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Old 11-16-2015, 07:46 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Kansas city , Missouri
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1987 345 w\454

Wednesday I am going to check out a 1988 345 that has been stored in covered storage in the desert for five years. The price is right so I cannot pass it up for a look see. Besides tires and hoses what are some things I should be wary of? The coach has 88k. Taking a mobile mechanic to check it and get it running.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:50 PM   #2
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Wishing you some good luck.....



Regards,

JD
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:04 PM   #3
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Kansas city , Missouri
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Thanks man! Kid in a candy store kinda thing! Honestly if it runs good and the structure and systems are good or (relatively) easy to fix we may have a nineteen hour maiden voyage in the future!
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:34 PM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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After sitting for five years the fuel may need draining , new fluids, filters, check belts and hoses, tires will probably need replacing, wires and plugs.
I'm sure the list will grow as you get into bringing it back to life.

Check in here for the gory details of some jobs like changing the brake fluid etc.
Lots of DIYers here with good tips.

Does the seller have it running and driving?

Try to not be too excited, there are others for sale too.
Really look it over. There is interior plumbing all over the place that can leak and cause floor rot problems. Ditto window / roof leaks.

Have the seller show you all the systems working, the appliances cost a bundle to replace..

I hope your enthusiasium leads you to a keeper. And you learn to enjoy working to keep it up and running.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:03 PM   #5
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1965 22' Safari
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Kansas city , Missouri
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The seller wont be there but the title will be. I am meeting a friend of the sellers there. I plan on testing as much as possible to save me from unexpected problems down the road. the appliances are recently replaced I think. To my knowledge it hasnt been started for five years. Making a 454 run is the easy part. Making the 454 run well may be more of a challenge. I think the first step when the mechanic/RV guy arrives is for him to make sure the engine runs decently.
I will keep in mind as you say "there are others for sale too." that is great advice!
Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:55 PM   #6
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When you say the price is right, how right is it? As many would say, buying one of these things can be the least expensive part of owning one.

If you haven't been around a lot of Classics, try to retain your composure.

At first encounter, these old Classics can overwhelm you with "retro-coolness" and unimaginable possibilities. (I know this from experience). I guess I would caution you not to fall for the first girl that kisses you. (Like I did). She's been love starved for at least five years, so even before the first date she'll be asking you for a couple/few thousand dollars worth of new "shoes" to take her safely home.

View her critically, and measure her condition against your own expectations of what you would someday like her to be. Dented panels, broken glass, missing parts, torn upholstery, etc. are easy to overlook during the heat of passion, but expensive to remedy down the road. And this isn't even talking about power train and major systems.

Good luck, and have fun! And be sure to take PICTURES!!!
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:41 PM   #7
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From an ex '83 310 owner, read all of the posts above very carefully. You can drop a ton of money into them. And then each trip will show the need for more....lol.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:52 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the great warnings and advice! I will keep it all in mind as I look at it.!


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:26 PM   #9
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When we bought our "road ready" '84 310, it turned out that the ignition coil was failing and would not put out spark when hot. That made the trip home tough. If I was buying a barn find like yours, my two big concerns would be brakes, especially fluid and brake lines, and fuel lines from the tank to the carburetor.
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Old 11-18-2015, 07:22 AM   #10
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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What a bunch of splashes of cold water from owners of old classics.
Hopefully the one you are checking out is a gem for a good price.

These coaches are a blast to own and use.

Just wanting you to go in with your eyes open. Thay can sweep you away with their coolness.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:02 PM   #11
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Kansas city , Missouri
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So I have seen the coach. It is mainly really dirty. The window seals are non existent and dust has filtered in like crazy. No water damage that I saw. Floors seemed solid. Plumbing looked sound. Only problem is the people showing me the trailer wouldn't let me start it. I spoke with the owner and she agreed to drop the price since I had spent a considerable amount of money to come to Phoenix. We agreed on a low price that even if I have to replace the motor it is within the value of the coach once it is fixed up and operable.
Tires are totally shot. Broken back slider window. Luckily no rain and there is a screen to keep critters out. The upholstery looks decent, it just needs a deep cleaning. No tears or rips. All the gauges look original and unmolested. Found all the nutone attachments. Has solar panels installed on the roof. The ladies thought I was crazy as I jumped and stomped around on the floor looking for spongy spots. Most everything plastic or rubber will have to be replaced. No cracks in the windshield. The drivers slider has been replaced with plexi. All storage compartments open and slide relatively easily. Didn't notice any rust anywhere. The carpet actually has a tan carpet laid over all of it so it may be in great shape. I plan on ripping most of it out anyhow and putting wood down. The GIANT pink dashboard appears in good shape. No oil pooled under the engine. Had a mechanic there and he said he didn't see anything that would keep him from buying it. He thought it was a very cool coach. So I took the leap and bought it. Gonna be a lot of work the first of which is getting it ready to drive 1500ish miles back home to Kansas City in a few weeks. As soon as I can get some pics I'll try and post them for the curious.
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Old 11-18-2015, 07:28 PM   #12
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Let the fun begin!!
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:14 PM   #13
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Well done. Yes, of course we want photos.
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:10 PM   #14
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Kreimer,

So you're all in now!! Welcome aboard, and don't say we didn't warn you.

As you assess the depth of the hole you're now in (I mean take stock of missing/broken parts), take a moment to check out the "Classic motorhomes for sale" thread. There is a unit currently being broken down for parts that could be a great source for you. These things don't come around all that often, and you might be able to round up a bunch of stuff and save some bucks at the same time. Good luck.
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