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Old 11-30-2006, 08:43 PM   #1
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Help - new in Victoria BC

Ok I just just registered on this site, yet I don't own an Airstream yet.....I realize I need to find one soon before the diehards out there discover that I don't own one and kick me off the site.....Therefore, I have tracked down a 1978 31 ft Soverign for sale. Can anyone share some wisdom about what to look for when I go see it?? Any advise is more than welcome.
Thanks in advance,
derek
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. Don't worry, nobody will kick you off for not having an Airstream. As a matter of fact, this is the place to come BEFORE you buy an Airstream.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:47 PM   #3
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I second that!

Because of these forums, we were able to find just the unit that fit our dream. You will find everything you need to know...and more! The search feature is very powerful and the members here are first rate!

Have fun with your search!
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:20 PM   #4
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hello and welcome.post a question asking if any one in your area can do a inspection for you. there are quite a few members that would help you out..
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:22 PM   #5
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Learn to use the Search tab above...

Derek-

Welcome! You really won't have a problem not owning an airstream, though frequent logging in may increase your biological need to own one...

Several others have been looing for or at similar trailers within the past two weeks, so there may be an overlap, and you may easily learn from messages posted by and replied by others...

At upper right, click on < Search > tab, and then type several words into search field, with spaces, but no punctuation.. The combination of:
78 31 sovereign would probably bring up several vbery useful threads.. Spelling for Sovereign is a chllenge, so try it several different ways...

You might also try: used trailer inspection or used trailer value and be patient going through the responses. Often the ones with recent activity might be more relevant, though older threads of messages are also often directly on the subject you're looking for...

Unless you LOVE disassembling and repairing old complicated things, I believe good advice for first time is to look hard to find one that has been restored already, or is in excellent condition and verified by inspection, rather than buying a "project" and possibly getting overwhelmed... Parts are expensive, appliances are expensive, and frame repairs or shell repairs are also... expensive!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:54 AM   #6
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Thanks for the support!

Wow,

I am impressed with the number of responces to my request for help. I intend to lock myself away for the next month or so....(work can wait) and read up as much as I can about 1978 31 foot Sovereign's from this site.

I am slowly finding my way around the site so I am sure that I have not even begun to drill down into the vast amount of knowledge that is passed around here.

In the mean time, please feel free to pass on any wisdom about what to look for when inspecting a 31 ft Sovereign (rear bath model). Is sagging a real problem for them, and if it is why?

Unfortunately Airstreams are realitively rare in my neck of the woods (British Columbia.) I am looking at one in Oregon, yet I am depending on family to take the initial look at it. SO, due to geographical challenges I face, I find myself dependant on the advise of other more experienced Airstreamers to help me out.

Thanks to everyone who have responded to me already. And please don't be afraid to use short sentences and small words so that I can completely understand what you may attempt to explain to me......in other words.....I know nothing.....Teach me OB1...

Derek
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:38 AM   #7
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Hi Derek,, welcome to the Forums,, best thing really, as was suggested,, look up member inspectors and have someone look at it for you,, do not buy anything sight unseen,,, make the trip down,, both Oregon and Washington state have more trailers on the market,, be patient and wait for a good one that you can love and manage to repair,, lots of hidden aspects in buying a trailer,,, make sure all systems function,, water,, heat,, water heater,,, lights,, etc,, patience and caution will bring you what you are really hoping to find,, donna
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:50 AM   #8
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Don't limit your reading to 31 foot soveriegns. Almost all models are built the same way and in a given period (in your case 74 - 80 trailers) they have the same issues. The different names mostly reflect different trim packages.

One of the issues that you will need become aware of on a longer trailer of that vintage is frame seperation (also known as tail droop/sag). Learn to recogninze it before you buy as the repair is not a simple do it yourslef job.

Bon't forget ot search the photo sections as well - have fun!
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolmied
Wow,

Unfortunately Airstreams are realitively rare in my neck of the woods (British Columbia.) I am looking at one in Oregon, yet I am depending on family to take the initial look at it. SO, due to geographical challenges I face, I find myself dependant on the advise of other more experienced Airstreamers to help me out.

Derek
Derek,

You'd be surprised at the number of Airstreams in our area. I certainly was and continue to be. There's often a few on Buysell.com, also Craig's list. I was thumbing through a year old copy of the Buy and Sell for the Okanagan (different than the on line one) and there were three in there which surprised me that I'd missed them. One in particular was a vintage unit I know a friend would have killed for. Right now on buysell.com there's a 1973 31' listed as well as an almost new unit for BC and if you do a Canada Wide search you will see several others come up as well. There's even a 25foot listed for sale in Campbell River http://www.buysell.com/search/result...stream&id=4530

And on Craig's list a 22' in Surrey http://victoria.craigslist.org/searc...uery=airstream

They pop up frequently for sale here. I checked Buy and Sell a lot and when the one I bought showed up I had looked at 7pm on a Friday night and nothing, then a 9 pm check and there it was. That was December 12th so I have an anniversary coming up. I made a quick phone call to set up a viewing the next morning, and 20 minutes from my house I got the Airstream of my dreams. I had cash in hand, knew what to look for, knew what I could deal with if it wasn't perfect (it wasn't as I expected) and while I was buying it the fellow's phone was ringing and his mother in law was taking messages for people for him to call back if I didn't take it.

If you do acquire one in the US there's some great information on this Forum from others who have bought and imported into Canada and have been kind enough to put together very detailed instructions on what they did to get their unit home.

Good luck, keep your eyes open and you'd be surprised what's in your local area. I'd volunteer to look at anything you find on the mainland but at present I'm not able to drive or do much of anything (health issue) but I can coach you if needed.

Barry
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:40 AM   #10
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Hey Derek Im from Richmond Hill. We have a beautiful 78 Excella 31ft rear bath (heres mine http://www.airforums.com/photo...&cutoffdate=-1 ) and just by pure luck we bought one that already had all the frame reinforcements done by the Previous owner and a lot of new parts. Its one of the best fun investments we ever made. Theres so many nice Airstreams to choose from and Im sure you'll find one to fit your requirements (price / etc). Im a bit different, I really like the late 70s era Airstreams and there seem to be some nice deals out there on 70s models. I think they have some of the coolest interior designs ! So yeah spend some time and get to know AS and have someone experienced help inspect.

Be prepared to walk away from a deal (I know its tuff sometimes because the Airsteams have this wierd hypnotic effect) .

Your biggest potential problems will be the ones that aren't so obvious on the surface.
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:47 PM   #11
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Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your responce. I am overwelmed with the amount of knowledge that I have learned since I registered on this site yesturday......Please keep the comments coming and I will continue to abide by the advise.

derek
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:54 PM   #12
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As Barry said, there is a lot that comes available here in BC, especially in the lower mainland. Each month there is something new on Craigslist or buysell.com to review. Are you set on a 31 foot, or are you looking at that because it's all that you see as available? Good luck with your search!
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:30 PM   #13
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Derek

This Airstream is in the Osoyoos paper

1976 vintage Airstream trailer. 31 Excella 500. Very good condition. Call 780-993-7525 for more info.

Thought you might be interested.

Barry
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:23 AM   #14
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thanks

Barry

Thanks for the heads up. I will give them a call. Merry Christmas.

Derek
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