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Old 04-30-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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1969 27' Overlander
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Stressed

I am new to this forum and have never owned an airstream. I have owned several campers and a motorhome, but never an airstream. I have restored several homes and automobiles, and have been looking for a good first timer airstream project for weeks. I figured the smaller the better thinking it might be easier and cheaper but have ran into a lot of what appear to be scams on typical web sights. I'm wondering if I'm getting in over my head. Any suggestions on a good starter project unit and an expected price would be extremely appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:27 AM   #2
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Generally the scams are on newish trailers, and they're fairly easy to spot.

The simplest rule is to buy only trailers you've been able to touch, and for which you've seen the title and are getting the title at the same time you're paying the seller.

The usual drill is that the locally-advertised trailer suddenly turns out to be sold by someone who had to rush out of town for <insert sympathy-inducing emergency> and the trailer turns out to be in a warehouse with an "escrow service" that will deliver it to you for an x-day period during which you can supposedly get a refund and they'll pick it up. All crap.

See the trailer. Touch it, smell it, make sure the VIN matches the title and the title matches the seller, then don't worry too much.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:35 AM   #3
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Noco: take your time and look around for the right one for you. Take a look at sites like this one: Airstream Articles | Used Airstream Trailers Some of these web sites also have links to others that give you information on the replacement costs of appliances, etc.

Vintage Airstream - Airstream Trailer Resource if you are into an older air stream there is an article here that covers the price vs. the condition of trailers from the '50 through the '7os.

A lot of information available, just do your home work and you will be happy with what-ever you decide upon.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noco View Post
I am new to this forum.
Welcome to the AirForums!

Quote:
I figured the smaller the better thinking it might be easier and cheaper but have ran into a lot of what appear to be scams on typical web sights.
Smaller doesn't necessarily equate to easier, or to cheaper. Don't limit yourself to the smallest end of the scale. You might discover a good bargain on a mid-sized trailer, if you look around.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:13 AM   #5
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Waves hi from the other side of the state. Welcome! All good advice! Keep looking, touching, touring. It's out there. What are your plans for this trailer? Smaller may not be the ideal.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:27 AM   #6
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1969 27' Overlander
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Thanks for the help. I have been able to find some very rough units 60s-80s, between 2-6k, and also some fairly decent ones for 6-12k. It seems to me it would be worth while to spend the extra money for a straighter shell, lights, and with some of the interior items that could be refurbished. What worries me are the mechanical items like water tanks, heaters, etc. It is just my wife and I at this point so we would love something in the 19-23 range. If someone does not have a title and will only do a bill of sale, should this be avoided. Thanks so much again for helping a newbie!
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:33 AM   #7
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Personally, I would avoid anything that doesn't have a title. Finding a lost title or creating a manufacturer's title is an absolute nightmare in Missouri. (Done it for motorcycles, never a trailer but I can't see it being any easier.)

I have a 24' Tradewind. Good size for 2.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:25 AM   #8
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Welcome Noco! My husband and I are newbies too, and have finally found and purhcased our first airstream. It's a 1971 Caravel.

My ritual was to search the following sites, several times a day (fyi, I used my browsers bookmark/favorites feature):

vintage trailers on airstreamclassifieds.com
ebay motors (filter on Airstream, 16-25ft)
tincantourists.com
vintage-airstream.com
rvtrader.com

My most favorite tip came from this blog, where I learned how to setup a system to be notified any time someone posted a craigslist ad for an airstream within a 500+ miles radius of my location. It took about 15 minutes to do, and I used a filter of between $500 and $15,000. I didn't want to spend more than that, so I figured why even bother looking. Now I didn't actually find my Caravel using this method, but it sure beats having to look (several times a day) at each craigslist location. Because it was automated, I went from looking at half a dozen craigslists to 25+ lists.

Anyway, goodluck on your search and be sure to keep us posted!
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
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Drive look talk and read the classifieds. I use google earth then depending on the location and condition I do the stop and talk but so far that has only worked for the 66 caravel. As for price go to the forum thread and yes read closely if it is dented has rotted flooring and they want 1500. Offer them 750. For it because that would be its value in scrap and salable parts. Redneck I know but 10 to 15K in parts and 100s of hours of work translates to low going in! Be prepared to walk away I have and I am glad that I did. Most that are parked in fields and back yards with flat tires can be bought. JMHO.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
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Oh yes and in most states no paper = scrap in NC 60s and older bill of sale plus some proof of owner ship po and it takes 30 days for a title. Salvage title is a 1 way ticket to the smelter unless the law has changed since 2011!
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