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Old 01-03-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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Illiopolis , Illinois
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Hello all

Thank you for letting me join. My wife and I are looking to get our first airstream. We are looking at a '76 sovereign that has sat for 20 yrs!?!?!? Anyone have suggestions for a first timer? Asking 6,500 and not all appliances are operational. Rear double pane window is broke and will need replaced as well. Thoughts????

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:16 AM   #2
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Welcome, Dan. There are inspectors available that can help you, and I'd strongly suggest that you take advantage of their expertise. Unless you are able to do a lot of work yourself (that means time, talents, and treasure) you might want to pass on this one.

Sharing what you want to do with the coach may help the experts here (I'm NOT one of them) guide you. If you're after taking an old coach down to bare bones and rebuilding it you will be looking at something far different than someone who wants to full-time NOW.

David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:39 PM   #3
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Illiopolis , Illinois
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Thank you for the advice. The "plan" is to find something that is roadworthy (or very close to being so) and use it while we make updates. Ultimately, I want a unit that my family can enjoy until we decide to gut it and totally remodel down the road....maybe a retirement project.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:48 PM   #4
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Welcome! The asking price for that trailer is way too high.
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:07 PM   #5
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Greetings Dan

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Air streaming!

The price being asked for that trailer would indicate a coach ready for near immediate use. RV appliances are expensive -- a new two away refrigerator could easily cost $1,200+ while a new air conditioner or water heater could exceed $700. I suspect that you can find a better deal, but it may take some time.

Good luck with your investigation!


P.S. New axles will likely also be a requirement after twenty years in one location -- also may have Hydro-Vac disk brakes that would require restoration/modernization.
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:11 PM   #6
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Lights, brakes, tires, propane tanks, not to mention black tank that has been sitting....think this thru, by the time and money spent to get road ready, you could find one ready to go. Sitting 20 years is a long time and you have a broken window. Just do a little cost sheet.....
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:58 PM   #7
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Chiefland , Florida
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Ditto-Too much money for a "project" even if you took a year and did the work yourself. Welcome to Airstreaming, there are a lot of roadworthy units out there for a fair price. Good luck, and Happy Hunting! Rolland

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Old 01-04-2015, 07:08 AM   #8
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Illiopolis , Illinois
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Thanks everyone. I did quite a bit of research yesterday using this site and I came to the same conclusion.....price too high, to many variables that are unknown. I'm going to pass on it and keep looking. Thanks again!!!!
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:26 AM   #9
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I think it has been well said, but I always to like to get an opinion in.

Suggest you hang around the forum for month or so, read carefully about the "restoration" of older Airstreams (AS), then decide on a budget, and with help from one or more inspectors, purchase a used AS.

Depending upon your budget, it is my opinion, a dealer or a long standing member on the Air Forums may be the best source. Sticker shock is common for folks coming to AS. At least for me, several years ago when i walked into a dealership for the first time, I thought I could get a new one for about $25,000 or so....LOL, excuse me, I fell on the floor laughing....

But, my suspicions are, if you bought the used one mentioned which had been sitting over 20 years....this could ultimately cost you close to the $20,000 range to have it thoroughly road worth and hooked up to your tow vehicle (TV).
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
AIR #31871 K4MTL
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:38 AM   #10
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Chelsea , Michigan
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Dan, You made a wise choice to pass on that trailer. Unless you are willing to spend a lot of time (i.e, hundreds of hours and/or dozens of thousands of dollars) pass up any trailer that has sat unused for more than a few years. It's likely that such a trailer has so many issues that a complete "frame off" restoration will be necessary which, if professionally done, can cost well north of $50,000 do do properly. Of course, a DIY or "professional hack job" can cost less. Instead, unless you are looking for a project and if you are on a budget, I would stick to a trailer that is 5 to 10 years old that has been used regularly and recently and that is truly ready to camp. Use the Airforums classifieds and the WBCCI Blue Beret classified section as a good place to start. You might be lucky and find a good unit on eBay, but beware that a lot of junk gets misrepresented and unfortunately sold on eBay. Also, take advantage of the Forum members who will do an inspection for you. Happy hunting!

Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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