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Old 11-28-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
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Need advice on buying and possibly shipping

I am looking for a small vintage airstream and I came across a 64GT. The current owners seem to have done quite an extensive restoration and it appears in good shape. However, I am new to this and I could use some pointers as what to look for and what to ask. Also, it is located clear across the country from me, and should I pursue this GT I would fly out to inspect it, but I'd like to know if there are any good shipping companies. Thanks for any help.
Lawrence
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:57 PM   #2
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Hello Lawrence , welcome to the forums. try looking up inspections in the search button on top of the page. there is probably some one near the trailer that can check it out for you.
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:17 PM   #3
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Check this out: Transportation Companies

Good luck if you decide to go for it...I hope you get as much enjoyment with yours as we have had with ours!

Any questions...we have a '64 GT as well ~

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Old 11-28-2006, 09:12 PM   #4
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Hi Lawrence, and welcome!

Bob's advise is clearly sound. Consider having someone from the forum do a quick "Look-see" on your behalf and give you some feedback. Absent that... have the owner fwd up some really good photos. If they're legit they won't mind the effort of shooting a few pics for you. My experience with other ASmers is that they are a really good bunch. They're pretty likely to be candid about the condition. While he wants to sell it... he wouldn't want to have you come all that way and have to face an upset purchaser. I personally wouldn't be affraid to make the trip based soley upon a few good pics and an honest assessment of the guy selling. The trip, while expensive, may be fun regardless if you go with realistic expectation of seeing a 40 yerar old trailer. If you are expecting to see next-to-new... don't bother! Your expectations are a bigger factor in your trip outcome than the quality of the restoration. A great effort in restoration is still a restoration! How's that for a pointless diatribe this evening! Sorry. This sounds like a really cool unit though if the restoration is reasonably well done. Ours is new. I HATE SPENDING FREE TIME ON TRAILER REPAIR! I WANT TO SIT AND ENJOY!

Best wishes as you make you decision!
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:18 PM   #5
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I had a 6 hour drive one way to look at mine. I had some fair photos, no more were available on short notice. I had a frank discusion with the owner about expectaions vs reality. (we had driven 4 hours one way the previous day to look at a turd that was billed as "One of a kind" - it was.)
He told me all of the plusses, he told me the minuses, and after looking at it he was real accurate.
It can be done long distance, but if you can find someone local who can give you an idea as to condition, I would recommend doing it that way.
Dave
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:53 PM   #6
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good advice so far.

the only thing i'll add is to find out from the owners how extensive their "renovation" was. did they repair the steel frame? did they replace the plywood sub-floor? see if they can send you pictures with proof if they have in fact done those things.

if they did do those two things, then it's definately worth going through the expense to check out. if they didn't, then chances are the floor is in bad shape and the steel frame is suspect, no matter how nice it looks on the inside, you have to address those things in an older trailer. and that requires know how, time, and money.

if they didn't do those two things, i probably wouldn't fly clear across country for it unless you're looking for a project trailer. instead, i'd keep looking locally (within a 1000 mile range or so, local for airstreamers) and read as much as you can on this forum and educate yourself on the kind of trailer you want to buy. globetrotters come up for sale fairly often, but you usually have to act pretty quickly depending on season, condition of trailer, etc.

post some pictures here if you can.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of your feedback, it is much appreciated. The one I found is in Detroit and the link is http://web.mac.com/airstreamguy/iWeb/Airstreamguy/ with a ton of pictures. I like the way it sits but I don't want cosmetic stuff to cloud my judgement. I spoke to the owner and he told me the following: the outside has a few scratches and a ding by the wheel where he thinks a tire blew out, the toilet doesn't hold water, the fridge is electric/gas but he never hooked up the gas so he doesn't know if it works, the ceiling fan doesn't work b/c it needs a new motor and he cannot find a 19.5V, and he talked to me about the omnivolt system but quite frankly I didn't understand it much. He told me he restored it as it wasn't in that great of a shape when he bought it. He stripped the original flooring and the subfloor was in good shape, although I am not sure he took the cabinets out to see if there was any damage behind. I am sure there is some more he could tell me about, but I didn't know what the right questions were. Once I can gather a list, I will call him back with some more and ask him if he took pictures of the renovation process.

With that said, Shari posted a list of all the vintage AS and looking at it, it seems like something in the size of a Bambi would be ideal (lighter tow). How difficult is it to find smaller trailers in good shape?
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPMM
<SNIP>it seems like something in the size of a Bambi would be ideal (lighter tow). How difficult is it to find smaller trailers in good shape?
Bambi', Caravels & other small trailers don't come up as frequently as the bigger ones for all the same reasons you are looking for one. If they do, they often will command a higher price tag and sell very quickly! Oftentimes, not even hitting the ads...they're sold to a friend of a friend, etc.

What is your potential tow vehicle?

Shari

BTW, that's a nice looking trailer...
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:27 AM   #9
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I know what you mean regarding the smaller trailers. I have been lurking around the forums for quite a while and they are very hard to find, hence the interest in the "next size up", aka the GT.

I have a truck and a Jeep. The truck is not a problem, but we also would like to tow it with the Jeep. It can tow 4,000 lbs but it is highly modified and it therefore reduces its towing capacity. We like to go to campgrounds and from there explore some scenic trails with the Jeep. I do not plan on winning any speed contest while towing, I plan on having all the proper braking accessories installed, but I am worried about the power to tow uphill. Here in SoCal, we have a lot of long grades on the freeways, and my family and I also like to go to the mountains. I am also considering either a V8 swap or a supercharger to compensate for power if necessary.

Truthfully, what we are looking for is an upgrade from tent camping. A warm environment to sleep in and our own bathroom (shower not necessary, but toilet is) would be welcomed. It is for my wife and I and our 5 year old daughter. We have been looking to purchase a trailer for quite some time and the AS is definitely our choice (no white fiberglass box). If we could find a smaller one like a Bambi or Caravel, we would be all over it.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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Lawrence,

It is a nice looking trailer and having restored 1-1/2 trailers (still in the middle of one), the price seems fair considering the condition. (There was a time when I'd have gagged at that kind of price but hours and hours and hours of restore have convinced me of the value of a "finished" product.

I would be a bit concerned with towing with a Jeep (assuming a CJ). I'm not a towing expert but there are many on this forum who are. The concern I've heard expressed is the length of the wheel base of the TV. I realize a GT or Bambi are not as long as say an Overlander or Sovereign, but the weight and sway will make a difference. You may want to explore this aspect further.

There are some pictures here somewhere of a 27' Overlander turned over attached to a 90's Ford Bronco that were "riveting" (no pun intended).
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:46 AM   #11
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we are neighbors!

Just a few miles away in Tujunga . The trailer looks very nice and they are obviously AS knowledgeble. I towed a horse trailer with a Range Rover (similar wheelbase) and had a weight distribution hitch BUT it was not the greatest, we upgraded to a Navigator.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:48 AM   #12
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C&G trailers

Have you checked with them, they are in Bellflower, a family run business and may have some leads for you.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
There was a time when I'd have gagged at that kind of price but hours and hours and hours of restore have convinced me of the value of a "finished" product.
I agree, I think in the long run it will be cheaper for me to find one already restored, provided the restoration has been done well, not a "patch-and-hide-restoration". It would also free up my time to enjoy the trailer with my family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by str8strm
Just a few miles away in Tujunga <edit> Have you checked with them, they are in Bellflower, a family run business and may have some leads for you.
Hi neighbor, glad to know that someone local also contracted aluminitus Thanks for the tip, I'll contact them.

Lawrence
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:15 PM   #14
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lawrence,

i have a '91 jeep wrangler and would have loved to be able to a small trailer with it but the reality is, you can't. it has too short a wheelbase. they're may be one or two people on the board that say it can be done and in fact are doing it. just because somebody is doing something doesn't mean it is safe.

i did alot of research on the forum here (many months) on tow vehicles, sizes, etc. there's so much more to the equation than "my vehicle can tow this much and since my trailer only weighs this much, i should be fine". do a search for tow vehicles and you'll have many months of reading.
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