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Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2012
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First Time Trailer Buyer

So I might ramble a bit but my boyfriend and I are looking to buy our first vintage trailer. We went to check out a 78 souvereign yesterday. We are looking for a restoration project and have done alot of reading online but are still concerned about missing something be cause of our lack of experience. The trailer needs alot of work on the inside but I am not really concerned about an original interior. Most of the exterior body is in great condition for its age except for one rip in the back by the bottom right bumper. The floor in the interior by where the rip was is definately soft which makes me think that the floors will need to be redone. The deal breakers that I am worried about with that is how much should we worry about that hole and dry rot in other areas if we know that at least the floor should be redone and also there is rust on the under belly. It was getting dark when we went to check out the trailer so I dont know the extent of the rust. we need to go back and check out the trailer again when we can get under there in the daylight. How much rust is to much to compromise the integrity of the trailer? I saw something mentioned in one of the forum disscussions that led me to the site that inspectors are available to help out with maybe coming along and giving us a second opion on the trailer. It is located in Jansville, WI. How do I find an Inspector? I could find where they are listed. Thanks for your Help!
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 24
1976 Argosy 28
Fort Worth , Texas
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Along the right edge of the "Portal" page, the 3rd section down is "Airstream Inspectors."

You'll want someone who's done a big restoration, or at least *I* would if I were looking for that kind of project. I bought our first trailer in 2011, but I was looking for something close to ready-to-camp, so I had very different criteria.

Just above the drop-down for 'State' in the Airstream Inspector section is a link to the Inspector's Checklist, a great resource. Much of it talks about stuff you won't care about if you're going to gut the interior.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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1974 23' Safari
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1947 25' Spartan , Manor
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Hi Lil,
You'll find a lot of help around here. The first thing I would say is to see as many trailers as possible. This will give you the best insight. Post pictures here as well along with as many details. It's hard to see the frame a lot of the time, so that can make for some surprises.
Look up Rear End Separation, the larger trailers suffer from this, someone else would have to fill you in more, but it sounds like it may have some.
Look through entire restoration threads, if you're going to redo the floor you should make sure you know what that entails, it's doable, it just takes a lot of work, some space and tools, it's a serious undertaking.
Also, make sure the length is what you're after and you know what it takes to pull it. 31' is a big trailer, but that may be what you want.
SEE A LOT OF TRAILERS!
Have fun!!
Cheers,
Eric
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
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There are other A/S owners near you in Madison and near Janesville that might also inspect a trailer with you. Use the search function on the blue toolbar above and type keywords like trailer inspectors or inspectors and I'm sure you will find help. You can also look in the forums tab above to locate post regarding inspectors (I think). Hope this helps, Ed

P.S. Longer trailers are less expense but usually have more issues. Be careful!
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