Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-12-2013, 08:16 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 12
delusional?

Hi guys. New to the forum seeking not only my first AS but my first camping trailer. I've been more of a pack it in pack it out backpacker type, but now family dictates otherwise.

Am I delusional to think that I can get a vintage AS (looking at an all original 1970 Trade Wind right now) that may need some maintenance items, road worth by June for less than $10k? The current owner hasn't had it on the road since 08 but it has been used as an apartment/guest house so it's all hooked up to his septic/electric. He wants almost $7k for it, and cosmetically the interior is in very good to excellent shape and the skin is in good shape (tires excluded). The only thing not working, he claims, is the AC, and there's a pin hole in the grey water tank.

We're planning to sell most of our household belongings and both cars to make this purchase plus get a newer used tow vehicle toward the end of the school year.

I think my bubble may have been burst but let me know your opinion.

BTW, I'm not looking to restore this thing, just get it road worthy and allow myself, my wife, my 2 year old, and my to be infant child to travel in it for 6-8 weeks next summer. Then when we find a place to home stead, perhaps have to live in it until winter arrives. Also, I'm a teacher so I'm not exactly banking these days.

TIA,
Matt
__________________

__________________
bueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by bueller View Post
Hi guys. New to the forum seeking not only my first AS but my first camping trailer. I've been more of a pack it in pack it out backpacker type, but now family dictates otherwise.

Am I delusional to think that I can get a vintage AS (looking at an all original 1970 Trade Wind right now) that may need some maintenance items, road worth by June for less than $10k? The current owner hasn't had it on the road since 08 but it has been used as an apartment/guest house so it's all hooked up to his septic/electric. He wants almost $7k for it, and cosmetically the interior is in very good to excellent shape and the skin is in good shape (tires excluded). The only thing not working, he claims, is the AC, and there's a pin hole in the grey water tank.

We're planning to sell most of our household belongings and both cars to make this purchase plus get a newer used tow vehicle toward the end of the school year.

I think my bubble may have been burst but let me know your opinion.

BTW, I'm not looking to restore this thing, just get it road worthy and allow myself, my wife, my 2 year old, and my to be infant child to travel in it for 6-8 weeks next summer. Then when we find a place to home stead, perhaps have to live in it until winter arrives. Also, I'm a teacher so I'm not exactly banking these days.

TIA,
Matt
Matt.

Gray tanks were not installed until the 1974 modesl.

Most likely, the water heater, because of it's age, should be replaced.

The furnace should be removed and overhauled.

All the exterior gaskets will need replacing, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets.

The following will help you check out the axles, but be aware that torsion axles average out to last 25 to 30 years, and then must be replaced if the trailer will be on the road.

The Dura-Torque Axle

The reefer burner will need cleaning.

Check for LPG leaks.

The exterior seams may need some resealing.

If you wish, you can update the tail and clearance lights with LED's, especially if your planning on any night traveling.

Andy
__________________

__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #3
Full Time Alumaloafer
 
louaxtjr's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 143
Images: 12
Matt,
If you are a handy with tools and not opposed to applying elbow grease, you might find what you are looking for. As I am sure you have read, the big things to look for are solid floor ( no rear end separation ), good axles, and no leaks. Almost anything else is relatively easy to fix, although not always inexpensive.

The 66 TW my wife and I obtained was sitting much like the AS you are looking for. We were lucky the trailer had the weight off the axles and had little water leakage. Cosmetically, however, our 66 needed quite a bit and is in fact still in process. We ended up repairing the fresh water tank, replacing the hot water heater, water pump, flooring, replumbing (pex), and too many repairs to list. Although our TW is mostly original looking, it is still far from a show piece and has been made to work for us as seasonal ( and soon to be full-time) accommodation. We accomplished this for under $10K but have a number of external blemishes and a yet-to-be-completed bath cabinet, among other things.

To determine how realistic your budget might be depends a lot on your expectations. Will you mind carrying tools and fiddling with mechanicals while using the trailer to avoid spending more? Are you comfortable diagnosing and repairing or would you prefer to leave that to an expert? Are you ok with spending the time to hunt down used parts wherever possible?

In any case, I wish you the best of luck in your search.
__________________
Lou Axt, Jr.
1966 Tradewind
1969 Chevy C10
_____________

Phillipians 4:13
louaxtjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
andreasduess's Avatar
 
1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,496
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 1
It's an old trailer.

Chances are, it will need more work than you think it needs. It'll cost double the money (if you're lucky) and will take twice as long as your worst case estimate.

You've got young kids. How happy will your wife be to be the primary, or only, caregiver while you're trying to get that trailer habitable? I know mine would have... opinions, and rightly so.

We're in a very similar situation to yours, family wise. In the past, I've restored classic cars and renovated old houses. As a result, when it came to buying our trailer, we purchased an older model (we couldn't afford a new one without getting into debt) from a reputable dealer with all the kinks ironed out.

We hitched up and towed away to our first camping weekend. I am convinced that this saved me money, and my sanity, in the long run.

Not trying to tell you what to do, just sharing my experiences. Feel free to disregard as the ramblings of a madman.
__________________
andreasduess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 09:09 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,202
I don't think it is unrealistic that you can find a trailer and have it roadworthy by June within your budget--but don't expect it to be easy.

Step one, you need to research, research, research and arm yourself with the knowledge of what to look for, and how to perform an in-depth inspection. Your plan hinges mostly on finding the right trailer (best mechanical condition possible for the money), not finding the cheapest trailer, the trailer closest to home, or earliest in your search.

All previous owners think that their trailer is in "pretty good" shape. They aren't being dishonest, they just don't know how to really inspect a trailer either, and they aren't really trying to find problems, as they want to get rid of it for the highest price possible. Don't buy a cheap trailer thinking that you will be able to do all the upgrades, repairs, and replacements necessary. You won't have the time or the money--remember, everything will take twice as long as you think, and cost twice as much (at least). It isn't good enough that a PO tells you "everything was working the last time we used it in 2009." You want to see actual evidence that things have been replaced or repaired.

good luck!
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,140
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
$7K is only the starting point. Even without a full restoration in mind. That figure could increase by 50% to 100%. New axles, tires, new refer, new water heater, new converter and fuse block, new furnace, new air conditioner and the list goes on.
A coach without a grey water tank will pose some challenges. Especially for a family with 2 young children. It won't be a problem if you have full hookups.
IMHO $7K is too high for a coach of this age that is originally equipped.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
Birdie Momma
 
NJtoNC's Avatar
 
1957 26' Overlander
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Vintage Kin Owner
Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 904
I would be leery of any pinholes in the holding tanks. It's a lot of work to get those out and replace them. If I recall in my fathers 1970 Safari , Airstream had just cut a 3 inch hole in the 4 inch frame to exit the sewer pipe on the side of the trailer. Since then I have seen many 1970 safaris with the same issue. His had considerable leakage in that area that rusted some of the frame making it easier to fail, which it did.

This is something I would consider a design flaw. The trade wind has the same layout. If water has been coming out of the holding tank I would suspect it could have rusted some of the frame. I would jump on the back bumper good and hard.
__________________
'57 Overlander | '56 Flying Cloud | '51 Spartanette
NJtoNC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,202
And another thing....

I see the expression "all original" used as a selling point all the time. Buying a pre-70's trailer in "original" condition is great if you want to painstakingly restore the thing to its original splendor and use it as a show piece. For a 70's vintage trailer that you want to get on the road ASAP, "all original" just means that there is an entire interior's worth of stuff that needs to be replaced. Many of the people who do full renovations of 70's trailers try to give away the interiors for free, and still don't have any takers. Don't regard work done/items replaced as somehow perverting the "originality" of a trailer--its work that you don't have to do yourself.

But, be warned--there are sloppy repairs/mods that are a big red flag. New hardwood flooring installed over a rotten subfloor is an issue. RV fridges replaced with cheap 110V "dorm" fridges are a problem. Again, do a search for "inspection checklist" and you will find the items to be on the lookout for. Also check out vintageairstream.com, there is a section on "price vs. condition" that will help you to evaluate whether something is a "deal" or not.
__________________
Belegedhel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
mtbguy's Avatar
 
Dunwoody , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 153
If you are handy with tools and don't mind getting dirty, you can have it ready to go in six months. Last winter I bought an 1976 Argosy 26 that was in good structural shape but with tired interior, a few inoperative appliances. I have redone upholstery, new water heater, fixed the A/C and got the fridge running, along with new tires, countertops, etc. I have spent around 6-7k (including purchase price). I'm good at finding stuff on Ebay/craigslist/etc for parts and supplies so that helps keep down costs.

For what its worth, I was able to use the trailer for several trips during the renovation, it was just not always pretty or with some systems inoperative for a specific trip, like when I removed water heater and hadn't put new one in yet.

Now the only thing I really want to do is replace axles with new ones/new brakes for long trip to Colorado next year.

I recently bought a second Argosy 26 and was going to fix it up also, but my wife protested so may just sell that one for what I paid for it. I guess the spouses only have so much patience for projects!

Love the username!
__________________
mtbguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 12
WOW! You guys are so helpful and great. Thanks for all of your insights, advice, and experiences. I feel a little better about the possibility of this happening!

Clarification: The fresh water holding tank (I couldn't remember if he said grey water or fresh water tank) doesn't have a pin hole. Rather, it has a drill hole. I can't remember exactly what the story was, as this old gentleman told me lots of cool stories, but somehow, I think when replacing/repairing the toilet, a hole was drilled into the top of the tank. So, it splashes a little when moving. Sounds like it would be a drop the tank and patch situation (at best).

I can't remember if the jacks were up or down, but one of the tires was low (not flat) and probably needed replacing. He has done a lot of fixes, including all new screens, all new seals around windows and doors and vents, many new exterior/interior bulbs, and it looked like up until recently someone was living in it (septic and electric were run out the trailer and the septic was still hooked into his home's septic system). They must have been a good tenant, because although the carpet was older, and the interior original, it was all in excellent shape. The "broken" interior piece were the drapes. Some of the little sliding plastic anchors were broken at the bottom of each pleat. We didn't feel any soft floors. There was a couple of broken white plastic door catches on a couple of cabinets--the kind that you have to squeeze to unlock. The oven and stovetop were clean as was the bathroom. All has been pretty well taken care of throughout the years. He's the 2nd owner but I think he's owned it since the '70s.

BTW, my wife spotted this in his backyard as we came back from scoping out a '79 31' excella that was gutted and in sad shape. That guy wanted $4500! Way too gone and too much to do AND too highly priced. So she saw this TW and I said let's go see if its for sale! Turns out he had a for sale sign in the window months ago, but took it out. Old country gentleman with hearing aids, old faded wrangler jeans, and Santa white hair. His wife was so friendly and cordial too. I think we were there over an hour visiting and checking out the trailer. I DON'T think he was trying to pull anything over on us. Just my gut feeling.

Thanks again. As time moves on, hopefully nobody else shows interest in it, and I can get a fellow forum member to come with to check it out for me to see what is a reasonable price, what may need fixed, etc.

Thanks again everyone.
Matt
__________________
bueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,401
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
$4500 seems to be a popular asking price for gutted 31' trailers in the DFW area... I inspected a '78 at that price point recently.

I'd say that your $10k for "camp-ready but not perfect" is not unreasonable, but there's lots of chaff to sort through before you find the good ones.

It's a good sign that he's owned it for a long time and seems to have maintained it well, especially if he used it until relatively recently. If it's been sitting since 2008, the tires absolutely, positively need to be replaced before you take it more than a few miles.

Without having seen it, I feel like $7k is high for having the original axles, leaking freshwater tank and no functioning air conditioner. I rate the water tank and no AC problems as most of that problem, because most '70s trailers for sale need new axles. Those of us who've replaced our axles did so because we plan to keep/use the trailer for a while.

Curtains are also a normal problem in an older trailer, esp. one that's lived in Texas. Depending on how much you want to do yourself vs. spend, they can be as cheap as the cost of the materials or you can spend close to a grand or so to get VERY nice custom-made drapes from one of the companies that know the exact measurements for nearly all the trailers Airstream has produced and will send a set of ready-to-install drapes.
__________________
David

Zero Gravitas 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
mtbguy's Avatar
 
Dunwoody , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 153
Do the drapes yourself. We just bought a really nice older singer sewing machine on local Craigslist for $75. My wife bought $50 of fabric and we are starting on curtains this weekend. I had crazy expensive quotes from local places to do them.
__________________
mtbguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,140
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
If he drilled a hole in the tank near the toilet. It is the black water tank. Not fresh water. If it is the top of the tank, it can probably be patched successfully.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 02:54 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
If it's been sitting since 2008, the tires absolutely, positively need to be replaced before you take it more than a few miles.
X5 a tire blowing out going down the road can cause $$$$ damages, often enough to total a trailer that's over 20 years old (unless you fix it yourself and don't mind it not being perfect).
__________________

__________________
Wazbro is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.