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Old 07-14-2008, 12:07 PM   #1
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found our Airstream ... maybe

Hi,

OK we have decided that we need to tackle buying our airstream like we would if we were buying other antique car. So, where would I find an assemble manual for a 72 tradewind? What are some of the "spots" to take a close look at when inspecting an airstream.

We have found one about 6 miles from where we live!. It was last registered in 1980. SO It's now a mouse hotel and needs Lots of TLC. Hubby tried to crawl under last night but can't see much with the belly pan, I think that's what it's called, intact. It wasn't for sale but I went to the door and presto! it became for sale. Very nice man owns it, belonged to his father, The first time we looked at it he tried very hard to talk us out of it, Said we didn't know what we were getting into. and he's right we don't! BUT that has never stopped us before.

One small dent on the street front corner I think we can pull most of it out. More small dents under the front along the bottom, which from the airstreams we have looked at seems to be typical.

Last night when we went back to look at it again he said he really like us so he would drop the price another 500. So we have gone from 4500 to 3000. Do you think even with a worst case scenario (sp?) this is a fair price? I wish I had some pictures to post, I know it's had to make a call with no pictures.

We figure that it will need just about everything, new appliances, new rims, new tires, new flooring(The sub seem solid from what we can see but who knows,and a new bathroom it's digusting but who knows it might clean up fine, and probably a new water heater new furnace and new AC. And probably a tons of other stuff.

ANother question, can you remove the interior walls and reuse them, I'm thinking of ALL the little miceys that have probably built nests in there. I know the stove is full!
Thanks,
Annette
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:14 PM   #2
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First and foremost, welcome to the forums. Sounds like it more like a small mouse village as opposed to the hotel. Copies of manuals can be purchased from Secretarial Services at Jackson Center going back to 1964. Its not necessarily an assembly manual as it is an owners/operators manual. It would sure help though.

The interior skins can be removed after the interior is completely gutted. New insulation and wiring can be installed before reattaching the skins.

Its very difficult to make a cost/value estimate without an inspection and numerous photographs. Besides, it may have different value to different people. What it boils down to is, what's it worth to you?

Best of luck with your decision and you're in good company here if, should I say when, you decide to purchase it.

Brad
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #3
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If the bellypan is gone that might not be bad thing. You can get a good look at the frame. If the frame is good and you allready know you are replacing the floor and taking the inside skins down to remove the insulation there isn't much left for surprises. My guess would be that the axles are shot too. No suprises is good, you know what your getting into and can start thinking of a budget.

Something to keep in mind is the location of the trailer. You will not have far to tow it home. That can save you some money and troubles.

Check out this link -- http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Good Luck,
Joe
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:17 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard!

This may help you assess whether the price & project are ones you are willing to take on: Price vs Condition

Good luck in whatever you decide ~ the fact that it is so close to home is worth something....with gas prices what they are.

Shari
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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Welcome to the neighborhood!

Hi Annette -

Welcome to the neighborhood - cyber and local! That is cool that you found something so quickly and so close to home. I am curious where you found your AS. I thought we did well when we found ours in Fairfield last year.

Good luck with your catch!

Mary
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:14 PM   #6
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #7
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Don't discount the appliances immediately without first testing them. All of the appliances in my '72 Tradewind are still completley functional. I did swap out the water heater for a new gas/electric model for the convenience of having electric heat when plugged in to shore power. The furnace will also be swapped out, as I don't know if it was repaired during the recall (better safe than sorry). You can also get the service manual from the Airstream website or on ebay - there is a seller who has good quality copies of bothe service and owner's manuals for most years.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:29 PM   #8
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Thank you for you warm welcomes and advice. Yes Brad you are right not if but when we buy it. We are going to go for it. Tommorrow we are going to go buy it and the head to DMV get it registered and then tow her home. All the manual are with the camper everything since new. A plus.

We are going to get her home then clean her out, take out the interior, make sure she is mouseless put new tires and rims on her then put her in the garage, we have a 30 by 60 heated garage, and then take our time deciding what to do with her. Track down missing and broken stuff, then in January start working on our "vision". We run a seasonal business here in CT, we have a small cider mill and winery, So our busy time is the Fall. We work 7 days a week starting Aug, ending New years Eve. Hard work but we are really blessed that we get to work with our family, AND most of us are still speaking to each other on New Years Eve too!

Mike, we have restored lots of cars and lots of half finished projects that proved to be some poor souls undoing, you can usually buy these cars cheap! So we are not afraid of a challenge, I usually handle the interiors and tracking down of any parts,and hubby the mechanical and body stuff, he can do most anything, only thing that scares him is propane so we will definately hire that out!

Mary, if you head down 117 towards Groton, cross over route 184, stay on 117 the camper is on the right hand side. I guess it's been there for years. Needs lots of TLC.

Joe, my husband doesnt know what the meaning of budget is, nor does he want to. He just knows that when I say "no you can't have that." That he has to wait until the money tree gets some more leaves. Works for us!

Annette
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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That is the one I thought of! I don't know of many in our neck of the woods. I thought it might have been used as 'lodging' for who ever is building the house next door (but yet to finish).

My husband and I have noticed it has a sizeable dent in the front. What else have you learned about it?

Mary
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rettoc625 View Post
That is the one I thought of! I don't know of many in our neck of the woods.
The plot thickens.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:38 AM   #11
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Mary,

Yes that's the one, the man that owns it lives in the little house next to it and is building the big house, the blue one, on the other side of it. The dent is not that bad. Hopefully we can get most of it out, if not we'll see if they make a replacement panel and my hubby will replace it, a huge job I'm sure but, I have a feeling in my gut that's what's going to happen anyway.

I called him this morning and told him we wanted the camper. He's going to get together all the keys and paper work and we will go over tomorrow and pay for it , then run to DMV and get it registered. So I guess we are commited or maybe we should be commited who knows! So I guess we are now AS owners.

The camper originally belonged to his father. THis man is 64 so I don't know how long his father had it before he died but the registration sticker on the plate says 1980, My only concern it that since we live so close to the Oceam that the dreaded "C" word (corrotion) has done it job. Ah just another of lifes adventures! I'll try and post some pictures when we get it home.

Annette
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:26 AM   #12
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My husband and I went through this issue several times. We now own a 75 Ambassador that needed some work but it is very nice now. Our first one was a 67 Safari. It had frame issues and floor rot my husband gutted the whole thing before we realized what we had gotten into.
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:11 PM   #13
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only thing that scares him is propane so we will definitely hire that out!


Annette,
There is no need to be afraid or plumbing for propane. It is really quite safe and easy. All you need is the copper pipe, flare fittings, a pipe cutter, a flaring tool set, and some sudsy water.

Everything in our hunting cabin is run on propane and I have flared my fair share of copper. And if I can do it anybody can do it. Just remember to leak test the fittings with the sudsy water. Any bubbles and you've got a leak.

Oh, welcome to the forum, congratulations on your Airstream acquisition, and good luck with the renovations.
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:36 PM   #14
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Joe, my husband doesnt know what the meaning of budget is, nor does he want to. He just knows that when I say "no you can't have that." That he has to wait until the money tree gets some more leaves. Annette
Humm, y'all do that too, huh?

Welcome to the forums! Sounds like y'all have had experience with projects and have the perseverance to finish 'em. That's always good. Good luck and post photos. We're very visual here...
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