Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-20-2014, 06:52 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 116
Looking at a 310 ltd - a few questions

Hi:

I'm thinking about putting in an offer on a 310 limited. This one has a 454, and was reportedly well maintained and kept in a barn by its first owner, who aged and stopped using it a few years ago. The second owner, with whom I am dealing, traded for the MH and got it running again. He reportedly dropped the gas tank and cleaned that out, put new belts on, installed new batteries, new oil/filters, pulled and cleaned the freshwater tank and tested the systems. He reportedly drove it on a 600 odd mile trip recently and used campsite hookups without issue.

The generator reportedly turns over, but doesn't get gas. I wonder if it is gummed up with whatever bad gas was in the tank. I know this is a bit of a hornet's nest.

The seller was not able to be home when I went to visit but encouraged me to go inside his unlocked coach. It looked to be clean and as far as I could tell probing around, the floor did not have rot issues. there is new carpet in the front and he reported that he did not see any soft ply when putting the carpet in - perhaps the benefit of being under cover for most of it's life until very recently.

With the exception that the stove was removed and replaced with a microwave, the interior looks original

The body looks to be straight, with minor dings along the side. no gouges or massive scrapes.

One of the AC shrouds looks to be pretty busted up.

I was unable to see the coach under power but was told that it would fire up for me just fine and drive well when we could get together. I will test drive before any purchase, but for the time being, let's assume it fires up and drives as it should.

Tires are a mishmash of brands and are old. they all need to be replaced.

Walking around the coach, it looked like a number of the windows did not close all of the way, leaving gaps up to abut 1/8 of an inch. I'm wondering if this is a bad sign that there may be water damage lurking underneath - although I did not see evidence of water inside. Thoughts?

Seller told me that there were air bags but that they were not needed given that it has leaf springs. ARe the air bags an option to be "turned on" when there is a full load, or is that something that should always be engaged for a smoother ride.

I'm curious as the what a coach like this might be worth, as well as how much I could anticipate dropping into it to get it to be a safe driver (I know it will need new tires). I have seen a very similarly equipped 310 that has been for sale since last winter, with the Isuzu motor. His price seems to be very favorable, but since he's had it for sale for nearly a year I wondering if he either isn't working very hard at selling it, there are major issues that others can see that I can't see, or if the MH market for the 310s is particularly safe. I'd rather have a gas motor for ease of repairs on the road so I'm focusing on this coach rather than the one with the Isuzu motor.

I'm not in love with the 310s nor have I been particularly looking for one. I do like the layout and it would solve a few issues I would have with a planned cross country trip next summer I plan to make to burning man and another festival. In short, transporting and boondocking seem a bit easier for me in a coach rather than a trailer

Thoughts on this unit given the information I have so far and particularly any thoughts on what a fair winter purchase price would be given the generator that doesn't work and unknown condition of the a/c? from what I' saw the unit looked clean, but most of the gaskets etc were dry rotted which makes me wonder what else is about to go.

I have some photos on my phone, but won't be able to download them for a bit.

Thanks for any suggestion.
__________________

__________________
RhinoWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2014, 09:42 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Waipio Rim's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 668
Front airbags might be optional (our 310 does not have them), but our coach would not be safely driveable without the rear bags inflated. The leaf springs were cut in half, with the air bags taking the place of the missing half. When the bags go flat, the frame is not suspended from the axle and it does not ride well. The seller is either misleading you there or does not know what he has.

Assume that it has a few leaks unless somebody has been on the roof sealing things up. Since the ac cover is shot (I replaced both covers pretty cheap) they probably haven't. Potential damage from leaks depends on how long it has been outside and where. It would not bother me to have a leak or two in Montana where our coach is now, but it would if it was sitting in the southeast.

Work it will probably need if not done since stored: three new batteries, brake work, carb rebuild, for starters. We have also had the radiator recored, smog pump removed, heat wrapped fuel lines, replaced faulty ignition coil, tuneup, ujoints and carrier bearings replaced, probably more.

We like our 310, the size is about right and the rear bedroom is cozy. We rarely use the generator but do not boondock or travel in hot weather much, we drive enough when we are using it to keep the batteries up.

Value? I dunno. We paid $12,750 for our 310 in similar condition five years ago
__________________

__________________
Waipio Rim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2014, 10:46 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
I would second what Waipio Rim says about the Air suspension. The rear air bags are necessary to hold the rear end up, absolutely necessary. The air suspension is not especially tricky, but it is somewhat hard to understand and even harder to find someone who will work on it. I finally learned about it all by myself, and repaired mine which then was no problem at all.

You are looking at a 30 + year old coach, and as WR says, lots of things may need repair or replacement, just due to aging out. I would expect that all of the things he has done to his, you will need to do to yours. I did virtually all of them to mine while I had it. And remember fewer mechanics have any idea of how to repair something they can't plug an OBD2 computer into.

I sold my '83 310 in 2008 for $12,500 and it was in very very good condition. But that tells you little about the selling prices today. You can spend a lot of money on just deferred maintenance on an old coach, and when you need to consider a major hit like an engine, a whole lot more. So just realize that from the get go.

The windows which are not fully closed probably are window gasket materials. They can be replaced, but it is a PITA job.

I had a local woman make curtains for mine, in the early 90's. Cost was about $1000 which was cheap, even then.

Figure 8 to 10 mpg, which is about normal for those rigs.

They are a cool machine, but not inexpensive to keep up, and you will be keeping up on every item, be it coach or chassis.

New they were about $100,000. I paid $31,000 for mine when it was 10 years old and had 42,000 miles on it. Sold it at 25 years old for the $12,500 mentioned above.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2014, 10:49 PM   #4
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,935
Images: 2
If you don't buy it, post the link for others who might...
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2014, 05:54 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
mayco's Avatar

 
1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,766
Front and rear air bag suspension were stock, not an option. Yes there are coil springs in the front and the airbags slip inside the springs. There is onboard compressor that maintains air in rear bags, front bags fill manually. You need em, but thats relatively a minor repair. It is a chevy p-30 series chassis, parts in general are available. The gasser is going to get more like 6-8 miles per gallon i believe, without some serious motor mods. Tires are gonna cost you about 2k. 4 wheel disc brakes with hydroboost assist. Pads, flex lines, master cylinder, hydroboost are all things to consider in the brakes, also flushing the brake fluid and power steering fluid (hydroboost uses the power steering pump). Dash air? Sounds like you can deterimine how the 454 is performing. If the seller did indeed just travel 600 miles in it, thats really a good sign, but i wouldnt hit the road like that without your suspension up to par.

Coach systems to consider will include a converter (if not updated), water system leaks, furnace $6-700, fridge $6-800, 2-rood top ac units $8-1000 each, water heater $4-500?? The windows are a bit difficult to slide, they may just need some coaxing to get em shut all the way but probably need new seals. All the glass is VERY expensive to replace just so you know. Any leaks in the body can be sealed.

As far as price, who knows. The 310, center bath is a highly desireable coach. Its the largest without the additional tag axle. I didnt see what the asking price is so hard to determine if its in the ball park. If you could post pictures it would help a great deal.

Its a labor of love for sure, but no regrets here. We love ours and its still a work in progress. If you get the coach running well and stopping well, you can use it regardless if ALL the systems work in the coach. Good luck, post a link or some pics, the folks here on the forum are great.
__________________
mayco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2014, 10:52 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Vycan's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Blog Entries: 1
Quick recommendation: Go for the diesel. Better fuel economy, smaller footprint in the engine compartment, easier to work on yourself, and will last longer.
__________________
1994 36' Classic Diesel Pusher
Vycan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #7
Dazed and Confused
 
Isuzusweet's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vycan View Post
Quick recommendation: Go for the diesel. Better fuel economy, smaller footprint in the engine compartment, easier to work on yourself, and will last longer.
Smaller footprint?????? Isuzu 5.8l diesel is 1100 lbs wet, 454 ci is maybe 750 lbs wet. It's insane to try and get to the front of the Isuzu as it's a fairly long motor. That being said I wouldn't trade my diesel for a gasser any day.

Cheers
Tony
__________________
Isuzusweet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2014, 10:01 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 116
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628578.817074.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	769.5 KB
ID:	227104Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628633.200581.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	909.2 KB
ID:	227105Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628683.240498.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	729.8 KB
ID:	227106Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628730.392457.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	1,013.5 KB
ID:	227114Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628796.987546.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	754.5 KB
ID:	227115Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628827.211671.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	745.5 KB
ID:	227116

Some photos from my phone
__________________
RhinoWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2014, 10:04 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 116
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416628950.569521.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	898.0 KB
ID:	227117Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416629000.192047.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	846.0 KB
ID:	227118
What are these two switches for - levelers?
__________________
RhinoWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2014, 10:08 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 116
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416629225.677780.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	666.8 KB
ID:	227119Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1416629266.994642.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	712.1 KB
ID:	227120

These were the worst dents in the side. Any issues with water getting in here?
__________________
RhinoWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2014, 04:07 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
wxbuoy's Avatar
 
1991 35' Airstream 350
Carriere , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,205
Send a message via Skype™ to wxbuoy
Quote:
Originally Posted by RhinoWW View Post
What are these two switches for - levelers?
Adjustable seat levers
__________________
Dave and Felicia
wxbuoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2014, 05:21 PM   #12
Dazed and Confused
 
Isuzusweet's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,429
A nice enough coach with 30+ years of patina just like mine. A few dings, dents and scuffs but probably in pretty good shape overall. No awning on either side which is unusual but that can be delt with later on.
There are gasser guys and diesel guys, with pro's and con's to both. I liked the longevity and economy of the diesel but understand the ease and cheapness of maintaining the gasser. An oil change for me is 15+ litres of oil plus a not so cheap filter.
If you're not in love with the 310 then maybe a 310 is not for you. These coaches require lots of love as they age as systems degrade like the possible air compressor in that coach. If the compressor works and the airbags inflate then you're good to go but if the airbags don't inflate it could be......

1 compressor
2 air leak
3 bad leveller valve
4 leaking air bag
5 bad air tank

The 310 is IMHO the very best of the classic moho's, with the 94-95 Spartan diesel classic a very close second. Niether has the added weight or systems of a tag axle.

Let us know what he's asking for it and if you decide to bite.

Cheers
Tony
__________________
Isuzusweet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 116
Well with family in town and work distractions I didn't have a chance to get back to the seller until today. He sold the coach this afternoon. Not sure if selling price but likely around 10k.
It's not the end of the world for me. The more I think about a coach compared to a trailer the more I like the idea if a trailer. Beyond the inability for one passenger to sleep on a bed while in transit and the built in generator my likely use and rehab are focused more and more on a trailer.
Glad I went to look but in the end glad someone else bought it.
__________________
RhinoWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2014, 09:40 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Vycan's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Blog Entries: 1
minor deciding factor for the motorhome... with a trailer you still have to stop for bathroom breaks... with the motorhome... you don't.

This matters to me because I can go about 5-6hrs between pee breaks, and therefore only need a single stop during that time, and I do fuel at the same time for a total stop of about 30 minutes. The average road trip takes a break every hour for 10 min, and a refuel of 30 minutes every two to three hours. So let's assume every three ours is a 30min refuel stop and a 10 min break every hour for the other four, this translates into 1hr and 40min of no travel every six hours. Then factor so you save 1 hr and 10 minutes of time every six hours.

I travel at 65mph, and the usual speed limit is 70-75 so every six hours I still get further than anyone going 70-75.
__________________

__________________
1994 36' Classic Diesel Pusher
Vycan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1984 Airstream 310 Classic LTD (Brown Stripe) eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 11-26-2011 10:50 PM
1984 Airstream 310 Classic LTD (Brown Stripe) eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 11-19-2011 09:50 PM
1984 310 ltd motorhome percy Member Introductions 2 07-12-2010 03:32 PM
'84 310 ltd. - What should I lookout for? RichLittlejo Classic Motorhomes 11 06-09-2009 05:12 AM
height of 1984 310 ltd ? RichLittlejo Classic Motorhomes 4 06-29-2006 09:39 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.