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Old 01-02-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
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Newbie with questions

Im Ron and a newbie. Maybe someone can explain why with so many TV's out there that my overwhelming desire is to own an older Airstream? I have spotted a 78 ($8,000) model that I may consider buying. Is there a site that helps with placing an accurate value on what older trailers are worth? Is there a place that shows specs like axle to frame measures etc for safe transport. He claims no leaks, good floor, and he is 2nd owner. To good to be true?
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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Welcome! You found it! There's another vintage site that can give you an index to photos and a rough pricing guide, but I found this site and forum community to be the most helpful. Post pics of your prospects and/or use the inspector search functions to help find someone who will look over an AS with/for you.

For $8000 one should expect quite a bit from a 70's airstream, so get lots of facts and ask lots of questions to the forum.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #3
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Ron

Welcome to the Airstream forum. Get educated. Read the forum in detail and go to an Airstream rally when it warms up. Look at lots of Airstreams. The more you look at and learn the more you will figure out what they are worth and more importantly what you want. It is easy to buy an Airstream. The key is to take the time to buy the right one for you- kind of like finding the right women. Good luck.

Dan
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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Hi Ron!
It will help if you provide more info on the trailer, model, what has been replaced ect...
Depending on the model the 8K number might actually be high if I was to guess with the little bit you mentioned, unless it's a highly prized model. If it's a long one then that price is too high IMO. Even without leaks and a solid floor it doesn't mean it won't need work and a bunch of new stuff to get it road worthy. Pictures also might help. You'll have to take into account what else is out there around you. Pricing is pretty subjective, but there is for sure a TOO high price :-)

Try this site: Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

Cheers!
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Ron

Welcome to the Airstream forum. Get educated. Read the forum in detail and go to an Airstream rally when it warms up. Look at lots of Airstreams. The more you look at and learn the more you will figure out what they are worth and more importantly what you want. It is easy to buy an Airstream. The key is to take the time to buy the right one for you- kind of like finding the right women. Good luck.

Dan
This is the best advice: see a bunch of trailers before you buy.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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Wow! Lots of great advise / help and so quick. I will do as instructed and do more homework. I saw this 27' trailer on Dallas Craigslist posting 2764594851. Not many pictures there but I did talk to the guy who owned it. He said he is the second owner and it was all original except that he pulled the carpet out. Still has working 8-track! He said water heater does not work. Thanks again to all. Ron
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
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That trailer is 33 years old and so are all the appliances. Figure the $8K is only a big down payment on joining the community of Airstream lovers. Watch out for tail droop, if it is a rear bath model. There also could be frame or outrigger rot, if it has been used in a higher humidity area. The axles could also be shot. There are a lot of things that could go wrong in 33 years. See if you can get a volunteer inspector to go along with you to look at the unit before you buy.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:15 AM   #8
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Hi Ron:

I agree with the suggestion above to get an inspector to go with you. I looked up the ad on craigslist and just from what I'm seeing, I can tell you it's not worth anything close to $8000. From the experience of the owner of a '74 Overlander (27') that has been through almost everything short of a body-off resto, here's my impression of the ad you referenced:

1. You already mentioned the water heater not working

2. There are awning arms shown in one of the pictures, but there's no awning roller or fabric. This makes me suspect it was damaged to the point that it had to be removed at some point. Either way, a new awning of good quality and options will run you around $2000.

3. There also appears to be no window awnings although we can't see the streetside. There should have been on all from the factory. You can do without, but there's likely scars from removal.

4. The air conditioner looks original. This could be a plus or a minus. Would be nice to know if it blows cold (when hot outside) before buying.

5. In the one picture, it shows the front vent open. If it's been stored outside this way for a long time, then water got in at some point (maybe reason why the carpet was removed??)

6. I can see the top of the closet (in the bedroom area) in the one picture. This means it's the fold-out "double" bed floorplan. This is what we have in our Overlander and we like it. Lot of storage space on the street side. The bummer is that the bed has to go up and down everyday. Some people see this as a pain. Consider this before buying this or any other Airstream.

7. No rock guard for the front windows. This is really a preference, but for me a $400 rock guard is better than buying new windows at hundreds of dollars er piece + stripping the front interior to replace the wing windows.

Knowing what I paid for my Overlander 3 years ago and what you've described and I've seen from the ad... if I had to buy this one, I'd not be going over $3000. That price would only go down upon personal inspection, so that's a max. ending price, not a starting offer. For an $8000 78 Overlander, you should be getting an Airstream that's ready to go and needs little to no work and nothing needs repaired.

Keep looking is my best advice. As mentioned before, finding you Airstream is like finding a spouse. You don't marry the first one you see on the first date, or if you do it ends badly. Shop around, look around, find the right one for you. It might take months. Keep your eyes on eBay. There's a lot of them there, too.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:22 AM   #9
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Some very good advice so far from other posters. We have a 1977 25' Trade Wind and since buying ours I have watched other ads come and go and see a range of asking prices ranging from $1500-18,000. As far as I know, the ones that SOLD were priced from $4000-11,000.

We paid $7000 for ours and have had no issues other than having to repair a bit of wiring in the ceiling to get several interior lights and the range fan to work properly. Furnace, fridge, A/C (newer), etc. all work fine and other important items such as floor rot, poor axles, body damage, awnings, etc. were either previously fixed or had never been an issue.

As others have said these beasts can be $2000-10,000! Just make sure you don't pay $10k for a $2k trailer, and don't expect to pay $2k for a $10k trailer! Good advice on getting an inspection - if nothing else, it gives you bargaining power if some things are not up to par.

Good luck!
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