Originally Posted by champrider
I know I am not going to be welcomed by many but, I was offered a 1971 silver stream empress trailer for FREE. ( Yes, I know this is Airstream forum) I have to pick up in the AM. Anyways I cannot find any real info on airstreams. This trailer has a dent in the lower rear corner with a tear in it. The panels are rivited on so I am not sure if it can be fixed or is worth being fixed. If anyone can help me with info I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you in advance.
I don't mean to offend anyone either I am desperate for some info.
It's probably a "Silver Streak" - and we do welcome "vintage kin" here. There are half a dozen aluminum trailers that were similar to Airstream that are now no longer in production.
Generally flat panels can easily be replaced if the alloys are still made - even if they are not panels can be replaced with the closest match though of course they will never match perfectly.
As far as your trailer is concerned - first FREE is the right price. Even if it's not worth rebuilding it can definitely be used as a parts trailer for another vintage unit that is missing windows, appliances, trim pieces, etc. Evaluate it, and flip it if it's beyond reasonable repair.
A trailer that old is likely to have severe floor and frame damage if it has sat out in the weather - gaskets and sealers fail over time, windows get broken and mice and other critters make it their habitat. If on the other hand it's been in a barn or better yet, climate controlled storage it could be a complete gem. Without pictures no one can really give you a realistic appraisal of what you're in for when you pick it up.
IF (big IF) the frame is sound you'll probably still need new tires and clip on running lights to tow it home - AND go slow. If the frame is rusted badly - you need a flat bed trailer or tow truck to get it to your workshop/garage or yard. Know your zoning regs before you put in a residential neighborhood - especially in the yard.
If you do not have experience doing a frame off rebuild - do spend some time reading the renovation threads on this forum. About the worst thing you can do is a "make it pretty" renovation without understanding what structural, electrical, plumbing and propane issues might be. You end up having to rip up the whole thing and do it over.
Good luck, Paula