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Old 07-25-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
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What's it worth?

Our dream is to buy an old airstream (1979 or before), gut it, and completely refurbish it. We found a 26' (I believe) 1974 airstream in someone's yard that had been gutted. He towed it 10 months ago but i'm sure it needs axles, tires, the works. The shell looks good but there are no appliances, no fixtures. What would this be worth? The guy who owns it was planning to chop off the back and use it as a car hauler. We were thinking of offering him $500. Would that be insulting? What's it worth?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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Probably worth that in scrap alluminum.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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26'? A good manageable size. Double check the condition of the steel frame. If it's rusted, it may cost some $$. I, personally, have no problem with an empty 70's Airstream. I would have a clean slate to do things the way I like. You'll want to replace the tires, shocks and axles on a 70's AS anyway. My 1976 Safari 23' has new axles @ $1300. New shocks @ $100. I'm still working on the tires, and I know they won't be cheap. The other question is: how many Airstreams have you looked at? If this is the first, then keep looking. Unless of course, he takes the $500... how's the plywood floor?
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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how's the plywood floor?
Rotted in many place I am sure.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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Scrap aluminum has dropped 25% this year - and the salvage people want clean aluminum, the vinyl covered liners have a steep deduct, any vulkem or other caulk residue puts that chunk in another stack, etc. etc... So its anywhere from 20˘ to 50˘ a pound as of 7/25/12 - and there is less of it than one would think. if our 0.032" sheet is around 0.45 pounds per square foot the 27' trailer may have $180 in sheet stock on it and much less of the formed ribs and channel. Iron scrap is 4˘ a pound w/ 500 pound minimum so you'd be lucky to get $60 clear there.

If you wanted to snag it your salvage value would come from complete window assemblies, entrance door, utility hatches, vintage stainless water heater door and a few other things like door light, FW filler port, external 120VAC cover, bumper and trunk lid. If you are doing internet sales your crating/box charges will be steep.

To earn more than 25˘ an hour for your labor you'd have to get the trailer near-free, free or be paid to haul it away
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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You should also mention there is no way an Airstream would make a safe car trailer without a new much heavier duty frame and heavier duty axles.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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Car Trailer????!!!

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You should also mention there is no way an Airstream would make a safe car trailer without a new much heavier duty frame and heavier duty axles.
Very Good Point!
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Just be prepared to spend a lot of money on "refurbishing" and not cover your time and expenses on resale. You can find a good deal on AStreams others have restored and are selling.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #9
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The 70s trailers are the most plentiful out there. I would get a trailer no longer than a 24' for a first resto (dont ask me how I know). The axles wheels and tires get pricey as does the aluminum (belly pan and repairs) sub floor etc. do a little more research before you plunk down any $$. But if you offer $500 and they take it, HITCH ER UP AND RUN!
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