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Old 12-19-2005, 05:18 PM   #1
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Should I replace with new?

I just purchased 65 Overlander. I intended to gut and make modern, but realized it was in great shape and could be restored. So now I'm conflicted.

Before I fix up, I am interested in knowing if the following will

increase value - good to do, everybody does it.
decrease value - don't do it, you'll hurt the resale value
Won't affect resale.

Should I convert water heater back from electric to original design gas heater?

Should I retint windows with film myself or have professional tinter do it?

Should/can I use new style wood floors to replace carpet that is over old linoleum?

Should I replace cabinets with new?

Should/can I refinish wood with non-original whitewash-type color to brighten interior?

Can I tear our front fold down couch/bed and replace with conventional futon?

Can I paint interior lighter color using advice located in these forums?

Thanks
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:27 PM   #2
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It's awful hard to determine how some of these things would effect value, because it depends very much on personal opinion. I don't think anything you have planned sounds like you'll be ruining your trailer, though it sounds like you are going to end up redoing a lot depending on how much you get into replacing furniture and cabinets.

I ended up replacing my appliances with modern ones, like a thermostat controlled furnace and a 3 way fridge, and a modern charging system, and trying to maintain the vintage wood cabinets and walls as original as possible. But this was just my personal opinion, because I love the dark vintage wood in mine. If you feel different, I see no reason not to make it into a trailer you will love to use.
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:59 PM   #3
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agreed

hi- I agree totally with stefrobrts- "make it into a trailer you will love to use". Right on!!
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilMateo
I just purchased 65 Overlander. I intended to gut and make modern, but realized it was in great shape and could be restored. So now I'm conflicted. Before I fix up, I am interested in knowing if the following will increase value ... decrease value ....won't affect resale.
Phil: The following replies are my personal opinions only. If you planned on keeping the trailer for a while, you would not have asked others for their opinions on resale value. Since realizing value depends on someone paying you for the trailer, please take the following remarks and suggestions into consideration when deciding how to proceed and what not to do:

Should I convert water heater back from electric to original design gas heater? Yes, will increase usefulness and value.

Should I retint windows with film myself or have professional tinter do it? I don't have an opinion on this change, but see it as better it if can easily be undone by the next owner, who may loathe tinted windows.

Should/can I use new style wood floors to replace carpet that is over old linoleum? Your call, and may increase value if done cleanly, according to the manufacturer's instructions, and in an appropriate color.

Should I replace cabinets with new? What about the present cabinets disappoint you? Why would you replace them if they are functionally fine? Replacing them for "replacements sake" alone seems to me like unnecessary work that will likely decrease resale value.

Should/can I refinish wood with non-original whitewash-type color to brighten interior? NO!! The 1965 Airstreams have the most beautiful wood of just about any year: Philippine mahogany in the Land Yacht trailers and Walnut in the International trailers. To me, white washing these woods would cause resale value to plummet like a plutonium safe. If you don't like the wood, get a 1967 or later trailer with nice bright and light vinyl wall coverings. Don't ruin a beautiful wood interior in a misguided effort to increase resale value. Buy a later year trailer with a lighter interior, or better yet buy a gutted trailer that you can wholly refurbish as you like. Don't paint wood, especially mahagony !!!!

Can I tear our front fold down couch/bed and replace with conventional futon? Yes, but it will decrease the value of the trailer. How will you anchor the futon during travel?

Can I paint interior lighter color using advice located in these forums? Sure, but painting over the original zolotone, if it is in decent condition, will decrease the resale value of the trailer.

Thanks. You are welcome for my solicited opinion. If you are feeling artistic, please sell this 65 trailer to someone who will apprecate it for what is was and can be restored to be once again, and buy a gutted or later decade Airstream to have and use as your personal canvas.
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:27 AM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks for everones input.

My original intention was to get an Airstream for hunting and camping. My kids are fine with anything, but wife is a bit spoiled, so I thought new cabinets with regular drawers, modern couch, etc will make her more willing to travel with us.

I found the trailer online, reviewed pictures, did some homework, negotiated price, then drove from Atlanta to east Texas to buy and pull back to Atlanta.

When I had a chance to look closely, and read this forum in greater detail, I concluded the interiors were in good shape, and could be restored rather easily. Certainly felt it a bit heinous thinking about changing the interiors. Like throwing away vinyl seats from old car.

So now I'm thinking of completing restoration and reselling it. I do love to fix things, and this seems like the best course for this trailer.

Am I crazy?
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:42 AM   #6
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I think you will be doing the trailer, Airstream, and those of us who love original equipment a huge benefit by restoring this trailer and looking for another that is in worse shape to customize.

A huge thank you!
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:14 AM   #7
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Philmateo--- I'm in no way qualified to answer your questions about restoration of this Airstream but have seem may people over the years faced with a similar decision when dealing with old cars. I have seen good old cars restored to original down to the "inth" detail. Beautiful to look at and occasional use. I have seen others chopped and made into some really beautiful street rods with modern drive trains and very driveable modern vehicles. Others I've seen are the sad projects. These are the ones where the person didn't think out the project before starting or had plans that involved more cost or work than the owner was willing to pay and ended up in a scrap pile that "all the king horses and all the kings men " couldnt put back to gather. When this happens another vehicle that could be brought back to life is lost forever. It sounds like you're wise in concidering how to approach this project before you. Good luck with you decision .---Pieman
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:12 AM   #8
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I don't think you can go wrong with restoring it to original. That option will always hold it's value. You might find it works just fine for you the way it is. I certainly don't mind the cabinets and drawers in mine. The original designs have a surprising amount of storage, and they did an incredible job in these old vintage trailers of building furniture that is solid as a rock, but feather light. They really are well done, far better than the modern ones, in my opinion.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:12 AM   #9
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I Agree with the Prvious Post

The last poster hit this one right on the nail.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it's your trailer. For someone to say, "Sell the trailer and let someone else have the vintage one" is pretty presumptous IMHO.

For our Excella, we've kept everything as close to original as possible, with some minor changes. We like the look of pergo, so the AS now has Pergo. We have the 'L' configuration of couches in front and had them reupholstered as well as replaced all of the drapes throughout the trailer.

My wife saw the final interior work last night and was speechless. We've seen many AS at our WBCCI rallies and her words were, "Our AS looks better than everyone I've ever looked into."

So enjoy your AS, do as you wish with it and decide from the beginning whether you're going to stay classic or refurbish it to your desires.

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Old 12-20-2005, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilMateo
Am I crazy?
No doubt . I think you will love restoring it, but be forewarned you and your wife may not want to get rid of it once you do so...............
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Old 12-20-2005, 01:38 PM   #11
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Phil and others:

This issue has been widely disccussed here including in this recent thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...eservationists.

It seems to me that there is no right or wrong way to re-build an Arstream or Argosy. The same reasons that make a coach a good candidate for preservation ( lack of abuse; good to excellent shape) make it so too for the modernizer.

Sometimes, some of the people who write in here have an almost religious view that only their way is the right way.

Why hould someone wanting to contemporize a beautiful and iconic Airstream have to start with a rotted out, abused shell?

Sergei
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:55 PM   #12
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Amen Brother!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe

Why hould someone wanting to contemporize a beautiful and iconic Airstream have to start with a rotted out, abused shell?

Sergei

Sniff....sniff. Man....I couldn't have said it better.

Mitch
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
Phil and others: Why [s]hould someone wanting to contemporize a beautiful and iconic Airstream have to start with a rotted out, abused shell? Sergei
Sergi:

I must have missed that suggestion. Where was it posted?
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:36 PM   #14
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"If you are feeling artistic, please sell this 65 trailer to someone who will apprecate it for what is was and can be restored to be once again, and buy a gutted or later decade Airstream to have and use as your personal canvas."

Wasn't this you, in your own words Fred?

I am just trying to reinforce the point that there are least two EQUALLY VALID approches to remodeling an Airstream.

Those who choose to express themselves on the Airstream canvas, rather than preserve the look that went before, should be entitled to start with good canvas, not just rotted or gutted canvas, if they can find it.

Sergei
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
47WeeWind: "If you are feeling artistic, please sell this 65 trailer to someone who will apprecate it for what is was and can be restored to be once again, and buy a gutted or later decade Airstream to have and use as your personal canvas."
Sergi: Where in that quote did I suggest he start out with a "rotted out abused shell" as you expressly stated? I suggested that if Phil did not want to restore the trailer, he should start out with a gutted trailer. The reason for my suggestion is that a gutted trailer, with a good shell of course, would provide Phil with the cleanest and biggest canvas in which he could express himself without having to first remove an interior he had no use for but which others, in my opinion, would value highly.

Phil's questions arose from the fact he intended to gut and make his recently found trailer modern. But, he realized it was in great shape and could be restored. So being conflicted, he asked for opinions before fixing it up. Specifically, Phil asked if certain proposed actions would increase value, decrease value, or not affect resale value at all.

I was giving Phil my personal, not religious, opinion based on the condition of the trailer as he reported it. If the reported condition of Phil's trailer had been different, then my advice as how to maximize resale value would have been different, too. But I fit my personal opinion advice to his stated facts.

If you have a different opinion how Phil can maximize resale value, give it to him so he can benefit from it. If you disagree with my advice to Phil, list your disagreements and your alternate suggestions. But please don't misrepresent my advice to Phil then criticize your misrepresentation. Thank you.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I don't think you can go wrong with restoring it to original. That option will always hold it's value. You might find it works just fine for you the way it is. I certainly don't mind the cabinets and drawers in mine. The original designs have a surprising amount of storage, and they did an incredible job in these old vintage trailers of building furniture that is solid as a rock, but feather light. They really are well done, far better than the modern ones, in my opinion.
Aw...that Sefrobrts.....so much wiser than her age.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:52 PM   #17
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Dear Fred:

You imply that I have misquoted or misrepresented your view.

I don’t think I have. Your view can be summed up in this exact quote:

“please sell this 65 trailer to someone who will apprecate (sic) it for what is”.

I continue to point out here that there is more than one way to revitalize an Airstream, thereby preserving it.

New members, especially, ought not to be made to feel there is some sacred duty to pursue a particular path, all the way to selling their just acquired jewel.

Finding an old Airstream in great condition should be an equal right for both those that wish to preserve “as is” or modernize.

Whichever way you choose, the better the starting condition the better the chance for a wonderful outcome.

Not to mention money. If you start with more trailer you’ll finish for less money. Either way.

Sergei
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:57 AM   #18
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Why jump on Fred here? He offered an opinion on a difficult subject, and he never painted it as anything else. He started and ended by saying that he was stating his opinion.

I don't have any sort of learned opinion about what those modifications would do to the value of the Airstream, but I have a feeling that when restoration, with functional modernization when desired for convenience or safety, is possible, it should be strongly considered. In other words, if the cabinetry is good condition, restore it. That 65 had nice woodwork in it, and it looks great cleaned up.

Changing the flooring material is the easiest way to lighten up the interior. If the right color is chosen, it will coordinate with the original darker woods, and even enhance the resale value. (Who doesn't like a new floor?)

Some folks might have a little trouble with the idea of "tearing out" the folding couch to replace with a futon, but would have no trouble with the idea of "carefully removing and preserving" it so it could be later reinstalled.

My suggestion is that modernizing the appliances is a good thing to do, but if you can keep the original woodwork and make the the original cabinetry work as they did when new, you will not be hurting the resale value.

I was lucky enough to find a 79 model that's nearly 95% the way it left the factory, and I paid a little on the high end for it. Originality does add value, at least to me.

A 65 model that had been carefully restored, even with modern conveniences and safety features when necessary or desired, would be far more valuable to me than the same model trailer that had the Zolotone overpainted, major interior parts missing, the woodwork whitewashed, the floorplan changed, etc.

I'm with Fred on this. There are only so many of these old coaches around, and some are already so modified that no knowledgeable restorer, enthusiast, or collector would want to take one on. A complete 65 Overlander with all the parts there that is restorable is a diamond, even if it's one a little in the rough. The restored trailer will have more value than the modified trailer. So I guess I do have an opinion on this after all.

Lamar
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:02 PM   #19
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Depends on how much money & time you have.
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