure out what happened.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:01 PM   #14
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Thumbs up 82' Airbus

I'm told by the owners that was originally an airport shuttle(hence the name "Airbus") and very few of these were made.

Glen, It does not open in the rear as the bathroom is back there. It has a regular sized door but seems father back than some I've seen, almots past the middle of the unit.

Steven, well written and common sense drives most of us. I'mm not lloking at making large modifications, I've been a camper for a long time so I don't mind still cooking outside. I would consider this a starter unit as the initial price is very low...I can realistically see putting $3,000 to $5,000 into it and still be a half the asking price of alot of the MoHo'(no offense).

So I figure this unit will get me into an Airstream and I'll deal with the problems that be. Like someone said on a nother thread, "count on any repairs and then double the price"...tha's OK! I'd love to pick up a rear bedroom 28' diesel but I don't have that kind of coin. I have a mechanic(whose into ato racing..so he could use it there) to help with mechanicals and a master carpenter in my family so I've got some personal resources.

Overlander, I'm not sure what you meant but I have a hard time finding this thread when I come back. I've attenpted an attachment here so...


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Thanks again fellas,
Chris
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