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Old 08-24-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
Los Angeles , California
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Rust: Red Flag? Deal-breaker? Run away?

Howdy!
Looking to buy this 69 Sovereign, but noticed a rusty area (make that "holes") underneath in the back (rear bath) - image attached....I walked on the floor in the bathroom and it seems solid, but is this look like "super trouble, don't even think about buying it!!"? Or is it closer to "normal" for one this old? This would be my first airstream so I'm a bit novice in this area.

Also, would it need to be fixed, or just leave it? I don't plan to move it from where it is at (on beach property....probably doesn't help the rust either)

Thanks!!

(The rest of the trailer looks great as far as rust and wear are concerned, this was the only thing my eye caught)

- jc
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:51 PM   #2
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jc,

I had the same problem with our 71 Sovereign....those holes on mine covered 3/4 of the holding pan to the black tank....black tank cracked as a result. In retrospect, I'd be leary of A/S's with rust in that area. I was lucky; I had a bunch of money to play with at the time. If you can do the repair work yourself, then go for it and good luck.

Frederic
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:33 PM   #3
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1966 24' Tradewind
Albuquerque , New Mexico
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Rusted Out Pan

Your picture shows a rusted out black-water, holding tank pan.
Replacing the pan is a minor expense.
The cause of the rusted out pan must be determined before you'll really know what you are getting into. Some possible/likely causes:
  • Leaking black-water holding tank
  • Leaking fresh water line
  • Leaking tub drain
  • Leaking sink drain
  • Leaking plumbing vent pipe gasket
  • Some of the above
  • All of the above
  • None of the above
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:32 PM   #4
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Geez, that pan doesn't look to bad compared to ours. It was nothing but a pile of rust with a tiny little piece of the flange left. Our black water tank was fine though. I'd say get the trailer if everything else checks out. This isn't a major repair, and can be done by someone with a few handyman skills. --dave
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:10 PM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Pan Replacement Will Be Cheap...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamin 65
Geez, that pan doesn't look to bad compared to ours. It was nothing but a pile of rust with a tiny little piece of the flange left. Our black water tank was fine though. I'd say get the trailer if everything else checks out. This isn't a major repair, and can be done by someone with a few handyman skills. --dave
... but fixing the cause may be expensive. Until you drop the pan and determine the nature and source of the "liquid" that has pooled and rusted through, it's all pure speculation.

Streamin 65 is correct about pan repair and replacement being simple and cheap. The waste water holding tank pan on our first Airstream was so badly corroded that we lost most of it on our maiden voyage somewhere on I-95 on our way home from South Carolina to North Carolina. Along with the pan we lost the slope pad, foam insulation, and 20 years worth of mouse droppings.

The rotten pan was caused by years of black and gray water leaks that were caused by freeze damage. In 1996 dollars it cost $100 to fabricate a new pan and more than $300 to repair all freeze damaged plumbing.
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