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Old 01-29-2010, 09:59 AM   #21
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1967 26' Overlander
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Having walked the line--in true Johnny Cash fashion--I'll weigh in. One of the moderators who shall remain nameless told me the line is like "stalking." If you have a bad experience with a vendor, you apparently can provide a factual account of said experience including the name of the shop. What crosses the line is weighing in at every possible turn about how terrible a particular shop is.

Let's be honest here, folks. Unless you are ultra-wealthy, you're probably not going to have dozens and dozens of vintage travel trailers restored by numerous private shops over the course of your lifetime. Most of us are going to have a very small number of experiences... and those experiences may go well or poorly. And while we're on the honesty tack, there are some lousy customers out there... vague, demanding, indecisive, etc. It's hard to know how much blame rests with the shop and how much blame rests with the customer. This creates a tough situation where you have a substantive number of customers with a limited basis for comparative experiences.

On the other hand, this is an Airstream community. One the primary ways we have to "incentivize" good behavior from vendors is by sharing information. This gives shops motivation to "make things right" with customers. It also helps Airstream owners make informed decisions about where to have work done. Frankly, I think we ought to have a subforum where every vendor is listed and anyone who has firsthand experience with that vendor can post positive or negative reviews. I'm not suggesting it be a discussion thread, but why not give every forum member who has paid money to a vendor one chance to comment on the experience? Then, let the prospective customers sort through the reviews and make their own decision.

I realize there is something of a "feel good" bias on the moderation team. I understand they would prefer we exchange positive information... but every so often, negative information is extraordinarily useful.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:28 AM   #22
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Sorry to hear about your frustration, Fred. I feel your pain. I've put about $15k in mine not including the purchase price. But it's been worth it. I've replaced practically everything in my Sovereign (including the holding tanks) and I know this thing will last a lot longer than me.

If you like the trailer, I would fix what needs fixing and be done with it. I would put new axles on it and that will take care of much. Did/do you have rear end sep?
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #23
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so I sold this one at a loss too considering what it cost to drive 20000 miles round trip and repair a few items.
20,000 miles!? Man, I thought that -I- had a long drive to a dealer!
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:25 AM   #24
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Thank you to everyone for weighing in. A good night's rest, a few Sam Adams (along with an Oxycodone) good posts and a kind PM by Inland Andy has put me on the right track and a battle plan has been formed:

1) Get taxes done, buy axles and install them myself.

2) Buy a mig welder and put what I learned years ago to good use.

3) Gut the interior completely.

4) Redo everything correctly to my standards.

The company that did the "restoration" was in South Jersey, and I'll leave it at that. What makes me mad about the whole thing is that for what I spent on the "restoration", I could have bought a 1986 34' Limited triple axle that was on their lot for $20,000; it was on consignment and in phenominal shape, compared to our sorry Sovereign.

Since the "restoration" was done in 2005, I can't very well expect the "resoration" company in South Jersey to take any responsibility for the things that have gone wrong; I wouldn't even want to waste the time, effort, money (which I don't have) or the breath to speak to the owners of the "restoration" company in South Jersey.

I understand that nothing stays new, however I would expect that, with a "restoration", the trailer wouldn't deteriorate to the point that it has in 4 years 2 months (the trailer was completed in Nov. 2005).

As for participating in the "restoration" process, I called the "restoration" company in South Jersey once a week and drove up there (2hrs 15min), from Maryland, twice a month to see the progress and sit down to discuss what I wanted done.

Let's put it this way, to give you an idea of the quality of my "restoration", the rub rail channels are painted Ford Blue, instead of actually having the rub rail put in. Does that sound like work done right to you? A dent in the lower rear curb side outer panel, just above the lower rub rail, was filled in with Parr-Bond. Does it make sense to do that, given that the interior was gutted and they had access to that panel from the inside (this is where my rear-end separation is, by the way).

These are the little things that add up and make me mad, because a quality shop would have taken the time to do it right.

So this year will be spent doing everything right my way and ensuring that I don't have to do it again for several decades; I just won't have the trailer on the road for a while.

Thanks again for the kind words and support.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:38 AM   #25
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After all the flak that's been directed towards JC, I would hope that the mention of dissatisfaction with a service, parts or dealer would be allowed if done with a modicum of class or...... sarcasm
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:15 PM   #26
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I remember the owner telling me that all of the pictures they took, during the "restoration", would be posted on their website. That website has undergone a few changes, since 2005, and pictures of our Sovereign are nowhere to be found; I wonder why...There are pictures of a '53 Safari being restored, the way mine should have been but never was...How much do you think the owner of that rig had to fork over...
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:55 PM   #27
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5 cents worth of psychiatric help from lucy...

frederic...

find a buyer that WANTs a unit like this (warts n all) fully disclose the known issues and SELL it...

OR, if you feel the need...

fix this trailer to acceptable condition...

for example replace the axles, repair frame and shell and other basic structural bits.

THEN SELL IT.
_________

yes U can gut it and yes U can remake it...

but my sense is that the entire time you'll be thinking about past times, people, places and so on...

now IF u need that sort of catharsis (or self abuse) at this stage of life then by all means...

open up every bit of the trailer and all of those old wounds...
__________

but it's a new day and possibilities are limitless.

let the NEXT owner have FUN personalizing it and enjoy making it to THEIR needs...

that next owner will be looking FRESH and starting anew with their 'stream dream...
________

and stop trying to make the decisions based on involved but distorted financial thinking...

no u won't recoup the OLD money spent on the botched makeover,

but that's the nature of ANY rehab or renovation or personalized abode really.

the cost of UPdating old stuff is the price of ENJOYING those things IN THE MOMENT for the current owner...

rehab/resto' costs are NOT an investment that is regained at a future sale, almost NEVER...

stop SPENDING money on THIS trailer at the level needed to make it sellable now....

ask yourself this question....

IF you put another 5 or 10k or more into THIS trailer will that pile of cash bury the negative history and feelings?
______________

THEN, you can have the fun of looking for the next stream dream...

it's just a tin can, but unfortunately the painful bitter stench of the past may linger for you, with THIS tin can.

many of us lament not keeping some older favorite sentimental vehicle, because of the good times they represent...

but no one thinks for long about the troubled buckets once they are OUT Of the driveway.

repair it, move it and find another stream with a FRESH set of issues but NO stale memories...

then have FUN using your resources (time, money, ideas, family, friends) on the next 'stream adventure...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:37 PM   #28
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Wickenburg , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
frederic...

find a buyer that WANTs a unit like this (warts n all) fully disclose the known issues and SELL it...

OR, if you feel the need...

fix this trailer to acceptable condition...

for example replace the axles, repair frame and shell and other basic structural bits.

THEN SELL IT.
_________

yes U can gut it and yes U can remake it...

but my sense is that the entire time you'll be thinking about past times, people, places and so on...

now IF u need that sort of catharsis (or self abuse) at this stage of life then by all means...

open up every bit of the trailer and all of those old wounds...
__________

but it's a new day and possibilities are limitless.

let the NEXT owner have FUN personalizing it and enjoy making it to THEIR needs...

that next owner will be looking FRESH and starting anew with their 'stream dream...
________

and stop trying to make the decisions based on involved but distorted financial thinking...

no u won't recoup the OLD money spent on the botched makeover,

but that's the nature of ANY rehab or renovation or personalized abode really.

the cost of UPdating old stuff is the price of ENJOYING those things IN THE MOMENT for the current owner...

rehab/resto' costs are NOT an investment that is regained at a future sale, almost NEVER...

stop SPENDING money on THIS trailer at the level needed to make it sellable now....

ask yourself this question....

IF you put another 5 or 10k or more into THIS trailer will that pile of cash bury the negative history and feelings?
______________

THEN, you can have the fun of looking for the next stream dream...

it's just a tin can, but unfortunately the painful bitter stench of the past may linger for you, with THIS tin can.

many of us lament not keeping some older favorite sentimental vehicle, because of the good times they represent...

but no one thinks for long about the troubled buckets once they are OUT Of the driveway.

repair it, move it and find another stream with a FRESH set of issues but NO stale memories...

then have FUN using your resources (time, money, ideas, family, friends) on the next 'stream adventure...

cheers
2air'
Good advice! Adios,John
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:16 PM   #29
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Joe,

There's a part of me that thinks that, if I redo it completely, I'll be happy. Deep down I think, though, that you're right.

There's a guy who has a 1977 Silver Streak 3200 Continental Supreme and is willing to trade me.

At least I wouldn't have to worry about rear end separation AND I'd have a grey tank...
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:00 PM   #30
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Frederic...I know how you feel...at first the silver is overwhelming...then you tow it home...and then you have the "what have I gotten myself into" moment. My advice is to tackle one thing at a time. My list is long enough to discourage even the most ardent airstream lover. But I see blue skies in your future! Hang in there!

Bob
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:24 PM   #31
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I feel your pain, RV's are money pits.

My very experienced camping friends told me NOT to buy my 1973
Argosy. They said I could pay through the nose to fix up an old trailer,
or I could pay through the nose for a new trailer. Yeah I hated spending
3 times what I paid for the trailer to fix it up. But I would not consider selling it for what I have into it, even if I was offered that much. It turned out well for me.

I went to a place in South Jersey too. A couple of years later, a couple of things went wrong, that weren't really their fault. They fixed me up for free. The South Jersey place I went to was run by the sweetest kindest folks. They use to be a dealership as well, but they didn't fail....Airstream stream lined and pulled their dealership.

Another thing to take into account is that the appliances and utilities that Airstream uses are not made by Airstream. Every other piece of junk trailer munufacturer, installs the same equipment.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:10 PM   #32
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Quote:
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...I went to a place in South Jersey too. A couple of years later, a couple of things went wrong, that weren't really their fault. They fixed me up for free. The South Jersey place I went to was run by the sweetest kindest folks. They use to be a dealership as well, but they didn't fail....Airstream stream lined and pulled their dealership...
Then you and I have been to the same place, Dave and, while they may seem sweet at first, they could care less about your problems, unless you're willing to give them more money. One such problem cost me an extra $1700 and I was stupid enough to give it to them. I have kept all of the paperwork and get livid, evertime I see something that should have been done correctly the first time.

They, too, claimed that Airstream was to blame for their dealership closing; that they weren't getting paid on time, but Colonial RV, in Lakewood, is still in business, so I suspect that there is more to the story.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #33
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1960 22' Safari
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You seem to have a lot of anger over this trailer. Maybe you should sell this trailer and go find one without the bad history.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:56 PM   #34
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You seem to have a lot of anger over this trailer. Maybe you should sell this trailer and go find one without the bad history.
You're right, I am angry about the fact that I was taken for a ride. I don't like people who take advantage of others' situations, especially when they're grieving.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:01 PM   #35
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You're right, I am angry about the fact that I was taken for a ride. I don't like people who take advantage of others' situations, especially when they're grieving.
Do I blame you for being mad at their behavior? Heck no. I'd be ticked off myself.

It seems you are also mad at the trailer. If you're mad at the trailer or the sight of it reminds you of bad things every time you look at it. Sell it. If not. Get some axles. Patch up that rear end go camping and enjoy yourself.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:48 PM   #36
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Maybe you could get help from these folks???

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Old 01-29-2010, 07:55 PM   #37
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Wow...

I think I'm going to have a Sam Adams now....

And an Oxycodone.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:14 PM   #38
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Maybe it is time to move on to something new.Sometimes a new project gets your juices flowing again. A lot of choices out there. And I only drove 2000 miles round trip for the 94 25' Classic. Sorry for the extra zero
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:18 PM   #39
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I'm probably in the minority here, but machines are mirrors. All of the emotions, feelings, karma, good or bad juju... it's all just us. The '66 Dodge D200 sitting in my driveway really doesn't have it out for me... and the rusted bolts giving me fits are not a form of rebellion. What the people did in South Jersey did, the trailer had nothing to do with it.

Every so often, I step back and ask myself, "Is this the right tool for the job"? Sometimes, the question is a bit metaphysical, sometimes it's more pragmatic. You can cut through a 2x4 with a claw hammer, but a circular saw does a better job and it's less work. Emotions aside, is the Airstream the right "tool" for the job you want to do? That's my struggle with the vintage truck. Love the idea of towing a '67 Overlander with a '66 Dodge. The reality is far more complex.

Again, good luck.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:26 PM   #40
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Well, just to see if I might have been incorrect in my calculations on how much I spent, I went back and checked the invoices.....it wasn't around $25,000 including the price of the trailer......

I spent $37,305.59 on this crappy refurbish!!!!!!! I bought the trailer for $5800, for a grand total of $43,105.59.

I could have bought a new one.

I am such a schmuck.
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