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Old 11-03-2019, 03:06 PM   #21
4 Rivet Member
Eagle & Bear's Avatar
1976 29' Ambassador
Madison , Officially SD but are traveling full time.
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 303
Images: 1
In 2005 we decided to sell our home and travel. Bought a 29' 1976 Airstream for $5,000. I had no idea what I was doing but did put on a set of new tires, made sure the electrical systems worked and in 2007 we drove off into the sunrise - or maybe it was noon...don't really remember The fridge and stove worked but it had no awnings. We have worked on it when needed and picked up three ZipDee awnings in Las Vegas for $400, cut them to size and attached them to our rig. So far we have traveled over 200,000miles and lived in the AS full time for 12 years.

If you look at the history of AS you will find that in the 1950s they had rallys that traveled through the worst of conditions possible. When they got back to the US they made changes and then drug those trailers another 50,000 miles to stress test the fixes. By the mid 1960s they had a very solid structure but they did not forget aboout the interiors. Each layout was built to be balanced side to side and front to back. The lights illuminate the cabinets and areas where you will need them. Baths are well desighned and functional though the grey and back water tanks are too small. Bottom line the interiors are functional and if they look as good as yours they should last another 30 years.

Polish the exterior, put slim breakers into the 120V main box, run new flex so that you can have all of the outets you need for the electronics, install a demand water heater, TV and sterio system (Bose III worrks), get familiar with the 12V system and install LEDs as you go. We tow our AS with a Ford van that is on an aggressive 4X4 patform and haul our AS into the woods or among the cactus whenever we want. We have traveled to almost all of the states including Alaska via BC and the Yukon. Dreaded frame cracks can be repaired with 3/16 steel plate or chanel. Takes a week or so but it is doable if you can pick up a used drill press.

You noted that you are taking it somewhere for the winter. Make sure that the water lines have antifreeze in them and do notlet the snow pile more than a foot on top. Wet snow can crush the roof and break your heart.

My vote is to keep it as is. Clean it up, paint the floor with something that will prevent rot, put some new stick on tiles and carpet on the floor, make sure it is travel worthy and go where ever you want. You will never make any money on the trailer but you can travel anywhere in this hemisphere you want and never pay for a motel room again.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:52 PM   #22
1 Rivet Member
1975 31' Sovereign
Modesto , California
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 7
Thank you for this. It’s the most encouraging thing I’ve read thus far! We want to make it our own and if selling it comes up in the future then we will cross that bridge. We’ve already pulled up carpet and are happy to see only two small areas with dry rot. We are going to be going all the way in and putting new insulation etc. and my husband is an electrician and experienced welder/mechanic/do it all kinda guy. Only concern we have is two pieces of the shell in front have damage/holes so we will be needing two aluminum plates there- not sure where to pick those up yet. BUT- again, thank you for the encouragement and I’m really impressed you’ve been FT for 12 years! What a story!
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