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Old 04-09-2015, 12:58 PM   #1
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aearles , Michigan
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1971 Land Yacht Overlander

Hi guys, new member here, hoping to purchase my first Airstream soon.

I was hoping to get some feedback on one that I'm looking at, it's several hours from my home so I want to put together a checklist well ahead of time.

Here is the listing: 1971 Airstream Rv Land Yacht Overlander 27 Double, Davenport IA - 114131111 - RVTrader.com

Do you think the price is fair? It needs at least a furnace and water heater, per the listing. If the price seems high, what would you suggest is a more reasonable offer?

The trailer looks very clean in the photos, from what I can tell anywhere. Are there any specific problems with this era that I should look out for, or ask about ahead of time? I will of course want to see photos of the underbelly to inspect frame and axles, subfloor, etc. Anything else I should ask about?

Thanks for any input you can provide, I really appreciate it!
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:18 PM   #2
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1976 Argosy 28
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Remember that opinions on the internet are often worth exactly what you paid for htem.

So, since it's a '71 it likely doesn't have a graywater tank (if that's been added I would expect it to be in the description.)

With any Airstream of this age you should check carefully for soft/rotten subfloor, especially in the front and rear segments and around the door. The upper "Vista View" windows (the highest windows to either side of the sofa on this trailer) can be a trouble spot, so inspect those carefully.

If it's still got copper plumbing, trace those pipes and check them carefully everywhere you can see.

The photos look like the interior is in decent shape. From what little is stated in the ad, the price might be slightly high but *IF* you find solid subfloor everywhere, no funky smells and no signs of leaks in the plumbing and the fridge and AC run well and the converter-charger has been modernized, it's in the ballpark. Figure people don't set the minimum they'll accept as their asking price, so make them an offer and see where you can get.

If the floor is squishy and/or the trailer smells like rot or rodents, the plumbing leaks, the 12v system is dodgy, etc. then a "fair price" goes down significantly, IMHO. A $10k trailer of that vintage should be pretty much ready to hitch up and go camping.

For an idea of what it likely needs... the water heater and furnace together will run $900ish for parts alone. Those old wall ovens can be finicky and hard to find parts for. Odds are high that this trailer is ready for new axles unless they've been replaced at some point.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
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I must agree for the price should be sealed, clean and solid ready for the road! Check the floors frame if you can get look into the belly pan! Put on old clothes and take a flash light a long shank flat head screw driver a camera and a cell phone. Find a call out (someone on the forums with knowledge of that year) so you can send pic and questions during your inspection. It is only worth what you are willing to RISK. You get to be the CSI so best advice is don't get in a hurry it will save you money and frustration.
Best of luck
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums!

Look on the "Portal" page, and you should find the buyer's inspection checklist there. This will help you to fully evaluate the condition of the trailer.

Price-wise, you might look at the "price vs condition" section of vintageairstream.com. It's not the gospel, but might provide a guideline.

Finally, my own opinion is that for the nearly $10k, the trailer should have a completely solid floor, all working appliances, and be ready to go camping. If the axles need to be replaced, you have several non working appliances, soft spots in the floor and a case of rear end separation, then I would say that the price is high by at least 2x.

Manage your expectations. This trailer is over 40 years old. If a serious effort hasn't been made over the years to keep it maintained, then it could be in really poor condition (despite the pretty pictures). It is rare that anyone finds a trailer of this vintage that is "original," and doesn't spend several months/years discovering the results of years of neglect and repairing them.

good luck!
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:06 PM   #5
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1972 23' Safari
Camas , Washington
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If the trailer does have original axles, you will need new axles, just my opinion. I agree with everyone else here, good advice. Check the rear floor and check the rear frame for rot. Check out our thread and see what you might run into.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f420...ted-98384.html

The trailer does look good but then so does lipstick on a pig. I think the price might be a little high Maybe subtract the cost of axles and appliances would be closer to a better deal.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:00 PM   #6
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Okay so I am not a fan of miss piggy but I can not see lipstick looking good on any pig!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:35 PM   #7
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aearles , Michigan
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You guys rock, thanks for all the help! I'll be sure to report back what I find.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:43 PM   #8
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aearles , Michigan
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Hmm, any thoughts on this one?http://detroit.craigslist.org/wyn/for/4943568470.html

Its much closer to home, and of course its 20 years newer, I'm sure most of the advice applies just the same. The price seems high to me (and NADA) unless I'm missing something, would it be unreasonable to offer like half what he's asking?

I did send him an email asking about the price and all of the important components, hopefully he's flexible and it works out.

Again, thanks guys!
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:03 PM   #9
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Well, they're not offering you much information about that 34' triple-axle trailer, but the 34's have something of a cult following. It's a BIG trailer that'll require bigger sites and a bit more capabilities in the tow vehicle, but people love them. IF nothing is wrong with it, I think that price is probably in line with the market, but I don't want a trailer that big so I don't follow triple-axle prices that closely.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:05 AM   #10
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1977 31' Sovereign
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1989 34' Excella
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I have a similar trailer, but mine is a 1989. If the floor is good, go for it. Price is right. Check for leaks of course and that everything is working.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:50 PM   #11
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1961 24' Tradewind
1967 26' Overlander
1973 27' Overlander
Savannah , Georgia
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Agree pretty much with what others have said about the 71 on things to check. Axles will run you $1500 if you do it yourself. That is a given that needs to be done. Do not under think the gray tank issue. If you want one, need one, it means tearing into the trailer to install one. You also need to think about if you really want a stock one, or one with the modern conveniences. $10k is a bit high, but not too bad if you want a fully stock trailer where all you really need to do is update the upholstery and carpet. If you plan on changing ANYTHING, you might want a different trailer so you are not paying for things you are ripping out.

Michael
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:59 PM   #12
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1981 31' Excella II
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Finding a trailer of this age without major costly and time consuming issues is very rare especially on the east coast. I would say the odds are against you at least 100 to 1. Trailers of this age are a project. I learned this the hard way and most of the folks on here have done the same. Rot under the bathrooms is what causes most of the issues. The water comes in from a plate at the rear of the trailer that funnels water into the floor and rots the floor and frame. The bathroom and floor coverings hide this damage. Jumping on the bumper and seeing if it is moving is one test but only works on really bad off trailers. Spend some time in the floor and frame forum on here. There are folks on this list who will go inspect a trailer with you. There is a member directory you can search for members in your area.

Perry
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #13
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1977 31' Sovereign
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aearles has moved on and now is looking at a 1995 34 footer for $15,000. I think it is a much better deal, as long as he can pull and park it.
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