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Old 04-02-2004, 01:45 AM   #1
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Cool non-owner looking to buy... assistance please?

Allow me to preface this by saying that I'm a very experienced RVer, having been a full timer for three years and spending 13 of my 30 years in either a TT, 5er, class A or class C. I however have absolutely no experience with Airstreams. I apologize for the remedial questions I'm about to ask.

In my seemingly endless search for a TT, I've come across two '77 Airstreams in the 31' model. I think for my application (permanently sitting at a site in Canada) it would be perfect. The curved roof can't hold water or too much snow, there is no structural wood to deteriorate even if it springs a leak. Never having owned one of these silver twinkies, I don't know anything about them. Its a little frustrating that the 1977 model I'm considering is selling for the same as a comparable 1997 Salem TT I was looking at.

I was looking at early to mid 90s "normal" TTs in the 28-32' range and found a few for $5000-7000; is an airstream really that much better that a 1977 model should bring that much money as well? Are they more prone or less prone to leaks? Since I'm used to later-style RVs, what should I expect as far as appliances? Would a '77 have an air-style water tank, or the newer demand-pump style? Should I expect the same brands of appliances like Dometic, Attwood, DuoFlame? Can I expect a layout that doesn't have just twin beds like so many trailers of the time? I want a bedroom, not a fold-out couch that is part of the living space.

Just feel free to spill your guts on anything Airstream so I can educate myself before calling on these ads. Thanks so much Curtis
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:59 AM   #2
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Although considerable space in the archives is devoted to the subject of leaks, it is my opinion, based on absolutely no emperical data whatsoever, that the classic Airstream is less prone to leaks than other brands of trailers. They tend to spring a leak and more or less dissolve internally. Airstreams can go for years unattended without leaking.

But that is not the same as forever. And Airstreams can, and do develop leaks. If ignored, the results are not pretty: the floor rots (which, in an Airstream IS a structural element).

Pressure tanks went out in the early 60's, I believe. A regular full size bed was available in center bath units of the late 70's, but they are fairly rare. They become much more common in the 80's. RV appliances are RV appliances; there are few to choose from.

There is a lot of information in the archives, but as you read keep in mind that this is where people come who are having problems. The archives make it look like all Airstreams are one rivet away from falling into a heap, but that is, of course, not true at all.

Mark
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Old 04-02-2004, 09:29 AM   #3
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Curtis,

I'm with Mark. The only thing that I would add is that some of the 70s units had rear end seperation. Now, I've never owned a 70s unit, but the folks I've met that have them...totally love them.

So as you look, please make sure that you look for signs of possible water damage either from the outside getting in, or from the inside moving about. Rear end seperation issue is real in those vintage years from what I understand as well.

Eric
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Can I expect a layout that doesn't have just twin beds like so many trailers of the time? I want a bedroom, not a fold-out couch that is part of the living space.
We full-timed in a '77 31' AS and it had a rear bedroom with a full size bed. We found we could fit a queen mattress on the bed support and it just fit between the two night stands.
Quote:
I was looking at early to mid 90s "normal" TTs in the 28-32' range and found a few for $5000-7000; is an airstream really that much better that a 1977 model should bring that much money as well?
Value for something like this is an issue of supply and demand. Those sound like fair prices. We sold our 31' to my sister a number of years ago. She sold it last fall for $8,000.00 to the first buyer to see it.
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Should I expect the same brands of appliances like Dometic, Attwood, DuoFlame?
Yes, and the stove/oven will probably be Magic Chef.

Keep in mind that there were at least two interior wood-grain colors at that time. There is a darker color similar to walnut, and a lighter color similar to light oak.
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