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Old 06-01-2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Question 1987 Sovereign - What is the right price?

Hello, I am flying to Philadelphia this Friday to look at a 29' 1987 Sovereign.

The asking price is $12,000. The owner has told me that there are almost no issues. The fold-up steps are 'soft' which means the bracket is rusting (about a $200 fix according to P&S Trailer Services). The plus for me is the panoramic window in the bedroom (back twins). Other than that, I've been told that it is in very, very good condition.

The curtains need attention and have some staining in the rear bedroom - probably from the curved glass leaking at one time (according to P&S) which would be a caulkiing issue if it is still leaking (which it is not according to the owner). There is one almost new awning and the air conditioner is fairly new - I was hoping for 1. rock guard on window ($925 to install), and 2. awning on other side.

The manuals they have are for a 31' - I don't know what it would really be worth - I guess $12k if it is what I really want - but what is the market?

A thousand thanks for any input!
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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Hi there palmtreegirl!

The condition, as admitted to by the seller, sounds like a good average (say, a "B"), and not an A, as you seem to feel it is. However, for its age, my feeling is that it's a bit on the high side, in that it needs several thousand dollars (~$5,000) to put it into the condition you want.

On the other hand, there is a 1995 31-footer here on the Classifieds, in better shape, I would guess, for $16,000. That's 8 years newer and it is an Excella, the top of the line model. Has a couple of dents, but a perfect railer is a really rare item.

In any event, good luck in your search!

ps: Philadelphia and Western Virginia are about the same driving distance. But you are less than three hours by car to the AS factory.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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Aage and palmtree: after looking at the Excella listing I would get it. We love our 1999 just like it.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input! The reason I am looking at an older model is because of the tow weight - I pull with an 2006 Lincoln Navigator......My tow capacity is 8600. I don't know if I load up a newer trailer that my car can pull it.....any thoughts about that?
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by palmtreegirl View Post
Thanks for the input! The reason I am looking at an older model is because of the tow weight - I pull with an 2006 Lincoln Navigator......My tow capacity is 8600. I don't know if I load up a newer trailer that my car can pull it.....any thoughts about that?
Your Navigator can pull it. See my avatar of my 2001 BMW X5 towing my 2002 ASCL 31' with a GVWR of 8,300#. Low profile tires and a Hensley hitch (or equivalent) will help. Call Andy Thomson of Can Am RV in London, Ontario, Canada about the matter.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #6
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I agree with withidl. Your car should have no problem. Here are the weight stats on the 1995:

Year Model Length Dry Weight Hitch Weight Gross Weight (loaded)
1995 EXCELLA....30.......6350...........750............ ....8300

As you can see, you will need a weight-distributing hitch, but that's true of anything you would want to tow.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
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Wow, This Airstream looking/buying is stressful! That '95 looks great but: 1. it is way over my budget and 2. I want twin beds in the back, hopefully with the panoramic window - hence, I'd be tearing out cabinets, etc. in the '95 to make the bed configuration I want. My AS allowance is about $9-12K.....I'll keep looking - I'm finding that they come up for sale regularly. I'm flying to Philly tomorrow to check out the '87 Sovereign 29' - I'm on the AS Hunt!

I appreciate your eyes looking for me......MY camper is out there - just have to locate it!
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:32 AM   #8
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The price is in the neighborhood IF the trailer is in good shape. What I would consider in good shape was quite a bit different from what a seller considers good condition.
I have already had an axle replacement on my 89 model. There are is always little things that will seem to come up.
I would try to get a little more knocked off so you have money for unforseeable things that inevitably will come up.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:08 AM   #9
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The price is in the neighborhood IF the trailer is in good shape. What I would consider in good shape was quite a bit different from what a seller considers good condition.
I have already had an axle replacement on my 89 model. There are is always little things that will seem to come up.
I would try to get a little more knocked off so you have money for unforseeable things that inevitably will come up.
Could you give me the list of important things to look for? I'm a woman alone so I don't have another set of (male) eyes to look over the stuff that we girls don't look at........I appreciate your help!
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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We have members here willing to do inspections of trailers for you.
try contacting DIETZ645 he is willing to travel 50 miles to inspect and according to Mapquest he is 75 miles away but if you provide transport he may be willing to go help you.
Airstream Forums - View Profile: DEITZ645

or NOZARK2690:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/memb...690-39399.html
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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Thanks! I've sent some emails, hopefully, I won't be too 'last minute'.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:35 PM   #12
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Here's another idea: this link will take you to the Trailer Checklist, which gives you a zillion things to look at on a used trailer from one end to the other.

Either the person you emailed or the seller should be able to help you fill out the complete list,and by going through that effort, there should be no surprises down the road, should you decide to buy it. Even if you don't, you will learn tons about what the critical items are to know on a used Airstream.

Don't kid yourself, it's work to go through that list, but if you print it all out and answer every question, there won't be much you will miss on the trailer...
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:07 PM   #13
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One comment: the PO of my trailer wasn't aware of some of the issues with my trailer. Thus, when he sold it, it was "free of any issues". NOT. But I don't hold them accountable because they just really didn't know. It was road worthy and the interior fairly original. But neither they, nor I (at the time), knew what to look for and what, seemingly tiny issues, were actually fairly substantial. Look at the list provided in the link above by Aage and go through it!

Wishing you a good flight and profitable trip!

Laura
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:23 AM   #14
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I'm going to print that list now, thanks! I have really good news - I've contacted Boatdoc in the same town that the trailer is in - he is going to go with me and inspect it! I feel 1000% better now that I will have experienced eyes - I'm still taking that list though......I tend to be very impulsive.......in this case, I know myself - I would be looking at the 'girl' things like colors, how clean, kitchen layout, etc. and probably a few guy things (that are obvious) like bumper rust......now I'm covered.

I'll post later and let you all know how it goes.....(hoping but going to be patient)
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