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Old 10-17-2016, 09:01 AM   #29
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
To the OP:

Maybe you should broaden the conversation to include your immediate plan, timeline and budget. How long do you have until you plan to live full-time in the trailer, how much do you plan on investing in the trailer beyond the initial purchase price, and how deep do you want to go into the refurbishment (ie., shell-off vs. some sprucing up)?
We are planning of moving in June 15th or so - certainly by July 1st.

Investing in it is a hard question to answer. I can do everything myself apart from welding so however much the rear end separation costs (I am budgeting $2000) and then an additional $2500 or so on cabinets, couch, bed, bathroom fixtures, paint, light fixtures, vinyl flooring etc.

I do not want to do a shell-off refurb if I can help it. As I said, I have never done any welding or metal work and DO NOT want this to be my first attempt. At the same time, I'm not planning on selling this in a couple years and want it to last me 15-20 years so I want it done right.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:03 AM   #30
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdickinson View Post
We have a 69 Safari 23'. The poster above is correct about 69 models being difficult to find body parts for. The reason seems to be that 69 was a change-over year so some trailers built in 69 were the older body style and 69 introduced the smooth front and back body panels. The windows also changed and became slightly curved top to bottom.

Our trailer has been in our family since new. It was delivered to New Mexico and has been in a dry climate continually. We brought it to Colorado about 3 years ago. It had been maintained, washed, and walbernized each year and was winterized and was stored covered for about 10 of those years. But it was not used for that period. We made three lists - safety items that were required to be fixed before overnight use, living comfort items that could be fixed over time but may make living in the trailer difficult, and third cosmetic items. The floor is solid and did not need any repair - thank goodness. If the floor needed to be replaced then I would have sold it as a hunting trailer for $3-4K. Yes to curtains (they do need to be hand-made), new cushion covers (can be jobbed out). Ours has the original carpet in it and it is good shape amazingly.

In pretty short order we had to replace the battery & converter, furnace, water heater, water pump and all the copper water supply tubing replaced with pec. We also had to replace sections of LP line due to leaks. We were lucky with the axle, not bent and the wheel bearings were in good shape and needed to be packed. Brakes were good. Black water valve had to be replaced which was a bear but it had to be done for obvious reasons. The 69 does not have a grey water tank and the tank itself is not that large so it fills pretty quickly, doubly so if the one you are looking at has grey water channeling into it. A leaking tank will cost about $180 for the part and hours and hours of labor to replace. Fresh water tank was in good shape. Had to replace the LP regulator and the lines to it. Stove, oven, and refer are all in working order and still original. The Armstrong A/C had to be replaced and it was hard to let it go but the new one is awesome.

This is all predictable and pretty easy to assess ahead of time. But I will say a lot of these items did not present as issues until we were out using and living in the trailer. So - before you head out full time maybe you should consider a "shake down cruise" for a few nights in a close location. Run everything at all times of the day. We are working through the cosmetic list a little at a time but to me that is not that important plus the trailer itself is in great shape overall.

Thank you! We will be taking it for test runs as soon as it is 'liveable' to test it out before the FT trip. Cool story as well - I like how you have kept it all these years.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:05 AM   #31
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ke6gkv View Post
I would pay no more than 4,000; having had a 63 globetroter,64 overlander,70 globetroter ,there's always more to fix once you get into it
Thanks - the more research and feedback I get, it seems like nothing more than $4500 with the work needed. I have sent videos off to two different places this morning to get quotes on the rear end separation.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:54 AM   #32
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by continentsco View Post
Thanks - the more research and feedback I get, it seems like nothing more than $4500 with the work needed. I have sent videos off to two different places this morning to get quotes on the rear end separation.
$4500 at the very most! Since it sounds like you're planning to keep this trailer for a long time make sure it's the model that you want, that is that it's got the right layout and length, and that you like the style of that particular year. The Vinatage Airstream Photo Archives is a good place to look at a variety of models.

You might also find that the outriggers are rusted and will need to be replaced or repaired to provide a secure point of attachment for the belly pan. I had to repair or replace almost all of the outriggers on our '74. This photo shows one of them. Most were good enough at the top that I just cut off the bottom and welded on a new piece.

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Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:57 AM   #33
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by continentsco View Post
As far as AC and Tires go - they both work well and it was freezing in there when we went to look at it. Tires have good tread and were covered.
It's the age of the tires that is important, not the tread, although it helps if they have been covered. Trailer tires should be replaced after 5-7 years even if the tread is still good. A blowout can do significant damage to the aluminum around the wheel wells.
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Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
TAC ON-5
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:02 AM   #34
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidsonOverlander View Post
$4500 at the very most! Since it sounds like you're planning to keep this trailer for a long time make sure it's the model that you want, that is that it's got the right layout and length, and that you like the style of that particular year. The Vinatage Airstream Photo Archives is a good place to look at a variety of models.

You might also find that the outriggers are rusted and will need to be replaced or repaired to provide a secure point of attachment for the belly pan. I had to repair or replace almost all of the outriggers on our '74. This photo shows one of them. Most were good enough at the top that I just cut off the bottom and welded on a new piece.

Awesome - good info. Thank you. I hope a significant welding job doesnt need to be done! I suppose I will find out soon. $4500 is a lot lower than what the seller was wanting but it has to be priced right - I honestly dont believe he knows what is wrong with his Airstream. He seemed very confused and had never heard of rear end separation.

I will be changing the floor plan when I pull out all the cabinets and couches and then laying it out the way that works for my wife and I.

The tires, in response to your next post, are 4 years old so they are still within range, although I will probably buy new ones right before we set out on our trip.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:32 AM   #35
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Is there enough of your time between now and July 1 to get everything done that's needed? Whatever time estimate you prepare for things needing attention -- double it.

I would think carefully about launching on a long trip without a couple or three shake down trips of short length to be sure everything works, and will keep on working.

The advice from seasoned veterans to think about something newer that needs less work seems well-founded to me.

I'd for sure change the tires before road trips begin (i.e., after resto).
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:29 AM   #36
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Which June are you thinking of starting this adventure?

Are you fully retired with no other major projects pending?

Are you already familiar with Airstreams and sourcing the needed items.

Sounds great but maybe not with this model.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:10 PM   #37
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Which June are you thinking of starting this adventure?

Are you fully retired with no other major projects pending?

Are you already familiar with Airstreams and sourcing the needed items.

Sounds great but maybe not with this model.
June/July 2017. I am not retired but will have about a month solid where I can work on it full time, every day. I am not familiar with Airstreams and one of the main points here is that a 65 sovereign or 75 sovereign would be fine but not a 69.

It is hard to not buy this one as we would love it, and they are awesome, but it probably makes more sense to get another year (we still want a 31ft AS)
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:11 PM   #38
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob662 View Post
Is there enough of your time between now and July 1 to get everything done that's needed? Whatever time estimate you prepare for things needing attention -- double it.

I would think carefully about launching on a long trip without a couple or three shake down trips of short length to be sure everything works, and will keep on working.

The advice from seasoned veterans to think about something newer that needs less work seems well-founded to me.

I'd for sure change the tires before road trips begin (i.e., after resto).
I dont want to finance anything so that it why I am keeping it in the cash range - from AS to parts to labor. So that keeps me in the 30+ year model range.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:17 PM   #39
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I am late to the discussion. I do have some experience in buying and using a couple of old Airstreams.

Work on Airstreams is so expensive that it leads me to this conclusion:

The best use of your time in Airstream repair is in shopping to find an Airstream that does not need a lot of work instead of "fixing it up". The best use of your funds is to buy an Airstream that does not need much professional work done on it. I think the mid to late 80's trailers are very good trailers.

I agree with keep it in the cash range. I agree with buying an older one. We did it that way twice. I think that cost wise the 31 or 32 foot models are probably a bit cheaper than the shorter ones of the same year. We really like ours. We already had a heavy duty truck when we bought it. But people want a smaller trailer to pull. Do your due dilligence and try to keep the real professional work that needs to be done on it to a minimum.

I got to go outside and go back to work on my Airstream.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:28 PM   #40
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Soddy Daisy , Tennessee
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Should I buy this

Continentsco;

Buy the Airstream you like and want, their is an abundance of people on this site that have the knowledge to help you with your Airstream. I bought a 72 31' Sovereign that had to be put back on the frame before I moved it. My wife loves the old body styles so much we bought a 71 31" and a 67 22' Safari also to redo to our taste and let the four kids and 10 Grandchildren enjoy them and know what they have and not worry about others problems and mistakes. I won't have near the money in them that a newer model would cost us. Good luck with your adventure.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:54 PM   #41
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Well.

I just got a quote for repairs.

$5000.

So, we will not be buying this AS. Unless someone in Houston/Dallas, wants to make $2000 who can do just as good of a job??

I appreciate all the feedback and help. We will keep looking.

Let me know if you see any going within 3-4 hours driving of Houston.
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