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Old 01-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
Port Richey , Florida
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What to do with 1974?

What is the general consensus on taking a 1974 and adding some modern twists to it? I am curious how many would prefer restoring to original or upgrading while keeping that old school feel.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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I think it's neat when someone wants to care for and restore original, but I am completely doing mine up to date with old school bent and a modern-retro color scheme. The original mustard yellow, olive drab, dark rust and dark wood just isn't something I personally can enjoy! I think that your Airstream should reflect you and your idea of cool!
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #3
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My feeling is that once I get all the appliances updated or replaced, the peeling clearcoat removed and maybe a polish (no, not a super shiny mirror job), the windows all sorted out (by removal, disassembling, cleaning, then re-assembly and re-installation), I will be soooo happy that I'll just bathe in the "old-school" feeling for a few years first. Oh, and new flooring, the tatty mixed carpets have GOT to go.

Then, I will consider making new cabinets for the kitchen, perhaps replacing the bulkheads between the kitchen and sleeping area, plus between the sleeping area and bathroom with some real wood, and take a few more years off.

My strategy then will be to wait for a Major Lottery Win, then consider getting a new boat!

Are you already bored with your trailer, FloridaMV?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaMV View Post
What is the general consensus on taking a 1974 and adding some modern twists to it? I am curious how many would prefer restoring to original or upgrading while keeping that old school feel.
The "twists" are no different for your Airstream, then your home.

It's yours, no one elses, to enjoy.

What changes you make, are up to you, within reason, same as your home.

Keep things reasonable and safe.

A future buyer would appreciate those things.

Andy
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:59 PM   #5
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I'm curious to hear the responses.

We've just acquired a 1971 which, in my middle aged mind, is not a time period that needs to be immortalized. But one man's trash is another man's treasure. Someday, someone may yearn for the nostalgic ambiance of dark, plastic wood walls and harvest gold formica counters.

Our Airstream has been neglected but not abused. So we can make do with much of the original but I'm not inclined toward restoration when it comes time to fix up those areas that aren't necessary for safety and function. I don't want to gut the thing and redo it in a Cave Troll theme or anything like that. But I'd like it cheery and livable for the decades that I plan to own and use it. I'd like more real wood.

We've already removed the sloppy after market bumper lights and gotten nearly all of the original exterior lights working. As far as the inside goes, I don't feel a need to be the custodian for some hypothetical future historian. I don't need to camp in an authentic period piece. I hope that's not too heretical a sentiment.

Still, if we remove or replace anything that's original, we will offer the original bits on the forum. If our pieces go toward making a whole original somewhere else, I'll be content.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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Yeah, I am redoing the interior of my 1973 but trying to keep some of the original flavor. With hindsight I'm trying to keep the best of the '70s while getting rid of the rest. And some things I just prefer: real wood instead of vinyl, wood floors instead of carpeting, curtains that let in more light, etc. I do however like some 70s colors and fabrics so I'm redoing it with them. Still trying to decide about that 8-track player...
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:52 PM   #7
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Here's A Peek Into Our 1974 25' Trade Wind!

Here's a quick peek into our first Airstream, a 1974 25' Tradewind Land Yacht, Sweetpea I!

When we first got her we didn't know what to do with the avocado green formica. We decided to go with it and did it up in early 70's rumpus room! When life gives you lemons, or in our case-avocado (green), you make . . . well, we tried to make the most of it. We found some Maharam silk upholstery fabric that had all of the trailer's colors and had that elusive seventies feel that we were looking for. Just this side of delightfully tacky, yet unrefined. Who knew we'd fall in love with orange and avocado green fabrics?

We've got a vintage George Nelson fiberglass saucer lamp, Harry Bertoia chairs and groovy brown shearling pillows. We'd love an eight track tape player! We have a few of our parents' old eight track tapes tucked away somewhere and are dying to hear Abba and Paul Anka at their finest.

We look forward to seeing you down the road!

Until then, happy and safe journeys,
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventythree View Post
Yeah, I am redoing the interior of my 1973 but trying to keep some of the original flavor. With hindsight I'm trying to keep the best of the '70s while getting rid of the rest. And some things I just prefer: real wood instead of vinyl, wood floors instead of carpeting, curtains that let in more light, etc. I do however like some 70s colors and fabrics so I'm redoing it with them. Still trying to decide about that 8-track player...
LOL, i was told, hey, they still sell 8 tracks at the flea market......guess where the player is headed?

As a cabinetmaker, I can tell you, once I figure out how this is all put together in a mobile unit, there will be lots of wood going in. Definately wood floors and cabinets. I am curious about wheight though, do not want to make it too heavy so I am sure there will be some veneer work going on.

I posted photos of what I have to work with on my blog as suggested by others. Take a peek if you like.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:09 AM   #9
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As long as it looks like an Airstream from the outside anything goes on the inside. If it makes you happy it's your money, fix it up the way you want it.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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They didn't call the 1970's the "Age of Plastic" for nothing...
As far as I'm concerned, any modernization of an Airstream from 1973 through about 1983 can only be good. The first thing I'd suggest upgrading is the factory roof vents. I replaced the originals with Fantastic vents in all 3, and it was well worth it. They add light as well as quiet ventilation. You can also replace the original incandescent lights with fluorescents and cut down on power consumption and heat.
There are a lot of things you can do with it, and most people will think it's a good thing.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:50 AM   #11
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Another airforums.com member posted these photos of his interior sometime back. Wish I had made a note of his name!

They are my Golden Dream of how I'd like to see my kitchen set up.






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Old 01-29-2010, 08:52 AM   #12
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Another airforums.com member posted these photos of his interior sometime back. Wish I had made a note of his name!

They are my Golden Dream of how I'd like to see my kitchen set up.






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That's a Tradewind, but there's no reason you couldn't do something similar in a Sovereign. You'd have even more room for "cool" stuff.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:07 AM   #13
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That's a Tradewind, but there's no reason you couldn't do something similar in a Sovereign. You'd have even more room for "cool" stuff.
Egg-zackly, Terry. I would add a matching piece to the left of the oven/stove that carried perhaps more countertop, plus a dedicated space for the microwave and toaster, two items that get regular use in our TT, but have no good ergonomic home.

One thing I wondered when I saw this is where did he put the furnace? Maybe the TW is completely different, but in the SOTR, as you know, the OEM furnace is in the cabinet foreward of the sink. That's one of the reasons I would like to contact the original desginer/builder.

Of course, in the SOTR, the sink/stove cabinet and the refer/pantry unit are reversed (compared to the photos) with the sink/stove on the streetside, and then the furnace is in the fore side of that at the bottom.

I love the finish, too. Would you agree that it looks like birch?
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:14 AM   #14
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As long as it looks like an Airstream from the outside anything goes on the inside. If it makes you happy it's your money, fix it up the way you want it.
I agree.

There is a difference between old and classic. '57 Chevrolets are classic, and have been considered so for many years. '67 Buicks (to choose an example) are not classic and never will be, they just get old.

The larger trailers from the early 1970s will, in my opinion, never be classics in the same sense that the earlier, smaller trailers are. They lack the originality and timelessness of design necessary to achieve this. So, customize away.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:36 AM   #15
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Renovate

We choose to update all of our appliances and new cushions but kept the original red mahagony cabinets....Tim
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:30 PM   #16
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'67 Buicks (to choose an example) are not classic and never will be, they just get old.
I think the current owners of 1967 Buick Rivieras or the 1967 Buick GS 400s would disagree with you there, Jammer.

And I also think that every year of AS TTs have the capability of becoming "classics", if they are maintained in good condition. Even yours.

They all show the evolution of Airstream. From the earliest with (almost) no DC circuitry and no waste tanks and few windows, to the slick and sleek 31-footers of today that tip the scales at five tons, replete with every convenience found in modern homes, and glass galore to show it off.

While I don't feel that any single one is more disposable than another, I do recognize each owner's right to "update" it or completely revise it, to his or her tastes.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #17
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We're in the process of doing a '74 Tradewind right now. No photos to post yet as most gutted TT look alike.

Ricky
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:04 PM   #18
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Now I have embraced the 70's qualities of my trailer. We did put down vinyl plank on the floor but I have added shag throwrugs! I do need to change the fabric on the gaucho but I am looking for something as close as possible to the original. I lovingly refer to the trailer as "the Shagn'wagon".
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:20 PM   #19
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"Shagn'wagon" - I love it! Nice to hear from another Michigander....wish it was warmer....Tim
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #20
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I think the current owners of 1967 Buick Rivieras or the 1967 Buick GS 400s would disagree with you there, Jammer.
I'll have to throw in the owner of a completely original, pristine, Wildcat near where I work.

Having said that, I agree with the improve away crowd. I would love to replace the dark "walnut look" vinyl in my Excella with real wood. Veneer to keep the weight down, of course.
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