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Old 10-28-2002, 04:54 PM   #1
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Question What to look for??

My wife and I are in the process of looking for a used Airstream, there is some discussion about size. But the real question is other than the cosmetics, skin, tires, interior etc. What or where should we be looking on a used Airstream for problems before we buy. All help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:40 PM   #2
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What to look for??

Greetings Deny!

You don't mention the general era of the Airstream that you are seeking, and that may have some bearing on what should be on your check-out list. Regardless of the rig's age, you would want to be sure that all systems are properly operational - - especially the refrigerator (minimum replacement cost is usually over $1,200), air conditioner (minimum replacement cost is usually at least $650), water heater (minimum replacement cost is usually at least $500), and Univolt (minimum replacement cost is usually around $400). In addition if the the rig has exterior awnings, these should be demonstrated to be in proper operating condition as mechanical parts for some awnings found on Vintage Airstreams are very difficult to find. On units with rear hinged doors, you will want to be careful to check for evidence of poor fit resulting from the door being blown open in-transit - - this often results in poor fit and leak damage. Any trailer more than five or six years old should be carefully examined for evidence of floor damage resulting from leaks around the entire perimeter of the coach - - replacing rotted floor sections can become prohibitively expensive very quickly. It never hurts to check operation of all windows - - broken window mechanisms can become quite expensive to repair - - and on Vintage coaches the parts aren't always easy to find. If you are fond of the idea of a highly polished finish on your coach, the cost of polishing and re-plasticoating can become an issue - - the current cost of such professional service seems to be running between $145 and $175 per linear foot of trailer length including bumper and hitch.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks Kevin.

This is good information, we have spent a lot of time at our local Airstream dealer. These are fantastic people. They have been very helpful, but we are also looking for something private. I have been looking about 1985 and up to probably 1990.
Deny
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Old 10-29-2002, 10:17 AM   #4
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Hi Deny:

If you buy an Airstream at Can Am or the people in Hamilton, Make sure you get them to show you everything is working and that they guarantee the frame is in good condition. Have them balance the running gear as it will shake the livin bejeepers out of the stuff in the trailer.

I bought a 31 foot Airstream at Can Am 4 years ago when I had no idea about the trailers and I have spent a lot of extra money getting it up to snuff. Mind you it was a handyman special but it needed a lot more than anticipated. I ended up taking it back for frame repairs the following year. That was a 3 day drive from Winnipeg. Repair people not familiar with Airstreams will not work on them.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:47 PM   #5
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Hi Gordon:

Thanks for the heads up, the frame repair was interesting. What did the frame repair consist of, was it out of align?
Can this sort of problem be spotted upon inspection? What would you look for.
I appreciate the help from you guy's.
Thanks
Deny
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Old 10-29-2002, 10:59 PM   #6
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Hi Deny:

Check out the Saggy Bottom forum.

The older 1970 and on (mine is a 1979) were suseptable to the rear frame separating from the cabin due to the extra weight of the holding tanks associated with rear bath trailers. I think the problem was eleviated in the 80s. It is also said that unbalanced running gear will cause a lot of damage over time.

My trailer was not looked after very well by previous owners and there is some damage in the way of cabinetery falling apart and coming away from the walls. Some repairs to the cabinets in the kitchen and bedroom area were poorly done and created more problems.

My plan is to redo the whole kitchen but that's another subject.

Try to find someone who knows something about Airstreams to look at it with you.

They are good trailers BUT buyer beware, they are no different than used cars and the sales people are tarred with the same brush.
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Old 10-29-2002, 11:02 PM   #7
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By the way Deny:

I'm an ex Guelph person transplanted to Winnipeg.
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Old 10-30-2002, 05:55 PM   #8
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Thanks again Gordon, just a note. We do a lot of work up in Guelph with the Linamar Companies. Also we have a sales engineer who lives in Winnipeg.
When we finally come up with a trailer a a towing rig, we will probably get out your way.
Thanks again
Deny
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