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Old 11-11-2019, 07:30 PM   #1
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Statesville , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
Introduction and on the hunt for first Airstream

Hello all, my wife and I have been long time dreamers of one day having one of our own Airstream trailers. We are always aware but never seriously were ready. The other day a 1968 28ft. Overlander for $7600. Not knowing a great deal about these I am concerned it is overpriced. Claim is they replaced the insulation and new walls, new floors. The trailer lights are there but are not wired to work. They state new tires but also that it has been sitting in same place for 4 years. It is located under a metal roof cover. There is no plumbing. It does claims new wiring. To the right of the door there is a window and above it it looks like there should be a smaller window but it is just a whole. There appears to be nothing in the roof openings where I assume vents should be. Those are all covered with foil. I can see a repair attempt to the lower rear section of the door side. There is no bumper. It also states the holding tanks have been removed. The body does appear to be relatively dent free. There is one small whole in the rear section on top (almost looks like a bullet whole). I can also see wholes in the front that I can only assume is where propane lines are supposed to go. I know this is a project renovation. Without the plumbing I am afraid what they state as a new floor would have to be redone anyway. Trim around wheels is falling off. I am seeking advise if this price is fair or too high. To me it doesnt look worth $7600 and I think a more realistic number would be around $4000. They do have the title. The plus is that it is located only about 10 miles from my home. Please let me know what you think. Tips are appreciated as well for shopping for the right Airstream. This kind of hit us out of the blue but now our desire to have one is greatly increased. Looking forward to your thoughts. Steve and Ann Romitz
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:43 PM   #2
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,879
Welcome to Air Forums. You've come to the right place for all things Airstream.

I'll leave it to somebody else to discuss whether the price is fair but it sure sounds like it needs lots of work. Lots and LOTS of WORK! If you're capable of doing the remainder of the repairs and don't mind figuring out what works and what doesn't then jump right in.

We do lots of minor repairs and upgrades to our trailer and our van, for that matter I keep our vehicles running too, so getting my hands dirty is not a foreign concept. But there's a significant difference in keeping something operating compared to building it up from the ground floor.

Do you really want a restoration project and all that it entails? Or, would you rather be camping/traveling and enjoying seeing what's around the next corner and over the next mountain.

Whether you purchase this trailer seems like it depends on what you want and how you plan to get there, not whether the trailer is worth $7600 or $4000. In the long run the $3600 difference will be in the noise level when you're finished with this trailer.

You can buy a good, reliable 1980's or early 1990's trailer for under $20k if you look around and are willing to go a few miles (to another state perhaps). Sure it will need some work but you can probably use it while you do the upgrades.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:50 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Steve, to me that is well overpriced. If he has truly done any work toward renovating, are there pictures or documentation? Propane lines do not go thru the front of the trailer. The trunk line travels underneath then Ts off for appliances. Without tanks and who knows what else, I would expect a full renovation which is not cheap. What you are considering to offer may be closer to fair. But, would like to see pictures. Lastly, you may want to look up an AS Inspector near you who would be willing to take a look. They are listed ears on the forums. Others will weigh in to give you better understanding. Good luck
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:31 PM   #4
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Statesville , North Carolina
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Havent learned how to post pics yet. Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:40 PM   #5
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums!

First question is: Do you want to go camping, or do you want a rebuild proect that my take years?

What you are looking at is someone's aborted rebuild project. It might be worth what they are asking, but everyone who has ever poured labor into a trailer rebuild knows that you never get your return on investment for labor, so it sucks to be them.

Take a read through the "full monty" rebuild threads on these forums, listen to the back episodes of The Vintage Airstream Podcast (The VAP), and then resume looking for a trailer. Don't jump on this trailer just because it is nearby, and seems cheap.

good luck!
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:46 AM   #6
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2019 Basecamp
Grand Rapids , MI
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Smile New Basecamp X owner

This is my first post to the forums as well. My wife and I just purchased a new 2019 Basecamp X (Taking delivery in April 2020)(Have not had the walk thru at the dealership yet either). I have enjoyed reading the posts on different issues. To be honest, they highlighted a high level of ignorance on my part regarding trailer maintenance and issue prevention. We previously owned a 32' class C (Thor Quantum) which was a nice rv. It was new so there were some issues but nothing that scared me or wasn't quickly remedied. Reading the AS threads, I can see there are some serious differences and the learning curve might be a bit longer and steeper. Maybe it is a case of overthinking and I should just wait and see what pops up first. I am trying to think of preventive things I can do this winter (I have already started on the TV) based on what I am reading on the AS threads. On my list of concerns at this point are:
1. The Dometic Fridge - Seems like nobody has anything good to say about it- Should I replace it right now or is the 2019 version improved?
2. Sway control - I have read that a WDH is a non option due to space issues. How about sway control? My jeep has ESC on it. Is that enough?
3. Batteries - My AS came with solar installed. Are the batteries that come stock "good enough" or should I be upgrading now? We won't be doing an excessive amount of boondocking, maybe a day or two at most. I have never in my lifetime of owning vehicles put water in a battery? I am going to further expose my ignorance and say I was shocked that adding water is still a thing people do.
4. Generator - Not real concerned about running the AC. Just want to keep the batteries from running out and being able to use the outlets in the AS. I have read some posts and investigated some options just not sure whether to go traditional generator vs cargenerator vs not needing one at all.
5. Misc - I have also been reading about AC units and windows flying off, and the other usual stuff that you can expect with a new rv. A bit overwhelming when you put it all together.

All that being said, I am very excited getting on the road and beginning our adventures. Thanks for having me and sharing your wisdom.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:20 AM   #7
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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JMT2015--Welcome to the Forums.

Since you have several specific and technical questions, you might want to copy your post above and initiating a brand new thread in the Basecamp section of the forums--your target audience is more likely to take note there.

Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:06 AM   #8
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1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
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SRO,

Welcome, sounds like you are headed in the right direction but.....

You might have a little more research to do. Agree that it sounds like a project started and now being passed on.

That in and of itself is not a bad thing. You will need to educate yourself a little bit about the work that was done. If that amount of work was completed on the trailer and good products and good execution of the work it could be worth the money.

Establishing a good dialogue with the seller will be key. Photographs will also be strong supporting evidence of what was accomplished. Seeing the trailer in person will give you a full picture and taking somebody along who has some prior experience might also be helpful.

You mentioned new walls, new wiring, and new insulation along with new floors. That would imply or indicate that a shell off has been accomplished or a lifting of the shell in order to put new floors in. And is it new flooring, or new subfloor. There is a great difference. It would not be unusual to remove all of the plumbing off an old trailer with the intention of doing all new. If the belly pan underneath the trailer is gone and open you will be able to look up and see what the frame of the trailer looks like and what the subfloor looks like in addition to any ducting, wiring that's visible underneath.

It would not be unusual for the roof to have several holes where old air conditioners, old Astrodome s or old fans might have been located. While in storage it would be best if those openings have been covered so that rain, moisture, critters and debris doesn't get inside.

It will also not be unusual to see some holes in the aluminum we're old things may have been removed like antennas or wires or cables or inlet valves of some kind. Those can all be sealed but how much moisture has gotten in, in the meantime.

If new wiring is installed you will need a electrical diagram so that you can pick up where the other person left off. You will want to be confident that they knew what they were doing otherwise you're going to be taking all of the interior walls back down. what type of products did they use for insulation and how did they adhere it with proper gapping for air and ventilation.

Sorry for the long response but depending on what they did it could be worth the money.

As was mentioned before if you are paying for somebody's expertise to do the work for you you are never going to get your money back because of shop hour fees. If you are putting your own blood, sweat, aggravation, and tears into it you also will not be able to get those hours of work back.

This is not to dissuade you in any way there are tons of us here on this forum who have done exactly what you're about to do.

We also bought a trailer from its owner that had a partial reno work done by a professional shop. We were able to vet the shop, see the photographs and get a list of everything that was done. when we went to see the trailer all that was verified.

We did some rough calculations and figured the work already done was well worth the money we paid and we hopefully we're going to be able to do most of the rest of it ourselves.

We have not completed the trailer but it is a very good empty shell camper that we use all the time. And still hope to complete someday.
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