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Old 07-25-2017, 09:41 AM   #1
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1949 18' Trailwind
Currently Looking...
Brighton , Uk
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 28
Please can u look at these potential purchases

Hi
We are a family of 4 in the uk.
We have been vw enthusiasts for 15 years or so.
Post children, we looked at another camper van but with 2 kids they felt way too small.
Which has led us to airstreams.

We would like a vintage one - original as possible - even if this means impractical!

Cruisers are the largest one can tow
In the uk with a normal car.

I have found 2.
One in the uk and another in North Carolina.

Please can I give u links and see what u think?

option 1 is on eBay in America.
Item number = 182675574925

Option 2. Already imported.
See photos attached
£19,000

My thoughts=
I would prefer the USA trailer as
- one owner
- kept static so few dents
- original interior almost complete.
But
-had some work - ? To what quality of workmanship?
- I have to buy off eBay - ? Some risk ? Will it ever arrive?
- I can't preview it ? Will it be anything like they promise?

Although the trailer in uk is
- available to view
- no ones done any work on it so I can ensure all work done is done to my standard
- we can collect the missing interior
But
- with 2 kids (and a classic vw) I could do without the extra work
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:04 AM   #2
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1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatboy View Post
Hi
We are a family of 4 in the uk.
We have been vw enthusiasts for 15 years or so.
Post children, we looked at another camper van but with 2 kids they felt way too small.
Which has led us to airstreams.

We would like a vintage one - original as possible - even if this means impractical!

Cruisers are the largest one can tow
In the uk with a normal car.

I have found 2.
One in the uk and another in North Carolina.

Please can I give u links and see what u think?

option 1 is on eBay in America.
Item number = 182675574925

Option 2. Already imported.
See photos attached
£19,000

My thoughts=
I would prefer the USA trailer as
- one owner
- kept static so few dents
- original interior almost complete.
But
-had some work - ? To what quality of workmanship?
- I have to buy off eBay - ? Some risk ? Will it ever arrive?
- I can't preview it ? Will it be anything like they promise?

Although the trailer in uk is
- available to view
- no ones done any work on it so I can ensure all work done is done to my standard
- we can collect the missing interior
But
- with 2 kids (and a classic vw) I could do without the extra work
I would NEVER pay for a trailer off Ebay without seeing it first. If I won one, I would take the money and go see the trailer to make sure it's what was advertised, then pay for it.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:10 AM   #3
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1949 18' Trailwind
Currently Looking...
Brighton , Uk
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 28
Thank u. Wise words.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:11 AM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

I would be *very* concerned about buying any vintage RV sight unseen. Both your choices may be absolutely 100% as advertised. I know nothing specific about either one. It's also possible there are issues that even the owner is unaware of.

Some options:

1) Have someone who knows what they are doing inspect the trailers for you.
2) Come over for a bit and check out several trailers yourself
3) Take what to me would be a very big risk

I think you can come up with a good trailer that will meet your needs. It will take some work to get to 100%, but that should be no surprise. You want to start from 80% OK and not from 20%. There are a lot of trailers out there. They just aren't all on the market at the same time. Be patient and you will find what you are looking for.

Bob
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:18 AM   #5
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1949 18' Trailwind
Currently Looking...
Brighton , Uk
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 28
Thank u
We are off to see the uk one on Sunday.
We have some experience with cars but I understand that the chassis is largely hidden till u start removing the floor.
Do u have a list/ link to 'what I should look for'.
We saw one a few weekends ago and even to the novice it was terrible. The work done on it meant surrounding the wheel arches were big gaps where the underbelly met the chassis - the insulation was visible from the outside!
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:37 AM   #6
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
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Hi

The big issues reported seem to be frame rust (the frame is steel) and floor rot (the flooring is plywood). There are *many* threads here about what to look for and how to find it.

I would not buy an older trailer without having an expert look at it, unless I was planing on a major project anyway. In the case of an AS, the term "major project" can mean >$50K in work and a couple years of effort.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:54 AM   #7
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1949 18' Trailwind
Currently Looking...
Brighton , Uk
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 28
Thank u. I'm really grateful.

Can u recommend how I would get in touch with a surveyor/expert. The American airsteam is in charlotte. North Carolina.

The seller appears to be an airstream vendor and says he can organise someone but would be good to have a seperate/ impartial one.

I have also contacted someone on the forum who lives close who may be able to view it for cash.

P
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:56 AM   #8
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If you can find one, take a moisture meter with you. Probe through the carpet around the perimeter of the floor paying particular attention to the areas under windows, at the rear and door, and under vents and openings in the ceiling.

A needle probe moisture meter needn't cost more than $40 US and can be less.
http://www.sonin.com/sonin-moisture-test-meter-50211/. I don't know bout UK sources, but maybe you can find or borrow one.

Oops, no carpet. May not probe through tile, depending on stiffness.

Al
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:03 AM   #9
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatboy View Post
Thank u. I'm really grateful.

Can u recommend how I would get in touch with a surveyor/expert. The American airsteam is in charlotte. North Carolina.

The seller appears to be an airstream vendor and says he can organise someone but would be good to have a seperate/ impartial one.

I have also contacted someone on the forum who lives close who may be able to view it for cash.

P
Hi

There is a section here on the forum listing people who are willing to do this sort of thing. I would trust a forum member over any random "expert" that happened to get picked by a dealer.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatboy View Post
Can u recommend how I would get in touch with a surveyor/expert. The American airsteam is in charlotte. North Carolina.
Unfortunately, in the recreational vehicle market, there is no such thing as a licensed or certified surveyor— unlike the boating industry that has professional marine surveyors. Finding an "expert" surveyor for a trailer may be even more difficult than finding the trailer in the first place! Partly because the only sure way to find one is by word of mouth from people who have used that particular surveyor before, and received an accurate assessment of the trailer's condition.

I would be wary of anyone who claims to be an expert unless they can provide references from satisfied customers. After all, if you get a misleading condition assessment from someone you commissioned to inspect the trailer, they incur no liability at all for their inaccurate assessment, and you're stuck with problems you didn't think you were paying for.

Meaning no offense to anyone on the Forums. I haven't used any of them for a survey, so I can't vouch for their surveying skill level, only for their willingness to help out a fellow Forums member.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:37 AM   #11
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
Join Date: Dec 2016
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I purchased a 280 turbo diesel motorhome via eBay in dec2016. I thought it was a 65-75. Turns out it's a 40. And I'm 100% positive many would put in a 20/100 category lol.

eBay does get many units that rely on a sale from not being seen in person.from purchase to getting home in Canada my expenses doubled! And it will double again to renovate( I'm a carpenter so I wanted a unit to work on anyways)

Sounds like you possibly have a flexible budget if you are thinking of shipping a trailer over?

Go Into this slow would be first piece of advice. If you are willing to buy from the USA a simple fact is that there is not a shortage of trailers in this country. Up in Canada we have 10% by population in Europe probably1%so I can understand the need to close a deal.

Where are the most trailers in the USA typically? Where are the best ones from? Where are the best ports to ship from? On that note units from California might be expensive to get to port on the east coast? Can you fly to a major hub and look at some trailers locally over a course of a week? I think seeing in person might be best tip of advice.

I do not regret my $12000 now becoming $28000 just to get in the country, taxes, dollar conversion, flights, travel expenses, and to get on the road. Which I'm lucky to know people to get it on the road in its " condition"( still tons yet to do and then a renovation which I haven't started) in the end I'll be spending $50000 One thing I can say is that if I would have gotten something of better quality from the start = spending more money on a cleaner unit I'd be better off.

Trailers are much simpler than the motorhomes
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:49 AM   #12
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1949 18' Trailwind
Currently Looking...
Brighton , Uk
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 28
Thank you everybody
Some really helpful advice.

It's easy to think 'I need one now'. I think this may be a long search.

I have read more about the process involved for shopping them back but it's not simple.

It has led us to think that it may be best to buy one already over here.

That's not easy either. Haha. As u say there aren't many.

I do want something really straight - I too have learnt the hard way (vw camper vans) that it is important to buy the best u can find as a starting point.

I'm going to put a post in the 'abroad section' to see if I can get some recommendations for people who really know their airstream stuff - in the uk.

Thank u everyone for your posts.
I feel I'm learning. Slowly.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:30 AM   #13
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1972 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 268
Have you seen this place?

http://www.arcairstreams.co.uk

Looks like you'll need a fat wallet-

Sounds like buying a finished / renovated unit might be more your style, have you checked out:
https://hofarc.com
I love the look of most every thing they roll off their lot. They have shipped to the UK before.

Good luck.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:35 AM   #14
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1949 18' Trailwind
Currently Looking...
Brighton , Uk
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 28
Thanks for the heads up of both of these places.
The American place makes total sense.
It will be likely worth the extra cost.

Are these guys an outfit that can be trusted to
1. Not sell me a dodgy one
2. Do 'proper' reservation?

Do people have experience of this company?
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