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Old 03-22-2015, 11:24 AM   #1
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Remodel vs Restore

Like many first timers I've gone down a few paths. I started with the restoration thread, how cool would that be... oh wait maybe not.

I then figured I'll buy new, or maybe later model.

Then I got to thinking a bit..

It seems like an older, maybe not quite vintage, trailer, say 90's era, might be an interesting opportunity to mix a bit of both worlds.

These era trailers seem to have the size and amenities, but may not be so old as to have structural issues. I've come across several really nice looking trailers on the interwebs where folks have replaced cabinets, appliances and upholstery and flooring and come away with stunning designs. I'm not looking to restore to the orginal, I'd like to upgrade, lighten and make it my own.

Seems to me a $15K 90's vintage rig in good shape could yield a nice canvas to work from without the horror of an off frame mess. Even if I put $15K into it, I'd be in good shape compared to one that's say 5yrs old with a floor plan that I've settled on

I bet someone has an option....
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:44 AM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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One of the great things about owning an Airstream is that you can do any mods that you want. If someone has problem with that let them write the checks.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:36 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
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Welcome to Air Forums. Yes, I think you have a good approach. Renovating a vintage Airstream is horrific fun as you mention. But if you are looking for an Airstream for comfortable traveling, a newer model is a better deal. A 20 year old trailer is still going to have needs. RV appliances aren't any better than home appliances. So figure on break downs with the AC, furnace, water pump, fridge and maybe a vent fan. Examine any potential trailer for water damage. All Airstreams leak or are gonna leak. Tires and brakes are wear out items. I should think twenty year old axles would still have quite a bit of life in them.

Then you can decorate the interior as you wish. There are many floor plans in the various lengths. The top of the line Classic or Limited models have very nice cabinetry. Ours still looks good after 30 years. Floor coverings, upholstery, window coverings, bedding, faucets, etc, etc. are fun to select and make your trailer special for you. Besides, Airstream travel trailers are an American icon and often draw attention at any campground. They are unique, well built, expensive and not common.

Go for it, and post lots of pictures of your project.

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Old 03-22-2015, 04:55 PM   #4
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1973 Argosy 26
1966 30' Sovereign
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We are currently renovating our Argosy 26. We are keeping the original floor plan but replacing the interior panels and cabinetry.
Once we get to our '66 Sovereign, we intend to do more of a restoration but redo the flooring and update the bathroom.
All that is gold does not always glitter...those who wander not always are lost....
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:51 PM   #5
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How does one replace the "headliner' I've seen aluminum, wood. Or do you just patch and paint?
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:52 AM   #6
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The question I have for you is do you want to spend your time camping, or working on a trailer? If you want go camping, then get the newest, best condition trailer you can afford, make sure it is safe, and then go camping. If you want to customize, realize that just changing the flooring, upholstery, and curtains can be expensive and time consuming. When looking for a newer model trailer, also note that you have to be as thorough in inspecting it as you would be with a vintage trailer. Newer trailers can leak and rot just like the ancient vintage models.

If you want the experience of stripping interior of a trailer "down to the studs," and rebuilding your way, then you may as well start with an old wreck, that actually needs to be torn apart. If you are worried about the weight of the finished trailer, then I would suggest starting with a trailer that was designed to be light in the first place (ie., 60's vintage), and avoid adding weight via granite counter tops and porcelain commodes.

good luck!
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:18 PM   #7
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Thanks all, very informative..
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:26 PM   #8
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You have lots of options when you remodel. This is our 1974 Argosy 22'.
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