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Old 06-13-2016, 04:11 PM   #1
Ally
 
Traytown , Newfoundland
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 23
Need help with repair plan --- am I insane?

I've been around the forums posting about a 1968 Outlander 26'. It's for sale in a remote part of Canada where I live, hence taking my time to make a decision to purchase. It's not going anywhere anytime soon.



I have big wild plans to live in an Airstream in Boulder, CO for about 10 months starting in August. I'm finishing graduate studies and trying to avoid giving over $1200-1500/month to a landlord for a crappy studio apartment. That and I love living small and mobile.



This 1968 Outlander is my only option on this island, other than an even more badly damaged 1981 Excella II 31'. I love the Outlander, but the subfloor in the rear end (bathroom) is bad news: there's is a hole at the back and the entire perimeter of the subfloor is wet and/or soft. It's possible the subfloor by the entry door is bad too---the laminate wood floor they put down is wet and the steps are completely rusted off.



The broken fridge, furnace, and water heater I can handle. Even the leaky plumbing, no big deal. But this floor thing. I've been wringing my hands for weeks over it. My time is growing short for repairs and I will NOT be able to build gantries and do a shell-off replacement. I have about 5 weeks to get at least the floor and plumbing done (change out copper for PEX, install a new water heater). We should be able to make it to the US on the current axles and wheels, but I'll need to replace a couple tires (dry rot).



I'm not working much at the moment, some small projects, so the 5 weeks I have I can mostly devote to repairs. What do you think? I will have some help from friends and family but not a whole lot. The bits I don't know about carpentry and plumbing they will advise me on... but all the labour is on me.



The seller wants at least $7000 (CAN) for his trailer. I think it's reasonable. If there was a 22-27 footer out there to be had for $10,000-12,000 USD with working appliances and solid floor, I'd spring for it... but I've been looking for months with no real luck.



Pictures are here if you're curious: http://imgur.com/a/BG89m



Rot in the back:





Thanks so much!
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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1967 17' Caravel
Cadillac , Michigan
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If it was me I would NOT buy the trailer with only 5 weeks to get it ready in .
It will take 6 weeks to get a new axle or 2 for it. Which it will need before taking it to Boulder.
From there the list goes on. None of it is cheap. And none of it happens very fast. Not in my experience anyhow.
I'm only tackling a 17 footer and I'm happy it's not any longer for my first restore.
I did not think my frame was bad until I had it opened up. I ended up replacing all the outriggers and all but 1 crossmember.

Just be careful.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:45 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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If the floor is bad in several sections its very likely that the frame is compromised as well. Frame and floor repairs is not a 5 week repair, even if you go at it full time. Skip this one and find one that has a decent history or you can be sure is structurally intact, even if that means you travel quite a distance to get it. Trust the collective wisdom of the forum on this one. A trailer from a wet climate with rot is not what you want.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:46 PM   #4
Ally
 
Traytown , Newfoundland
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You guys are the best. Thanks for chiming in. I knew it was a bad idea but I needed someone else to say so. (;. I'm gonna stretch my budget and set my sights on a couple trailers already in CO that need minimal work. Part of what makes moving on hard is that I really, really love restoration projects. One day!!
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:08 PM   #5
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1990 34' Excella
Zephyrhills , Florida
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$7000 is too much for an AS in that condition. I just purchased a '73 Sovereign in excellent original condition for $2k. Wait til u get to the states to purchase if the pricing is that much higher in Canada.
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:18 PM   #6
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1984 31' Excella
Olsburg , Kansas
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Good person in Boulder area that replaces axles for what I think is minimal charges. He helped me order my axles for my trailer that I had. If interested PM me and I can give you his contact info.
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:25 PM   #7
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Superior , Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydecrashcu View Post
Good person in Boulder area that replaces axles for what I think is minimal charges. He helped me order my axles for my trailer that I had. If interested PM me and I can give you his contact info.
Could you please PM me that info? Thanks!

OP - I agree with others: Too much rot, too much money, possible frame rust in back area. I think you could find better while coming through the USA on your way to Boulder.

And, welcome (soon) to Boulder!
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:57 PM   #8
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Traytown , Newfoundland
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Wow, Tampatomgirl, what a deal! I have looked at classifieds postings (ebay, airstreamclassifieds.com, craigslist) all over the US and the eastern portion of Canada for a few months and not seen a price that good!! My budget for a camp-ready vintage trailer (1960s thru '80s, 20-28 feet) with solid subfloor, plumbing, and wiring is $10,000-$12,000. Nothing yet (everything I see is at least $14,000-$15,000), but I'm holding out hope.

clydecrashcu thanks for the info, if I need an axle guy I will pm you. For now I'm good and hoping I find a trailer close to Jersey so my father-in-law can help with axles/wheels if need be.

ericpeltier: thanks! I have been living in Boulder for the past year, up until a couple months ago when my father became ill---that's how I ended up back in Newfoundland. Missing CO weather right about now---it is wet and cold here.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:12 PM   #9
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
san francisco , California
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by _ally View Post
Wow, Tampatomgirl, what a deal! I have looked at classifieds postings (ebay, airstreamclassifieds.com, craigslist) all over the US and the eastern portion of Canada for a few months and not seen a price that good!! My budget for a camp-ready vintage trailer (1960s thru '80s, 20-28 feet) with solid subfloor, plumbing, and wiring is $10,000-$12,000. Nothing yet (everything I see is at least $14,000-$15,000), but I'm holding out hope.

clydecrashcu thanks for the info, if I need an axle guy I will pm you. For now I'm good and hoping I find a trailer close to Jersey so my father-in-law can help with axles/wheels if need be.

ericpeltier: thanks! I have been living in Boulder for the past year, up until a couple months ago when my father became ill---that's how I ended up back in Newfoundland. Missing CO weather right about now---it is wet and cold here.
Never , ever seen an AS for $2000 even in reasonable shape...that is a hell of a find.

you would be better off buying in Colorado as it is a low humidity state...not as good as the southwest but better than Canada.

Good luck and when you get older and have time get a project if you still want to.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:26 PM   #10
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Heck, here is a slightly beaten vintage Airstream in Colorado Springs (about an hour south of Denver). Probably needs more work than the ad suggests, but the price is not bad. At any rate, for $2500 I would expect a lot of work to do, but for your target range of $10-12, you really ought to be able to find something that is solid, safe and camping ready--you will have to kick some stones, though.

http://cosprings.craigslist.org/rvs/5634452681.html
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:36 PM   #11
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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If you have 5 weeks, maybe the best way to spend your time is traveling the US looking for that perfect Trailer! Here is one in Houston that looks like it might just fit the bill:

http://houston.craigslist.org/rvs/5597312237.html

I guess I would rather spend my time traveling than repairing rotten floors and replacing axles...
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:28 PM   #12
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Oxford, , Mississippi
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My 68 Trade Wind was in similar shape and I spent 2 years working on it (and I'm retired)
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:56 PM   #13
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
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the one you found was an OVERlander and the one for sale in Colorado is certainly not a 34 footer as the ad states.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:09 PM   #14
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1968 24' Tradewind
San Jose , California
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The trailer you are looking at in Newfoundland is going to require a lot more work to bring into living condition than you realize. Old plumbing and electrical systems will take a lot of work to debug, tasks you don't want to take on while in grad school. I've restored old cars and old trailers and my rule of thumb is the real cost in time and money is 3X the original estimate.

Use searchtempest.com to find a finished trailer in the US. You'll save money and time in the long run.

Do you have at least a 1/2 ton pickup with towing equipment? Some folks new to trailering think a small to medium sized SUV or pickup is an adequate tow vehicle. It is not. You will need a tow vehicle with at least 7500 pounds of towing capacity to safely move the type of trailer you are considering.

Good luck!
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