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Old 04-20-2016, 04:22 PM   #1
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Value? Fair price?

I have located a 1968 Airstream Overlander. Has new floors, new tires, new lights, windows sealed, no leaks, all original appliances work, new mattress/foam, painted. Body looks nice.


However, they have said the trailer still needs the following:

1.) Several windows fixed (the previous owner replaced some glass with plexiglass) replaced.
2.) Has a new toilet but needs some plumbing done for installation
3.) Has no AC. Will need AC
4.) "Original aluminum propane tanks that can be converted to use" (not sure what that even means?
5.) dent in front corner
6.) no keys
7.) water heater

They are asking $8200 but willing to deal. Is this a fair price?

I have looked up the value on NADA which has it listed at $2200.

I've reviewed the Vintage Airstream price guide. Based on the text I would say it is slightly above the "average" condition which ranges 3500-6500.

I realize I don't know.
So I thought I would ask you guys: What is a good price for this trailer?

I have included some of the pics for it.

Thanks for your time. I want to be sure we are getting a good trailer at a fair price. I don't wanna just buy it because it's an Airstream and so cute....
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:27 PM   #2
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I replied on your other thread also (don't really need more than one) but had a question. Is the Airstream painted or did you mean the interior.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:15 PM   #3
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Value? Fair price?

The '68 model does NOT have a grey water tank unless someone has added it.
As low as it is setting new axles are in order. That's a $1,500-$2,000 upgrade.
A water heater is $350-$500 plus install if you can't do it yourself.
Air Conditioning is $500 plus installation.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:54 PM   #4
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Converting the propane tanks requires replacing the valves and then getting the tank certified. In San Antonio, the valve replacement is $50 ea then certification is another$20 or so ea.

There you have it, usable tanks.




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Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:15 PM   #5
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replacement of dented panel $2000 each
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:37 PM   #6
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I've been casually rebuilding a '68GT for six years as a hobby. I like it. It “camps” well.


1968 is the last year of the narrow twinkie body. They are lightweight, durable, and relatively easy to restore. They all came with beautiful real wood interiors. Mine is Ash. The trim level that you picture is the International model, which could have been Cherry, Mahogany, or Walnut. Ask the sellers why they chose to greatly devalue the trailer by mopping paint all over the interior. It's worrisome to me, because that painted interior displays an unawareness about their “fixing-up”. Why paint over the original woodwork?? Hope they didn't paint the vinyl walls too.


Another question would be what savings are there when plexiglass is used instead of correct replacement glass. Replacement glass isn't terribly expensive, with the labor involved, why not do it right? There is no “savings” when it needs to be re-done. Getting those Philips-Corning windows right is a scientific project. They are beautiful, but delicate. Plexiglass is very wrong. UV resistant polycarbonate costs more than replacement glass.


“New flooring” often hides sub-floor integrity. The last few feet of bath sub-floor is usually in need of replacement, (BTW, the original single waste tank is quite small). There is often sub-floor damage around the toilet, entry door, and under windows and vents, Easy to hide with “New Flooring”. I'd much rather buy a trailer with no new flooring. When flooring is installed perpendicular to the trailer's length, you can bet they're inexperienced. Don't pay for their “interpretation" of fix-up.


The 1968 plumbing is fairly simple and easy to replace. If the bathroom is original and unmolested, that's a plus. 1968 original bath is very sensible and comfortable. If original, the bathroom color theme should match the countertops.


1968 Airstreams had the worst electrical systems ever. 1968 Airstream owners live in constant fear of incineration, Aluminum wiring, noisy battery melting converter, Poorly located components and the dreadfully worthless “Central Control”. It can all be fixed, but it takes time and knowledge. Mine's safe now.


Then, as mentioned, there are axle, brake, coupler, rear separation, frame rust/sag potential issues to account for, which you will want an Airstream inspector to walk/crawl you through. You can negotiate an offer contingent on a satisfactory inspection. Then use the inspection findings to leverage re-negotiation.



What I've learned from selling tons of junk throughout my life, is that if you don't ask enough for it people don't think it's any good, so $8200 is meaningless. They may have paid $5000 for it, and wasted $3000 “fixing it up”, but I wouldn't pay $4000 for it because of the ruined interior... With a clean original mahogany interior, few dents, a good frame, and nothing working, it's worth $5000 as a “rebuildable core” only if that's the format you wish to camp in.


If the paint is good for you, and it's had a photographically documented shell-off floor replacement, new black and grey tanks, crimped Pex plumbing replacement, rewired competently, rebuilt frame, and new axles, YES to $8200. A 17' Caravel would be worth three times that because as the '68 gets smaller, it generally increases in value. Overlanders are excellent, but not as sought after as the little ones, so your restoration dollars will appreciate less, but that's totally OK, if it matches your camping style.


At any price, you'll have an additional 10K into it over the next three years, and that's very optimistic. Sometimes folks get hung up on the entry price and don't realize that the few thousand “Too Much” they paid, is small change after five years of ownership. 1967/68 is a great vintage for Airstreams. Overlanders and Trade Wind Doubles are good campers for small families.


It's easy to get Snookered on these trailers, 'cause they're so damned cute. Walk around it and listen. If it speaks to you, you'll know what to do.


There is a finite number of vintage Airstreams. Get one ASAP!
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
I replied on your other thread also (don't really need more than one) but had a question. Is the Airstream painted or did you mean the interior.
No. Airstream exterior isn't painted but does need shining. The interior cabinets, etc. was painted. I am hoping that the actual walls weren't painted.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
The '68 model does NOT have a grey water tank unless someone has added it.
As low as it is setting new axles are in order. That's a $1,500-$2,000 upgrade.
A water heater is $350-$500 plus install if you can't do it yourself.
Air Conditioning is $500 plus installation.
She said it has a waste tank. But didn't say grey water tank. I will ask.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:03 PM   #9
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Grateful

Thanks so much for your time and wisdom. We are newbies and know next to nothing. But I keep reading and learning.

We will keep looking! Although I am growing impatient to have one. However, we have little kids and more than anything don't want to be a hundreds of miles from home and have the thing fall apart or go up in smoke.

So glad there is a lot of helpful folks on this forum.

Thanks!

Misty
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:00 PM   #10
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Hi There,

I saw it newly listed in AF Classifieds. Turns out, that Overlander is a few hours southwest from me. I Google Earthed it and think it can be seen in the back-yard of a very small town. If $8000 is your “plug and play” budget, forget it. It'll need a few thousand $$ right away to assure its safety and comfort. Then, thousands more over the next few years. If you're handy, $15000 total is what you'll have into a very fine trailer. Most folks would double that figure, but if you're smart about the process, it can be done.


It can easily become the only camper you'll ever need for many years. I definitely wouldn't trade my '68GT for a 2016 20 footer. Anybody can spend their hard earned money, inheritance, or lottery winnings on a new one.. It takes a special kind of fool to rebuild vintage to better than new. It's a rewarding adventure.


You got many reply posts of caution. I think there's much caution expressed because there are so many unknowledgeable/ bad repairs made to Airstreams witnessed on this website. They're somewhat unique in structure, and can be repaired improperly. You have to inspect the trailer thoroughly to know what's in its future. If there is little or no structure rot, rust, damage, it could be worth what they're asking despite the paint. The paint wont harm the function, It just degrades the value at this moment. There are so few remaining trailers with real hardwood interiors, they're a bit of a commodity in these plastic present days.


A ten gallon Atwood WH fits the original hole fairly closely. You can buy full retail at Camping Whirl, or lurk on eBay and get a cosmetic blem for half price.


A three stage converter is the minimum electrical upgrade. There's plenty to learn/understand about the aluminum wiring. It's manageable.


Safety-wise, the original furnace isn't worth keeping, as most of them are worn out or recalled. Budget-wise, I'd camp the temperate seasons before investing in big heat, or phenomenal cooling, axles are more important if needed. Axles of this vintage are often in need of replacement, but sometimes have a few trips left in them. You can tell by lifting the trailer off the ground. If the wheel drops a couple inches, that's good, but a fresh set of axles is better. Read up on this, there's lots said.


Windows are a project, but not on the critical list. By design, they leak a little. Some more, others less, a few, not a drop. I only get a few ounces from one window. Live with it. It's often not the window, but a rivet or seam, or vent, or badge, or light nearby.


Wood floor to shell attachment is important, it's repairable, but quite tedious to do correctly. It's not horribly expensive to do. A little bad floor here and there is manageable. You might have to re-do what was done.



The painted interior isn't the end, it could be scraped and refinished someday. It's odd that the new toaster is mentioned as a feature… Makes the “fix-up” sound superfluous, but it may be genuinely well repaired despite that description. I've seen where 400 thread-count sheets were mentioned as a selling feature, so who knows?


Again, If you pay a few thousand $$ premium to get what you want when you want it, there's real value in getting it now and going to work on it, instead of waiting a few years to get a better deal. You can take ownership and make it into anything you want. My GT was pretty rough, It had to be gutted a little bit, but five years later, it's pretty nice. I have “adding up the receipts phobia” so I can't say what it cost, but every fixing up minute was fun. It's a good camper, I know it well…


1968 is a great year to rebuild, and keep... If you're serious about this trailer, you're on the road to inspect it already.



The trailer will be so much fun that your kids will be delighted to just camp in the driveway.
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