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Old 04-14-2013, 07:27 AM   #1
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1979 28' Ambassador
Cave Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 9
Buyer: Be Smart.

I have no regrets about purchasing a 79 Ambassador series, but I have learned an expensive lesson about any RV. When you buy one of these beauties, ask a lot of questions. I took my Airstream to a local RV dealer to get it thoroughly checked out before hitting even a short road trip. 26 problem areas on the rig.
For instance, the black tank. Turns out it was not just full, but it was impacted. A chemical bath is now in order. Fresh water tank doesn't hold fresh water, just leaves it on the ground. LP line leaks (nice to know). New tires all around. Electrical circuit has an issue and my shower...well it doesn't work.
I have identified the biggest problem: me. I was dazzled by the shiny chrome skin and I had spent a couple of years looking before I found a unit that was at least mostly clean and presentable. But what is under that skin is very serious stuff. So, caveat emptor! Ask questions about everything before you buy. See the stuff actually work. We took delivery of our unit in a thunderstorm so we were soaking wet when we finally went inside the unit to do the deal. That was my first mistake. Do these things on a sunny day. Turn on everything possible and again, questions---ask a lot of them. I know that after addressing the majority of the issues and spending some $$$ all will be well. But it has been an expensive lesson.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1956 16' Bubble
1947 22' Liner
Valley View , Texas
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You hit it on the head

Welcome to the Forums....this is the place which will answer many of your questions. You got caught in the BIG buyer fault. There are MANY of the flippers and sellers that just polish it up and put it up for sale. Buyers are caught up in the appearance and don't take time to check out the other import an things. Systems, belly condition, tell tale repair indications. Going to get an Airstream (pick it up and bring it home) costs (me) at least 1000$) and then there is tires and bearings, a battery, AC, propane tanks. Those all override the polish. You live in a beautiful area....go enjoy that Airstream now.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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Corona , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beartooth View Post
I have no regrets about purchasing a 79 Ambassador series, but I have learned an expensive lesson about any RV. When you buy one of these beauties, ask a lot of questions. I took my Airstream to a local RV dealer to get it thoroughly checked out before hitting even a short road trip. 26 problem areas on the rig.
For instance, the black tank. Turns out it was not just full, but it was impacted. A chemical bath is now in order. Fresh water tank doesn't hold fresh water, just leaves it on the ground. LP line leaks (nice to know). New tires all around. Electrical circuit has an issue and my shower...well it doesn't work.
I have identified the biggest problem: me. I was dazzled by the shiny chrome skin and I had spent a couple of years looking before I found a unit that was at least mostly clean and presentable. But what is under that skin is very serious stuff. So, caveat emptor! Ask questions about everything before you buy. See the stuff actually work. We took delivery of our unit in a thunderstorm so we were soaking wet when we finally went inside the unit to do the deal. That was my first mistake. Do these things on a sunny day. Turn on everything possible and again, questions---ask a lot of them. I know that after addressing the majority of the issues and spending some $$$ all will be well. But it has been an expensive lesson.
Not to add to your woes, but how about the exterior gaskets? They don't last 30 plus years.

The worst ones only last 2 to 3 years, and are hidden from view. Those are the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets.

Also, if that coach sat for an extended period of time, the rubber rods in the axles may have deteriorated.

The following will help you check them out.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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1978 28' Ambassador
Murfreesboro , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Im also a newbie, but my story so far is a good bit more lucky. Like you I was enamored with the idea of an airstream, and had no idea about trailer sag, leaky vista views etc. Fortunately, other than those dang vista view windows, mine is in decent shape according to the local rv shop who did the inspection. Really wish I had spent way more time on Airforums before I purchased, whew...what do they say "better to be lucky than good"
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