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Old 12-07-2010, 08:52 PM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
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To buy or not to buy?

I have a lead on a 75 sovereign with rear bath and center twins. It's been sitting unused for many years. I can get it for 2500. I haven't yet inspected it, but seller claims all is intact and original, just everything needs attention. Not sure what that really means. Seems like a fair enough price but I need some expert advice. I just got a 25' tradewind (1974) but the sleeping arrangements aren't sufficient for me, wife, and three kids. Can anyone give a novice some suggestions? I don't want to buy a money pit.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:59 PM   #2
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Face it, all vintage Airstreams are money pits or time pits. We all gather here to see there is someone that has gone more extreme than we did (or at least pray we are not the one). Also note, some things no matter the cost are worth it. If you are not currently enjoying your current trailer, you will never will.

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:27 PM   #3
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Tom

If you are not very handy, I would not recommend that you buy a project trailer. However for starters, I would locate somebody knowlegable in your area that could inspect it with you. To determine whether it is worth $2,500, you need to figure out what it needs and how much money that it is going to cost you. I know of a trailer that a newbie paid $3,000 for that I am not sure that I would have taken for free if somebody offered it to me. It just needed that much work. It did not even have any windows! Take lots of pictures too and post them. You just need more information so you can make an informed decision. Enjoy your search, but don't be in a big hurry. The more you look at the more you learn and you get a feeling of what you are getting for your money. Better to pass on a trailer than to buy the wrong one.

Dan
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:41 PM   #4
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There are too many variables involved to be able to say which of the two will wind up being the cheaper one to revise to the point of being a pleasant-to-live-in, reliable trailer.

However, as far as the sleeping arrangements go, you haven't mentioned the layout of the Tradewind. However, no matter what the Tradewind interior is, unless it has bunkbeds (rare) it, too only sleeps 4 adults. This is the same as the Sovereign.

In other words, if you are interested in buying the Sovereign to have more sleeping capacity, that won't happen, in my view. All you will get is more storage and living space. So unless you have quite small children, somebody will have to sleep on the floor (ouch! Mom! Timmy stepped on me!!)
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:58 PM   #5
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Aage is right. 70's Airstreams were not designed for family camping...they were designed for 2. My parent's old 22' box trailer could sleep all 5 of us comfortably and the 31' Airstream 4 max with a 5th on the floor. The best arrangement for you would be a rear bath twin bed floorplan with 2 bunkbeds...somewhat rare from what these forums show. I can still hear my mom arguing against buying the Airstream because there was no room for us kids and my dad arguing that in a few years us kids would be out of the house and just the two of them would travel the country.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradewindtom View Post
... everything needs attention. Not sure what that really means.
I can't speak to how well a sovereign can sleep 5. I will note that I can sleep 5 comfortably in my trailer, for what that's worth, but unlike the 1975 trailers it has a dinette that converts to a bed.

If everything needs attention you should consider the total purchase and repair price. You can easily spend $5,000 on "the usual" for a neglected trailer - axles, tires, batteries, hitch, an appliance or two, and some propane, electrical and plumbing work - even if the shell and interior are ok.

In that light condition is more important than price when purchasing.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:53 AM   #7
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You can easily spend more than $5K if you add up all the trips to HD or ACE for "little stuff". I stopped keeping up with it on my Trade Wind, just didn't really want to know because it was way more than I every thought it would cost to get it back in shape and I'm still not finished. Also, I worked hard on mine for nearly a year just go get it ready to camp (I'm retired) so don't underestimate the time. If your kids are young and you want to go camping buy something that will fit you needs now, otherwise they will be grown and gone and you won't need all the space.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I guess I should have been a little clearer on some things. I am pretty handy....so doing repairs doesn't bother me. My 3 kids are young and not leaving any time soon. I did the repairs to my tradewind double to get it camp ready. That is pretty much all I want out of the sovereign...to be functional and camp ready. I am going to look at it today and I will post some pictures afterward.

Tom

BTW Aage, the tradewind was in pretty good shape when I got it...A few electrical quirks and a plumbing leak were the only real issues when I got it. Everything else worked. My total outlay for it has been around $250 to fix it up. So it will definitely be the cheaper one. (I bought it for CHEAP )
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:28 AM   #9
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Tom,

Glad to hear you are pleased with your Tradewind buy. Keep in mind though that your trailer's refer, furnace, water heater, and plumbing are all living on borrowed time, if they are the original units.

These can add up to big $ pretty quick, especially if you aren't a plumber as well as a handyman. The parts alone run around $2,500.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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Tom,

I would agree on a rear bath twin bunk sovereign for the most sleeping areas. With the twins aft a fold out futon forward and a fold out single opposite the door we can sleep 5.

Good luck

Curt
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:53 PM   #11
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Well the sovereign was a disappointment. Saw it this afternoon. Way too much to fix/replace. It would have needed a complete gut. Amazing what good camera angles can hide!

I guess I'll have to make due with the tradewind
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #12
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Look at it as a learning experience.

You know a lot more today than you did before looking at the Sovereign. So now you will have more information when you find the perfect trailer down the road. Good luck......enjoy the process.....pj
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:33 PM   #13
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Hey Tom, does your Tradewind have twin beds or a double? If you have twin beds or can convert yours to twins, then you can build bunk beds for the kids, and you and your wife can use the fold out "gaucho" bed in the front. Just a thought.

David
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