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Old 07-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
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1970 25' Caravanner
Oakland , California
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NorCal Jeff - In Search Of Wisdom

I've been looking and reading and reading and looking on this AS site and many others, having a grand time, and now I've joined! Great to meet you all in Verdana font!

In search of our first AS, probably 16' to 22'. Can't decide if new, used, quality restored vintage, etc. New is a no brainer, but perhaps not necessary. If used, lightly so. If restored vintage, must be high quality from a very reputable source. I'm not a DIY type of guy.

I'd particularly appreciate insight into vintage. I know from other pursuits of vehicles vintage that, if you know what to buy, who restored it and you buy well, there is likely to be financial appreciation in your future. Wondering if that holds true for AS. And if so what I should be focused upon and how best to locate what I should be looking for? I suspect word of mouth is the best source of information.

Hoping others share the wisdom of their experience. I have neither in the world of AS, but intend to gain both. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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1959 17' Pacer
Long Beach , California
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
I'd particularly appreciate insight into vintage. I know from other pursuits of vehicles vintage that, if you know what to buy, who restored it and you buy well, there is likely to be financial appreciation in your future. Wondering if that holds true for AS. And if so what I should be focused upon and how best to locate what I should be looking for? I suspect word of mouth is the best source of information.
My impression of vintage streams that are bought and sold in So Cal (the only market I am familiar with) is as such:

If you spend the money on having a proper renovation/restoration done to a trailer with quality worksmanship and long-lasting construction techniques, you will never make your money back, unless you plan on holding onto it in a museum without using it for 25 years. If you do all the work yourself, you will make a financial profit if your labor is worth ~$0.50/hr.

If you spend the money on having a renovation done that addresses 80% of the normal concerns, is mostly good, and *looks* to be of high quality and has good taste, you can probably make some decent profit off of it when you sell, or at least retain as much value as possible.

My assumption is that the people who make the most money on vintage trailers are those who buy from the original owners or from places where they are rotting away in a field, and then turn around and sell them for twice that on eBay

Final words: if you want vintage, smaller is pricing much higher.

DISCLAIMER: These are only my opinions from a mere 3 years of experience browsing the So Cal market. I am in no way qualified to answer this with any good certainty, I just don't like seeing posts without replies.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
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Welcome Jeff good luck and take pictures when you find one!
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:49 PM   #4
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1970 25' Caravanner
Oakland , California
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Thanks for your input, Peter. I don't intend to restore -- that would be far too expensive. I would purchase someone else's well done restoration.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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1965 17' Caravel
Knights Landing , California
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Hi Jeff. It's tough in ca for vintage. I have mine parked in the driveway and I get at least three people a week asking to buy it. I found mine in ca(way down south) and paid what it was worth. Bargains are usually too good to be true and will cost you more in the end. Mine had the big item done, the floor was replaced. Most everything else is little projects and that way you get to put your own spin on the decor. The other big item is the axle but its not hard to do. Heck Oakland is just up the road, I'd give you a hand if you buy the pliny. For us, having vintage keeps it simple and we wouldn't have it any other way. As for your question about value, a solid vintage unit probably isn't going to depreciate as long as its maintained. Buy the one you love and if it comes time to sell and you make a little money, even better but don't go in thinking its a money maker investment cause its not(in my experience) Paying someone to do a resto, you'll lose every time so you're wise to stay away from that. The most important advise I can give you is to be patient. The right one will come along. I looked for 18 months for mine. Happy hunting.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:43 PM   #6
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The Sea Ranch , California
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Hey, shout out to Oakland (I grew up in the hills above Lake Merritt and lived in the Temescal for years). You should check out the Casini Ranch rally in April, in Duncan's Mills, north of Bodega Bay. It's a great and varied group of people, and if you haven't yet bought your trailer, you can check out what others have- new, old, restored and everything in between.

Good luck with your search, you'll find one you like.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #7
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1970 25' Caravanner
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I appreciate all the good insight. I've been a member for only a day and already feel right at home.
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