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Old 01-01-2013, 07:07 PM   #1
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Austin , Texas
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1985 345 Value

We are considering buying a 1985 345 with 60k miles on it. It has been garage kept and hasn't been driven in 6 yrs but has been started every few months. It will need tires & belts but is otherwise roadworthy. One of the front levelers leaks and will need to be rebuilt. It has a new refrigerator and generator. The serious kicker to this deal is an extra, brand new, factory crated engine & transmission that goes with it. Is $15k a good deal or am I wading into a deeper pool of unknowns?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
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Carriere , Mississippi
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Wowsy.... Don't know if it is a good deal or not, but getting a spare engine and tranny is a nice bonus!

I will differ to others about price, but I would definitely check it out (or have a local inspector do it for you)! Have you compared it to what others are asking for similar models on the airforums listings?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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Honokaa , Hawaii
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Yes and yes. It's probably priced realistically, but the pool is there. Six years of sitting around can do bad things to brake systems, that is where I would focus before hitting the road. We have well over $15k invested in ours and it is probably not as valuable as the one you are looking at, but it has taken us on several memorable journeys and still makes me smile when I look at it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Austin , Texas
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Thanks for the quick replies.
**The prices seem to be all over the place but I guess it's understandable given the age. This is my brother in law's parents so I know the vehicle was well kept.
**We are looking forward to those memorable journeys, too.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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Just remember, and I'm certain other Airstream Classic owners will support me on this, your purchase price is merely a downpayment. There will always be something to be repaired, updated, or replaced. But, it's the nature of the beast. For you to even be considering the purchase, I'm sorry, but you've already been bitten by the 'Aluminitis Bug' and the only cure is to acquire aluminum in mass quantities (34 1/2 feet should do it)......
Good Luck, and post pix if you can't shake this 'bug'.....
Derek
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Yeah, the value of ownership can never be measured. Check it out. You will know either way. You will either turn and run or grin like an idiot. And if you are grinning so what if you paid a few extra dollars. Look what people spend to get that feeling!
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:50 PM   #7
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You speak the truth brother Derek!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:58 PM   #8
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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What they said...
Read thru the Classic Sticky for good advice on buying too..

If you know the history, and have a stack of records, you really are ahead of the game. Garage stored is good!
Price is pretty good if its all there and unmolested.
Getting the motor and trans is a bonus.
Tires will sting you about $2k..
If the refridgerator was new 6 years ago, but not used, it could be an issue... absorbtion style units clog if not used...
The Jacks are available new or reconditioned...

Suggested stuff to do, or budget for..
Check the bodyshell for leaks or damage.
Flush/change all the fluids.
Replace all belts and coolant hoses, and have the radiator checked.
Dont forget the 60' or so of 3/4 coolant hose to Aux heater under couch and water heater if it has motor assist hot water heating.
Flush and change the brake fluid and inspect the rubber hoses.
Change all the filters and rubber hoses in the fuel lines, and have the fuel tank inspected for rust while its down.
Check rear airbags for perishing.

Owning an older motorhome is not cheap, but then depreciation is the biggest cost of owning a newer one...
Nothing quite like loosing $100k in 3 years on a new 35' motorhome AND pay the interest on the loan...
I guy I met at our storage was telling me that is where he is PLUS he blew a turbo and that little deal cost him nearly $20k... Ouch!
My opinion is the Classic motorhome has few equals at this time... but maybe I am biased..

If you can do some or all of the work on it, then its a great bonus!

Lets us know what happens?
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #9
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1983 31' Airstream310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
What they said.........

If you can do some or all of the work on it, then its a great bonus!

Lets us know what happens?
Within that little fact hides the distortion of value.
We all keep records on money spent for all the "stuff" and wow does it add up, but if you look at the time spent, it does get lost in the value equation.
As a seller I always loose the countless hours I spent on working on the Moho, but there is the labor of love and fun part. People have bought Vehicles I owned before, because they realized my personal level of perfection and my dedication.
As a buyer I will always look hard to buy someone else's Labor of love, besides the condition and mechanical worthiness.
That's the reason why the price is all over the place, and apples are not oranges...
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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1988 32' Excella
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Flush and change the brake fluid and inspect the rubber hoses.
This is the one thing I disagree with.

Inspect brakes and remove rust from all moving parts of breaks and lube (appropriate parts).

Then change the rubber break hoses, inspect the steel ones (as well as possible) then flush and change brake fluid.

30 year old rubber needs to be replaced, on my parents 2002 Tahoe the rubber brake lines didn't last 10 years before causing problems and the lines still looked and felt as good as new.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #11
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It was just the way i wrote/edited my post.
Yes, of course check the hoses prior to doing the fluid.. no reason to do it twice!
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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1988 32' Excella
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It was just the way i wrote/edited my post.
Yes, of course check the hoses prior to doing the fluid.. no reason to do it twice!
I know that about the order.

The part about inspecting the rubber brake lines is the really big thing.

I feel that they should be replaced, inspection is useless once they are 10 years old.

On my parents (at the time about 9 1/2 year old) Tahoe the brake lines failed and would not let fluid through (inside layer came unbonded and collapsed) they still looked and felt perfect. All 4 lines failed at once and would not let the brakes release for about an hour.

Maybe the lines would have lasted longer if the fluid was flushed regularly.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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Good stuff!
I guess my base, and unstated point was that maybe they had been replaced before....
When I get to the brake parts restoration, I am hoping that I can find replacement SS braided hoses with the teflone inner lining like I put on my lifted truck... I am told they dont swell at all under pressure, and therefore work better.
They are redily available for C/K series Chevy Trucks, so maybe the old P30 chassis hoses are the same...
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
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1978 31' Sovereign
Springfield , Missouri
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1985 AIRSTREAM 345 MOTORHOME

1985 345 on Craigslist today in Springfield MO, $14,000

looks nice but mileage not listed.
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