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Old 06-17-2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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'76 SS 31' 'project' evaluation? should I?

Hi all,
I fell in love with a 1976 or 78 SS 31' REAR BEDROOM that is sitting in a grass field silver trailer graveyard of sorts. Nice enough guy...started collecting silver trailers (he has quite a few) when the economy was good and I guess his plan was to fix em up and retire? IDK...they are all sizes and in various stages of disrepair. So the one I want is in the following condition.

1) outside skin is in good shape. no dents rips etc...AND has cool awnings over all windows. Also all the covers are there.
2) the interior is rough. No flooring, some floor rot (hole in front of the front door) all cabinetry there but needs work. bed frames are there as is the tank under the bed, fridge is rusted and in unknown working condition. stove about the same and upper oven door is hanging off/down.
3) undercarriage axles wheel bearings etc... unknown.

so the guy after several weeks says he wants in the range of $2500 to $3000 and that we are welcome to come back and go through whatever we like to assess the condition/road worthy-ness.

My question to those more knowledgeable than I (that's pretty much anyone,lol)
what/how do I test in the field (no really I mean it's in a big open field,haha) and let's assume nothing works is it worth $2500? and how difficult/buried are the components (plumbing and electrical)?
Thanks so much and I realize it is a huge gaping question I ask but even if you have a tid bit I would appreciate it :-)
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #2
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Bought this bad boy for $ 3,500.00 Cleaned it and it was ready to go. Have updated it some but didn't need to.

After & Before


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Old 06-17-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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My first thought is "run". Sounds like a big project that will take considerable skill, time and money. Use the SEARCH function on this site for phrases like: rear end separation, floor rot, axles, tires, leaks, weatherstripping, Univolt, etc. You will get an idea of the can 'o worms.

If you post some pics here - you will get genuine replies to it's condition and repairs necessary.

Do some searches on Craigslist in your area to get an idea of prices. You could likely find a beauty like tcrum --- or even find one for a few grand more and still be way under what you will have to put into the one you speak of .... I kid you not!!!

Laura

Find someone from this site, using the Trailer Inspectors box on the right side, to help you check out any trailer you find. The vintage units usually all have a few problems: some (like floor rot/axles/rear end sep) much worse than others!


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Old 06-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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1976 Argosy 28
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funkill's "run" may be slightly overstated, but unless your assessment seems a lot worse than the trailer actually is, it sounds like a high price for what could easily turn out to be a "Full Monte" renovation project.

One of the beautiful things about this forum is the opportunity to gather the opinions and experiences of LOTS of people who've been down a similar road, so I'll offer mine as a data point. I recently bought my '75 Argosy24 for $7k and EVERYTHING works well. Every appliance but the water heater is original and they all work correctly. The oven is cleaner than the one in my house (though that probably says more about my house-cleaning habits than anything else! ) Over the last 5 years the previous owner (only the 2nd owner of this trailer, I'm the 3rd) did lots of maintenance and upgrades and used the trailer to travel with his family regularly.

This is not to say that it's perfect, I want to do a fair amount of cosmetic work in the bathroom, but it already has pex plumbing, a new battery, decent tires I should be able to get a season or two out of, good axles, good brakes, new converter to replace the Univolt, all new seals on the windows, lockers and entry door, refurbed AC shroud, some nice cosmetic upgrades, etc. I had hoped to pay a bit less for my first trailer, but I also expected to have to do most of the things I listed above.

If you're game for a big project, and you can either get an experience inspector to say there aren't likely to be nasty surprises and/or get the seller to come down quite a bit in price, it may be a good project but it's good to look at it with a cynical eye and plan for everything to cost more than you think it should, etc.

Check out the classifieds section here on the Airforums to see what else is on the market. Check out Craigslist but don't EVER give a penny in any form before you've touched the trailer and believe the deal is real. Read the Price vs. Condition Guide carefully and see how the numbers add up.

I REALLY lucked out, my first trailer was about 12 miles from my house. Many others on the forums have traveled hundreds of miles to get trailers when they found The One (or the Next One. )
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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SS? Silver Streak?

Ignoring the floor and interior condition issues.

If it is sitting in a field with no way to verify systems function then I would take the "Let's presume nothing works." approach. A rusty refrigerator and damaged oven would not inspire my confidence and are good negotiating points if you're inclined to pursue the purchase.

Big ticket items to replace are the appliances.

Water Heater
Oven/Cooktop
AC
Refrigerator

Depending on your shopping skills and "Hands-On" capabilities the cost to purchase and install those items may exceed the asking price.

Running gear (bearings, brakes, tires and maybe rims) can easily add another $1K to the cost.

There are many knowledgeable members here who will gladly share their thoughts with you. If you can publish representative photographs the advice will be more specific.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
funkill's "run" may be slightly overstated, but unless your assessment seems a lot worse than the trailer actually is, it sounds like a high price for what could easily turn out to be a "Full Monte" renovation project.
As stated, "RUN" was my first thought. Second thought was along the lines of what you mention "Full Monte". I didn't get the feeling Lucy was asking for that type of committment --- though maybe that is their intention. Just seems that someone who admittantly knows little about trailers and is looking in a "trailer graveyard" among those that are "in various stages of disrepair" is in for a heap of surprise.

Hope it's a diamond in the rough!

Laura
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
As stated, "RUN" was my first thought. Second thought was along the lines of what you mention "Full Monte". I didn't get the feeling Lucy was asking for that type of committment --- though maybe that is their intention. Just seems that someone who admittantly knows little about trailers and is looking in a "trailer graveyard" among those that are "in various stages of disrepair" is in for a heap of surprise.

Hope it's a diamond in the rough!

Laura
Well, all things considered your opinion should probably carry more weight than mine, since I think your 'more than you bargained for' experience seems to be more representative than mine.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:06 PM   #8
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How does the interior smell?
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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A Silver Streak is the trailer least likely to leak besides a Streamline. While there are a few spots that I would always check (windows the prime culprit as seals harden, contract and break off; and door entryway; plus under awning attach points), a rotted trailer is one I would avoid. Scrap value is about $7-800 (maybe more) and you can find a perfectly decent S/S for $5-6k that needs only TLC and maybe an appliance or two. An excellent one from about $7 on up.

Pictures would help in better advising you.

Compared to an A/S an S/S is extraordinarily easy to work on (plumbing, pump, furnace, etc). But I'd still start with a very good to excellent trailer . . . they're out there. Much as I want a rear bedroom config S/S this time, I'll hold off until the right one is available. Click on my sig link.

Remember that the average distance folks go to get the trailer is 1,200-miles. And that these trailers are good enough to be permanent.

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Old 06-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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Thank you so much for your input. We (my SO and I ) are going to re-evaluate some time next week and I'll take pics.. IDK...I agree he is aking way too much so let's assume that NOTHING works and it is basically gutted...what would be the value? It's funny how people "value" things. He is emotionally attached to his dream of fixing them up and making a profit. Trouble is he has not. He got them then was too busy and let them sit. I am handy and I have some "skills" electrical and plumbing NOT being one of them,lol. So...any one in Northwestern Wa. wanna go see the "graveyard" ? lol
OH! and to clarify...I have wanted one for as long as I can remember and tend to be the "pie in the sky" personality and I have not the resources to just shop fpr what I want. I have to be kinda creative to get to the goal, finances aren't so great. :-( but life IS! :-)
Thanks again,
Lisa
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:54 PM   #11
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Hi there LittleLucy... where in NW Washington? I live in Sandpoint, Idaho and might be interested in helping you evaluate your "find"... I bought a 1976 31' AS last year for $3000... as it turns out, I am about a week or two from removing the shell as part of a complete rebuild. Never thought I'd get into it this far but "in for a penny, in for a pound" as my mother (English) used to say a long time ago. I've got a thread going in another area of the forum with some details of what I'm doing. I don't expect to be able to use this AS for another couple of years and several thousand dollars... but I'm not in any rush, nor am I in it for a profit.

Pete
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:13 AM   #12
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oops... sorry, I was thinking NW was closer to me than it was... comes from growing up on the east coast and everything out here is "west"....

Pete
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