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Old 02-16-2012, 05:27 AM   #15

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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I'm always a little wary of anything that smells of Mr Kleen...or dirty litter boxes.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:31 AM   #16
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Dirt at campgrounds can have almost anything in it. Just read some of the posts here about gray and black water use or misuse. Dogs, children, stupid adults dump or put almost anything on the ground. Compound that with the campsite may be used by different people every night. jim

1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Collin View Post
That question makes sense Mr. bill. What she has a problem with is going into a trailer and not wanting our kids to sit or touch on anything because it looks so gross. Looking through the current condition is difficult for her. Seeing an empty slate that gets to be finished out is not so difficult. Which leads me to my next question: I have seen several for sale that are "reconditioned", what does that usually include? Most listings say that it is still retro or vintage, but does it mean that the grossness and smell has been taken care of with no real repairs?
You would have to look at each individual trailer to determine exactly what has been done. Like I said earlier make sure they can prove that the frame and floor have been repaired properly or at least inspected to ensure they are in good condition. Pictures of the repairs/inspection are proof positive.
If the trailer is a 1973 or older it did not come with grey waste water holding tank because in those days dumping grey water on the ground was acceptable. Not so today so look for one that has been retrofitted or be prepared to do the work yourself.
Most of the odor you can smell in older trailers is trapped in the "soft furnishings" like the drapes, upholstery and also in the insulation. Ask if they removed the inner walls to reinsualte. Again pics are proof.
Retro or vintage may mean that they kept most of the original cabinets, furniture and appliances. Fridges and ranges if properly restored can often provide years of trouble free service although parts will be difficult to obtain. Water heaters and furnaces should be updated to modern versions with more user friendly features.
Ask what has been done to the elecrtical systems. Most early vintage trailers had rudamentary electrical systems at best. Have those systems been updated and new wiring installed with more circuits to lessen the load per circuit. As an example on my 73 the 110VAC system was one circuit running everything and a second cicruit for the A/C and the 12VDC IIRC was only 4 circuits. Older trailers 12VDC were often even fewer circuits and the methods of wiring are very crude.
Has the fresh water plumbing system been updated to modern pex pipe?
I could go on but this should give you some information to think about while looking at various ads.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:45 AM   #18
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Fixing up a 70's Airstream is SPENDY! Rebuilding a gut job requires access to a shop OR one must drop more cash! If time is worth anything, I wouldn't do it. Mine has never been in condition to travel in. It takes about two days to gut one with zero cash out . . . and about two years and north of ten grand to put it back together.

The thing to do would be to find a newer one in nice shape and drop 20 or 30 grand on it. If ya hit the lottery, you can always find a fixer for 3 to 6 grand. I've seen gutted ones advertised for less than 3, but the frame and floor repair could double that. New fixtures, appliances, cabinets, countertops, furniture, upholstery, drapes, carpet, running lights, batteries, wiring, and a good hitch will get a fixer to 15 to 20k pretty quick.

Here they sell brand new wood frame trailers with warranty for less than 15k.
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:27 PM   #19
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1988 25' Excella
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Depending on small budget size, you may want to expand search to consider post-1995 models in 28-30' range.. Many can be had in good condition for well under $20K, and odds are better that floor and appliance/systems in good shape. Can be redone with complete interiors (upholstery/mattress/curtains/blinds/flooring or carpet) for a couple $K, and are better built than 1970's models, and wider with more interior room...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #20
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Florence , South Carolina
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Great idea. I really hadn't even thought about newer ones, thinking they would be way out of my budget.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #21
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I don't agree that newer ones are built better. Airtsream started using OSB for a floor at some point and I have see units as new as 2005 with floors totally rotted out. Yes they will have newer and better appliances etc. The newer you get the heavier you get as the cabinets are heavier and countertops are heavier as well.
Once Airstream sold to Thor Industries they started using more off the shelf components instead of items built specifically for them. These components are exactly the same as used in white box trailers.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #22
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I don't know that you find a lot less than $20K in that size and range... but in the $20-$30 range is reasonable. As far as refurbished... it could mean anything from redoing the floor and upholstery to updating the plumbing and fixtures...

I know what your wife is worried about as far as the sights and smells... but the 'soft' parts of an AIrstream are the easiest to update or clean. A new mattress, new window coverings or seat fabrics... can be done fairly cheaply if you want. Or take all the soft stuff to the cleaners and let them do their thing...

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