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Old 08-18-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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Value of 1975 30' airstream Sovereign

Hi Airheads!

Anyone have some advice about the value of a 1975 airstream Soveriegn that I am considering buying from a friend? She paid $5,000 for it a few years ago, it has now sat unused. It has most of the original appliances and structure, although most of the cupboard drawers are broken and it is very dirty.

Ouside has some dent, front door latch is broken, but mostly in good condition.

I'd appreciate any feedback!

Freyza
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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meh. you could find one cheaper. depends if you wanna help out your friend by relieving her of her investment or not.

im sure you'll get many more experienced replies, but from what i have read, mid 70's trailers suffer from quality issues (AS was bought by beatrice foods and they gave it heavier interiors and make the frame just 3"(??) vs the original 5", which made the rear end sag and leak... meaning it might need a new floor, frame work, total rebuild - a 30 ft is much more likely to suffer from rear end sagging than a shorter trailer).

i don't think I would pay over $1k. Again, i havent seen it, but i think if you compare sales prices or asking prices on ebay or craigslist... you could likely do better on price.

generally the shorter and older trailers are more desirable, and hence, more expensive. I didn't pay that much for mine and they are harder to come by on the east coast.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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Freyza:

We purchased a 1978 31' Sovreign in 2002 that had sat unused in a storage yard in AZ for $3000. It required intensive cleaning, but except for some tambour door failures, the cabinets were intact and all appliances worked. The rear bath models were most prone to sag. Ours is a center bath, and the '78 had a reinforcement over the frame, but I still added reinforcement to the rear. Over the last eight years, the axles were replaced as was the univolt, carpet, curtains, and upholstery.

Long story short, if you cannot do this stuff yourself, you should move on and maybe pay more for something you can use as is. While the list above is long, we have thoroughly enjoyed "Airstreaming", and were fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a 4CU charter member.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
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let's count the myths!

1) Beatrice Foods had nothing to do with the smaller frame. That (and the sag) started before they purchased Airstream.

2) The dreaded 'rear end separation' problem was not a rear bath only thing caused by waste tank loading but rather by excessive vibration and corrosion problems.

One way to assess Airstream value is to read Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values
It does a good job of describing condition factors to consider and the various variables that influence the value of a used Airstream.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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If I'da got mine for free it wouldn't have been a deal just because of the expense in cash and time to make the repairs, do the deferred maintenance, and add new furnishings, floor coverings and window curtains and blinds. I'm gonna have 10 grand plus purchase cost in mine in just material costs, no labor, without doing the body shine or axles.

So far I've replaced the air conditioner, the 3 ceiling vent fans, re-sealed the sewer vents, installed new gaskets on all the windows and the door, added film to all the removable windows, re-packed the wheel bearings, set up the brakes, put on new tires, re-wired the 7-way plug, gutted the sleeping and the living areas, removed a part of the living area floor, POR 15ed the exposed frame, and am still sealing seams.

I still have to replace the gas lines, test and probably replace the cooking stove, the furnace, and the water heater. I need to insulate the living area floor, replace the wood floor sections, reface or replace the sink base cabinet, install laminate flooring, install a new sofa, build a pedestal for the new bed, buy a bed, and build or buy blinds or drapes for the windows.

Airstreams are a sucker's trailer. They hide their defects. The aluminum body that looks to be in good shape is probably the last thing you'll see that is in good shape.

Gary
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:27 PM   #6
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Well, if you don't want it...
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freyza View Post
Hi Airheads!

Anyone have some advice about the value of a 1975 airstream Soveriegn that I am considering buying from a friend? She paid $5,000 for it a few years ago, it has now sat unused. It has most of the original appliances and structure, although most of the cupboard drawers are broken and it is very dirty.

Ouside has some dent, front door latch is broken, but mostly in good condition.

I'd appreciate any feedback!

Freyza
Body panels can be rather expensive to replace.

Appliances are not cheap either.

Replacement axles, if needed, are also a large expense.

Carpet, drapes and upholstery can get expensive as well.

All you can do is rough out what costs are to rehab the trailer, and then determine if you wish to spend that much money, and of course time as well.

Andy
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