Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-29-2012, 06:46 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
alaska joe's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
New Member About to Look at an Airstream

Hello. I live in Anchorage Alaska. I'm 67, retired from the US Air force (enlisted) and the City of Anchorage. I've been in communications from the start and grew up with radio, satellite, the Internet, etc.

I'm heading up to look at an Airstream of indeterminate year/model/size, etc. "It's an Airstream" is about all I can get from the current owner, who professes to know nothing about them.

I'm contemplating a trip down the Alaska Highway to the states and thought this'd be a good rig to use, if it isn't in too poor a condition.

The main question is: Do all Airstreams have brakes? I see by looking at the forums that it appears most, if not all, do have brakes. I've owned a number of camp trailers and 5th wheels and am familiar and capable with electric brakes, as well as hydraulic. I've never been closer to an Airstream than to step into a brand new one so am really wanting info about them before I buy one and hit the trail. Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
alaska joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
AirsDream's Avatar
 
1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 914
I believe that all trailers that gross over 2,000 lbs. have brakes, I think by federal law. There are good reasons for this! For the most part, boat trailers have hydraulic "surge" brakes, while for the most part travel trailers have electric brakes. Some variations on this, especially with regard to units manufactured in or for use in, Europe. There are some variations on this, as for instance, some Airstreams come with (or have been modified to have) hydraulic disk brakes ...

And I don't think there are any Airstreams that don't - though it's possible that someone removed them from an otherwise road-worthy unit. If you are familiar with electric brakes, you will know that they are a wear and service item ... they need periodic attention, just as do a lot of other parts of the trailer.

I'll be in your fair city in about three weeks, going the other way! (And I just took a while to make sure my brakes were in tip-top shape.)

Do yourself a favor: spend a lot of time reading here on the Forums, especially if you have a seller who doesn't seem to be too knowledgeable. LOTS of information on here if you spend the time to search and read. I have to say that I find that owner's attitude to be not only not helpful, but in fact odd - Airstreams are unusual enough that I've never met an owner who didn't know his/her coach's entire provenance: model and style and interior, where it was built, when it was built, all the options, accessories and modifications made to it, its towing history, maintenance history, etc. Very odd ... I'd be a bit wary.

Good luck and welcome to the Forums - there really is a ton of information here.
__________________

__________________
AirsDream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
I suppose, Joe if you go back far enough, they may not have brakes. Someone may have installed them however.

The fact the seller doesn't know anything about the trailer could mean: it was inherited and he wants to get rid of it, he bought it and had 2nd thoughts, it is stolen. Does he have a title and registration? That should tell what you something. There should be a plate on the side that gives some information and if it is not too old, info on the inside of a closet door. If it is sitting in a field in some dead end town, has no plates, flat tires, and looks like it was used as hunting cabin, it probably is not for a trip down the Alaska Hwy.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
You really do either need someone to help you look at this unit or you need to do some extensive inspection work. At the minimum I would ask for the refrigerator to be powered on prior to your visit. Bring a thermometer to check temps. Also ask for the unit to have water in the fresh water holding tank. Check to see if the water pump works. When you shut off the faucet wait 15 minutes or so. Do you hear the pump cycle even though the faucets are all off? If so, you have a sign of a leaking pipe or a potential bad pump. Does the toilet hold water or does it slowly leak out when you fill the bowl. Hook up to city water and again check all water outlets. Have the water heater filled. Does it operate and heat water. Check the stove burners and oven. After making sure all the gas appliances work, turn off the gas at the gas bottle. Wait a half hour and try to relight the stove without turning on the gas. If it lights and burns, you are fine. If it doesn't light, you might have a gas leak. Microwave if equipped should also be checked. Furnace, and air conditioner. Check in the cabinets. Are the water lines tight, no sign of leakage? How about the drain lines? Tight no sign of water? When the trailer is pressurized with water, look under it. Any signs of drips or water running?

Look for water marks around the windows, use an ice pick and push through the carpet around the edges of the interior. Any mushy or soft spots? A sure sign of floor rot and leaks.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
I agree with everything posted so far, but pressurizing the water system can take time if there is air in the pipes. If it hasn't been used in a while, seals can crack, or be dried out and perhaps water will swell them and they will be ok later. No way to tell this easily except with time.

Tires should be no older than about 5 years. Post photos of it so we can see things and maybe help. An inspector can be a great help. Go to the Forums page and on the right, you can see how to check if there are any nearby.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
alaska joe's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Thanks, Airsdream and you others. I appreciate the advice and points to check. I'm familiar with all the problems that you've described, having experienced and coped with them at one time or another. I'll try and get pics to post and I'll check for the data plates. This is what I need to get me going. I'll also check for inspectors. You are all great, just what I expected from the Airstream community. The owner was clear when I spoke with him that he had acquired the trailer as a part payment for some work he did for a customer so I'm not surprised he has no info. It's been sitting in his yard for a couple of years and he never got around to using it or checking into it. He did say it's a single axle. He also has no contact info for the customer so I'm kind of flying blind, depending on my experience with mechanical stuff over the years. I'm a snowmobiler, former dirt biker, 4 wheeler guy so am fairly competent but sure don't want it to collapse on me somewhere in the wilds of the Yukon. Any particular destination here? FYI, the Denali Highway was just cleared of snow and is in very good condition. Now would be the time to traverse it, before it gets too dusty and potholed. The snow pack this year is the heaviest in about 10 years. It was a great snogo season. Thanks again for the info.
__________________
alaska joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
Title
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
alaska joe's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Pictures

I haven't been there to look underneath but he sent some pics. He says the frame rust "doesn't look too bad". He's a good friend of mine, wuite capable as a welder and fabricator, etc so I'll get a better estimate when I go up to his place. It's a 1967 Safari International. 19 feet.
Data Plate as follows: D120 TG1227 S240 2053 I'll look at the forums and see if I can learn anything about it. I think it may be a bit more than I'd want to tackle and he has too many projects already. Do any of you have an estimated value on the markert? If it would be worth it I could tow it to the states for delivery if someone really wanted it. I was hoping for something a little more ready to hit the trail. Ideas, anyone?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	100_5573.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	385.6 KB
ID:	159747   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_5574.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	434.4 KB
ID:	159748  

Click image for larger version

Name:	100_5575.jpg
Views:	66
Size:	266.4 KB
ID:	159749   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_5576.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	233.7 KB
ID:	159750  

__________________
alaska joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
The good thing is he is a friend of yours. But it is kind of rough and the thing I'd be most concerned about is rear end separation. Something is sagging in photo 2 at the left front of the bumper assembly; someone who has worked on these would have a better idea. It also looks like a flat tire on left, various things missing inside, no propane tanks, and it was used badly by the previous owner. But the exterior body (as much as can be seen) looks good and what is left inside is not too bad. I expect a lot of money and work can make it a very nice trailer, but not this year.

The market is small there. The cost to move it south may be more than the value of the trailer. I would think vintage trailers in Alaska are very cheap because of the remoteness factor, but I could be wrong.

A couple of years ago I was talking to an Airstream owner in Teslin, Yukon, and he was going to sell it when he got to Alaska. I wondered what he would get for it in Fairbanks in mid-summer—I think that was his destination. I guess he had sold off everything and was next going to Ecuador If he were still around, that would be just right for you, but I'm sure it is long gone.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
alaska joe's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Safari International

Thanks for the assessment--I understand there's no way you could do a comprehensive check with 4 pictures but I have some ideas (along with the earlier comments) as to what to check. I had planned on new tires for the highway and have propane bottles from the cabin. Also, I'm not worried about a working shower or toilet--I'll use campground facilities when I stop for the night. I'd want a working heater and fridge, although the barest essential would be a heater--I've got lots of coolers and have made 24+ round trips in the last 48 years. Airstreams don't sell very well in Alaska, as they're pretty low-slung and don't do well with the bumpy gravel roads and frost heaves on our paved highways. Most Alaskan campers have been moved from the bottom of their springs to the top, for clearance. As to value, would $2000.00 be way too much for something like this rig, as a project starter? The cost of getting to the states wouldn't be a factor for me, as I'm making the trip in any case, so as long as it doesn't collapse halfway down the highway I'd be happy. Comments and cautions are welcomed from all--please feel free to lay it out for me. My friend wants to sell it, in any case, to me or someone. if I can help him move it and it helps me with my trip, we all win and someone gets a great project rig. That way I can start looking for a nice one.
__________________
alaska joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
Max Well's Avatar
 
1971 25' Caravanner
Olathe , Kansas
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 214
Images: 1
Alaska Joe,
Probably the best thing you could take with you is a volunteer inspector from the forum. On the "Portal" page look about halfway down on the right. There is a box labelled "Airstream Inspectors". Fill out the form and see if you can find a volunteer inspector to go with you. I don't know how many members are in Alaska, but it's always better to have a knowledgeable person with you who doesn't have "a dog in the fight".
Good luck with your search either way it goes!
Ken
__________________
"Surrender is not in our creed. Let me hear you say that..." Gunny Hiway
Max Well is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 08:54 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
For two grand, I don't want anything missing, no missing doors, no missing or broken windows, no broken window seals, no shell damage at all, no dents, no hail, no bullet holes. I want it clean outside. I want a good floor with no large scale floor repair. I want a good solid frame.

I plan to replace all the interior wood wall panels, beds, furniture, cabinets, sinks, tops, appliances, furnace, water heater, roof vents, air conditioner, 7-way, and the converter.

I plan to strip the clear coat and polish the exterior. Trailer need not have good axles or good tires. I want wiring to work. I don't want to remove the inside skins.

I expect my repairs/replacements to cost between 10 and 14 thousand. If it complies with the above, I'd pay $2,000, but not $3,000.

I wouldn't want to haul it a half a continent.
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 01:14 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
alaska joe's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Still Looking

Thank you very much. That's what I needed to hear. I did an M38 Jeep for a guy about 15 years ago and he was shocked by the overall price--much more than the purchase. Unless this Safari is as you describe I think I'll pass and keep looking for something nicer. The pictures aren't too encouraging but I'm still headed up tomorrow. I looked at the forums and for sale ads and see that $2K would likely not be seen for this one.
__________________
alaska joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 02:28 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
 
2004 16' International CCD
Orem , Utah
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 213
If it's not ready to be used then price accordingly

Just because something is cheap does not mean it's good deal. Time and money invested you might want to get new one. If your handy and have lots time that's another issue. Planning on using trailer any time soon?
__________________

__________________
starcraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.