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Old 04-21-2008, 10:47 PM   #1
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Good Deal, Or NOT???

Hello all, I am new to this forum just joined tonight. YAY!

I am so happy that this site exists. I have loved Airstreams forever and we are looking to get one. (or Two)

So here is the deal we have come upon:

My husband and I are looking to head out on the road on a Mustard tour. We have a new company and new sauce that we will be taking to many cities so we thought what better than to tow an Airstream and have our own space on the road.

We found a 1972 24ft for $4500 it looks to be in good enough shape, but then again I am not sure what to look for. We went to look at this rig and it turns out that the man knows my Father in-law. (he was with us as he owns the business and will be purchasing the rig) The seller then tells my father in-law that he has a 196? 31ft model available too. He went to look at it and it was in his eyes in better shape than the 72.

The seller has offered us both for $8000 and it seems like a steal. (it is a smaller town and we do know the family sort of) We would keep the smaller of the two and my in-laws the larger for their retirement.

All said and done, is this a good deal and what things should I be looking for that may cost us in the long run? It is really hard to know what to look for and what to test to make sure all is good.

ANY HELP would be AWESOME!!!!!

Thanks Much
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuthaMustard
Hello all, I am new to this forum just joined tonight. YAY!

I am so happy that this site exists. I have loved Airstreams forever and we are looking to get one. (or Two)

So here is the deal we have come upon:

My husband and I are looking to head out on the road on a Mustard tour. We have a new company and new sauce that we will be taking to many cities so we thought what better than to tow an Airstream and have our own space on the road.

We found a 1972 24ft for $4500 it looks to be in good enough shape, but then again I am not sure what to look for. We went to look at this rig and it turns out that the man knows my Father in-law. (he was with us as he owns the business and will be purchasing the rig) The seller then tells my father in-law that he has a 196? 31ft model available too. He went to look at it and it was in his eyes in better shape than the 72.

The seller has offered us both for $8000 and it seems like a steal. (it is a smaller town and we do know the family sort of) We would keep the smaller of the two and my in-laws the larger for their retirement.

All said and done, is this a good deal and what things should I be looking for that may cost us in the long run? It is really hard to know what to look for and what to test to make sure all is good.

ANY HELP would be AWESOME!!!!!

Thanks Much
What shape is the running gear in? Tire in good shape? Axles been replaced? Brakes? Frame? Any signs of leaks? Is the floor stiff or spongy?

Just a short list. Many more will add to this
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:19 PM   #3
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Hello fellow Buckeye!

Welcome. Never want to rain on anyone's parade, but both of these units are old - 40 and 50 years old. Try words like "axles are shot" "frame is rusted" and "rotten floors" as your worst nightmares. Any unit that age which has the original furnace, water heater and air conditioner also has three appliances that have exceeded their expected life spans (refrigerators can last longer, but... that's iffy too.)

Restoring Airstreams is doable, and there are many enthusiasts who do just that. You however want to get on the road, GO, and BUILD A BUSINESS! You need a reliable, relatively trouble-free unit that performs well and never interferes with your plans.

I'm not saying these two units aren't ideal, but as a new person you are probably not the best equipped to make that judgement. Someone local who is also on the forums may jump in and do a volunteer inspection for you (great!) but if I were in your shoes, I'd ask the current owner to take them to Jackson Center - the factory - and have them inspected at the factory. You'll end up paying for the inspection, but an ounce of prevention.... even at several hundred dollars is better than having the frame break and the black tank fall out on the road 2000 miles from home! There is also a well known restorer in Helena who could give these rigs a thorough going over... and I think might be closer to you than the mothership. Someone who really knows vintage Airstreams is really what you need at this juncture. Of course if the current owner is a forums member too... you could check his postings. He may have done the heavy work already.

This is your business... you don't need to buy anything that isn't road ready or nearly so. (I owned a big old barn of a house and after 25 years of constant repair, replacement, upgrades ....I'm DONE. Your choices might be widely different from mine, and you might have two units that have been meticulously maintained... you just need to know before you buy.)

Paula
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:25 PM   #4
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hi 'mustard and welcome to the forums, twice!!

2 separate trailers...

2 separate prices.

2 sets of issues and inspections....

2 sets of problems

2 units that may need a WHOLE LOT of work...

go check 'em out and take some photos,

take an ice pick for the inspection process

both may be peaches,

but if both need much done that's the PITS x 2 !

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:52 AM   #5
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Neither of those trailers have a grey holding tank.
Not a problem, but a consideration depending on where you'll be staying. If you'll always be at full hook-up sites, it isn't really a consideration. If not, you'll need to use a portable "blue tote" tank to capture your grey water. This may create issues of where to store this tank. Sometimes the terrain or obstructions around the area of your dump valve make a blue tote difficult.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:56 PM   #6
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Wow, Thanks so much for the welcome I am happy to finally be here.

I am SO happy that you guys are here for us green bloods. I mean Really what would we do without you? (spend our hard earned $$ on a heartache) So a heartfelt thanks to all.

It has always been our dream to own one, I mean we drool everytime you guys drive by. (have you seen us, how embarrasing )

I am going to check these two fully with ice pick in hand and get all the owners papers of the work that has been done, so if there are any other things I should check so I can show up with a list that would be great.

I will also post for someone in the area who might be able to inspect them for us. That would be such help.

If they are in good condition and maybe the only thing we need is new tires or a new fridge or something to the tune of $1000 + or - extra would $4000 a piece be good?

Hmmmm Gray water...... What year did they start making a built in holding tank? We will be in some remote spots sometimes as we are avid campers. Maybe that would be better.

The other thing is that we are planning to live in it while we build our house in a couple of years.

More advice please, We are just trying to be as informed as possible and we can not afford the new ones.

Thanks again,
Orite
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:11 PM   #7
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-this would be a good starter:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ing-29952.html

-and this will scare the hell outta ya!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:19 PM   #8
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I think 1974 was the year grey water tanks became standard equipment.

The big ticket items to be concerned about are floor, axles and rear end separation in my opinion.

Floor being sound with no soft spots is a big item. If the floor is very bad you may need to replace the entire floor. That means a very big project.

Axles will most likely be shot or close to it. They are not that hard to replace, but cost up to $1K for the parts alone.

Rear end separation is another big item. It is a problem on older, longer trailer and can point to a damaged frame and also bad floor around the rear of the trailer.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #9
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Welcome, Two trailers of this age for that price will most likely need work before you venture out to far from home. If infact they are even towable. Also keep in mind if you guys cant do the needed work yourself sew in extentions in your pockets. You may want to do that anyhow. What town are they in, If they are not to far I may be able to take a look at them for you. Robert
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:03 PM   #10
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I am in Athens Ohio (Ohio University is in this town) if anyone is near by and would like to look at them? I am not sure how close that is to Grovesport?
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:12 PM   #11
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unless u are looking for 'projects' not liveable trailers, this is my suggestion...

buy ONE newer trailer that is in the best condition possible, that you can afford....

ONE late 70s or early 80s unit that is fully functional and in your price range....

will be much less expensive and have far fewer problems that 2 older units.

2 free horses is still two mouths 2 feed!

cheers
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:49 PM   #12
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I am looking around for others too. And now I really know what to look for but my father in-law is hellbent on this deal so if I could get them looked at by someone who knows what to look for that would be great and then he can decide what he wants to do as it is a business venture for him.

These trailers woulda been bought already if I had not hit the brakes with my big "WOAH guys lets think rationally and do some research here."

Kinda kills the instant grattification.

You should have seen the looks I got!!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:40 AM   #13
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Putting the "brakes on early" is good advice for any purchase. Instant gratification is nice, but if it leads to a big money pit later on, your delay will be well worth the wait.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:30 AM   #14
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Remember the old saying,

" Do not buy the first one you see"

There are more Airstreams out there....

I've been told by an AS dealer, some future owners search one to two years before they find the right unit.
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