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Old 07-10-2017, 08:34 PM   #1
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St. Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3
Chance at an 83. Should I do it?

Hi folks. First let me admit my ignorance into what I'm asking. I know little about AS's but have always thought them very cool. I do know that forums are where the experts are!

Let me also say that I was a member here long ago. I lurked and learned to polish. I made my 61 Grumman canoe beautiful! I thank you for that.

That said, I got an interesting offer tonight. I can pick this up for $3500 through a family member. But it doesn't run. It has 52k miles but the engine is not functional. So for the sake of my questions, let's assume I have to replace/rebuild the 454. I am told that the tranny is good. I am told that the gen is good. I am told that the waste tank needs to be replaced as it was damaged by a tow driver. That's all I know at this point.

So, of course, my question is......do I need a new money pit? What would you expect me to have to put into it to make it worthwhile? Can I bring it back from the dead for $5k? And if I do, what kind of value would I have?









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Old 07-10-2017, 09:09 PM   #2
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
Join Date: Dec 2016
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I'm a new owner, ( January). These do take alot of money, as I've read here before your purchase price is the down payment( so true)

I like to preserve my " investments " however I'm over resale and now I'm 100% committed for the long haul.

- originally these were pretty pricy, my take on current values is that they are low ( I'm in Canada and values are much much higher for starting prices)

If you can do much of the work yourself it might not be so bad but if every little thing you need done is going to be done at a garage I'd stay clear

There are some vets on here they have years of experience they will have a good take on this wuestion
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:21 PM   #3
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St. Louis , Missouri
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And one more thing.....

I'm 53 and not looking to flip it. I have a place to store it and my wife thinks it's ultra-cool. We would keep it and travel in it. However, I still don't want to spend $9k on an Airstream worth 6....... I'd like to know what it's worth if running well.

And of course if I get this wonderful beast, I'll have a million more questions!
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:30 PM   #4
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St. Louis , Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swillv8 View Post
I'm a new owner, ( January). These do take alot of money, as I've read here before your purchase price is the down payment( so true)

I like to preserve my " investments " however I'm over resale and now I'm 100% committed for the long haul.

- originally these were pretty pricy, my take on current values is that they are low ( I'm in Canada and values are much much higher for starting prices)

If you can do much of the work yourself it might not be so bad but if every little thing you need done is going to be done at a garage I'd stay clear

There are some vets on here they have years of experience they will have a good take on this wuestion
I AM handy and my wife is quite crafty. However, I'd at least have to get it running so I can drive it from Texas to Missouri. So that initial investment - $3k or so for a crate motor and install costs or motor repair (who knows ?) would consist of a check being written. Big startup cost. But from there, we would probably do the work ourselves. So let's say worst case I'm in it for $9 to get it home and get started. Is it worth it? If I were going to flip it as-is but with a good motor, what would it be worth?
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:54 PM   #5
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1962 22' Safari
1973 25' Tradewind
1968 30' Sovereign
Salt Lake City , Utah
Join Date: Apr 2007
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No vintage trailer, not even an Airstream, is a good investment unless you factor in the enjoyment you will get out if it, which can be immense and definitely should be considered. They will have more value than almost any other RV, yet when you fix up a vintage trailer (or motorhome) the costs can add up fast.

It sounds like you are looking at a motorhome which is a different beast too, and sounds likelier to be a bigger money pit--possibly--than our beloved trailers.

All of that being said, I am thrilled with my new-to-me '62 Safari. If you can afford it, and can make it useable, go for it.

Unless you're super handy and lucky, you'll at best get 20 cents to 60 cents on the dollar for what you put into it (depending on market conditions which can change, and of course what you need to invest in it). If you do the labor yourself you may get more and if you're super handy you have a chance of getting more than you put in.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:18 PM   #6
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Can you afford it?
Do you want it?
If you answer yes and yes, don't worry about the money and go get it.
Haggle the price down some more if you can.
Maybe the engine isn't bad.
I have bought cars for $200 and $400 and had cars given to me that supposedly had bad engines.
They didn't... They needed a starter or a bunch of sensors or a battery...
If this is the case with this coach, don't tell the owners until money changes hands and title is transferred...
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Ebro , Fla Panhandle
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I'm not seeing the pics, but if it is in good condition, everything working inside, and you can get it running well for under $10 k. You will be doing well when time comes to sell.

The reality with these older coaches is that the caretaker needs to enjoy doing projects and be willing to replace parts as needed, to keep them working and on the road.
If that's you, go for it. It would be good to have you join our zany clan.

Cheers Richard
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:26 AM   #8
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Vista , California
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They are super cool, and they don't make them anymore, they are going up in value at this point. At that price I don't think you could go wrong. A new crate engine would be great! But the 454 engine is a beast that won't die easily, try to find a mechanic to take a look. Yes it's an overwhelming amount of time, if you are the least bit handy, you could make it perfect but that should not be your goal. Using it for fun is what I would be thinking about.
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