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Old 10-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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The fact that the owner went to those depths to make repairs is a very, very, very good thing. It greatly improves your chances of not having surprises. With only a very few rare few exceptions, most 30 year old trailers will have some subfloor and frame issues.

I also personally prefer the windows from the 1970s. Much less fussy, all the parts are available. Expensive to replace the window itself, true, but otherwise simpler.

Also, keep in mind that you could always add a gray tank to the 60s trailer of your dreams. Even some of the 70s trailers had rather small tank capacity, crimping your style if you're full-timing.

Tom
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:45 PM   #16
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If you're full timing, are you relying on the tanks or a hook-up? I agree, that they documented the floor replacement is a good sign. One thing, how did they attach the flooring- the fasteners are important, as is the ply. I don't know that the earlier windows are more difficult to work on, I do like the curving Corning windows and the levers to open them on the later models. If you're pretty careful, you'll probably end up with a trailer that you're happy with. There will be stuff that needs fixing, unless you're really lucky, but find one you like, that has a decent repair history and no glaring repairs, and you should be fine. This from someone who bought the first Airstream I saw because I loved the configuration. It didn't matter that when I set foot in the door, I went through the floor to the belly pan. After ten years, lots of time and money, I still love the layout.

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Old 10-20-2012, 12:11 AM   #17
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Good question about tank needs considering I am aiming to full-time. I guess that I want the flexibility to do some boondocking and want to be as self contained as possible for that. Also, I will be spending quite a bit of time on my friend's land up in Washington and I think that I'll need to be prepared to be without septic until I figure out if I can get that worked out at his place.

As for the subfloor, I don't know the specifics but will ask. He described it saying, "Completely removed and replaced floor, epoxy coated all edges and applied 4 coats of polyurethane."

He has also converted all the plumbing to PEX, replaced all the insulation, updated the electrical including a new distribution panel and and inverter, and quite a bit more.

Overall, I'm thrilled with the prospect of having a lot of the core stuff done so I can focus on more of the comfort and configuration stuff. But there will be plenty still to do on repairs, like the crack in the shower pan, a new ignitor for the furnace, awning reinstallation with new fabric, and I guess some window gaskets and vulkem is needed on some windows (he is including parts for that).

I've also had some pretty good sized solar panels and a charge controller sitting around for awhile that I can't wait to install.

It looks like I'll be picking up the trailer in exactly 1 week from tomorrow and the excitement is starting to kick in. I'm flying out to pick up my new tow vehicle on Tuesday and then will make my way from there (Wichita) up to South Dakota to register it and get my drivers license, and then over to Michigan to pick up the trailer!! Can't wait!
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:51 AM   #18
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sounds pretty good, the things you mention that need fixing are relatively easy. We share your excitement, and please share pics when you can. Have fun!
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #19
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Thanks Globie64 -- and everyone else who has provided advice and feedback!
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:19 AM   #20
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A couple of other things to consider. 1968 and earlier were only 7 ft wide. 1969 and up were 7'6" and wider.

Also the grey tanks are pretty small 20 gallons and less.

I redid my 1968 and put in two 30 gallon grey tanks that I joined together and 2 separate fresh tanks. One 40 gallons and one 25 gallons. Family of 6 this will last me 3-4 days with showers. Since I can't get all the fresh water out and some goes into the black tank, when I run out of water my grey tanks are full. It wasn't that hard to put them under the trailer.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by CA_Tallguy View Post
It looks like I'll be picking up the trailer in exactly 1 week from tomorrow and the excitement is starting to kick in. I'm flying out to pick up my new tow vehicle on Tuesday and then will make my way from there (Wichita) up to South Dakota to register it and get my drivers license, and then over to Michigan to pick up the trailer!! Can't wait!
So do you have a hitch, getting one with it or buying one?
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:42 PM   #22
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My 81 Center bath has the beefed up frame and real plywood. Sometime in the mid 80's they went to chip board which has more rot issues. I would go 80's over 70's trailers. You would have a better chance of not having to do a shell off restoration.

Perry
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #23
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it's been interesting to see the posts about OSB (oriented strand board) for flooring instead of plywood- the engineer I use for all my projects won't allow it to be substituted for plywood in projects because it is more sensitive to moisture, and loss of strength, than plywood.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:16 PM   #24
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That actually looked like a nearly mint 70's trailer compared to some I have seen on here. What you are seeing is typical of a 30-40 yr old trailer. Keep in mind the majority of them look like this under the floor where you can't see because the PO remodeled with new laminate flooring (the PO did a quick and dirty "eyewash" restoration). Rear bedroom models are easy to see the floor condition because usually you can lift the carpet under the beds to see the real condition. I did not do this an ended up having to replace the back 4 ft of floor.

Perry

[QUOTE=CA_Tallguy;1217530]This is indeed something on my mind. I'm very interested in the trailer that has had a lot of work done to it and the frame repainted, reinforced along with the new subfloor. But while knowing that has been done is great, I'm a bit worried about getting into a unit where I know it had pretty bad floor rot and rust to begin with. I'm assuming that most 30+ year old trailers are going to have some of that? Or are there some good units out there that have never had those problems, like in the warmer climates? I figure it is difficult to really discern the condition of the frame though, so with most trailers I wouldn't even know?

Below are some photos of what it looked like when the current owner went in to make repairs. As you can see, he REALLY got into the subfloor and frame area for this project.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:45 PM   #25
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And go easy on yourself. It is difficult to hit the nail squarely on the head the first time. I'd set some goals, as with: I wish to be able to boondock up to two weeks sort. I wouldn't just spend money, but experiment and keep some notes about how it feels as opposed to just numbers. But numbers are central. Etc.

If one were to go through three trailers to find the right one, it wouldn't matter so much. But being over-enthusiastic might mean spending too much on the first one (and so forth).

Bring all the road performance stuff up to date first (LED exterior lamps, new safety chains, new 7-way, best hitch rigging and nose-bleed brakes, etc) as how it rolls down the road is central to being mobile. Plus, it isn't expensive or time-consuming as are some other areas of work. That and some "polish up" can make it "ready for sale" and give quite a bit of satisfaction on some honest work. Then, just go and use it awhile.

Pics are always welcome. And WELCOME!
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:26 AM   #26
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So do you have a hitch, getting one with it or buying one?
I'm thinking that I will pick one up on the road after I get the trailer, just in case the one I get has them with it. (I'm pretty sure the one I've settled on will not, however.) I have a new class IV receiver for the truck I bought shipped and that will be waiting for me in at my new address at Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls. Been reading up on the options, however!
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:29 AM   #27
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That actually looked like a nearly mint 70's trailer compared to some I have seen on here. What you are seeing is typical of a 30-40 yr old trailer. Keep in mind the majority of them look like this under the floor where you can't see because the PO remodeled with new laminate flooring (the PO did a quick and dirty "eyewash" restoration).
Whew! That is great to hear. Makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing, going for the unit that has had some serious frame and subfloor work.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:41 AM   #28
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You need to make sure it was documented and done right. The connections to the frame at the rear are very important that they are done right. There is also an L-Shaped steel plate at the back that should be bolted to the rearmost cross member. The plate is riveted to the flat panel below the license plate.

Perry
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