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Old 10-01-2016, 10:44 PM   #1
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What would you all value this 31' Sovereign?

I've been looking at this trailer and have been in contact with the owner's son who is taking care of selling it. I've looked at the price guides and at other comparable trailers and have a price in mind I feel is fair. I just noticed he posted it on craigslist, even though he had said he would wait until we decided if we could work out a deal (I noticed the pictures he used are old too, showing the trailer to be in better condition than it is). So here's some pictures:
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:47 PM   #2
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More pictures showing water damage and rust through on the rear member inside the bumper compartment.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:54 PM   #3
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The trailer has sat unused for 8-10 years, it'll need new tires for sure and new axles soon. It looks all original inside, but since it's been sitting so long I don't know if any of the appliances work, if the plumbing/electrical is any good, or if the tanks are clean. It'll definitely need to be cleaned inside and out. I thought that $5000-$6500 will be a reasonable offer considering how long it has been since it was used last and what'll need to be done to get it working safely before I could tow it. When I first talked to the owner's son he said he was thinking of putting it on craigslist for $9000-$10,000, but the ad he put up he has it listed at $12,500! Like I said I looked around on craigslist (using one of those search all of craigslist sites) and the prices for trailers of this size and comparable condition are all over the place, but most comparable trailers are closer to my estimate than what he listed it at.

So what do you all think?

Oh, here's the craigslist ad: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/rvs/5805044044.html

I've told him about the rust through and water damage, but it feels like he wants to ignore that and is looking to get as much money as possible...
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:47 AM   #4
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AbramJ, Remember that the longer the vintage trailer the less the value unless it is in pristine condition. The exterior needs work so check for rear end sag. The clearcoat is broiled and the frame may be toast at the rear but those issues are expected with older trailers. This one looks like a 1976 is it? This one has obviously seen road use or in your climate the rust would be less. That being said nothing is non-repairable. Exterior looks fairly free of dents so I would say offer them what you think is a good price for you and work from there. He may have listed it on Craigslist just to put more pressure on you to buy it. Remember if he says he has now had more interest that may also be to get you to buy right now! Make sure that they have a clear/clean title to the trailer before you commit to purchase. Good Luck, Ed
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:17 AM   #5
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The guy is on drugs. That sorry rig is probably worth maybe 2 grand in present condition. That much rust damage and it is in AZ? Somethings not right. Its a longer trailer, those do not bring top dollar, the smaller ones (27 and less) do better since they can be towed by SUV's and the like.

I would not even bother with it, by your own estimation the seller is less than a person of his word. My guess it needs a frame off restoration and that may include a new frame. Run away fast.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:37 AM   #6
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Run-Fast-The other way!! Most I would pay is $2K. If owner can prove A/C, HWT, Fridge, plumbing and electrical is good, I "might"pay $5K. The rear bath is not as desirable as the mid bath, and by the looks of the pictures you will be in for a lot of surprises. Expensive surprises!! Good luck finding a better trailer for that kind of money. They are out there. Be patient!! Chris
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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I think $2k is low for a decent shell with a complete interior. $12.5k should be camp ready, which that one is not. I paid $5k for mine in similar condition, and I felt that was high but I was OK with paying a premium for something that was close, available immediately, and exactly the model I wanted.

The real price isn't what you pay for the coach, but what you pay for the reno. Are you prepared to spend a minimum of a year and $20k on top of what you pay up front? Sounds like you're not in a hurry. I'd offer what you feel is fair and tell him to call you when he is ready to sell.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:04 AM   #8
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I agree with $2k being a little low considering it has a lot of original parts but I'm thinking $4-5k would be a fair offer. Just because he is asking $12,500 doesn't mean he will get it, he needs to open his eyes a little bit!
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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Keep in mind that unless you can do some of the major repairs (floor, frame, etc) yourself, its going to get costly real quick. This trailer looks like a major project. Unless you work on it full time, its going to take a while before its camp ready. I personally would look for a trailer in a better shape.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbramJ View Post
The trailer has sat unused for 8-10 years, it'll need new tires for sure and new axles soon. It looks all original inside, but since it's been sitting so long I don't know if any of the appliances work, if the plumbing/electrical is any good, or if the tanks are clean. It'll definitely need to be cleaned inside and out. I thought that $5000-$6500 will be a reasonable offer considering how long it has been since it was used last and what'll need to be done to get it working safely before I could tow it. When I first talked to the owner's son he said he was thinking of putting it on craigslist for $9000-$10,000, but the ad he put up he has it listed at $12,500! Like I said I looked around on craigslist (using one of those search all of craigslist sites) and the prices for trailers of this size and comparable condition are all over the place, but most comparable trailers are closer to my estimate than what he listed it at.

So what do you all think?

Oh, here's the craigslist ad: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/rvs/5805044044.html

I've told him about the rust through and water damage, but it feels like he wants to ignore that and is looking to get as much money as possible...
It looks like one of the pics show a patch in the floor I would pull that up so you can see how bad the cross members are. With that much water damage you may be looking at a trailer off restoration? As far as the outside it looks pretty good you'll have to remove the plastic coat in order to polish it.
I wouldn't give more than 5000.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:09 PM   #11
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We bought our AS in similar condition, maybe slightly better. Paid $3300 with plans to gut and rebuild from the ground up.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:13 PM   #12
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First, why are you buying a trailer? Snow birding? Traveling? The 31 foot Airstream is a great trailer. I have restored several. They tow easily but now-a-days you really should have a strong tow vehicle. This floor plan is probably the most desirable with the center bath and twin beds. Even with my experiences, I have run into hidden issues that went beyond what I hoped, time and money-wise. There appears to be a lot of water stains around the perimeter so if at all possible, check as much of those areas as possible as some, especially under the sink, are difficult to get at to repair unless you remove about everything inside. Replacing rotten flooring isn't fun. The skin looks OK but be sure some of the areas where the finish is worn hasn't gone too deep to rub out. Pull out the Zip Dee awning to see if it works and if it is rotten. Remember, to fully restore a trailer that has sat for so long means that you need to thoroughly clean or replace all fabrics and often foam mattresses. Otherwise you will never get rid of stale odors. I could go on but hopefully what I and the others have said, will give you some idea of what might be ahead. Do you have a place to work on it and the right tools? Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:06 PM   #13
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Having seen this trailer live and in person, I would like to meet the person who would pay $12.5K for it, because I have a lovely bridge for sale.

The shell is in good shape, true. However, it will need work to make it camp-ready, and no one knows how much work that will be. Does the furnace work? Does the plumbing leak under pressure? Do the tanks hold water? Does the refrigerator work? Does the airconditioner work? And a million similar questions....

I'm not all that concerned about the frame, but since I've "been there, done that and got the t-shirt," I've got lots of concerns about the rest of it.

I'm thinking you could easily drill out a few rivets to check the frame, but I don't know how quick I'd even be to do that. I'd have to see how soft the floor is there first.
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:03 PM   #14
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$5-6,000 max, assuming he can show what works and what doesn't.
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:24 PM   #15
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$500-1000 at most. Theses sellers are a joke asking those prices. You will drop $10k to have it fully usable for travel, thats materials only. Alas maybe your standards of revival aren't what others are and you could be on the raod for far less... Maybe a couple thousand. I paid 500 and was in much better shape. I disagree, the rear baths are so roomy and out of the way for extended travel. We are a young couple with 2 kids, imho we are so glad we don't have a dedicated bedroom that only gets used at night. The 31 footers are spacious and tow just as well as anything else. Good luck and don't waste your wad on that one.
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:33 PM   #16
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We paid 3k for our 72' knowing it would possibly have rear end sag. Drove home perfect and has a decent shell with a scratch here and maybe there. But we couldn't be happier with the purchase. And after handing over the cash the PO then said he paid 5k for it a year before. I didn't feel too bad for him!
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:19 PM   #17
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I suspect you are looking at a shell off restoration if you can do this by yourself then I would go up to $3K. There are many good older Airstream trailers out there at a better price than this one.
We paid $5K for a 1969 31ft several years ago and ended up having to replace axles and fix rear end sag other than that everything worked and was in good shape.
Our son sold it last year for $7K.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:15 AM   #18
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The outside, It looks in GOOD shape. But the inside and the rust would be something I would worry about. Not that it can't be fixed. But we just sold a 1986 for 12k and it was in a lot better shape. Wish you all the best. Please be careful.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:15 PM   #19
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Thanks for all of the replies. I didn't realize the areas I posted were indicative of such worse problems. I am very new to this and appreciate the help. I've always wanted an Airstream, especially after I got the family suburban years ago. The suburban is a 1976 and I thought it would be cool to tow a similar vintage Airstream with it. I liked this trailer mainly because of the original interior. My wife and I have three children (4yrs, 2yrs, and 8 months), and plan on having one or two more, so a larger trailer is the ideal choice. (I might be one of the younger members here at 28yrs old).

The floors in the trailer felt solid, and I'll have to investigate the possible patch that was mentioned. I wish there was an easier way to get a look at the frame. One of the members here contacted the seller with some good questions and the seller again claimed no leaks and everything is perfect except the tires. Perhaps more members should contact the seller to get him to realize the trailer isn't worth as much as he thinks. I still think the seller hasn't even come to look at the trailer yet. The craigslist pictures are old (I can tell based on the amount of shrubbery around the trailer and the lack of other trailers around the Airstream in his photos) so I feel he doesn't want to look at it because he'll have to admit to the problems I've told him about.

I've already explained to the seller that the longer trailers never sell for much unless they're in mint condition or had a full restoration. I've told him about the rust and water damage. The NADA guides which he said he'd use to price the trailer put it at an average sales price of ~$2800. The trailer has sat unused and forgotten for almost a decade so they obviously don't care about it or need the money. I feel these days people see one person was able to sell their item for a crazy price and they think theirs is worth that much no matter the condition. I did a search on the all Craigslist page and found similar trailers, the ones as expensive as the seller is asking were beautiful ready to camp in nothing needed. Most were in various stages of neglect or renovation, but the ones in similar condition to the one I'm asking about were all in the $2000-$5000 range.

Sorry for the long post. Again I appreciate all the help so far and any more I will receive in the future.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:37 PM   #20
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I think you're right on target with $2-5k for the value. It sounds like your still a little unrealistic about the amount of work required to get this thing camp ready when you start peeling the onion. I will send you a crisp new $20 bill in the mail if it doesn't need welding repair.

Find some "minor floor rot" threads and watch them spiral out of control. Don't convince yourself it's not a big deal to restore. Worth it, but expensive and difficult.

For what it's worth, I'm only three years older than you. I plan to make mine exactly what I want and keep it forever. I was willing to put way more into it than I could ever get out in a sale. If that's you, too, then get one for a fair price and get started. If this guy doesn't want to sell for a fair price, leave him your number and move on. This type of Airstream turns up for sale pretty regularly in this condition or better.
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