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Old 07-07-2014, 05:34 AM   #1
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What do you guys think of these two?

1964 Vintage Airstream Overlander | eBay

Looks like to me the axles will need to be replaced simply due to the age of the camper...

And then this one which at one point had sold and now is relisted...

Very RARE 1969 Airstream Fully Operational Jacuzzi Tub Oak Kitchen No Reserve | eBay

I just don't understand how this is "rare" with the layout. But I love them both. Both look like they've been well cared for and although the second one hasn't been restored to original, I love what they've done with it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:36 AM   #2
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The second one with the jacuzzi tub has signs of rear end separation and some rusting on the frame. Cant tell much with the first, pix are so small. Do not buy any trailer site unseen, no matter what type of guarantee they say they will give you if you dont like it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:24 AM   #3
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No way would I buy without viewing for myself and taking a mechanic familiar with airstreams with me. Too much money to risk. We are not going to commit to any AS before October anyway. Thanks for the advice on the second one! I don't even know how to look for separation!
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:47 AM   #4
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The 1964: This looks like a trailer that is being "flipped." There are several flipper-flags, such as the original RV fridge being replaced with a cheap electric only "dorm style" fridge, propane water heater replaced with what I assume is a cheap, "on demand" electric only unit, and the "lament" flooring throughout (maybe this is a Freudian slip--you will lament buying a trailer with new flooring covering up the rotten subfloor). Then again, maybe the remodeler was just afraid of dealing with propane, and never intended to park it anywhere without full hookups. The fact that they don't know the condition of the AC is also suspicious, sounds like it has never been plugged into a 30 amp outlet. Driver's side rear lower segment looks dented.

The very rare 1969: This has rear-end separation that is so dramatic you can see it in the pictures. Also looks like some of the belly skin is falling off in the rear. This trailer is almost guaranteed to have structural problems if only because the PO took out the original interior, which was designed to be light, and replaced it with solid oak cabinetry and and other "luxurious" (read "heavy") items. The frames on these trailers just aren't designed to haul this kind of weight. There is also a good sized dent in the passenger side rear lower corner segment, and a big dent in the top of the rear end-cap.

I would pass on any trailer that you aren't willing to drive to look at without necessarily buying. I committed to buy a trailer based only on pics I had seen online, and the rebuild has been my full-time hobby for the last three years.

good luck!
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for these tips! They are awesome! It is good to get this feedback as the weeks drag on toward purchase so we can avoid scams and flippers. We don't mind doing some cosmetic fixup ourselves, but frame work and separation work...uh no. We are willing to pay more for a trailer which has had that type of work done along with replaced axles, but refuse to pay thousands for something that needs major frame work, body work, etc. We don't mind buying something with the hard stuff replaced/fixed and then having to put in flooring/paint/appliances/furniture.

Looks like it is going to take a while to find one like that.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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Look through some of the better "full restoration" or "full monty" threads, and you will see some good examples of how floor, frame, and shell repairs should be done. Then, when you see a trailer that claims to have had major renovations, ask them to show you pictures of what was done, and to describe in detail how they did their work. There are plenty of folks out there that are not meaning to defraud you, they just don't know how to fix the trailers, and end up covering up problems, or creating new ones.

Keep your eye on Craigslist for reasonably local listings, arm yourself with the "inspection checklist" available on the Portal page, and work on educating yourself so that when that perfect trailer presents itself, you can make a decision on the spot. The good ones go fast, the cheap good ones even faster.

good luck!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #7
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I really had not considered Craigslist, but now I will. The good thing is we have time on our side. I'm not in a rush, but if a good cheap one comes along we may bite. I've been reading a lot about axles. In the grand scheme of things, it looks like that may cost like $1500-2000 to replace depending on the trailer. There is no way we would be able to do that ourselves (hubby is just not that mechanically minded), but who could do that kind of work? Would a local RV repair shop be qualified enough or do you need an AS specialist?

TIA!
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:28 PM   #8
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Yes, Craigslist is just as valid a means of finding a trailer as Ebay, but you may find scams such as the "soldier" who is being deployed and trying to sell his $25000 trailer for $5k, but don't worry, he will use an escrow service with a recognizable name, etc...

If you are looking at vintage trailers, then there is a very good likelihood that you will have to replace the axles, if they haven't already been replaced. If the cost of the axles and the difficulty in the operation seems daunting, then you really shouldn't be looking at trailers that need anything but redecorating, because every project is expensive, and most of them are at least as difficult as changing axles. If you find a "renovated" trailer that is still riding on its original axles, then it is very likely that it has had a very superficial renovation, and there will be a lot of hidden problems. Swapping axles requires some "heavy lifting," but it is one of the simplest repairs to a vintage trailer, as it amounts to 4 bolts per axle, and maybe a little drilling, and reattaching wires. Any RV shop ought to be able to do the work, for that matter, any mechanic shop or welding shop might as well.


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Old 07-08-2014, 10:13 AM   #9
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That was very helpful. I don't think the cost of the the axle repair is offsetting providing that obtaining the trailer at a reasonable price is a attainable. The thing we don't want to happen is to pay upwards $6,000 - $15,000 and THEN have to pay to have EVERYTHING restored. All plumbing, electric, cabinets, rear end separation, and axles. Getting one in that price range and having to have two or three out of six major fixes, I think is reasonable. But not getting a vintage in that price range and THEN having to start from scratch.

I guess what I'm saying is we would NOT want to be investing quite a bit of money into a trailer at purchase and then investing tens of thousands more to bring it up to quality standards. KWIM? Thanks for the advice about Craigslist! Keep the advice coming! We are willing to learn!
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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You have the right idea. A trailer that is going to require a lot of additional investment should be cheap in the first place. If you are willing to pay $12-15k, you should be able to get one that has already been through at least the majority of the fix-up process, ie., all working RV specific appliances and AC, new axles, no floor rot, plumbing, electrical, and propane systems fully functional, etc..
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