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Old 12-10-2007, 02:49 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
LAWFISH's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Wellington , Nevada
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 66
Another newbee-out west! Looking for advise and a older trailer!

OK, I am new to the Airstream gig but not forums. However I need to find a way to fix my signature?

In any case I am a mopar guy whos not new to towing or hauling but am new to the Airstream search for the right PROJECT trailer. I live in Northern Nevada, close to Lake Tahoe,where I see a LOTS of silver trailers in large properties and yards. I need to start stopping and see which one are Aistreams. It looks like some $$$ plopped down in the right hands would pick me up something because some of these trailers have not moved in many many years buy the looks of them and are just rotting away.

I will be looking for a project out west and dont care if its gutted. I work on my Hot rod mopars on the side and do my own paint and body work and some fabrication. I can also build homes/shops, so I can handle most of thw work inside as well. I will be looking for an Airstream that needs some loving and will more than likely update the interior to be 'HOTRODESQUE" if that makes sense!

Something at least 27 to 28 feet, maybe a little bigger. I have watched these things for years and am retiring this year from the Sheriff's office and may be going to work just over the state line for another 5 years in California for a second check with another agency and some double dipping.

However I have 175 acres in Idaho and travel there often and set up house near my pond. I need a trailer with some character, not some square box in white with the latest crummy decals that will peel off in a year or two.

I will need lots of advise as I am new and know nothing.

I would like to know which Airstreams are considered more desirable, like which ones not to modify depending on what I find and their condition, ect.

We like ones with more windows. How to update, remod or redo in the era look with some modern conveneinces.
I also do a lot of craigslist searching and see many decent deals out there or at least they appear decent.

Do I have to worry about asbestos in these older units, which is what I want. Any hazzards out there when gutting or redoing a unit.

Cant wait to find a decent builder and am in no hurry. As an almost retired Detectie Sgt, I like to do my homework.

thanks and you seem to have a great site here, thanks for allwoing me to join. cant wait to start learning.

Oh, hauling is not a problem with the bigger ones as I have a dually diesel Dodge cummings and haul my LANCE camper and a fully loaded 32 FT tag with race car and shop up front.

Dave/ AKA LAWFISH for a 70 Cuda drag police car we have.

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Old 12-10-2007, 05:39 AM   #2
2 Rivet Member
1978 23' Safari
High Mountains , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 36

First of all, welcome! It is a great community here. Sounds like you can eventually provide lots of courtesy parking in Idaho!

If you're happy with a gutted trailer, you're probably going to find more 70's models than anything. The 50's and early 60's are "special" and members tend to keep them close to original or the early diner's look. Very Cool. The 70's models are more plentiful and you'll find every kind of re-do, all acceptable.

The diner look is very "period". See Blu_Hwy_Lady's Safari and FLYFSHR's Tradewind, for example.

The longer 70's trailers that haven't been fixed up are less expensive, believe it or not. After years of looking, I started knocking on doors when I found one that hadn't moved for awhile--I only got chased away once in maybe 70 knocks and she was a real battle axe! Everyone else, even if they weren't interested in selling, were very nice.

I've found two from storage yards and two from back yards and one handed to me from the boonies because I was towing one. You just gotta stop every time you see one. Good luck.


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Old 12-10-2007, 06:07 AM   #3
Vintage Alum. Enthusiast
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: I currently do not own a 2nd Airstream
Posts: 4,313
Images: 40
A big welcome LawFish ~

As Joe points out, the longer 70's trailers are plentiful which makes them less expensive, in most cases. The older units, mid '60s and before, are a little harder to find and then more challenging to loosening the grip from the owners. Since you can do alot of the work yourself, you'll want to find one that has a straight and solid frame along with all of the window and exterior door hardware. Most everything else can be replaced but original door and window equipment is hard to find these days.

Coutesy parking? Sounds like you have enough room to most a large rally.
Any trout fishing up your way?

4CU 2699 / AIR 10 / TAC AZ-1

I'm haunted by aluminum.
Charter Member of the 4 Corners Unit.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:50 AM   #4
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,382
Images: 5
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Best of luck in your search for the perfect Airstream. There are lots of really good ones out there, especially in the 26' and up range. You can include all the modern amenities and still keep a vintage or theme look.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:00 AM   #5
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1969 23' Safari
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 699
Images: 18
Yes, Lawfish, 'HOTRODESQUE' interior would be most excellent! For inspiration I'm sure you're already hip to the Grandaddy Himself, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Also check out the paintings of Robt. Williams, the tatoo/flash art of Don Ed Hardy, and seminal pinstriping of (the original, not the fashion label) "Von Dutch". Look hard, especially at the axle condition (see the primer at inlandrv.com) water leaks, bathroom floor, etc. before buying.


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Old 12-10-2007, 09:54 AM   #6
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Venice , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 672
welcome aboard!

check out this link of major renovations of older airstreams. it'll give you a great idea of what's entailed in a major renovation if you decide to go that route;


*by asking the above question,
i verify that i have already used
the search feature to the best of my ability...
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
1967 17' Caravel
1959 17' Pacer
Corrales , New Mexico
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 54
Hi Lawfish, I'm a newbie too. I've been searching a lot of the western craigslist listings for vintage AS, and there's a couple on the Reno craigslist you might be interested in. There's a 1958 Flying Cloud (22') that broke an axle while being towed from CA to New England and the guy left it in Winnemucca (on I-80?). It's been gutted and there is a bit of damage from the axle breaking, but he's only asking $700 OBO for it, because he's back in NE now. Lots of work, but can't beat the price! If that's too short, there's also a 1970 Ambassador (29') with a lot of the work already done for $6K OBO. Here's the link:
reno craigslist > recreational vehicles: search for "airstream"
Good luck!
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
1967 17' Caravel
1959 17' Pacer
Corrales , New Mexico
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 54
Also, in Vegas: 1975 Overlander (27'), good exterior, new frame/floor/holding tanks, just waiting for a new interior, $2500.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:48 PM   #9
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1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 690
Images: 197

Gee, I was thinking about averagejoe's Ambassador in Colorado.

It's perfect for a total resto job (right?) and it is the "to be desired" center bath.

I hate thinking of a good center bath unit going to waste (they're not as common and have much more potential, IMO)

Maybe you can catch him before he cuts the windows out!
Ron Kaes
Psalm 112
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:27 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
LAWFISH's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Wellington , Nevada
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by Corraleno
Also, in Vegas: 1975 Overlander (27'), good exterior, new frame/floor/holding tanks, just waiting for a new interior, $2500.
Vintage Airstream Trailer
Correlano, thanks for the link. I saw both of those. I think the one in Winemucca is too small and has too mucyh damage. I have email on the on in vegas and it seems decent.

However there is also one in Boise for less and aboutt he same shape, less the new holding tanks, ect. I am waiting for some pics of it to come in. I have maybe 10 pics now and hes getting some more tomorrow.

Its a 28 Ft 1969 Ambassador.

I am keeping, not to mention I have not even stopped by some of these around here sitting in yars and ranches.

thanks for all the comments and please keep them coming. I can use all the advise i CAN GET.
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:50 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
1978 23' Safari
High Mountains , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 36

A new frame, if done right, and new holding tanks are worth the $2,500 and you get the shell for free! Even if you're a dyed in the wool DIY person, you would be money ahead if the rest of the trailer (the shell) is in acceptable shape.


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