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Old 05-26-2006, 10:57 PM   #1
Rikkilin
 
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Newbie Looking at a 1974 Safari 23 Value??

Hello,
First I just want to say that this is the best web site I've found for people who truely are passionate about Airstreams!

Okay, I've found a 1974 Safari 23 with double beds, rear bath and tandem axles. The gentleman who owns it says that it has the 3 holding tanks. He has put a new AC

, new valves, new pump, and he has removed, repaired and replaced the holding tanks. There are 30 lb. alum propane tanks, already upgraded to OPD, a spare tire mount he afixed to the tongue. Alum. wheels and 'slotted mags'. The skin has normal wear and tear for this age. Some oxidation, small pits and small scrapes.
He has owned it since 1984 and never checked the brakes. But says he's never had a problem with them. The trailer has been in regular use and not stored for long lengths of time.

He wants 7500. I think this might be fair. Alittle beyond what I can afford, can I offer less and still be fair to him?

I'm not afraid of hard work to make Airstream dreams come true for myself and my daughter. But would I be getting in over my head??

Is there any problems with a 1974 Safari 23, that I should know about before I take this on?

Any advice would be mighty helpful.

Thanks



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Old 05-26-2006, 11:12 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome. Routine issues include leaks causing soft floors - especially around toilet, door and battery compartment, univolts gone bad and axles that need to be replaced.

Axles are a big ticket item. Floors are a hassle to fix but many of us have done these repairs. Learn to use the search tool on the blue tool bar to find info about these issues. If you can't find what you need - ask someone's already done it.

As for the price - it sounds a little steep - especially if you will need to replace axles - they often begin to fail after 30 years. On the other hand - smaller trailers are in high demand and fetch more moola....
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:33 AM   #3
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Looking at info on axles

Thank you for your response Janet. The owner says the axles are good and has invited me to do come do a visual inspection and go through with him. I just don't know what to look for. But I'm trying hard to educate myself.
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:41 AM   #4
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You can determine if the axles are wearing out by visual inspection chck out this article from inland rv http://inlandrv.com/articles/dura-torque-axle-92001.htm

You can also do a quick side view inspection. Stand 15 to 20 feet away and stoop down so that your eyes are even with the wheel well.

You should be able to see some of the tire, "above" the top of the wheel, perhaps as much as 1 to 3 inches, depending on the model.

This is a big deal becasue no matter who you buy the axles from they are expensive - not hard to change but spendy. $600.00 per or better.
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:47 AM   #5
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"Axles are good" does not mean the same as "new axles". I would confirm this and take him up on the visual inspection prior to purchasing this or any trailer.

As far as value, it is a bit on the high side...but not too bad assuming everything (appliances, plumbing, A/C, etc.) works as it should, the original interior is intact and there is no major body or floor damage. This Price vs Condition information may help you decide what is "fair" for that particular trailer. Spend some time reading it...lots of good information.

Good luck with your search ~

Shari
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Old 05-27-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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more Condition information

You folks are great!
I'm reading everything, in every direction that you've sent me to look for info. Great Stuff!
The more I read, the more I'm ready for what I might find and have to repair. Also, the more research I do to prepare, the more I find myself yearning for my very own airstream. I've looked for so long, that I keep having to pinch myself to keep my head level. This one is the perfect layout, size, well... just perfect.
Like I said before, I'm afraid of hard work. But with a dream this big I want my head level as I make the decision.
Boy I do sound like a Newbie don't I?!?
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:47 PM   #7
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We bought a 75 last year and paid $5900 and it's 31 ft the shorter ones tend to bring a little more money. We have had to replace flooring, all new brakes, and fixin to have to re-place all the plumbing (leaks) We also had a past owner to tell us everything works, no leaks and no floor rot Ha Ha. We were so green I had read just enough to make me a little deadly. I would do it all over again though I love my trailer and we are doing it on a beer budget as we go. Be sure to check the floor by the front window and the front door also in the rear area. We liked our trailer so much because it was dent free that is another big cost if the dent cant be pulled out. Just read as much on here you can, also when you look at the trailer check everywhere don't take the owner for his word I don't care who he is
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut This [URL="http://www.vintageairstream.com/rr_topics_pricevscondition.html"
Price vs Condition[/url] information may help you decide what is "fair" for that particular trailer. Spend some time reading it...lots of good information.

Shari
Sorry to hijack your thread rikilin, but Shari how does one print the Prices vs. Condition Report? When I attempt to print, it exceeds the margins and chops off the last word or two in each line.

Thanks,
Ken

P.S.
Rikilin, Shari is right, the price is a tad high considering how much you may later discover that you must repair or replace. It is a real challenge to inspect the subfloor on '74 Safari 23 unless the owner will allow you to poke around with an ice pick. You can sneek a peek though the wardrobe in the bathroom, and you can see some sub-floor if you open the horizontally, piano hinged panel below the kitchen sink. The refrigerator compartment also has sume exposed subfloor. Ask him who replaced the holding tanks. Go ask them what the subflooring looked like when the had the belly pan off. Axles and subflooring are major expenses. Everything else you can do yourself in the driveway. All it takes is $$$. I would say the right rice is somewhere between $5500 and $7500 based on your description.
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Old 05-27-2006, 06:54 PM   #9
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One more thing to consider..... if you've looked a long time and are convinced this is the PERFECT trailer for you than that should be a decision factor as well. We looked a long time for our trailer -we had very specific size an wight limitations and vintage Airstreams are hard to come by - especially in your own area. many of us have drive 1000 miles or more to look at a trailer. some of us have returned home empty handed becasue of misrepresented trailers. Sometimes you have to follow your gut.

For me the line I will not step over is dented skins. They can't often be repaired and I don't have the will or skill to replace them.
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:06 PM   #10
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Thanks Janet, I agree on the skin. Not a line I will cross.

Okay, so I've been reading for hours the last several days. And I think if after an inspection checks out most things as working like he says. I'll run the water, turn everything on and bring a screw driver to poke the floor with! I'll try to offer him 6000. and be willing to move a little. Realising that I will definately be looking at a brake job. Shoot, he hasn't even checked them since 1984. And knowing that other things I can't even conceive of right now will and are going to come up.
After all we buy these for love, not because their perfect.
If the axles are bad and the floor is soft I'll consider walking away, but if I can't bring myself to do that, I'll offer 4500. Is this too high in that case.
If the skin is bad (I've seen this trailer briefly but only door side and quickly inside) I'll force myself to walk.
How's that sound???
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:15 PM   #11
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Axles can be replaced - fairly easily. They bolt on. It's just a cost thing. Soft floorss are a bigger issue - but an isolated rot spot fixable. Sounds... like you've got it baaaad. Completely understandable.... so do the rest of us.
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:33 PM   #12
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The 23's and 25's are rare in these parts so the first one we found for sale we bought. The 1973 23' Safari was in good condition but needed a set of tires and sprucing up. We had a few dents but they easily were pulled out with a product called "Dent King". Four years ago we paid $6,000 CDN. Although it is not for sale a guy has been trying to buy it. I told him if I ever did think of selling it would be around $8,000 cdn. He keeps phoning.
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:06 PM   #13
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thank you

Thank you all. I'm now educated, as well as passionate and more determined then ever for Airstream.
My friends are saying, "are you crazy, you work all the time. When are you going to have time?", I just give them a goofy smile. Knowing they don't understand.
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:09 PM   #14
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Good luck and happy decision making! Keep us posted because we'll all be interested in whether you walked or put your money down Also, if you take this baby home, we'd love to see pictures. ~G
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