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Old 09-17-2006, 11:11 AM   #1
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Resource for Differences Between AS Models and Years????

Not exactly sure where to post this question?...so here goes.

I am learning about ASs one piece at a time from this forum and other sources. However, I feel like I know "nothing" about the history of the product...primarily the differences between models, years, trim levels, etc.

As an example...I hear some references to great wood cabinets...but the '78 I looked at had a combination of veneer and wrap that was not necessarily "vintage" even though it is likely "period" in its appeal.

Is there a book or other source that is truly a reference on the changes over the years that would give me an understanding (for example) of what the primary difference is between an Argosy or an Overlander or a Sovereign??? Or where do you find the quality wood cabinets?

You probably get my point...anything out there that provides this info...or do you just learn one thing at a time? Tom R in Two Harbors
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
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Tom R,

The short answer is probably not. Have you looked at RJ Dial's site www.vintageairstream.com ? This site has a very good FAQ section as well as restoration resources and RJ's restorations. In addition, for history, look at Bryan Burkhart's book "Airstream, History of the Land Yacht". This is one of the first, if not the first book on Airstream history.

Good luck in your investigation.

Bill
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomR
Not exactly sure where to post this question?...so here goes.

...primarily the differences between models, years, trim levels, etc.

As an example...I hear some references to great wood cabinets...but the '78 I looked at had a combination of veneer and wrap that was not necessarily "vintage" even though it is likely "period" in its appeal.

what the primary difference is between an Argosy or an Overlander or a Sovereign??? Or where do you find the quality wood cabinets?
Hello Tom R,

If you buy a "vintage" Airstream, that means older than 1990's something or other, then you are focused on the WRONG attributes. It's NOT the QUALITY WOODS that the cabinets are made of, or the TRIM LEVELS that will protect you from a catastropic breakdown just when you absolutely cannot afford it!! You want to know the condition of the tires, the brakes, the axles, the plumbing, the gate valves, the DC converter, the FRIDGE, the holding tanks, the water pump, window leaks, AC, etc. You get my drift?

No doubt, if you are married, then the wife will have to buy in on the decor items, but they will be of little comfort to you when you are stranded on the Interstate with your holding tanks, and all the parts are scattered along the freeway because the bottom fell out!!

Just a reality check! Hope it's not a downer. Bill
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:27 PM   #4
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Thanks Bill...I have kind of beat those items to death on this forum...regarding a '78 Sovereign that I looked at and considered for some time.

I concluded that I could update the running gear as required and my msot significant other concern would be the condition of the floor and frame...along with the more visible skin and window components. I even talked to the AS Service Center regarding their services and costs.

With all the time I spent learning about this one AS...ie; '78 31' AS Sovereign Rear Bath...I know nothing about other models and years.

Also, I am not too sure I like the quality of the new AS...just looked at a 2007 Classic Limited 27' FB with the Hickory cabinets. Fit/Finish/Trim seemed to be a little less than "premium" that you pay for when you buy an AS vs one of the other "higher" level TTs. That is...AS 27' Classic Limited is what $60K+ vs a 30' Sunline/Titan/Artic Fox more like $30K+. Prices are a bit generalized but the difference is substantial.

Soooo...back to the earlier years and my lack of knowledge as to what years may be considered "better" AS years for quality/interior and construction???

Thanks...Tom R
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:46 PM   #5
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A closer look

Tom,

I recently purchased a 76 31ft Sovereign that appeared to be in excellent condition. It had been in storage in a farmer's barn up in Ohio for the past 7 years. There were several minor repairs that I have done and much cleaning to be done ahead......but recently I found MAJOR rust damage. See this post: http://www.airforums.com/forum...age-26287.html
That is what you have to watch out for! Bill
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomR
However, I feel like I know "nothing" about the history of the product...primarily the differences between models, years, trim levels, etc.

<snip>

Is there a book or other source that is truly a reference on the changes over the years that would give me an understanding (for example) of what the primary difference is between an Argosy or an Overlander or a Sovereign??? Or where do you find the quality wood cabinets?
Try this: Vintage Airstream Features Matrix...it may help.

I put it together to try and keep track of these sorts of things, no pictures, just a comparison of the typical features year to year. Between this and RJ Dial's website linked above it should get you on your way to understanding the eras and their differences ~

Shari
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