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Old 06-12-2010, 05:25 AM   #1
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1975 Argosy 26
1974 29' Ambassador
1968 20' Globetrotter
Whiterock , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 146
Purchase advice needed for 84 31' Int mid bath!

So, I am looking at purchasing an 84 31' International with mid bath. It looks to be in great shape and is from a drier climate. The currant owner bought it 3 years ago from a dealer for $12,000. They apparently "certified" it at the time of purchase. He has removed most of the "soft" interior ie: carpeting, couch, bed etc. It still has fully functioning kitchen and bath and all associated cabinets, wardrobes overheads etc. He says everything is in clean working order except the fridge. It has a new engineered oak floor (not laminate) so poking for rot is out... except in bath. I am not new to RVs or renovating/repairing them. I am a cabinetmaker/ carpenter/ fabricator for a living. The project is not a big deal for me. What does scare me though, is the possibility (probability???) of frame rust and or separation. Is there any GOOD way to check for this when I am looking it over? I don't want to make a big $$$$ mistake. Short of dropping the belly pan is there any things that would be obvious signs of damage? I will look for sags along the body lines and low/soft spots in the floor, corrosion on belly pan rivets. Anything else?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I will probably be looking at it monday.

PS... Any ideas on value? The exterior is straight and interior is clean.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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1975 Argosy 26
1974 29' Ambassador
1968 20' Globetrotter
Whiterock , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 146
Wow... 32 views and not one person has any advice. I have never met an Airstream owner who wasn't willing to talk at great length about the virtues of their rig, yet 32 here have no comment.. Huh? Oh well.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Maybe you did not get any response because you asked a specific question about something that is a bit complicated and not easy to respond to. I will give you some information since I have an 84 31 ft Excella with middle bathroom. I don't believe these trailers have had a problem with frame separation at the rear. My understanding is that it was more of a problem with the rear bath trailers. I have had water infiltration problems with my trailer at the front goucho on the street side and at the very rear of the trailer. I still have not found out the source of the water at the rear window. I have also had problems with the Zip Dee awning brackets loosening up. I have had frame rust at the front A frame. I don't think that any of these problems would be reason to not buy the trailer. I think that this trailer is a good size and has a great layout with lots of storage. I also like the oak cabinets and the shower with the seat. I would buy this trailer again even with some of the problems I have had. You can fix the problems; you can not change the floor plan, the length, the cabinet material or the shower design.

Dan
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:32 AM   #4
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1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
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I have a 1986 31' Sovereign. Mine had leaks along the seams of the endcaps, but I later found out that they had been replaced & weren't sealed well. Chances are, yours will be original. I do have a hint for you, though. While going around the outside of the trailer, do some thumping on the lower end of the banana wrap (where the bend is on the bottom of the trailer by the belly pan). If there seems to be a lot of junk rattling around in there, it could be a problem. Mine had lots of rust from the outriggers & chunks of flooring (they used chip board in the mid 80's) that rotted & fell into the lower banana wrap.

I have addressed all the problems associated with the water (frame, floor, etc.) and have the trailer all spiffied up. It now is a beauty & we're going camping in it this week! I too love the floor plan & adore the oak cabinets. I had a '76 Overlander previously, but didn't care for the flimsy interior.

Try to look under the beds for any signs of leaks. At least that won't be covered by wood flooring.
Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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1980 31' Excella II
Springfield , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 56
Bought a 1980 Excella mid-bath and have stayed in it every weekend since April 1. Have found that previous owner must have struck something on the road and water tank is cracked. Found a replacement tank and waiting for the tank to arrive for installation or would be at the lake now. While dropping the tank had the opportunity to inspect the area exposed. Found no problems but a unit of its age I am sure there will be issues occasionally. Good luck.
Biggest issue I found was finding insurance of "agreed value". Progressive quit selling "agreed value" insurance in Illinois April of this year. Rats!
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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1975 Argosy 26
1974 29' Ambassador
1968 20' Globetrotter
Whiterock , British Columbia
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Posts: 146
Thanks guys! That is what I was looking for. I knew you were out there somewhere. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the unit in question has all the beds and couch removed so flooring is new everywhere except the bath. The seller SEEMS to be an honest and forthright guy. He is making sure to tell me every thing that he deems as negative because I will be driving 7-8 hours to buy the rig. I have encouraged him to be honest by telling him I am looking at a project and just want to be able to budget time, not find reasons to kill the deal. We are going to see it on tuesday and if it is halfways decent, it will be in my driveway wednesday evening. I will be doing a marathon reno of the unit as we will no longer have a house with shop on 9 acres as of July 1. We will be full-timing in this rig. No pressure! I do have a 2008 toyhauler we can stay in till things are done if they take more than a couple of weeks. Luckily, I renovate / fabricate for a living and can devote the time to the project. I will take lots of pics and when it is done post some details.

Thanks for the input. It was what I needed to hear.

James
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:11 PM   #7
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Schererville , Indiana
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Ask the seller to have water in the tanks so you can check for leaks under the trailer.
Also ask him to have electricity available so you can check it on electric & on battery.
You should also check the pump on battery & then electric. Look under the hatch in the closet across from the bathroom while you're running the water. That's where the pump is located. It will tell you a lot about the water system in that closet.
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