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Old 11-30-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
New Member
knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
Looking to join Airstream club

hey everybody,
I've been dreaming to buy an Airstream for the past few years and it looks like I have the perfect opportunity to finally pick one up. I'm looking for a pull behind that is 25-35 feet in length. I'd like to keep the purchase price around 10K or lower and I'll have about another 5K to invest in upgrades and repairs over the next year. It seems like up to late 80s Soveriegn fits the bill pretty well. I'll be shopping in the east coast and southeast USA. I am very handy as I was a mechanic by trade and hobby and I have lots of experience with home repair, so I'll be doing the work myself. I hope to find one that is livable while I'm working on it. I've been looking though the forums and I was wondering what input you guys have while inspecting candidate trailers. What are major areas and items I should be checking to reduce the chance of running into serious issues? Thanks!

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Old 11-30-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,189
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Good luck... I think you will find lots of opportunity to apply your lifelong skills in this project....

To tell you that you are making the right decision.. well, we can't.. because we don't know the whole story...

But, good luck..!

Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:04 PM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,943
Buy one in good mechanical condition, that matches the ability of your tow vehicle and your proposed usage. Airstream parts come a little expensive, Spend your time enjoying your trailer rather than fixing it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:17 PM   #4
1987 Avion 34W owner
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Vintage Kin Owner
Good Ol' , USA
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,064
Welcome to the forum!
“What’s good for me may not be good for the weak minded.”

1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:37 PM   #5
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have your with us.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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2008 30' Classic
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2012
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The forums are a great wealth of information, as you look at the hundreds of sections and thousands of threads. To find nearby people, who can answer your questions in person, see The Airstream Owners Club, who can help with inspections, things to look for, what is easier to fix, what is expensive to fix, etc., and, once on the road, are great friends, great cooks, great companions, all having great times together!

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Old 12-20-2015, 07:21 PM   #7
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,020
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Greetings bustedknuckl. Welcome to Air Forums. Airstreams are one travel trailer where age isn't a major factor due to the all aluminum body. We have an 86 Limited at 34 feet long and it works very well for us. Appliances have worn out and have been replaced through the years, but the running gear, frame, subfloor, systems, cabinetry and the like are original and have held up well. And I have a 66 Trade Wind 24 footer that I have "fixed up" as a hobby. It is in good shape now.

I think the main thing is to buy a good body, or shell. Body panels and aluminum sheeting is probably the hardest to repair. There are many Airstream enthusiasts on these forums who have removed the shell and replaced the subfloor and frame on their trailers. They keep these old babies on the road and out of the aluminum recycle bin.

Then inspect the plywood or particle board subfloor. Airstreams are prone to rain water leaks between the outer skin and the inner skin, and this can rot out the floor. A soft, crumbly subfloor along the perimeter of the interior weakens the semi monocoque construction (where body, subfloor, and frame all depend on each other for strength.) A moisture meter can be of assistance here.

Appliances like water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, toilets and the like are fairly easy to replace (although rather expensive.) Plumbing is kinda easy, and wiring gets harder.

There are good trailers for sale here in the classifieds. Take a look if you haven't already.

Airstream trailers are great fun, much different than a "box" trailer. They tow great, last a long time but are smaller inside and on the expensive side.


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