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Old 03-27-2014, 06:48 PM   #1
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Going to look at a used airstream tomorrow, what questions should I ask?

Going to look at a 23" tomorrow from 2007 and I was curious what are some not so obvious questions to ask? Never bought a used trailer before but this looks like it was well taken care of, 1 owner, new tires, everything is working order, but I want to make sure I don't miss anything. What do you wish you had asked?
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:08 PM   #2
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You don't list what area of the country you are from but unless this trailer has been undercover or in a dry area I'd caution you to look carefully for rear end rot.

The 2006-2009 models have had issues with the way the water drains in the back and gets under the floor.

Do a goggle search for " 2007 rear end rot airstream".
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:37 PM   #3
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1999 28' Excella
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Be sure to look at the roof..it was months before we realized ours has a couple of dents.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badkat View Post
Be sure to look at the roof..it was months before we realized ours has a couple of dents.
Acouple of minor dents in the roof is meaningless.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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1990 25' Excella
Sisters , Oregon
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Here's a list that I used when I bought mine a few months ago:

** Airstream Buying Advice **

HISTORY
- How long has the present owner had it?
- Has the flooring been replaced?
- How were sub-floors and frame when the flooring was replaced?
- Has plumbing been redone?
- Is new plumbing Pex?
- Have axles been replaced?
- Brakes condition?
- Original appliances and fixtures?
- Do appliances work properly?
- Where has it spent the majority of its life?
- How has it been stored? On dirt? On cement? Under cover?

COMMON REPAIR & MAINTENANCE ISSUES
o Rotted (water damaged) sub floors
o Rusted channels and bolts
o Leak repair: seals and gaskets
o Axle replacement
o Appliances
o Tires
o Wheels
o Wheel bearings
o Awning(s)

Good luck!

Poppy
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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Better to not have.;
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:58 AM   #7
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2007 23' Safari SE
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23' 2007 Safari works great for us! (Better to have!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by reinergirl View Post
...

The 2006-2009 models have had issues with the way the water drains in the back and gets under the floor.
We are happy with our factory ordered 2007 23' Safari overall. Yes, there are filiform corrosion issues in newer Airstream trailers as voluminously documented in the ongoing AirForums' thread, "Corrosion problems with new Airstreams". But this can be controlled by applying a good wax/sealant every year and using products like Corrosion X and Boeshield T-9.

From what I've read, water draining into the rear of trailers was more problematic in trailers with the front bed and the rear dinette next to rear wrap-around windows (as noted here). We did notice some cracked sealant along the top edge of the rub rail as noted here and took appropriate measures.

The 2007 23' Safari Airstream trailer continues to work just fine for us as documented in my thread, "SilverGate's Safari is Home at Last!".
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:02 AM   #8
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The problem is that is is almost impossible to tell if there are leaks until the floor gets soft. The rear end is the worst place. The floor covering hides the leaks until it is too late. A moisture probe with needle probes on it might be able to poke through the floor covering but most folks you get upset for poking a hole in their floor. Unless it is a west coast or garage kept trailer, I would assume there is floor rot. Some trailers of that era, the factory left the seal off the back entirely.

Perry
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
The problem is that is is almost impossible to tell if there are leaks until the floor gets soft. The rear end is the worst place. The floor covering hides the leaks until it is too late. A moisture probe with needle probes on it might be able to poke through the floor covering but most folks you get upset for poking a hole in their floor. Unless it is a west coast or garage kept trailer, I would assume there is floor rot. Some trailers of that era, the factory left the seal off the back entirely.

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My wife is very sensitive (allergic) to mould. One sniff and she would tell you if there was any.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:06 AM   #10
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Take a look at the Airforums inspection checklist.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:29 AM   #11
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I bought mine two years ago with little to no knowledge. The day I drove to Tampa to look at it and say yea or nay I was frantically posting on this forum. I looked at everything I knew to look at. I found a few things and requested replacement. The tires were OLD. As a matter of fact they were two years older than the trailer's build date!

My rear floor shows no signs of rot. I have had the carpet out in the bedroom and trunk area with no signs of rot- yet. If you are looking at a model with a rear trunk, what is the floor like? Follow it around inside as much as possible. Look underneath the trailer too for anyone who jacked it up incorrectly- holes through the pan, bowed axle. Mine had "battle scars" from the previous owner and about 5 minor soft dents on the body and a lot of filiform- sounds like a junker huh? The small dents are really nothing as they are hard to see overall. The worst was the scratches from when the previous original owner caught the awning in front on something and pulled it off scratching the side with about an 8 inch scratch and two lesser scratches by the door. Regardless of all I have shared so far, that, except for the filliform corrosion has been of no importance. The corrosion required some work. If you find it around the mid section or belt line. Airstream makes a rail and insert to put on it - their fix for all of them now. It dresses the trailer up too. I had to replace my tires and then later fridge as mandatory items, the rest has been chosen upgrades. Oh, also, this thing about soft floor can scare a new shopper. Just to let you know, I looked at NEW units at two different shows with floors that moved (sank down a bit in spots or even popped) when you walked around in them and several I have been in the floors have creak sounds in spots so that I would classify as normal or at least potential. I still am concerned about floor rot in the areas I cannot see under the vinyl, etc. but eventually I will replace the vinyl too and see underneath- this because on one edge the vinyl was cut at the edge short of the wall in a spot. I checked the floor with a moisture meter and also it is firm.

My purpose in sharing this with you is so that you can weed through and plan for your own potential discoveries! Being a hand-built item, there will be minor flaws in, I believe, all of them. What is more concerning though is the major stuff and hopefully you have some good info. to go looking with. BTW here is a new unit wall fitment and filiform on a new unit handle. So, don't sweat the small stuff on a used one!
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