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Old 03-08-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
New Member
1967 26' Overlander
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1
Smile Advice on Airstream Purchase

I'm a newbie on the site. I'm looking for some advice on buying a vintage airstream. What are the major things I should look for and ask about before I purchase an Airstream? I know to look for mold, rust, water rings (leaks). I've been searching for an airstream for several months but it seems that I either miss the opportunity or the airstream would be too big of a project for me.

I found this airstream on Craigslist and it seems like a fair deal. Any opinion and/or advice would be greatly appreciated? Also, what would you offer? I hope to one day actually be a part of the airstream community and not a "wanna" be?

Thanks, Meagan M.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:29 PM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 12,125
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
Hi Meagan, welcome to the obsession.

Your best bet is to go look at that trailer and crawl through it to see what you find. Poke around everywhere. Even better would be to take someone along who knows what they are doing. You may be able to find a forum member in the area who is able to help with an inspection.

This link might help answer some of your questions

Good luck!

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Old 03-08-2016, 11:45 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 424
Looks good from photos but unless it was stored inside there will be some water damage somewhere. If somebody lived in it or used it a whole lot of time it might be OK. Most trailers sit in the back yard for years and nobody goes inside in the rain and checks in the nooks and crannies for leaks, Almost every RV that I've seen or worked on that is more than 5 years old has some water damage, that is just what happens.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:35 AM   #4
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1966 22' Safari
Hilltop Lakes , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,675
If the trailer has spent its whole life in the Phoenix area, you may be in luck. The desert climate minimizes the damage from water leaks, rust, corrosion, etc.

Stefrobrts advice to crawl through it with great attention to detail is very good. Floor damage, usual result of water leaks, is most likely along the edges where the shell meets the floor. Look into all the dark corners.

Welcome and best of luck.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:37 AM   #5
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Hittenstiehl's Avatar
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
1962 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4,768
Images: 9
Megan I think you would need to know what it needs before you can make an offer.

Is it pull/road worthy?
You can figure tires, unless they're new.
How is frame?
Any rear end separation?
How is floor rot?
Do any interior systems work?
How handy/determined are you?
You can pull it apart but who puts if back together?
How is your ancillary spending budget?

I am local and would be glad to go see it with you. I'm NOT an inspector but we'll read have two in aluminum tent status and can at least be a set of extra eyes.

PM if you want company, schedules a but right but I'm in east valley.

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Old 03-09-2016, 12:10 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,328
Images: 2
2 things rise to the top of any older Airstream. Floor rot could mean removing some or all the interior to replace damaged wood. Best to test for spongey areas. An ice pick poked in areas covered will be a way to be certain of such suspicious areas. The other thing is on older rigs you WILL need new axles unless a previous owner has replaced the a while ago. There are several posts on threads on this subject on the forums. If you are handy you can do the work yourself. I did mine 9 or 10 years ago not long after my hip replacement I did not tell my doctor. The job took longer because I was extra careful. I believe that I posted my job with pictures. If it comes to that for you and you can't find my me.
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:54 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,106
Images: 4
Looks like a nice trailer, but I agree with the suggestions that a close look is needed, preferably with someone with some Airstream experience.

I don't think this is a '67 as stated in the ad. It's probably a '69. The '67s had square corners on the windows and no wing windows on either side of the front window. Here is a link to some photos for reference. And here's a link to some photos of '69s. I've heard that the '69s are sought-after by some people because they were the first year with the windows with curved corners and the last year with a real wood interior.

The ad lists it at being 27' long, but it looks like a Sovereign which would be 31' long, so the seller probably just measured the trailer body not including the hitch.
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box

1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper (
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:02 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
1971 31' Sovereign
Temple , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 124
Images: 3
It does indeed look like a 31' Sovereign. Exterior skin looks to be in pretty good shape. With the rear bathroom it will most likely have floor rot and will probably need the black water tank and toilet replaced. Open that rear access door and examine the area inside thoroughly.

It will almost certainly be a bigger project than you initially anticipate. If you have the skills and enjoy this sort of thing, it could be a lot of fun. For price reference, we purchased a pretty solid 1971 Sovereign with a clear title last September for $4000.
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