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Old 06-04-2006, 03:45 PM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
vancouver , BC
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Looking for something inexpensive that can sleep 4 near Vancouver, BC

We just bought some land on a island near vancouver, and would love nothing more but an older airstream big enough to sleep 4 for weekends and the like. Don't know much at all about airstreams, but that doesn't stop me from lusting one.

The classifieds here have AFAICT only US listings, but I've imported a US car before so we would consider a US import if it was located in the northwest.

--david
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Old 06-04-2006, 04:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davida
We just bought some land on a island near vancouver, and would love nothing more but an older airstream big enough to sleep 4 for weekends and the like. Don't know much at all about airstreams, but that doesn't stop me from lusting one.

The classifieds here have AFAICT only US listings, but I've imported a US car before so we would consider a US import if it was located in the northwest.

--david
Welcome from North Vancouver! There are several listed on craigslist and the Buy & Sell. Check those two places regularly as they do come available with alarming frequency. I found my 1972 Tradewind up on the Sunshine Coast earlier this year.

Here's one in Richmond
http://vancouver.craigslist.org/for/165486980.html
Here's one on Galiano
http://vancouver.craigslist.org/car/162297591.html
Here are several in the Buy and Sell
http://www.buysell.com/search/result...4&qu=airstream
Always thoroughly inspect the trailers before offering any money. Be especially watchfull of soft floors and sgns of leaks. Also, ask the owner to have all systems opperating for when you arrive, such as furnace, water, electricity, etc. You want to be sure you know what works and what doesn't. Good luck!

Cheers!
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Old 06-04-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Thanks.

Thanks. I'd seen the Galiano one, but I'd missed the richmond one because it wasn't listed under "cars & trucks". Lesson learned.

I've emailed both of those for more info.

I must have been in the wrong category on buy and sell as well, so thanks there too!.

--david
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:50 PM   #4
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David, on craigslist I type airstream in the search bar and pick the option of "for Sale" in the pull down menu below it. This way it pulls up everything with airstream in it. On the buy and sell I also use the search feature, just type airstream and press enter. It gives me all of the listings. Hope that helps!

Which island did you buy on? My family has a place over in Ucluelet, but I'd like to find a small plot of land closer to the city to take the airstream to on weekends.

Have you seen the Galiano one in person, or are you just meaning you've seen the add? I'm curious to see what that one is like. If you'ld like to get a feel for what the layout of a '72 Tradewind is like, let me know and perhaps I can give you a tour.

Cheers!
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:08 PM   #5
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We bought a plot on Gambier, just north of Bowen. We're looking at the airstream as a temporary place to live for a few years on weekends until we figure out whether to build something there. I do like the notion of a shiny airstream in the middle of the forest...

I haven't seen the Galiano one, no, just saw the ad.

At this point we're still trying to get the lay of the land, to figure out which models would fit our needs. With two kids, we're looking for something that can sleep 4 and has a dinette & kitchen. I get the impression that the Galiano (19' Globe Trotter) might be too small?

Thanks for the offer of a tour. Maybe sometime if we can coordinate it with a trip to or from Gambier, which is about the only time we make it to the north shore.

One question which may be heretical here. I'm drawn to the airstreams because of the esthetics, but it seems as though they're considerably more expensive than more generic trailers. What is it about them apart from their looks which makes them good? And what are their weaknesses?
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:20 PM   #6
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First off, the aesthetic is what attracts many of us to the Airstream, so no need to be sheepish about confessing that! Your question about price is a common one. The only way I can really answer it is to suggest you compare a 1970's (or earlier) Airstream with an SOB of similar vintage. I'd wager that you would be hard pressed to find an SOB of similar vintage that is even still in use. The Airstream is not maintenance free, but it is generally a well put together and very well thought out product. Common problems are soft spots in the floor caused by water ingress that goes unchecked. Also, you have to be careful of water lines freezing, which isn't a huge problem here on the coast. Others here with more experience could probably give you a comprehensive list of things to watch out for.

I bought mine to live in while I build my new house next year. As an Architect, I've always been fascinated by the design of the Airstream and now that I've spent a couple of months with my Tradewind, I don't think I'll be getting rid of it any time soon. I'm hooked and suffer from Aluminitis, like many of the people here.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davida

One question which may be heretical here. I'm drawn to the airstreams because of the esthetics, but it seems as though they're considerably more expensive than more generic trailers. What is it about them apart from their looks which makes them good? And what are their weaknesses?
What makes them good, makes them less than ideal to park and use as a cabin. They are good because they tow better because of their torsion axles, and because of their low, aerodynamic profile. Neither feature makes them a good "fixed mobile," in fact, the aerodynamic feature is a real minus for your application. The boxy, square cornered trailers will offer deeper cabinets and more headroom. Compare living in a steel culvert with living under a nice concrete bridge. Okay, okay, I know there should be a better comparison than that, but you get the point.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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What makes them good, makes them less than ideal to park and use as a cabin. They are good because they tow better because of their torsion axles, and because of their low, aerodynamic profile. Neither feature makes them a good "fixed mobile," in fact, the aerodynamic feature is a real minus for your application. The boxy, square cornered trailers will offer deeper cabinets and more headroom. Compare living in a steel culvert with living under a nice concrete bridge. Okay, okay, I know there should be a better comparison than that, but you get the point.
This may be true in many cases, but I was interested to hear from my parents when they first saw my trailer, that my Tradewind has a much better layout than their brand new SOB and has more storage. Their trailer is identical in length to mine, and oddly, has less headroom. So perhaps each manufacturer is different in this respect? The folks also say that their next trailer will more than likely be an Airstream. How's that for validation?!
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:07 AM   #9
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I realize that this is all subjective but to me having an Airstream as the place to go to lends a certain charm and uniqueness to the experience. There are SOB's that are better designed for cabin alternative, something my parents did at Windermere lake through the early sixties with a Scamper trailer while they build their dream cottage. But they lusted after an Airstream - there were a couple in the area on lots and they stood out as unique and a fun place to go to on weekends. You will also find that once your cottage is built your Airstream could easily become a great guest cottage/place for the kids to stay when they bring friends up. I realize that much of this is emotional, but the whole experience of "going to the cottage" is in my mind significantly enhanced by what it is you are going to stay in. Is it more practical than an SOB - they both work just fine and you'll find some with more storage, others with less. Airstreams have been around a long time and there are a lot of older Airstreams which makes a statement to their quality and ability to survive the normal perils of sitting on a driveway or pad without rotting away (as badly). Not that I am biased in any way, nope, not me......who's had a dozen or more SOB's in my life all the while searching for what I eventually ended up with - a vintage Airstream. My parents would be delighted!!!!
Barry
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:56 PM   #10
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Talking Got one, barged it!

Update: a lot of successes this far, with the 31ft '79 sovereign landed on the islands. A picture and a link to a lot more at http://www.airforums.com/forum...oad-25120.html
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