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Old 05-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Would you buy a painted Airstream?

Hi there, we are looking at a 1969 Globetrotter in very good unrestored condition. It think the asking price is reasonable at $6500. However the exterior has been painted. It is an exceptional paint job painted aluminum color, so good in fact that I had to really look close to verify that it was paint. However I am suspicious that this would serioulsy affect the value. Please share your thoughts. J

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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My 72 Overlander was from what I was told, painted silver from the factory. It was really tough to tell it wasn't bare aluminum. The only reason not to buy it... is if you really want to polish your trailer. Otherwise it shouldn't make any difference. The other advantage is that if you ever get a dent you can fill it and touch it up, although not easily.

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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The question is, would you?

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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I own a 94 excella that was painted in 94 and still looks new except for one spot where the clearcoat is peeling. This is a silver paint job with clearcoat.
It has lasted much longer than the clearcoat that you normally see.
In my mind it is better. All rivets and seams are covered with multiple paint coats and do not leak!!! The only two leaks I have had so far are around the license plate bracket and a Fantastic vent. Both are penetrations of the skin sealed with caulking.
The vent leak occured this winter after 17 seasons outside full time.
Not bad.
People in the business state that the cost of the paint job actually increases the value.
I'm not sure. I had the same reservation about a painted trailer. Then I considered that since this one was the layout I wanted I forsaw no reason not to purchase.
Eight years later I am still very happy with my decision.
Al and Jean

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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Would make a good reason to discount,, but from my view I would not kick too hard about it.. To be honest,, it helped seal some seams and protect that baby for a number of years..

My Overlander has a few streaks of acid etching into the skin from acid rain I would guess,, or years of dead leafs on top that turned to acid and ran down the sides in a few places..

Stripping the paint cant be any harder than taking off the clear coat.. ??????

I would discount the price and pull it home and be happy with it..

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
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The primary concern would be underlying body damage. If you can confirm that the paint is not masking any undisclosed damage then it would be Buyer's prerogative IMO. I can attest to the beauty of BigAl's 94. You'd never know it was painted unless you looked very closely.

I'd have no issue with a well painted Airstream.

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #8
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I agree with the discount part, I would strip it for sure since I would want to polish it. $6500 is a bit pricy for an unrestored trailer of this year (painted or not) would be my first thought... If you don't care it shouldn't really matter though:-)
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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I have a friend in the area who painted his silver. And it looks gorgeous. Easy to keep clean and wax so it is always shiny silver (like a silver car). No idea about values up and down but his sure does look good.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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If its a good job I wouldn't turn it down. My father owned a body shop. Many of the current paints such as base coat/clear coat are exceptional. The additional sealing factor mentioned would be a plus. Stripping and polishing may be a problem if you ever wanted to do this - the sanding required to get paint to stick may make polishing very difficult. If that is the case just repainting should get the desired look back!!!!
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #11
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The Airstreams of recent years would be better trailers if they were painted at the factory instead of the troublesome coated Alcoa panels. They would look better, be much less likely to have filiform corrosion problems, and may have fewer leaks.

I wish mine was and it may end up that way.

doug k
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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When I was trying to buy my current Airstream, I asked one of the so called "inspectors" to look at it for me since I was over 2000 miles away. When I told him it had been modified, he refused to help me. He was some kind of AS "purist" that didn't believe that modified trailers were worth any value. So I flew out to check it myself only to find that all mods had been done at the AS factory or by AS recommended specialists. And to me, it was better than stock.

So if it floats your boat, and you like how it looks, don't worry about the "purists". Buy it and get out and have a good time!
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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I personal wouldn't ever buy one that was NOT painted. they only have Clear coat to peal and look nassty unless it is polished. I picked out my Argosy Because it could be painted. and Had aluminum cabnets in side. Paint is wash wax and for get it. every thing else is work.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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If you buy it thinking of stripping and polishing, remember that it may have been sanded first and might not polish up. Leave the paint and enjoy the time you don't spend with endless polishing.

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