Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-04-2007, 01:24 PM   #1
Idiot Savant
 
1967 22' Safari
Auburn , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 89
Designer in Ohio - Senior Thesis

So my senior thesis is coming around in 6 months and I decided that I was going to strip an old airstream and completly redesign the interior. - Plumbing/electronics/furnature - everything.

So I have started looking around for a good Airstream to use for this project.

I am looking for a sub 20ft airstream (so that my little tacoma can pull it) and am interested in finding one that is not going to have any issues rolling (suspension/brakes/axles)

I only have 10 weeks to design/finish the thing so I need to find one and have it stripped by late march 2008.

That being said I know nothing about the specifics of the airstreams and have come to this forum for help.

You will probably see me around on the boards alot more when school starts up late september as I have been known to be a forum adict in the past (audiworld/paintballnation/MGexperience)


Anyway its good to be here and I hope to learn alot :beer:
Cursh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 01:33 PM   #2
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
 
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
Welcome to the forums Cursh. Use the search function in the blue bar above for any topic you need. There is usually someone who has "been there, done that" when it comes to restoring/customizing an Airstream.

In fact, if you do a search I think that you will find that a young lady did her design thesis a couple of years ago on her personal Airstream that she and her husband lived in while she was in school. I can't remember the name of the college she was attending, but I do remember that she went with a Hawaiian them. Turned out nice. Perhaps you can get some ideas of what worked and what didn't. IIRC, there was a link to an article about her project. Like you, she faced a compressed time frame.

Good luck and again welcome to the forums.
__________________
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
https://streaminacrossamerica.com/
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 01:42 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
DanB's Avatar
 
1970 23' Safari
2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,642
Images: 9
Welcome to the forums!

First off, good luck! This sounds like a great project. Although potentially a little to ambitious. It took me 10 weeks to figure out the refrigerator in mine!

What will be your budget? I suspect a starting project, especially sub 20', like you describe will be $5,000.

Maybe you can consider a slightly different approach. I don't know if it has ever been done, but what about a "speed build" airstream style? Ohio has many talented Airstream fans. Perhaps you could plan a 10 day stay somewhere with a full shop where a group of people could help you get a major chunk of renovation done. I, for one, would love to take part in something like this.

Do you plan on having other classes or work during these ten short weeks?

Wow, you got me thinking on this project. It could really be cool and fun. But, it could also be expensive.
__________________
DanB
________________________________
Proud Member of the Wally Byam Airstream Club #24260

www.campnova.com

The “Ohio Airstreamer -- Informal forum for weekend camping” thread.
DanB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 01:48 PM   #4
Mel
Rivet Master
 
Mel's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,445
Welcome!

Keep an eye out on Craigslist and the like for Airstreams that are already gutted. They can usually be had for a fraction of the price of a functional unit from folks who may have started the restoration process and ran out of time/energy/money to complete it. Good luck.
__________________
Mel
Mel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
digger bear's Avatar
 
1973 23' Safari
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 373
Hi Cursh,

I assume you are going to UC. I did my graduate work at DAAP (the old building) & have a nephew and niece going there right now.

I did see one for sale in Dayton recently that would have been a perfect candidate for you on eBay – it was pretty well gutted. Just keep your eyes open and cruise the back roads – they do turn up in the darndest places.

You can blow a ton of money on any Airstream project so begin with the brakes on your wallet. I suggest in your parameters you set a budget ahead of time. Remember, if it’s a restore project you are making a complete home – full rolling environmental systems. Food, storage, sanitary, shelter, heat and cold. That extends well beyond a polish job! Look to recycled systems and unique passive solutions.

Perhaps you could simply redefine what one of those silver bullets is: maybe a diner, office, party barge, modular housing unit, carnival thrill ride, whatever.

I like DanB's speed build suggestion. If I were doing the project, once the goal is set, I would assemble a set of teams to first assess the various problems – you become project director. Maybe look across campus to allied areas and then set up a series of Charrettes to attack the problem in stages.

In any event you have come to the right site – the people here have taught me volumes.

One caution, it will take more money and time than you expect. Plan accordingly.
__________________
Digger Bear
Non impediti ratione cogitationis

--------------------------------------------------------
digger bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
vswingfield's Avatar
 
1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,821
Images: 32
Rivet

Quote:
Originally Posted by digger bear

Perhaps you could simply redefine what one of those silver bullets is: maybe a diner, office, party barge, modular housing unit, carnival thrill ride, whatever.

I like DanB's speed build suggestion. If I were doing the project, once the goal is set, I would assemble a set of teams to first assess the various problems – you become project director. Maybe look across campus to allied areas and then set up a series of Charrettes to attack the problem in stages.

In any event you have come to the right site – the people here have taught me volumes.

One caution, it will take more money and time than you expect. Plan accordingly.
All good suggestions. Wow, talk about a word that doesn’t pop up everyday outside of design. I had to explain what a Charrette was to a coworker just this afternoon.

Sounds like a good project. Best of luck, and keep up informed.
__________________
Vaughan
vswingfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 07:23 PM   #7
Old Paint, rolling again.
 
sfixx's Avatar
 
1973 Argosy 20
Lorain County , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 556
Images: 12
Thumbs up Senior Thesis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
...I am looking for a sub 20ft airstream...and am interested in finding one that is not going to have any issues rolling (suspension/brakes/axles)
Hi Cursh, welcome This sounds like a fun project though I see the budget as a real buzzkill. Don't overlook the Airstream Argosy in your search. I found my 20'er for $1,500. "Rolling" issures are not as big a problem as you might think and any reasonably priced trailer will need some attention in the unsprung areas. The "speed build" idea is interesting. We have a strong knowledge/skill base up north here. I'm not sure about down your way, but I bet eager help would crawl out of the woodwork if you asked. Attend a local rally, meet some members who have done a gut/restoration and pick their brains.

Airstream thesis thread

Please keep us posted. It will be fun to watch your progress!

Best wishes,

Steve
__________________
Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts- Job 21:29
sfixx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
cameront120's Avatar
 
1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,422
Images: 23
Very ambitious! I had a hard enough time pulling together a model and presentaion boards for my Architectural thesis
__________________
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
cameront120 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 07:31 PM   #9
Addicted to Aluminum
 
A-Merry-Can's Avatar
 
1959 18' "Footer"
1964 24' Tradewind
1954 29' Liner
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,015
if you get an argosy, you can paint it without being beaten up at the rallys. i always wanted to get one, paint it like a watermelon and do the interior in pink with black throw pillows...

wonder what kinda grade that would fetch?



jp
__________________

• • •
• • • • •
8576 • • • • • • • •
there's always room for one more!
A-Merry-Can is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 08:03 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
KeithC's Avatar
 
1994 34' Excella
1978 31' Sovereign
Mansfield , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 273
Let me see if I have my dates right design times right.

You need to find and buy an existing Airstream frame of 20 ft or less to rebuild.

After buying the right Airstream frame you are going to totally strip every mechanical unit above the frame of the by 03/2008.

Then, within 10 weeks, you are going to re-design or improve the all plumbing, electrical 12v and 120v systems, the heating, airconditioning and ventilation systems plans, and make them all opperational.

I'm very interested. I can hardly wait.
KeithC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2007, 11:26 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
TBRich's Avatar

 
2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,621
Images: 64
Welcome to the Airforums and good luck with your project. It does sound ambitious, but then that's what a thesis is all about, right? You are definitely in the right place to find a lot of information and knowledgeable folks to offer input and moral support...especially if you're a forum junkie.

Glad you have joined the fray!

TB
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2007, 01:23 AM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
apolaroid's Avatar
 
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1972 25' Tradewind
1962 30' Sovereign
Navarre , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Going Vintage might give you flexibility on the size, older ones from the 60's weigh less than newer ones of the same length. Staying under 5000 pounds on your truck should be pretty easy if you go for an older one. But if you find one in good shape don't gut it, leave it for someone wanting a nice origianl AS. If you watch Ebay and Craigslist you will find plenty of older units needs to be redone.
__________________
Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
apolaroid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 10:55 AM   #13
Idiot Savant
 
1967 22' Safari
Auburn , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 89
Ha ha - thank you for all of the pointers.

Money - I have a good chunk that was left to me by my grandmother to use as "a down payment on a nice house for your kids to grow up in" Part of the direction of the trailer into a liveable space is based on my justification on using these funds to redesign a travel trailer. Lets just say that if I so desired I could purchase a new bambi with the finances available.

As far as the "ambition" of my project. I have already started sketching on systems solutions. I am more seriously considering taking my next work experience in egypt for 5 weeks (an opportunity that has recently surfaces) as opposed to the normal 10 week experience we are usually presented with. This will allow me a good portion of jan-march to dedicate myself to working on the front end of the project. In addition to this extra time I am working to make available I am also given full freedom from march to june (with the exception of one or two business classes) to work on my thesis. All other design classes are fully dedicated to thesis completion.

The final goal is to be as "off the grid" as possible. Integration of the vintage awning into this seems to make this option more feasable with the sub 20" restriction I have placed on myself. Considering my possible geographic locations I am considering looking into personal wind turbines as a further source of power. I have very little expericen in sourcing alternative energy systems but am blessed to be involved in a program that was closely affiliated with the latest Solar Decathalon and have a large pool of resources to draw from that project.

I will be happy to look into the argosy as I have no real emotional attachment to the silver bullets (other than the late model bambi I fell in love with a year or so ago after spotting it in the driveway of someones seaside home in california)

At this point I have come to the conclusion that I will need to be in posession of a travel trailor by christmas and should have a concrete knowledge of the systems I have decided on using.

As for the skeptics know that I am a design student. I have been in school for 5 years learning how to solve problems efficiently. Alot of problems can be solved in ten weeks when all you have to do is solve problems and you only sleep 4-5 hours a night.

Have faith - I will update with pictures in a new thread when that begins to make sense.


Thank you all for your warm welcome and all of your help so far.

-Ben Lewis
Cursh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 11:42 AM   #14
Addicted to Aluminum
 
A-Merry-Can's Avatar
 
1959 18' "Footer"
1964 24' Tradewind
1954 29' Liner
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,015
Good luck, man! I love watching these come together. I'm elbow deep in a custom 1959 18 footer at the moment, with my next one already queued up! I always seem to run out of free time, though, so I'm on my second year, and JUST starting the cabinets! ha!

jp
__________________

• • •
• • • • •
8576 • • • • • • • •
there's always room for one more!
A-Merry-Can is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 12:16 PM   #15
2 Rivet Member
 
apolaroid's Avatar
 
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1972 25' Tradewind
1962 30' Sovereign
Navarre , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Getting off the GRID is an awesome idea. I been doing a lot of research on that myself. We live in Florida, near Pensacola and have had to deal with lack of power ever so often because of hurricanes. Planning for some comfort during those times has been a focus of my online research. One interesting item I came across was at this link Free Electricity and Lower Electrical Bills through Solar and Wind Power.. The idea of charging your unit at night was well as during the day time was worth a look. Plus in the redesign of the unit to add items that use less power. It will be interesting to see the project as it unfolds for you. I hope you will find a vinatge Airstream in need of a full rebuild, it is nice when new life is brought to these great older trailers. One suggestion is to use bamboo as your flooring, it is an earth friendly source for flooring that looks great. This is based on the fact it only takes 3 years for the bamboo to reach its full growth, as opposed to other hard woods for flooring. Plus keep in mind cool looking is not always comfortable, think about use and living in the space. One of the tankless water heaters is a good option. Break down your design and see what others have done on here. Been there done that "threads" are on here for almost everything. Good luck with the project. Awesome idea! Another thing you might consider because you are in Ohio, is to go to the factory and see the units being built, it will give you a practical view of why some things are designed as they are. One thing you can ask them about is maybe getting a empty shell to your needs. Not sure if thats possible, but would be pretty cool to design something from a new standpoint. If you do go this route, keep in mind the order time.
__________________
Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
apolaroid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 12:50 PM   #16
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
 
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaroid
One thing you can ask them about is maybe getting a empty shell to your needs. Not sure if thats possible, but would be pretty cool to design something from a new standpoint. If you do go this route, keep in mind the order time.
The factory reportedly no longer does this for liability reasons. But, it never hurts to ask.
__________________
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
https://streaminacrossamerica.com/
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 12:52 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
DanB's Avatar
 
1970 23' Safari
2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,642
Images: 9
Ben,

Sounds like you have financial part covered. But realistically, are you prepared to invest the funds knowing that chances of recovering them on resale are not good? Especially if this is designed and built as an "off-the-grid" habitat.

Please understand that I think this is an absolutley wonderful project! I'd love to tackle something like this myself.

I am employed in the "Design World". My architectual office is forced to come up with solutions daily. We are constantly forced to work within the parameters of time & money. Beware of the unexpected and unknown!

When you find your project trailer, you may not be able to determine what all needs repaired, reworked, and rehabed. A rotted floor is not a one-day setback. Tracing a short in your running lights could take an afternoon. A mouse nest in your fridge vent could cause setbacks!

I would think that the success of your project will lie in preperation. Having a LARGE shop available with a FULL assortment of metalworking, woodworking, and painting/finishing gear will greatly enhance your probability of completition.

I get so jealous whenever I watch shows like "pimp my ride" or Chip Foose, or anything on the TNT Powerblock series. When I grow up, I want a building like those! Nice clean concrete floors, oodles of work benches, tool chests that you can actually open, and bright lights. Heck, no wondering they can finish a car in 1/2 hour
__________________
DanB
________________________________
Proud Member of the Wally Byam Airstream Club #24260

www.campnova.com

The “Ohio Airstreamer -- Informal forum for weekend camping” thread.
DanB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 01:00 PM   #18
3 Rivet Member
 
Mrs_RedSHED's Avatar
 
2017 27' Flying Cloud
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
if you get an argosy, you can paint it without being beaten up at the rallys. i always wanted to get one, paint it like a watermelon and do the interior in pink with black throw pillows...



jp
I love your idea!
__________________
Mrs_RedSHED
Mrs_RedSHED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 04:19 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
summerkid's Avatar
 
1956 16' Bubble
Rose Lodge , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: 1961 26' Overlander
Posts: 921
cursh, i might actually have a trailer that would fit your needs, and i'm looking to downsize from 4 trailers to 3.

right now, sitting in my driveway are a '64 globetrotter, '62 bambi & '59 18D (a one-off). I also have a Wee Wind that's totally gutted, but it's sitting somewhere in Oregon, and I go back & forth between wanting to keep that one or the Bambi.

and i'd be delighted to help you with this project in other ways, being in the midst of gaining a Sustainable Building degree (so far, have certificates in AutoCad, timber framing & welding).

at the very least, you could come take a look at 3 trailers in one spot & gain a LOT of information about size & idiosyncrasies & you could see some of the problems I've encountered (the '59 is polished & half-gutted). Why i decided to polish & then dismantle it is a thought process lost way back in 2005 ....
__________________
Of course I'm an elitist. Look around you.
summerkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2007, 06:14 PM   #20
Old Paint, rolling again.
 
sfixx's Avatar
 
1973 Argosy 20
Lorain County , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 556
Images: 12
Thumbs up Designer in Ohio - Senior Thesis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
...The final goal is to be as "off the grid" as possible...
We term that "boondocking" around here (no hookups) and you will find lots of info in the forums (The key is storage coupled with conservation). Though I've never heard of anyone integrating a wind turbine into the system it's really just another power source. You could also drop a little prop type generator into a nearby fast moving river or stream too! You'll find good books on the RV+solar subject so you don't need to reinvent the wheel there.

FORUM: Generators & Solar Power

Best wishes,

Steve
__________________
Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts- Job 21:29
sfixx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello from Ohio albino Member Introductions 15 04-24-2007 07:02 PM
Hello Everyone from Ohio 66streamer Member Introductions 8 04-12-2007 04:49 AM
Hello from Ohio! Hamb7 Member Introductions 7 08-28-2006 08:22 AM
Going to Ohio Foiled Again Off Topic Forum 14 07-24-2005 12:43 PM
Interior designer needed Rog0525 Upholstery, Blinds, Walls & Interior Finishes 27 08-03-2004 08:29 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.