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Old 06-19-2021, 10:19 AM   #1
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Dumpster Diving at Airstream Dealerships

There are lots of good usable parts tossed into the dumpsters at Airstream Dealerships.

I cannot give out the 'good ones' as I am building a second Airstream for resale.

Camping World may be no different. They replaced a REFER in our 23 foot that was out of warranty. It was not much more expensive to buy new than fix the broken ammonia line.

I removed the door. Usable parts. Drawers, shelving... ignition parts. After Eight years... never needed any of it. Now I would just Dumpster Dive for parts that I need.

As a kid, under 21 and older than 7. They use to set the trash in the alley in Cheyenne. You could get all kinds of good stuff. Today considered Antiques...then is was useless junk. Estates would dump out drawers with postage stamps and loose change. Ammunition. Hats of all kinds and never used.

My parents never noticed I left wearing short pants and returned wearing a Suit and Tie. I was a bit of a wild Neanderthal.

I became Rich. Selling to other kids. Shooter marbles. Cats eyes of all colors. Playboy magazines for the older kids for small change. With the foldout, $1.

Found a Marilyn Monroe Playboy with a switchblade in a bush. The switchblade worked as you would expect. I carried it for a few hours and kept the Marilyn Monroe rolled up. Chickened out and stuck them somewhere... wish I remembered as now this is Hot Material.

Life was great as a kid. Then I grew up and became a Neanderthal.

Today if you need a better Rock Guard for the front of your Airstream... I have seen better ones in the dumpsters than some on trailers.

What have you found at the Dump lately? A better Tow Vehicle? A compressor with hardware?
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:33 AM   #2
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I own a plaza and have national tenants one being Verizon. My maintenance man Duane noticed a vacuum cleaner in the rear dumpster. He took it out and it worked fine! Several months later there was another vacuum in the dumpster!

We took it out and plugged it in and it also worked fine. Hmmm.

After inquiring at a few tenant spaces we found out the Verizon girls were putting the vacuums in the dumpster. I ask them why they were doing that and their reply was, "Oh when the compartment is full we throw it away. I told them they could just empty the compartment. They said, "Oh, we're not touching that filthy thing to empty it."

I contacted management and returned their two vacuum cleaners. My maintenance guy now dumps it for them.
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:24 AM   #3
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Hi

Used to grab dead TV's from outside the repair shops. Once they talked to me and made sure I wan't going to kill anybody by electrocution, they were happy to not have to pay the haul away fee. Spent a lot of time pulling electronic components out of them ....

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Old 06-19-2021, 11:57 AM   #4
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Work for the BEST BOSS: Yourself!

Mechanical Slot Machines built before 1950 were common in Wyoming. Wurlitzer jukeboxes playing 78's were beautiful, but obsolete. I would place a five/six line add in ALL of the Wyoming local newspapers for around $25.00. Most were weekly, so everyone in Town subscribed.

There were NO Answering Machines in those days. I took the cover off the wall dial telephone and insert a piece of paper between the hammer and bell. When the paper was on the Floor... Yaaaa Hoooo. Someone called and would call back, sooner than later.

"Buying Slot Machines and old Jukeboxes. Will pickup. (my telephone number, Laramie, Wyoming) and maybe additional information if I had room.

I had one guy called early one evening in Laramie. He whispered "Are you the guy who wants slot machines?"

"Yes. If you come over now, you can have them." My first four machines after my first that was working so I could fix the others from it.

One caller had a Wurlitzer Bubbler 1015 from 1946. I had no clue what he was talking about. There were NO Books to flip through to figure it out in 1972. He wanted to sell it. It worked. I was attending the University of Wyoming at the time living in one of the lower level apartments. When I returned from classes that afternoon... my wife said "A guy called and delivered the jukebox". It was made for 78's but played 45s. Sounded good. Five cents a play and had a Johnny One Note decal on the front window.

Buying Junk and Selling Antiques supplemented expenses to pay the rent, GI Bill, one year old daughter... etc. Where there are sellers, somewhere in the USA there are buyers. Everyone in Wyoming were sellers. Junk is junk in the basement or garage in Wyoming. If it does not work.. it is about 100 pounds for a slot and 400 pounds for a jukebox (Refer Dolly and a friend gets it out of a basement).

Records... 78's and 45's and picture sleeves. Parts to slot machines and jukeboxes. My daughter at 3 would ride a Mcclellan Saddle used by the cavalry on my back. Yaaa Hoo again.

People believed I was an Underworld Boss. Slot Machines were ONLY illegal in Wyoming if they were being used for gambling purposes at that time. I would have a Club call and had some slot machines. The caller would say "Open the garage. If you like them, leave the cash in the tin can." I liked them. Left the Cash in the tin can.

From there, I bought a 1967 Bronco, restored by the Auto Body School in Laramie. New paint, green and orange. Engine all spiffed up, nice tires for $1200. Drove to the Badlands (Ranches that I would hay rowing or dig out irrigation ditches to collect vertebrate fossils on their Ranch.) Every moment I had was being busy... doing something. Working by the Hour?? Not this Neanderthal.

When you are young and barely making ends meet you improvise. I have been in more businesses than a room of University Professors. I enjoyed Buying and Selling or hunting for fossils washing out of the Badlands... I was one busy Neanderthal.

My wife and I did a Casino School for Dealers and Players wanting 'To Win'. The town in Missouri believed we were the Underworld. The City Sheriff would come in to look around and buy in with the no value chips and have one of our 'student dealers' deal to him. He was good, but we whipped him. Craps, Roulette, Black Jack... electronic machines on tokens. Just like a Casino... but did not make any money. Learned a lot training dealers and players. The buildings were what paid off... the business was fun, but not viable after Riverboat Casinos began cruising.

There have to be some others who worked for themselves in various businesses. What are your experiences?

You may think I am one Wild and Crazy Guy. Not so, but you do need the unusual personality AND get your finger nails dirty, be honest when dealing and when you have a customer... treat them right and they will be back.

I paid a guy $20 to dig through the Rollaway Dumpster when he was cleaning out his brother's Estate. Then bought a nice telescope inside. I did not know what it was at the time as it was real unusual. Never saw an Airstream for sale. Did not need one.

No dull moments around here. We go prospecting and looking for opportunities every time we hook up the Airstream. New towns to snoop around... but with the Internet... everyone is smart. But... Denny's still has great Double Cheeseburgers and fries as we travel!
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:00 PM   #5
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I used to dumpster dive for racing tires. The well funded teams would use them for a heat cycle break-in and one race, then throw them away. I would pull them out of the dumpster and race them down to the cords. Saved a ton of money. And was competitive!
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:53 PM   #6
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This topic is what is great about the USA. Find a niche, like finding throw aways and then finding buyers. Reminds me of ebay. Or how about the guy who sells used books on the internet. Or painting Airstreams and selling them to Airstream Life. Or renovating vintage Airstreams for customers. Or building decks for people. Or like Wally Byam did, design and build travel trailers similar to airplane fuselages so they would be lightweight and streamlined.

Coming from the midwest, I marvel at people who can make a good living from dirt. I can't imagine how hard that would be. Rent some ground, grow some corn and sell it. Raise some hogs, raise the litter of pigs, and sell them. Pay the rent and do it again next year.

Working for yourself is the best career path there is. Even if it includes some dumpster diving.

David
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
There are lots of good usable parts tossed into the dumpsters at Airstream Dealerships.

I cannot give out the 'good ones' as I am building a second Airstream for resale.
I got it one piece at a time and it didnít cost me a dime
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Old 06-20-2021, 01:32 AM   #8
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Pelican Parts, a prominent online Porsche parts store was started by a friend of mine, a MIT graduate. Smart but humble. A substantial part of his early funding was extraction of prime computer equipment from dumpsters at UCLA. There were brand new laser printers still in the boxes. My friend recently sold Pelican for a number with lots of zeros.

Cheers,
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:22 AM   #9
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It was a favorite thing to do as a kid, found lots of good stuff. We lived near a hospital and often searched the trash there, got lots of used surgical instruments and reusable hypodermics. Looking back I am sure that wasn't safe, but we survived. Today that stuff is treated as hazardous, which it probably is...

Today people dive in my "dumpster", a bit of prosperity will do that to you. I don't mind and in fact set the better stuff out where it can be easily gotten. The best kind of recycle.

For perspective I am 68 and was a kid in Florida, so I did most of my "diving" in the 60s.
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
This topic is what is great about the USA. Find a niche, like finding throw aways and then finding buyers. Reminds me of ebay. Or how about the guy who sells used books on the internet. Or painting Airstreams and selling them to Airstream Life. Or renovating vintage Airstreams for customers. Or building decks for people. Or like Wally Byam did, design and build travel trailers similar to airplane fuselages so they would be lightweight and streamlined.

Coming from the midwest, I marvel at people who can make a good living from dirt. I can't imagine how hard that would be. Rent some ground, grow some corn and sell it. Raise some hogs, raise the litter of pigs, and sell them. Pay the rent and do it again next year.

Working for yourself is the best career path there is. Even if it includes some dumpster diving.
David
*********
I explain to people. It is not owning something that is exciting.

IT IS THE HUNT.
Fisherman. Game Hunters. Treasure that really exists in Farm Fields EAST of the Rockies. This is why we do it. Not for the stuff. But the Thrill of the Hunt. Owning it is boring.

Dave... Books. Abebook.com

I had over 24,000 geology, paleontology, archaeology, mining, metal mining, maps: USA and any other language on Abebooks. The Post Office knew me well. Now the cost to ship is getting too expensive.

Sold parts through magazines for Slot Machines, Jukeboxes and Records. Elvis Sun. Hank William Sterling 78's... everything. The hunt was fun. The selling took a lot of work. This market is almost gone. Ten more years... Estates Sales will be full of it.

Bought from Libraries who received donated books that did not FIT in their library.

Bought from Estates of Geologists. Advertised for these books.

Today... most items in print are worthless to the High Tech population. Everything is on EBooks for $9.99 or from China as Print on Demand. You can get the complete Run of magazines... on EBooks. The quality is EXCELLENT.

Thinned my Library down to 5,000 or so.

The local Library had ONE Geology Text Book that was out of date. People read... fiction. They need to sit back and enjoy another life experience. My wife goes through a soft cover thriller in three days. Physical Science books... no way. That is for me to flip through to find that 1875 location of interest... Treasure Hunt!

The Trilobite Collectors now download all of the Rare Books for $9.99 each onto their lap top computer. Go anywhere, find some unknown Genus of Trilobite and find it in a 1914 book.

With EBay everyone is an expert, or at least can find out what their item is not worth, when it does not sell or find any bidders.

But if you have something no body else has, an EBay Auction is great.

Fuel Injection Parts for Corvettes still could be purchased in the early 1970s from GM. Guys would buy the used Fuel Injection Systems, get new parts from GM and restore them. Those people are gone also.

Most people have to work for someone. They have no clue and prefer not to have a clue. Those Dumpster Divers on the Forum... probably FIX their own Airstream themselves. Trial and Error. Most stand there with their hands in the pocket and do not know where to start.

Today. Something quits working it is cheaper to buy the new part and install it. The labor cost is high and many mechanics just pull out and replace. Takes less time and more profitable.

Books, Coins, Stamps... over with.

Vintage Computers: the older the Better. Never see them anywhere.

Get an Airstream group together and they want to talk about the generator in their Airstream and color of seat cushions. We talk about... everything else out in the Boondocks. We want to get away from the Rally conversations and which are you going to next... Just not our kind of interests. Few like what we do. Fishing with a couple others is better than twenty and getting lines crossed. Sort of retired from fly fishing as Out of State permits cost will buy a lot of fuel.

Thalweg (Wyoming resident) and I were looking for OTG Boondocking sites where the flat campsites were 20 degrees off of Level... That was fun. Wyoming is not Flat when you want to park your Trailer.

Getting ready to do more exploring and traveling soon. Not sure which direction, yet. Probably any place over 6,000 feet elevation... cool and clear nights.

How can I have a conversation with a Group about Oligocene fossil lizards, reptiles and mammals? They think you are Crazy. And I am. Crazy as a Fox...

Enjoyed the previous posts. People who actually do something when traveling, too, I expect.
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Old 06-20-2021, 08:19 AM   #11
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We used to live in the Town of Vienna, Virginia. Vienna would allow two "special pickups" a year and folks would drag all sorts of stuff to the curb for pickup. We'd all drive around and pick through each other's piles. I once brought home a circa 1958 hi fi amp and tuner that started a hobby building vacuum tube powered stuff like guitar amplifiers. Our piles were always reduced by half by the time they were picked up because of folks taking things we were disposing of. A great community recycling program!

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Old 06-20-2021, 08:41 AM   #12
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Steve... One man's garbage is anothers collectable.

Indian Artifacts. Their Trash is now protected. For $10 you could dig up old bottles in the Cheyenne City Dump in Wyoming. They sure drank a lot of whiskey in those days.

Bury some junk today and wait 1,000 years and they will spend a fortune to dig it up, restore it to like new and not know what it is... for ten more years of research.

Toasters. I started a Toaster Collection. Toastmaster were the Best from the late 1950's and early 1960's. Maybe gathered a 100, on wood burning stove tops to modern looking... yes, toasters. Got bored, advertised them in Denver, Colorado. A guy bought ALL. Filled his car up with toasters. He should have understood that a hundred toasters were space takers.

He had enough room to sit in the driver's seat to get home. Used a toastmaster for a long time, kept one or two for spares. Now use some modern toaster that weighs half as much and not that great.

I would drive to Greeley, Colorado to a junk yard and would strip parts off of pre 1968 wrecked Corvettes. Paid by the bucket load. Took a number of trips to get the steering wheels, emblems, glove boxes, head light assemblies... and on. Then sell the parts to the Air Force guys in Cheyenne to fix their Corvettes.

When I moved had to sell all the hardware. Today a fortune of parts. Then good prices... but when you have no place to store... junk Corvette parts... you do what you have to do.

Buy something for $1. Sell or trade it for $10. Buy ten $1 items... then you have Rent Money... No body considers this and think getting 3% or 6% annual interest on your money is safe and smart. Buy a Junk Airstream... and you will go Broke putting it back together.

Buy a Junk Airstream, strip out the important parts that people will need... and buy yourself a NEW one. You would need lots of room is the problem.

Nobody on a Boondocking camp out had much to talk about other than other people. I am boring when it comes to that. People I know, talk about the next HUNT for something. This gets me on the edge of my folding chair... Hey... lets go. Oops... it is 11PM. Wait till sunrise.

Ranchers do not sell their non running trucks or trailers that are no longer used. They run barb wire around them, line them up. They sit. I see old Avions and Airstreams in the Ranch country used for storing hay. I am just not into restoring an Airstream. Too much to do. Cars were bad enough. But... if you get off your buttocks... Aluminum trailers are out there. You have to look, stop and talk to the 'owner'.
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