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Old 07-14-2019, 09:10 PM   #1
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
Napoleon , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2019
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What should I do

I have just bought my first airstream. Itís a 1953 flying cloud built in Ohio. I believe the 27th one. It has a great deal of the original interior minus the appliances. The person I bought it from did a really poor job replacing the floor. They left the cabinets in and patched around. It appears Iím now into a full rehab. Which I anticipated anyways. So do I try to incorporate all the old interior cabinetry? I have removed it all very carefully and other than a little break down on the floor it is in really good shape. Is all of it worth anything to anyone?
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:20 PM   #2
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,037
Congratulations. I canít imagine the original interior cabinetry could be refinished to original. You may consider using the existing as patterns. Up to you. I would think that era used birch which is readily available. Youíve got a great project and look forward to your progress posts. Also, if you want it posted on the Captain Jonesí Flying Cloud Registry, let me know the VIN number. Good luck
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:09 PM   #3
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1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
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Whether or not to use the old cabinetry would be a decision I suggest you make after you determine what layout works for you. I stayed with the original cabinetry. Partly because I wanted to retain the original look, which we liked. But also because I kept the original layout so I knew the cabinets fit.

My wife stripped, stained and cleared them.

There are downsides. As you mentioned there was damage at the bottom. I had to 'reinforce' some structural supports. Also, any modifications PO made probably left holes, etc. that will show. We have one panel like that, between the kitchen sink cab and the street side twin. It probably had 15 holes from home made cabs added to both sides. I'll have most of them covered soon. I bought a vintage paper dispenser (towel, wax, foil) that we're having copper plated and powder coated clear.

If you prefer a layout change or a more modern look in materials, the originals will probably be good patterns to work from. Also, be sure you keep appliance dimensions in mind if upgrading/adding. That may require modifications to cabinet dimensions.

I don't know that anyone would want the cabinets, but hinges and latches would probably be of interest. If fact, if they are the style in the photos I'd be interested.

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Good luck and most importantly enjoy the process of getting a 60+ year old back on the road. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:36 PM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Ebro , Fla Panhandle
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,171
Great space there you have for your project ��.
Building new interior cabinets and interior seems pretty demanding of skills and tools. But could potentially become exactly what you want.

If you do like the original interior details, and it does look to be in pretty good condition in the pics. They might clean up and refinish nicely alowing them to be reused. Trim or kick plates around the bottom may cover the damaged areas.

Some modifications may be possible to allow for modern appliances etc, without changing the original appearance too much.

It will be fun to watch what ever you decide to do, keep us posted.

Are you a dentist by any chance?

Cheers Richard

PS, living with the the original interior in my 345 motorhome, I've come to appreciate the quality and clever layout of the airstream factory work.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
Join Date: Jul 2018
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So do I try to incorporate all the old interior cabinetry?
Congratulations on the purchase of your vintage beauty, and welcome to the forum. You'll find lots and help and opinion here. Ultimately the replace/restore will be a personal decision, but I look forward to following. Hopefully you'll keep us posted.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:39 AM   #6
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2004 25' International CCD
Vancouver Island , British Columbia
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Nice - enjoy your project.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:19 AM   #7
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Nice - enjoy your project.
Wow, I don't covet your garage, I just want one like it!
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:52 AM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

The good news is that you have plenty of nicely enclosed space to do whatever you need to do. That's a major plus !!! Take your time and investigate as much of the trailer as you possibly can *before* you make any decisions. It has not seen a lot of conversion over the years, but I'd bet there are surprises hidden here or there. Better to know about them as early in the process as possible.

One thing I would not keep original is the electrical setup. Time has moved on. That beast likely came stock with a fuse based 120V system. The 12V converter that came stock *might* be of interest to a museum . It's not something you should depend on for camping.

LED lighting makes an enormous amount of sense if you will be running on batteries much at all. Getting them in there *before* the cabinets go back in .... real good idea. You may (or may not) have to dig a bit deeper to run wires. If a deep dive is needed, you very much need to stop and think about the whole project. Pulling the inside shell is doable, but a chore.

Lots of variables ... and hopefully a lot of fun.

Bob
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:56 PM   #9
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1968 26' Overlander
CORDOVA , TN
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I would think that you might want to keep all the original doors, if you plan to use the same layout.....THe doors can be easily refinished, but the stiles and boxes probably need to be rebuilt? .....I have a cabinet shop, and do lots of rehab jobs on cabinets, and we reuse front stiles and doors often, and just build new boxes, in order to match the existing cabinets.....
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:12 PM   #10
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
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If I had shop like that I would do a full monty and go back with Cosa Board. Also the newer Airstreams are being built with drain slots in the "C: channel to let water through if you have a leak rather than let it accumulate. Another plus is to use seal tape where panels join rather than a Vulcum type sealant that is nearly impossible to remove if you want to replace a panel. Have fun and enjoy your beauty.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:20 PM   #11
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1964 22' Safari
modesto , California
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If I had shop like that I would do a full monty and go back with Cosa Board. Also the newer Airstreams are being built with drain slots in the "C: channel to let water through if you have a leak rather than let it accumulate. Another plus is to use seal tape where panels join rather than a Vulcum type sealant that is nearly impossible to remove if you want to replace a panel. Have fun and enjoy your beauty.
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