Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-22-2018, 10:00 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
New here

Nieve one
I am new here, and have a question. Given there is such a following/value in Airstreams, I am considering undertaking a project to refurbish an old airframe as a hobby for my daughter and I. I am a engineering professor that likes to work with his hands, and has had previous experince with metal working, wood working, and electrical.... I see myself and wife retiring in 5-10 years, so this would be our RV, not wanting to flip it. Finally, wife and I still backback, so we would want to use airstream for extended trips to the great outdoors.
So, my question is, am I nieve/crazy, and what kind of tired AS should I look for? Daughter is good with her hands also.
__________________

Chalmers.1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 12:26 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,675
Welcome to the forums!

Well, your vision of finding a trailer and rennovating it is not crazy, people on these forums do it all the time. There is a thread that is a compliation of all the "full monty" restorations--good reading material. There is also The VAP (Vintage Airstream Podcast). It is a little rough, but the early episodes at least, spent a fair amount of time talking about repairing and rennovating vintage Airstreams.

The most important information to get out of this is a calibration for your expectations. If you go into the project expecting to spend several years and thousands of dollars, then you are at least going into it with your eyes wide open. A question to ask youself is: Do you have the patience/fortitude to see a very long project through to the finish line? There are plenty of "gutted" trailers out there that are the result of an energetic buyer who realized a short way into the project that they had bitten off more than they were willing to chew, so are dumping their aborted project.

good luck!
__________________

Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #3
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,800
Lots of alternatives. Building one yourself has the advantage of using quality components and a configuration that meets your needs.

Issues:
Project statement - what do you want when done.
Research - answer all your questions before you start.
Experience - purchase an inexpensive RV and try it a bit first.
Understand - AS is not a four season trailer - do you need that?
Exit strategy - you may change your mind - plan a strategy.

Suggestions:
Search Switz's posts, for upgrade opportunity. Others are fantastic too.
Read all the restoration/renovation threads.
Understand the difference between marine and RV specs.
Investigate Avion, Silverstreak, and similar kin.
Visit the factory and maybe some others too.
Look at the Bowlus for ideas.
Look at lots of travel trailer layouts.

Thoughts:
Older coaches are narrower. Consider that as pro and con.
Design your own, but do not ignore good ideas from the past.
Wiring and plumbing raceways that are accessible would be a nice to have.
The TV and the TT are one rig and need to be a match.
Estimate your costs before you start.
Do not assume -> investigate --- do not believe -> test/prove.

Good luck - hope to meet you down the road. Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2018, 07:43 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
64airstream's Avatar
 
1964 22' Safari
1968 26' Overlander
Beaver County , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 618
Chalmers,

Welcome to the forums and potentially to Airstream restoration. As you are aware, there will be many opinions offered here. That's the strength of the Airstream community. Within the many opinions, you can form an excellent understanding of the potential (both good and bad) of your idea. My opinion is; you have all the requisite skills to undertake a vintage Airstream or like-kin project. (Depending on the initial condition of your trailer some work may need to be contracted - welding repairs on the frame, as an example.) The opinions expressed so far are right on track, and, ultimately it depends on you, your budget and your desire. As stated, a vintage project is not quick or inexpensive, but if your mind is in the correct frame, they are fun projects. We've done two restorations and enjoyed both the project phase and the traveling phase. Our first was before we discovered Airforums and before we retired (1964 Safari - 22ft). Our most recent was after on both counts (1968 Overlander - 26ft). The Overlander is documented here; https://www.airforums.com/forums/f39...er-155180.html , if you're interested. We believe the restoration after finding the forums is significantly better than our first effort (although we still use and enjoy the '64 Safari often.) So, again, in my opinion, it's okay to be a little nieve and probably helps to be a little crazy. Just keep reading here and searching for rebuild threads, while you start looking for your project. There is a "Classified" section here on the forums, as well, to help you get a feel for what some people think vintage Airstreams are worth.

Good luck in your decision-making and the hunt. Please keep us posted on your progress and never hesitate to ask a question. Whatever you come across, someone here has tackled it before and is willing to share their success and even their lessons learned.

Roy and Marie
64airstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2018, 08:24 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
Schoharie , Unknown
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 68
On this forum you will find a lot of great information from some very talented, experienced and intelligent folks. However, there is also an arrogant undertone at times. I have been on this site under different titles as I have fallen into the drama cycle and resigned my subscription several times to get away from it. But I keep coming back and just try to learn and have fun. Insofar as getting a trailer (besides what previous posters had stated), buy the best(condition) you can afford from the start. Its like classic cars, focus on a solid frame, good body, solid floors. Plan on axle replacement if older than 25 years. Generally, longer trailers are cheaper per foot than shorter ones as the short ones are more popular and versatile to many. Make sure your tow vehicle is rated to tow what you buy. I preferred a longer trailer and got a nice 1989, 32' (body, floors and frame) for $13.5k. It was usable as bought, this can be psychologically important as you want to camp right away and have some fun with it. I was able to upgrade as I wanted to and could easily work u upgrades ($7k so far) into my budget. Plan on surprises as you work on the trailer and don't get discouraged!! Good luck and safe travels!!
EZTOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 09:06 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Lots of alternatives. Building one yourself has the advantage of using quality components and a configuration that meets your needs.

Issues:
Project statement - what do you want when done.
Research - answer all your questions before you start.
Experience - purchase an inexpensive RV and try it a bit first.
Understand - AS is not a four season trailer - do you need that?
Exit strategy - you may change your mind - plan a strategy.

Suggestions:
Search Switz's posts, for upgrade opportunity. Others are fantastic too.
Read all the restoration/renovation threads.
Understand the difference between marine and RV specs.
Investigate Avion, Silverstreak, and similar kin.
Visit the factory and maybe some others too.
Look at the Bowlus for ideas.
Look at lots of travel trailer layouts.

Thoughts:
Older coaches are narrower. Consider that as pro and con.
Design your own, but do not ignore good ideas from the past.
Wiring and plumbing raceways that are accessible would be a nice to have.
The TV and the TT are one rig and need to be a match.
Estimate your costs before you start.
Do not assume -> investigate --- do not believe -> test/prove.

Good luck - hope to meet you down the road. Pat
These are all great suggestions, as are others that have posted. A further, big picture question. Since I am going into this with my eyes wide open, willing, if have to, to really rebuild one, including new floor and walls, cabinets, electric, etc, what is the optimum length. I do not currently have a pickup, so I can buy one appropriate for the size of trailer. I would probably prefer a diesel pickup when I get to it, and would want it overpowered for the size of trailer.

We would use the AS for extended vacations in national parks, forest extra, and as a basecamp, from which we would do day hikes, and short backpacks. Also interested in boondocking, so I will be putting on lots of solar power. It would be mainly for wife and I; we have two boys in college and a girl going into high school. All family members love the outdoors... we, as a family, have gone on many outdoor trips.
So, given my willingness to rebuild, there are many options to fix up. I am inclined to search for a one of 21-27 feet long. Any suggestions?
Chalmers.1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 06:38 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
64airstream's Avatar
 
1964 22' Safari
1968 26' Overlander
Beaver County , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 618
Chalmers,

Great question, poor answer... Whatever feels best to you, for your planned purposes.

We really enjoy our shorter 22 ft Safari, but find we also love the extra room in our 26 ft Overlander (actually 27 ft, by most standards). Ideally, you could get a chance to walk through a few, although that is difficult when searching for a vintage unit. A couple of thoughts, in that regard. You are not far from the factory in Jackson Center, Ohio. They may have a few units in for repair, that you could peek into to get a feel. (Try to time your visit to include a tour of the assembly floor. You can watch them build new units.) Also, south of Toledo is a place where they polish and rebuild vintage units (and sometimes have them for sale) called P&S Trailer. It's been a few years since we've been there, but they were excellent to talk with and let us walk through a few different years and models when we were working on our first project, (over 10 years ago). There is also a very active group of Ohio Airstreamers and a WBCCI Ohio unit (online) that get together with rallies at various state parks around Ohio. They are great folks and would likely love to let you see some of their rigs if you visited a rally. Search on "Ohio informal" or check the rally schedule here on the forum. You could also stop by a local Airstream dealer and sit in a few different new models. Try to imagine your daily activities, cooking, getting ready for a hike, having dinner or playing games on a rainy evening, and see how the layout might work. I should warn you, you could easily come away with a new model, if you're not careful.

There are many different layouts (floor plans) and an extra 4 or 5 feet in length can make a significant difference in appeal and comfort. Some campgrounds have limits on lengths for trailers, but we've never had an issue with the 26 ft on any trips.

Good luck,
Roy and Marie
64airstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 07:05 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1999 30' Excella 1000
small town , Maryland
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 797
If it was me, I would rather be hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, across America than renovating a Airstream. You can find Airstreams that have been barley used at a great price. By the time you renovated a trailer you could have 15-20k invested, and 1,000 + hours of time. That is if you don't get overwhelmed, or lose interest in it. I bought mine for 15k from a elderly couple that used their Airstream a few times. A few repairs here and there, and off I go. The old timers I used to work with, would get a tape measure and extend it 76''....the average life span of a male. Then they would place their finger of the age that they are...very humbling. Just saying life is short. I would rather see you camping with your daughter this summer. Check Craigslist a days drive from your house for a Airstream. Just my 2c . Almost forgot - Welcome to the forum Chalmers.1
streaminwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2018, 08:00 PM   #9
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,800
You should find a 16 ft Bambi. Since it's small it will be inexpensive to acquire, won't take too long to renovate, will be easy for that diesel truck to tow, and it will fit in the smallest camp site. There is room for two adults in the bed, two kids in the dinnette and a friend on the floor. Given a bigger family or more friends, you can carry several tents in the bed of that diesel truck, since it probably will have lots of payload. If you have good results with your investigation, you can go with what 64AS said.
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2018, 08:53 PM   #10
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,282
Images: 2
Welcome! You may not like RV camping. But a gently used Airstream would allow you to camp and still challenge your “engineering shills”... then get an old Airstream to rebuild if you like the challenge.. a lot! That way when the rebuild is stressing you, take the working Airstream out!

Good luck with your decisions!
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 05:08 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
mimiandrews's Avatar
 
1966 22' Safari
Hilltop Lakes , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,625
Another place to look at various Airstreams would be at a rally. Most are welcoming of visitors, and there is often a time period when trailers are open for tours.
mimiandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 07:09 AM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64airstream View Post
Chalmers,

Great question, poor answer... Whatever feels best to you, for your planned purposes.

We really enjoy our shorter 22 ft Safari, but find we also love the extra room in our 26 ft Overlander (actually 27 ft, by most standards). Ideally, you could get a chance to walk through a few, although that is difficult when searching for a vintage unit. A couple of thoughts, in that regard. You are not far from the factory in Jackson Center, Ohio. They may have a few units in for repair, that you could peek into to get a feel. (Try to time your visit to include a tour of the assembly floor. You can watch them build new units.) Also, south of Toledo is a place where they polish and rebuild vintage units (and sometimes have them for sale) called P&S Trailer. It's been a few years since we've been there, but they were excellent to talk with and let us walk through a few different years and models when we were working on our first project, (over 10 years ago). There is also a very active group of Ohio Airstreamers and a WBCCI Ohio unit (online) that get together with rallies at various state parks around Ohio. They are great folks and would likely love to let you see some of their rigs if you visited a rally. Search on "Ohio informal" or check the rally schedule here on the forum. You could also stop by a local Airstream dealer and sit in a few different new models. Try to imagine your daily activities, cooking, getting ready for a hike, having dinner or playing games on a rainy evening, and see how the layout might work. I should warn you, you could easily come away with a new model, if you're not careful.

There are many different layouts (floor plans) and an extra 4 or 5 feet in length can make a significant difference in appeal and comfort. Some campgrounds have limits on lengths for trailers, but we've never had an issue with the 26 ft on any trips.

Good luck,
Roy and Marie
This was very helpful. I have contacted P&S and will probably work with them on a rebuild, refurbish.... will be visiting them soon.
Chalmers.1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 07:10 AM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
You should find a 16 ft Bambi. Since it's small it will be inexpensive to acquire, won't take too long to renovate, will be easy for that diesel truck to tow, and it will fit in the smallest camp site. There is room for two adults in the bed, two kids in the dinnette and a friend on the floor. Given a bigger family or more friends, you can carry several tents in the bed of that diesel truck, since it probably will have lots of payload. If you have good results with your investigation, you can go with what 64AS said.
PKI.... I was born and raised in Concord..
Chalmers.1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 09:16 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks again for suggestions. I and my daughter have an appointment with P&S trailer this Saturday, and they have a number old 60’s to look at...
Chalmers.1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 10:12 PM   #15
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalmers.1 View Post
PKI.... I was born and raised in Concord..
Hope it was a good time for you. The kids amusement park and ball fields are still in use. The drive-in theater gets used for flea markets mostly, but was still showing films the last time I checked. Changes, but a lot the same for a lot of years. Were you pre or post Bart?
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 05:06 PM   #16
1 Rivet Member
 
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Yes, growing up in Concord/ Bay area when I did was great( graduated from HS in 1978). The scientific “energy” of the time/era motivated me to be who I am today....
while I miss all of outdoor activites, and beauty of Northern Ca, i do not miss the three “C”....
Chalmers.1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 06:16 PM   #17
2 Rivet Member
 
Schoharie , Unknown
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
You should find a 16 ft Bambi. Since it's small it will be inexpensive to acquire, won't take too long to renovate, will be easy for that diesel truck to tow, and it will fit in the smallest camp site. There is room for two adults in the bed, two kids in the dinnette and a friend on the floor. Given a bigger family or more friends, you can carry several tents in the bed of that diesel truck, since it probably will have lots of payload. If you have good results with your investigation, you can go with what 64AS said.
I am not so sure that a 16' Bambi will be all that inexpensive, seems like the used short ones are higher priced per foot than the longer rigs. We started out with shorter trailers and kept going longer!! Good luck!!
EZTOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 07:08 PM   #18
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,800
Quote:
Originally Posted by EZTOO View Post
I am not so sure that a 16' Bambi will be all that inexpensive -- snip --
And the lessons begin. Evidently the very large tongue placed firmly in the cheek was not as evident as expected. Certainly thought the suggestion of using several tents for additional guests would have tipped the hand. Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 07:32 PM   #19
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalmers.1 View Post
-- snip -- i do not miss the three C....
Gee, sorry to hear that Concord, Clayton and the Creek left such a negative impression.

Good luck with your search for a coach to renovate. Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 09:05 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
Piggy Bank's Avatar
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,549
Welcome and glad you asked.

My advice, worth what you paid for it.

Learn what makes different options different in performance, in limitations, in weight, in cost, and in adaptability. Until you firmly understand the subject, you cannot evaluate the differences.

Specify like you are a project manager. Different example would be: must be large enough for 6 adults to sleep on occasion, must have suitable water tank size for 2 adults for 5 days without hookups, must have weight towable by standard pickup or V8 SUV, must have food storage capacity for 30 day wilderness trip, must have electrical capacity to work with dual tandem monitors and suitable desk space, must have floor space to hold two kayaks, must have a way to store hip waders, fly rods, and related in the exterior...you get the idea. Figure out your goals based on how you want to use it. Then try to meet your goals.

Lastly learn about what you will likely need to do to custom renovate and make sure your project expectations are what you want to get into. And read this thread about a guy who bought a nice used Airstream and ended up with a great but also great big project:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...7mD2fMjEI9MmH8
__________________

__________________

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank 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
My POR-15 is here! My POR-15 is here! thecatsandi Clearcoat, Exterior Paint & Trim 10 04-13-2010 03:13 PM
Hello - new here and new '66 Caravel kamilaji Member Introductions 4 10-10-2009 01:02 PM
Glad I have met great people here - here's someone that's not... Tom Randall Off Topic Forum 20 12-09-2006 06:36 AM
It is here! Well, almost here... 1973 Ambassador Pschoerrn 1970 -1973 Ambassador 10 05-20-2005 02:56 PM
It's here! It's here! Hit'the'road 2002 - 2005 International 54 11-30-2004 10:00 AM


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 04:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.