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Old 07-21-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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1970s vintage type 30+ footers

Just recently signed onto the group, as I am considering purchasing a used Airstream described above and wondered, in looking at classifieds here, on eBay, etc., is a $9,500 to $12,000 range a fairly accurate price for a decent trailer? I am somewhat limited on heavy equipment, welders and such to do serious framework.

Are there any notorious years for bad frame rusting, leakages, etc. that I should perhaps try to steer clear? My wife and I would even look at trailers needing interior upgrades...that we can do...provided overall it is structurally sound.

Appreciate your comments...
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:43 PM   #2
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The 30'/31' Sovereigns of the late 60s and 70s are notorious for rear end separation problems. This problem usually comes with a frame issue or two but I got lucky and didn't have any. Just the separation. There's lots of info here on this problem. Just search "rear end separation."

As for cost, the Sovereign would have to be in great condition, inside and out, to pay $9k. And to pay $12k it would have to be in great condition and polished.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:36 PM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign
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1970's vintage type 30+ footers

Been there, done that......so, here are my comments. "Luck" plays a large role in getting a "good" one. So, do not be in a hurry. Take your time. Check every nook and cranny for units that are "for sale".....especially the Internet. I made several multiple of hundreds of mile trips to check out "loosers". Frustrating!! Insist on many photos, check them carefully and question everything that looks abnormal. Take your time......you will be glad you did. Don't panic when you loose one to another buyer, be patient...your's will come, in time. Try to get a "center bath model", avoids a lot of potential problems. Now wish I had. Good luck. Bill
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys...time is definitely I want to spend so that I can get a decent model to work on. Also, many of the trailers are twin beds that I've noticed, whether the bathroom is in the center or in the rear? Did they make them with a full bed? Later models that I have seen in pictures appear to show a full bed. I suppose I could just put on in, if not. Lastly, is there any kind of sealer needed on the rivets to help prevent any leakage, or are they fairly tight, like my old Wards Sea King aluminum 12 footer is?
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:50 PM   #5
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Overpriced

I currently know of 2 that are $2800 and $1250 respectfully. They need a lot of work, but take it from someone that bought one for a lot more than those numbers and has since had to gut, re-floor, re-secure, and is working towards aluminum tent status. Those prices seem really high.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:08 PM   #6
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
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if you get a cheap 70's trailer, fix it up yourself, and hire help where needed (ie, if you dont do electric, hire an electrician - if you don't do welding, hire a welder). you dont NEED 'big tools'.

if you have a compressor / nail gun, cordless drill, and a tool box - you've got the essentials. you might buy a few specialty tools, but if you can do the basics and are willing to read the forums, you can reno a trailer. the only thing you need to 'weld' per se, is the frame IF it is rusted out. use the forum feature that will let you find a member who is willing to inspect a trailer to save you the drive ( if its hours away or if you aren't sure how to ID 'rear end separation') .

you can still come in within budget and with a trailer that you KNOW is working and solid in all respects and will last another 50 yrs.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:58 AM   #7
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Essential tools

An Angle Grinder is an invaluable tool if you have to do any metal work.....but, dangerous when used improperly.....but an ESSENTIAL tool. Also a Dremel with all the accessories is handy to have. Por-15 is the best rust stopper/preventer.

Yes, there are full-size bed models, but more scarce. Mine has a 3/4 center bed. GREAT for one person. Bill
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