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Old 05-28-2014, 06:57 PM   #1
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Thoughts on value

wanting to purchase vintage airstream. Have found one listed as excellent that an inspector gives 'good' rating too. There appears to be a panel replaced above the wheel well. Asking price is 16950 for 1961 tradewind. there are a couple of rusted out places as well. Thoughts? Value? Any help would be so appreciated. We want to make the smartest purchase possible....and also realize we are buying something very old. Floor appears in good shape but there is wood over a laminate and inspector finds two weak spots as well.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:15 PM   #2
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I DO NOT claim to be any sort of expert on the values of vintage Airstreams, but it seems to me $16,950 is sort of steep for a 1961 model with soft floors. Maybe if everything else is excellent?

Hopefully some of the vintage experts will chime in here.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:25 PM   #3
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I sent you a PM.

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Old 05-28-2014, 07:51 PM   #4
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Proceed with great caution. Soft spots on the floor indicates leaks that, at least at one point, were not fixed. Rust is a different matter. Is it showing on the axle, which is exposed to the elements and would be expected to have some rust on a 50+ year old trailer, or the A frame, which could be problematic, or the frame, which could also be problematic. Also, was it your inspector? I agree SteveH.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:35 PM   #5
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Way to much! Keep looking.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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They are all listed as "excellent." $16k might not buy you a perfect trailer, but it should get you one with no major problems. Without more detail, it is hard to tell, but it sounds like you are looking at a trailer with some superficial sprucing up, but still some very fundamental issues.

So here are some of the red flags of a trailer being "flipped:"

Does it have an RV style fridge, or a cheap electric only dorm style fridge?

Has it had grey water tanks retro-fitted?

Have the axles been replaced?

Is it polished?

"Yes" answers to the above are worth something.

There are plenty of Airstreams out there--be selective.

good luck!
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:45 PM   #7
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yes, the inspector was ours and again I wish I could post some pics but can't figure out how. the inspector does not do many if any vintage airstreams but figured someone looking it over if we can't was the best. I am most concerned truly about the section over the wheel which is a riveted panel that is different than the rest of the body....down to 15800.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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To post pictures, just reply to the thread. When the dialogue box opens up for you to type, look at all the little formatting icons above your text box, and you will see a little paperclip icon. Click on this, and it will allow you to upload pictures from your computer.

Pictures would help, but again, ~$16k should get you a trailer that is ready to camp, no repairs required, all appliances "RV" style, and working, 50 year old axles replaced, etc.. There are plenty of folks out there that pick up an old trailer pretty cheaply, spend a few hundred on superficial touch-ups, but no real refurbishment, and then flip it with a high price tag, thinking that these trailers are such a hot commodity that someone will bite. For every one of those, there is an inexperienced buyer who is entranced by the shiny aluminum, who ends up spending way too much on a trailer that still requires thousands of dollars in repairs and hours of time.

good luck!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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Is the trailer you are considering the one on the Airforums classifieds? If so, it does look like it is in pretty good shape, and a lot of work has been done--the soft spots in the floor are still a concern, though. I didn't see the patch you were describing, though the pics in the ad don't show the street side wheel.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Yes, the one on the classifieds. Inspector said one very small spot under dinette 4" by1' but he went around whole inside tapping with hammer. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-29-2014, 11:25 AM   #11
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Oh my....That is some patch job. Do you also have pics of the "rusted out places?"
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:58 AM   #12
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Yes, here is the only other defect.Click image for larger version

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ID:	213123. Other than those two things which I couldn't see on initial picture the airstream is a really good condition. Interior is all intact and original although it has been painted and new flooring. New ac, all plumbing and electrical running. In has a very beautiful interior,new awning...really looks great and these are the only things we are concerned about....
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:10 PM   #13
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Step Rib?

That's a nasty patch job if it is looking at the rib that the steps are mounted on.

This should require a bunch more inspection prior to paying big bucks for the trailer.

The condition of this rib indicates more underbelly damage.

If you are still interested in purchasing, I would recommend taking it to a certified repair shop for an accurate estimate to fix everything on the bottom side.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:16 PM   #14
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