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Old 04-20-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
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My wife is an Interior Decorator

We are shopping for a 25 foot AS. My wife is excited, but she has a few demands: (she is a professional interior decorator)

1. Hardwood floor. 2. Double or Queen bed. 3. Dark finish, probably cherry on all interior wood. 4. Replace standard couch with a "rich, brown" leather couch. 5. A variable height coffee table/dining table. (we've seen a similiar set up on sailboats) 6. Replace curtains with wooden shades. 7. More attractive and better lighting.

Mrs. J dictates the esthetics and after looking at used AS, she is not amused by the interiors. That said, she has loved tent camping, although we've moved from a 2 person mountain tent to a North Face Expedition model and we sleep on double thickness air queen and she rolls out an imitation Persian rug! We've have been a sensation from time to time in Big Sur and the high mountains of Colorado!

I've been a sailboat racer for years and can handle all the maintenence of the water, waste and energy management systems and issues.

I imagine that after we locate the right AS, I'll be sanding and refinishing the interior, getting a new floor laid. Mrs. J wants to create a "comfortable, casual, upscale, getaway feel" in our AS. And believe me, there will be no shoes worn inside!

Any thoughts or should I just go ahead and tell her she's crazy?
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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First off, welcome to the forums! Your style of tent camping sounds like what ours evolved to before we got our Airstreams! We called it "Gucci Camping"!

There are actually lots of artistically minded members here - myself included, my husband is an architect and I am an interior designer. You may find the best way to satisfy your checklist is to buy a vintage trailer or something maybe not so old, but in a condition you wouldn't mind "starting from scratch" with. We took our '56 (Birdy) down to the bare bones and rebuilt it how we wanted it...it just so happened to be back to the "original" plan, but it could have been anything. There are lots of folks here on the forums that are in hte middle of or have completed total restorations...you'd be in good company!

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do ~

Shari
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jager View Post
I imagine that after we locate the right AS, I'll be sanding and refinishing the interior, getting a new floor laid. Mrs. J wants to create a "comfortable, casual, upscale, getaway feel" in our AS. And believe me, there will be no shoes worn inside!

Any thoughts or should I just go ahead and tell her she's crazy?
I'd say give Mrs. J what she wants and you'll be happier. The finishes and treatments you describe are well within the realm of possibility.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Kevin
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us

Your plan sounds exciting. Now you need to decide if you want to go vintage or late model. There are probably some late models out there that are somewhat beat up, and in need of an interior renovation. Something like that might be worth considering as you will have the original fittings to use as patterns for your stylish upgrades.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Brian
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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Maybe un-realistic?

Hi, your trailer sounds like a dream, but is it realistic? To do the hard wood floor properly you need to remove the entire interior. Then to have a cherry wood stain/color, you need to have wood, not vinyl, on the cabinets etc. We usually don't wear shoes in our trailer, but when you are camping, sometimes you will be in water, mud, or snow. [or combination of all three] So we have to at least get inside before taking our shoes off. [not to mention a soaked umbrella at times] Sometimes a vinyl floor is more practical. Maybe you should buy an Airstream that is as close to what you want and then take it camping a few times to see if want you want is going to work out for you.

Don't get me wrong, but your idea [my opinion] sounds like a show piece or a stationary patio trailer. I work real hard to keep my trailer clean, but I'm not afraid to use it either. [as you can see in my pictures] Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:14 PM   #6
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Your trailer looks great!
Ours won't be a "patio queen" or a guest house, either. We have two grandsons in Santa Cruz and we meet on the south end of Big Sur 5 or 6 times a year, so there is that and we are close to the beach and the desert, so getting out of the LA basin is not a big problem. Unless Mrs. J has to meet a client on the weekend we'll be gone somewhere. My wife has a number of vendors and craftsmen she works with on a regular basis and I'm sure it is in her wheelhouse to call in some of the favors she is owed. When we did the new floors in our house, we had the baseboard raised after we stripped everything down the base flooring, why would you have to gut the AS interior to lay new flooring? I know some the older carpeted models had the cabinetry built on top of the carpet is that still the case?
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jager View Post
1. Hardwood floor. 2. Double or Queen bed. 3. Dark finish, probably cherry on all interior wood. 4. Replace standard couch with a "rich, brown" leather couch. 5. A variable height coffee table/dining table. (we've seen a similiar set up on sailboats) 6. Replace curtains with wooden shades. 7. More attractive and better lighting.

Mrs. J dictates the esthetics and after looking at used AS, she is not amused by the interiors.

Any thoughts or should I just go ahead and tell her she's crazy?
A vintage 70's or 80's Airstream could be the answer. Here are some pics of my 1976 31' Sovereign. I went with Oak rather than cherry, stayed with rear twin beds and dark leather wall away recliners. Satellite HDTV and satellite radio. New axles, aluminum wheels, Disc brakes, tankless water heater, HA hitch and a great bar with Airstream glasses and aluminum coasters for a little style . Its our home away from home and ready to go anywhere.

Don
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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The biggest concern with adding hardwood floors, and other decorative materials (corian, stone, tile, etc) is the added weight. Especially in an older trailer, you want to make sure the floor & frame are very solid prior to installing it and also that the additional weight can be factored in to the axle/frame/towing capacity. Some years these tolerances were quite low.

Shari
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:54 PM   #9
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Jager,

I agree with Kevin, give Mrs. J what she wants. We used the laminate flooring and it looks pretty good and doesn't weigh as much as hardwood. We also converted the front dinette in our 64 Safari into a pull out sofa queen sized bed that allows us each to get out on our own side. (It's kind of sad that you reach a stage in your life when crawling over each other in the middle of the night is not as much fun as it once was.) We also refinished the cabinets, and could have easily stained them to a different color during the process. The coffee table has an extra set of legs so it can be used as a dining table (it also serves as the foot of the bed). We didn't change the lighting, but that seems within the range of good taste, and should be acheivable for you. We added a microwave, an electric fireplace and an 8 bottle wine cooler.

So, I say, go for it and enjoy!

Roy

BTW, there are some photos on 64airstream.com
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
The biggest concern with adding hardwood floors, and other decorative materials (corian, stone, tile, etc) is the added weight. Especially in an older trailer, you want to make sure the floor & frame are very solid prior to installing it and also that the additional weight can be factored in to the axle/frame/towing capacity. Some years these tolerances were quite low.

Shari
Yes you have to be careful in adding weight, but with advanc planning these materials work great. The parquet floors in my 76 Sovereign probably did not weigh much more that the old shag carpet. They are only layed in the exposed area not under the cabinets. The oak cabinet doors and other trim or a combination of 1/4' stock and veneer. My Corina counter top is actually a very small area when you consider the cutout for the sink and range top. The closet doors are the same light weight doors that came with the trailer just trimmed in oak with a vinyl wall covering. The new fridge weighs lees that the old Dometic that I replaced. I have also removed weight in areas as well such as removing the old furnace. All in all I am still well with in a proper weight range for my 76 31' Sovereign.

Don
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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Glamping!

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Your style of tent camping sounds like what ours evolved to before we got our Airstreams! We called it "Gucci Camping"!
We call it "Glamping".

Having used North Face's four season expedition Mountain 25 tent, and still do, our Airstream is definitely a touch more glamorous when "camping".

We tried to stay true to our trailer's mid century modern aesthetic. We've outfitted ours with a vintage George Nelson for Herman Miller fiberglass lamp and vintage Knoll Bertoia diamond chairs that we set outside with a low-slung kidney shaped table.

Good luck with your Airstream. We're sure it will be gorgeous and hope that you will be "glamping" soon. We can't wait to see it!
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
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why would you have to gut the AS interior to lay new flooring? I know some the older carpeted models had the cabinetry built on top of the carpet is that still the case?
Hi, I guess you don't have to gut your Airstream to do the floor, but I think it would be nicer done that way. [check out some restoration threads] My trailer had the vinyl floor and bedroom carpet installed first, and everything installed on top of it. On the other hand, doing just what shows could save a lot of weight; And need a lot of trim pieces on the edges.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jager View Post
We are shopping for a 25 foot AS. My wife is excited, but she has a few demands: (she is a professional interior decorator)

1. Hardwood floor. 2. Double or Queen bed. 3. Dark finish, probably cherry on all interior wood. 4. Replace standard couch with a "rich, brown" leather couch. 5. A variable height coffee table/dining table. (we've seen a similiar set up on sailboats) 6. Replace curtains with wooden shades. 7. More attractive and better lighting.

Mrs. J dictates the esthetics and after looking at used AS, she is not amused by the interiors. That said, she has loved tent camping, although we've moved from a 2 person mountain tent to a North Face Expedition model and we sleep on double thickness air queen and she rolls out an imitation Persian rug! We've have been a sensation from time to time in Big Sur and the high mountains of Colorado!

I've been a sailboat racer for years and can handle all the maintenence of the water, waste and energy management systems and issues.

I imagine that after we locate the right AS, I'll be sanding and refinishing the interior, getting a new floor laid. Mrs. J wants to create a "comfortable, casual, upscale, getaway feel" in our AS. And believe me, there will be no shoes worn inside!

Any thoughts or should I just go ahead and tell her she's crazy?
I am VERY MUCH looking forward to seeing pic's of your brides artwork on your Airstream.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:16 AM   #14
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way to go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adonh View Post
A vintage 70's or 80's Airstream could be the answer. Here are some pics of my 1976 31' Sovereign. I went with Oak rather than cherry, stayed with rear twin beds and dark leather wall away recliners. Satellite HDTV and satellite radio. New axles, aluminum wheels, Disc brakes, tankless water heater, HA hitch and a great bar with Airstream glasses and aluminum coasters for a little style . Its our home away from home and ready to go anywhere.

Don
Don, I love your updates! We are thinking of adding the 2 recliners also. Did you paint the walls? Love the bedroom finishes and the curtains are nice with not-so-fussy pleats. We are just starting our remodel and I will use some of your ideas. Thanks for posting the link to your pictures!
Debi & Jim
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