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Old 04-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Introduction: The suspense is killing us...

Well, first off let me say "hello" to any and all airstreamers reading this. My girlfriend and I have been looking for an Airstream since early January, and ended up purchasing one a couple weeks ago in Texas. We paid the seller to drive it out here to Los Angeles and we are leaving from work to pick it up in 2 hours!!!

We haven't even seen our new baby yet aside from TONS and TONS of pictures, so the suspense is killing us.

Anyway, back to my introduction... we are the proud new owners of a 1959 Pacer 18 (Ohio model), and plan to use it for all our camping trips and adventures. We currently go camping/hiking/backpacking/offroading/kayaking/sailing every other weekend. Last year we logged 14 trips under the car-camping category that will now be utilizing the Airstream, and this year we are on track to beat that number.

We will be personally doing a complete overhaul on her, modernizing and styling the interior (don't worry, there's not much interior currently in it, so we aren't ruining a possible restoration-piece, and we will keep the Princess stove-top that is there). I maintain a website blog documenting all our offroad travels in the FJ cruiser, our sailing trips in a Coronado 25, our hiking/backpacking trips, and of course now I'll have to add on a section for the Pacer. I'll post the link when I get a build going.

Anyway, that's my "hello", and if you are anywhere near Redondo Beach and want to come say Hi, let me know (if we're around )

- Peter
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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Congrats!!! I met someone on Airforums who has become a dear friend...she just brought home her 1959 Pacer yesterday!! (I'll point her to this thread). and I just bought a 1959 16' Bubble...never thought I would own two AS!

We just renovated a '69 Tradewind ...lots of pics on my thread...feel free to reach out with any questions-there are tons of knowledgeable & helpful people on AF
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:44 PM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Congratulations on your new baby. We need to see some pictures of her.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
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Welcome to he Forums and the wacky world of Airstreaming! You sound very enthusiastic and very excited...and well you should be! Have a blast with your new toy! And keep us posted on progress...
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:26 PM   #5
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It's better than we expected!

Well, we ended up getting the trailer on Friday afternoon with much less driving than expected. The seller went the extra mile (actually around 75 extra) and drove the trailer all the way into the city-- he had been avoiding LA-- and saved us a 4 hour round trip with the traffic in our direction.

Anyway, we spent the evening with giant grins on our faces walking inside and outside of the trailer, crawling under it, etc. I then went right to work and started with a couple screwdrivers and wrench carefully pulling apart all the interior hardware and fasteners until around 10pm, using camping headlights...

Saturday all day and Sunday morning we pulled out every bit of wood interior down to the subfloor. We knew in advance that the wood was pretty well destroyed and that was confirmed when we found entire parts of the kitchen cabinets rotted away. We saved everything we feasibly could, but only for others who might need it, since we plan to reorganize the layout some and do a complete renovation over the next 8-12 months. The really good flip-side to this is that the subfloor is much better than we expected. I was expecting complete rot all the way through on the step or by the sink where the cabinet damage was worst, but there was actually a layer of 1/4" particle board on top of the VAT, on top of the subfloor. This particle board seemed to absorb most of the moisture. Very strange installation by the PO, but it's a good sign to us regarding what we are fearing we might find in the frame in a few weeks.

Finally, I spent a couple hours experimenting with methods of stripping the zolatone and house paint off the interior. I like the effectiveness of Talstrip aircraft stripper the most and have used it before on other projects (don't worry, I work in a refinery and am aware of the appropriate PPE and respiratory protection required for such chemicals).

Sunday was also spent researching all the items needed on the TV, including a Airlift airbag installation (ordered), and wiring the 4pin to 7pin conversion (which I'll do later on in the renovation when I'm closer to towing long distances).

Through mid-May my progress will be relatively slow since I am applying for business school and then working 12 hr night shifts for a few weeks. Plus, throw in a trip to Death Valley this weekend and a few sailing trips to Catalina before I sell my previous project, "Ship Happens", and I'm pretty busy for a couple months.

Thanks for the advice and info everyone,

- Peter
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #6
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Welcome.. Sounds like a great find. Here on the forums we all want to see pictures. So please post them when you get a chance.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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"Before" Photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1953 Flying View Post
Welcome.. Sounds like a great find. Here on the forums we all want to see pictures. So please post them when you get a chance.
Ah, good point! These are all the original sale photos. After 2.5 months of searching pretty aggressively on Craigslist and other places, we ended up finding her on Mark at Airstreamguy.com's FSBO page! Here they are:
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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I think you bought the one we were looking at. I really wanted that little Pacer!! I guess things work out for a reason because we found one in New Jeresy a couple weeks later. Tiny is a 1958 California 18 footer in about the same condition your is in. We plan to have her ready by June 2012. I also need lots of parts and pieces including a Princess stove. Can anyone help me find one??? Good luck and please post pictures.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Neat!

Well I'm glad it worked out for both of us then! We really wanted this one from the beginning because of the large windows. Everywhere we stop has such beautiful views and its already going to be awkward moving from a tent to inside a nice comfortable home on wheels while in national parks and such, so we at least wanted to be able to see as much of the outside as possible.

On another note, it is kind of ironic that the California Pacer is now in Tennessee while the Ohio Pacer is now in California. But of course its good since Airstreams love to travel!

We are likely going to keep our Princess stove as the one major throwback and are vacillating on the Marvel fridge decision, but if my other changes her mind (the kitchen choices are apparently hers to make ), then you'll be the first one to know.
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:05 PM   #10
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Congrats on your April Fool's day new addition . We drove down to long beach to get ours somewhat close to you . Maybe down the road we will meet at a rally or a function and introduce our new additions to each other.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenslander View Post
I think you bought the one we were looking at. I really wanted that little Pacer!! I guess things work out for a reason because we found one in New Jeresy a couple weeks later. Tiny is a 1958 California 18 footer in about the same condition your is in. We plan to have her ready by June 2012. I also need lots of parts and pieces including a Princess stove. Can anyone help me find one??? Good luck and please post pictures.
Now that's funny... the west-coasters found an Ohio model near then in CA. The east coaster finds a California trailer in NJ. These things get around!
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:09 PM   #12
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That's one really cooool looking little guy.

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Old 04-05-2011, 07:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Now that's funny... the west-coasters found an Ohio model near then in CA. The east coaster finds a California trailer in NJ. These things get around!
Ours did a little zig zag across the states, too. It was made in Ohio, used for camping most of its life in Colorado, and then purchased and moved to Texas, where I purchased it from and had it moved to California. Actually, I kind of like that for a name: Zig-Zag. I'll run it by Marie....
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #14
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Build Thread started

Well everyone, now that I have finally finished up all those things I talked about, I have time to start working on the trailer and sharing my experiences hopefully for the benefit of others. I have started the thread here

So far it is mostly the same as this intro, but will have more details soon enough. I like documenting and sharing....
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:16 AM   #15
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Hi Neighbor!

My name is Lisa and I've been wanting an airstream for a long time! I finally just decided that life is short....so I went to see one today and bought it! I'm bringing it home tomorrow! My husband is slowly getting used to the idea

I found mine on Craigslist and luckily, it was in El Segundo. So, it will be a short drive! I'm most worried about how I will get it into my driveway. Luckily, my neighbor has one and has offered to help!

I'd love to follow your story as we'll be starting from scratch. Our airstream was gutted (for the most part) by a local PR firm. They used it for promotional purposes. It has 2 cheesy "couches" and a refrigerator. That's about it.

I'm looking for a generator as a first step. I want that air conditioning going
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:29 AM   #16
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I'm looking for a generator as a first step. I want that air conditioning going

It depends on the size of you AC but this one will run up to 13,000 btu.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamomof2 View Post
I'd love to follow your story as we'll be starting from scratch. Our airstream was gutted (for the most part) by a local PR firm. They used it for promotional purposes. It has 2 cheesy "couches" and a refrigerator. That's about it.
Haha well you have the unique opportunity to drive down the street and see the progress first-hand. We are currently busy trying to settle on some of the details while finishing up the stripping process on the ceiling.

Our steps are very clearly laid out in my head, but I'm thinking of writing everything down so I don't do something stupid like forget to put in the graywater tank before I put the subfloor in.

It sounds like you've made an awesome decision and gone for it, and now you just need to decide what direction to take it.

As for the generator, others probably have much better info. My three links are this one, this one, and this one has a blurb out generators. That's close to the last thing I'm buying since it doesn't affect anything else in my trailer.

- Peter
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:36 AM   #18
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Peter,

You seem like you've thought thru alot more of this than I have LOL! I need to get going on my research! What are your favorite resources?

I'm curious if you will be building your own cabinetry? or have you found a local source? also....what kind of floors are you doing?

I'm in the tree section near Target. Where are you?

Lastly, a bit off topic, but what biz schools are you applying to? I'm an Anderson grad (UCLA) putting my degree to work as a stay-at-home Mom lol!
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:35 AM   #19
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So far my #1 resource is definitely this thread. 50% is from just searching for what I am trying to answer a question in my head about, and 50% is just reading through the details that people have posted in their long renovations, like Steve's thread, or Carlos' various projects (just search his name or master metal worker,etc.). #2 resource is a folder of bookmarks with about 10 different blogs and a bunch of random info pages organized into "Electrical", "Plumbing", "Floorplan" etc.

Cabinetry: Since we have now decided not to do a toilet of any sort, due to the locations we go and my freakishly long legs that require a giant space to be comfortable while sitting, then there will be nothing floor-to-ceiling within the trailer. That makes the cabinetry much simpler, and allows us to consider using ready-made pieces that I just modify by cutting the rear curve, and possibly shortening lower drawers if needed. Haven't settled on countertop material yet. I wish granite wasn't so heavy. The one disadvantage of ready-made is that we really liked the idea of putting in curved edges-- the kind with a 2 inch radius or more like some of the designs in Timeless Travel Trailers.

I'm at Sapphire and Catalina, a couple blocks past the Redondo pier.

I applied to UCLA and sigh....USC... I'm a UCLA undergrad alumni, so its hard to consider possible betrayal, but for B school its a toss-up. We'll find out in about 6 weeks. Luckily, neither start until late August, so I have about 3.5 months to work on this trailer like there's no tomorrow.
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Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:52 PM   #20
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ha! I went to USC undergrad and UCLA grad. No betrayal....best of both worlds


thanks for the recos on threads to read....i've skimmed Steve's and it's AMAZING! wow!

are you gutting your trailer? do you have a budget yet? my mind is all over the place but for the summer, we'll just enjoy it the way it is for the most part.
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