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Old 02-06-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
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restoration for a couple of girls with no clue

We are a group of 3 friends looking to buy an airstream shell and restore it. We are pretty clueless as to where we should start and what to ask. Does anyone want to help us? Thank you!

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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You are going to have to at least some clue to restore an Airstream. Maybe you should buy one already restored. Or did you really mean you want build a store? There again, you might want to buy it already done since you claim to have no clue.

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by glamstream View Post
We are a group of 3 friends looking to buy an airstream shell and restore it. We are pretty clueless as to where we should start and what to ask. Does anyone want to help us? Thank you!
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
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Restoring an Airstream "shell" may seem hip and cool, but there is a lot of mouse poo, dead bugs, cut fingers, rust, sweat and money between an old airstream and something that is going to be useable. Not to rain on your parade, but you must be handy and have a lot of tools going in, or you will quickly despair and give up. There is a large learning curve and restoring or revamping a trailer requires more hours than you count (and sometimes more money). If you have the money, it sounds like having somebody restore it for you is your best option.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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I know of places that will teach owners like you to restore/fix/repair your trailer. Most of the time it's a sliding scale per-hour cost. If you drop it off go away and let them do the work the rate is $65.00 an hour, if you watch them work and ask questions about what they are doing the price is $85.00 and hour, if you want to help with the repairs the price is $105.00 an hour but you learn a bunch in the process!

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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The girl thing not withstanding (I have way more toys.... errrr tools....then the average guy and i can use them), it was the phrase "a group of three friends" that had me wondering. I have a hard enough time deciding how to fund and what choices to make about the Airstream with my husband. And he's a "yes dear" kinda guy.

Restoring an Airstream takes a lot of money.....or a good deal of money and tons of hard labor. Splitting it three ways ? Wow, what a headache, sounds like a good way to lose some friends. . What if someone doesn't pull their weight, or needs to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances?

I like the idea of buying done, split three ways.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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Dear Glam,

This is analogous to buying a house that is a wreck and having no idea or skills to reapair it. Find one that is a little older but with all systems working - have someone who knows Airstreams check it out before you lay down your hard earned money. Do not make the assumption that if someone is "handy" they will be able to identify issues with an Airstream. That is the bad news. Now the good, if your patient and have money set aside, you may find yourself a nice serviceable trailer. You will see a lot of "polished turds" out there. Don't fall for the pretty face without knowing that the trailer is solid. Once you get one, you will fall in love and money will somehow not be an issue. Use this site a reference point, it is a terrific source of knowledge, with generous helpful people. Buy "Restoring a Dream" by Tim Shepard, there is a wealth of knowledge in there. Good luck, and have fun!

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:50 AM   #8
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if they start asking money for photo's beware
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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Personally I learned most of the repair and restoration via YOUTUBE. Great starting point. Watch the various videos then decide if this is something you want to get in to.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:28 PM   #10
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I see lots of Airstreams for sale where the owner has gutted it, then given up. I can see why, it's like gutting a house without ever having built one. You don't have a clue what to do next.

Find one that's complete and mostly functional. Get it working. Then decorate it as you please. You'll be $ ahead in the long run, and if you end up disagreeing on how to proceed it will be much easier to sell one that is usable.

Good luck!
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #11
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I wonder if the original poster is going to come back. A group restoration project is still a huge project, although it could be a lot of fun.

One single post doesn't tell us a lot, but maybe they've been busy researching. I'd love to hear details about progress toward this dream
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #12
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Sheesh, tough crowd.

I think it's a fabulous idea. Just make sure the cameras are rolling at all times and sell it to network TV. It'll be a bigger hit than Survivor!
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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First of all, 'WELCOME' to the Air Forums.

You did not give us much to go on. We like pictures!

Any partnership is difficult, and a threeway compounds the degree of separation considerably.

Have any or you had camper experience? Camped with family or friends? In tents or travel trailers? Motorhomes?

It takes a tremendous amount of time to restore a unit, let alone maintain one in operating/camping condition. Which one of you are going to do the dirty work and then have the other get the use?

Trailers, especially older ones, will have limited storage capacity, wet and dry. Not really set up for anything other than a close family relationship.

I suggest you are better rethinking this project until you can eliminate some of the many obstacles that it presents.


Originally Posted by glamstream View Post
We are a group of 3 friends looking to buy an airstream shell and restore it. We are pretty clueless as to where we should start and what to ask. Does anyone want to help us? Thank you!
"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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Another consideration is the space to carry out the restoration. Unless you have a building or large yard & garage, I think it may be a bit difficult in Redondo Beach. But it is do-able...just read everything you can here on the forums to get an idea of what's involved, had a plan for the $$$ and who really owns it in the end.


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