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Old 09-05-2005, 08:28 PM   #15
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8 weeks + $1500!

Our 1977 27' Overlander was in good shape when we got it on eBay this June. I was able to check it out firsthand as it was only 90 miles away before bidding on it. We have spent about $1500 on a new refrigerator, new brake actuator and having the disk brakes/bearings inspected. I did the refrigerator and the brake actuator install myself. The furance seems to be the only project on my list now. Hopefully it's a simple fix. Hopefully you can find one in good shape that hasn't been abused.

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Old 09-05-2005, 08:29 PM   #16
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i'll happily admit it!!! i spent a bundle!

in 1988/89 i had my 1979 moho 'restored'......actually i would have been crazy to put new harvest gold and avocado and fake walnut in it!

since it was having a 10 year birthday, i had an airstream shop essentially gut it and completely redo the interior with more modern/euro styling/finish/cabinets/galley and so on. everything but the location of plumbing/electrical was redone...every interior surface was replaced and all furniture reupholstered or replaced; cockpit/driving gear was all redone with leather/flexsteel from the current models. every appliance except the fridge was replaced. on the outside i had the coach stripped of all finish/fixtures/screws/seals/rubber gasket and so on, and this was all redone....every seam was recaulked and every attachment was replaced/sealed with the modern airstream part, even did heated/remote controlled mirrors and refinished the bumbers/grills and all cast aluminum to it's original state.....actually some items were better than new. all new lighting and used a paint that boeing was using on aircraft....and did the accent stripes/graphics/pinstripes in my college colors..... added airstream factory windows to the door and shower where none existed prior. had the generator rebuilt to new. completely replaced the suspension bags, heavier sway bars, ipd performance bits/ bilstein shocks and so on..... souped the drivetrain with headers, exhaust, air box, and what ever else was available for the 454 and the tranny......

process took about 2 months and i visited 2x week to watch the when it was done it looked like a brand new 1989 classic motorhome but with performance features and euro look not available from ohio....

what did i spend? almost exactly the original '79 sticker price in 1989 money.....and it was worth every dollar. just passed it on to the second owner 2 years ago and it still looks better than some new models.....

so look up the original sticker price of a 28/30 foot classic mo ho and that's my "restoration" birthday party a trailer ever had!!


Originally Posted by rluhr
As you can see, you can spend anything you want. I've seen trailers people called "restored" that had as little as $500 invested. And I know several people who have spent in excess of $20k to restore their trailer. (They won't be posting here to admit it.)

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Old 09-05-2005, 09:03 PM   #17
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
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I have a '51 Flying Cloud that was half done when I got it and I paid 5K Canadian so around 4 USD. I've put a couple of dollars under $2,200C in it so far and will spend another few hundred over the winter for odds and sods, but really other than a polish it's about as done as I'll get it. My advice if you are doing this as well as having a full time job and want to use it sometime soon is to buy the best one you can afford to get in the nicest shape and consider that your starting point. Buying a shell or one that will end up that way before you start your work can be a long drawn out process. My buddy just bought a 2004 AS that was wrecked in Saskatchewan, Canada off of ebay ($587USD) and he's going to use all appliances in his '47 Curtis-Wright he's been restoring. A cheap way to get all new appliances (they have tested out okay), tanks, etc. These, fortunately, are sad events of misfortune for a fellow AS owner and are few and far between coming available so consider having whatever you are looking at checked out at a quality RV dealership before you buy. A decent refer can set you back serious bucks, same with axle(s), etc. Also, if it's been moused-out, be cautious. That smell stays with them for a long time. That said, having completed ours, there's a level of satisfaction in having it done, knowing it inside and out intimately, and having the knowledge to do another one when it comes down the road with my name all over it (although my wife says it will have a casket right behind it if I do this without her knowledge this time). Barry
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:32 PM   #18
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Location: I currently do not own a 2nd Airstream
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What have I spent? Man, I'm not sure I want to know. To be honest, I have appr. $5000 into our baby not including purchase price and there's not much more to do but tinker with it. The remaining item to be done is the slow leak in the black water tank. That's on the list for this off-season.

Original purchase price = $3500
Appliances, parts and restoration = $5000
The joy of owning and repairing a vintage Airstream = priceless!!

4CU 2699 / AIR 10 / TAC AZ-1

I'm haunted by aluminum.
Charter Member of the 4 Corners Unit.
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:38 AM   #19
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
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Location: 1963 26' Overlander
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I am at a bit over 11k so far, purchase price included. I will be at $14kto $16k when it's all done, if not more.
This does not include any labor charges, just parts and supplies, plus the price of the trailer.
I have yet to build an entire interior. Will have to shell out money for countertops, more maple, fasteners, perhaps a few tools, foam, fabric, window treatments, odds and ends, plus new bedding and new galley items.
I included everything in the sale of our tradewind.
Well worth it at twice the price!
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:29 AM   #20
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1967 28' Ambassador
Rockford , Illinois
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our unit

We're at about 10 to 11K.. including purchase price of 5K.. we gave the PO waht they asked because she is SO ORIGINAL and in "walk in and live" shape.

That's NOT an easy thing to find!

The PO truly loved her, and now the trailer has passed on to more people who love her.

New AC, new wheels, not just tires) re-doing the interior to my own tastes, and not much else has gone wrong :-) We will be looking at a bathroom repair but do not have "separation" yet.

I believe that buying an almost perfect unit allowed me a LOT of leeway in the FUN things we wanted to do. I'm much happier this way, because a "cheap" fixer-upper" would have ended up costing me more.

Also, My 11K (top amount) is peanuts compared to new prices.
Thanks, Linda, for selling her, I LOVE our trailer.
I'm just a pink flamingo on the great lawn of life :-)
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:46 AM   #21
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San Angelo , Texas
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I gave Ron, at South Jersey RV, $10,000 and so far he's used almost half. I will probably have to put in a few thousand more, but compared to the price of a new one, I'm still going the cheaper route. Yeah, I don't have a grey tank, but I really don't plan on boondocking but if I do, I'll have the trusty blue tank with me.

1971 Sovereign International - SOLD

2004 F-350 King Ranch

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Old 09-06-2005, 09:23 AM   #22
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
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You HAD to ask......

Anality at it's best....

daily log of time and money.....

'78 Sovereign of the Road - (31'er)

Transportation cost - Ohio to Houston - $1500

Parts - Expended to date - $4,000

Expenditures DO NOT include any "major" items (appliances, AC, axle, tires, etc.).

Actual work time to date is 200 hours (excluding time spent on transportation and chasing parts - easily another 200 hours).

So, less the actual purchase price I have $5500 and 200 hours invested.

Not "redoing" anything (except the floor) - just clean up and system repair.

The "little" - $5.00 and $10.00 - purchases add up quickly.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
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Old 09-06-2005, 11:02 AM   #23
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
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Location: 1975 25' Tradewind
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About 10,000 for the rebuild and 13,000 for the barn to put it in. Makes good economic sense doesn't it?

Are we twisted or what?

Ken J
1956 Flying Cloud
Founder :
Four Corners Unit
Albuquerque National Balloon Fiesta
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restoration rally
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:54 PM   #24
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1975 27' Overlander
Twin Cities , Minnesota
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Well, I store mine up at the lake in winter.
But so far when I put it away it hasn't tried to get away from there so I haven't had to Re-store it yet.
I did put new mattresses in it and I fixed all of the "thermopain" windows.
About $600 I guess.
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:26 PM   #25
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Lisle , Illinois
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I have about some where around 3k wrapped up in my Ambassalander project so far. I still have to replace the axles and floor and wiring and plumbing........

I think I will just start eating the recipts.

Tedd Ill
AIR#3788 TAC IL-10
1967/8 Overlander International Twin w/ bunk/s.
Yes, four kids and two adults in the thing.
Happy wife, happy life.
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