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Old 06-04-2017, 08:35 AM   #21
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Millersburg , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Consider that any refurb / rework of anything is not an analytic process. You never have all the data to put into the spreadsheet. Since each home / truck / trailer has it's own history, prediction only goes so far. Even with a pro doing all the work that is the case. If you will be doing it yourself, the number of variables increase quite a bit.

A few things to consider on the do it yourself side:

Do you have the space? The trailer will be stationary for a long time. Stuff will be coming in and out of it. Doing it indoors lets you work 12 months a year. Doing it outside in PA has some practical limits Stuff going into and coming out of the trailer needs to get stored somewhere as well.

Do you have the tools? There are a lot of different subsystems in a trailer. Each one has it's own tools / parts / skills. Metalwork is different than woodwork. Plumbing is different than HVAC. Electrical has it's own set of gizmos. Learning by doing is fine. It also is expensive and slow.

Do you have the time? If you are working full time, there's only so many hours in the day. Picking up a job and putting it down is not a fast way to get things done. It isn't just your time. The whole family schedule gets impacted.

You may take that as "don't do it yourself". Far from it. There are a *lot* of things you will be better able to work out doing it yourself. You will have abundant knowledge of how everything was done and how to fix it. Having somebody else do it, simply puts you one step away. You *still* should get very involved (yes the guy may hate you in the end ..). You still need to be making some of the decisions as things move along. Doing that is expensive as well.

As I said at the start, this not entirely trailer specific. Gutting out the kitchen and putting in a brand new setup has many of the same issues. Yes, the starting point is one you already own. The guy doing it is one of dozens who will come in and quote the work, or you do it all yourself.

Bob
Hi Bob

I have the space and the tools. I donít have a riveter and my drill is about shot, but otherwise, my collection of tools is something Iím kind of proud of. I spend money on tools instead of shoes and jewelry.

Time and money, on the other hand, are the reason for the spreadsheet and my original post. I do work full time and have a family, but Iím also a busy-body. If not this project, then there will be something else. But this is the dream, so nothing else makes sense. I grew up building and fixing things with my dad and two brothers. I completely gutted and restored a 110 year-old-house over five years (two through our PA winters with no heat) and now Iím 3/4 of the way through our current 50-year-old house. Iíve done both almost entirely by myself. My husband is the muscle; I am the brains.

The question for me isnít if I CAN do it; itís whether I WANT to do it. I have a two-year deadline (Memorial Day weekend 2019), so I am trying to determine if I will have the time and the money do complete the restore in that timeframe. I donít want it to take five years and $50,000. If itís two years and $25,000, then that's doable. Right now in my spreadsheet, Iím pricing out everything as though I would have to replace it all from axles to AC, from windows and doors to all appliances, etc. Iím somewhere in the $40,000 range, but I know I can mitigate that cost by choosing wisely. It's unlikely I will have to replace everything.

And I would argue the processóany processóis almost entirely analytical. You break down the process into phases, the phases into tasks. You complete enough tasks, and before you know it, a phase is complete; you complete enough phases and the process is complete.
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:42 AM   #22
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Millersburg , Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
They all seem to have a leak problem at the back unless the owner knew to remove the rear belly trim and caulk under there or if it is from the left coast were it does not rain much. There are some that are survivors. Mine was on the brink. The interior was mostly intact but there had been zero maintenance for 30yrs.

The newer center bath trailers from about the mid 70's on are much easier to repair in the rear since there are only bunk beds covering the floor. The older rear bath trailers are harder since you have to gut the trailer to get the bathroom out so you can get to the floor. I was able to get my trailer usable in 2 months worth of work to replace the back floor. I spent a couple more years getting it in better shape. We are still using it with a painted floor. It is a little bit Spartan but it is tons better than a tent.

I think around 75 they started adding gray water tanks. So the late 70's is a better deal for that reason alone.

Perry
I definitely want a twin bed model, but I'm not sure if I can or will be too picky about where the bath is. This is on my list to research, though. I've heard the center bath is easier, but I don't understand why. Why do you need to tear the whole trailer apart to get to the rear bath, but not the center? It seems like it would be opposite. Is it the order in which the interior skins are put on?
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:56 AM   #23
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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In the rear bath trailers the bathroom is put in first and the other stuff is put in forward of that. So to get all the stuff out of the bathroom to access the floor, you have to pull everything out of the trailer. In the center bath trailers the beds are in the rear and they can be removed without messing up the rest of the interior of the trailer. I don't recommend trying to change the layout from rear to center. Airstream spent a lot of time and engineering figuring out how to put stuff in and it can take years to start over and try to do it better. You see a lot of aborted total gut and rebuilds for sale as renovation started LOL. They want as much or more than for one that is intact and functional. Don't pay top dollar for someone's aborted project. If you are retired and have nothing to do then get a gutted one and start over. This means redesigning the electrical, plumbing, and sewer systems as well as doing all the interior design and construction. There are very few individuals who have the talent and ability to do this kind of work or the time to learn all this stuff. It takes a lifetime to get good at everything. Anyone can learn to fix and maintain something that is relatively intact but starting from a blank slate takes time, dedication, and talent.

The center bath bathrooms are small but the design is better because the holding tanks for black water, gray water, and fresh water are located near the axle which is the proper way to do it. Rear bath trailers have tanks at the rear which can lead to structural problems and also limits the size of the tanks. When the rear bath was first used, the black water tank was only a few gallons and it sat on the floor below the toilet. As time when on tanks got bigger and bigger and you combine this will the rear end water leak and rot problems you have a typical 70's trailer with the back end rotted off. We have seen some on here that were so bad that the whole frame needed to be replaced.

Perry
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:32 AM   #24
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Huntington , New York
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I'd call this guy and/or look for one like it. As to logic on price thinking, sometimes in metro and higher net worth areas people need to exit quickly &/or have ability or willingness to sell for what the market will pay without holding out for the highest dollar. I've found some of the best vehicle prices this way. Counterintuitive but makes sense.

https://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/rvs/6160388312.html
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:39 AM   #25
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Looks like a fake craigs list add. I have seen several. That trailer is worth several times that. They give you some sob story and want you to pay before you see the trailer by some sort of sight that is supposed to hold the money till the transaction is complete, again fake.

Perry
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:58 AM   #26
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,632
Hi

Another wonderful one to watch out for: "I'm selling a trailer, but can't find the title ...". Yes in some cases it's legit (I happen to have a trailer like that). In other cases it's some guy named Bob selling a trailer that does not belong to him...

Bob
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