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Old 06-19-2003, 12:27 PM   #1
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How much invested?

I don't know if this is polically correct to talk about or not but it is something that always interests me.

I purchased my '71 Safari with the intenstion of fixing it up and using it. If we decided not to use it we could sell it and get our investment back.

I also think it would be good for those thinking of doing this to get a real idea on the costs of repairing or restoring a vintage airstream for use.

I spent $2100 on the purchase of mine and it was a basket case.

So far not including my labor I have another $4900 into it.

New A/C, fridge, water heater, new plumbing supply lines, upholstry, drapes and shades, new floor tiles, OPD valves, charging system, new windows, new cabinet doors, new locks, new tires, etc....

I have around $7000 total invested so far and it is still not done.

Next is new shocks and a home polish job.

What is your investment so far?
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:58 PM   #2
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I paid $4K for mine, and I think I have about another $2500 into it. So figure $7K with incidentals. This does not take into consideration almost 100 hours of labor. But I enjoy working on it as much as using it.

If I had bought an SOB, for around $25-35K, like we were contemplating, I would have lost that just by driving it off the lot. So, I figure I got the Airstream for nothing. Well, not quite, but I am satisfied with what I have, for what I have invested. This is reinforced, every time we look at or inside an SOB. I just can't get into SOB's and their "house trailer" like look.
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Old 06-19-2003, 01:23 PM   #3
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Tim, it doesn't suck up money like my ....

last RV, but the orginal purchase price was just a start. I paid $8500 for an '86 31' Soverign that was almost in mint condition. It had been sitting in one place for 15 years and only had about 2,000 actual road miles on it. It was purchased new at the factory, driven down to Melbourne, Florida, over a two month trip, and then used as a winter getaway for years. The tires needed replacing due to dry rot. I had the wheel bearings re-greased and a few minor odds and ends taken care of, and then pulled it home to South Georgia. Of course, since then, minor things have become more apparant. I replaced the ceiling vent and fan in the bathroom for about $100.00, and the main door lock for $154.00. We pitched the original blinds and bought new ones, plus some new throw rugs and other junk to make it more personal. I believe we have about $10,500 in it now. On the other hand, we just love the snug and homey feel of it. It is sound as a dollar. We had been looking to purchase a new Holiday Rambler to the tune of about $35,000. While the one we selected was beautiful, it felt more like a hotel room. We feel like we made a heck of a purchase for the money and have been using it as often as time will allow. Regardless of how our personal finances flourish as we grow older, I am not sure I will ever replace the trailer unless, God forbid, something happen we don't expect.

Joe
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Old 06-19-2003, 07:56 PM   #4
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Just off the top of my head, so far I have:

New cabinets everywhere but the bath. New plumbing throughout, including all shutoff valves and new Moen faucets in shower, bathroom, and galley. New sinks. New cooktop. Microwave. Fantastic Vent (fan). New upholstery. Pergo-type floor. OPD valves. Gas regulator. New furnace. Circuit board for hot water heater. New tires. New curtains front to back (got the new ones in the bedroom, finally. The front room are still on hangers). New Aquajet ES variable speed demand water pump (I'll let you know how it works after the trip next week).

Invested? Not a penny. Its all expense.

Mark
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Old 06-20-2003, 07:52 AM   #5
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I don't wanna talk about it... I'd get all morose, maudlin and moody...<sniff>!!!

Actually for this last one, I spent the most I've ever spent on an RV, $24k and it just about killed me to do it. Other than the motorhome, I've always made it a point never to spend more than $100 per foot for a trailer that didn't need serious repairs and until now, I'd always been successful with that formula ( I'm a serious cheapskate...) This is the both the newest and nicest we've had tho (although the 325 was VERY nice), and other than $50 in cleaning supplies and 40 hours labor (maybe a slight exaggeration) in cleaning we haven't spent anything on it, yet... It even came with new tires for a change!

I'll have to replace the stereo before we take it out again, but that's relatively minor. As it's ten years old, and was lived in part time during that time, the fabric portion of the upholstery shows some wear so we're going to try to have those pieces replaced with Airstream fabric we bought for another project at the International in Sioux Falls in 2001.

The carpet and drapes are faded and will probably need to be replaced next summer. We'll live with them this year.

I expect that this will be the last trailer I buy, and although retirement is still about 15 years off, if I can take care of this one the way it should be, it should last us until we decide we don't want to tow any more.

Roger
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Old 06-20-2003, 08:43 AM   #6
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Oh, I neglected to tell you the entire story....

I bought the trailer thinking I could pull it with our 5.4L Expedition. I knew my relative-new Ford 150 Triton V8 would not handle the job. Of course, once I had made the deal I relaized I couldn't (or, perhaps, shouldn't) attempt to pull the trailer with the Expedition. I end up trading the pick-up for a new GMC 8.1L Vortec 4X4 pick-up - an expense I wasn't particularly ready for at the time. I literally and figuratively got my cart before the horse. Regardless, it is a great combination and I'm happy regardless of being poorer.

Joe
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:32 AM   #7
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SINCE 1995, SUZANNE AND I HAD LOOKED WITHOUT SUCCESS AT EVERY SOB TRAILER MADE THAT WOULD FIT OUR BUDGET AND WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS. THEN, IN THE SPRING OF 2001, WE SAW AIRSTREAM; AND THE REST, AS THEY SAY, IS HISTORY. WE COULDN'T PART WITH THE MUCH NEGOTIATED PRICE OF $45,000 FOR A NEW 2000 30ft. EXCELLA 1000, SO WE WENT ONLINE AND FOUND OUR 1998 "MARY ROSE" FOR A NEGOTIATED PRICE OF $36,500; WHICH INCLUDED A HENSLEY HITCH, QUEEN SIZE SELECT COMFORT BED, COFFEE MAKER, CAN OPENER, CHOCKS, LEVEL BUBBLE, HOSES, ETC., ETC....WELL, YOU GET THE PICTURE. THE PREVIOUS OWNERS HAD KEPT EVERY RECIEPT FOR EVERY PURCHASE AND REPAIR JOB EVER PAID FOR. WHEN WE GOT SERIOUS ABOUT THE DEAL, THEY PARKED THE TRAILER AT AN RV PARK CLOSE TO THEIR HOME, AND INVITED US TO SPEND A DAY & A NIGHT IN THE TRAILER BY OURSELVES. NEEDLESS TO SAY, WE GOT TO GO OVER EVERY INCH OF HER, AND WE WERE GLAD TO CLOSE THE DEAL!
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Old 06-20-2003, 07:56 PM   #8
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Uh....excuse my ignorance, but...

what is an SOB? I know as soon as you tell me what the acronym stands for I'll smack myself in the head and say "D'OH!"

Cherie (who obviously doesn't know the A/S lingo yet)

P.S.: Friendly note to Jeff & Suzanne: You probably aren't aware, but using all capital letters in a post is considered a no-no on computer forums. It means you are shouting, and is difficult to read. No problem, just wanted to let you know in case you weren't aware.
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Old 06-20-2003, 09:05 PM   #9
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Lightbulb okay

Kentucky Girl

SOB= some other brand...
ciao
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Old 06-20-2003, 09:09 PM   #10
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Red face As promised...

D'OH!!!
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Old 06-20-2003, 09:18 PM   #11
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Wink Plse

I hope you didn't hit yourself toooo hard..
lol
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Old 06-21-2003, 02:54 AM   #12
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Motorhome 345LE renovation

Heya,

I learned a HUGE lesson myself about vlaue of what you put in and what you can expect to get out...

We bought a very good condition low mileage 1990 345LE 2 years ago and then totally rebuilt or renovated most everything, put about $100k in to her in total. She was literally immaculate. A real head turner when ever we took her anywhere, including Airstream rallies. The apple of our eye.

I then was able to sell my company (network technology for the entertainment industry) and could take most of the next year off not working and also rent out our house in San Francisco for the period...so we looked at trying to live full time in the 345LE with our 2 big cats and ALL our stuff - full time is very different than a cool as hell weekend pad - and found we could not really do it and stay happily married The wife's shoe collection for instance...oh and all my computer and camera gear and my guitars.

So we eventually sold the 345LE after advertising it for 3 months and took a total loss of over $50k. Someone got a very good deal. Check my other posts on this on the forums. We could not sell it at all even at $65k.

Then we bought a Prevost 40' coach motorhome conversion. A very different kind of beast. A few hundred grand. More like a house than an RV! 52,000lbs 500hp diesel pusher with the potential for 1 million miles on the same chassis/engine...

It dwarfs the Airstream and has all the room we need. It also will not depreciate in the same way. 20 year old ones still go for $150-175k. They are valued by the market at a more realistic return on a total investment and improvement.

I was very dissapointed about the Airstream loss and lost alot of faith in the whole Airstream community and the machines themselves. It seems that there is no significant additional market value attributed to the beautiful restored Airstreams - unlike other classic vehicles such as rebuilt Chevelles or Mustangs or Jaguars or Harleys - that do hold most of their value when sold to other collectors.

We still own a 58 Traveler 18 ft trailer so we are still part of the Airstream world, but have taken a big hit on our Airstream enthusiasm. Shame.
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Old 06-21-2003, 07:05 AM   #13
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Re: Motorhome 345LE renovation

Quote:
Originally posted by williamhenshall
Heya,

I learned a HUGE lesson myself about vlaue of what you put in and what you can expect to get out...

I was very dissapointed about the Airstream loss and lost alot of faith in the whole Airstream community and the machines themselves. It seems that there is no significant additional market value attributed to the beautiful restored Airstreams - unlike other classic vehicles such as rebuilt Chevelles or Mustangs or Jaguars or Harleys - that do hold most of their value when sold to other collectors.

We still own a 58 Traveler 18 ft trailer so we are still part of the Airstream world, but have taken a big hit on our Airstream enthusiasm. Shame.
I think it's unfair of you to blame the "Airstream community" for your dollar loss. Airstreams are not an investment, they are an expense. They may not depreciate as quickly as other commodities, but they depreciate all the same. The general concept is the same as putting $250k into a house in a neighborhood of $100k houses. You just can't expect to get your money back when you do that. That kind of expenditure has to be recognized for its' enjoyment value, not viewed as an investment.

I think we can all empathize with you with the hit you took. Unfortunately what makes your situation so uncomfortable was the size of your loss and the period of time. That's a lot of money spent, not only without return, but to lose. However, the original owners of my 34' lost over $40k in ten years on my trailer when they sold it to me. I could never afford a new one. It's no different than the average used car, only on a larger scale.

I hope you enjoy your new coach. Please don't be upset with all of us. We're really pretty nice folks (well, everyone here but me, of course!

Roger
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Old 06-21-2003, 07:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by j54mark
Just off the top of my head, so far I have:


Invested? Not a penny. Its all expense.

Mark
Good one Mark,
LOL
Reminds of a saying we used to use:
"Most of my money I spent on drinking and wild women.
The rest I just wasted".
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