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Old 12-18-2015, 11:25 AM   #1
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Raleigh , North Carolina
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Input needed: 1961 Ambassador International Land Yacht

Hi folks,

So I am starting the journey of looking for a vintage airstream. I have accepted the fact that anything I find will need a full rebuild, and am looking forward to the love-hate relationship that it will bring. I do not have an ideal model in mind but rather a set of very basic criteria to meet:

22-28 ft in length
Tandem axle
Relatively dent free exterior
Complete interior (just to have something to work off of)
No missing windows

On my search I have learned a couple things. First, all the trailers near me are priced 2-3x the realistic value (vintageairstream.com guidlines). Second, almost all trailers have at least one broken window.

I have come across a trailer about 4 hours from me and the asking price is $3500 and the owner is willing to negotiate. It is a 1961 Ambassador International Land Yacht. This is the first trailer that is even remotely close to a reasonable asking price and even has all the windows intact. It is listed as having all the original appliances and new tires. I asked what condition the frame and axles were in and their response was that they have not looked at the frame due to it being covered and they towed it about 200 miles 2 years ago and it performed fine.

It fits my basic criteria but I need some input from the professionals (aka you guys).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
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for $3,500 I'd have paid the guy for it already. But I'm an airstream horder...

Yup it's a lot of work but man I'm never happier than when I'm working on my airstreams
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesignlady View Post
for $3,500 I'd have paid the guy for it already. But I'm an airstream horder...

Yup it's a lot of work but man I'm never happier than when I'm working on my airstreams
Haha, I don't have the bug quite that bad yet. I guess the perk of it being 4 hours away is I have the chance to think about it. Had it been closer I would likely being going through several stages of buyers remorse right now
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:57 PM   #4
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i wouldn't "think about it" too long . . .
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:08 PM   #5
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Schererville , Indiana
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I'll be the naysayer about a few things....it looks like it has taken on water There is delaminating on the walls separating the sleeping area from the kitchen, as well as the kitchen cabinets. It's too dark for me to see the bathroom, but I would imagine it's the same Hard to tell if it's from leaks or from humidity. It also looks like there is mildew on the walls in the front. So, I wouldn't hold your expectations too high about the floor being good and there could be frame damage if there is this much moisture inside.

The good part is the body. I looks very good from the pictures. The price is not bad, but you will probably have to spend some bucks for the interior including taking walls out for rewiring & reinsulating. I would definitely look at it & smell it before I purchased it....
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:24 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input folks. I knew you would have a more detailed observation that I.

The frame is my primary concern. I think I can handle rebuilding most of everything, but extensive frame repairs are not something I want to get into I think. The only way to tell is to pull the belly pan and check it out. Ill have to see if the owner is opposed to this.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:32 PM   #7
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1959 26' Overlander
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The price is good. 3000 cash in hand just might take it.

You are in for a LOT of work, but it is a great shell. Based on the amount of mold and delimitation, it looks like it's had a lot of moisture inside. I'd check the floor well for really rotten spots -- if present, they probably are a good predictor for frame rust. I had to replace my frame, there was so much rust.

That said, we are nearing completion and really enjoy our '59 Overlander. It's very close in design to your potential trailer.

To give you an idea of the tasks ahead, here's a good link.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:14 PM   #8
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Im spoiled. that 64 I bought about 8 years ago was 3200.00 from the orig owner and PERFECT! I always stumble on them that way!
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:33 PM   #9
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Grab it! You have great foundation on which to build on. If you don't, I will!
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:49 PM   #10
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I was hoping to look at it this week but with the holidays that may be put on hold. The owner is emailing every other day so its slow getting my questions asked. Thanks for all the input. The enthusiasm on this forum is encouraging.
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