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AlMeyer1 07-31-2006 06:04 PM

True Newbie
I am new to the Airstream community, in fact I am still looking for my first purchase. We are looking for an older 25ft with a rear bed or an empty shell.

I have never done a trailer restoration, but have done several frame off restorations of cars. Can someone point me to a source for literature? Are there how-to books? Are there guidlines for things to watch for?

Any help in getting started down the right path would be appreciated.

joewinfield 07-31-2006 06:33 PM

Hi Almeyer1 and welcome to the greatest airstream channel. I love all Airstreams but rear bedrooms are the best (opion). This forum is the greatest for learning all to do and not what not to do. The best way for answers is to go to the blue bar above and "search" using key words to get any answer to any question you have. If not, ask a specifie question and you will get answers. Good luck on your restoration project. joe

CanoeStream 07-31-2006 06:35 PM

Hey Al -- Welcome to the Forums! With the Forums you are on the right path. Nope, there's no book. The floors on older trailers have some damage -- but that's a chicken & egg statement, for caulk failure is frequently at fault. And then there are axles, plumbing, and systems ad infinitum... Start some research. There are quite a few standout threads on shell off restoration. Use the words 'shell off' in the advanced search page -- try limiting returns to threads that have more than 50 posts. This indicates back and forth posting as projects carried on.

Enjoy! Ask at some of the above threads on how to get going. Ask again as you find prospect trailers -- some Airstreams are truly in too sad condition to repair. But you're really going to have to start your own thread once you're up to speed. See you around? Great!!

AlMeyer1 07-31-2006 06:49 PM

Thanks, appreciate the help. Any guidelines on what makes a trailer too far gone? Do you look for bad floors, exterior damage, frame damage, or just overall?

CanoeStream 07-31-2006 08:40 PM

Restoration prices can head skyward when you have to remake significant parts of the frame. This might be worth it for a '50s or '60s trailer of some value (frequently the shorter lengths). Many members find that 1990 Airstreams can be found in quite good condition, requiring some general upkeep while you are on the learning curve.

You can put a lot into a restoration and only have a modest value trailer in the end. Of course most of us love our Airstreams when we actually get to use them, not prepare them for the next owner. See VAC's Price vs Condition and Photo Archives.

Search on 'rear end separation' -- this tends to be longer trailers from the '80s when Beatrice Foods held the company. The skin would have some wrinkles aft of the wheel wells due to inadequate frame strength.

Look at thread after thread. Look in the 'Forums' area at top left to see how ASForums is organized. Use the search function on topic & values. Begin to cruise the ASForums classifieds to see what turns up. VAC has classifieds too. The Maw of the Monster (eBay) might only chew you up and spit you out! You'll have to be patient in the search -- any extra time you take in the search will be rewarded by much less restoration time!

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