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Old 08-10-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
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Louisville , Colorado
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Venturing in.... Whats this '75 Sovereign worth?

This is a gutted 75 sovereign 31' - available for $5500...

My daughter and I have some experience renovating houses and thought we would venture into an airstream next. From what I've read on these forums (a wealth of information - thank you!!) it won't be as easy as we hope... of course... but then again... nothing ever is!

Tires new within the last year. Breaks and electric jack work.

We are new to this! What questions should we be asking? Does this seem like an okay deal?
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:00 PM   #2
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I should add.... the alternative is this beauty for $850
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:25 PM   #3
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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In 2010 I paid 5K for a complete '69 25' Tradewind .

The longer trailers usually go for a bit less when in campable condition.

But its only worth what someone is willing to pay.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:51 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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9 years ago we paid $3800 for ours, partially gutted, with no awnings, old tires, floor rotted out, old axles. But, we had all the original windows, shell looked fairly good, and we wanted one that needed lots of "love". 9 years of love later, she's exactly what we wanted!

Kay
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thank you Glenritas and Minno for your replies.

The more I think about it, the more "option 2" actually appeals to me. I have a soft place in my heart for the thing - what ever that thing may be - that is on the brink of death and in need for lots of TLC.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:17 PM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
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Not a particularly good deal. Obvious questions would be how does the frame look, did they do any upgrades to plumbing or electrical yet? Let's guess no.
I'd low ball them hard with cash in hand. That person is clearly over their head with the project or needs the cash...
The 850.00 Argosy look like a better deal, no hidden surprises there.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:54 PM   #7
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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I like the argosy, plus you get to paint it, hopefully with some creative colors.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:04 PM   #8
rvb
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1977 Argosy 28
Euless , Texas
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There are lots of active Airstream owners in Colorado. Contact the local units of WBCCI and see if you can get someone who knows what they are looking at to assess these with you. You may also find someone in those clubs with a better one for sale

There are a number of expensive pitfalls to look for: frozen axles, rotten wood in the floor particularly around the door, bathroom and rear wall, tail separation, rusted frame outriggers. All are labor intensive and expensive if you can't do it yourself. My first Argosy was a complete original for a "reasonable" price and I have an additional $15 in it, it's not done and I and didn't have to do any of the above.

What you show is basically a gutted shell. This is good if you want to build a complete new interior and you can also see the floor plywood condition, however, it is not like working on a house. It is a rolling earthquake. Screw together particle board cabinets will not stand up. Get a list of what the sellers have done besides the tires and don't be in a rush to buy either of these.

I have 2 Argosies. My experience is pay more for one that has had work already done and is sound and you will pay less in the long run, plus you will be able to use it immediately. Airforums classified is a good place to look. For my 2nd Argosy I looked for 2 years and bought one on Airforums, restored with everything replaced and it was only $2500 more than one I looked at with nothing done, in poor condition. The price was far less than I have in the first trailer.

I went to a seminar on appraisals and values of vintage Airstreams and Sovereigns and Argosies are both considered entry level units about equal in value and less expensive than the fancier ones. Shorter units are more in demand so worth more and 30'/31' are the most common ones found for sale so the least valuable. Body condition is also the biggest determining factor on the value of an Airstream.

One other thing to check. Do they have a clear title in their name and do the numbers on the trailer number plate match the title! Don't buy with just a bill of sale.

Good luck, but don't get in a hurry or buy on emotion.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:19 PM   #9
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1972 27' Overlander
Pocahontas , Iowa
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We bought our 72 overlander two years ago for 5,000.00. But it was in good condition.
Everything original and in working or except the tub/shower. We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, put new tires on just for our own peace of mind, and went camping.
Seems like a lot for it being gutted. Just my opinion, and you know what they are like.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:19 PM   #10
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1975 27' Overlander
Galena , Illinois
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The inside looks good. No good pictures of any dents. They are approx $850 each to be replaced. $4,400 if you want a mirror finish. It will be worth it. I wouldn't sell or trade mine for anything.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:45 PM   #11
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I decided to pass on the Sovereign and keep looking... thanks in part to all the level headed people that responded here - so thank you! Still crazily enough - thinking about that Argosy. Though, expanding my search and considering other options as well.

Ultimately I would like to do a renovation... give it more of a "homey" feel. I plan to live in it full time.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:51 PM   #12
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1973 31' Sovereign
Mt Pleasant , North Carolina
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I say go for the Argosy, cut your teeth on it and then keep an eye open for your "next project". That is what we are doing, enjoying our 1st attempt at Airstream restoration and already looking for #2...
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:47 PM   #13
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
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I think the Argosy would be good project!

Keep in mind that recreating the interior of an Airstream is a lot of work. There are few straight lines and lots of curves. Add to that the need to watch the weight of what you build, and to build it so it will stand up to movement and you've got a complicated job. A lot depends on how much you want to build into it. I've been working on ours on and off for 8 years, although it was good enough to camp in after about 18 months. It's like creating one big piece of built-in furniture to fit a curved space, plus wiring and plumbing! I'm enjoying the challenge and it's satisfying to see it come together, but it does take time! I'm not a professional, but have experience renovating and building houses and have been a hobby woodworker for most of my life.
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