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Old 06-17-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
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1986 31' Sovereign
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Question Throwing in the DIY towel

The wife & I have been planning/dreaming of building a summer cabin on a lot we have out west. All the while we have been busting our butts to get a wonderful older AS into functional form. We both had the moment of Epiphany at the same time. Have the AS professionally renovated, brakes to inverter and floors to appliances, (don't forget the plumbing) the whole 'shooting match'. Bring it up to "functioning as new" and then it would BE our summer cabin. Even a new interior would be cool.

My question is there a renovation specialist for AS in or near SW Florida that you would RECOMMEND?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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My towel has hit the floor so many times it looks like a floor mat! You will regret not doing it yourself although frustrating at times it also has been dare I say fun! Ever hear the phrase "lets see how I can screw this up" ? I have removed the shell and stripped the frame (got the evil eye from the wife) and have gotten some pretty awesome tools!!!! Learned a crap load in the process!
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Hi captmatt,

The only place I have heard of in florida is www.thetrailercompany.com. I think they are in the Orlando area.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
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I think you can also get it brought back at Jackson Center. They state on their website that they do the work.

Airstream, Inc :: Factory Service Center
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Seriously if you are thinking about spending that kind of money I wouldn't restrict yourself geographically. What with Skype and all the electronic devices available, a restoration at a distance is certainly possible. Plane tickets to check on progress would be a drop in the bucket.

Is your trailer towable? Tops Vintage Trailer Works, Frank's Trailer Works are both about 1000 miles, Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations is a little further. There have been members on this forum who've lost a lot of money to bad restorations. Pick a professional and be prepared to write some big checks!

That being said, you might want to consider just plugging along!
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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Throwing in the DIY towel

Greetings captmatt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by captmatt View Post
The wife & I have been planning/dreaming of building a summer cabin on a lot we have out west. All the while we have been busting our butts to get a wonderful older AS into functional form. We both had the moment of Epiphany at the same time. Have the AS professionally renovated, brakes to inverter and floors to appliances, (don't forget the plumbing) the whole 'shooting match'. Bring it up to "functioning as new" and then it would BE our summer cabin. Even a new interior would be cool.

My question is there a renovation specialist for AS in or near SW Florida that you would RECOMMEND?
There are several options that come to mind if you aren't adverse to traveling a bit to get your Trailer to the locations:
  • Airstream Factory Service Center, Jackson Center, Ohio: Any system on your Airstream can be serviced or updated through the factory service center. There was an article in the Blue Beret (WBCCI Publication) in June or July of 2012 that reported on the restoration/refurbishment on a 1960s Tradewind.
  • P and S Trailer Service, Helena, Ohio: Probably best known for their exterior restoration/refinishing (since the mid-1960s), they have recently entered into the arena of more complete interior/exterior restoration/refurbishment. They performed the polish and Plasticoat on my Overlander more than nine years ago and I am very satisfied with the results and its durability.
  • Fowler RV Interiors, Symsonia, Kentucky: Arlene and Henry Fowler have been in the business of restoring/refurbishing Airstream/Argosy interiors for around three decades. They restored/refurbished the interiors of both my Overlander and Argosy Minuet. Their work included rebuilding a cabinet in the Overlander, refinishing the cabinets in the Overlander as well as all new soft-goods (foam/upholstery/drapes/etc.), refinishing the walls/ceiling, and new floor coverings. Henry built a new solid oak table tops for the dining tables in both trailers. The Minuet received all new soft-goods (foam/upholstery/drapes/etc.), new laminate floor coverings, and a very complete "white-glove cleaning".
There are more companies entering into the business of restoring/refurbishing Airstream product RVs every day. Some specialize in only certain aspects of the restoration/refurbishment while others offer a complete service. I had my restoration/refurbishment done several years ago when there were far fewer vendors involved in the business. The three sources that are named above all have ample experience (each has 30 years or more in business). There may be other quality vendors nearer your location, but I have had experience with each of the above vendors and wouldn't hesitate recommending them.

Good luck with your investigation and project!

Kevin
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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Had a visit from Lewster. I Like what he brought to the table, new plumbing and counter tops plus a nice solar freedom set up. He may have contacts to help with exterior as well. He also cleared up a "he said , she said" argument between the wife and myself, the wood is rotted in the back of the trailer...
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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I think reinergirl nailed it. When you how much it is going to cost location is nothing. The recommendation is sound it is all about who the person is who going to do the work.

Tony
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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All the necessary interior comforts were done in Orlando! Wood-rot to carpet to plumbing, even a new stereo! Interesting outfit that works mostly on vintage motor coaches. Took me in as a charity case. GREAT job and I can't wait till I get a chance to take her out for a test spin! I may leave the exterior as is, keeps curious eyes from wondering what's inside...
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:27 PM   #10
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That's wonderful! But if you don't post pictures it didn't happen!!
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:53 AM   #11
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Ran down to take some pics and found the battery DEAD even with solar trickle charger... Arrrrgh! Here are a few pictures taken before I found new problem. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-02-2014, 08:41 PM   #12
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BTW I will be installing a new charger/converter/Batt. tender in the morning. The old one had a "glitch" and may have fried my new Digital receiver (radio). I need to find the 12v fuse panel...
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:46 PM   #13
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Still doing what I CAN do in good old fashion DIY style.
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