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Old 06-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #1
New Airhead
RonMansfield's Avatar
1966 22' Safari
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14
New Airhead in Fresno

After years of looking for a trailer with good bones I finally pounced. Heres the Craigslist ad:

Everything original. Which means its all a little worn. The stove/burner works. Everything is a little faded (as you would expect from an all original 45 year old airstream!). Door works. Locks work. Toilet is there, can't tell you if it works. Original shower insert.
I had a local RV guy (who specializes in Airstreams) give me a quote to replace the original propane tanks, fix the water heater (regulator isn't working), basically to do everything he could think of so that I could drive it away and leave it near the beach. He quoted me $1,000 to make it "all systems functioning". Keep in mind, this camper has been in continual use, so its been functioning all along, its not a 'start over' its a tuneup.

Of course, it looked a little, umm, rougher than the sellers description, but as you know, these things sell in a cats sneeze, and the price was right.

Eyes wide open we shook hands and I lost my wannabe status. After replacing the tires and rewiring the tow light harness, off I drove. Spent the first night under the stars on the way back. Thanks Wal-Mart for the hospitality.

The reason the PO didn't know if the toilet worked was because it was falling out of the back due to floor rot ... So, heres my current tuneup list:

Minimum To-do before Camping

Replace damaged subfloor
o Bathroom
o Front door
o Refrigerator/bed area
o Any other spots found
o Inspect frame
Brake wiring and brakes themselves
Check axels and bearings
Fix toilet, check bathroom plumbing including shower head, buy shower curtain
Buy dump hose
Clean (paint?) bathroom fixtures
Confirm proper operation of black water tank
Check fresh water (clean entire system?)
Hot water tank (fix or replace?)
o Thermocouple
o Relief valve
o Gas valve
Fix/test electrical, install side connector
Replace LP dual regulator & flex line, evaluate whole LP system for operation & safety
Remove furnace, cap the propane line, (might use later), temporarily cover duct opening(s)
Fix gaucho bed rail(s)
Put beds/couches back in
Buy/make cushions for all seats
Finish and reinstall cabinet doors and visible wood
Smoke and gas detectors
Kitchen storage (pullouts, etc.)
Reinstall or replace refrigerator
Install mini blinds and/or curtains
Replace floor (Cork?)
Fix doorstep (It drops down while on the road)
Screen door magnet

Later (after first trip(s):
Install new electrical outlets and switches, add GFI
Fix, clean and where necessary, replace window hardware
Clean up wiring near old refrigerator location
o Seal windows and doors
o Skylights
o Vents
o Pressure test?
o Refurb stove or replace with cook top
o Replace kitchen faucet and/or sink
o Counter
o Microwave
Replace front window rock guard
Heater and air conditioning
Paint, enhance interior
Update lighting
TV/computer monitor

So, when I am not hanging out at Lowes, or putting my hands on what my SO refers to as "the otrher woman in my life" I'll be checking in with all you experts here. You have already helped in many ways with great information on many topics.

'Looking forward to a ralley or two in the not too distant future. (It would be really great if someone would host one in the parking lot in front of the Fresno Lowes ;-)

Ron, the new guy.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #2
Kevin245's Avatar

Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,697
Images: 9
Welcome to ownership Ron. Sounds like you have your work planned. Keep us posted.


"One of the best lessons I've learned is that you don't worry about criticism from people you wouldn't seek advice from."

William C. Swinney

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Old 06-19-2011, 09:45 AM   #3
Rivet Master
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,269
Images: 15
Looks a lot like our initial list.

We started camping in it as soon as we had it road worthy and with a fridge for beer. We put an air mattress on the floor and used other facilities until we had a functional toilet of our own.

Camping in it as you work reminds you of why you're doing it and gives you a good idea of what is important to do.
Our travel and renovation blog:
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
1968 20' Globetrotter
fair oaks , California
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 43
Welcome aboard. I went to Fresno State and lived there briefly after school. Still follow the Fresno State Bulldogs and see a few of their football games each year. This year we are planning to take our AS and tailgate before the game with Nevada.

Hope you have as much fun with yours as I do with mine (a 1968 GT).
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
Rivet Master
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1986 32' Excella
Currently Looking...
Canton , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,342
Images: 25
That is a great rig!
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