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Old 12-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
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Elora , Ontario
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Hello, considering AS purchase...opinions??

Hello
I'm considering my first airsream purchase. I've always wanted one..maybe now is the time. I plan on re-doing the cabinets and re-vamping the interior

It's an '87 Sovereign 25 footer in good shape as far as I can tell. It's being sold by a dealer on commision. They did an inspection and the report is shown. I'm wondering if there are any red flag items here that will be difficult or expensive to repair.

What do you think?

Thanks, Pat
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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Milton , Ontario
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AS at CanAm...

Hi Pat,

I looked at that trailer a couple of months back, well before the snow flew, and it was in nice condition and I liked the centre bath arrangement.

The salesman I was talking with at the time was John Hoekstra...nice guy, very open.

I'm trying to remember how much CanAm had it listed for, but drawing a blank. One thing, they do not pull in any junk and are a reputable dealer. So, I think you would be happy with your buying decision.

Hope this helps and good luck,
Chris
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:23 PM   #3
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Hey Pat first off welcome to the forums. I`m always glad to see another Canuck especially one from Ontario. I`ve got a couple of customers from Elora. Have you ever seen a black ford Pu with CELORA plates. He camps here.
Anyway thats a very clean looking unit. Did the report show anything bad. I can`t see whats written
I have a different opinion of CAN AM. they`re great if you have new unit or want hitch set up. No one better for hitches but just don`t go ther with vintage unit or look for vintage parts there. They`re not interested.
The most important thing to look for is leaking in the rear end from bumper cover into shell. If you buy consider having them reseal that area now and save problems later. All Airstreams leak there and will rot the floor in no time if not dealt with.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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Unless you are a whiz at mechanical repair yourself, I would get them to re-install the front vent properly, repair the rear one, and repair the defective lights. Chris' recommendation to re-seal the rear bumper is a solid idea too.

Thinks like the loose propane lines and leaking water heater drain need to be secured before you move it, IMHO.

I wonder if you are comfortable re-packing the bearings and replacing brake shoes? It's probably a better idea to buy an entire new assembly, with all the little springs, shoes, and drums fresh, and it's not really much more money. While you don't really need to be a mechanic to do that work, it's messy and is done laying on your back. Your call.

Then there are the appliances; and they are in typical shape for their age. the furnace and water heater, should simply be replaced, I feel; they just do NOT last forever, and doubtful if repairs will really extend their lives by much.

As for the fridge, even if the worst case is true, that the ammonia system has leaked, that system can be replaced albeit at a healthy cost. Otherwise, a new refer is around $1400 in Canada, less in the US. OTOH, it may just need a going over with some wire care.

The rest of the items are fairly simple to do, and won't impede your use of the trailer.

The one thing he didn't mention is if the original 120V to 12V converter is still there or has it been changed. If it's still the univolt, and you have to already buy new batteries, I would change it out too, otherwise your new batteries won't live to see their normal useful life, and also you will get to listen to the Univolt hum 24/7.

That body style is worth doing though, it's very popular and gives the most privacy for travellers.

Best of luck! Come back to ask lots more questions...
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:16 PM   #5
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1978 28' Ambassador
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Wow.. I guess this is one of those cases where looks are deceiving. That report shows so much wrong with that trailer. Some seem to be basic maintenance, but with others you could be walking into a Hornets nest. With the appliances - well you just never know. It could be a simple fix or it could be that the appliances need to be rebuilt or replaced.

My take on most things like this is that if it were a simple fix, time permitting, the dealer and/or previous owner would most likely fix it to get it sold faster and for a better price.

Defective Lights
Both Batteries no good
Loose propane links
Underbelly Falling down in spots
Stab Jacks all rusted
Rear Bumber Loose and Dent
Most WIndows have bad gaskets
Awning has small hole in Canvas, requires new tension Spring and Rear arm is bent
Front Vent installed backwards and missing half of gasket
Bathroom vent and Fan broken
Roof needs sealing in spots
Furnace will not start
Fridge will not Start on Propane
No Lights in Fridge, Holes in wall just inside door.
Monitor Panel not operating correctly
Plastic trim around counter (bathroom) cracked
Brakes and bearings need to be cleaned adjusted and packed.
Water heater leaking at drain plug.

Seems like a nice detailed report though.
Hope the Price is Right.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsgauger View Post
Hi Pat,

I looked at that trailer a couple of months back, well before the snow flew, and it was in nice condition and I liked the centre bath arrangement.

The salesman I was talking with at the time was John Hoekstra...nice guy, very open.

I'm trying to remember how much CanAm had it listed for, but drawing a blank. One thing, they do not pull in any junk and are a reputable dealer. So, I think you would be happy with your buying decision.

Hope this helps and good luck,
Chris
Yes, It was John I was speaking to as well and he was very helpful. The trailer does need some repairs but he was up front with the report from the quick check. Guess if it was all fixed up I couldn't afford it so I'm hoping I can make the repairs myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Hey Pat first off welcome to the forums. I`m always glad to see another Canuck especially one from Ontario. I`ve got a couple of customers from Elora. Have you ever seen a black ford Pu with CELORA plates. He camps here.
Anyway thats a very clean looking unit. Did the report show anything bad. I can`t see whats written
I have a different opinion of CAN AM. they`re great if you have new unit or want hitch set up. No one better for hitches but just don`t go ther with vintage unit or look for vintage parts there. They`re not interested.
The most important thing to look for is leaking in the rear end from bumper cover into shell. If you buy consider having them reseal that area now and save problems later. All Airstreams leak there and will rot the floor in no time if not dealt with.
I wasn't sure if the report would be clear or large enough.
The highlights are as follows

Furnace will not start
Fridge will not work on Propane
Monitor panel not working properly
Water heater leaking at drain plug
Has solar panel, but no display monotor
A few marker lights are out as well as a back up light and license light
Both batteries are NG
Loose propane lines
Needs most window gaskets
Roof needs sealing in a few spots

The roof leaks and gaskets shouldn't be a problem and I think the control panel and lights shouldn't be too bad, but the furnace and fridge...I'm not sure

I haven't seen the Black Ford you speak of but I'll watch for it

Thanks Chris
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:40 PM   #7
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Pat I just expanded the list. WOW thats extensive. The worst problem is the falling belly and loose propane lines. This may be indicitive of serious leaks that have rusted out the frame or the cause may be improperly balanced running gear vibrating everything loose.
The awning fabric and arm replacement is going to be costly.
The furnace and fridge problems most likely will be bad circuit boards at worst. $100 = or - each for part plus labour. It may be just loose or corroded connections.
The rest of the things like resealing and replacing gaskets are not costly for parts just time consuming to remove the old gaskets. same goes for the lights.
Brakes cleaning and bearing repacking are regular maintenance anyway.
The converter is a newer 1987 model and will not be humming like the 70`s units Aage is speaking of.
Monitor panel and solar panel. Who knows they dion`t really say whats wrong.
Batteries $125 each
Everything else is wear and tear items and you either pay to replace or live with them.
The vent problem needs to be addressed. Backwards-why.
what is exactly is improper about the floor installation.
The back bumper loose and bent. Is this from an impact. Look for bent frame if really bent bad.
Like I said earlier closely inspect the floor in the rear for rot. Also check around entry door and under all windows and edge of the wall and around the batteries. If they boiled over they may have attacked the floor also.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
The converter is a newer 1987 model and will not be humming like the 70`s units Aage is speaking of.
True, I always assume that they all have Univolts. And although this one won't, the converter it has is not one of the new "intelligent" ones that has three different levels of charge to maintain your battery's life, as the new ones do.

Monitor panel and solar panel problems won't stop you, and don't pose a danger. You can add a monitor for the solar panel as part of your electrical converter update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Like I said earlier closely inspect the floor in the rear for rot. Also check around entry door and under all windows and edge of the wall and around the batteries. If they boiled over they may have attacked the floor also.
Luckily this is a mid-bath, rear bed, and so won't be a candidate for tail sag. The "boiled over battery" syndrome is another reason to put an "intelligent" converter in, since you are already doing batteries.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the response...gives me lots to think about and now I know some things I should ask about/look at
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #10
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I don't see anywhere that you stated the asking price but I looked at an 87 Sovereign just like that one in Detroit last summer . It was for sale by an owner who kept up on the maintenance . It was in way better shape. No leaks and everything worked. He was asking about 11k( US) for it. Later he decided not to sell as he really liked the trailer . So maybe that gives you an idea of what it is worth.
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