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Old 08-18-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
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1978 24' Argosy 24
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How much rust is this?

Here are some pictures from the underbelly of a 1970 Airstream I am considering purchasing? Does this look good or bad?




http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/q...pswhuwyl1k.jpg
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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More pics:


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Old 08-18-2015, 11:30 AM   #3
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More pics:


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Old 08-18-2015, 12:29 PM   #4
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Alot... but not unusual. The step outrigger is unusable the way it sits. The bottom looks pretty corroded to me, which likely means there's more that you cant see.

The BAL jacks probably wont budge.

Cants see enough from the pics, but I just went through this.

Call me a pessimist, but in my opinion, the older trailers mostly all have the same problems. Left outside, they leak, and the leaks cause damage. Its VERY hard to find an old one that doesnt need any repairs. The problem is that the ones that need repair, usually need the same things- wood floors repaired, and while the floor is out, you address all the rusty frame. Rusty frame could be as little as surface rust, and as much as completely deteriorated metal that needs complete replacement with welding expertise.

The attraction is that they "can" be rebuilt. Which is saying alot for a travel trailer. The reality is that they, more often than not, need a considerable amount of work to make them whole. Thats not to say you cant camp in an old trailer, but I like my stuff nice, and for it to work.

Dont buy on emotion... restoration is not for the faint of heart. Vintage Airstreams are really cool- no doubt, but its a major job. Many of us are in this up to our ears because we thought we'd just "clean it up" and go camping- Not realizing the extent of what "i" got myself into. (dont ask me how I know).

Bottom line is that its hard to get into a Vintage Airstream without either #1- paying for a full resto, #2 paying for one that someone already did, #3 buying one that is "usable", but certainly has problems, #4 knowing that you're in for a MAJOR DIY project.

If #4 is your situation, you need to be sure you have room and convenient place to work on it. Study the forums. Learn how to work with metal. And plan for 4 times as long as you think you'll need.

Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:38 PM   #5
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Not bad for a '70. But you can't really know for sure until you can get the belly skins off. Inside the belly is where you'll find most of the rust. That's because the stuff you can see can dry out easily. The belly can hold the moisture and cause more rusting where you can't see it. Try walking around in it hard to see if you notice any excessive flexing, if it seems solid that's a good start. Otherwise it's tough until you can get in the belly.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:54 PM   #6
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Thanks Mixter. I was hoping for a #3 for now that I could do a little work on, but enjoy for the next few years, before I take on #4.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:19 PM   #7
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By the way the floor seems to be in surprisingly good condition. The only soft spot was right in front of the front door.
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:08 PM   #8
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Where the trailer lived can be important. Trailers from the southwest are less likely and trailers from the coast are more likely to have rust problems.
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:41 PM   #9
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Lumatic, I think she spent time her time in Tennessee.
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:41 PM   #10
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Ditto on the belly pan removal. Have you jumped up and down on the rear bumper? Look for separation between the rear bumper and the skin when doing bouncing on the bumper. When you first open the door and walk in use your nose as well as your eyes, does it smell musty or moldy? Can you see any evidence of leaks.

-Dennis
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:48 PM   #11
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Ditto on the belly pan removal. Have you jumped up and down on the rear bumper? Look for separation between the rear bumper and the skin when doing bouncing on the bumper. When you first open the door and walk in use your nose as well as your eyes, does it smell musty or moldy? Can you see any evidence of leaks.

-Dennis
Dennis,

She is in Buffalo and i am in southern CA so I hired someone to go look at it and take pictures. Because of a recommendation by someone I did specifically ask them check the back bumper area to see if it has any separation between the body and frame area. They said it looked fine. I wish I had asked them to have someone jump on it while he looked.

-Corey
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:17 PM   #12
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I have seen worse but I would buy it with the assumption that you will have to do some major work on it. If you get lucky then you are ahead but statistics are against you on one that age. The interior is probably shot as well. I would say less than $5k for sure.

Perry
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:20 PM   #13
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I have seen worse but I would buy it with the assumption that you will have to do some major work on it. If you get lucky then you are ahead but statistics are against you on one that age. The interior is probably shot as well. I would say less than $5k for sure.

Perry
Thanks. What are you saying is less than $5k?
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:19 PM   #14
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I would not pay more than $5k for it. You will easily spend $10k fixing it up.

Perry
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