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Old 04-24-2014, 01:13 AM   #1
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Advice on purchasing '76 Land Yacht

After a day of asking questions over the phone and obtaining info, I traveled around 2 1/2 hours today to go look at a '76 31foot sovereign land yacht. Outside is in decent shape with some clear coat peeling, and a dent on the top end cap by the tow bar end, and one more at the side skirt under panel by the rear. Electrical works with an extension cord for all the lights. Couldn't test the plumbing(possible water filter is clogged), owner just wired in new water pump. Floors seem pretty decent, didn't find any soft spots. Subfloor in bathroom was replaced due to leaking toilet Aprox 2 years ago. Trailer is dirty as its been sitting for 3 years. I don't trust these tires at all, one is popped and the others leak air and have cracks(10+ years since replaced). Propane works(stove burners, heater, oven). Awnings roll out but fabric needs replacing. All interior skins are in good condition. Evidence of rodents apparent. Title is missing and Aprox $315 in back registration fees(called DMV and ran plates/vin, trailer located in Ca, staying in Ca). Title is in deceased mothers name and there is no probate on it, called DMV and got info on how to process this. Explained reg fees will transfer to new owner and he seems willing to lower price to accommodate that. I'm mostly worried about these tires, they are 7.00r15 and I don't know what's best to replaced them with? Asking price is 4800, does anyone feel this is fair or is this not a good deal? I'll attatched photos of what I'm talking about.Click image for larger version

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Old 04-24-2014, 05:56 AM   #2
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Advice on purchasing '76 land yacht

Photo 3 appears to show signs of tail sag. This is no easy fix. 31 foot rigs are common and IMO you should be able to get more bang for your buck. I would keep looking.

Good luck in your search,

Kevin
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:43 AM   #3
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1. Sovereigns are plentiful and should cost less than a shorter Airstream.
2. Tail sag is bad, but can be fixed. You have to remove the interior shell at the rear (and all the fixtures that are in the way of doing that) in order to do a proper fix.
3. The shell dings (front dome, above bumper, belly pan) and missing rear bumper/locker will be very difficult to repair/replace.

If you want a first class vintage Airstream when you're done, this is not a good choice. $4800 would be fair for a Sovereign with a near perfect shell and working plumbing, but is way too much for one in this shape.

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
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Tires: you can replace the bias ply tires with radials that are very close to the same size. I'd go outside and look at mine, but it's snowing. PM me if you want details.

The radials will fit nicely on those vintage wheels (I've got three sets of them).

You are right to be concerned about the tires. RV tires rarely wear out--they age out. Any tire older than 7 years should be replaced. These may be old enough that they don't even have the modern version of a date stamp on them, which means they are way over 7 years.

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Old 04-24-2014, 07:27 AM   #5
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X 2 what everyone else said. Way over priced for all the work needed to bring it back. Keep looking for something better.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks so much!! I had a hard time sleeping last night trying to decide if it was worth my time and or money. I want a good deal and don't want to get sucked Into something just because my desire is burning to have one. I think I will pass on this, it's a little bummer to have taken up a full day of driving and inspecting, but the amount I spent in gas is nothing compared to the patience and joy I will get from finding the right deal!
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