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Old 06-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
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Things said and done by the PO

I thought it might be interesting (and hopefully a laugh) for those of us with used Airstreams to share some of the craziness either performed or said by the previous owner of our trailers.

The ad for my trailer stated that some plumbing work was needed - when I asked him about it he said they never used the water but he thought it leaked because he tried it once. Sure enough it had been frozen and he had clearly attempted to repair parts of it using pex fittings with rubber hose. This and the fact that there were bottles of tank deodorizer in the bathroom.

Covering up the rotted floor in the bathroom with new plywood and filling in around the toilet with drywall compound.

When I went to pick it up he said he had put air in the tires and I asked how much they were down and he didn't know because he didn't have a tire gauge (who doesn't have a tire gauge???). When I checked them some were over 70lbs (max pressure being 35).

And the best of all concerns the bearings and brakes. He told me he had greased the bearings. When I asked about the condition of the brakes he said he didn't think it had brakes. Now you might be thinking "how did he not know that there were brakes when he had greased the bearings?" Well, as best as I can tell, he took the dust cap off and smeared some grease in and put the cover back. Bearings greased.

Thankfully he only once towed it anywhere, it was parked the rest of the time. I've replaced everything above and am much more comfortable now!
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:14 AM   #2
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My high school Geometry teachers famous statement was " Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see". He should have added
" and anything someone selling something tells you". Fortunately when we bought our 1st. Airstream the sellers were straight shooters. Everything they said they did was done and done well. They told me what had not been done in awhile ( brakes & bearings) and I did them first thing. Not everyone is so lucky. BEWARE when you are in the market. There are shysters out there. Some intentional and some not but the old saying " Let the buyer beware" is so very true.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #3
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I can add to this! We bought ours from a Winnebago dealer who said it was owned by a little old lady who bought it new from Colonial, towed it to NC, was scared to death by the towing experience and decided to sell it. The dealer indicated she hadn't owned it more than about a month.
While it was truly almost unused, a VIN investigation proved it was almost a year old.
Strangely, all of the throw pillows and the bedspread were missing, never to be found, although there were some really ugly rugs. Also missing is the fitting on the showerhead to hang it from the wall. There were also parts missing for the hitch, which was immaterial since I installed a new ProPride.
She was afraid of gas so there was no propane and none of the gas appliances had ever been used.
Still, so far this seems like a great trailer and a great find.
Larry
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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I don't think the PO of our trailer was a shyster so much as a mechanically inept and uninformed!
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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Too bad (for her) that she got into that since she apparently handle it. Good for you though!

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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
I can add to this! We bought ours from a Winnebago dealer who said it was owned by a little old lady who bought it new from Colonial, towed it to NC, was scared to death by the towing experience and decided to sell it. The dealer indicated she hadn't owned it more than about a month.
While it was truly almost unused, a VIN investigation proved it was almost a year old.
Strangely, all of the throw pillows and the bedspread were missing, never to be found, although there were some really ugly rugs. Also missing is the fitting on the showerhead to hang it from the wall. There were also parts missing for the hitch, which was immaterial since I installed a new ProPride.
She was afraid of gas so there was no propane and none of the gas appliances had ever been used.
Still, so far this seems like a great trailer and a great find.
Larry
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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Brad, good idea for a thread.
The thing that cracks me up is when a new owner of a preused trailer complains about "why does Airstream build trailers with a switch that is not hooked up to anything," or one that complains that "Airstream plumbed the whole trailer backwards," or "why does Airstream put in roof vents that leak." Some just never think that the PO may have had something to do with it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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Maybe, but if you ask me the water pump switch is backwards and the PO did not have anything to do with that.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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Are you sure?
The subject is preused and anything could have happened before a trailer is sold, even on a dealers lot.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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I have 2 trailers, and 2 quite different experiences.

I think the first seller was pretty honest, with my only reservation about that being the freshwater tank. It had a leak that I found when I filled it later, and he claimed never to have used it because they always camp where there is water. However, when he replumbed the trailer he ran 4' of PEX to connect up to the pump that he wouldn't need to to if he were never going to use that system. I think he really believe that it didn't need new axles, if only because he'd convinced himself of that to avoid buying new axles in the 5 years they had it. (My new axles made a tremendous positive change, btw.) The most frustrating thing he did was to cut the cables from the fuse block to the converter to exactly the length they needed to be, with almost no slack. This made my life difficult when my new converter had the lugs in a different location.

As far as I can tell the seller of the 28' center-bath was 100% honest. When I spoke with him on the phone he almost immediately said "Well, I gotta tell ya, it ain't no creampuff." He had the trailer a couple of years, but never went very far with it. The only big thing he did was to replace the PPO's garden-hose patches with a well-done red-and-blue PEX installation (he's a master plumber.) My fun with this one seems to all be from the ..um.. "interesting" things the PPO did. I think he was a nutter!

There's a 20-gallon electric residential water heater where the RV water heater and furnace belong. His installation of that shows that he loves loves LOVES screws.


He had some other utility trailer with a 2" ball so he removed the original coupler and put a 2" bulldog on so he wouldn't have to swap out the ball.

He put wheel covers on it that are from an '80s F150, but he didn't bother with valve stem caps.

He put in plug-in 120v lights all over the place, and reiterated his lust for screws by putting in multiple cable hold-downs over the cords, screwed into the otherwise-excellent interior skins. White rivets are winging their way toward me from VTS as I write... (In the process of putting a 120v light in the bathroom he removed the 12v light fixture entirely, there's another little project...)

He broke one of the window latches (in the rear window in the bedroom) and instead of fixing that, he just siliconed the whole bloody window shut!

He put in a big honking Carrier AC unit that drains on the shell... I guess I'll put up with that until I'm ready to paint, or until it dies from the abuse it's suffered due to the next item.

I'm not sure if something happened to the 30A power cable or if he just couldn't be bothered with adapters. As I found it, the trailer has a short section of extension cord wired directly into the box, just long enough that the male end of the plug hangs down just below the banana wrap, where it is exposed to the elements while you drive down the road. Quality stuff! Marinco inlet and cord are inbound from Amazon.

De-crazy-fying costs add up quickly!
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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“Brakes not connected?”
“Yeah. Some of the lights don’t work. Never had a problem with brakes.”
“Brake controller. What’s that? Never seen one.”
“I thought all you had to do was plug it into the truck.”

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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My twin bed frames were made from 30X76" doors, with vents! One door for the vertical and one horizontal with a "dirty" mattress. Ugh!
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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I was wondering what some of those Funny Pictures at WalMart folks were doing in their spare time. Some of these posts give me all the information I didn't want to know!
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #13
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I was wondering what some of those Funny Pictures at WalMart folks were doing in their spare time. Some of these posts give me all the information I didn't want to know!
I'm sure one of them was the one who tried to sell me a collection of rot, leaks and rodent waste masquerading as an Argosy a couple months ago.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:13 AM   #14
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My camper came through pre-ownership mostly unscathed, but it's a relatively new camper so that may be why.

But not entirely unscathed. There are several rather large dents in the back corners from backing into trees. Fortunately none broke the skin. But...really? You didn't learn the first time?

The other thing I found was that someone had cross-threaded the connection at the water pump, so I was waiting for that thing to start leaking on me one day, and I'd have to replace the pump head. It finally did start leaking, but not the way I expected - the rubber gasket in the polybutelene connection went bad. With no way to repair it, I had to install a length of Pex and two fittings. I took the opportunity to use thread dope to seal the connection on the pump, and I'll disconnect it at the next fitting for winterizing. This fix probably would appear in this thread, except we don't intend to sell the trailer.
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