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Old 01-14-2007, 06:53 AM   #21
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1973 Argosy 26
Norristown , Pennsylvania
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Arrow Cost of restoration.

Hi Tim; While I can only speak for myself, with me, the cost is of no deterrent to my lease on wonderful second marriage. COST PLAYS NO ROLE and I will tell you a bittersweet true life's story of faith being good to me, with a happy ending.
On January 28th of 1998 I have lost to breast and bone cancer my Angel wife of 28 years after loosing a six year battle. She was my life and the whole world, despite the fact that she was unable to have children. Our child was a German Sheppard named Sarge who was the smartest working dog ever.
He was killed at age of fifteen and half while working. With a broken heart, I refused to train another dog for this type of work. So, since 1988 we had no dog. In the end of 1996 and in a fourth year of my wife's illness she asked for a large dog and we wound up with 15 lbs of cuddly fur ball which we named Rommel. All thought I have trained him to be a the best behaving pet only, he was my wife's dog, preferring to be touching her constantly. At the age of eight months he was 130 lbs and his favorite time was to pull my wife in a wheelchair on walks on the path by the river. Special harness was made for that purpose into which he could not wait to get in to. Rommel however, would run from any other woman. He could not get close enough to my wife, yet he ran from any other woman. Eighteen months later he was 175 lbs of a sweet King Rottweiler.

Through the last year and half of her illness Rommel was always besides us while I would pick her up from the bed on the morning, while I have bathed her, dressed her and fed her. Always in the car with us with exception of Friday's on chemo day.
I have even resigned from my six figure position as a Chief of the engineering and technical department for world renown engine manufacturer so that I could stay home to take care of her. I was not going to leave her to care by strangers.

In December of 1997 she was declined by the University of Pennsylvania Hospital to be treated any more. We were at the end of the line. During Christmas time in 1997 she has confessed that she lied to me about wanting a dog. Her request was a conn so that I would not be left alone, because she knew Sarge was my best buddy. She also insisted that I promise her that I will re marry because I should not be alone. It must be said here that she was the strongest willed intellectual, I have come to know. Her trust in faith never produced a single tear in my presence during her illness. My reply to her request was negative, knowing that at the age of 52 I had no desire to deal with such involvement. She continued with her request by stating that she will help me to make the right decision. This scared me into oblivion, thinking that she has already picked someone for me. This had me really freaked out as she continued. You do know she said, that Rommel never allowed another woman to touch him, right? This I had to agree too. She said; when you meet a lady to your liking, do not get involved with her, until Rommel accepts her but this must happen within first minute. Imagine the scary chills going down my spine. She continued; unless Rommel accepts, do not bother bringing her back.

Shortly after she passed away, I have forgotten about it because I had no desire to let go of lifetime of fond memories. Eight months later I was by force introduced to a lady who looked very nice with exceptional personality. Eventually I have asked her for a dinner date which she accepted. She was very sympathetic to my loss and her very caring personality which was a form of pleasure to my soul. We started dating strictly as friends, because she parted from a bad marriage and I was not sure if I could ever let go of my past. Such arraignment suited us well. After my first wife' death many Gold digger women visited me at my house and each time Rommel departed. One Saturday night after dinner and before going ballroom dancing, we had an hour and half to kill. Do not know why but something made me offer her to visit my house since she has never been there in our four months of dating.

Walking into the house we found Rommel at his escape stage. I have introduced them while Rommel with his head tilted observed her very intently. I asked her to sit down and offered her a glass of wine which she accepted. Wine was already uncorked in the fridge so it took me less than a minute to return to the living room. Stepping into a living room I was served a shock of my life while spilling the wine on the rug. Rommel was by her with his head laying in her lap while she was petting the side of his neck. She could not help to notice my de lamination and asked what was wrong. Can anyone imagine me telling her the truth at that time? She would have ran out, scarred to death thinking that I belonged in a loony bin. My God I said, his hair will be all over your white dress. Trying to gather my next thoughts
I have gone back to the kitchen to refill the glass. Upon my return I have stood in the door way calling him to come to me. For the first time ever, he refused to move a muscle. Starring at me sideways with the white's of his eye's, he just remained frozen. My louder commands did not help. I have place the glass on the coffee table, grabbed his choker chain in a effort to pull him away. His claws dug into a carpet and he answered with a deep growl.
He was not to be parted with her. At that point my concentration did not exist. She noticed this and could not understand why I was so distraught over it. My dress will clean up she said, do you have a lint roller? Somewhere I replied knowing very well where there was one in every room. Half hour later a retractable leash saved the evening after he was reassured she was joining us for a walk.

Four months later I have designed a engagement ring which was made by my friend jeweler. One night at the ballroom, where everyone knew us, I had proposed to her through a band leader publicly after the first break. One of my employees was hiding in the back room with two dozen long stem roses and a red hanky for me to kneel on. At first, the served shock has forced her to hide her face in her hands and drop the face on the table. Announcement was done with, silence fell that you could hear a pin drop and continued for about thirty seconds after which the question was repeated. All she could do is lift her head off the table and shake her head yes. Following the wedding the truth was disclosed to her about the dog incident. Rommel was born two houses away at the back of her home fifteen miles away from me. Rommel was born 5 days apart from our birthdays which are one day apart.

Over seven years I have experience such marital bliss that there is no cost which would limit me from doing anything that pleases her. And she cannot wait for completion of our 26' Argosy. What is a cost anyway in a face of happiness? So that is my story. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:55 AM   #22
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Smile Its more than a hobby!

Thanks for this thread Tim. And Boat doc what a touching story.
Its great reading all the input here. This forum and the VAP have been so invaluable for our trailer work, we started with a 79 Ambassador and currently have a 96 excella.

We regard the Airstream as our family hobby--we don't expect to make any money off of it, and we strive to live within our means so to us it is a fun challenge to see what we can do with what we have. My hubby, Dave, is very handy and loves to solve/fix problems. We like to work together on the Airstream and then take it camping. For example now we are putting in a dinette Dave built and a wood floor. Though our current Airstream is a 96 excella it has given us lots of projects and lots of fun.

All these little changes we make to the trailer add value in that they mean something to us, and we did it together. And then we get to take it out and play with it!
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:29 AM   #23
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A great dog, a great relationship AND an Argosy. Sounds good to me. What a great story. I know your wife would be pleased for you.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:51 PM   #24
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Renovations???

Yes, We are still in the process of restoring (Moderizing) a '93 30' Excella. We started to replace the carpet so it is now out. That ment taking out the front sofa, dinnet, rear queen bed and all the curtains. Replaced some rotten sub-flooring and wood in the bath. Have now removed the countertop and plan to replace with a solid surface with a molded sink. Purchased a new stovetop at Camping World last weekend along with memory foam topper, quilted mattress pad and new lights for the dinnet and bath. I don't think we are through yet?? After every purchase I catch myself saying, "Well, that's the last BIG purchase." I've been made a lier many times already. As late as 3PM today I got the price for replacing the kitchen countertop and sink. We will start the interior painting next weekend, then install the countertop and then the laminate flooring. We have the dinnet and sofa stored after restuffing and reupholstered. Hope to camp in mid March. It's great "when a plan comes together".
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy_hollow
It's all about building someting for fun and not having a boss looking over your shoulder to see if the dollars make sense...
doug, you must not be married
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:51 PM   #26
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We are at the 20K mark and will only need "a few more things".
Of course that doesn't include the Duramax.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:12 PM   #27
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The *TRUE* cost of NOT doing a restoration...

Not having a trailer to camp in last year has taught me something else. There is a cost to NOT doing a restoration. Or a at least not have a trailer ready to camp in.

My daughter reminds me of this all the time, and I have ensure her that we will be camping this year. The pressure is on!

She as well as the rest of my family are giving up a lot of time with me this past year so I can work on the trailer. It's part of their sacrafice, besides the finances involved.

But even at the ripe ol' age of 5, she remembers how much she loves camping, (since she was 6 months) and can't wait to go again.

So, there maybe cost to doing a restoration, but in some ways there is a bigger cost to not do one.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:02 PM   #28
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cruising this forum over the years has always motivated me to want to do more and more to my Airstream. First my 82 Classic Moho and now my 78 Sovereign. Reality kicks in when I realize I am a school teacher/ i.t. guy and with two teens who quickly eat up the extra funds for any neat project I have in mind.
However, that fact not withstanding, I find ways to improve and beautify and personalize our Aisrtream. It is a challenge to do some of the things creatively while not spending a fortune. And then there are the mandatory repairs that pop up on the cars and home that take me off my beloved projects. ( last week it was two toilets needing repairs...do they talk to each other or what?)
Most important to me though is as Tim was alluding...the ability to hook that trailer up in a heartbeat and go to some neat campground or park and just enjoy the family time, and the outsdoors, and the memories we are creating each time we go.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:26 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
Most important to me though is as Tim was alluding...the ability to hook that trailer up in a heartbeat and go to some neat campground or park and just enjoy the family time, and the outsdoors, and the memories we are creating each time we go.
cost of that......priceless.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:34 AM   #30
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I was talking to some friends over dinner the other night, one of whom is thinking about restoring a vintage Airstream. The thought came to mind that due to individual tastes, exact condition of each unit, amount of work that can be done by the individual versus a shop, deals found/or not found on parts, etc. there is just no way to accurately compare resto costs. Mine was done 3 years ago and it seems the price of everything has gone up noticeably in that time. He "needs" a large fridge, I stuck with the smaller Dometic already in the unit - those types of things. Mine came with a new axle, will his? He also does not have a shop that he can put it in while he's working on it so then he would need to be doing this work during the warm months when he should be out camping in it. So it came down to, as Stef mentioned, buy the best one he can and then either just enjoy it, or make the few changes he wants/needs, but it's still a functional unit during the process. This is a person who has built many hotrods from absolute junkers so he knows the reality of taking all the receipts and hiding them so you don't get scared and sell before the project is done. His only concern about taking on a major project now that we chatted was he only has so much life left and does he want to spend a big chunk of it wrapped up in a project on the very thing he should be out enjoying. We tease him a lot, he just turned 61 the other day, and we keep telling him with all the other projects he already has on the go he simply does not have enough life left to finish them before we have to say our final farewells. Of course we always accompany those statements with a verbal list of which one of us he could give various cars/trailers/tools/Lionel trains to now rather than make us wait for the reading of his will. Good thing he has a sense of humor.

Barry
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:37 AM   #31
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Barry,
Just convince him that he has lots of life left - he has too many projects going - he doesn't have time to die anytime soon!
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:43 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
...His only concern about taking on a major project now that we chatted was he only has so much life left and does he want to spend a big chunk of it wrapped up in a project on the very thing he should be out enjoying. We tease him a lot, he just turned 61 the other day, and we keep telling him with all the other projects he already has on the go he simply does not have enough life left to finish them before we have to say our final farewells. Of course we always accompany those statements with a verbal list of which one of us he could give various cars/trailers/tools/Lionel trains to now rather than make us wait for the reading of his will. Good thing he has a sense of humor.

Barry
Barry,

I don't know your friend, but at 61 I would not be concerned about the project outliving him. I just turned 60 and hope to be enjoying our Airstreams for at least 20 years. We have members in their 80s who continue to attend rallies and I know a gal in her early 80s who continues to travel all over the US with her Bambi.

I hope he decides to take on the project, it appears that he has the skills and we need another aluminut.

Bill
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:57 PM   #33
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We spent 30k for the restoration/renovation + 3 for the trailer and then some to trick it out with some high-tech gear...

We're actually considering selling it within the next 6 months or so after 2 years on the road full time. (!)
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:06 PM   #34
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30K can you just tell us what it was spent on in broad terms?
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:08 PM   #35
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Cost

I spent $35,000.00 doing mine and my top offer is $8,000.00. Big loss, but a better trailer than my 06.

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Old 02-09-2007, 09:08 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LI Pets
30K can you just tell us what it was spent on in broad terms?
restoration, and trick stuff for the interior and exterior.

Kevbo
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:20 PM   #37
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I just can't see anything you could do that would cost that much $$$, really please explain how you can spend that much.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:40 PM   #38
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The teardown is cheap!

1800.00 purchase price.
2.99 cotton gloves for pulling out old fiberglass.
--------
1802.99

I didn't figure in 6 months of intermittent labor, but now it's an empty shell. Hey, that didn't cost much at all!!!!




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Old 02-09-2007, 11:00 PM   #39
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In November we drove to GA for our 1st airstream...no towing experience... yet we drove 11 hours...Stella the Excella was in great condition when we bought her...just upgraded the interior to our tastes. Hardwood floors...upholstery...decor...check-up...new tires..ect We camped immediately in very cold weather because we just couldn't wait for spring....loved it. Since the one camping experience, we have purchased a larger tow vehicle...cleared trees for Stella's shelter and put up a metal 20x 30 x 12' building for a cozy little home for her. Heavy sigh... Then we spotted an airstream down the road...knocked on the door and introduced ourselves....came home with a 74 Argosy, which we are restoring ourselves..new fridge and stove arrived today... put in new plumbing and hot water heater...new bath and kitchen fixtures. Heavy sigh. 2 weekends ago we spotted an airstream looking very lonely and forlorn....knocked on the door introduced ourselves...long story short...came home towing one...and hauling another on a flatbed right behind it. I think we're getting in over our airheads. It has been fun! Great hobby...BUT...we've only camped once! I don't think we'll have time to chill with 3 projects going on. As far as the costs? We're just enjoying the process and the journey. Starting a hobby 3 months ago...and having 4 streams in the back yard???? Is this normal???
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:07 PM   #40
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Geeeeesh....YOU got it BAD! But you MUST post your pics!
We all want to experience your euphoria one and all...
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