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Old 03-16-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
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airstream search update

all,

thanks again for the quick in informative responses regarding my search for an airstream.

**i've looked at 2 local trailers both 31' and both in the $2000 range as is:
- the 1st one has good axles, no rear sag nice exterior but needs 1/3 of the floors replaced toward the front of the trailer and the interior is in rough condition, partially disassembled missing lots of hardware, some of the doors to the cabinets/etc. also needs a total cleaning from mildew and mold...no leaks though.

- the second trailer that i looked at yesterday and the one i'd like to focus on for your feedback is a 31' sovereign(32' bumper to toungue). i will post a photo of it showing wheels(axles)and plexi window i want to replace)... this trailer has a much better interior, all complete and most everything working. it had a small fire just above the corner of one of the bunks contained to the lower area of the underside cabinet. a little elbow grease and paint would repair that easily. it will need a window on that curbside. it was replaced with plexiglas and looks good however i'd prefer having the glass window.
the main issue with this trailer is the rear sag and the axles need replacing.
rear sag: i jumped up and down on the rear bumper and noticed the bumper did move downward about 1" from the body of the trailer.
bad axles: the trailer actually sits just under the top of the wheels as you can see in the photos. there is absolutely no 1-3' rubber showing on the tires above the wheel.

my questions:
1. are there variable amounts of rear sag?...does only an 1" of movement mean the sag isn't too much of an issue? since its a job i can't do, what do you estimate the cost to repair this?
2. can you tell from the photo how bad the axles are?...i read that the parts alone about $1000 for the axles and wheel hubs/brakes...is this about right? what would it cost for the labor if i brought it to a guy to do it?
3. what is the cost and availability of the window replacement? (orange arrow pointing to plexi window)

thanks.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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From your description I think both trailers are in similar condition. any trailer of this are will have "bad" axles. Even the first one may look good in height but will most likely not have any travel left in the suspension. I would budget on axles in either case. Right now complete units are on sale for $595.00 each plus freight. Labor will be around 4 to 5 hrs maybe a couple of hours less and that cost depends on the shop rates. Also budget on new shocks and mounting hardware, another couple of hundred bucks. My WAG is close to $2K installed for both axles.
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To answer your first question about rear end sag. A little sag is like a little pregnant either you are or aren't pregnant and either it has seperation or it doesn't. Cost to repair is very subjective depending on the shops rate per hour. The A/S in the pic is a rear bath unit which requires quite a bit of disassembly to repair, however it is more complete as you describe.
Both units sound like they need major floor replacement. If you gut the interiors and pay a restoration shop to fix the floors and the frame (both will need frame repairs) then budget on at least a few hundred hours to do that, which can easily can reach $10K.
Any Airstream dealer carries that window and at price tag over $350 but you may be able to find it at a salvage yard for half that amount.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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You'll probably have about $12,000 in it by the time you get it to $7,000 resale value. Maybe more, depending on frame damage. Fixtures and appliances alone will be knocking on the $5,000 door.

Then there's mattresses, sofa reupholstering, drapes, and awnings, all after it's had all new plumbing (including faucets) and probably tanks too. Hiring all this done is gonna cost some serious cash.
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