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Old 10-24-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
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Talking First time purchasing a vintage airstream, help/advice needed

Hi all!
We just started our search for vintage airstream project and we're super excited! Mainly searching craigslist and the airforum classifieds.

We were hoping someone may have a buyers checklist specific to vintage airstreams. We're mostly looking at shells or ones that need to be completely gutted.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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1993 34' Excella
1962 16' Bambi
Rockaway , New Jersey
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when i buy a new project i look at the shell first and assess. then i look at the floor and assess. then i look at the appliances and assess. from there i can kind of figure the costs with making the rig whole again and derive a fair purchase price. if the price works for my wallet i pull the trigger. i am fixing up a '62 bambi now and loving every minute of it. that is short of the knee pain installing the new marmoleum floor caused me this past weekend.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munimula View Post
when i buy a new project i look at the shell first and assess. then i look at the floor and assess. then i look at the appliances and assess. from there i can kind of figure the costs with making the rig whole again and derive a fair purchase price. if the price works for my wallet i pull the trigger. i am fixing up a '62 bambi now and loving every minute of it. that is short of the knee pain installing the new marmoleum floor caused me this past weekend.
great! we're looking at smaller models, bambis, flying clouds, safaris etc.
From my research these past few months, it looks like a shell in good condition runs about 3k-4k. Does that sound about right from your experience?

I know this is a broad question, but saying we're bring a solid shell and floor back to working order with new interior, how much is the investment going to be? We anticipate 10k-15k, does that seem about right?
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Morrill , Nebraska
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I would say. By doing most of the work yourself. You will be in the $15K and up.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:48 PM   #5
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Atascadero , California
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I just bought a 65 Globetrotter that is in fairly good shape the interior is in really good shape the only issue is the previous owner put a tar and fiberglass nettng on the roof and painted it white to reduce the heat. its going to take some work and so far the roof under it looks in good shape. I paid 3800 for the trailer and feel I got a great deal. So I suggest you keep looking and you will find a great deal out there
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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I think Twinkie is about right on the cost estimate. One thing for sure, you will spend more than you think you will. Also, it will take you much longer to complete than you think. Somedays I'd work hours on removing one fasterner or just figuring out how to remove something without breaking something else. I loved working on my Trade Wind and have thought about finding another one but right now I enjoy camping more than working-ha.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
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Yes, I anticipate it being similar to building a house, twice as much and twice as long. However it will be slightly easier since the structure (shell) is already built.

Does anyone have a good blog/site that shows step by steps for renovations?

My fiance is an electrician and our friend is a carpenter, so we've got the big stuff covered. I'm just a bit nervous about plumbing. Would it be worth it to pay a professional RV place to install the plumbing?
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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1971 25' Tradewind
1967 24' Tradewind
1975 31' Sovereign
Estancia , New Mexico
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Don't forget to crawl under the trailer and look at the belly. Is there a patch you can remove that might give you a peek at the frame? Frame rust is normal. Rotten frame, especially the outriggers is another story. If tne trailer has a rear compartment you should be able to get a looksee at the frame. Also look in the floor holes under the galley.

Take an ice pick with you and do some probing for floor rot around the door, under the windows, and front and rear where the floor meets the walls, especially in the corners. A little rot can be fixed. An extensive area may require jacking up the body from the frame.

70s Airstreams frames were made of lighter stock and the longer models are prone to rear end separation. If you do a happy dance on the back bumper you should see very minimal movement of the bumper separate from the body. I have 2 of them though and like them.

Be particularly suspicious of a trailer that has lived near salt water, like the Georgia coast.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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1968 26' Overlander
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We're new to this too. We have a 26ft '68 Overlander. I have no idea where to begin. Are there sites that show suggestions? We also need an awning and hardware. Don't know where to look for that either.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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1971 25' Tradewind
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We also need an awning and hardware. Don't know where to look for that either.
Most Streamers go with Zipdee. They have been around for a long time, are reliable and user friendly. Check out their website.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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1956 22' Safari
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Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!
If you've done some searching on the web, you've probably come across this Price vs Condition site. It's helpful in knowing what "your" Airstream's price of entry cost is as well as some ballpark figures for commonly needed improvements when dealing with vintage rigs. This Resources Index is also helpful for DIY'rs.

Good luck with your search ~

Shari
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:07 AM   #12
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
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Thanks Shari!
The price vs. condition is a huge help. Definitely will be taking advantage of the resources index soon.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #13
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1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
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handrew,

There are many restoration threads on this forum. Purchase a copy of Restoring a Dream from Tim Shepard. Listen to TheVAP.com (a podcast).

Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by handrew View Post
Hi all!
We just started our search for vintage airstream project and we're super excited! Mainly searching craigslist and the airforum classifieds.

We were hoping someone may have a buyers checklist specific to vintage airstreams. We're mostly looking at shells or ones that need to be completely gutted.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #14
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1975 Argosy 24
1976 Argosy 28
Fort Worth , Texas
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While it is not specific to vintage trailers, there is an excellent Trailer Inspection Checklist here on AIRForums that I've used many times with good results.
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