Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-28-2010, 07:02 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
1965 28' Ambassador
Malta , New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 100
Is it a Money Pit ???????

I am new to this site with the the idea of owning an Airstream from a few years back when I first saw these unique creations. My assumption is/was that these are the best quality and unique pieces of american history. My concern is that perhaps my assumption is misguided. It looks like there is automatic expenses when buying an older one 70's for renovation. The one most concerning to me is the axles and inadequate frames. I'm handy but far from knowledgeable on inner-workings of brakes axles, and terminology surrounding the suspension. This suspension issue appears to be a major concern with separation, sagging etc. Am I making a mistake to sell my new Jacyco (paid in full) and go into an older Airstream. The project appeals to me, but I don't know if I need a reality check. I see units being sold by people on this site that were originally bought as restoration/renovation only to scrap the idea a couple years later and "throwing in the towel". (please don't think this as negative, just a perception as an outsider "dipping his foot in the pond, before he dives in". Don't want to end up with Hypothermia....Ha-Ha.....
__________________

__________________
Airstreamdmb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 07:17 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Minno's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,323
Welcome! Older Airstreams are a labor of love (and an obsession, but more on that later). Children cost more money AND use the tools you buy to work on your Airstream! Seriously, we went into this with our eyes wide open - we did some research and knew from home renovations that things are never quite what they seem. We really wanted the community of Airstreamers and the ownership of one of these lovely trailers, so we took the plunge. It'll be a couple of more years (at least) before ours is on the road, but we think it'll be worth it. We couldn't afford to buy new, at least unless we sold the house. This is a way for us to own one at a lower cost and have exactly what we want.
Is it cheap? No, but we think, very worth it! It's all in what you want. Besides, our Airstream will still be on the road when Jayco's and all the others are in the junk yard (we've owned Jayco's - they're good but not AS's.)

Kay
__________________

__________________
Minno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 07:19 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Diesel1's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Wickenburg , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 546
Anything that rolls and is old is a money pit. To some(me) old Airstreams have an appeal that makes the time & money spent worthwhile. You have to decide for yourself your tolerance level. This is a bit of my experiance with an old very kool Airstream..... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f116...ls-45180.htmlr Good luck with your quest. Adios, John
__________________
Diesel1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 07:32 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
kennethowens's Avatar
 
1975 Argosy 24
Malakoff , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 490
2 vairables:

A.) Condition at point of purchase
B.) Initial purchase price

--------------------

You ever buy a used car?
__________________
kennethowens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
Rivets?
 
nvestysly's Avatar

 
1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,522
Newer Can Drain Money Too...

For example, ours is a 1992. In addition to the obvious tires, batteries, and other periodic items to be replaced and repaired we have installed one new axle (old one could not be aligned for some reason), a new AC and new fridge. At some point things simply stop working and cannot be repaired or the repair costs about the same as replacement.

Having said that... we would not think of getting rid of our Airstream.

Lucius
__________________
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
nvestysly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 08:19 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamdmb View Post
...assumption is misguided. It looks like there is automatic expenses when buying an older one 70's for renovation. ...
Renovation is fairly subjective. Somewhere on this site, someone described renovation vs restoration - and I believe that renovation included lots of new *modern* mechanical/electrical components and also updated conveniences (appliances) with custom interiors. Could encompass A LOT of work. Restoration could also be a lot of work - but would likely be more dependent on the condition of the trailer to start... there are plenty of 70's out there with good interiors and working systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamdmb View Post
...renovation. The one most concerning to me is the axles and inadequate frames. I'm handy but far from knowledgeable on inner-workings of brakes axles, and terminology surrounding the suspension. This suspension issue appears to be a major concern with separation, sagging etc. ...
From experience and too much time spent on this forum, I believe that axle replacement is almost certainly required. And axles (can) include new brakes. Replacement is NOT a difficult DIY job and is not horribly expensive - just keep the cost in mind when negotiating selling price. It seems some prior owners are not aware of the axle issue but are aware of tires & shocks so, it is possible that the PO has already updated these.

Inadequate frame? I understand the tube frames were inadequate, but don't agree that the 70's were - though some may have rust issues.

Rear end sag/separation, like rusted frame, is not a certainty. Longer units (esp with rear baths) are more susceptible to the sag but units w/o this issue are readily available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamdmb View Post
... check. I see units being sold by people on this site that were originally bought as restoration/renovation only to scrap the idea a couple years later and "throwing in the towel". ...
Yep, I see it too. I think too many folks believe it will fun to alter the interior and then realize that working in the confines of an Al tube are more difficult than anticipated and find that are many more issues to be dealt with (i.e. axles, electrical, etc). These unanticipated issues are not only laborious, but costly once added. After you've gutted it and realized the work ahead, I think it could be really overwhelming. Can't imagine how I would have felt if I tore out all the interior to a gutted state and then not only realized the cost in replacing items (esp appliances) but found the other mechanical/electrical systems needed work --- man, I would have thrown in the towel too.

I bought my '73 Overlander without much research. Thankfully, there wasn't too much wrong with it! I thought I'd redo so much more of the interior but ended up finding other items that needed to be dealt with first (axles, weatherproofing, charging system, appliances, etc). Thankfully the interior was in good condition and I have been able to live with limited rework there so I could start CAMPING right away. Some day I may return to my original thoughts of renovating the interior and polishing the exterior but, for now, I am just happy to use my Airstream.

Laura
__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 09:46 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Jezibels's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 511
Images: 2
You can find a vintage Airstream that does not need work, they are out there, ya just got to find them!

Look at all the members on here who have already restored them, or have taken good care of theirs all these years, sometimes they can be found on the classifieds!
__________________
Happy Trails!
Jezibels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:03 AM   #8
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamdmb View Post
...Am I making a mistake to sell my new Jacyco (paid in full) and go into an older Airstream...
often these 'teaser threads' begin with a "wHy" question...

and many passionate replies about personal whys result.

however YOU need to explain more

about WHY U are even considering selling a NEW RV at significant DEPRECIATION...

just 2 have a fixer upper, 40 year old thing.


without knowing YOUR Yz or explaining your Yz we are left clueless west of ny...

lots of threads started like dis one...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...-as-52112.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...m-vs-7288.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...hat-31502.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...eam-41970.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f348...eam-48583.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f459...not-67656.html

just a few of the 100s of Ys in the road...

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:18 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
WILDRTEXAS's Avatar
 
1970 27' Overlander
ARLINGTON , TEXAS
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 335
Images: 31
Send a message via Skype™ to WILDRTEXAS
I agree...labor of love.
For me, its marathon not a sprint.
I really enjoy working mine. Its my ultimate hobby. It does help if your mechanical then you dont have to pay someone to repair every step of the way. Mine is a 1970 27' International. Was perfect and original. I totally gutted it. Some would say Im crazy (I am) HOWEVER, I am also creative, mechanical and adventourous.
Since I was a kid I wanted an airstream to restore. Now, I finally have one and even with the ups and downs, the steady flow of money escaping from my pocket...Im still have a BLAST!
I have learned some much from ALL the great people on the forums. Many are all too happy to you find solutions to any problems you may have. I love the people here. Its a brotherhood of sorts, "go WE go " kind of brotherhood.
Good Luck and WELCOME!
Cynthia
__________________
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion...

Taylor 1/20/96 - 11/28/08

WILDRTEXAS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:20 AM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
mwells4654's Avatar
 
1971 27' Overlander
Antlers , Oklahoma
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 426
I wound up with my overlander as trade for money owed by a family member. I really did not want it because I do not camp or travel much anymore but they could not afford to pay me back. That being said, the first year I had her I took her out a few times and saw a few problems that needed repairing. The PO said "everything worked". I found out during these trips that this was not exactly correct. The hot water heater was not even hooked up, the heater was broken also. The rear sink p-trap was held together with super glue and leaked very badly and the last foot or so of the rear bathroom floor was rotten completly through. Along with a multitude of minor annoying problems.

The last 8 months have been replacing this and repairing that. Bathroom floor and drains all fixed and hey, day before yesterday I repaired the 8-track and the old 40 year old clock. Yesterday I turned up the 8-track and installed the clock back into the command center. I can now listen to 8-tracks, cassettes, mp3 players and if I hook up my laptop to the stero system, I can play records. Crazy - Yes - but I am loving the trailer. I should have all of the repairs finished the fall (bathtub has a hole in it - I have ordered the epoxy repair kit). Axles, wheels and tires in early spring next year. Hopefully spring next year, a quick shake down trip to the lake for a weekend then schedule a long trip to Washington State to see my sister I have not seen in 15 years. It has been a lot of work but I have loved every minute of it. I get a very good feeling deep inside every time I get something working just the way I want it. I am now looking for a 1971 GM 1/2 ton long bed truck that I can fix up to pull my 1971 Overlander in the homecoming parade next year. It's 40 year aniversary.

Short answer to your question. Should you buy an Airstream - answer YES. But beware - you might get obsessed with them.
__________________
Mel

2006 GMC 1500 SLE Crew Cab
5.3L V8 Towing Package
Equal-i-zer E2

AIR # 40365
TAC # OK-3
mwells4654 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamdmb View Post
Am I making a mistake to sell my new Jacyco (paid in full) and go into an older Airstream.....

If the goal is to get rid of a usable trailer and start a project, I'd say go for it. If the Jacyco's paid for ya might want to keep it and use that as a ready to use travel trailer and buy the Airstream as a project. A lot of the fun with my 1976 Airstream is the learning that goes with it. I say keep the Jayco and buy the Airstream. In a year or two you could probably sell one or both.
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:40 AM   #12
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
I'm for Splitrock's idea.

Why deny yourself the ability to camp when you have a perfectly good vehicle already?

It's like there are two parts of the Airstream affliction: repairing/restoring and camping.
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:40 AM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
1978 Argosy 27
Lacey , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 160
Images: 8
Blog Entries: 1
Vintage AS cont

Yep, they are $$ pits just like classic cars, boats, airplanes, submarines, etc..
If the AS is older than 10 yrs then expect the equipment to need help and/or replacement. But when you compare that to a new AS @ $60k+ then it may be worth the hastle.
__________________
jjustice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 10:59 AM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
blickcd's Avatar
 
1979 31' Sovereign
Milford , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 478
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 29
Axles would probably be something to replace, but frame and separation problems are not a given. Best to have it inspected before you buy. Good older units are out there if you look.

Aside from needing new tires, my 1979 was ready for camping when I bought it six years ago. Since then I've had to spend an average of $750 per year on it, replacing things that did break or wear out. That estimate includes spending 2K on axles one year, while some years it needs nothing.

The trailer gets a lot of use too. Weekends, and at least one, one or two week trip per year. Considering it's paid for, I feel I am getting my yearly maintenance cost out of it.

Part of my decision to buy an older Airstream was the resale potential. I suspect that an ad for a 1979 Airstream would get more attention than one for a 1979 Prowler or whatever. I assume an Airstream holds its value better as well.

Christopher
__________________

__________________
blickcd 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
Pit Bull vs Homeowners Policy 345bill The Pet Forum 66 08-14-2010 11:08 AM
If you have the Money Honey Over59 1950 - 1958 Cruiser 13 05-15-2010 07:20 PM
Pit Mix & RV Parks dre00 The Pet Forum 56 12-12-2008 08:30 AM
Fridge pit stops BillTex Refrigerators 10 07-31-2007 09:00 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:53 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.