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Old 09-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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Salem , Oregon
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Newbie: How long can you park an airstream in the elements before it is ruined?

How does the frame and shell hold up to sitting in the wilderness? I know if you were to do this with a normal travel trailer, within 5 years it would start to fall apart, another 5 years it would probably be done for. Are airstreams as impenetrable as they say? At what point does the shell and frame get completely ruined from moisture? I live in a very wet place 8 months of the year, and I plan on living in it!!! Thanks!

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Old 09-10-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
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If the shell is water tight prior to parking it you could probably get a good 10-30 years out of it. Mine is 35 years old and was parked at the coast for 7 years before I bought it. Parking an Airstream is about the worst thing you can do to it, they were designed to keep on rolling. The axles will go bad, then the shell will start to leak, then the floor and frames start rotting out, the windows leak, etc. With some minimal maintenance every few years I could see it lasting 40+ years if parked. I have a 1981 model that I will be parking because it isn't worth doing a frame off on it. I plan to rework all the sealants prior to parking it and then do maintenance on it every couple of years as needed.


....so many Airstreams....so little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Leaks are the death of these things. Leaks cause the floor to rot and the same leaks soak the insulation and keeps the frame wet and then it rusts out. I would get it leak tested and fix all the leaks. I would then pull the bottom skins and pull all the stinky wet pink stuff out. They can last decades or years depending on the above and the enviroment. East coast or North west is worst. Out west where it is dry they can last much longer without as much care.

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Keep up with any leaks and it will last as long as you want it to.
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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Airstreams have more seams than other trailers but less wood (except the floor). You need to be around to make sure that something does not fall on the plastic vents/skylights, which can easily be broke and let in a lot of rain. If you are away for long periods, you may also have burglar issues. It is no different that a house, preventative maintenance will always be necessary.
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