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Old 08-15-2011, 06:54 AM   #1
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Question What to look for and fair average price?

I'm looking at purchasing a 87' 32'ft Limited airstream, does anyone have any input in what to look for as far as damage? Any thing I should look for?

It looks to be in very good condition. It has a mid kitchen and rear bedroom with Dick And Dyke beds (Twins) with a night stand in between them, thought this was odd for its age.

Do the roofs leak in airstreams with age?

Being this is a rear bedroom and its age, what about frame seperation?

Does anyone have the Blue Book prices for fair, good and excellent 87' 32' Limited ?

Thanks
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:59 AM   #2
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The larger frame was adopted by that time and with the rear bed, there should not be a rear separation issue but you should always check. Floor rot resulting from long term leaks should always be of concern. Twins make it more adaptable and should not be an issue. Price is always more related to condition that age for a unit that is 24 years old. Next year this unit will be qualified to join the Vintage Airstream Club. I would use one of the mash sites for starters.

rvs site mash : combined site search
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griswolds View Post
I'm looking at purchasing a 87' 32'ft Limited airstream, does anyone have any input in what to look for as far as damage? Any thing I should look for?
Look for a soft floor - i.e., spots where the wood has rotted. Outside the shower and inside the door are obvious places, but anywhere else in the camper is a possibility, too - especially under windows and other outside openings. Look for signs of leaks, like dark spots on the walls.

Quote:
It looks to be in very good condition. It has a mid kitchen and rear bedroom with Dick And Dyke beds (Twins) with a night stand in between them, thought this was odd for its age.
This isn't odd with any Airstream, regardless of age. You'd think Airstreamers don't like sleeping with their spouses/significant others! It was one of the most frustrating things we found when we were buying - probably 75%-80% of the Airstreams out there have twin beds instead of the queen, and we definitely wanted one with a queen. (Note, it's not really a queen - it's an "RV" or "Short" queen - same width, but a couple inches shorter.)

Quote:
Do the roofs leak in airstreams with age?
Anything can develop a leak over time.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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The roof has many items that pierce it, so it's a matter of going around them all and making certain that they appear to be well-sealed. A slow and careful inspection should show up any place that might leak

Particular attention should be paid to the the vents for the plumbing system, since they seem to need almost constant attention. Many Airstreams have three of these. Not sure what they look like on an '87, but likely will have a screen in the opening.

My WAG for the value would be in the $12k to $15K range. Go get yourself a copy of the Trailer Checklist, print it out, and go around the trailer with it. In that way you will be better equipped to estimate costs in putting everything right. No trailer I've ever seen was perfect...
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:42 AM   #5
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I bought a 87, 32 foot last year. Rear twin beds. Paid 11,500 for it. But it had some major frame damage. 3500 or so at Airstream for a new A frame and some sealing. But the overall condition of the trailer and interior probably made it worth it for us. The stove, frig, water heater, toilet had all been replaced and the sofa recovered and wood floor added. Look for rust where the A frame goes through the belly pan. If it has vista windows check the floor on both sides . Water comes through the vista windows and down between the skins and rots the floor. Ditto in the storage compartments at the back. Sitting still (for 20 years) is worse than moving for water damage as even a small leak can accumulate damage over time.
PO let it freeze once. I have done quite a bit of plumbing. But with a $40 PEX crimper from Lowes plumbing is a relatively easy, cheap repair.
We bought this trailer on a whim without doing any shopping around. Have seen them for less and for more since then. Would probably buy it again, but there were some tense moments when I found how bad the Aframe was and was deciding what to do about it.
My experience with this and another 88 trailer is whatever you buy, you need to budget a 100 hours of your time and several thousand more dollars before you get the way it needs to be. Even the simplest repairs on a Airstream take gobs of time.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:52 AM   #6
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My experience with this and another 88 trailer is whatever you buy, you need to budget a 100 hours of your time and several thousand more dollars before you get the way it needs to be. Even the simplest repairs on a Airstream take gobs of time.
For what it's worth, a lot of what you describe has to do with how it was maintained. My parents' 1987 34' doesn't need thousands of dollars worth of repairs or a new A-frame. Even the issue-laden '85 my wife and I looked at before we bought ours didn't need a new A-frame.
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