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Old 11-22-2013, 07:15 AM   #1
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Used trailers and what they are asking for junk

I have been spending a little time on Craigs list and the stuff I am seeing is ridiculous. These folks pay too much for a used trailer then rip all the stuff out of it, and ask more for it that they paid for a complete trailer. I am seeing lots of gutted 70's trailers for $5000 or more. I saw one trailer in Nashville that was an aborted food trailer project and they wanted $11,000 for it. It supposedly has a new floor but otherwise gutted to the outer skin. I would not give you $5000 for a fully functional 70's trailer much less a gutted one. You will spend much more on one of these turkeys than getting one that is in better shape for $10-$15k. These gutted trailers are worth maybe $1000-$1500. If it is on the east coast even that is too much because it will have a rotten frame and it won't even make a good junk storage trailer.

My advice is hold out for a good one and take your time. This is assuming you want to eventually camp in it and don't just want a project. Funny thing is, I never see gutted AVIONS. You think that is because they never get to this state?

Perry
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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I have been spending a little time on Craigs list and the stuff I am seeing is ridiculous.
You think that's bad? Try looking for boats. Before I wised up and bought my Airstream, my eventual retirement plan had been to purchase a modest-sized live-aboard boat and cruise America's Great Loop. One of my coworkers kept telling me about these "great boats" available on Craigslist, but every time I checked on one of them, I found something so unseaworthy that I wouldn't trust it as a bathtub toy, let alone live aboard.

And it seems that they're always trying to recoup every penny they ever spent on the item, whether the expense added to the value of the item or not. And with no consideration for depreciation, either.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:17 AM   #3
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I found my 1978 Avion model 28.5 M. Here on the gulf coast. Body was in great shape, every appliance worked, couch needed re-upholstering. Surely it needed stuff, but was well worth the price.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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I found my 1978 Avion model 28.5 M. Here on the gulf coast. Body was in great shape, every appliance worked, couch needed re-upholstering. Surely it needed stuff, but was well worth the price.
I'm sure there are Craigslist success stories like yours, but my less-than-exemplary experience with Craigslist has convinced me to never buy off Craigslist. But that's just my personal opinion, not meant as advice to anyone else.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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It varies. I almost got a great Curtis Wright #5 off CL for $1,500 a few weeks ago (long, miserable story - don't make me retell it). My current trailer was worth more than I paid for it when I bought it.

I have also seen grossly overpriced trailers like you mention as well and had my own thread with the same surprise as yours.

It varies. Some folks just want to get rid of them, some watch an American Pickers episode and think they're worth a lot, or see an eBay post for a very rare trailer that looks a lot like their trailer. I just leave them be.

I once saw a trailer that was grossly overpriced and the guy did some pretty dumb stuff to it. I emailed him because it seemed like the way it was written, the owner seemed well intentioned. The trailer had been listed for some time. I emailed him some pointers and links to Airstream valuations. He thanked me and said he'd probably lower the price (by about $4k. He then emailed me the next week and said he was glad he procrastinated, as someone paid his asking price. I apologized for having brought it up. He said he was happy I did, because now he realized he made a great sale.

I do think the prices are going up though. I'm seeing little blurbs about different remodelers getting into it, so there is more appeal. Airforums.com and Vintage trailer supply has a lot to do with it. 8 years ago, only a handfull of people could do this. Now, just about anyone.

I'm building my own black and gray tanks. I replaced my toilet as well, but now with 3d printing, I may have had my impossible part 3d printed for my old toilet. I wish I had at this point, though my new toilet is much more comfortable.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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I suppose things are worth what people will pay for them. When I was looking for my trailer, I searched everywhere (ebay, C-list, etc.). I found trailers that got bid up on ebay (sight unseen) to prices that I figured were about twice what they should be (having actually seen them). It's like the stock market and the gamble that there will be a "greater fool" tomorrow who will pay more for the stock than you did, even though there are no fundamentals to justify the value of the stock.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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We had only been looking for a couple of years when we bought the caravel and for the condition it was way overpriced but she wanted it and the rest was history. I have been noticing that the prices have climbed in just the past 13 months complete 70's airstream 24 to 31 feet from 1250. To 4500. Now 5000. Starting for a soft floored dented partially gutted project and there is no OBO on most of them! Face it airstreams are hot right now but it's all good because what goes up will eventually come back down hard!
Cliff
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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bottom fishing

Thats what I call it. They throw out a line and hope someone will bite. Sometimes they do. Then, again, many of those high priced sales on EBAY or Graigs will show up again in a couple weeks when the seller realizes it was a bogus sale. Don't get me wrong, I like the increased value, however, many asking WAY to much are contributing to the death of our Airstream way of life. Then there are those paying to much without realizing the time and costs involved then have to abandon it all in desperation .and thats another story. Look at our own Classifieds today and see what I mean.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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I think the price of new ones effects the price of used ones-
With new ones from $40,000-$100,000-
I tried to buy a used 1988 34', but the man wanted $18,000- you can only borrow $3,000 to buy that trailer-
It is easier if you do not have cash to finance a new one-
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:44 AM   #10
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It's true, Airstreams are a hot item now.
I see aficionados and collectors hoarding them here on these forums further driving up prices.
Note worthy is that I see that there are a lot of people who don't have the first idea of what "maintenance" means. These people use these things like lawn bling but can't get off their AS's in front of the boob tube to actually do anything meaning full.
I posted a WTB on Craigslist, got a message within 5 hrs, showed up and paid cash on the spot at full MSRP with no negotiation because it was only a couple hours from my place (location is crucial due to the cost of delivery long distance). I've since spent probably 5K to get it as near perfect as possible and figure a couple grand a year to keep it up. None of which I figure I can recoup if I sold it. At least I'm living in it which off sets the up keep by a high margin.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:57 AM   #11
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We looked at one "in good condition" before we bought ours. This one was an early 80s 25' or so, something like that, and it was basically a complete interior overhaul situation - the flooring had been replaced but it was done shoddily, the fridge didn't work so they just started using coolers, the table was broken, one tire was flat, there was caulk slathered on the inside of one of the front windows, the propane tanks hadn't been updated to the newer valves ("You can still get them filled anywhere!"), and many other issues. I think he was asking $8,000 for it.

The worst part for me was that he insisted the tires were fine, but one was flat, and all four had massive signs of dry rot. I wasn't sure the tires would make it to the nearest tire shop, let alone any farther. (The worst part for my wife was the flooring - they left a huge hole in the flooring in the bathroom.)

One other thing...if you're going to be selling your camper, please have it cleared out, like you're actually ready to sell it. Sheesh.

For Craigslist, there's a lot of crap and scams, but there are some gems, too. Unfortunately when I was selling our B190, the ad was marked as a scam, which it most definitely was not. I reposted it and got some ridiculous lowball offers.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
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Cool & Rising Prices

This is all too familiar a theme for me. I was involved with vintage Porsches (longhoods from 1967-1973) for many years. When I started with them it was possible to buy a nice '72 911S for under $30,000, which was a lot of car for the money. The hobby was frequented by true enthusiasts who loved to fix up the cars themselves: weekend racing, restorations, hot-rodding, auto-cross - mostly DIY stuff. Not anymore.

Someone decided these cars were cool. That under $30,000 car went to $200,000. It ruined the hobby for me as the enthusiasts were repaced by open checkbook poseurs, wannabes and status chasers - and the inevitable money-changers. The enthusiasts watched prices climb and made many of the same comments that we see here. And most moved out of the hobby.

I bought my old Airstream for under $20,000. I think Airstreams are way cool - here's hoping they don't become *too* cool. I love this group of true enthusiasts and would hate to see it change.

Poppy
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I would not give you $5000 for a fully functional 70's trailer much less a gutted one.
Perry
so what do you not like about 70s trailers? There are a lot of great ones out there. Granted they had issues, but so do most.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:29 AM   #14
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The prices on the Forums classifieds seem generally pretty high to me. You often have listings by people who have only joined the Forums to list this one trailer.
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