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Old 09-10-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
New Member
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Help wanted with vintage TT purchase - 1968!

My husband and I are in the market to buy an Airstream. Initially, we thought we wanted a 2005/2006 23 or 25 footer. Then we started looking at vintage Airstreams. We love the look of the mid to late 60's. We actually looked at a 1968 Globetrotter today listed for $10,000. It is very cute but needs some work! Ultimately, we don't want to spend more than $30,000 total. My question to all of you is what would you do? Would you go vintage or stick to something newer? Help us make a decision!

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Old 09-10-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 407
Images: 3
Vintage all the way, I have a '77 I love, but I know of a '57 I would love to restore. The older the better for looks, and I love being able to make it my own with my custom touches. Look at some pictures or attend a rally and see what you fall in love with.

All trailers need repairs eventually regardless of year/age so plan on either being handy or paying someone to work on your trailer.

The only other consideration is wether you plan to use it right away or want to restore it first. If you buy a trailer needing a full restoration don't plan on any trips this year. The benefit of a new trailer is you could be camping this weekend.

1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
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1968 20' Globetrotter
Thousand Oaks , California
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 119
Go Vintage!

There is nothing like the interiors of the 60's trailers. I have a 1968 GT and have alot of my restoration on the Forum threads. If you can dedicate a few years of on/off repair work and love the challenge then do it. You end up with a gem. A Globetrotter is great for 2 people. May want to go to a Safari or Tradewind if you have a family. Will always be here to help out.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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2007 30' Classic
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,750
Images: 33
It All Depends...

...How handy are you?
...Do you have full-time jobs already?
...Do you have lots of $$$
If you can do ALL the work yourself, then restoring or refurbishing a vintage may be an option.
Restore = major repairs to running gear, frame, flooring, replacing appliances (air conditioners, refrigerators, converters, axles, furnaces, etc.)

Refurbish = Lots of deep cleaning, replacing drapes, upholstery, new tires, batteries, etc.

A restoration will cost $5,000 to $10,000 in addition to your purchase price depending on what you must repair and/or replace.

My '76 Safari cost about $5,000 in parts and hundreds of man hours over and above the purchase price.
My '76 Sovereign about $4,000 in parts and many hundreds of man hours.
I quit my job and was able to do all the labor myself.
I did not recoup any of my investment in the '76 Safari. It's market value when I finished was the same as what I paid for it.
I recouped parts from my '76 Sovereign but no labor.

What I am saying is that it is a decision not to be taken lightly. My new 2000 Safari was nearly carefree as is our present 2007 Airstream. We spend more time camping and enjoying our non-vintage Airstream.
Ken L
2007 Classic Limited 30 (Sold)
2007Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
Four Corners Unit WBCCI #8654, Affiliate NM Unit
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,153
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Keep in mind that any trailer older than a '74 model will not have a grey water tank. Unless a PO installed it. If you buy one that has not had the axles replaced, you are looking at $1500.00 at least. When you look at an older unit, take the time to crawl under it and check the axle nameplate. It will have the build date on it.
Look closely at the plumbing for signs of freeze damage.
Have the current owner show you that everything works or tells you it doesn't.
Here are some estimated costs, if you do the work yourself.
Refer $1100.00
Furnace $500.00
Converter and Fuse Panel $250.00
Water Heater $400.00
Additional items may be:
Cook Top and Oven
Miscellaneous lighting
Grey water tank.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,221
I love my old 20' Argosy, mainly because of the floor plan. I did a major repair/upgrade/replacement to keep it. But in all honesty, if the new ones had a floor plan and interior I liked, I probably would go that way. I like to play with my trailers, but I like to camp in them more.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Vernon , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 315
Images: 7
We bought vintage. Got lucky on our purchase. A retired judge in our home town had spent over 8 grand on repairs of the "guts". New plumbing, fridge, ac vents, electrical work, you name it. He left the interior "as is" so when you walk in ours its like a trip back to 1975. We have done some interior work. Curtains new beds new trim. We just got back from Alberta Canada. 4552 miles and she pulled sweet with no problems other than a shelf coming loose in the pantry. Rivets popped while we were going thru some road construction in Montana.
As others have said, vintage does require some work. For us, we are fortunate to have reputable Airstream vintage shops within easy driving distance so the work that I cannot do or do not have the time to do can be done.
A story from our last trip. In Casper Wy on our way back we camped next to a couple that were "full timers". After meeting them and talking we found out that they were stuck there and had been for 4 days. A retired couple that had been full timing for just less than a year. Their stabilizers were stuck down. They had a major propane leak. So they could not move and could not use their heater or cook. Their rig and tv was worth approx a quarter mil. They were waiting on "warrant" work and did not know how long they would be stuck. Next morning I just cranked up our manual stabilizers thanked the Lord above that we had a vintage that was not so complicated and then drove on...
1975 Sovereign
"The Silver Bullet"
2013 F350 Super Duty 6.7 Liter Diesel
WBCCI #8578
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,082
If you like the looks of vintage, then go vintage. I agree with you that the best looking vintage Airstreams are the mid to late 60's models, but then again I am partial since I have a 66 Tradewind.

I recommend buying used vintage in the best shape you can find. You will pay more but there will still be lots of work to be done to make it your own.

Happy hunting, and look at lots of them. You did not marry the first person you dated did you? The more you look at the more you will learn. You will know when you find the right one.


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