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Old 07-23-2007, 08:29 AM   #1
Little Radio
 
1966 28' Ambassador
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 97
Exclamation Time Capsule '72 Ambassador in Glen Ellyn

Folks in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, are selling their parents' 29' Ambassador.

They say it's a one-owner trailer that was hardly used for the first 5 years of its life, then sat in their parents' backyard for the last 30 years.

They had it flatbedded to Goodyear for new tires and brake inspection, then brought back to their home and parked for sale.

I visited and can say that I believe them.

The outside is weatherbeaten and expectedly dirty. The inside is simply dusty and cob-webby. Cabinets look exceptionally clean, with no nicks/wear. Sofa cushions look almost new (no worn edges). Floor appears solid. No strange musty smells or odors.

They're asking $6,000 obo. If I had the money and a side lot, I'd buy it.

But what kind of bugaboos could I expect to encounter?

Can I assume the fresh water tank is full of bacteria? Is there any way to cleanse it? What about plumbing? Does this year AS have the old grey PVC tubing and plumbing that needs replacement?

This unit appears to really be a time-capsule trailer. But everyone is telling me to stay away from it!

What do you all think??
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:33 AM   #2
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1967 28' Ambassador
1963 19' Globetrotter
1970 29' Ambassador
Waukesha , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRadio
They're asking $6,000 obo. If I had the money and a side lot, I'd buy it.
Sounds like you are leaning toward buying it anyway LOL! This is a definite sign that you've got the Aluminum bug.

If you are going to pay $6000 for it, spend a lot of time making sure most or all of the systems are functional. Thirty five years of sitting can do more damage than thirty five years of use (and maintenance).

I hope things work out for you... try to avoid letting your enthusiasm cloud your vision... good luck!
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:35 AM   #3
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I don't know why people would be telling you to stay away from it; what "people"?
one thing that is likely is that there are leaks, somewhere, and that leads to wet plywood floor/rot...but the lack of a musty smell is a good sign in that area. only way to find out is a very throrough inspection, especially under the front window, and even more importanly, along the back wall of the trailer.
fresh tank can be easily sanitized by filling it w/ water and a cup of bleach. run this through all the plumbing lines via the water pump, let it sit for a day or so, then flush it out.
of course, the pump may not be functional, as seals and such could have dried out from sitting for so long.
There "could" be all sorts of problems w/ the "mechanicals"...(water heater, furnace, a/c, etc), but if the structure is solid, all that stuff is fixable.
oh, yeah, might also need new axles ($$$), too...
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:47 AM   #4
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1966 28' Ambassador
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No "bug" here... yet

No... I'm over my initial euphoria. At first I felt as though I'd found that proverbial AC Cobra sitting lost for 30 years in some farmer's barn.

The realization that I lack: a) a spare $6,000; b) the time to clean and recondition it; and c) a place to park it on my property so it would be easily accessible for work and for taking out on the weekends all quickly conspired to cool the flames.

I hope she finds a good home -- I really do think this is a good buy for someone with the time, patience and money.

BTW, the water pump appears to work, as does the control panel, lights. Rooftop AC is almost assuredly in need of repair/conversion. Who knows about the furnace, water heater.

But that outside skin oughta polish to a mirror shine...
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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Not to single you out, but things learned on my '73 and '74. After sitting for 10's of years...

Cushions, curtains, carpet, all roll-up cabinet panels.
Axles & shocks.
All window, hatch and door gaskets, new screens - new roof vent gaskets.
A water pump rebuild, and check-valve replacement, faucet cartridges.
A new battery, the Uni-Volt replaced w/ modern unit.
Probably a new refrigerator.
Propane tanks re-certified and perhaps a new regulator.
A new toilet.
The list is endless but those items are almost certain to require change!

That is before looking at structural needs - without pulling belly skins its pure guesswork. You really don't want to discover rotten flooring, wet insulation and frame damage after the sale. $6,000 full retail with only new tires put on might be a okay for a Southwest desert trailer but since Illinois is very wet to have an Airstream exposed for 10's of years w/o caulking and seals maintained I think it is way, way too high money unless it saw covered storage...
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
...an Airstream exposed for 10's of years w/o caulking and seals maintained I think it is way, way too high money unless it saw covered storage...
I agree! This trailer may be worth $6000, but it's more likely to be worth about half of that.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:22 AM   #7
Little Radio
 
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Amen to that.

If it were in covered storage for the last 30 years, it'd be gone by now.
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