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Old 06-04-2006, 01:01 PM   #1
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Kissing Toads

How about a new thread dedicated to the "toads" we've had to kiss in search of our dream Airstream. This is dedicated to all my fellow Toad Kissers out there in the hope that we can spare the "Newbies" our pain and suffering.
A few Toad Kissers have already shared their stories on Lebolewis' thread: http://www.airforums.com/forum...ers-23229.html

Here's one of many from my personal collection:

Drove a couple hours from Albuquerque to Espanola, NM in response to ad for '79 Excella 27' in "excellent" condition. Found a very lived in, dirty, Airstream in excellent mechanical condition with good skin. Drove home.

Returned next day to Espanola with Chief Inspector, Susan. After she recovered from the shock of what some people expect to sell, and after I tested all the systems, we left a $500 deposit and returned to Albuquerque in time to catch a plane to an already planned reunion.

After the reunion two weeks later, returned to Espanola, wrote a check for the balance, hitched up the Airstream and dragged it home to begin a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Well after sundown, took a break with a glass of wine on the balcony to admire my prize parked beneath the street light below. Holy Hailstones, Batman! The top had more dimples than a Titleist!

Next day, stopped payment on the check and dragged the Airstream back to Espanola and left it parked in the seller's yard. He made $500. I lost $500 and four round-trips from Albuquerque to Espanola.

The lesson for the newbies: Always take a ladder and check the skin on top.
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:01 PM   #2
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Our kissed toad!

I like this thread maybe it will help some newbies when they are looking for there dream.

We drove 500 miles to look at our dream and we were prepared to bring it home. We checked everything out or what we thought. As the previous owner had stated no dents on the outside and everything seem to have worked as he stated. He did tell us it was dirty and needed a little soap and water understandable it had not been used in 2 years. The drive home was fine no major problems except the bungy around the door handle (door handle broke) only about $100.00 to fix from what the past owner had told us (wrong) about $300.00 we latter found out.
After we got home I took the cushion off the gaucho to find a leak by the window took us 2 months to get that leak stopped only to also find out the whole floor under the gaucho was rotted after my husband fell through it (Owner also stated no soft spots) maybe he didn't know Hmmm.
No water line leaks past owner explained, after we hooked the water up to recheck at home we found 4.
But the refridge works and the a/c as explained by the previous owner.

My advice to all you newbies like we where when we went and looked at our dream is to look at everything on this forum and do as much research as you can. But also remember like we have learned always take in to consideration these things are old and things are going to happen some people may not be as honest as some on explaining there trailer and some folks that are selling may not know.
Yes we kept our find and we love it more everyday and things are coming back together as we customize.

We kissed our toad and it's turning into a prince!!!
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:26 PM   #3
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I bought my "toad" from a dealer that I had purchased a couple of other units from (not Airstreams) I did my research, I knew I was going to need to do rear end separation/sag repair in the future, there were a couple of broken tambours. The axles, brakes, and all other systems checked out okay. The fridge was less than 2 years old ditto the furnace. What didn't show up was the sticky filth behind everything and like rebel beck the soft floor behind the front gaucho. Then I started digging deeper, and deeper and deeper and....now I am in the process of gutting the entire interior for a thorough cleaning and repair/upgrade. But when I get done I will have something that I will be completely familar with and shouldn't need anything other than normal maintenance for the next 15 years or so...then it will be someone else's turn I have considered scrapping it a couple of times just because. But I keep on plugging away at it. "It's a Vintage Airstream, if you don't own one...you won't understand"

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Old 06-04-2006, 03:07 PM   #4
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Aaron... at least they don't leak oil...

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Old 06-04-2006, 03:40 PM   #5
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Hey, Look What I Found

Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan
Drove a couple hours from Albuquerque to Espanola, NM in response to ad for '79 Excella 27' in "excellent" condition. Found a very lived in, dirty, Airstream in excellent mechanical condition with good skin. Drove home.
A picture of the "Toad" in it's natural habitat. According to my file name, it was a 1980 Excella II 27' for which I paid $7500 in 2002 before I found significant hail damage. It pulled like a dream behind my 1999 Suburban 1500 with 5.7L and 3.73 rear end. Man, am I glad I found the hail damage before the check cleared!
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Old 06-04-2006, 04:53 PM   #6
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Aaron, are you really working on it again?? Or is it still just your big silver lawn ornament? I'm finally getting 'round tuit on some of my projects... I actually got busy with needle and thread this week while up the coast of NC and put my AS hangers on my old cockpit curtains. Nice to have more than the thermal windshield thingies.
Have everthing but the right ladder and a shady spot to work, as I get ready to paint the top stripe of the coach with Intelux white.
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Old 06-04-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
Aaron... at least they don't leak oil...

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The motorhomes can (and some do)...
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Old 06-06-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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The First Toad I Ever Kissed

You never forget your first kiss, even if it's a toad.
This one actually turned into a beautiful princess following two years of repeated kissing.
We found it on the way from New Berne, NC to Virginia Beach in 1996. The seller assured us that it was in excellent condition and that he had spent a fortune "fixin' things right." I finally dragged my wife away., but she moped until I went back and gave the guy his full asking price of $5500.

A few weeks later we proudly towed it down to Columbia, SC, oblivious to the trail of what we will euphemistcally call "black water." We ignored the "black water" that pooled on our friends RV pad. We could not ignore that we lost the rear pan and slope pad on the way home. The holding tanks were hanging from the plumbing.

The spell was broken. During the next two rears, I ripped out everything and replaced:
- Dump valves and plumbing
- Rear Pan
- H2O pump
- Carpet with vinyl floor
- Rotten drapes with custom drapes from Ambruso
- Tires
- Univolt
- Mattresses
- Front travel lounge ("Gaucho")

Also installed a rockguard. Now a "Princess" we sold it in 2001 for $5800

A lesson for newbies: All it takes is $$ to turn a toad into a princess, and you will rarely recoup your investment.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:51 PM   #9
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Hi all,, well, i had an albino toad,,, called an Argosy, long distance away,, owner said everything worked,,, well,,,,,,,,,,,,,, long story short,,, no longer own that toad,, even tho it was soooooooooo cute,,,, and i still love Argosies,,, just not up to almost total redo on top of hauling charges,,, looks can be deceiving,, buyer beware,,, dieterdog
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieterdog
Hi all,, well, i had an albino toad,,, called an Argosy, long distance away,, owner said everything worked,,, well,,,,,,,,,,,,,, long story short,,, no longer own that toad,, even tho it was soooooooooo cute,,,, and i still love Argosies,,, just not up to almost total redo on top of hauling charges,,, looks can be deceiving,, buyer beware,,, dieterdog
So Dieterdog, how much did you "kiss" the toad before you kissed it goodbye? For the Newbies, what was the deal breaker?
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:44 PM   #11
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Ken,, monetarily,, enough for a hand spanking,, but not a trip to the woodshed,,,,luckily ,, dear forum members in Ohio, initials L and L,,, inspected the Argosy from stem to stern. deal breakers were,, plumbing,, a home made concoction of pipes and extensions,,, a door in which a hole had been cut in order to replace handle and lock,,, would have meant reskinning door and locating proper handle and locking mechanism,, leaks around windows and vents. not a mechanically inclined person,, but was told this trailer was ready to roll. had been looking for so long and loved this Argosy,, her name was Casa Blanca,, but it just seemed for every good point, there were 3 bad repairs,,,she did find a good home with a man who is able to do the repairs and did not live all that far away,, so,, lesson learned,, trailer is where it should be in the hands of loving capable people. a happy ending to the toad story,,after all, i did find a prince in my new to me Safari,, i think??? don't ya love it??? love is blind after all,,, dieterdog, donna
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:45 PM   #12
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Time Capsule Toad

"Vintage Airstream in Mint Condition," the add stated. On the phone the owner proudly proclaimed she had a 1976 Land Yacht in such good condition she thought she had stepped into a time capsule worth a great deal more than the $8800 she was asking. How long? Why 25 feet, she answered.

Ooh, 25 feet. The much coveted too additional feet longer than our '76 Safari sold only a year ago when we bought the 2000 Safari 27. It was in Durango, CO, just 4 hours north of Albuquerque, and it was a "time capsule."

The next day we found our time capsule was a once carefully maintained, "double-flipper." The seller was an antique dealer who proclaimed that she knew absolutely nothing about trailers, but "Tom", whom she bought it from, assured her that everything worked when he bought it from the original owner the summer before. So, Tom had found a good deal and flipped it to the antique dealer who wanted to flip it to us.

I asked her if I could tow it to a nearby RV park to hook it up and check it out. She declined saying that she did not appreciate the implication that she was dishonest. Could I turn on the refrigerator, I asked. She consented, so I turned on the refer and put a tray of water in the freezer and promised to return the following morning.

Armed with hoses and extension cords, the next day we determined:
- The refer worked
- The H2O pump did not
- The H2O plumbing did not leak
- The holding tanks did not leak
- The furnace did not work
- The AC could not be checked because there wasn't a circuit in the house that could hold the load.
- The dual pane windows were bubbled
- The tires were shot
- The clearcoat was shot.
- The reupholstered gaucho would no longer open to a bed. It was now a permanent couch.
- One twin mattress was missing.

Would she take $6200, we asked? Get off my property, she answered.

This was a very nice Airstream. Had we been able to buy it from the owner, it would have become a Princess with only a kiss or two.
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:33 PM   #13
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So whats wrong with a few dents? Especially on the top. With the golf ball effect that would lift the trailer and make it lighter to tow.
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:26 PM   #14
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I had to bring this thread back

Last night I was looking through our local trade mag and found a 72 argosy not but 50 miles away for $2400. So I called the guy he explained everything works the refridge will only run on propane he could not get it to run on elec.
I asked if the floor was okay and he stated solid except for a few tiles coming up in the bathroom and by the front door but the floor was solid. He also told me no leaks hmmmm. Told me he was retired and just liked to buy and sell. He also told me the trailer had just been painted.
So My husband and I talked about it our plans were to maybe buy some land and maybe fix it up and use for rental property during our college football weekends here in town we rent our house for $800 a weekend.
So today I drove round trip 102 miles to look at it with a nice offer in hand if I liked it.
I felt so sorry for this trailer but not enough to fork over the money and buy the bathroom floor was on it's last leg as for the entrance door area. It had leaked of course by the front window and the floor was kinda soft there. The guy had told me he had had the air running for a few hours when we walked in it was like the furnace was on. I do believe the outside was painted with house paint (maybe) I told him I would have to talk to my husband and drove away.
I kissed that toad goodbye
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