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HCO 03-26-2012 09:06 AM

Redesign help
I have recently purchased a 76 overlander with water damage in the kitchen. My plan is to strip it down barebones, insulate it, put in hardwood floors, move the bathroom to the front and add a master bedroom at the back along with new appliances throughout. Is that possible? Or logical? Are there any major complications I might be over looking? Also, where to start, I am completely new to airstream (and to forums) if I just start tearing stuff out will the shell collapse?:rolleyes:... I am treading overwhelming new ground for myself

TG Twinkie 03-26-2012 09:20 AM

The relocation of the bath to the front would require some major plumbing mods. Keep in mind that the toilet dumps directly into the black holding tank in most cases. Locating a holding tank that is large enough in the front would be a challenge.
One other consideration. Why would you want the bath room on the opposite end of the coach from the berthing area? Where would the galley and dinette area be located in your plan.
I would think this project would require a shell off situation and perhaps a whole new frame to accomplish the task. If you have not experienced working on an A$, the learning curve and the cost would be extensive.

TG Twinkie 03-26-2012 09:30 AM

The shell will not collapse if you gut the interior.
Along with the plumbing mods. Have you considered the electrical and propane line modifications that would be required?
Installing all new appliances is a very expensive proposition. The refer alone will set you back over a grand. When you include the galley stove and sink etc you are looking at another grand.
Installing a new floor covering would not be an issue. But you stated there is water damage in the front. This may require some major sub floor work. Of course if you do a frame of then it makes sense redo the sub floor.
My guess is that the accomplish what you want. You will have at least $25,000.00 into the coach and probably more.
How bad do you want this?

bolerama 03-26-2012 09:56 AM

Welcome to the Forums! Good luck with your redesign. We are having a rally in Alberta on the May long weekend. Consider coming out to meet other Airstreams and tour their trailers. That will help you get ideas. The rally is called "Bombers, Buds, and Beer" and it's listed in the rally section of this forum. Here's a link: Airstream Forums - Bombers, Buds and Beers Hope to see you there! Best wishes on your renovation.


wasagachris 03-26-2012 10:51 AM

Weight distribution will be the biggest hurdle. Having the bathroom in front and it's waste water holding tanks forward of the axles will place a tremendous amount of weight on the tongue and very little on the axles causing the trailer to tow terribly.
Look to do a design with the bathroom and galley amidships. That will keep most of the weight over the axles.
There will be several other issues to overcome like, window placement, waste tank vent pipe relocation, waste tank relocation and their required frame modifications, fresh water supply redesign and of course also propane supply line relocation and relocation of appliances and their vents in the side of the shell. Unless you are prepared to move windows, vents, etc and reskin the shell to patch the old holes then stay with the floor plan you have.

TPdrums 03-26-2012 03:31 PM

If cost and time are of no matter, then anything is possible... But I think your best bet would be to gut the interior, fix the water damage, and then plan a new interior around the plumbing. That way you could re-use most of the appliances, and get new furniture and cabinetry to your taste. Taking less time and using fewer funds to accomplish what you are looking for (a fun and comfortable AS). My build took me a lot longer than I had planned and a lot more money than I had planned as well, even doing it all myself.

A word to the wise, once you start gutting there will always be things you were not anticipating... If someone else is doing the work, that equates to more labor cost. If you are doing the work, that equates to new tools, more time, and a lot of learning.

I would definitely suggest to do a remodel, just watch how extensive you try to make it. And do lots of research along the way. This forum is full of great info.

Good luck.

HCO 03-26-2012 10:03 PM

Thanks to all for the quick replies.
I will definitely try and get to the rally, that sounds like a lot of fun.
I would like to say time and money are not an issue, but the sooner I hit the road and the less I spend the happier I'll be.
So taking in consideration the plumbing and weight distribution and cost to install custom plumbing, would it be easier to move the main entrance location so I can leave the bathroom where it is?
What I am shooting for is a bathroom at one end a master bedroom at the other and an open concept living room / kitchen in the middle.
I'll draw a quick sketch and post it soon, any input, ideas or critisizm would be much appreciated.

TouringDan 03-26-2012 10:28 PM

Hello and welcome HCO

Remember, new solutions have new problems. I would not consider moving any windows or the exterior door.

Take a look at some of the renovation blogs that have modified the floor plan. I would minimize any modifications to the floor plan.


HCO 03-26-2012 11:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I hope the pic uploads...

Here is a general idea of the my desired floor plans, please don't mind how crude it is, I'm not a windows paint expert, lol.

The green indicates a possible new place for the door.

The red indicates where the door is originally located, obviously interfering with the desired bedroom design.

This can be solved by a. switching the bathroom and bedroom location or b. making a new main door (if thats pratical, possible and cheaper than a.)

Let me know what you think, tomorrow I start a 3 month vacation and I'm eager to begin my project :).

dkottum 03-27-2012 12:22 AM

Your plan will place way too much weight behind the axles. This will lend to trailer sway problems when towing. It will also overload the frame behind the axles and probable structural failure. Moving the door behind the axle means cutting into a major shell framing member, so that weakens the rear structure even more and adds additional weight to the rear. Moving windows?

The best arrangement will have the galley (heavy) items over the axles. For a pleasant view, it is best to have the lounge at one end rather than the middle.

Your trailer was designed as is for many reasons. You would be wise to refurbish the original configuration.

doug k

Crusty 03-27-2012 07:41 AM

What Doug K said.

The bulk of the weight needs to be concentrated over the axles so that the trailer isn't a towing hazard/nightmare

TG Twinkie 03-27-2012 07:43 AM

If you plan to travel the design you have seriously lacks storage space. Also you don't show the fender wells in the layout. Countertop space is also lacking.
Where do you sit to eat?
Where is the furnace?
Where is the water heater?
Where are the holding tanks located? How many gallons for each? Gray, black and fresh water.
You have too much weight hanging behind the rear axle.'

JodyoD 03-27-2012 08:00 AM

This really looks like a "man-cave". Big screen t.v., two chairs, queen bed. How did you plan to use this? Camping or a get-away? Will you be towing it (ever)?
Are you trying to accomplish a spacious feel? You may find that with that size trailer, you'll have tons of room.

TouringDan 03-27-2012 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by HCO (Post 1124915)
move the bathroom to the front and add a master bedroom at the back

Did you change your mind or am I missing something here?


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