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Old 10-14-2016, 10:29 PM   #1
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 123
Should I buy this?

My wife and I are in the market for an Airstream. This will be our full time home, traveling across the country with two dogs (50 and 70lbs). With that being said, we would be looking at a larger airstream, upwards of 27ft in size.

We have been searching and found a 1969 Sovereign that we went and looked at tonight. One forum member has been calling/texting me through the process which has been AWESOME but I wanted to ask your opinion as well. I don't want to tell you the price, I just want opinions on what you would pay for it.

Keep in mind that we will be putting in new cabinets, counters, beds, couches and everything cosmetic but want to stay away from MAJOR projects (don't mind doing some SMALL wiring/plumbing/axle work)

The pictures with green flooring are under the couches in the living area. The blue tank is the fresh water tank. There didn't seem to be too much damage to the sub-floor although it was a little dry.

Two of the front wing windows are plexiglass.

Someone combined plumbing of grey and black lines which now the BLACK tank has a leak.

The video is my wife gently rocking on the back bumper to show any separation.



How much would you pay for this 31ft, 1969 Sovereign?
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:59 PM   #2
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
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Three to five thousand.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:37 AM   #3
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billings , Montana
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Find one that doesn't need all that help, even with a new one there is always something need ing a little adjusting
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:35 AM   #4
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
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Always assume it needs a lot more work than what you can see.

When shopping for our safari 5 years ago we looked at a '71 sovereign that was 100% original asking $2,700. It needed a lot of restoration but there was nothing the previous owner had messed up that needed to be corrected.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:48 AM   #5
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
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Your in for a long ride

This is a 1969. This is an odd year with way to many peculiarities. The wing windows come in two versions....both are very expensive, if available at all. The 69 also usually had rot all across the rear hatch floor and the water heater door....and, of course, the main entry door corners. A 69 will need new axles. Tires. It will need an AC in Texas. I can go on......I think you need this cheap and with a realistic plan for the real work involved......which I feel like you don't fully appreciate.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:37 AM   #6
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hartselle , Alabama
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I would pay no more than 3000. That unit needs a bit of work. If it's the one you love snatch it up and get to work! While bringing this unit up to par will not be cheap it will bond you to the trailer if doing the work yourself. My outlook is that even a brand new trailer is going to have problems arise, if you recondition a vintage unit yourself at least you know what to do when something breaks on the road.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:44 AM   #7
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1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
This is a 1969. This is an odd year with way to many peculiarities. The wing windows come in two versions....both are very expensive, if available at all. The 69 also usually had rot all across the rear hatch floor and the water heater door....and, of course, the main entry door corners. A 69 will need new axles. Tires. It will need an AC in Texas. I can go on......I think you need this cheap and with a realistic plan for the real work involved......which I feel like you don't fully appreciate.
As far as AC and Tires go - they both work well and it was freezing in there when we went to look at it. Tires have good tread and were covered. The owner has also replaced the axles so they won't need messing with. We will also be spending almost zero time in Texas as we will be traveling around the country - North in the summer, south in the winter - thats the plan anyway.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:45 AM   #8
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drboyd View Post
Three to five thousand.
What brought you to this conclusion?
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:47 AM   #9
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeanFan View Post
Always assume it needs a lot more work than what you can see.

When shopping for our safari 5 years ago we looked at a '71 sovereign that was 100% original asking $2,700. It needed a lot of restoration but there was nothing the previous owner had messed up that needed to be corrected.
Good to know! Thank you. Hard to know.

The owner is giving up a equalizer hitch with it as well. The hardest part is this owner genuinely seems honest about it and doesn't know a whole lot about it. Which is fine, but not at the same time - ha!
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:07 AM   #10
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1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Here are a few more pictures!

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This is under the couch that runs along the front window of the trailer
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You can see someone has changed the floor plan at some point
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This is under the black tank. It is leaking and this is the styrofoam covering it.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:34 AM   #11
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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It looks like some refurb has taken place--can you list the things that the previous owner has repaired or replaced?
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
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1973 23' Safari
1970 27' Overlander
Boerne , Texas
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We recently sold a 1970 31 footer for 3700 and I was very happy to get that. It did not have new axles; did have some rear floor rot; otherwise was in OK shape for that age. I would agree with the 3000-5000 range. If it did not have new axles, I would say pay no more than $3000.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drboyd View Post
Three to five thousand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by continentsco View Post
What brought you to this conclusion?
I concur $3-5000 at most....from the pictures, it's in "as found" to "average" condition.

This may help...Price vs Condition

Good luck on whatever you decide! Sounds like a fun adventure taking life on the road!

Shari
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:49 AM   #14
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
It looks like some refurb has taken place--can you list the things that the previous owner has repaired or replaced?
1) two new torsion axels with electric brakes 2) a new electric water heater 3)a new airstream front window protector 4) a new kitchen sink 5) a new 10 cu ft electric refrigerator 6) all new pex hot and cold water lines 7) All new hand made curtains 8) All new hand made cushion covers 9) All new flooring 10) New hand made twin bed covers 11) New kitchen counter tops.

This is all from this owner. Plumbing and couch was done before him - and probably more.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:15 AM   #15
CRH
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I wouldn't buy a 1969 fixer-upper to full time in.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:32 AM   #16
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1975 27' Overlander
Galena , Illinois
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buying a used airstream

I just purchased a 1975 AIR STREAM that looked in good shape except for three small dents. We are going to just about gut it anyway so I wasn't to worried about the inside cabinets etc. After taking it in to our local AS dealer for $500 I found that the 2 axles could have cost me $2,000 each but I missed that one. Next I did need brakes and drums $2000. Thats because everything must be replaced because they are electric brakes and there is no turning of the drums. Next was those 3 small dents were on 3 different panels. Repair costs for replacing each panel is $2,500. I didn't think of it but there wasn't a spare tire or rim or even a spare tire mount. Cha Ching. Then as you enter the trailer it only has one step? Thats because the other one is missing. A new aluminum 2 step from AS is $666. Fortunately, We are gutting it because The water pump barely worked as did the hot water tank. The heater was fried altogether. The basic mechanical items to make it road worthy was 10 grand. My wife says so much for the vintage look. Gut it totally and we will make our own custom trailer. I knew this from the beginning that's why I spent $9,000 on the trailer and I have $35,000 left for restoration. My other option was to buy wifey a $90,000 brand new 27 foot AS. Ill still end up with beautiful custon 27 footer with $40 grand left in my pocket. I say go for it and make the best of it.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:35 AM   #17
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1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
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If I were planning to do what you are planning, with 2 dogs, I would be looking for a wide body, maybe 31 ft unless you plan to spend a lot of time in remote places that need a smaller body.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:41 AM   #18
Continents Collide
 
1985 32' Excella
Spring , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I wouldn't buy a 1969 fixer-upper to full time in.
How come?
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:11 PM   #19
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Toronto , Ontario
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How come?

Quote:
Originally Posted by continentsco View Post
How come?
Besides the previous comments of:..."This is a 1969. This is an odd year with way to many peculiarities. The wing windows come in two versions....both are very expensive, if available at all. The 69 also usually had rot all across the rear hatch floor and the water heater door....and, of course, the main entry door corners. A 69 will need new axles. Tires. It will need an..."

Consider the wear and tear, and stress, on an almost 50 year old frame. No one (in this thread) has yet mentioned the aspects of frame repair but this forum is rich with tips on that topic.

Several sellers I have met are quick to mention, "we had the frame strengthened by welding..." etc etc... so it's a well known potential pitfall.
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:10 PM   #20
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1980 24' Caravelle
vallejo , California
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I would pay no more than 4,000; having had a 63 globetroter,64 overlander,70 globetroter ,there's always more to fix once you get into it
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