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Old 12-27-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
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Looking at buying '74 23' Overlander. Is it overpriced?

Hi, I'm looking ot buy my first AS. I've done a lot of reading and have learned a lot on ther forum. I'm in the market for a 23' AS. I found one that is fairly close to me, the owner is aking $5800. The interior is all original, all appliances work. I really don't care if the unit is all original.

Things that concern me are the windows need attention. One of the wing windows is missing a pane and most of the film in the middle of the window panes is bubbling. It looks like the weather stripping needs to be replaced and the caulking on the exterior needs attention. The PO painted the exterior silver. Paint is flaking off in areas. This could all be stripped. There is one large dent/scrape at the front lower segment near the hitch. One thing that concerns me is a large (~3'x4'x2')toolbox welded to the frame in the rear that stick about 3' beyond the rear bumper. This looks easy enough to remove but I'm wondering if it has caused any frame problems.

I was able to find some wet plywood flooring in the font of the trailer below the windows. I didn't have a screwdriver to poke around to see if it was rotten.

Does $5800 seem like a reasonalbe price for this trailer? I'm not to thirlled about the paint, windows, and wet floor in the front. I also didn't get a chance to check the axles. Seems like there are not many smaller 70s AS for sale at the moment. After reading my list, it sound like I should still be waiting for the right trailer. Any input would be great. Thanks for your time!!
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:00 PM   #2
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Hello,

It is hard to say... from the items listed that need repair... I would offer less than is being asked. You may need to replace the axles, or if it hasn't been used lately you will likely need to replace tires, etc. If there is a window pane missing definitely check the floor for dry rot! Take a ice pick and poke around and see if you feel any soft wood.

I would have the current owner show me that all appliances work... see how much shore power you have ~ you may need to do some electrical upgrades in time. See if you can check under the belly pan to be sure there isn't soggy insulation (think wet diapers) or anything you do not want!

If the film in the window panes is bubbling... might be a problem getting them replaced, I know there are threads about this issue and how folks deal with it, but I am not knowledgeable as we have older rigs.

The toolbox on the back.... check for rear end sag, could be a problem. The paint on the outside is also going to cost you money to repair! I would do a check on how much all the repairs would cost to really think about what it is actually going to cost you. With the repairs you might be able to travel a bit and pick one up in better condition.

I would check ebay and craigslist and the papers, the classifieds here, etc. to see what similar rigs have sold for to compare. You can also check out the price list here: Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

In the end... price is very subjective. If you really want this one... well, that may be the determiner! Both of ours are total restorations... so you don't even want to think about cost.

Good luck in finding just the right Airstream! We love ours!
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The owner had a new inverter installed and all the appliances worked on.

I have read about axles and also about vintage trailer prices. I'm capable of doing most of the work but I'm not sure I really want to pull apart windows and replace segments. I've owned boats so I know how fast projects add up! I will say that the initial impression of the trailer was better than some 70s 25' Tradewinds that I recently looked at that are listed for 12k at a car dealership.

I guess I'll just keep looking. I was hoping to find something in useable condition with a strait body, solid floor, and good axles for around 5K. I'm not sure if that is realistic.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
Things that concern me are the windows need attention. One of the wing windows is missing a pane ....... There is one large dent/scrape at the front lower segment near the hitch. One thing that concerns me is a large (~3'x4'x2')toolbox welded to the frame in the rear that stick about 3' beyond the rear bumper. This looks easy enough to remove but I'm wondering if it has caused any frame problems.

I was able to find some wet plywood flooring in the font of the trailer below the windows. I didn't have a screwdriver to poke around to see if it was rotten.

Does $5800 seem like a reasonalbe price for this trailer? I'm not to thirlled about the paint, windows, and wet floor in the front....... After reading my list, it sound like I should still be waiting for the right trailer. Any input would be great. Thanks for your time!!
subtract $9,750 from the asking price and maybe. 2K for the rear end damage (dont ask how I know) rotted decking, missing windows, and things you havent found yet......OYE!!!!
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:43 AM   #5
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I have a 27' Overlander with a big dent in the back on top to the curbside. I call it my love tap. I bought it that way. I had to replace the black tank, have welding done, put in a new bathroom floor, new water pump, new furnace, new vents, new axels, new tires, upgrade the valves on the gas tanks, remove and fix vista windows, new widow & door gaskets, new plumbing, New sound system, flat panel screen tv. new curtains and shades, and the list goes on. I paid $3,500 for my trailer. I probably sunk at least the same amount into it... Probably more... I quit counting the dollars. I am very happy with it and still have some things to fix or upgrade.

I would check the bathroom floor around the toilet and behind the sink because what I have read that is where you find much of the rot in the 70's trailers. At least in mine it was gone. If you want a good fun project to work on and enjoy for a life time the Overlander is a good one. We love the size and how comfortable it is.

We are going camping today and then leaving it at the campground for my son and his girlfriend to enjoy for a couple of days.
Brian

When I bought mine it looked perfect. I had no idea it had all those other issues until I bought it.

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Old 12-28-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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I know it will be a good trailer in the long run but I also know that it will require a few thousand to get it up to par (axles, windows, exterior, possibly floor).

I have seen several 26' trailers with a body and tires in much better shape sell for around $4000. I guess it just depends how bad the seller wants to get rid of it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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I have seen several 26' trailers with a body and tires in much better shape sell for around $4000. I guess it just depends how bad the seller wants to get rid of it.
I think you just answered your own question.

FWIW shorter rigs tend to bring higher prices these days but the items of concern you mentioned in your first post lead me to believe that it is priced higher than the market will bear.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
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Oh and.....

Where are my manners?

Welcome to the group.

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Old 12-28-2009, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
I know it will be a good trailer in the long run but I also know that it will require a few thousand to get it up to par (axles, windows, exterior, possibly floor).

I have seen several 26' trailers with a body and tires in much better shape sell for around $4000. I guess it just depends how bad the seller wants to get rid of it.
If the Airstream needs all the gaskets, sewer vent pipe cover gaskets too, some exterior repairs, window repairs, and possibly the axles, the asking price is way out of line.

Logic says, that if the trailer needs all those repairs, then you can count on repairing other things as weel, such as the furnace, and for sure replacing the water heater.

Generally speaking, if an Airstream has been properly cared for, then the owner would include appliances as well.

When the trailer needs obvious repairs as you have listed but a few, then you can pretty much tell that the entire trailer has been negleted.

That being the case, check out the axles as an example. If they are bad, then you can tell the owner that you will deduct $2000.00, for that alone. 35 years for torsion axles, is a long time.

From your description, I would offer him, "HALF" and no more.

The gasket materials are not that expensive, but it would take a weekend, to replace them all. Replacing them is easy, as hundreds of others owners have done that in the past. How you do it, is the key.

Rotted sections of flooring? A small section, can be spliced. A large section must be replaced. That alone, can run into big bucks, very quickly. Then that tells you that there is water leaks, that must be located and corrected, before any work is done to the floor.

Hope this helps you.

Andy
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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Looking at buying 74 23' Overlander. Is it overpriced?

Greetings mile2885!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
Hi, I'm looking ot buy my first AS. I've done a lot of reading and have learned a lot on ther forum. I'm in the market for a 23' AS. I found one that is fairly close to me, the owner is aking $5800. The interior is all original, all appliances work. I really don't care if the unit is all original.
You likely aren't dealing with an enthusiast owner as the Overlander since the 1960s has never been shorter than 26'. I believe that the Overlander was classed as 27' in 1974 which would mean that the overall body length would be approximately 23'. For the asking price, the coach should be pristine and in ready to use condition with very minimal effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
Things that concern me are the windows need attention. One of the wing windows is missing a pane and most of the film in the middle of the window panes is bubbling.
If the coach has the Thermo-Pane window option, correcting issues with internal tinting, fogging, moisture infiltration, etc. can become a time-consuming abatement process. If the wing window needs replacement, be prepared for a big expense ($700 +/-) assuming that the part is still available -- I seem to remember that some of the wing windows for '69 through late 1970's are either in very short supply at the factory or are no longer available -- if you decide to pursue this coach, I would suggest contacting a dealer to determine if replacement glass is available. To get an idea of what the options are for the thermo-pane windows perform a forums search with thermo-pane as your search string -- there are multiple threads on the various solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
It looks like the weather stripping needs to be replaced and the caulking on the exterior needs attention.
This is a near universal need on an "as found" Vintage coach. The weather stripping, gaskets and seals are all readily available -- just be prepared that they are not without cost -- materials for the job would likely be approaching $500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
The PO painted the exterior silver. Paint is flaking off in areas. This could all be stripped.
There is usually a reason behind a painted Airstream. This coach would be from an era where the paint might be hiding "Bismarcks" -- hail dents from the Bismarck, North Dakota WBCCI International Rally close to two decades ago. The paint can be stripped, but be prepared for the potential of uncovering body repairs that might make polishing the exterior a virtual impossibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
There is one large dent/scrape at the front lower segment near the hitch.
A fairly common problem that is the result of turning too tight a corner with a tow vehicle like a large family sedan and catching the front corner of the Airstream on the car's bumper -- I have a small dent in the lower streetside corner of my Minuet that is a result of its encounter with its first towcar -- a 1978 Ford LTD sedan. A suction cup dent remover may lessen the impact of the dent, but a panel replacement is about the only 100% cure -- if the coach were toremain painted, typical body shop methods could be employed to fix the dent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
One thing that concerns me is a large (~3'x4'x2')toolbox welded to the frame in the rear that stick about 3' beyond the rear bumper. This looks easy enough to remove but I'm wondering if it has caused any frame problems.
I am afraid that this would be an absolute deal breaker for me. That box is large enough that it has exerted a tremendous amount of leverage on frame components that were never designed to handle the stress. I would almost certainly expect to find frame cracking/sagging in the area of the axles; rear end separation along with the associated floor rot throughout the bathroom perimeter; possible buckling of the floor just to the rear of the axles (a bump or raised section near the bathroom entrance); and a tremendous number of popped rivets on the interior and quite possibly loosened rivets on the exterior skin -- opening the way for more leaks.

Airstream has always advised against even placing a bicycle carrier on the rear bumper as the leverage can cause problems with rear end seapartion as well as other frame and body issues. My Overlander had a dealer-installed spare tire carrier on the rear bumper from the time it was new until 1998 -- the coach developed severe rear end separation that was an expensive headache for repair; needless to say, the spare tire no longer resides on the rear bumper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile2885 View Post
Does $5800 seem like a reasonalbe price for this trailer? I'm not to thirlled about the paint, windows, and wet floor in the front. I also didn't get a chance to check the axles. Seems like there are not many smaller 70s AS for sale at the moment. After reading my list, it sound like I should still be waiting for the right trailer. Any input would be great. Thanks for your time!!
Given all of the issues, the price seems to be significantly above the true value of the coach. I would suggest that you think over very carefully the issues involved prior to making an offer on this coach as it could be a true can-of-worms when you begin your refurbishment.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:25 PM   #11
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That price sounds too high for me. Depending on the axle and bathroom floor condition, not to mention the rear frame, I'd offer him around $3000-3500.

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Old 12-28-2009, 01:55 PM   #12
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Greetings mile2885!

Welcome to the Forums!



You likely aren't dealing with an enthusiast owner as the Overlander since the 1960s has never been shorter than 26'. I believe that the Overlander was classed as 27' in 1974 which would mean that the overall body length would be approximately 23'. For the asking price, the coach should be pristine and in ready to use condition with very minimal effort.
Agreed. Overlander models starting in 1969 are 27 feet long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
If the coach has the Thermo-Pane window option, correcting issues with internal tinting, fogging, moisture infiltration, etc. can become a time-consuming abatement process. If the wing window needs replacement, be prepared for a big expense ($700 +/-) assuming that the part is still available -- I seem to remember that some of the wing windows for '69 through late 1970's are either in very short supply at the factory or are no longer available -- if you decide to pursue this coach, I would suggest contacting a dealer to determine if replacement glass is available. To get an idea of what the options are for the thermo-pane windows perform a forums search with thermo-pane as your search string -- there are multiple threads on the various solutions.
Replacement wing windows are readily available. They are half your quoted price, or less depending on the color of the glass.

Wrap windows, that are 40 inches wide, are the windows that cost over $700.00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
This is a near universal need on an "as found" Vintage coach. The weather stripping, gaskets and seals are all readily available -- just be prepared that they are not without cost -- materials for the job would likely be approaching $500.
A complete set of exterior gaskets, for a 31 foot Airstream, for the entrance door, access doors, vent covers, sewer vent covers and the adhesive, runs a little less than 50 percent of your quoted price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
There is usually a reason behind a painted Airstream. This coach would be from an era where the paint might be hiding "Bismarcks" -- hail dents from the Bismarck, North Dakota WBCCI International Rally close to two decades ago. The paint can be stripped, but be prepared for the potential of uncovering body repairs that might make polishing the exterior a virtual impossibility.
Many owers want a silver paint job, since the cost per year of it's life, is a fraction of clearcoating. But, in this case, the peeling paint, again, suggest a stop gap paint job, that now is worthless.

Quote:
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I am afraid that this would be an absolute deal breaker for me. That box is large enough that it has exerted a tremendous amount of leverage on frame components that were never designed to handle the stress. I would almost certainly expect to find frame cracking/sagging in the area of the axles; rear end separation along with the associated floor rot throughout the bathroom perimeter; possible buckling of the floor just to the rear of the axles (a bump or raised section near the bathroom entrance); and a tremendous number of popped rivets on the interior and quite possibly loosened rivets on the exterior skin -- opening the way for more leaks.

Airstream has always advised against even placing a bicycle carrier on the rear bumper as the leverage can cause problems with rear end seapartion as well as other frame and body issues. My Overlander had a dealer-installed spare tire carrier on the rear bumper from the time it was new until 1998 -- the coach developed severe rear end separation that was an expensive headache for repair; needless to say, the spare tire no longer resides on the rear bumper.
Agreed.

Quote:
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Given all of the issues, the price seems to be significantly above the true value of the coach. I would suggest that you think over very carefully the issues involved prior to making an offer on this coach as it could be a true can-of-worms when you begin your refurbishment.
Absoluely excessive price.

Good luck with your research!
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:10 PM   #13
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Here is the link to the ad:

http://olympic.craigslist.org/rvs/1513987306.html

I never thought about the issues of hail damage and filling in the dents with bondo then painting! Very good input from everybody. I have learned a lot! I was wondering why the GRVW was over 7000 on the tag. The Tradewinds I looked at were around 5700.

I don't think he will go half price. Also, you can't see the trunk or the dent in the pictures. The dent has a crease in it so I don't think you would be able to pop it out without replacing the segment.

I'm going to keep looking. Thank you for all the great info!
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:36 PM   #14
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That is definitely an Overlander and is 27' bumper to tongue. I passed on a really pristine '68 here for $2500 a couple of years ago. Overlanders were probably the highest production number trailer for many many years, so there are a lot of them out there.

Happy hunting!

Roger
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