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Old 02-29-2008, 12:04 PM   #1
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Murphy beds and Iowa boys ?

Still learning from all of you and trying to find something in the 27 foot range we can tow with our Mercedes G500 (7,000 towing weight).

1. Has anyone ever in stalled a murphy bed during a renovation?

2. On the iowa boys website there are pics of a restored 60's tradewind and a 50's flying cloud. With an average trailer to start with, what is the total finished cost (within 3-$5,000) ? What would these older remodels weight when finished? How long does this whole process take?

I've read all the comments about a 3/4 suv w/ towing package. I understand the saftey reasons. Just don't want to have to store another vehicle and the TT when only used in the North Texas area 10-12 weekends a year. Hunting, football games and store functions would be the norm.


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Old 02-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Read the threads on "the Full Monte"! Use the SEARCH function. I think it's very ambitious to try to pull anything as long as a 27 with that tow vehicle... a 23 or a 25 may be fine.

Re a Murphy bed: The walls are curved (all of them) - and having actually used a murphy bed in college - they are HEAVY! They are nicely balanced by springs, but HEAVY. Exactly what you do not want with your vehicle. Many people use a futon couch which seems to be a good alternative if you can get one that is comfortable, not a basic cheapo-cheapo.

Cost to renovate an older one? - Well "Happy Campers" calls their new Argosy "Costalotta" - that should give you an idea. Airstreams, new or vintage aren't cheap. Vintage do weigh less than new ones though. I tow a new 25 FB SE with a 3/4 ton Chevy Silverado, quad cab long bed. Now I may be have a truck that is major hefty for what I'm towing, but there's always another Airstream - and who knows someone may sell a 34' that I just can't live without.

Hope others can give you more positive replies, but I think you're cost expectations are way too low, and your expectation of towing successfully is questionable at best. Good luck whatever you decide.

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Old 02-29-2008, 12:31 PM   #3
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Mercedes G500...too short of a wheel base to pull anything longer than a 22-24 footer IMO. It's not just about towing weight but also braking and sway. Number one priority is to be safe!

1. Murphy Bed...I think Paula is right on with her assessment.
2. Cost...will depend on whether you are doing the work yourselves or paying someone to do it. If doing it yourself, expect to pay $15-20K above the cost of the trailer for a fully-customized restoration. If paying someone else to do it...double that. Could be as much as a new trailer $60K+.

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Old 02-29-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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I meant TOTAL cost within $3-$5,000. I'm would expect from websites this would be, up to, and above $40,000 and am comfortable with that.
If anyone has personal experience w/ one of these shops please relate your experiences.

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Old 02-29-2008, 12:54 PM   #5
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There is a strong need to have a restoration add not much more weight than the original cabinetry and furnishings.

From Airstream's FAQs read and understand the Weight Rating section.

The difference between empty or Dry Weight and GVWR of a trailer is the payload. A heavier restoration quickly eats into that payload. A heavy bed? If vintage Airstreams had double bed accommodations it was generally in the form of a fold-out or gaucho couch/bed combination. It is remarkable how stable and very lightweight the construction was for those beds.

GVWR is dictated by the axle ratings. Older SOB trailers generally aren't around any more. Older Airstreams usually will need axle replacements. It is possible to upgrade to heavier axles but it remains that the frame really couldn't handle heavier loading. For instance, design decisions made in the Beatrice Foods years actually caused a multitude of frame problems.

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Old 02-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #6
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Hey BO

Looking for an Airstream that you can tow with a Mercedes G 500 ??? Try to find a 21 ft Sovereign 1992 to 1995. Why ?? DRY WEIGHT 3,900 LBS, TWO (2) Axils,large shower,sleeps 4,holding tanks are as large as a 31 ft,Easy to pull and park,I have seen a post where someone added a bunk bed over the double in the rear corner.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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folks we've already given bo the once over on his tow vehicle here...

and a list of restoration vendors here...

so now s/he wants to know HOW MUCH MONEY a restored vintage trailer can cost....

which really depends on the condition of the donor trailer and what upgrades are desired...

many old trailers need a new frame, running gear and a few new skin sections, along with COMPLETE hvac/plumbing/gas/lectric rebuilds...

then there are appliances, trim, gadgets, furnishing and the polishing job...

so, complete make overs can run 70-100,000 $ easily and DO.

you won't get a reliable price quote within 3-5,000$ without direct contact with the restoration shop...

who will wanna inspect the donor trailer and have a COMPLETE upgrade list written up...

it's just like remodeling a house bo' so contact the remodel shops and make a list of your dreamy upgrades...

so have u contacted ANY of the restoration companies personally yet?

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:57 AM   #8
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Thanks to all...........

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