Well - I sure wish I had read through this forum BEFORE I bought an Airstream.
All told, the previous owners of the 73 safari I recently purchased where methodic in their hunting down of leaks, and for the most part the floor and frame look good (where I can see them). My Dad and his brother restored a 59 greyhound bus for our childhood trips, so I knew of the potential to find badness, but didn't know enough about how to look for it UNTIL I bought one.
I paid CAD $7500 after negotiation (about $6200 USD), will attach some pics here. Fridge replaced (~10 years old and much larger than the stock version), wiring had been redone, hot water heater ~5 years old, and everything seems to work. It had been really well cared for by 3 generations of the same family. After seeing some of the prices paid here - it may well remain that I overpaid, but it took some work to get to where I did.
My use case is two fold: a 3 season spare bedroom given our present cramped house, and realistically, my camping use case is short little hauls to the mountains - no trans continental rides or anything. Will do the axels / brakes / tires before any trips.
I'm planning on removing the belly pan sometime in the next couple of weeks. My question is: how much rot is too much for road safety / structural stability? Are some areas of the frame more important than others for the monocoque? Is there a limit for linear feet of soft-to-probe subfloor?
In inspecting it - the worst rot seems to be in the bathroom closet - extends to about 3-4" along the curb side wall. There is some rot under the shower seat that can be seen as well. I'm sure there's some under the toilet, which I haven't lifted. The front has some rot but is not as bad - limited to 1-2", but at various points under windows it does get soft directly under the shell (poking with a scratch-all).
I didn't know enough about outriggers to identify the cause of the vertical slit on the curb side belly wrap (directly in front of the wheels). But in looking at the outrigger - the weld seems good - it might just be bent (pictured with the spray foam insulation, which the PO were using to plug up any holes to prevent rodent ingress). I don't see other outriggers forcing the belly wrap outwards (but there isn't much distension of this one either). The ones under the stairs still seem solid.
Within the limits of the belly pan on inspection, the frame looks pretty good. The worst it seems to get is the exposed extension to the bumper compartment, where there's a couple of holes.
I don't see any frame separation when I step on the bumper. I'm not jumping on it, in part because I don't want to know, I suppose.
I guess the question I'm trying to assess is folks general risk tolerance for frame issues and some degree of floor rot in assessing road readiness. I realize the pan has to come off to be more fully assessed than what I've done here.
As I realize - I've made the mistake of many here: assuming I could pick this up and be well on my way short little trips with the kid (soon to be kids), with something that is otherwise a piece of art that serves as a spare bedroom as well. You would think that 59 Greyhound would have taught me something - or perhaps sons are fated to repeat the mistakes of their fathers
. Something about rivets gets us pretty fired up I guess.
(sorry about the hasty, malrotated, and generally lousy photography).