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Old 09-27-2005, 09:29 AM   #1
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Dreaming of airstream

Okay we are green, new and need help. We have been looking for an airstream for 2 years now first we looked into a new one but we just cant swing that. We just had a friend to buy a new camper and are selling there 31 ft 98 model excella so we went this last weekend and looked it is in great shape but we would have to step up our tv plus it has a salvage title and they are asking 22 for it still a little high for us. I'm in the antique business and just love the vintage models 60's. We need any advice yall can give We would like a fixer upper but not to much of a fixer upper and we have decided no longer than a 20 ft. We only do local camping and one time a year we pull a road trip this year to Disney world.
Also we live in Mississippi and used Airstreams are just not available are there shipping co. that help you get your dream home. I would love all the advice you can give us on what to look for and also would love to see pictures of 20ft and below models.

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The Lacy's
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:20 PM   #2
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we just found our 65 Safari after looking for a long time--and NJ is also not a good place to find one, but it can be done.

Ebay is a very good source--people say the local Free Trader mags are, too.

one thing to think of--the smaller airstreams are very hot now--we went up to a 22' one as it was more reasonable, and I'm happy we did--has so much more room inside.

This forum is a great resource--ask for any kind of advice and someone knows the answer--there are even people who'll go and inspect a trailer for you.

good luck.
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Old 09-27-2005, 03:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel beck
e selling there 31 ft 98 model excella so we went this last weekend and looked it is in great shape but we would have to step up our tv plus it has a salvage title and they are asking 22 for it still a little high for us. I'm in the antique business and just love the vintage models 60's.

Thanks,
The Lacy's
22. 22k? Walk away. I wouldn't pay 1k for a salvage titled camper, the salvage part bothers me. Look everywhere, RVTraderonline, ebay (but be careful!!!), craigslist, your paper, other papers (accessible online). Ask around, and don't rush it. You'll find one. They are out there.

I recommend, given your preferences, looking for a 22-24 foot Argosy that "Needs work". I think you can find those for a reasonable price, say 3000 or below. You should expect to put about 1000 into them, say for a new water heater and water pump, a new battery and new tires. That would get you on the road and starting to enjoy the Airstream Lifestyle (tm).

John
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:06 PM   #4
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I saw a 61 Safari for sale today

In Atlanta, near me. It looks intact. Price on the window was $6200 I think. Missing one of the little doors on the outside. Skin looked good to me. Windows intact, no A/C, Also stated no heater and plumbing and gas and electric needed work. No gas tanks. Looked in window and cabinetry appears intact. Could not go in trailer as was locked, so don't know about floor. Front window may have leaked at one time as wood on back of sofa looked like it had gotten water sometime. I can get pix for you if you are interested and the phone number. I have no idea about the price vs. condition on this unit as I am a relative newbie. My gut feeling is that it might be a little expensive, but I am not sure. I wish I had the money to pick it up and a place to store it. Tires looked ok, but I don't know their age. Has a bathroom and a tub and toilet. ORiginal appliances but note on trailor didn't state their condition. The inside is cute and looked good thru the window.
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:24 PM   #5
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Beck, you've looked at the Classifieds section above, I assume. Trailers are available within a day's drive of ol' Miss. Prices are....Prices. You'll find one, keep looking.

Good Luck

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Old 09-27-2005, 06:26 PM   #6
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From my own personal experiance I can tell you that trying to find the right trailer takes time and can be very fustrating. If you can not personally inspect a trailer before you buy it or even put down a deposit, I suggest getting it inspected. A list of inspectors is available on this forum. They are not professional inspectors, but they know airstreams. They should be paid for their expences. Good luck on your search.
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:31 PM   #7
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This one just came up on Ebay. Its a '61 Safari and looks to be in good shape.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Airst...78624458QQrdZ1

Not too far from you either.

Brad
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:16 PM   #8
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That's the exact one I saw today

Amazing. Really! It is nice. There is a maybe 2x2 ft cut out under the belly pan behind the right wheel area for some reason. The door to something on the left side is gone and covered with duct tape. I saw no significant dents. The hitch and bumper are painted black. Expect front window has leaked at some point. cound not get inside to assess floor. The for sale sign had $6200
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:33 PM   #9
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All of yall have been so helpful such a small world with the Atlanta camper.I just checked with the seller on ebay msg some questions see what he has to say seems like a lot of issue's with this one but I can bet I know what his reserve is. I did map quest about 365 miles from me not to bad just have to watch and see.
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:42 PM   #10
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Welcome to the Airstream Forums 'rebel beck' Lacy! Yes, we've all lurked before getting to the point we'd understand answers to questions we might have. This is the greatest 'place' you won't find on any map!

Airstreams start getting grey water tanks about '73 or so. The Argosy was a simpler lighter model, intended to be family affordable. There's no clearcoat or polishing to worry about. My 24' is only 8' wide and easy to see around with stock extendable TV mirrors. Older trailers are lighter than new -- our Argosy is one foot shorter and over 1200# lighter than the Safari.The very lightest at around the 20-22' range are the 7'6" wide Argosy Minuets (do a search) -- they are in high demand and not that easy to find. Mighty skinny to live in from what some people say -- but they would have to be a delight to tow!

All furnaces of that vintage should be replaced -- they are not safe. Water heaters are close to replacing if not on the fritz already. $1000 is probably quite a bit shy of rehabbing trailers of this era. It's way easier to own a trailer of this era if a person starts out fairly handy with fix-up. You can ask questions on these forums and fill in any gaps. Between that and skills of friends, acquaintances, and maybe a mechanic at Camping World or other RV spots you should be able to tackle some of the basic plumbing and wiring issues that constantly present themselves. Most commercial RV shops don't really want to spend much time on our precious 'basket cases.'

Just what type of tow vehicle do you have currently?

Welcome again! Don't be shy!!
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:39 PM   #11
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Thanks, we have a 2001 explorer v8. It's my husband, 7 year old son, myself and our 2 canine children Oakley (mutt) and Ms. Annie the basset hound.
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Old 09-27-2005, 10:43 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forums!
You can tow a vintage Safari with the Exploder V8. 22ft is better for your family than below 20ft, unless you like being very very tight with each other.
All , and I mean ALL vintage campers will need substantial work, and investment, if not sooner, than later. Be aware of this as you make a purchase. The trailer with out a rotten plywood floor or other major issues is a rare breed, if you're talking 1970 and older.
If you want to camp in peace, get a newer trailer and larger tow vehicle. the newer you can afford, the better. You will spend larege sums of money on a vintage trailer, too.
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:07 PM   #13
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Try contacting forums member jimrogers. He and his wife live in your part of the world and rehab and resell vintage airstreams as a hobby.. I would strongly suggest that you look at Argosys as well.. They were made from 74 - 79 in several lengths from 20 ft up. The minuet line is narrower and lighter. After 74, airstreams (and argosys) have grey water tanks -a good thing - to hold waste water from sinks...

The lighter trailer would be easier to tow and the painted version means NO POLISHING. The 6 metre (20 ft) Minuets had aluminum floors - mine weighs in at 2400 lbs - I tow with an exploder with a v6 (hanging head in shame now....)
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:30 PM   #14
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Lightbulb Hopefully understandable...

I agree with Uwe -- after my experience of adding up many, many hours spent on a 1976 trailer. Evaluating potential repair needs on a seemingly 'nice' vintage is darned hard until you've made all the mistakes. As Uwe says, you could spend those larger sums of money over time -- your decision will be if it's kinder on you to deliberately allocate that money through financing. Forum members can help you if you do want to look at older.

You are most welcome to the Forums! The following is offered in the most helpful of attitudes. I'm going to discuss your particular tow vehicle. Of course you will have to factor in your flexibility, whether you own the tow vehicle outright, and how long you anticipate owning it. If you choose a trailer suited to your tow vehicle you may wish for more space. Nobody ever wanted less trailer than they could pull. Your son is growing, right? You've maybe seen http://www.vintageairstream.com/rr_t...condition.html

Don't clutch at the most favorable interpretation. The basic ASForum rules state that accuracy of any info here cannot be verified -- the rosier the scenario, the more cautious you would want to be. So let's move forward... Any tow vehicle limits you in two ways.

(1.) The impact of short wheelbase on emergency handling and braking suggests an Explorer owner sticks to shorter trailer lengths. Two forum thread links follow. They discuss wheelbase and interpretations of one or two somewhat flexible Rules of Thumb. This is a safety issue plain and simple.
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ase+rule+thumb
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ase+rule+thumb

(2.) Figuring weight of passengers, dogs and other camping gear inside the tow vehicle, you must then add tongue weight and stay within your vehicle's GVWR (ignore tow capacity and GCWR until this first factor is fully satisfactory!). Tongue weight is going to be 10-15% of the loaded trailer gross weight (anything outside this percent will not be a stable tow!). This is a braking and maneuverability issue again, but you now are looking at factors that could decrease service life of expensive parts of your truck/SUV. This is always a struggle, because even 1/2-ton trucks have limits. LARGE expensive SUVs can work but some Forum members have spoken highly of high-capacity vans (I recall one with an E-250 I believe).

Okay -- look at your owner's manual or the Federal-required weight sticker -- probably driver's door post area. This will give you the Explorer's GVWR. Study http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...faq.tea#weight and do some figuring to understand what tongue weight your Explorer can truly carry. You will also see an explanation of abbreviations above. (You will need a weight distribution system to stay within the rear axle's GAWR.) All Airstream trailer weights are also given on this same airstream.com FAQ page -- look for it several topic above this weights section.

So those are the boundaries of what you can begin to look at. Your trailer & tow vehicle choices are on a sliding scale. Nobody ever wants a smaller trailer. You will find more versatility through a larger tow vehicle. Best of luck to you both 'exploring silver' so you can get camping sooner -- and 'exploring green!'
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