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Old 09-18-2014, 07:00 PM   #15
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Originally Posted by Chatooga11 View Post
I was at the same auction and I am with Lisa. Based on the pictures I was there with $15000 in my pocket. When I saw the trailer for real I knew I wouldn't pay more that $5k. The "renovation" was botched. It was a project trailer at best. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed that I didn't find the trailer that I thought I was going to see. An interesting fact, the buyer was from Tennessee and was not present at the auction. He was basing his bidding on the pictures. In this case, the pictures were worth far less than a thousand words.
That is always the risk when you buy something sight unseen over the internet based only on pictures. I personally would NEVER do that. But to each his own. I hope the new owners enjoy it, battle through the rough spots, and end up with a trailer they can enjoy for many years to come. Ultimately how much it cost is really up to the TWO people who bid it up that high - so there's another guy out there who wanted it almost as bad.


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Old 09-19-2014, 04:43 AM   #16
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wallingford , Pennsylvania
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Chatooga11, So glad for your validation here. I just wasn't at all wowed when I saw it in person. Interestingly, while I thought I might flip it for around $7k, my price to buy was $5200. Given that I'm an amateur at this and it sounds like you know what you're doing, I feel better about my decision not to even enter into the bidding. Thank you!

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:35 AM   #17
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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I've seen the same thing happen on ebay. The bidding gains momentum, and people lose their sense. Apparently, they think since someone else is willing to bid x, then x+1 isn't unreasonable. Don't expect to find any bargains on any site/event where you have a national/global audience, and you have to compete/bid for it.

Now, for calibration purposes, I would think that $5k is going to get you little more than a "field find" when it comes to the small trailers. The flippers will pick those trailers up locally, clean them up and do some superficial "renovation," and ask (and receive) $10k+ for them. If you want a "camping ready" trailer that has already had the 40 yrs worth of major issues repaired, be prepared to pay for it ($12-20k is not unreasonable). I bought my '73 GT for less than $3k, but that was 3 yrs ago, and I am just now ready to start refurnishing it after a shell-off. I quit keeping track of what I spent on it after the first year.

good luck!
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:19 AM   #18
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1964 26' Overlander
Richmond , Virginia
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I think the value of renovated vintage Airstreams is difficult to predict. There are lots of factors involved. $17K does not surprise. 25K is possible in the right area. We have seen beautiful ones for over $50k.

I think the value is in the structure more than the decorations. Good axles, good frame, good subfloor, good shell, good windows, good electrical, good plumbing and functional appliances are most important to me. That is where the big dollars are.

The most valuable ones are museum pieces that look like they just came out of the factory way back when. They are for show more than traveling.

I'm keeping mine almost completely original (that you can see) Other than the color of the vinyl, it has the original everything - including the full radio antenna. The only modifications you'll be able to tell are the new catalytic heaters, and a low profile heat pump. Other than that, all the updates are completely hidden. It was a real trial to get the plumbing and hookups back to original spec while still adding gray tanks. I'm even cutting down the tiles to 9". Still not a museum piece, and we plan to use it. I need to go to a rally and get some input on how much to insure it though. I just wish I had done all this work on a Bambi instead of an Overlander - 10 feet less polishing, and twice the value - go figure!
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:45 PM   #19
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1973 23' Safari
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
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We looked at one up here about 12 years ago and it was not nearly as nice. Price was $6,500.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:34 PM   #20
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1970 27' Overlander
1970 21' Globetrotter
Hamilton , Montana
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Auction fever. The auctions estimate was closer to real value.

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