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Old 06-07-2009, 10:31 PM   #1
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1968 20' Globetrotter
hometown , u.s.a
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To buy or not to buy - 1968

Well, I have the Airstream bug. Found a 20 foot '68 GT...pretty rough but seems to be "structurally" sound. No floor rot. No water leaks. Good tires. Rust spots on the under carriage but no "rust through." Not sure if the systems function, but will have them checked out.
Needs ALL new cosmetics. Cabinets have been painted but I think they will be easy to strip and refinish...maybe put in some new doors. Few wall panels need to be replaced but nothing too terribly serious.
The front window will have to be replaced. Have found replacements on line but don't know how easy it will be to install. Bath fixtures appear to be in good shape. Range looks rough as does the fridge...probably will have to replace. Thinking about just putting in burner top and build in a microwave below. Heater obviously doesn't work as they have a smaller heater hanging in front of it. One couch pull out looks like it will have to be rebuilt/repaired. Upholstrey/curtains a must. Probably replace the counter tops and possibly sink.
But the interior walls appear sound and in good shape.
Just by appearance it looks like the exterior of the AC unit is "newer" but the inside controls/panel is original...is that possible?
Exterior...obviously needs to be buffed and shined. A few dings and dents. One sizable dent in the back above bathroom window but nothing on a seam or evidence of water damage inside. Under carriage panel looks good.
I can do just about anything so flooring, upholstrey, refinishing, etc will be no big deal. Read up on polishing...labor intensive but doable.

SO HERE is MY QUESTION! Have looked around for values...varies greatly and this seems to be a great forum for all the answers. Any ideas on what might be a "fair" price considering all the work that has to be done.
It is apparent NOTHING has been updated except some commercial carpet tacked down on the floor. Everything looks original, but well worn and well used.
Second, any and all suggestion on what we need to look for and research on this particular trailer before purchasing. Prefer not to have to pay for a professional inspection, but will if advised.
Third, I plan on hauling this with a 2005 Dodge 150 Ram Pickup...6c. It says it will haul it, but would prefer imput from people with experience.

Thanks for any help you guys can give. Have really enjoyed all the info on this site and will probably be here quite a bit if we buy!
Four years ago we were looking at 30' fifth wheel newer RVs. Thankful the timing was just not right!! So glad we did not sink our money into one now!! But this purchase would be a wonderful project for the whole family and it appears to be more of an investment!
And a lifestyle!
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:41 PM   #2
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go to vintageairstream.com They have a great section on price vs condition. They put a lot of info together on this,
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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Ottawa , ON
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Hi there and welcome to Airforum.com! All things Airstream are talked about here in great detail, and lots of help is available to you.

The question I have is how rare are Airstreams in "Hometown, USA"? In most places, they do come up for sale fairly frequently. The one you are looking at will obviously need lots of work, and if you want to update it to modern standards, it will even need a "gray water" tank installed.

It's easy to spend $10,000 on getting a trailer in crude condition on the road, even one that doesn't require heavy frame work. Appliances alone could run to maybe a third of that, by the time they are installed. Axles, tires, a decent hitch, maybe a couple more thousand. It all adds up quicker than you think, especially if you need professionals to do any of the the labour part.

So this is why older trailers often sell for very low amounts, because in reality, they will only be worth something if they have already had the big bucks spent on them.

So while it may be structurally sound, if you expect it to be in an up to date condition and with everything in good working order, look around at trailers selling for $10,000 and over and see what the differences are.

But if you what you are really looking for a project to keep you busy over the next year or two, then offer the seller a few hundred and see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained...
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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What Aage said!

Every word Aage said is gospel.

Now - about the TIME factor. $10K is a healthy amount of money, but it's the 400 to 4000 hours you have to work while spending that $10K that can really wear you down. If you have seven unfinished projects lying around your property, (A) seek professional help and (B) don't think this project will be any different.

IF your project trailer is something that brings your whole family together working on it - and if you all enjoy doing these projects together - go for it. If you'll be working alone and could get paid for some or all of those "project hours" definitely consider getting something that's been professionally restored or newer and road ready.

If this will keep you away from your spouse and kids, well the divorce could "empower" you to finish since you'll be LIVING in your project.

Some people just love working on their Airstream projects and many have done work that I just drool over. I bought new because I did a fearless personal inventory - just didn't wan't to fuss with a fixer upper. However, even new needs to be maintained and tweaked. (If I were starting over today I'd buy gently used - a 2 to 3 year old unit that has taken the big front end depreciation.) You do what your heart tells you - after you've done a reality check with your brain.

Happy Trails, Paula
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
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Paula is very, very correct. It's the same with any restoration or remodeling project. We bought our house 9 years ago and a lot of stuff wasn't finished. We saved a lot of money on the purchase price. I'm still working on it, saved a lot of money buying materials carefully and on sweat equity, spent a lot of time and sometimes, just get sick of the whole thing.

As Paula says, even a new one has a lot of maintenance and frustrations (QC issues at the factory), and if we were looking now, and with what we've learned, we'd be looking at a recent model that has depreciated and been well taken care of.

An old Airstream is not a good investment in my opinion, unless your time is not worth anything to you. If you like working on vehicles, find a '60's muscle car in someone's barn and restore it—they are selling at crazy prices. An Airstream is to travel in and that is a different kind of investment. Our house is to live in primarily, and I'll make money on it when I sell, but in the meantime, it's a house. Our Safari is for travel and is a lousy investment monetarily—we do save money on lodging and eating, but we'll have to use the trailer for about 50 years to recoup our purchase price and I'll be 118.

Gene
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, Dreaming,
I have yet to see an RV that is a good monetary investment. Old or new doesn't make much difference. It will either be depreciated rapidly if new, or need repair and up-keep if old.
The return on investment is not primarily a monetary transaction, and if it was, I think we would all be carrying tents in our trunk instead of hauling shiny aluminum. You can call it Aluminitus, or nostalgia, or just plain old LOVE.

I LOVE my Airstream. I think it's the coolest thing on two wheels!

No offense to your post, Gene. Just another opinion. I always enjoy reading yours, Thanks.

Rich
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
An old Airstream is not a good investment in my opinion, unless your time is not worth anything to you. If you like working on vehicles, find a '60's muscle car in someone's barn and restore it—they are selling at crazy prices. An Airstream is to travel in and that is a different kind of investment. Our house is to live in primarily, and I'll make money on it when I sell, but in the meantime, it's a house. Our Safari is for travel and is a lousy investment monetarily—we do save money on lodging and eating, but we'll have to use the trailer for about 50 years to recoup our purchase price and I'll be 118.

Gene
I can sort of see Genes point, but my two vintage Airstreams restored didn't even come close to the list price of his trailer at MSRP: $60,431.00. Wow! Talk about sticker shock. I could do allot for that kind of money.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:46 PM   #8
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It seems like I wasn't very clear. Old and new are not good monetary investments. A several year old one is a better investment than the first two options, but still, it is a depreciating item, just like a car. We buy them to travel. We bought new so we wouldn't have the hassles of fixing things. We were wrong about that because of poor QC. Restoring an old one means putting out money over a period of a couple of years or more instead of all at once. Buying a not so old one means putting out less money than new all at once, but maybe having some major expenses to replace or repair some things.

Gene
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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If you have time read my thread 1967 Tradewind Travel Travails. It will tell you what ,where, how much I paid. I love my Airstream, it is niether an investment nor a project. It is like a Harley back before they became fasionable, you either like em or not. I like em, no explaination needed, just good clean legal fun. Since you are looking at the forum's i got a hunch you got the itch, scratch it, you won't be sorry. Adios, John
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