Think of it as a potentially expensive treasure hunt.
I think trailer renovation (or restoration) is something best suited for chronic tinkerers, putterers, shade tree mechanics and arm chair experts. It's good for people who like to browse in hardware stores or who really care about the nuances of bolt grades. It's a hobby for the curious, the hopeful and the undaunted. It helps to be stubborn and to like solving puzzles.
I don't think one needs to be a "rocket scientist" to do trailer renovations, or a professional in the one of the trades or a master craftsman. The more you poke around, the less mysterious you realize an Airstream is. And with all due respect to the many diehard, Airstreams reflect a wide range of design innovations and design flaws. There are the usual compromises meant to keep manufacturing costs reasonable. There are shortcuts, half measures, quarter measures and just plain mysteries. Even for the amateur, there is room to improve an Airstream. Yes, I said it, without a grounding rod.
Even now, I'm thinking I could replace the existing 12v
plant with marine grade, tinned copper wire and connectors... and in 50 years when someone else tears down the Overlander for a rebuild they will say, "Man, this guy did it right" or "Man, this guy was nuts."
I know not everyone may feel this way, but I enjoy tinkering as much as camping. I like the process of refining, improving, reducing, simplifying, perfecting and then starting over. Here's the thing... find one straightforward thing to do. Let's take the hitch. It's rusty. Clean it up, shoot some POR-15, prime, paint, step back. Give yourself a chance to fall in love with the renovation process. Don't try to eat the sandwich in one bite. Have small projects; accomplish small goals. Savor. The key to progress is not allowing yourself to become overwhelmed with the whole of the project.
And beer, beer is important.