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Old 04-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help pricing a '50s trailer

Hello,

We found an oversized easter egg today My wife and I stumbled across an early 50's 30 foot airstream trailer and I am looking for some advice on wether to purchase the unit and at what price.

A little about the trailer:
The serial number is 5006. So based on an internet search i'm assuming it's an LA manufactured liner model from 1953. The exterior appears is in good condition. The trailer tongue and wheels are rusty, some light covers are broken, a side window pane is cracked, no dings or dents in the body but the door screen cover is bent. The interior needs a complete renovation/restoration. Original couch and fridge, two burner stove. There is some evidence of water damage and floor rot where the screen cover on the door is leaking. I also found squirrels nest so I'm counting on some chewed wires.

The price is $3000 "as is". I have the skills necessary to complete a renovation but this would be my first trailer project. Is this model rare and worth the overhaul? Should the price be closer to $1500? Is there any resale value in a renovated trailer once we are finished galavanting? Judging from the condition, I would most likely renovate over restore to original.

I'm a newbie so any input is valuable. Thank you in advance.
Cheers,
Jimmy
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:38 PM   #2
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1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
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Jimmy84,

Very interesting find. My 1954 Liner has the serial number O5006 and was made in Ohio. The 30 foot or in my case a 29 foot units that early in the 1950's are very rare. What is the interior condition?

My guess is that it will need a complete redo from the floor up, including new wiring. They are unique and the lowest price you can get is the best. You will spend a lot of time and money, but you will have a great trailer.

Bill

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Originally Posted by jimmy84 View Post
Hello,

We found an oversized easter egg today My wife and I stumbled across an early 50's 30 foot airstream trailer and I am looking for some advice on wether to purchase the unit and at what price.

A little about the trailer:
The serial number is 5006. So based on an internet search i'm assuming it's an LA manufactured liner model from 1953. The exterior appears is in good condition. The trailer tongue and wheels are rusty, some light covers are broken, a side window pane is cracked, no dings or dents in the body but the door screen cover is bent. The interior needs a complete renovation/restoration. Original couch and fridge, two burner stove. There is some evidence of water damage and floor rot where the screen cover on the door is leaking. I also found squirrels nest so I'm counting on some chewed wires.

The price is $3000 "as is". I have the skills necessary to complete a renovation but this would be my first trailer project. Is this model rare and worth the overhaul? Should the price be closer to $1500? Is there any resale value in a renovated trailer once we are finished galavanting? Judging from the condition, I would most likely renovate over restore to original.

I'm a newbie so any input is valuable. Thank you in advance.
Cheers,
Jimmy
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1979 23' Safari, and 1954 29' Double Door Liner Orange, CA

http://billbethsblog.blogspot.com/
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:11 AM   #3
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These have the same serial numbers? Did I miss something? jim
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wkerfoot View Post
Jimmy84,

Very interesting find. My 1954 Liner has the serial number O5006 and was made in Ohio. The 30 foot or in my case a 29 foot units that early in the 1950's are very rare. What is the interior condition?

My guess is that it will need a complete redo from the floor up, including new wiring. They are unique and the lowest price you can get is the best. You will spend a lot of time and money, but you will have a great trailer.

Bill
Bill,

Thanks for the information. The interior is in very poor condition and I am considering removing the outer shell and rebuilding from the frame up. Any idea how may of these trailers were made? If I end up paying $3000, is this a good price? Thanks!

Jim,

I believe the trailer I'm looking at is made in California and Bill's is from the Ohio factory. So they have the same serials but mine is missing the "O" prefix.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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3000 is way to much for what you describe.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:10 AM   #6
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1979 23' Safari
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Jimmy,

Does have the vertical rear cap or sloped. Mine is vertical and therefore a 29' unit.

I have no idea how many were made, but at least 6 from your serial number. I have seen Ohio serial numbers as high as O5010. I have seen pictures of less than 6.

Regarding purchase price, mine cost me a trip from So Cal to Tampa and back, probably more than $3,000 for the trip.

Again as cheap as possible is the best price. But what really matters is what you want to do with the trailer. If you want to use it for many years $1,500 is not much over time, if the owner is hard and fast on the $3,000. If you want to flip it and make some money, probably not possible.

Bill
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:35 PM   #7
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Hi Jimmy

Welcome to the forums.

Any trailer requiring replacement of major interior components will prove to be a huge project. Take a look at the many major restoration threads here for ideas of what's involved. Think in terms of $20,000 and a year or two of fussing.

In that context the purchase price doesn't matter much. As others have noted the early 30' trailers are rare so if that's what you want you'll have trouble finding another one.

If you want a 30' trailer and are planning to replace the interior with something custom anyway you will probably find that the 1970s era trailers are cheaper and more abundant and as such you can probably find one in better condition for about the same money.

If you want a 1950s trailer to restore but the length doesn't especially matter then you can probably find better restoration candidates, where it might not be necessary to replace the interior.

As with any unusual mechanical item from decades past you're better off in the long run searching thoroughly so you can start with something that's in as good condition as possible.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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Thank you again for all of the valuable advice. I'm going to start digging into the cost of renovation. I like the idea of making this unit into a custom for my wife and I. We are not looking to make any money if we decide to sell in the future so this is not an issue. I will be back on the forum with pictures if I decide to buy the unit.

Jimmy
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