Well, I did the ebay thing, and got my first Airstream, a 1965
Safari. It has real nice exterior (other than average oxidation), and good condition belly pan. The interior is all original, cushions, upholstery, appliances; all of which are deteriorated to, in my opinion, unusable. The floor is solid except for one major problem, the back 1 1/2 feet of plywood is rotted and mostly gone, fortunately the frame below only has surface rest. Caused by a combination of water leaks from rain getting in where the shell meets the bumper box (sewer hose storage?) and plumbing leaks. It toes very well (Georgia back to Utah, 1900 miles, in three days, averaged ~60 mph). Tow rig is a '06 Ford Explorer V8, 6 speed auto, 13 mpg.
The plan. All new appliances (cleaner, quieter, more efficient, lighter weight, hopefully more reliable, and certainly greater spouse appeal). So, the furnace, frig, hotwater heater, and stove/oven are all history. Each will be replaced with new similar-size unit in the original location. The side gaucho is to be replaced by a dinette, similar to the floor plan in several of the new Airstreams. The front couch will stay (new cushions and upholstery) and be used as the bed. The black-water tank, toilet and back floor will all be replaced. The tub/shower and kitchen sink will be cleaned up and used as is. All new counter tops, similar to original with matching top on new dinette. The interior paint is a problem; someone in the past smoked a lot. I understand the desire to keep the original Zolatone but even after scrubbing with all mater of cleaners (TSP, Simple Green, Citrus, Scrubbing Bubbles, etc) the brown stain is still light tan. I am looking at using a very thin Rust-Oleum oil-base mix (60% paint-40% thinner) applied with small foam roller and foam brush. This paint mix technique was described in Hot Rod Magazine ($98 Paint Job). The goal is to seal up any residual smell and have a cleaner, lighter color that is easier to keep clean in the future. My desire is to keep new coat of paint thin enough so the at a minimum I retain some of the texture of the Zolotone. The wood work is mostly OK but similar to the walls will see a light covering of probably tung-oil or Watco oil finish. Floors will get new linoleum or sheet vinyl; stay somewhat close to original, keep the weight down, keep it easy to clean, throw rugs as needed.
Guess I have some work ahead of me. However, so far I have been surprised how easy it is to take these things apart; drill out the rivets and back out the screws. Should go back together similarly.
Anyway, I have gotten vast
amounts of information from reading old threads on this great
site. Thanks very much for all your help. I hope to contribute in the future.