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Old 07-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Chicago , Illinois
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Mechanical types please look at these pics and give opinion

Hello,

I am buying my first Airstream and came across one 45 miles from home. It looked all good when I went out there today, but I don't know anything mechanical/systems and am hoping these pictures will be enough to get some feedback. Any other advice is appreciated.

The classified ad is here: 1976 27' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Used Airstreams For Sale



The pics can be seen here:

Bryson Engelen's Photos - 1976 Airstream Sovereign 31' rear bath twin | Facebook
Thanks,

Bryson
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engelken View Post
Hello,

I am buying my first Airstream and came across one 45 miles from home. It looked all good when I went out there today, but I don't know anything mechanical/systems and am hoping these pictures will be enough to get some feedback. Any other advice is appreciated.

The classified ad is here: 1976 27' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Used Airstreams For Sale



The pics can be seen here:

Bryson Engelen's Photos - 1976 Airstream Sovereign 31' rear bath twin | Facebook
Thanks,

Bryson
A Sovereign, back then is a 31 foot Airstream.

The photo's show a little rear end separation, a couple of small dings, missing rub rail and belt line inserts, and possibly axles that have seen their day. You should see about 3 inches of the tires above the top of the wheels.

The price, for what is offered, is not bad, but the trailer certainly needs some exterior attention, especially to the frame.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
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It needs all the copper tubing replaced with Pex, probably the faucets too, to many rubber hose patches in the pictures. The rear end has some indication of seperation from the body to frame, one picture shows an impact at the rear that was hard enough to transfer into the Rubrail molding, and now has a gap, another shows a bead of silicone sort of filling a gap at the rear end, open the rear compartment door and check the floor inside both corners. The way the trailer is sitting is putting an undo amount of weight on the rear axle, how long has it sat like this, you'll need to level the trailer and check the torsion arm angles, experience has shown that a majority of the older 60's & 70's Airstreams are due for axle replacement.
It does have a newer water heater and refrigerator.
I'd guess your looking at about $3K to make it road worthy.....$5900?
I'd shoot for about $3,000, then the fun starts.
Greg
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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What would a rough estimate of each repair be? Axle work $800ish and rear separation repair $1500? And priority, cause I probably can't afford to do it all at once.

Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Really depends on your planned use, obviously plumbing would be most important...if you plan on doing it yourself you'll save alot of money, parts for the plimbing probably around $4-$500 for everything.
Rear end seperation is more involved, it requires accessing the floor area at the left and right floor to frame contact points and repairing the floor and attachment integrity, sometimes a patch can be put in, 50% of the time it requires complete replacement of the last 4' of floor. You just need a SOLID plywood floor where the floor channel is attached and bolted to the rear frame and outriggers.
10 miles once amonth to go fishing, the axles can wait til you plan that really big trip.
This trailer looks to be close to power and water, doesn't take much to hookup a water hose and see what happens, don't forget to FILL the black and gray tanks. Hookup to electricity, a 20Amp circut will run everything in the trailer, albeit one thing at a time, but it'll run the AC, converter, fridge, Microwave.
Greg
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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Price seems high for the condition this trailer is in. If you intend to use it for other that parking it permanently at a campsite, I would look for another unit. I have a 77 31 footer just like this one. It will cost you a lot of money to get this one road worthy and you will never get you money back out of it.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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Cool Warning, Will Robinson: heartbreak ahead!

engelken,

One could make a detailed list of the things that need to be done to the trailer, should be done to the trailer, and with time, other stuff that YOU will want to do, like straightening up the décor.

But all in all, the same thing is going to happen to you that happened to the previous owner (if you read through the receipts that are posted with the photos). You will be forever catching up to either things that have worn out, or other things that were poorly repaired over the years.

No one of those things are a killer all on their own, and I can see why the owner wants six grand (look at what he spent!), but it's like ZoomZooom and Dwight said: look elsewhere.

This one has too much to do, and will never be a really nice trailer without tearing it all apart from the chassis on up and renewing all the worn and broken stuff it has. If you could do it yourself, you would wind up with a lovely trailer in a year or two. If you can't do it yourself, you will forever be worryihng what is going to go next.

You must see that, and know it in your heart, Ken. Just let it go.

Pay more and get a nicer trailer, then you'll be able to do what it is you want the trailer for: great camping experiences. Most people will agree that it can take a while to find "the one" for you. And by that time, you will have learned a lot more about them.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for their candor and advice. I'll take it and move on.
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