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Old 11-25-2018, 03:46 PM   #1
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Lewisville , Texas
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Value of 1987 36ft Excel Limited Airstream

Hello!! I am new here!!! I am wondering if a 1987 36ft limited excel is worth the sticker cost of $20,000? It looks to be in fair shape just would need some esthetic updates. Thank you for your input.
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:54 PM   #2
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If your looking for one that big and it's in great condition then maybe so.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:16 PM   #3
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It all depends on what has, or needs to done, to the trailer. Remember it is 32 model years old, and if it has the original A/C. HWT, fridge, inverter, and microwave, these could all need replacing now or in the very near future. You will have to look at tire, shocks, and possibly axles in the near future. Little things like window and door gaskets, bearings and seals, front jack, propane tanks and regulator all add up in cost. Have any of these been replaced? I bought a '94 and have replaced a lot of the above. Then there are things like flooring, matresses, and upholstery that may need replaced. How are the roof vent fans, water pump, furnace, and vent covers? The list goes on and on!! Good luck with your purchase, and if possible have an experienced Airstreamer look at it with you. It might just save a lot of grief down the road. JMHO!! Chris
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:51 AM   #4
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The bigger the trailer the cheaper the purchase price must be as there is so much more to restore, renovate and repair. Trailers this big/long are HARD TO SELL so use this fact to your advantage when looking and negotiating a purchase price. This trailer may be "Rare" however that hardly makes it "Desirable"!

Remember with this length of trailer and then adding the tow vehicle you will be 55-60 feet in length. Here are some questions you might want to consider:

Are you sure you are capable driving a rig this long and more importantly do you want to?

Do you have a tow vehicle that is capable of safely towing this length and weight of trailer?

Do you really need a trailer this large to be comfortable?

There are many more questions that you also should consider.

IF that's truly what you want then "Go for it".

Just remember the trailer you ultimately purchase will be the trailer that you or your heirs will someday sell so therefore consider all aspects of your needs, desires and wants when making a trailer purchase decision!

No way would "I" pay $20K for a 32 year old 36 ft Airstream.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:27 AM   #5
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Unless this unit is immaculate with lots of replacement appliances,and new tires and brakes, US $20K is high IMO. I would think based on experience of other Airstreamers I have met while traveling in the US, 12 -15K is more like it!

Others in the thread are saying much the same thing...I'm prepared to say the price is high. This is not a unique classic airstream. There are still lots out there.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:41 AM   #6
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1993 25' Excella
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I sold my 99 about 4-5 years ago for under $20k. Not exactly sure. But i agree with others, unless it’s really clean and you want to just park it inFL for the winter, I would look at smaller options.
They are hard to sell.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:42 AM   #7
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PS. I don’t think they make a “36” I think “34” is probably the biggest.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
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1996 30' Limited
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
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I bought a 1994 classic 30 last year. For $14,750 and love it. Even has a built in generator & roof solar. Everything is original but all still works. I did replace inverter but that’s it. The inside still look new after almost 30 years. Someone removed the roof ac units but I can live without ac. Heck it’s a camper not a home.
So if you like it buy it the most you can lose is $20,000 but you might even make $$$$. Comparing the cost to a new one.
I figure I saved over $100 k and it works as well as any 2018 that I looked at.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:54 PM   #9
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1985 31' Excella
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depends on the condition of the trailer... as now we see the 30 footers going for about the same price...
I bought a 85 31 excella.... and had to drive half way up the country to go get it... the owner was a flipper.. even though we asked... about condition... he said everything worked... well that was a lie... and on the way home we found out... but because of the miles.. he felt safe...
Anyway like at the auction... where they say... Ya Bought it... so be it... no need to cry about it... and move on...
The price I paid... was top dollar... but under 20K... so we first took it to the guy who repairs 'em around here... (supposed to be a airstream gruru) and was told that he doesn't work on anything less than 5 years old... go figure...
So we figured it couldn't be that hard.. and it wasn't...
first came the heater... new ignitor, new blower motor (although the old one could have been reworked) and a new gas valve...
Then came the water heater... new ign board from dinosaur electronics... New sensor and new waterpressure/temp valve.

then we moved on to the electrical...
Changed out the old bats... with new ones... changed out the converter from the piece of AS junk (sold it on Ebay for 20 bux) and put in the new PD 80 amp 4 stage (best thing that happened to the electrical system)
Changed out all the high current lights to Soft white LED's.. which cut the current load to about 1/4 of what it would be with the 1140 lights...

Next came the refrig... which was working some what.. but lacked in capacity... after talking to repair centers of the manufacture... it was determined that at some time it was parked off center and cooked the boiler tube... So checking we found a replacement cooling unit... and removed and replaced the old cooling unit with a rebuilt one... while the insides of the ref was still in good shape... it was easier to replace the cooling unit than re-cut the refrig hole... new one works great... just don't operate it off of unlevel condition...

Next came the water pump... it was orginal.. and oh look.. they still make the thing... so we bought one... and replaced the old with the new.. along with longer hoses... to help out the vibrations..

Then came a water leak from the older PVC lines... which had plastic fittings one of which broke... when I was playing with the water pump... of course they don't make them anymore... and have gone to PEX house tubing... which is what we also did... with new tools from the big box store.. it was a simple job... of hooking the new pex tubing to the old stuff.. and pull the old which put the new in place... was actually a very simple job to replace the water lines... as we debated using copper vs the new PEX... the helper at the plumbing store took us through the operation.. and its so simple and quick that we were done in a couple of hours... and the stuff is real cheap.

Next came the blower motor on the AC unit... it had bad bearings... and instead of getting the motor rebuilt.. just replaced it with new... but as all things old happen.. the cover for the AC was sun cooked and of course touch it and it turned to worms.. so a new replacement aftermarket one was had... which of course is a lifetime thing...(grin)

Once we finished inside... next came the tires and rims... something that we really don't consider a un-common item... as you have to replace the tires every 5 years anyway... we added the 16 in rims... and went with better tires from mitchlin... but, you really can't consider it a upgrade cost item.. when you would replace them anyway on any AS that you buy.. for personal comfort...

So what is the bottom line... well for what we spent... and the knowledge gained in re-working the appliances...I consider it to be worth it... after all now I have the best of both worlds... a great old new trailer... and at 1/5 the cost of buying a new one.. that almost always has to have something done... (like boats... they are maintenance hogs... and a hole to through money into)

I have less than 25K in mine.. and wouldn't sell it... after doing the work... I plan on keeping it till death du us part... kinda thing...

New is nice if your lazy and $$ rich... but, I like the older ones because of their craftsmanship... and personality... but, you spend your money once... some go for the new thinking they will recover when it sells...(according to the dealers) but we have seen that too... and of course the newbies (new A/S) always have a ego problem...with innuendos' of well you have a OLD trailer.. we have a NEW one... to which we say.. yep.. BRAND NEW OLD ONE... that has character and craftsmanship... otherwise.. it gets 'em every time when you say... 'well after looking at your new unit... I now know what the inside of my beer can looks like'... they acts puzzled... but its true... the new ones are all metal and cheap... have to be if AS is going to make a bux...

So one needs to look at a AS as a extension of their personal .. and pleasure... and don't think that buying a new one is going to be maintenance free... attt ain't that way...although they don't like the phase.. 'Say it isn't so'... but as others have written.. it IS...

like the old guy at the auction says.... YA BOUGHT IT... its up to you to see the beauty or the beast in what you decide.

Still a good deal if you can re-ferb for under 30K
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:50 PM   #10
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don't forget that with that length there are many state...provincial ...federal parks etc that you can't stay at because they where never built to handle that length ....good luck
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:21 PM   #11
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We've had a 86 Limited 34' since 05. We have thoroughly enjoyed the thing, and we have upgraded a lot of the appliances as mentioned above. My axles are still serviceable so it appears. Our Limited has the "hickory" solid wood cabinetry and it is holding up well.

We enjoy the "luxury" of the larger trailer. It is very comfortable for us with lots of room for long trips, or even the winter months in the south. We spend about 6 weeks a year in the thing. Some folks like the big Airstreams for full time living.

Price of a vintage trailer is dependent on condition. The longer trailers do not sell as well as the "cute" smaller ones. They weigh more (ours scaled at 7900 pounds) and are more difficult to back into tight spots. If we were selling, our asking price would be well north of 20k. Ours appraised north of 20k.

So a 20k 87 is going to need some work. That's part of the fun of an old Airstream in my view. But I bet you can get what you put into it back out when the time comes to sell it. A new Classic 33' is what, $150k? You could have an Air Forums volunteer inspector take a look and give you a full report on it's condition.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:44 PM   #12
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Thumbs up

That one is a beauty and love seeing it posted often.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:49 PM   #13
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Thank you AlinCal: We have and are enjoying it. It is the reason we are partial to the longer Airstreams. My Overlander 27' seems small in comparison. My son's Globetrotter 21 seems tiny.

I like the longer Airstreams better.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:08 PM   #14
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there is a "98" 34W on CL Davenport Iowa $49K for $ comparison.
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:02 PM   #15
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Thanks, everyone for all the information. It is greatly appreciated. I had considered some of the things you all said but you all brought up some other great points. Thanks again!!
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:15 AM   #16
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One point of interest that no one has mentioned; The 34' 3 axle trailers are no longer made, so fewer are available.
When I was searching a couple years ago for a 34' (I purchased mine Nov 2013), I found that prices specifically for 34' Airstreams have been rising, not declining.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:18 PM   #17
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Just gorgeous!! What a gal.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #18
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Seems a little high

Without knowing more about its history and condition I would be careful before taking the plunge
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:17 AM   #19
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6 years ago we purchased our 1999 34’ Excella. We paid $19k and are 3rd owners. This will be inherited by our kids.

It was immediately road worthy. Yet, we started basic upgrading of floor, cleaning drapery, waste valves, replaced all window gaskets, resealed ... General and overlooked maintenance. ... basic “spiffing” up. There was some floor rot which I discovered and repaired, including the source of water cause. I also found the brake wiring at the connectors to be faulty, even tho the brakes all worked when purchased. There have been other items as we have used the AS, Mjolnir. Much of this is to be anticipated on any used trailer.

This past summer, 8300 miles, 11 weeks and only an issue with the water pump check valve.

This AS has probably been to Alaska as well. It spent several years parked in Ruidoso, NM.

I have replaced the axles, added a Propride hitch, upgraded to 50 Amp service, added second AC (necessary in Texas), installed Maxim skylights, ceramic roof coating, LED throughout, Progressive converter and other “improvements/maintenance-upgrades” , especially the upholstery!!!

So, expect to have some elbow grease/sweat equity in the low price. This may also include a tow vehicle upgrade for some folks. If you are able to do this work, or afford to pay someone to do the work, go for it.
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