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Old 03-19-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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'72 Overlander International: what's it worth?

OK, I took my first serious look at a used trailer today. I seek the wisdom of the hive mind about the actual value of the trailer to help me arrive at what (if anything) I should offer for it. I realize that the final decision is mine and all that, I'm just looking for some ballpark ideas from the much-more-experienced members of the forum. This is near Fort Worth, TX. The ask is over $9k and it seems high based on what I saw.

It's a 1972 27' Overlander Land Yacht International. I know it's a 40-year-old trailer and I didn't expect it to be anywhere near perfect, but at the asking price I thought it should be closer than it is, so I'm trying to figure out what sort of offer would be reasonable. I have quite a few more pictures than I've attached, I can upload them somewhere and link them in to another post on the thread if someone is interested enough to want to look at pictures.

The good:
- Lots of original details that still work. The screens are all good (though some of the feathery seals around the window lifts are gone or beyond any usefulness.) Most of the tambours work, all but 1 are present. All but 1 of the cabinetry latches work properly. I suspect the trailer could easily be used for a short fair-weather trip.

- The original appliances are all present and all reportedly work (I didn't test every system today because I knew pretty quickly I was going to have to do some thinking, because I wouldn't pay the ask. I would make any offer contingent on all appliances testing good.)

- The floor I can get to seems pretty solid

- The exterior is in reasonably good shape for its age with an exception I'll describe in the bad section.

- Overall cosmetics are decent.

The Bad:

- Needs new axles. The torsion arms are at a slight "negative angle" (per Andy at Inland RV's document describing axles and their replacement) and the lip of the wheel wells are pretty much even with the top edge of the metal wheel, you can't see much (if any) tire between the wheel rim and the lip of the wheel well. This is in an unloaded condition... no one on board, empty tanks, not sure how much propane might have been in the bottles, no extra gear seemed to be on board beyond a couple of towels and a bottle of pink antifreeze.

- Needs new tires. It has some Chinese-made off-brand tires (Nam-something, I didn't make a note of the name but had never heard of it.) The sidewalls have lots of tiny cracking and the tires are old enough to be designated "7.00-15" and I couldn't find a date code.

- Needs new seals for every door and window. All the seals are extensively cracked and brittle.

- The middle vent lid is some wooden "git-er-done" job that probably wouldn't even keep water out, I can see light between the pieces of wood. I didn't have a ladder to inspect the top of the trailer. The rear vent (the one just after of the AC unit, in the "bedroom" area) is opaque while the front one is translucent. I'm not sure if this is by original design or if it suffers from the same kind of ad-hoc fix the center one suffered.)

- Both VistaView windows are shot... they were originally double-pane and have all sorts of crap between the panes. The interior panes each have little holes drilled in them, I'm not sure if that is someone's attempt to clean out the crap or if it's original, but it doesn't make sense to me.

- There's at least one place where the floor is starting to rot, at the front streetside corner under the front gaucho. I didn't crawl over where I could poke it, but I could see the telltale white crustiness over dark plywood.

- Tank level indicators don't seem to be working right (not surprising, but there you are.)

- It's got a pretty big dent in the rear curbside corner (see attached images)

=== Saved too soon, hadn't added my SWAG ===

So, since it has so much nice original kinda stuff, I'm thinking it would start toward the high end of average (given the dent) and take off the cost of axles, at least one roof vent, all the window/door seals, etc. From the VintageAirstream guide:

Price, high average, say $7500.
Less things it needs: Say $2500 (using $s from the cost-of-repairs section of the same guide, and shooting kinda low) so $5000, for a trailer he's asking over $9k for? It might be a moot point anyway, he might choke on that and not even consider it, but I'd explain my thinking and #s in detail if I make an offer.

How close to reality am I?
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:09 PM   #2
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DKB, A lot fun is in the looking, I've seen quite a few 70's trailer come across on Craigs list from $3-8,ooo. I would plan on there being more bad spots in the floor and appliance's needing to be updated. Axles as you know are standard replacements too. it would be a pretty involved and maybe expensive to repair that dent depending on who supplies labor. A lot of information here: Vintage Airstream Home
Good luck in you quest
Doug
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman54 View Post
DKB, A lot fun is in the looking, I've seen quite a few 70's trailer come across on Craigs list from $3-8,ooo. I would plan on there being more bad spots in the floor and appliance's needing to be updated. Axles as you know are standard replacements too. it would be a pretty involved and maybe expensive to repair that dent depending on who supplies labor. A lot of information here: Vintage Airstream Home
Good luck in you quest
Doug
Yeah, I clicked save too early...I had written up some stuff based on the VintageAirstream price-vs-condition article linked in the sticky on here, and probably added that after you read my initial post in the thread.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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DKB,
I'm afraid the owner is dreaming.....................in technicolor. There are a lot of this size & era of Airstream out there in better condition than this one. My guess would be $1500 tops but a better option is to find a better one to start with.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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To give you an idea - Last fall I bought a 1972 Ovelander with no body damage, no bad windows, 4 new tires and absolutely filthy for $3,500. My wife & I have spent months cleaning and fixing. The refrigerator was shot but the stove and heater are perfect. The floor and frame are pretty good but the axles will need to be replaced in the next year or two. For now, we just camp.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:24 PM   #6
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Well, somewhat against the consensus of the HiveMind, I made what I think is a generous offer considering the hard numbers. I also explained WHY my offer was less than half of his asking price, because he was a nice guy and put up with me poking and sniffing and photographing for an hour. Even so, I suspect he'll tell me to go to hell and I'll probably be better off for it!
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Sometimes knowing something in high detail (as you did here) gets one emotionally involved with it.

This was the first trailer you looked at, I think you said?

If he comes back with a no, look on it as a good sign, and turn your focus on finding a better one. Colin H nailed it, IMHO.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
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Sometimes knowing something is high detail (as you did here) gets one emotionally involved with it.

This was the first trailer you looked at, I think you said?

If he comes back with a no, look on it as a good sign, and turn your focus on finding a better one. Colin H nailed it, IMHO.
I think Colin probably shot low... I did offer more than 2x Colin's number, but that was less than half the seller's asking price. He came down some, but not enough to make me think it was The One.

I agree that it's probably best for psychological reasons that I don't buy the first one I really consider. I've been reading about people looking for years for their ideal trailer, so I'll just settle in for the long haul and know it's right when I find it.

I also think it's best for monetary reasons that I didn't buy this one. I am probably looking for one that may have fewer original bits but is mechanically good and mostly watertight, or is VERY low-priced so it's worth doing a lot of work to the trailer.

PS: And after more obsessive reading of the site after having examined the Vista View windows on this Overlander, I think I'll give special consideration to candidates WITHOUT Vista View windows for my first trailer.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:11 AM   #9
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This is pretty funny. I came to this section to post on a 72 Overlander my wife and I were interested in and lo and behold... here it is, described in great detail

We're shopping in DFW and judging from the dent in back in your picture it's the exact same one....

More pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/geo121863/1972Airstream#

Not sure what you offered him, but he's down from +$9 to $7500 asking price (assuming it's the same seller and not someone who bought it from him).

Rob
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:28 AM   #10
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I'm pretty sure it's the same trailer and seller. He's a nice guy and the trailer is not in bad shape, as I described in some detail. He and I didn't come to an agreement on price, and I ended up finding a trailer that was a bit less original and more ready-to-camp.
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