Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-25-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
before I buy

My wife and I have been looking to invest in an Airstream for quite some time now. I recently came across a 1973 Land yacht 29ft for $4,500. It is all original. For the most part, it is in good shape. The shell and floor is in great shape and the appliances all appear to work. Needs lots of cleanup, some cabinets rebuilt, and other general minor repairs. Does $4500 seem like a fair price?
__________________

__________________
KevinG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
Mrs.Mod's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Fresno , California
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 434
Images: 15
Welcome to the forums!
Any chance you could take and post some pictures? $4500 doesn't sound TOO far off but you say it's pretty good condition but then you say it needs a lot of clean up. What do you mean by 'cleaning up'? New upholstry needed? New floor needed? Any weird smells?
__________________

__________________
Cheers,
Cara, John & Johnny
Jet, Our silver stow-a-way
1977 31' Sovereign "The Mod Pod"
2006 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Mrs.Mod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
You do understand that any 40 year old RV in "mostly original" condition has 40 year old furnace, AC unit, refrigerator, water heater, water pump, old stile Univolt converter, and axles and brakes as well as tires which all will need replacing in the next few years, if not immediately. I am not trying to discourage you at all, Airstreams are fun and great trailers, it is just that you need to realize that 40 year old anything will need lots of upgrades to make it a pleasure to camp in.

BTW, a 73 probably does not have a gray water tank in case you did not know that. They started to be standard only in '74.

The price is on the edge of OK, depending on what really will need to be done to it. You used the term "invest in" ... You may be investing more than you think, but if you get to use it you will have fun.

Keep us informed, everyone here likes to help.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Ditto on what Idroba said.

On top of that every RV depreciates. If Princess Diana or some other mega-celebrity had owned it, it might be an investment. It's a hobby.

It's not a cheap hobby either. Do a search on "full monte" or "replacing frame" to get an idea of what you could be in for.

I watched too many episodes of "This Old House" and got one of my own. Sanity eventually returned. If I ever decide I just must have a vintage restoration, I will pay somewhere between $35,000 and $60,000 to have someone ELSE who does beautiful work do it for me!

You may believe that you can do it for less, and you can if you dismiss the value of your own time. If you track your time - even at minimum wage - you'll probably spend as much. Figure $10,000 minimum to get it in safe running condition, with all leaks addressed, working appliances, axles, and needed upgrades to power. If you aren't too adventurous about the interior furnishings you'll still need another $10,000 over time to repair damaged seating and tables, replace all of the old foam & upholstery, do new curtains, flooring, shower head, faucets, toilet, etc.

As I reread this I sound really negative. Some people just love tinkering on projects like this - and many times the whole family participates. If this is the case with you then go for it. Just don't imagine that the process couldn't possibly cost that much or take a year or more.

Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
I realize that everything may require replacing... I guess I was just hoping it would work well enough to the point where I could do it as I go. I am pretty handy so wood flooring and upgraded countertops will be a peace of cake. My wife has a great eye for style so between the two of us, Im sure we can handle most of it.

No weird smells, definitely will want new upholstery. By good condition I mean that the body is straight with no dents and the floor seems solid.

I think it does have a grey water. I was looking at the dump valve and it has 2 separate pipes feeding in to the dump pipe (one is slightly larger than the other).

I am really looking forward to getting to know you guys.

Ill work on a couple pics.
__________________
KevinG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Just noticed you're in Arizona. Great place for Airstreams to avoid leaks and floor rot. Has your prospective one lived it's whole life there? Then it's a brighter picture to start.

Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Defnitely been in AZ for a long time. I am not sure if it has been here forever.
__________________
KevinG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Sneakinup's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Tampa Bay , ^
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 708
Images: 117
Typically a small pipe running in to a larger pipe in your bumper area indicates that the gray water is just connected to the larger exit pipe. If you have 2 waste valves in your back compartment, that should indicate two tanks.

I have both gray and black-water tanks and both pipes are the same dimension. You might want to make certain before purchasing.
__________________
My 77 Sovereign Renovation
Out in the woods, or in the city, It's all the same to me.
When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home....When I'm mobile.



Sneakinup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinG View Post
Does $4500 seem like a fair price?
Yes
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,164
Blog Entries: 1
Can not help with the price. I do know that for us we put a lot of time and money in our older Airstreams, (1988 models). I know that you do not want to get "stuck" but the way to assure that is to worry about a few hundred dollars one way or the other on the purchase price and miss one in pretty good condition because of it. Condition is everything on these older units. Might depend on how you are going to use it. You do need to budget time and money for tires, wheel bearing check, brake check, changing the front light connector. You do need to check the frame for rust, particularly where the A frame goes into the body at the front. The axles may be shot, you can probably pull it short distance and camp in it anyway. I know several people that seem to do just fine with 70's trailers and the original axles.

The other thing I know is that the trailers in the 70's that people I know have are awful nice trailers. I like them better than the new trailers for the interior and the exterior finish (Alcald).

RV parts and labor are expensive. Your decision I guess is whether you want to get started cheap and put the labor and money in the back end. Sounds like you might have found a good place to start. How would you feel about dumping another 4-8 grand or so it it a little at the time down the road?

Me, if the body is good, the floor is solid or only small areas of rot, the black and gray tanks do not leak and the valves work, and the axles move a little up and down, I would think it to be an okay starting point.
__________________
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 11:57 AM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
Eric H's Avatar
 
1974 23' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
1947 25' Spartan , Manor
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 457
Images: 9
Honestly I think $4500 is a bit high unless they are in very high demand in your area. It's a big trailer (which are worth less) and I would count on it needing new axles to get it road worthy even if everything else works (the old axles may do alright, but 40 years on the old rubber in the axle is going to take it's toll). I would pay in the 3K range IF the shell were in perfect condition. Just my two cents.
__________________
Eric H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
It is as much an investment as investing in subprime mortgages. This is toy. It is fun to travel in, but costs a lot to make up to date and maintain. Even the news require constant maintenance and are commonly described as "money pits".

I've remodeled some houses over the years and it is time consuming (always more than I thought) and can get expensive. But the parts (2 x 4's, Romex, insulations, etc.) are readily available and can be found at discounts rather easily. I've made a lot of money (even counting my labor) when I sold the houses, but these are not the same thing. Parts for RV's are not always available and never are cheap.

You'll not get your money and time out of a trailer when you sell it, so chose something you are sure you'll want to use for decades.

If restoration is what you enjoy (and not all of it will be enjoyable) and it keeps you off the streets, you are sure this trailer is to be part of your life for a very long time, and you are willing to spend the money, go for it—after you've checked it out thoroughly. Consider seeing if someone from the Forum can inspect it for you so you get an objective viewpoint.

As for the grey tank issue, some have had grey tanks installed on ones without them. I don't know what that entails, so check the Forum for advice on that.

If it is the right trailer for you, Bill's advice is correct—quibbling about a few hundred dollars on price is nothing compared to what you'll spend on it over time.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
These are all great things to take in to consideration. I know all about money pits ( I used to own a boat). We are looking for an Airstream that will stay with us for a long period of time and i am good with making improvements over time. Airstreams are in high demand in my area. I have been watching craigslist daily and most of them below $5,000 are either sold immediately or are gutted.
After thinking about about it, I may hold out and see if I can get the guy to $4k.
You guys are great. I cant wait to become more of a productive member of this forum.
__________________
KevinG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinG View Post
After thinking about about it, I may hold out and see if I can get the guy to $4k.
That means you value the opportunity at $500.

Sounds low . . .
__________________

__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock 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



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.