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Old 07-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #1
New Member
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2
Talking Hello!

HI there! New here!!

I've decided to try to fulfill my lifetime dream of taking a year in an Airstream. My timeline is flexible, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can and still not wait too long before I hit the road.

I was familiar with my ex and I's 1967 Safari 22, which was in rough shape, so I'm not great with Bambis (yet). Our old one would have had to be stripped, basically, and as time has passed and we went our ways, I'm looking for something completely different: not much to repair and very tiny.

If we take this old trailer, for example, is the price a fair one? I don't have time to fix up anything major with a trailer, and I'm looking for the smallest sleep-able one I can find.

Thanks for any help, and I look forward to being an active and informed member in the (near, even today!) future!!

Here is one I'm trying to suss out.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,986
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It's yours to decide whether my opinion is worth the $0 it costs you...

This seems like a nice trailer with the possible exception of its lack of air conditioning... and if you have a year to be wherever you want to be, you can certain follow good weather and not care about the AC thing. Their "buy it now" price is a bit aspirational, but you never know what they're willing to accept on the "make offer" side.

If I were looking for a tiny trailer, 3 things I'd want to check carefully on this one are the axle, the subfloor and the plumbing. There's not a word about the axle, and being a '63 I think it will have a torsion axle. This trailer is old enough that it could've had a new axle installed when the first one stiffened up in the mid '80s and STILL be ready for another new one, so my assumption going in would be that it's ready for a new one.

The listing says "new flooring that is solid" and I would like to know more about exactly what that entails in this case. If they removed the bathroom and the cabinetry and put down new plywood subfloor correctly, the value goes up. If they just scabbed over iffy subfloor with plywood or OSB and put down pretty tile, the value goes down.

In several places the seller is liberal with the word "new" and yet that word isn't used about the plumbing, so even though this trailer has very little plumbing I'd like to know more about the age and materials and condition of it, rather than "it works."

IMHO $22,500 is a premium price and I'd have to see positive answers to my 3 questions and a flawless inspection to get anywhere near that. I must say, though, that I don't quite understand the tiny-trailer mania so I may be a bit too cheap to believe in it.
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,456
And now writing from my THIRD Airstream... with 20/20 hindsight.

What you want to do is YOUR decision, but since you asked for other views here is mine.

Old trailers = "labor of love" (and money, and sweat, and money, and tears and money). If you really really want a vintage trailer, by all means get one, but do a lot of shopping - and do realize that there are great restorers, great frauds, and scads of clueless people who think they've done a great restoration when they've just severely damaged an old trailer.

DO NOT BUY a vintage unit until you've spent months hanging around this forum following the highly respected restorers threads, and have a clear understanding of how to tell a polished turd from a truly well restored unit. Do not buy a vintage unit without having it inspected by a competent restorer - PAY for it now, or really PAY for it later. Do not buy a vintage unit in need of major work unless you have (A) BUCKETS full of money or (B) at least a year or two to do it all yourself.

Now truly Vintage units are cute - but the 16' 19' and 23's currently made aren't bad either and they have all the glamping stuff like water heaters where you light them with the flick a switch instead of going out in your jammies with a long match. The amenities in a new(er) trailer will spoil you rather quickly.

A LOT of people buy a tiny 16 sport... and want to move up to something bigger quite quickly. Think of yourself as a vulture - swoop in and take their tiny mistake off their hands. Look right here in the Classifieds - and you could find at least 3 or 4 nice small trailers right in your neighborhood. All priced lower than this vintage job - and ready for the ROAD.

Last thought - are you scared to have a big trailer? Ask for a volunteer here that's near to you... attend a rally and get some samples of towing. It's actually just as easy to back up a bigger trailer than a small one. You've got to learn the skill... so learn it in something comfortable for you to live and travel in.

BTW - some of the bathrooms in the really small ones are unfriendly to anyone larger than a size 8.

Sincerely, Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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1976 Argosy 26
Perry , Georgia
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Posts: 53
DKB .... Your opinion is worth more than $$$ my opinion at least!!!!
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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1976 Argosy 26
Perry , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 53
First of all I think I can say you've come to the right place . A newbie as of 3 days ago and wished we had the knowledge before, so good luck to you and welcome !
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2
Wow! I came back to amazing responses.

I was in the process of moving, and didn't have wifi.

Thank you all, and I'm going to re-read the responses and do some more forum browsing.

I met someone who said they are now renting Airstreams? I'm definiately NOT opposed to a new trailer-- I thought it would be MORE $$, but with maintenance and such, I'm sure my thinking may be a bit backwards.

I'm (somewhat) small and grew up in a one bedroom with my mom, so I actually like smaller living spaces, and have lived in micro spaces, so I'm pretty comfortable with that.

I'm going to start looking around for places/chances to try driving and maneuvering trailers of all sizes, thanks for the tip!

What are some of the maller trailers from the last few years from Airstream? Are any of the convertible units worth peeking at?

Thank you again, all!
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Greetings effie815!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

As others have said, a Vintage Airstream is something of "a labor of love", and to some can quickly become a never ending chore. I genuinely love my Vintage trailers, but realize that they aren't for everyone. One of my great joys is participating in Vintage RV caravans and rallys particularly those hosted by either WBCCI or the Vintage Airstream Club. Should your desires be more for travel rather than club-based activities, you may find that a later model Airstream with fewer of the pitfalls found with a Vintage unit will more closely suit your needs. To get an idea of what is available from comparatively recent years, you might try looking at some of the following links:Just to give you a cross-sample, I have provided links for 2000 and 2005 model years. These will give you a good idea of the available layouts in the post 2000 Airstreams. You can obtain a tremendous amount of information about various model year Airstreams from this link.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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