Originally Posted by terryV
It would be nice to have it un-winterized so you could see what works and what doesn't.
The price is very affordable, but you may find that the repairs needed are quite expensive. Perhaps you could have it looked at by someone who is very familar with older Airstreams.
I agree, if after you look at it yourselves & think it's worth pursuing, then find somebody near it who does trailer restorations & repairs to do a paid pre-purchase inspection (PPI) & give you the good, bad & ugly + cost to fix it all up.
This holds for whatever trailers you end up looking at, so save the PPI $$ for the one or two you really want, & don't be afraid to walk on if it looks like too much work.
We had an AS et al vintage trailer restorer within 2 miles of our home who coached us a bit as we were looking & then he did the PPI for us before we bought our restored 1960
The best advice he gave us, was that with As's & vintage kin being so involved & expensive to restore & repair, what seems like a great deal for a few $1000s, can end up costing more in the long run, than a well kept & sorted one which can take another $20-50,000++ to get done!
Even if you & your hubby have the time & skills to do the work yourself, there can be significant cost & extensive time to do so. As with classic cars - you'll want to find the best example you can within your budget, & then still have some reserves for the work & extras that undoubtedly will come along!
So we bought someone else's basket case - after THEIR restoration & refurb!
I suspect that if you start adding up the costs to get this 81 up to snuff, that you might be better off finding one in the $10-20,000 range that's either well kept or someone else spent their
bucks & time for their
resto. Other than getting the tires & running gear checked out & updated for a 800 mile July run across the southwest desert from Albuquerque to SoCal, everything on it was in good working order & good condition (if some owrk not up to my stds.).
That said, we spent $12000 to purchase it, & another $5000+/- on misc. stuff to outfit the trailer (my wife's furnishings & era deco) & some mechanical stuff (including the new tires, brake & wheel bearing service noted by others above, an on-trailer wireless brake controller & Hensley Cub WD/anti-sway hitch). And I can still see another $2-5000 of stuff I'd like to do or add over time, to get it to our preferences (we'd prefer to have a period correct galley & a real LP heater back in there, & an onboard grey water tank, which wasn't a common option back in the 1950s-60s).
Some pix of our Avion are here fyi, to see the condition we got ....
My wife did all the online searching for her
little vintage trailer, & found Tin Can Tourists & a few other websites specializing in vintage trailers helpful in finding well sorted prospects, & she took a year & a half to find the one we have. So be patient.
One of the regular advertisers on Tin Can Tourists & other sites selling restored trailers was a shop in NC or SC, that may be a good prospect for doing your PPI in Myrtle Beach, or for better condition trailers.
One thing about the 84 you're looking at & other older trailers, is that it also opens up a whole additional scene of the vintage trailer rallies, which are a load of fun & popular with the general public coming out to see how we &/or their our parents/grandparents lived the trailer life!
Be patient & take your time.
Good Luck in your Search!