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Old 03-20-2007, 06:58 PM   #1
New Member
1969 31' Sovereign
riner , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Buying '69 Sovereign for full-time home, negotiating purchase price

Hey Folks-
Came across this place today while researching the price I should offer for my neighbor's trailer. I've committed to buying it - gave him $300 last week and I can't wait to get it over here.
Long story short, I live in the Blue Ridge, Floyd County, Virginia on 250 acres. My folks recently re-occupied the house that was mine for ten years and we won't get around to building a place for me for a couple year. Because living with them would cramp my style and I've always wanted an Airstream, I am going head-first into trailer life. Fortunately I have access to a well and grid electricity.
The trailer in question is a '69 Sovereign. It was used by a couple who live over the hill as their temporary residence while they built their cabin, subsequently they used it for some questionable cultivation practices (so some windows are painted over) and then subsequently they used it for storage. It hasn't been on the road since 1995 or so but I'm told it will go the 5 miles of dirt road to it's new parking spot. Long-haul travelling potential is not essential.
I wouldn't describe the interior as nasty, but it is somewhat dirty and maybe in some places slightly cruddy. It has some of the original built-ins but not all, and it lacks the awning deal I've seen in some photos. They had it hooked up to both an underground fuel supply and a household water heater which they are throwing in ( and which was built into an adjacent shed).
The current owners had previously sold it for $800 cash and $1000 labor-in-trade ("skilled" carpentry) but the guy never settled up. Was told yesterday that they wanted $1800 cash, but this seems like a bit too much, judging by the ebay auctions I've seen. Today we negotiated $200 work of tractor work pulling some trees out around their garden... Does anyone have any ideas about what this thing is worth? I want it so bad that I'd probably pay the $1600 eventually, but I'm pretty broke and to get the trailer clean and comfortable looks like at least 80-120 hours of work.

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Old 03-20-2007, 07:11 PM   #2
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PizzaChop's Avatar
1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 690
Images: 197
For a straight shell, that's not a bad price. But you'll probably find that it needs a lot of work. Everyone endures their first baptism, it's the depth of the water that remains a mystery.

There are many good threads on the value of an Airstream as well as things to look for. At that price, you are certainly below the "burn" range ($4-$6K), but realize that it will most certainly need some $$ to bring it up to the level that most people desire

Airstream Buying Advice

Help-72 Sovereign

P.S.- If you think you're pretty broke now, just wait!

Ron Kaes
Psalm 112
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:15 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
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1967 30' Sovereign
Leavenworth , Kansas
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 382
Images: 3
Welcome to the forums; you'll find a wealth of info here. We too were in the situation you are in. Ultimately, we paid $3,000 for our Sovereign. We should have done more research and we should have become more familiar with what we should have looked for in the way of needed repairs. We thought all ours needed was a good cleaning (the previous owners had 8 kids and 3 dogs), but soon realized that the guy could only repair things with duct tape or silicone. This is our third summer of working on Moby. This will finally be the year that he is on the road.

As for what to look for; check the bathroom floor first, then the wiring, and then the suspension.... those were the big things wrong with ours... the bathroom being the most important. Keep asking questions here on the forum; someone will have an answer for you. Most of us have "been there, done that".

Good luck.
Beth and/or David

67 Sovereign, double bed, rear bath-"Moby"
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi, Quad Cab-"Ahab"
"Vintage trailer, vintage owners"
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