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Old 10-09-2007, 02:39 PM   #1
New Member
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4
About to take the plunge, a couple questions first.

I have been lurking here for a little while and have learned a lot, thank you all very much.

I have a line on a 78 32 ft Airstream. I have been in the trailer but it has been several years ago. From what I have found from talking to the owner the only readily known problem is the A/C doesn’t blow cold and he has never run the fridge on gas but it does work on electric. The trailer has been setting for several years in Colorado. Before they stored it the water lines were blown out, but there is a line that needs to be repaired under the sink. I am sure outside of the obvious soap, water and elbow grease I am going to run into the unexpected. I am already figuring that most of the LP system will need to be gone through and repairs made just from non use more than anything else. The tires were knew when he parked the camper but I will be sure to check for dry rot.

As I said it is a 78 32 footer but he cant remember the model, any ideas? It is a rear bath model with twin beds. Any areas other than mentoned and of course signs of water damage I should look for? Thanks for any tips you have to offer and oh BTW I can grab this beast for 2000.00!

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Old 10-09-2007, 03:26 PM   #2
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1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,740
Images: 97
Well, first things first - Welcome to the forums!

Secondly, in 1978 the longest trailer was a '31 foot which is measured from bumper to ball - it may have been 31' plus some inches, but they were called 31'. There were two distinctly different models of 31-footers the Excella 500 and the Sovereign. The Excella being the upgraded model. Within each of those finish and feature packages, there were various layouts (twins vs doubles, rear bath vs center bath, etc.) so you may want to look at the two links to see if something strikes a familiar chord with you.

As far as it's sitting for a several years goes, these trailers are made to travel - not sit. The least you would want to do before attempting to travel with it is:

1) change the tires if they are older than 5 years old
2) repack the wheel bearings
3) then take it somewhere for a "once over" if you aren't comfortable checking things out yourself - major safety systems like the propane lines, propane appliances & brakes should definately be looked at & tested before using them

You may also find Table C on this Price vs Condition website handy in determining the cost to repair some of the deficiencies. Regardless, the $2000 asking price seems to be more than fair...

Good luck if you decide to go for it!


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Old 10-09-2007, 03:54 PM   #3
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1967 28' Ambassador
1963 19' Globetrotter
1970 29' Ambassador
Waukesha , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,180
Sounds like you found a nice trailer at a nice price.

You can get a pretty good picture of the condition of the floor with a flashlight and an ice pick. Take a look at the point the floor meets the inside of the walls. Best to look in a cabinet. if you go around the trailer and "test" the floor by trying to push the ice pick into the floor under the exterior walls you will find the soft spots.

My floor looked great... even from the underside (with the belly pan removed) but as I am removing the floor for replacement I am finding that the outermost 1 1/2" of the plywood is "punky" in a number of places that did not reveal themselves with just a cursory visual inspection.

Depending on how involved your plans are, if there are small amounts of rot, there is no immediate need to replace the floor.

Good Luck!
Steve & the crew
'70 Ambassador International Twin
'63 19' Globetrotter TAC WI-1
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Old 10-09-2007, 04:08 PM   #4
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Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4
thanks for the tips and the info. I am hoping I can get this picked up shortly. The only real hitch is that I am a seasonal working and am heading into my off season. I will have the time do do repairs but will have to dip into the "hip pocket national bank" to do so. I spend on average 6 or 8000 a year on hotels so in the end it will save me a fortune. The other side of the coin is i can take it, clean it up and probably turn it for a tidy profit. ( i really hate the thougts of that option).

From everything I have learned about these trailers, they are exactly what I need as i usually travel 40 or 50,000 miles a year. I basically pulled a Prowler to death a few years ago.

Thanks again.
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