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Old 10-26-2011, 11:25 PM   #1
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Looking at 1971 Landyacht For Mobile Studio

Hi There-

I'm new to the forum and I am looking at purchasing an Airstream to convert to a Mobile Photography studio. I found this one (1971 Landyacht) on craigslist. Is there any specific problems I should look for? He says there is a bit of water damage around the threshold and in the bathroom. We will be gutting it and putting laminate down so not really concerned about the condition of the current flooring unless it will be an ongoing issue. He says it doesnt leak? Wondering where the water came from? He has had it for several years but last time it was used was last summer. He says it is 27 feet measuring it from the outside would that be an Overlander? Sorry I have a lot to learn, never owned an airstream before but am quickly falling in love with this idea of a retro yet modern studio on wheels. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. also do I need to worry about structural support when gutting one of these?

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lisa Tosi View Post
Hi There-

I'm new to the forum and I am looking at purchasing an Airstream to convert to a Mobile Photography studio. I found this one (1971 Landyacht) on craigslist. Is there any specific problems I should look for? He says there is a bit of water damage around the threshold and in the bathroom. We will be gutting it and putting laminate down so not really concerned about the condition of the current flooring unless it will be an ongoing issue. He says it doesnt leak? Wondering where the water came from? He has had it for several years but last time it was used was last summer. He says it is 27 feet measuring it from the outside would that be an Overlander? Sorry I have a lot to learn, never owned an airstream before but am quickly falling in love with this idea of a retro yet modern studio on wheels. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. also do I need to worry about structural support when gutting one of these?

Thanks,
Lisa

Welcome Lisa... and greetings from Shasta Lake.

You are buying a 40 year old trailer, so it leaks water, the wheel wells are made of plastic and need to be replaced or repaired. Front windows may be leaking, also skylight windows may be leaking. If there is carpet, pull and look under to see how much of the plywood floor is rotten and will need replacing.

I have approx. $10,000 so far in repair costs, and not done...and one year in work hours invested. If you got time and money, go for it! Take a look at my Thread and learn from all the mistakes that I have gone thru over the last 12 months. Also look at TOP & Minno's Threads they both have 40 year old airstreams....

On the other side...I love my Airstream, and will never sell her to anyone. She is mine forever.....
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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OK Tex and who ever else can help - You're freakin me out! 10,000 argghh! Wont be wanting to put that much into this Airstream for the studio quite yet. This is what I am thinking, and you can tell me if I'm crazy lol... Gutting the entire thing, re-doing sheeting, insulation, paint, window seals if needed, and putting in laminate or bamboo floors, new lighting, to create an office/studio. At this point i do not need a bathroom or kitchen just want and open work space with a place for the computer printer and such and a place to shoot.

The guy (seller) says everything works and is all original no broken windows and he says it doesn't leak. He says the water at the threshold is from the door being left open or several people going in and out when it was raining, damage is slight and only at the floor no water damage on the walls. I know I will more than likely run into several different unexpected repairs but
am I nuts for thinking this could be done for under 5000.00 ??? It's OK, you can tell me if I'm nuts lol...


It's a 1971 LY Overlander he has to get ride of it quick he selling it for 2700.00

Oh, and I can pull that with my Land Cruiser right?? I actually have a 2000 Lexus 470 same thing as a Land Cruiser it weighs about 6500 and the weight of the LY is I think around 4500 thinking that should be fine in the low position.


Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
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cool work spaces...
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lisa Tosi View Post
OK Tex and who ever else can help - You're freakin me out! 10,000 argghh! Wont be wanting to put that much into this Airstream for the studio quite yet. This is what I am thinking, and you can tell me if I'm crazy lol... Gutting the entire thing, re-doing sheeting, insulation, paint, window seals if needed, and putting in laminate or bamboo floors, new lighting, to create an office/studio. At this point i do not need a bathroom or kitchen just want and open work space with a place for the computer printer and such and a place to shoot.

The guy (seller) says everything works and is all original no broken windows and he says it doesn't leak. He says the water at the threshold is from the door being left open or several people going in and out when it was raining, damage is slight and only at the floor no water damage on the walls. I know I will more than likely run into several different unexpected repairs but
am I nuts for thinking this could be done for under 5000.00 ??? It's OK, you can tell me if I'm nuts lol...


It's a 1971 LY Overlander he has to get ride of it quick he selling it for 2700.00

Oh, and I can pull that with my Land Cruiser right?? I actually have a 2000 Lexus 470 same thing as a Land Cruiser it weighs about 6500 and the weight of the LY is I think around 4500 thinking that should be fine in the low position.


Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Lisa
Lisa...didn't mean to freak you out. But I don't want you to go into this with blinders on... like I did, one year ago. I couldn't see "The forest from the trees." All I knew was... I wanted to buy an Airstream. Now!

So, there's a couple of things you need to look at in a subjective way when you buy a used Airstream.

1. Read through the following web site, two or three times. It will give you general information on "Price vs. Condition". Once you have an understanding of the real price of a used airstream, you're really to inspect a "For Sale Airstream". Also, there are folks here on the forum who are willing to inspect a used, "For Sale Airstream", for you...and give you that "3rd" party advice on a fair price vs. condition of the trailer.

Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

2. Once you have that baseline information enbeded in your brain, Than you need to ask yourself... Do I need to buy a "fully Complete Original Airstream", if I plan to gut it out? If the anwser is no, why are you wanting to pay more for a trailer, if you're not going to restore it back to its original condition. You can pay much less for one in a "AS IS" condition.

3. If there is floor rot, that Airstream is leaking water....period! Airstreams leak, wheel wells crack, and axles wear out. Anything put together with thousands of rivets is going to leak water after 40 years of use! It really doesn't take much water, over a 40 year period to rot out the plywood floor.

4. Axles cost anywhere from $450 to $800+ based on who you buy them from... shop around! Same with wheel wells, hopefully you can patch them in place. You can replace "sections" of the floor without removing the skin, but you never know what the condition of the frame is, until you pull plywood or the alum. underwrap and inspect.

The body/skin would need to removed if there is a lot of floor rot. And if that is the case...the frame will need to be repaired as well.

5. The frame, the skin, and the inside panels, all work together as one unit... so if you remove panels, you could have seperation problems "down the road"... Also take a real good look at the rear bumber area of this Airstream, and inside the rear hatch door. It may have what they call "Rear End Separation"... On the inside of the rear hatch, look between the door and frame, to make sure the angle iron has not rusted/rotted away. Rain water will run down between the outside skin and the rear bumper and rust out the angle iron on the inside below the rear hatch door.

You may be able to stay under $5,000 if you do the work yourself... but trust me, "It always costs more than you think it will."

From Cabana Central...

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trex

Lisa...didn't mean to freak you out. But I don't want you to go into this with blinders on... like I did, one year ago. I couldn't see "The forest from the trees." All I knew was... I wanted to buy an Airstream. Now!

So, there's a couple of things you need to look at in a subjective way when you buy a used Airstream.

1. Read through the following web site, two or three times. It will give you general information on "Price vs. Condition". Once you have an understanding of the real price of a used airstream, you're really to inspect a "For Sale Airstream". Also, there are folks here on the forum who are willing to inspect a used, "For Sale Airstream", for you...and give you that "3rd" party advice on a fair price vs. condition of the trailer.

Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

2. Once you have that baseline information enbeded in your brain, Than you need to ask yourself... Do I need to buy a "fully Complete Original Airstream", if I plan to gut it out? If the anwser is no, why are you wanting to pay more for a trailer, if you're not going to restore it back to its original condition. You can pay much less for one in a "AS IS" condition.

3. If there is floor rot, that Airstream is leaking water....period! Airstreams leak, wheel wells crack, and axles wear out. Anything put together with thousands of rivets is going to leak water after 40 years of use! It really doesn't take much water, over a 40 year period to rot out the plywood floor.

4. Axles cost anywhere from $450 to $800+ based on who you buy them from... shop around! Same with wheel wells, hopefully you can patch them in place. You can replace "sections" of the floor without removing the skin, but you never know what the condition of the frame is, until you pull plywood or the alum. underwrap and inspect.

The body/skin would need to removed if there is a lot of floor rot. And if that is the case...the frame will need to be repaired as well.

5. The frame, the skin, and the inside panels, all work together as one unit... so if you remove panels, you could have seperation problems "down the road"... Also take a real good look at the rear bumber area of this Airstream, and inside the rear hatch door. It may have what they call "Rear End Separation"... On the inside of the rear hatch, look between the door and frame, to make sure the angle iron has not rusted/rotted away. Rain water will run down between the outside skin and the rear bumper and rust out the angle iron on the inside below the rear hatch door.

You may be able to stay under $5,000 if you do the work yourself... but trust me, "It always costs more than you think it will."

From Cabana Central...


Thanks Tex- a lot of good info..

Ummm... and guess what? We hooked up the airstream to my land crusier just to see how it pulled. Well, we went over a speed bump and the bottom of that back hatch compartment dropped right out of the bottom of the trailer... Not good I'm guessing... Lol. My husband crawled under to look at the axels they looked ok from what he could see but he didn't go back that far to inspect the bottom of that hatch...

The guy selling it is a real nice guy just don't think he knows much about airstreams either. He's had it for six years but don't think he used it much, someone lived in it for a winter and a summer but that's it.

They had stick down tile over the plywood so I peeled several pieces up around the outer edge and the plywood looked good. Don't know if that means much after the bottom dropped out of the back lol...

When you say skin you mean the inside sheeting or the outside aluminum?? If you say outside I'm gonna say forget that!!! I planned on taking it down to the frame on the inside anyways I want to replace the inside paneling/sheeting I want white smooth walls.

Anyways thanks for all the info I am seriously re- thinking this...
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lisa Tosi View Post
Thanks Tex- a lot of good info..

Ummm... and guess what? We hooked up the airstream to my land crusier just to see how it pulled. Well, we went over a speed bump and the bottom of that back hatch compartment dropped right out of the bottom of the trailer... Not good I'm guessing... Lol. My husband crawled under to look at the axels they looked ok from what he could see but he didn't go back that far to inspect the bottom of that hatch...

The guy selling it is a real nice guy just don't think he knows much about airstreams either. He's had it for six years but don't think he used it much, someone lived in it for a winter and a summer but that's it.

They had stick down tile over the plywood so I peeled several pieces up around the outer edge and the plywood looked good. Don't know if that means much after the bottom dropped out of the back lol...

When you say skin you mean the inside sheeting or the outside aluminum?? If you say outside I'm gonna say forget that!!! I planned on taking it down to the frame on the inside anyways I want to replace the inside paneling/sheeting I want white smooth walls.

Anyways thanks for all the info I am seriously re- thinking this...
Did you guys buy the trailer?
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:26 PM   #8
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No.. Not yet. Seriously re-thinking it. he wants 2700.00 but that was before the back end dropped out

I have video of the inside and out but can't figure out how to post it
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:30 PM   #9
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Also what's really got me concerned is it is a 2.5 hour tow to Chico. I don't want to tow that thing without someone taking a good look at it, someone who really knows what to look for and it's kinda out in the sticks might be hard to arrange that.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
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No.. Not yet. Seriously re-thinking it. he wants 2700.00 but that was before the back end dropped out

I have video of the inside and out but can't figure out how to post it
You may want to talk to a Mod for there help, concerning video posting. Did you look at the price vs. condition infor? $2,700. is not a bad price for an airstream that need work. Can you post photos? Lots of Photos, will get other folks looking and helping you.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:38 PM   #11
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Took mostly video will try to upload somewhere and post a link. Thanks Tex!

Lisa
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:58 PM   #12
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Hi Lisa, Here's an alternative thought. You have a line on a reasonably functional AS, which you intend to strip and make it into a photo studio. You already know that it leaks, the rear end is shot (separation of frame and body) and it almost certainly needs axles, brakes, and a lot of money. You are going to get all snarled up in Airstream, but your original intent was photo studio. Find another AS that has already been gutted and had its frame repaired and axles replaced, and the owner just doesn't have the money or time or patience to go on. FACT - it costs much more (in time and money) to put a trailer right, than it does to purchase one that's already the way you want it. jim
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
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Also what's really got me concerned is it is a 2.5 hour tow to Chico. I don't want to tow that thing without someone taking a good look at it, someone who really knows what to look for and it's kinda out in the sticks might be hard to arrange that.
Where is it located? If it's south of Chico, there are members in the Sacramento area who may be willing to inspect the airstream for you. Same if it's east up in the Susanville area. North, there is silverhoot and I...
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:11 AM   #14
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Thanks Jim,

I have looked for AS that have already been gutted. I did find a couple for a reasonable price but it was pretty far away from where I am and both had some exterior damage. An AS that has already been gutted and started would be the ideal situation, but unfortunately those AS seem to be few a far between in California, and Driving 10 -12 hours away to look at an AS isn't something that is an option for me right. If you know of any close to Chico Ca. Shoot them my way Thanks for the feedback.

Lisa
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