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Old 05-27-2017, 08:36 AM   #1
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Restoration Questions along the way

Hi all super newbie here with a big dream. Brought 1973 overlander about 1 month ago. I have been pulling it apart here and there due to time constraints. The trailer is parked in Delaware. I want to do a complete overhaul down to the insulation. So far the trailer is seems pretty sound in the way of rotting sub floor. I have found a leak near the front wear the sofa was. I noticed a puddle of water on the floor once I pulled the sofa out. I also noticed a puddle of water at the door entrance on the floor.
Anyway come to you all for help finding someone to guide me and help with the major repairs, ie electrical, plumbing and heating/AC. I have been reading through the posts and blogs here and have no clue where to start. I am a nurse by career and am inspired by you all doing things yourself. Im pretty overwhelmed. If anyone knows how to go about finding the help I need please reach out. I need to complete this things Like yesterday. My plan is to live here with my children while giving the lifes experience.
I need to change out the furnace and hot water heater, update the plumbing and add some appliances.

Please Help
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:51 AM   #2
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Welcome.

An overhaul like the one you're describing typically takes a year or more. You may need to alter your plans if that's not soon enough. It can be done more quickly of you don't have a day job, but it sounds like you do. What sort of help are you looking for? Do you have the resources to pay someone to do the work for you? Are you just looking for direction so you can do it yourself?
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:24 AM   #3
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I recommend you get a Service Manual. There is one for sale now on eBay. I am sending you a private message.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
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Yikes. Well both. If I had direction as to how difficult it is I could probably figure it out. However when it comes to all these systems Im lost. I could pay someone reasonably. But dont know where to look. I found a Franks Trailer Works on this Forum but he has gone out of business.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:41 AM   #5
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I recommend you get a Service Manual. There is one for sale now on eBay. I am sending you a private message.
Ok thanks. Will it have info like replacing the heater and even moving it?
Installing electrical for washer/dryer combo unit
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:29 PM   #6
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Yikes. Well both. If I had direction as to how difficult it is I could probably figure it out. However when it comes to all these systems Im lost. I could pay someone reasonably. But dont know where to look. I found a Franks Trailer Works on this Forum but he has gone out of business.
Sounds like you have a few options.

1. Move forward with DIY. Take lots of pictures and start a thread for your renovation. Just take it one step at a time, post pictures of your progress, and ask questions about where you're stuck. You'll get a lot of help. If you need to replace the insulation or make major electrical upgrades or modifications, the next step will probably be to remove all the stuff from inside the trailer so you can remove the interior skins. Lots of pictures will be helpful later with replacing items that you removed. You will probably want to reuse as much as possible to save time and money. If you don't have your final layout planned, now would be a good time to get started on that as well. You'll need to know the dimensions and requirements (plumbing, electrical, venting, clearances, weight) for all the appliances you intend to install. While you're doing all that, you'll want to assess the condition of the frame and the running gear. I don't recall seeing a 70s or older restoration on here that didn't need some welding repair on the frame. If your axles are original, they probably need to be replaced.

2. The most expensive route would be to find a custom shop and have them do the work for you. There are shops out there that do this sort of thing, but they're not cheap. If you're paying a professional to do a gut job, you'd almost certainly be better off just finding a used camp-ready late model trailer and skipping the renovation entirely. You can add your own personal touches without having to start from scratch.

3. You can find a professional to consult. For instance, the ladies from themoderncaravan.com specialize in your type of situation. They're booked through 2018, but they also do phone consultations, which might be helpful. I imagine there are a few others who do the same. All the information you need is available in various places online, but it certainly could help to have someone with experience guide your process, even if you're doing all the actual labor yourself.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:37 PM   #7
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Sounds like you have a few options.

1. Move forward with DIY. Take lots of pictures and start a thread for your renovation. Just take it one step at a time, post pictures of your progress, and ask questions about where you're stuck. You'll get a lot of help. If you need to replace the insulation or make major electrical upgrades or modifications, the next step will probably be to remove all the stuff from inside the trailer so you can remove the interior skins. Lots of pictures will be helpful later with replacing items that you removed. You will probably want to reuse as much as possible to save time and money. If you don't have your final layout planned, now would be a good time to get started on that as well. You'll need to know the dimensions and requirements (plumbing, electrical, venting, clearances, weight) for all the appliances you intend to install. While you're doing all that, you'll want to assess the condition of the frame and the running gear. I don't recall seeing a 70s or older restoration on here that didn't need some welding repair on the frame. If your axles are original, they probably need to be replaced.

2. The most expensive route would be to find a custom shop and have them do the work for you. There are shops out there that do this sort of thing, but they're not cheap. If you're paying a professional to do a gut job, you'd almost certainly be better off just finding a used camp-ready late model trailer and skipping the renovation entirely. You can add your own personal touches without having to start from scratch.

3. You can find a professional to consult. For instance, the ladies from themoderncaravan.com specialize in your type of situation. They're booked through 2018, but they also do phone consultations, which might be helpful. I imagine there are a few others who do the same. All the information you need is available in various places online, but it certainly could help to have someone with experience guide your process, even if you're doing all the actual labor yourself.
Option #4 STOP tearing it apart, sell it now and get something from the late 80's. You are in way over your head. It will cost a lot of money and take years to do what you are talking about. There are many, many trailers out there that are started and never finished because the person had no idea what they were in for.
Don't want to rain on your parade but this is the reality of trailer renovations.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Sounds like you have a few options.

1. Move forward with DIY. Take lots of pictures and start a thread for your renovation. Just take it one step at a time, post pictures of your progress, and ask questions about where you're stuck. You'll get a lot of help. If you need to replace the insulation or make major electrical upgrades or modifications, the next step will probably be to remove all the stuff from inside the trailer so you can remove the interior skins. Lots of pictures will be helpful later with replacing items that you removed. You will probably want to reuse as much as possible to save time and money. If you don't have your final layout planned, now would be a good time to get started on that as well. You'll need to know the dimensions and requirements (plumbing, electrical, venting, clearances, weight) for all the appliances you intend to install. While you're doing all that, you'll want to assess the condition of the frame and the running gear. I don't recall seeing a 70s or older restoration on here that didn't need some welding repair on the frame. If your axles are original, they probably need to be replaced.

2. The most expensive route would be to find a custom shop and have them do the work for you. There are shops out there that do this sort of thing, but they're not cheap. If you're paying a professional to do a gut job, you'd almost certainly be better off just finding a used camp-ready late model trailer and skipping the renovation entirely. You can add your own personal touches without having to start from scratch.

3. You can find a professional to consult. For instance, the ladies from themoderncaravan.com specialize in your type of situation. They're booked through 2018, but they also do phone consultations, which might be helpful. I imagine there are a few others who do the same. All the information you need is available in various places online, but it certainly could help to have someone with experience guide your process, even if you're doing all the actual labor yourself.
Great Deal of info. Just found those ladies today from Youtube how ironic. I will take my chances and keep going. See you around.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HeyGorgeous View Post
Ok thanks. Will it have info like replacing the heater and even moving it?
Installing electrical for washer/dryer combo unit
It will have detailed information on all systems and appliances as well as electrical and plumbing schematics. It will have directions on removing and replacing all original equipment including the heater. It won't have information on moving the heater, washer/dryer or any aftermarket upgrades.

The WBCCI has an intraclub called the Vintage Airstream Club that has a lot of information. They usually do a restoration rally which has more workshops than you will be able to attend.

Also keep in mind there is a difference in level between a restoration, a renovation and a rebuild.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:29 PM   #10
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If your 73 is in what is called "as found" condition meaning original appliances which may or may not be working and no major restoration it would be reasonable to spend 10 to 15 thousand on a good restoration not counting labor.

Since you mentioned replacing the furnace a common replacement for your original Suburban furnace would be a Suburban NT35S. It will require some modification to get it to fit.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:21 PM   #11
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I agree with Doug and/or Terry. I know it's hard to give up a dream, but you seem really over your head. Might be better to spend a little more and get something that's ready to go.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:57 PM   #12
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Finishing but not done with a restoration I want to support and warn you! Trying to put a time on a restoration just doesn't work. even if you are a shop any estimate would be without being able to get at the unseen. Please keep in mind that FAST is EXPENSIVE!
Having said that there is no reward like doing it yourself! The cost becomes immaterial but realistic....especially when you have to pay the labor. By the way sometimes an experienced professional with a higher hourly rate would be more cost effective than a cheaper one!
Again having done it myself ...down to the subfloor on the '58 Traveler...nothing can compare to the feeling of satisfaction of using a vintage trailer .... and I would think any manufacturer would give the same satisfaction, having said that a lesser quality would need much more work.
Now please don't be in a hurry and take lots & lots & lots of pics along the way. You will need to refer to them much more than you would think.
Best of luck but not everyone can complete this type of project. There is a reason why these go for such a high price when restored. Sorry but no shortcuts~!
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:48 AM   #13
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Option #4 STOP tearing it apart, sell it now and get something from the late 80's. You are in way over your head. It will cost a lot of money and take years to do what you are talking about. There are many, many trailers out there that are started and never finished because the person had no idea what they were in for.

Don't want to rain on your parade but this is the reality of trailer renovations.


I completely agree with Shacksman.

Dan
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:51 AM   #14
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I agree with taking your time in getting this baby ready to live in.

Sounds like a lot of work is needed...so this is a process, and not an event...and a skilled process, at that.

It does sound like you are in over your head, but that doesn't mean it can't be done...but all the more reason not to be in a hurry.

As a nurse and mother, you already two full time jobs, and kudos to you for having another dream that you can sink your teeth into.

You don't say how old your children are, but regardless they need a stable residence underfoot to support their evolving lives...as do you.

It can be an adventure for all of you, but you don't want to insert stress and chaos.

Don't rush it, keep your current residence, find some good help and get all the basics done before moving in.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Maggie
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