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Old 11-25-2003, 07:16 PM   #1
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Question Possible trailer for us- please help!

Hi everyone! Thanks again for helping us figure out what we can tow. We think we may have found a trailer, but we have no idea of value. It's a '61 22' Safari with a full bed and rear bath. Owner thought AC and Heat need to replaced. New toilet and tub have been installed. Converted to electric except for refrigerator. A few dents on the outside. Needs new propane tanks.

Owner lived in it off and on. Seemed to be worn, but usable?


What is something like this worth?
How much are we looking at to fix heat and AC?
Is the conversion to electric a problem?

How do you check plumbing when you're looking to buy?

Everyone was so helpful on my last post about looking for our first airstream. Now that we've narrowed it down, we may have one within reach...any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.


Liz, Dennis and Jack
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:26 PM   #2
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1986 32' Excella
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'61/22'

You folks are aware that a trailer that old has no gray water tanks. So if you are going to have it hooked up all the time you'll be ok......but if not you will be making lots of trips with the little blue tank to get rid of the water. To get past this problem you'll need to look for one newer than '72 or '73. Thats when they started with the gray water tanks installed.

Happy hunting.....
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:47 PM   #3
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1956 22' Safari
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Thumbs up Congratulations!

You may find this Price vs Condition information helpful in establishing a fair price/value. There is also a section on establishing repairs cost estimates included...lots of info! Check it out ~

As far as living without a grey tank...it's really no big deal. There are several threads here on the forum discussing "blue totes", "portable grey tanks" and "blue bellies". You can find them by performing a search...

Shari
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Old 11-25-2003, 08:03 PM   #4
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Possible trailer for us- please help!

Greetings Liz, Dennis, and Jack!

Quote:
What is something like this worth?
This can be a very difficult question to answer, but the site below might help to give you some broad guidelines:

Vintage Airstreams - - Price vs. Condition

Quote:
How much are we looking at to fix heat and AC?
When I had my Airstream dealer install a new air conditioner in my '78 Minuet (required cutting opening as the trailer didn't have an existing air conditioner) the installed cost was just short of $750.00 (last Spring). Again, at my Airstream dealer, a new Suburban furnace with installation on my '64 Overlander was just short of $600.00 (in 2000).

If the furnace and air conditioner are original to the coach, it is likely that you will have difficulty finding any shops willing to repair the exisiting equipment due to age and parts availability issues.

Quote:
Is the conversion to electric a problem?
There are probably a number of answers to this problem, and they all would revolve around the intended use. What would concern me are the bath fixtures - - if they are not of the RV type, you will likely experience problems with frame durability if much traveling is done as regular household fixtures would be MUCH heavier than the ones originally installed in the trailer. If the water heater isn't an RV unit, or is over 10 gallons, it would almost need to be emptied before traveling to avoid potential frame damage. The conversion to electric heat wouldn't be so much a weight issue as a power consumption issue for typical camping and traveling situations. Lack of 12-volt lighting could make boondocking an issue unless the coach happens to have an LP light.

Quote:
Needs new propane tanks.
Don't discount the original propane tanks too quickly. If the coach happens to have aluminum tanks, you will likely find that it is quite reasonable (in comparison to the cost of new aluminum tanks) to have OPD valves installed in the existing tanks along with the requisite re-certification.

Quote:
How do you check plumbing when you're looking to buy?
On one of my coaches where the purchase price was a genuine bargain, I just did a visual examination on all systems as much as possible and took a chance. On the other coach where I paid full market value, I had an RV mechanic thoroughly inspect the coach (the price was about $125.00, but gave me a full picture of what needed attention). An intermediate method would be to hook the coach up to city water and see if there are obvious leaks when the water is on.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-25-2003, 08:05 PM   #5
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Grey (and black) water tanks

I'm kinda in the same situation as Liz, Dennis and Jack. Susan and I are looking for our first Airstream. The info on the grey water tank is interesting; did they have black water tanks all-along and got grey water tanks around 1973? We will want both in whatever we get so any info would be appreciated.
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Old 11-25-2003, 08:27 PM   #6
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Possible trailer for us- please help!

Greetings Lonnie!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
did they have black water tanks all-along and got grey water tanks around 1973?
Black water tanks didn't become a standard feature until the mid-to-late 1950s/early 1960s. Many, but not all 1950s Airstreams had black water tanks - - "gopher holes" were dug for waste disposal at that time for gray water and black water on trailers not equipped with the black water tank. The black water tank seemed to have become standard by 1960 - - but I haven't seen mention of precisely when it did become a standard feature.

As a side note, it is also possible to find trailers manufactured by Airstream that had gray water tanks that didn't collect ALL of the gray water. I haven't heard of an Airstream with this arrangement; but on the 6.0 Metre Argosy Minuets (1977-1979), the gray water tank does not collect the water from the shower.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:23 PM   #7
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Smile Thanks(giving)

Thanks everyone for the help! The price chart/definitions helped a LOT! And Kevin- your message was so helpful. It's great to get info from people who have experienced this. We had just assumed that the heat and air conditioning would each be more than $1000 to fix. Ok, maybe it could be, you never know, but you gave us hope!

So-- can the things that were converted to electric be converted back?

There are just so many questions when you're new to all of this.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Liz, Dennis & Jack
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:44 PM   #8
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If you don't mind me asking what is your budget for an Airstream?

Is this unit you are looking at well below your budget or somewhere near the top?

Scott
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Old 11-26-2003, 10:58 PM   #9
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Possible trailer for us-

Greetings Liz, Dennis, and Jack!

Quote:
So-- can the things that were converted to electric be converted back?
Generally, the answer is yes, however, the degree of modification that accompanied the conversion can have a great impact on the cost of reversing these types of modifications. If the cabinetry or exterior of the coach have been modified it can be difficult to find a craftsperson who is capable of making repairs of this nature; and with this comes some significant costs. In the best case scenario, the major cost would be buying replacement appliances to fit in the original locations where the modifications were minimal.

An even bigger headache than dealing with the water heater/heating/lighting issues might be the tub/shower unit. If this unit has been replaced with a home-type unit, finding an original type 3/4 tub/shower may be exteremely difficult - - especially one that will fit the curvature of the Airstream body - - if the trailer originally came with a stall-type shower, the problem would be lessened significantly.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-27-2003, 10:17 AM   #10
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Re: Possible trailer for us- please help!

Quote:
Originally posted by airstreamdreamer
Hi everyone! Thanks again for helping us figure out what we can tow. We think we may have found a trailer, but we have no idea of value. It's a '61 22' Safari with a full bed and rear bath. Owner thought AC and Heat need to replaced. New toilet and tub have been installed. Converted to electric except for refrigerator. A few dents on the outside. Needs new propane tanks.

Liz, Dennis and Jack
Hi, Liz, Dennis & Jack!

FWIW, I gutted a '63 Flying Cloud last year and still have the original commode, shower tub, drawers and some other parts available should you decide to embark on this adventure. PM me for specifics!

Roger
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Old 11-29-2003, 07:46 PM   #11
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budget etc.

Hi- Just awakened from the tryptophan coma- I hope you all had a great holiday!

Scott- we were looking in the under $10000 range and this trailer's seller is asking on the middle to low side of that..around $5000.

Kevin-- don't think it's all been converted--but I'm not sure of specifics yet. Bathroom is still airstream fixtures. I guess that much is good...

Roger-- thanks for the offer. Here's hoping we embark on this adventure soon!


Thanks for all the helpful info-- it makes all the difference in how we feel when checking out a possible trailer!


Liz, Dennis & Jack
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Old 11-29-2003, 08:01 PM   #12
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It's difficult to judge without seeing pictures, but based on your description and cross-referencing this with the Price vs Condition page this unit should be selling for around $2000 (I made an upward adjustment due to current popularity of vintage Airstreams).

I'd recommend that you save this guy's phone number, but keep looking.

I paid $6000 for mine about two months ago and it is nearly 100% original and in very good condition if this helps. I'll need the replace my axles one day (torsion arms are horizontal when loaded). This will be about $2000. I am working to resolve a leak from my black tank and cost of this is not yet known. Everything else is ok and we have already camped in it a couple of times.

Good luck.

Scott
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