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Old 06-22-2015, 03:54 PM   #1
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Smile Airstream Excella 1994 34 ft. - Fair price for?

So, we have put a deposit down on this airstream and are picking her up this week. So excited! I am very curious to see what you all think is fair price to pay for her. Give me your best estimation please. I think we are getting a fair deal. At this point it doesn't matter. I love her.

So here is the good, bad, and the ugly.

The good: The kitchen cupboards/wardwrobe are not attached to the walls but do come with the trailer. The carpet has been ripped up. The bathroom has been taken out - so no toilet or shower. (We think this is all good because we wanted an airstream that we could partially renovate and we feel the price is commensurate with these facts.) There are no major dents on the outside. The body is in pretty good shape (8 out of 10). Air conditioner and heater work as well as electric jack. Electrical works. All plumping and water tanks intact. There have been no leaks. Everything else is as should be besides what has been mentioned above and below.

The bad: The stove, microwave, and fridge are missing. We will need to put new tires on it & brakes. Has been sitting for a year outside.

The ugly: Has one broken skylight.

Oh and to be clear this is an Airstream Excella 1000 1994 34 ft.

Thank-you beforehand for your response!
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:04 PM   #2
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It's a beauty! $17,500
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:13 PM   #3
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This seems rather strange. Why would someone wreck the internals of a perfectly decent Airstream? I've seen Airstreams in this condition in a wreckers' yard, where the internals have been parted out to sell, and the aluminium is to be melted down into ingots for scrap. The reason for doing this is either that the trailer has severe accident damage, or serious corrosion to the frame.
A friend, John, bought a "bargain" 34ft Airstream. When he bought it there was some damage to the banana wrap. He removed this to make good the damage, and discovered catastrophic frame rot. The trailer went straight to the wrecker's yard.
I would want to know the history of this trailer, and I would make a detailed assessment of the extent of corrosion. If the frame is gone, then the trailer is worthless, IMHO.
On the other hand, you may have found the perfect basis for a great project, and I hope this is the case.
Nick.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:29 PM   #4
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Nick,

The previous owner had planned on doing a full high end restoration - which involved putting in new appliances, a new modern bathroom, painting all of the woodwork, new wood flooring, and wood veneer or aluminum panels on the interior. He was planning on living in it full time. Halfway through the project plans changed as he got engaged and now wants a house.

The owner before him was from out west somewhere. The title is clear and doesn't list anybody else on it since it was purchased out of state and a and new title was issued for his state.

What year was your friend John's? And you didn't tell me what you think would be a fair price (assuming there is no frame rot), please do! (:

Thanks for your response!
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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Thanks! I will post what we are going to pay after I get more responses!
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by airstream94 View Post
What year was your friend John's? And you didn't tell me what you think would be a fair price (assuming there is no frame rot)
It was about 20 years old, like the one under consideration. The extent of frame rot in any Airstream is more a function of a history of plumbing and other leaks saturating the glass fiber insulation trapped between the frame and the floor, and the proximity to salt water in the ocean during its lifetime, rather than its age. My 28 year old trailer has a frame in excellent condition.

The only thing that matters about the price is whether or not you are content. The opinion of others is irrelevant. For example, I wouldn't accept this trailer as a gift - but that's because I would have no use for it, and already have the perfect trailer for my needs. My opinion is therefore irrelevant.

I hope you have a great project, building the trailer of your dreams.
Nick.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:54 PM   #7
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Congratulations! The only downside to the mid 90's 34'er that I am aware of is that the A/C unit at 13.5K is marginal in hot weather. It just depends upon the locale you camp in. Also note that some of the 90's units had issues with the ceiling material becoming detached and drooping. Apparently they had some less than satisfactory glue used during this decade.

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Old 06-22-2015, 05:08 PM   #8
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The outside looks good, but I think you've got about $15k in work to do to the inside. We just picked our Limited up figuring we could be up to $25k in expenses and still have a shot at recovering our money if we had to drop it. So, anything under $10k and you should have a good deal.

I just converted mine BACK to a rear queen (PO had added 2 twins), and added a large u shaped couch to the front of the RV (the gaucho was missing).

The good news is that the value is in the eyes of the holder. If you feel good about the deal, then it was a great deal. But I will play along and throw out $10k.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:10 PM   #9
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1994 34' Excella
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Thanks Nick and Jack for your responses,

I was really hoping for some more feedback on pricing from people on this forum who have been in the airstream world longer than I. I only started researching a month ago... (voraciously I might add.)

Yes, it is important that I am content, but I would also like to confirm that what I paid is in the ball park of reasonable.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:16 PM   #10
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1994 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtwin View Post
...... but I think you've got about $15k in work to do to the inside.
I think you are right! Maybe more...

Quote:
But I will play along and throw out $10k.
Thanks for your opinion. I appreciate it!
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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This one will most likely need new axles, so you should factor that in. The rubber suspended ones wear out after 15-20 years. That could set you back $4500 for the pair of them.

The shell looks very good. And being newer than an '85, it's got the deeper section frame so you shouldn't have to worry so much about sag and separation (Sag is where the back of the trailer droops down and it is indicative of the frame cracking, normally just behind the aft axle; Separation is where the shell comes detached from the frame, typically at the rear, and water seeps in and rots out the floor.....get your 200lb friend to bounce up and down on the back bumper and if you see a gap open and close above the bumper, you've got separation.....both are fixable but are a big deal).

I have an '87 34' Avion which is actually 36' long. It's a tri-axle like this one, but uses a different type of suspension that you don't have to replace. I've had that trailer for about nine years now and, based on your pictures at least, I think it was in better shape than this one. I paid $7200 for it. Which, you could argue Airstreams hold their value better, and it's generally acknowledged that I got a screaming deal. But it was complete and everything worked well.

Biggest thing I see on this one, aside from all the appliances, are the axles. $10K would be my uber max, I'd lean more toward half that as a starting point.

But as has been stated, as long as YOU are happy and feel you got your money's worth, that is what matters.

See ya on the road!
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstream94 View Post
Thanks Nick and Jack for your responses,

I was really hoping for some more feedback on pricing from people on this forum who have been in the airstream world longer than I. I only started researching a month ago... (voraciously I might add.)

Yes, it is important that I am content, but I would also like to confirm that what I paid is in the ball park of reasonable.
Quite honestly it comes down to the market and what you will need to invest to bring it back to form. If the estimate is 10-15K to bring it back, then you need to look at what the used 34' market has for sale in the 25-30K range and the shape of those trailers. Unless you have others who have personally bought a 34' unit in your age range, few of us are probably qualified to tell you if what you paid is reasonable. Bottom line if you have bought and paid for the trailer, then beating yourself up about the price you paid at this point is inconsequential. Life is full of woulda, coulda, shoulda's and that's just water over the dam.

The key is to recognize when it's time to cut bait and move on if you discover that the trailer becomes a money pit. I have met some who based on their repair expertise and financial state, ended up throwing in the towel selling the trailers before getting them to the level they thought was doable.

Jack
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:45 PM   #13
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You have a lot of work left to get that AS back in shape. Sent a PM... you can see our AS and some of it's work here.. Mjolnir - Album - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:09 AM   #14
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Thank-you!
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:11 AM   #15
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Thanks for everyone's comments. The purchase price is 7,000 for our airstream. The lowest estimate I received was 4,000 and the highest around 17,000....I posted this on another airstream group also. I think 7000 is fair based upon what I have seen is out there for sale and the feedbacl received. It really is so subjective.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:33 AM   #16
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I was going to say under $10k which I see you succeeded at with a $7k sale price.

Two years ago I paid $15k for my 1993, 34'. I had work to do that came to just around $1500.

Congratulations on your new AS.

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Old 06-23-2015, 12:10 PM   #17
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The question of whether or not a price is a "good deal" is very subjective. I just got the AS of my dreams for $10k, but it is not as simple as buyer - trailer - appropriate price. I am a first-time owner and I want my AS to be my primary residence for a few years. I will be renting out my house during this time, so I have work I need to do on it before it is rented. My equation was different than your equation, so all I can see coming form this inquiry is that you will be happy if the majority of respondents think you got a great deal and pretty depressed if most think you didn't. I have discovered on these forums that a lot of people (including myself) choose AS over other RVs for very personal and even emotional reasons. How can you put a price on that? You do need to check the frame and about hundred other considerations concerning what it will take to bring it from what it is now to the perfect RV for you. Like you, I did a ton of research over the last several years before actually buying mine and in the process, I learned some of the possible pitfalls and challenges of restoring an AS. Because of this, I had a list of what I was willing to do - and what I wasn't willing to do - and this list guided my decisions along the way. I very nearly caved at the 11th hour and seriously considered a drivable RV which wasn't an AS. My husband had to talk me down off the ledge and remind me that I have been dreaming about an AS since I was 16 - over 50 years! My advice is to make that list and get very comfortable with the idea that no one AS is the exact one you need to own. There are a lot of them out there in any type of size, configuration, history of use and abuse and overall condition you can imagine. A couple of weeks out from making my purchase, I am really glad I went into this with my eyes wide open.
I hope this is helpful and that whatever AS you purchase will be one you feel really great about owning.
Suzanne
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:34 PM   #18
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For whatever it's worth, from one who just finished remodeling a 1996 34'er, if you paid 7K, you probably did well. That being said, the '96 that we bought last November, we paid 3 times that amount for, but it was from the original owner, and had been pulled less than 5,000 miles since new.
I worked 5 months on the restoration, and spent around 13K, on parts, which among other things, included a new 21' awning roller and fabric, 7 new LR "E" tires, 6 new complete brake assemblies, 2 Maxim skylights, 2 Fantastic vents, updated the range hood to the Fabulous hood, new vinyl plank floor, aluminum wall covering in the kitchen, new china stool in bath, 2 Lambright recliners, new cabinets across the front and sides, new upholstery for the dinette, 2 new Samsung TV's. I think I've covered everything, or close to it.

I did the work myself, (most of it), which saved probably another 10K. After all that, we have a unique 34'er, that should last us as long as we continue to pull it. I've had offers from a buyer at 40K, but I'll keep it for now...

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Old 06-23-2015, 01:00 PM   #19
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I recently got a 93 which is in excellent shape in and out with some upgrades for 20K. So far the axles look good.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:09 AM   #20
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The rubber in the axles failing are not a function of time, as more toward a function of not being used and where it was sitting(IE, HOT OR COLD). Measure the swing of the axles to determine good or bad. I bought a 1975 sovereign and the axles are fine and rides smooth down the highway.
You can find info on measuring the axle swing on this forum.

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