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Old 04-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #1
New Member
Rogersville , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Wannabe- What do you guys think?

Hi I've had my eye on this 1972 Airstream Sovereign International twin 31' for a couple of weeks. I'm a young guy, disabled Air Force veteran, and full time student. I love the idea of full-timing in an Airstream. I've always loved the way they look. This AS is said to be all original, and all systems are said to work. I don't have the money for it right now, but may in a few weeks, so I haven't really given in a thorough look-over. It seems to be reasonably priced, and I think it would be perfect for me when I transfer to Oregon State- Cascades to further pursue my Outdoor Recreation/Leadership degree.
Let me know what you guys think.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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1959 26' Overlander
Powder Springs , Georgia
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That's a big trailer. Do you have something to tow it already?

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Old 04-23-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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From what is visible in picture #1, it looks like the axles are shot (not surprising considering the age). I am not keen on the bedliner material that appears to have been sprayed on the lower front panels but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Otherwise appears to be in reasonably good shape.

Take an ice pick or punch awl and poke around on the floor, especially near the door and see what shape the sub floor is in -- soft is not good.

If the bathroom is in the rear, do a search on this forum for rear-end separation and how to spot it.

Don't spend a lot, 31's are not rare

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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1956 22' Safari
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One more thing to consider is the 1972 didn't usually have gray water tanks - not until 1973. May not be a big deal if you are parked in a park with full hook-ups, but could be an issue if you are living in it somewhere without any way to hold your gray waste. You can use a "blue boy" - we did for years, camping or traveling for a couple of days with periodic stops w/hook-ups for a shower, but not full-timing.

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Old 04-23-2013, 10:23 PM   #5
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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1972 "All Original" - RV refrigerators are cooled with ammonia - that is how they can run on propane. They can last up to 50 years and yours would be past the 40 year mark. The water heater? If heavily used it should have been replaced once at least. If left sitting for years, could be rusting out from the inside.

Prior repairs done unprofessionally can be a worry. One word: INSPECT!!!!
There are a lot of Airstreams hiding out in the woods, fields, farms, and storage lots of America. Just develop an eye for them. If you need a place to LIVE, I hope you can "live the dream"... but wouldn't want to see you stick yourself with a $20K three year repair project that won't be livable for the first two years.

I must have a few sadistic tendencies - I went to look at an "all systems working" Avion not too long ago. With a Honda 3000 handi generator, a multi-meter, two full 20 Lb propane cylinders, a propane "sniffer" and 30 gallons of water with a pump and hose to run it into the Avion's water system... Oh, and enough RV anti-freeze to re-winterize the Avion after testing it.

Strangely I never got to use any of those things but was ushered off the property rather unceremoniously. Seems the owner didn't want to prove that the propane or electric systems worked - or that the water system wasn't leaking.

I might have negotiated for a better price if there were problems, but I guess the owner is willing to wait for a sucker. Me, well it was a rear bath unit and I'd rather have a center bath.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
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It certainly deserves a closer look and many above have shared their cautionary notes. You will love Oregon State ... go Beavers!
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Since that trailer has spent most of it's life in Alabama, chances are you have a project on your hands. Mine is about 10 yrs newer with a center bath and I still had to replace the last 4 ft of floor. With a rear bath it is even more of a project. I paid $5000 for mine and I am over $10000 into it already.

If the add says NO LEAKS run like hell. All of these trailers leak unless they have been taken care of on a regular basis or kept inside. Most all of them have floor rot, even well maintained ones. Anything over 10 yrs old is going to have a 90% chance of floor rot and at least the begginings of rear end separation. The 70's trailers seem to have the most problems. Newer trailers start looking better when you figure in the time and money to fix an old one.

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