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AS repair addiction

Posted 01-29-2016 at 08:11 AM by Kathys quilt

Hook, line and sinker they say when you become addicted to fishing, fishing addiction; this one I lived with for what seemed like forever. Well as a person who has to be active doing something, I have roughly figured the hours and days I have spent on refurbishing the 67 Sovereign and it is no wonder my wife, Kathy, says I love that old Air Stream more than her!

I have spent no less than 20 hours a week for 5 months working on the outside and doing a little work on the inside. LEAKS! and tracing them to the scores, has took up much of that time. Like most things on an Air Stream, just when I think I have got it all leak free, another storm comes up and low and behold there is another small leak that need attention .

The previous owners tried to stop the leaks by a hit and miss method and the results were small leaks that over the years rotted out a floor area. I have had to replace floor boarding in three areas and still have some small areas to replace or patch up. The areas of bad flooring are all small and in hidden areas that are not structurally important, but I know they are there and that will never do.

When I purchased the trailer back in August, I said I would need five years to bring it back to where I was happy with it and it would look, feel and no joke, smell good enough to make my wife. Kathy, happy. I figured it would take six months in reality. Looking at what lays ahead, five years seems right. Oh, we will be able to camp in it by next July or so, but having it looking the way I want it to look, an be proud enough to take it to shows and rallies is my goal and this will take years.

If you are fan of gold rush on TV as I am, you know Tony bought an old gold dreg and before he had it operating as it should, he was ready to buy another more updated one. Well, like Tony, I have not yet proved I am able to refurbish an old Air Stream well enough to able to put it up for sale and say it is as ready as it can be. But like Tony, I am thinking of finding a more up to date trailer. I will be looking for, like maybe a late seventy to late eighty model Air Stream except those newer models just don't have the curb appeal of the 60's models and my love for the 1966 - 69 models. The real wood and arrangement of the interior set up is great and very workable. Make a small mistake and you don't loose too much and can do it again and make it right.

Some may say that all this is no big deal but for my being a 100% disabled vet that results in many mental stresses, it is a big deal. I need workable challenges to keep me going. I had no idea about how many people were into Air Streams when I found the 67 at a reasonable price. I had some fear and trepidation because a friend in Columbus MS that repairs RV's says he hated working on Air Streams and would run the cost up to run the folks away but soon learned that Air Stream owners don't scare that easily. Sure enough when I got a good look at the damage the PO had done when removing the refrigerator I though he was right.

It took me some time to figure out how to repair the damage the PO's had done and yet that is apart of the challenge of working on an old restoration project. I can tell you that working on refurbishing a 1967 Air Stream is cheaper and much easier than restoring a 1967 Mustang. If done right, the Air Stream will have a greater value per dollar invested.

Because of my physical condition, I am much slower than most guys my age. As a result of my work speed I could never figure man -hours into a total cost of a project. If I ever did try to sell what I have worked on, the labor cost would not be a factor. How could I charge someone for what amounts to physical therapy for me?

I guess this is a very long way to say, Ray is hooked on Air Stream restoration work. I only wish my new found love was just a little easier on the debt card. Just like working on an old Mustang or pickup truck, it is not a cheap hobby and I am in, hook, line and sinker.
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