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Old 05-10-2007, 02:23 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Alliance , Nebraska
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Question Found a 1982 TurboDiesel 280 for sale

Last week I found a 1982 TurboDiesel 280 Airstream motorhome for sale by owner. One owner, 70,000 miles, ALL ORIGINAL except new refrigerator and new cooler in front of radiator. Tires have only 8,000 miles on them but the motorhome has set for three years, unused. Has 2 AC with antenna between on roof.
For sure, IF I were to buy it, I would replace all 7 tires and rims (rims very rusted) and the rust shag carpet.
Does anyone have any suggestions of a price range that would be fair to both owner and buyer?
What surprises on repairs/replacements could one expect?
Would this engine have enough power to drive in the Rocky Mountains?

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Old 05-10-2007, 05:11 AM   #2
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
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The coach has plenty of torque. Good call on the tires if they've been exposed to the sun. Otherwise it might be just a matter of heating the radial belts to smooth out the flat spots.
Great length, desireable power, in need of cosmetic updates.... What you pay is the downpayment. Buyers market, start below $10k and see what happens. You're going to have some dry seals. You should swap all fluids and filters before attempting to start up. Three year old fuel will be nasty. Hope there's not too much to deal with.
All the standard Airstream check list for floor rot and such. Electrical behind the dash is a nightmare.
You can expect low to mid teens for fuel economy which is way better than the gas 454's in most of the 280's.
Let us know how you find her... and what you do.... somebody needs to get the old girl back on the road.

Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:29 AM   #3
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Welcome to the site. A 280 TD is a very nice rig. The powerplant will demand a price premium. I suggest you review this site's classifieds along with another at Fred's Airstream Archives - Airstream and Argosy Travel Trailers and MotorHomes to get a handle on asking prices.

While gassers have dropped recently due to fuel prices...diesels have maintained their price. Also, check eBay and RVTraderOnline for more.

Good luck and let us know what you end up doing. As Glen pointed out, the aqusition cost is the "entry fee". There will be more to do later, but you'll have a classic that will last for a very long time.
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
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2006 28' Safari SE
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Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I'm envious. The only one I could find spewed oil when started (it did start an purr like a diesel should). It also had a nice (diesel converted?) Onan genset but they wanted too much. Good luck.
4CU Charter Member
1981 Excella 280 Turbo Diesel Motorhome
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:50 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Alliance , Nebraska
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Update to my inquiry

THANKS!! TO EACH OF YOU!! I passed on the Big Temptation. Because of my age and status in life, I was advised against negotiating a purchase because of the "unknowns" that you all outlined for me in your reponses ..... that I need to hang-on to my 1997 B-van for the total independence it provides me all around. I'm copying your reponses and mailing them to the owner, with the hopes that it will help them with selling their unit.
I'll keep checking back from time to time .... I've learned much from reading your responses and previous posts. Thanks again!! Metch
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:15 AM   #6
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Itatiba , São Paulo
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 15
serching for a diesel airstream

Hello Metch!
My friend i am from Brazil and i am searching for an vintage diesel airtream like you found!!! If you don't buy it please let me know because i am really interested.
Please forgive my english mistakes!
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Hello Luiz....Keep looking ...this posting is from 2007. Most assuredly it has sold in the years past. The diesels show here and some are at good prices.

"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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