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Old 08-27-2016, 08:51 AM   #1
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 255
On the Hunt

Hi there new to the forum...looking for a 20-23 AS...I have checked some of the specs. and browsed the forum, but there is SO much information, so I thought I would ask.

I see gutted out aluminum cans (haha) in the 1960 era selling for the same as almost as a fully functioning 1970's AS.

Is there a specific reason? Or is this like cars....60's are more $$ than 70's

Anyway the hunt is better than the kill !

Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-27-2016, 09:07 AM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Hi IslandTrader, welcome to the forum. Vintage anything is worth more . I'm thinking about calling myself vintage so I can get more respect.

Vintage and nostalgia go hand in hand, so yes, older AS are worth more. You have to always be careful not to buy more than you can handle for a restoration (or more than you can afford to pay someone to restore it for you).

Good luck in your search. Welcome to the world of Airstreams.


Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

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Old 08-27-2016, 11:10 AM   #3
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 255
After spending 5 years on a boat restoration. I now have a pretty good idea what I can handle...its just a new learning curve and the hard part is finding the sweet spot for pricing and years to look for.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:46 PM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hello islandtrader, and welcome to Air Forums and the vintage Airstream hobby. I have found these forums very helpful in my vintage project.

Here are some things that I have observed through the years. These are my opinions and I am no expert.

1. Smaller trailers are worth more than the larger ones. Larger ones are more comfortable for traveling in. The 25 foot range in length seem to be the more popular ones. The short trailers are "cute".
2. 70s trailers seem to have more rusty frame issues; repairable but more work.
3. There was a major body change in 1969. The 69 trailers have unique front wing windows which are hard to repair, replace. That "loaf" shape was used for many, many years.
4. 66, 67, 68 trailers have Corning curved glass windows, which are prone to leaks and hard to find replacement glass.
5. Mid sixties is when Airstream started using plastics. By the early 70s, there was a lot more plastic in the trailers. Some of these plastic parts are hard to replace.
5.5 Gray "wash" water tanks were installed in Airstreams beginning about 1975. You can't dump wash water on the ground in campgrounds.
6. The "international" trim level trailers typically have better cabinetry and more amenities.
7. I feel a good "shell" or body without dents, all windows and doors in place is worth $5000. Why? Cause that's what I paid. Others find better prices now and then.
8. 64, 65 trailers are the last of the flat glass windows. 66 -68 trailers are the last of the "twinkie" body shape, have curved glass windows. Some say the 68 model year was very good. I know it has a better bath design than the 66. But mid sixties trailers have aluminum wiring which can be problematic.
9. I rather like the early 80s trailers. But it seems there are more longer 80s trailers than shorter ones for sale.
10. A full monte renovation or restoration would cost about $18,000 including the trailer cost itself, and about 1300 hours of your time. Big project for sure.
11. I think trailers in the lush southeast have more moisture problems than trailers in the dry southwest. Same with cars I guess.

So enjoy your hunting expedition. I bought my trailer on e-bay, but I don't like auctions. I usually lose out. The classified section of these forums is where I would list my trailer or look for another one.

Here is my 66 Trade Wind 24'. I've enjoyed working on it these last four years. It is travel ready.

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Old 08-27-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,366
Your budget, ability to complete a restoration or willingness to loose so much leisure time while your trailer is in pieces, will dictate what generation (model year), length and condition you will buy.

I would sole search long and hard about that criteria, as some AS restorations can take years of labour and huge amounts of money. Do you want to work on it, or live your life in it? What amenities do you want in a trailer? For example as stated above, grey water tanks didn't appear until mid year 75, greatly increasing AS livability. Wide bodies started in 95 I believe. The newer the trailer the more amenities it will have.

I would first determine a purchase budget, a renovation budget (add rent for a structure to house your AS if you don't have a structure to house it, while you work on it.) Then determine what layout you want (rear twins, center bath?) and amenities you want to have prewired for? For example, some trailers come with a crappy little ceiling fan; but at least you have electrical to that crappy little fan, which you can easily upgrade to a Maxxair. To run new electrical to a new ceiling fan in an older trailer maybe nigh impossible or very expensive and labour intensive.

Once you have determined your budget and layout, now you can determine what model years and condition your budget will allow you to buy. An early mint condition model, or a far newer but unrestored model.

Goodluck with your search and whatever you do....stick to your budget and be realistic. Standard rule of thumb applies; double the labour estimate and double the money estimate.

Per Mare, Per Terram and may all your campaigns be successful.

ďItís a recession when your neighbor loses his job; itís a depression when you lose your own.Ē "Harry S Truman"
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 255
@dbj216 Thanks for the information I will keep that in mind when out looking.

@ Isuzusweet I understand your thought boat project was a 5 year adventure and the cost was way more than any AS renovation would run.

My MO is "find it"" build it" and then "enjoy it" (just for a short period of time and move on)

If I wanted to go RV ing I would just get something and go do it. I'm a project guy...built Street Rods...Boats...houses...Now for what ever reason I think I would like to do a AS, gut it and then build it. Time it takes to do it is a non factor. Its really about learning a new skill and enjoying the end result.

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