Wait, they still make these things? Should have quit in '74, when they perfected it...
Halftimer, welcome to the forum. Tons of great advice on here. As you'll notice in this thread already, there's a brand new 2015 model, to a 1964
unit... You'll find some that own 3 and 4 AS trailers. I bought a derelict 1974 Sovereign
for $2000 and proceeded to put another $5500 into it to get it road ready. That included new axles and tires. She's still not complete, but it's getting there. I'm figuring another 2 to 3 hundred thousand dollars and I might have it finished... the majority of that will be my hourly rate spent in longnecks.
Don't be afraid to jump on an older unit, but get on this forum first, and READ READ READ. I found this site after I bought my Airstream, and I might have passed on her if I had known then what I know now, but I did enjoy the rebuild. I've got a thread documenting my work here:
It will give you an idea of why you really want to know what you're looking for before you purchase. Not trying to discourage you from going this route, but if you're not incredibly handy in quite a few skill sets involving tools, you may want to skip going this way...
Every year model it seems has it's own quirks, advantages and disadvantages. I dumb lucked into a year model and style that had a lot of advantages. '74 had easily rebuildable vista view and stack windows, they added gray water tanks in '74, I got a center bath model, which locates the black and gray water tanks closer in to the axles... see, dumb lucked into features I had no idea changed through the years and models.
Understand that if you buy a model that is over 30 years old, the axles will likely need replacing... and appliances may or may not work.
If you buy a unit that the PO has upgraded to sixteen inch rims and LT tires, you'll save yourself some money.
There are members on here that will do trailer inspections for you for FREE! My favorite price... take advantage of that. Even if you know what you're looking for, it never hurts to have a second set of eyes, a set of eyes that aren't blinded by aluminitus, to look at it with you...
Talk to members on here that have been through refurbing an older trailer. There is a lot of work in it, but a great sense of satisfaction every time I take her down the road.
But honestly, you don't have to go the refurb route at all, unless you just want to. There are plenty of very nice AS trailers for sale that need very little work done, just the tinkering you were speaking of, for less than the cost of some SOB's out there. Do your research, decide what you want, and ask a lot of questions.
And lastly, post up pictures when you get her. We love pictures!
-Red, rocking the '74 vibe...