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Old 08-31-2011, 03:39 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
San Diego , California
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 7
Cost of materials in floor repair/seperation

I've been occasionally hanging around here and looking at buying an airstream for the past two years. I found one for sale locally in San Diego but I'm afraid it may need more work than I'm capable of putting into it, and for what I'd like to use it for (a traveling occasional live-in studio/gallery). I have no problem with interior work, wood, and metal, but when it comes to plumbing and electrical, I'm lost. It's a price I'm comfortable with, but definitely has seperation issues in the back bath, as well as some botched plexi window replacements, electrical issues, and who knows what else once I get in there.

The wood under the bathroom is rotten, sagging, rusted, probably needs cross beams replaced, pex, etc, etc. I was just looking at a few recent floor replacement threads and it's definitely scaring me away from purchasing. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me approximately what they spent (money, not time) in materials to replace the floor in the back.

Also, if anyone knows of people/resources for airstream repair in San Diego, please clue me in.

Thanks, much appreciated!
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:16 AM   #2
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1974 31' Excella 500
Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2010
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The floor itself in the rear section is a piece or two of plywood. $30 a sheet maybe.

Then 2 coats of water based Verathane on the faces of the plywood to seal it somewhat.. maybe $20 or something.

Then seal the edges of the plywood with epoxy, maybe another $20 or so..

The chassis and cross-members, materials wise not so bad, really. Steel is relatively inexpensive.
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:23 AM   #3
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1988 32' Excella
Bonita , California
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You need to add the sunshine tax.
Happiness only real when shared.
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2/12/68 - 8/18/92
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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West , California
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What year is the trailer you are looking at? Each year has their own design problems. Most of the longer trailers have rear end separation issues. I am almost a year into my trailer probably into it for about $1000 in materials for the floor itself not including tools and time. Daniel is correct the price of metal is relatively cheep, but almost impossible to estimate unless you drop the belly pan. Electrical is a completely other issue. I have yet to rewire my rig, guess I will find out.
My advice, pass on it if you are that iffy on this trailer. If not see if there is a forum member to go with you. Maybe that way you can get a more solid answer. Also post pics if you can it will give a clue to what you are looking at.
FYI I was much like you a year ago anxious, clueless but excited. Now I can MIG weld, rivet, fabricate and know more than you will ever want to know about aluminum! Be brave.
Uwe Salwender at Area 63 in Orange is very knowledgeable, he has been very helpful and generous with his time.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:09 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
San Diego , California
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 7
It's a '71 31' Sovereign.
There was a family living in it down by the border, a woman acquired it, gutted it, and said she was going to turn it into some sort of food truck. I'm not sure if she's being all that forthcoming with the details, as none of its shortcomings were even mentioned in the ad.
Here is the link to the ad Vintage Airstream Trailer
Thanks for the help everyone! I think I'll keep looking...
I have no problem with the work, I'm a great woodworker and welder, and a "jill of all trades", but I'm looking for the best trailer for my time and money as I've got a lot of other projects going on as well.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:40 AM   #6
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West , California
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The 70's trailers are among the most plentiful on the market. If you could get that trailer for less than 2K I would conceder it. Remember that those axles wheels and tires can cost a pretty pennie. I spent around 3K on mine( but I went with the 12" disk brakes) Also that floor can be a PITA to remove and replace. You may want a smaller trailer to start off with. Oh and NEVER take the advice of a PO they almost never know about cost.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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1973 25' Tradewind
1962 22' Safari
Augusta , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 169
I can swap electrical and plumbing for welding skills. Unfortunately I'm in Georgia. Sure glad you don't have to lay blocks and bricks to rebuild an Airstream.

Augusta, Ga
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