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Old 06-27-2021, 07:42 PM   #1
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1982 310 Questions..LOTS of questions

Just joined the site, lurked quite a bit though. I'm going to look at an '82 310 with the turbo Isuzu tomorrow (supposedly). My family lived in a really old Airstream in the '80s for awhile (heavily modified to basically a park model). I lived in a ~'71 WonderLodge 5th wheel in college, wife and I lived in a 34' 5th wheel for ~6 years and I grew up (literally from before I could crawl) on commercial fish/shrimp boats including building 2 from drums of resin and bolts of fiberglass. I am a mechanical diesel lover. So all that being said. what are some typical things to be aware of on an '82 vintage 310 rear bed with the Isuzu? Current owner is older and a little 'difficult' to keep on track when asking questions on the phone so at this point all I think I know is that the brakes pull to the left (no idea if that is all the time or when pedal is pushed yet), all the propane leaked out last time it was filled, supposed to only have 2xxxx odd miles on it! No known leaks, no status of appliances, genset, or dash/chassis systems. Going in virtually blind. I am curious about the ride quality as I have a screwed up back and likely won't really be able to do much of a test drive if I buy it due to already knowing the brakes need attention. By the way, thanks for adding me to the group!
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:26 AM   #2
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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The 310 is a very desirable model, rear bed - center bath even better. For the brakes, 4 wheel disc, start with the rubber hoses. Calipers, rotors and pads readily available and inexpensive. Same with master cylinder and hydrovac, save the original push rod. Search Chev P-30 for chassis parts. The Isuzu will last and last as long as you don't beat it to death or over heat it. The problem other then a bit under powered is it's age and some parts are getting hard to come by.

These old coaches are great but they do require constant attention and tinkering. It sounds like you have the knowledge and capability to make it work as long as you understand what you are getting into. Good luck
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Old 06-28-2021, 06:31 AM   #3
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So there isn't a known 'problem' area for hidden leaks/rot/rust or some exquisite vital part made of unobtanium that is always broken and the Achilles' heel that relegates them to being an odd stationary 'trailer' camper?
Just would hate to end up being told, Oh yours needs the widget that mates with the thing-a-ma-jigger too?! Go sit on the Group W bench.
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:41 AM   #4
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I am told that the Isuzu diesel is very noisy vs. the Chevy big block
Airstreams. That you cannot have a conversation as you drive along.
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:46 PM   #5
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Alas, it doesn't really matter with this one. It has 2 things and 2 things only going for it. The engine 'runs' (only showing 29,5xx miles!) and the exterior doesn't look to have any dents or scratches (but she's a dirty dirty girl). Every system on it is going to need attention or replacement and all the soft surfaces that sunlight can reach along with plastic trim is cooked. Tires are 'new' circa 2004. The onan only has 360 hrs and looks savable. Its in a kudzu field and has vines mostly removed from exterior (it was completely obscured) but be warned it has lots of briars and red wasps in all the exterior hatches. It has center bath with separate toilet and shower (opposite sides of aisle). and East/West rear bed. It is on Natchez MS facebook page if anyone is interested. It is all original, he's asking $25K. If you are looking for a nice bodied original diesel 310 for a total restoration project this could be for you.
As for the diesel 'noise'. It is WAY quieter than a mechanical Cummins and I didn't find the sound objectional with the insulated and carpeted engine cover in place. And you can always add more modern dampening materials if desired.
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Old 06-28-2021, 02:59 PM   #6
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Cockpit side windows are not available new and all sliding windows will need attention. There will be leaks and soft spots in the floor, common in all Airstreams. The exterior being in tact and not damaged is a good sign. The scariest thing I see is the price, very optimistic.
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:05 PM   #7
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believe it or not, the floors were SOLID! I couldn't find evidence of leaking anywhere. Its just neglect/rusted pans on fridge, furnace due to dirt/grass/leaves being blown in the vents over the years. I wouldn't hold out any hope of the roof air being able to be made to work and the housings looked 'done'. All windows intact but garnish around forward driver/passenger sides was pulling out of frames but glass was still sealing water out (and that is saying something with the storms we get). No idea of condition of awning. And I'm sure that was a moonshot price he threw out, perhaps what he paid? He says it was stored in a barn when not used for the the 1st 22 years. Then he bought it put new tires on and it has sat in a field in the deep south for what looks like atleast the last decade with nothing more than occasional cranking and driving around the block. Brakes were dragging on left side but now pedal goes to floor (yeah no biggie, should be a day or so and few hundred dollars to get them sorted). At that price I was hoping for something usable and to be able to tinker to bring up to scratch. A week with a Rug Doctor, garden spryer with mold/mildew remover, bucket of dawn and scrub brush, Pine-Sol, Windex, 409 etc and a few Hefty trash bags and you would transform the looks of it (from a running horse). Then the money would start to flow out.
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:34 PM   #8
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I would be worried about it sitting in a field for a decade. Rust!!
Considering a minimum of 25k to make it a decent, clean and reliable Motorhome, it would put it at 50K or more. Not what the market is saying.
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:55 PM   #9
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Unless you find one that has already been restored/renovated, you’re gonna end up touching every system anyway, at least be prepared to. I haven’t seen what they are asking for it.
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:38 AM   #10
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PeterH- framework underneath was in excellent shape. Only rust I found to amount to anything was on A-arms

Mayco- I know. Wasn't expecting perfect at that age but literally the stove and gen-set were the only components I'd have tried to keep on it on the RV side of things. At $25K it needs to be in repairable not rebuildable condition by my pocketbook. I figured minimum $10K to get things operational again. Then you could start on cosmetics and trim work inside and out. As pointed out you'd definitely be money ahead finding something that is usable but needing typical repairs and updating. The diesel is what pulled me to this one but its too far gone for what I want unless I bought it and gutted it and built back like a park model, but it'd have to be gotten on the CHEAP!!!!!
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