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Old 07-08-2002, 04:04 PM   #1
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Restore vs. Makeover

Hi all,
When I first planned my future airstream, I wanted a broken one which I could make into a "Rutgar Hauer" or MTV thing. A beautiful one found me that is in remarkable shape. I know there are many purists who beleive that everything has to be 100% original, but then again I don't think airstreams' motivation was to create the most 'beautiful' interiors. I don't plan to do anything 'to' it for a few months. I have to hang out in it awhile.
I find I am loving the thing as it is..all retro '70's and all with every material juxtaposed with each other, but it's very comforting in a cozy attic kinda way.
I went to Goodwill and got some cool '70's tumblers for it already..thinking about shag carpet (just kidding)
So, what I think I am asking is; "How far have you all pushed the original design enevelope? Were you happy you did or did not? What aspects or objects did you regret or thrill about losing or keeping? If you had to do it over, what would you change?
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:15 PM   #2
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1971 27' Overlander
Cornville , Arizona
Join Date: May 2002
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Cool Restor vs Makeover

Think you have the right idea!! You may find that there are many things that you will have to repair before you start on any make over. Nothing is cheap. I bought one that is in good shape, also . So I would not want to remove the work that the former owner did!! Air streams are like a box of chocolates..........!

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Old 07-08-2002, 08:31 PM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Do Over

I bought mine in less than perfect condition with 30 days before a trip. If I had to do it over I would have stopped time so i could have done some more research and gotten more accomplished before my trip.

The research (with the help of this forum) would have saved me some time and lots of $. As it is I still enjoy my silver bullet none the less.

So my bottom line is keep readin the forum and you will be enriched greatly!

1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:36 PM   #4
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Especially if the box doesn't have the chart on the lid.
I'm beginning to feel like one of those'artsy'people who say
the brick tells them what it wants them to build.
But, I have done two 360 degree revolutions already,
in regard to what it should look like.
Right now I haven't plugged it in yet, but I took some
sheepskins out there for the sofa and just hang out and
read, (in florida 90 days with everything closed). It's
remarkably comfortable.
This will be an interesting relationship.
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Old 07-08-2002, 09:08 PM   #5
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My wife and I bought ours in less than perfect condition. We have decided after seeing many beautiful refits that we wanted a retro look.

It is parked for the Summer at a campground about an hour from home. We visit every weekend and design a part of it and build/work on the parts we designed the weekend before.

Having to bring everything with us when we work on the trailer makes us really think about what we're doing. Living in it each weekend as we design forces us to really consider our choices.

We usually have an idea in our head during the week. We talk about it, change it then change it some more. When we arrive at the trailer we try and imagine the new idea in place and of course it goes through a whole new set of rethinks now we are physically in the trailer.

By the end of the weekend we usually have a game plan for what work we are going to do next weekend.

I want to get everything done in one go, my wife enjoys the journey. We are both changing a little in the process and the trailer is the catalyst.
Melvin and Sheila
1972 Trade Wind
Cleveland, OH
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Old 07-08-2002, 10:49 PM   #6
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1963 26' Overlander
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1963 19' Globetrotter
Portola Hills , California
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So many choices...

Hi Andrea,

I think that the way you do your Airstream is entirely up to you, if done well, then these changes usually do not take away value from the trailers. My suggestion would be to think about your needs, as storage, sleeping arrangements, kitchen use, bathroomuse etc. go. Most of the changes that I have seen done on my 8 month airstream shopping spree were purely cosmetic. We will sooner or later do some redecorating on our 71 Tradewind, but we will more than likely not change the layout drastically. We are not crazy about the large dark brown areas everywhere, so that's going to be the first attack.
Some of the units I saw had nothing installed that was over counter height, and the feeling inside was fantastic. Others were unchanged, others again were gutted and redone, but all were very cool.
Check some of the picture sites, and don't forget the links on this site. We saw one with leopard print couches and cherrywood cabinets, which looked very cozy in a sleazy sort of way, others all business like with maple cabinets and original looking small floor tile. The trailers had a lot of different vibes over the years. Good luck to you. Uwe
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Old 07-09-2002, 08:58 PM   #7
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When I redid my unit I kept same design. Rebuilt cabinets, removed oven and installed a cooktop. I also added a microwave and engineered floor. I figured that Airstream had already figured out the best design for that size trailer. I feel either leave it close to stock with modern updates or go all out and do a wild custom interior like a Ralph Lauren trailer.
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:32 PM   #8
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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My take on this topic is...

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

We have tried to keep everything that is built-in and in good repair "stock" but had fun with the soft-goods (upholstery, draperies, flooring) that needed replacing anyway. The only exception is with the removed-gaucho-soon-to-be-dinette...we will be modeling it after one typical of the era.

If you want to see our progress, check out our webpage @

Now on the otherhand, if the interior is modified beyond recognition by a previous owner or has alot of damage or missing pieces...I would wipe it out & start over with a clean slate & have fun! Anything goes!

Bottom line, do whatever you want...especially if you are planning on keeping it. If your intention is for resale value, think twice before altering existing components in good repair & working order in such a manner that could be to personal for the next owner...just my $.02

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Old 07-10-2002, 05:57 AM   #9
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Woodstock , Georgia
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We had an interior in our 82 that was very well worn. The fabric was see thru in lost spots, and the curtains had no life left. Check my pictures on the Airstreamphotos site.
It was very fulfilling to redo the seats and trim and modernize them somewhat. We also redid curtains, and are next going to a Pergo type floor product for the kitchen and part of the living is both fun and challenging. Make it your own!

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