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Originally Posted by Sojourn
Hi. I've recently decided Id like to purchase, remodel or recreate , and live in an Airstream TT as my work has me away from my hometown. I've only recently begun to look at and research what I'm about to undertake. I can't wait to get started on this project/home away from home.
My first "find" has some real work to be done to her. I've talked to the owner today and was given access to to some pics. He isn't sure what year she is but thinks around 68. Knowing there are leaks and knowing she is going to require a near complete restoration, what is her value? What is a reasonable estimate for restoration? Thank you for any insight. Here are some pics!
Her skin is in good shape. No rips. Missing rivets
Based upon the windows, I am fairly certain that the coach would have to be either 1966
, or 1968
. It was during this three year time period that Airstream utilized Corning Tempered Glass windows. These windows are one of the potential trouble spots on these coaches as replacements are available in only two forms . . . reproductions for which a waiting time is often part of the ordering process . . . salvaged parts from an RV salvage yard or from a coach that a fellow collector is parting out. In the not so distant past, the usual solution to a broken glass window on one of these coaches was to fashion a replacement from either plexiglass or one of the more recent acrylics . . . often it was difficult to keep these non-glass replacements from leaking. Any missing glass window can spell a parts replacement cost of $300 to $700 depending on the size of the window in question to return with tempered glass.
While it wold be impossible to say with assurance from the photos, there does appear to be a slight ripple behind the rear wheel on the curbisde. The ripple could be as simple as "oil-canning" that will disappear with temperatur changes . . . but my concern would be that the coach might have rear end separation. To learn more about rear end separation, you can perform a Forums search on Separation where you will learn more about identification and resolution of the problem I had this issue with my '64 Overlander and while it wasn't severe, repair was in excess of $3,000 about ten years ago -- I am not a do-it-yourselfer so I had my favorite Airstream dealer perform the repair.
The A-frame of the hitch appears to have one of the earlier Reese Dual Cam hitch systems installed. I utiize this same hitch on both of my coaches and have found that it is an excellent solution to the hitch selection for a Vintage Airstream . . . effective sway control with good weight distribution.
Estimating a value for a Vintage coach can be difficult, but there are a few expensive items that may need attention based upon the photos:
- It appears that at least three or four of the windows are either plywood or non-glass meaning that new glass replacments will likely be needed . . . the replacement parts could easily exceed $1,000.
- In the photos, it appears that the axles are likely worn out, and even if they aren't totally worn out, the rubber rods may have taken a set rendering the suspension near useless which would spell many issues if the coach were to be put into regular service without an axle replacement . . . parts for new axles with new drum brakes could run from $1,250 to $2,500 depending upon where the axles are sourced, shipping costs and installation costs if you don't wish to approach that task as a do-it-yourself project.
- The body sheet metal appears to be in very good condition which would be a big plus if your intention is to "mirror" polish the coach.
- The LP tanks appear to at most 20 pound units. On a coach of this size the usual factory tanks would have been 30 pound units with 40 pound units being a somewhat common option. When I purchased new aluminum LP tanks for my Overlander, i went with 40 pound tanks which has meant that I can usually get by with only one refill of the tanks each season.
- The interior appears to be a major project. While it looks like the cabinetry could be restored, I would be concerned about the potential for floor rot particularly in both ends where the plywood is covering the windows . . . leaks from the windows at either end are not uncommon, and floor rot in those two areas (particularly in the rear) often spells the need for major floor replacement as well as the potential for frame repairs to address moisture related rust issues in main frame members as well as outriggers. The area close to the entry door is another likely spot for leak induced rot.
- Given the basic appearance of the coach I would anticipate that most if not all of the appliances will require replacement or major expenditures to restore them. It would be easy to expend $3,500 to $5,000 just for new appliances including RV Refrigerator, furnace, water pump, water heater. power converter, air conditioner, toilet, holding tanks, etc.
Based upon the photos, I would suspect the coach will need a near total interior restoration. My suspicion is that the most expensive exterior project will be a tie between replacing the missing glass in the windows and replacing the axles. To give you an idea for comparison, my '64 Overlander was purchased in 1995 in camp-ready condition for $5,000. In the intervening seven years, I spent $5,000 to have the exterior professionally polished, $6,000 to have the interior professionally refurbished, $3,000 to have rear end separation professionally repaired, $3,300 on new appliances (air conditioner, refrigerator, furnace, water heater, power converter, PAR water pump, and two ceiling fans) professionally installed, and $2,500 in professionally installed ZipDee awnings. I estimate that I could have saved between 25 and 35% had I been a do-it-yourselfer, but I don't regret the money spent as I still have about the same level of spending as I would have had if I had purchased a new 1995 27' Safari and I have my preferred floorplan with the exact color scheme that I wanted with my personally selected fabrics and finishes.
Given the level of work that I suspect that the coach is going to need, my estimate is that the fair market value would lie between $1,750 and $3,000.
Good luck with your investigation!