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Old 05-08-2013, 11:56 PM   #1
New Member
1971 25' Tradewind
Victor , Idaho
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3
where to start

I own a 25' tradewind and it has been great but the original interior is starting to break down and so is the old copper piping. I want to restore it and am thinking of taking it all out and rebuilding the interior as well as new plumbing and electrical. The bummer is that so much is still in great shape. All appliances, upper cabinets, under bed cabinets etc are really great.

I guess my question is. how hard is it to take out the riveted fixtures and then put some of what you want back?

love the forum.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:41 AM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
Not answering your question, but if things are not too bad, why replace them? Plumbing is not hard to do... use PEX rather than copper and you will be good for another 40 years. What is wrong with the electrical? The 12 volt side generally holds up as well as the 120 volt side. Remove and replace the 120 volt outlets with new ones, and that is about all that needs doing there. If the 12 volt side just needs updating, put a new converter/charger in and add new 12 volt fixtures, fluorescent or LED's. Water pumps can be replaced inexpensively (under $100), a new furnace is about $600 and will have electronic ignition. Water heaters are in the range of $400 and also have electronic ignition, which is very nice (no pilot lights). Curtains can be replaced, curtain pull tabs are still available. New faucets freshen up the kitchen sink and bathroom sink. New shower head will make your shower enjoyable. New carpet or other flooring always brightens up an older trailer. New toilets are good, and relatively inexpensive. New Formica countertops are another thing to update an older unit. Painting the "old banana yellow" end caps with Krylon paint for plastics will restore the white they were originally. Same with painting the refrigerator vent plastic, and the AC cover.

In short, unless the interior cabinets themselves are falling apart, the urge to "take it all out" may not be the best idea, in my opinion. Too many people gut a trailer and then never get it back together, as that can be a daunting thing to do. It is especially bad when they throw away all the curved parts which fit the Airstream and are very hard to replicate later.

You can update and replace things one at a time as budget allows and not be without a camping unit.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:22 AM   #3
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It's hard to make an assessment from a distance

And it is your call, your money, your time. But an option would be summarized in an old cliche. " Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater " Maybe Idroba has a point.
That being said...anything is possible. I saw a restoration that made a full monty look like changing a lightbulb. A rich tall guy wanted to raise the ceiling in his rare vintage Airstream, so he could stand up inside. A new custom frame made by a British race car builder, a swiveling hitch, a plastic wafer subfloor etc,etc. The only thing saved was the skin, windows, and door.( $250K )
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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1971 25' Tradewind
Victor , Idaho
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3

This is what i wanted to hear. Not into a complete remodel just an update. some of the cabinets need replacing. plumbing for sure and i really wanted to take the sub floor out and see what the rodent activity has been like. other than that i will take your suggestions to heart and start slow.

How specifically do you remove the rivets? Once removed can they be replaced or is there a different solution?

Polishing. what is the recommended polish and procedure for buffing the outside back up?

Window seals leak. do i have to take the window out or just cut the old caulking and replace it?

Flooring- I have 3 kids, hunt, fish. Was going to put a new floor down. What do you suggest?

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Old 05-10-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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1971 25' Tradewind
Victor , Idaho
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3
Where do you get all this stuff? is there a good source for curtains and pulls? Do you suggest a place to educate myself on the Pex replacement?

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
Rivet Master
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,482
Originally Posted by Tarpon View Post
i really wanted to take the sub floor out and see what the rodent activity has been like.

Taking the subfloor out is one of the most major things you can do to an Airstream. If the subfloor is not rotted it would be much easier to remove the belly pan to check the rodent activity and frame condition.
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