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Old 07-31-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
New2it's Avatar
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 27
Would this be helpful for this forum?

High all! Newbie here (i.e., I'm not sure about what the finer details are regarding appropriate content for this forum). It seems to me that one important reason new people (like me) join this forum is to get some idea about the cost associated with refurbishing an AS trailer or RV. I can only imagine that everyone gets fairly bored with answering these same initial questions over and over again?

Would it be of any value to somehow archive or link to a spreadsheet that had some cost guestimates by category that you could redirect newbies like me to? If yes, I am in the early stages of putting one together for myself (re: refurb of a 1988 345). Of course, I am not qualified to fill in the blanks, but the members of this forum have been more than willing to assist!

If this is a bad idea or not in keeping with the intent of this forum just let me know.

As for the approach I am using, I am trying to capture some estimates on the LOW end (i.e. used parts, great bargains, etc.) to the HIGH end (i.e. new parts from manufacturer), as well as, a breakdown of LABOR vs. PARTS (so I could see how much I might save by doing the work myself. I am also including a category for places to find new/used parts.

It seems like much of this general info is fairly reuseable regardless of the size/type of AS you have.

I assume the moderators would be the best ones to decide if this would be helpful? And/or which forum to link it to (since it would cross over multiple forums).

Thanks for all the help to date.

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Old 07-31-2006, 10:09 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,134
Images: 21
I don't think that is a bad idea but I also think this forums has most of what you are trying to capture already embedded in the threads. You just have to take some time and use the search button. I honestly believe if you stick around for a few months, you will see posts relating to your particular Airstream and cost comparisons scroll right by you without even trying to find them. With over 15000 members, every topic comes up. I'm not a moderator and maybe one of them is willing to archive all that stuff but I highly doubt anybody has the time to put it in the format you need. Welcome friend.

Randy 208-514-8950
Converters, Inverters, Monitors, EMS, Zamp Solar
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:13 AM   #3
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,870

Welcome to the forums! I am not sure you will be able to find the information you are looking for.... so many variables, and geographical location will be a fairly big factor in your cost estimates. Each trailer is unique in what needs to be repaired/replaced and how the owner wants to do it! For example, you will start with your base price (purchase amount) and make a list of major repairs you will need. For example, new floor, new axle, tires, water tank, holding tanks, etc. this doesn't even begin to look at interior stuff like upholstery, etc. Depends on how mechanical you are and how much time you have to dedicate to your project.

My best advice. Buy one you like and will work for your needs and have the base price well within your budget. Then pay as you go to work on it. Some parts will be available from the mfg. depending on year, others are near impossible to find and some kind of adjustments will need to be made to find something to work in its place.

I am not a moderator, so perhaps someone will jump in soon and give their two cents worth. The bottom line is, look at resale values for restored airstreams in the category you are looking for.... and keep your overall costs at that level if you can. Many folks will have much more money into their 'streams than what they can get for resale unless they are particularly lucky or have a parts trailer with useable parts.

Good luck! The idea is to have a trailer you love and enjoy.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:29 AM   #4
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1968 26' Overlander
Wenatchee WA , Cape Cod
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 871
Images: 10
There is a great site called He has compiled tons of information on restoration, what to look for, what to fix first, as well as a price vs. condition page.

Things are constantly changing. E-bay sometimes has trailers that sell way beyond what they are worth. Some you can find around town in great condition sitting in someone's field and get for way under what they are worth. Bottom-line doing it yourself will save you incredible amounts of money. If you have to pay for someone else to fix it you may find some who don't want to fix it ....its too old...some believe an RV is and RV and will ruin your great vintage trailer ....or you may be lucky enough to have an experienced Airstream mechanic in your area.

Jim & Kathleen
1968 Overlander - WBCCI #5793
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:46 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
1978 31' Excella 500
Goose Creek , South Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 136
Images: 9
This is the aproach I took.
1-Purchase the unit that seems in decent and more or less usable condition at a price that felt fair.
2-Clean and familarise with systems, make list of needed repairs and wants
3-Go camping, use all tanks, look at what needs to get updated or modified, go back to list and rearange accordingly.

I made a point of going camping often, thats what I bought the unit for, there more I went the more the priority changed on what repairs, updates and wants where/are on the list. The water pump started leaking so it moved way up on the list. 110v for the fridge stopped working, it was on the list for replacement some time down the road do to its age but the heating element was cheap in comparison, I'm still using the same fridge 2 years later . Get rid of carpet and find the need for floor repair. And so it goes on. My list still has items on there from its conception that have not been adressed. I try to keep to a reasonable budget on needed trailer repair and upgrades for the year, sometimes I make it and other times I go over.
It depends on the people and their means.
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