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Old 10-19-2003, 10:29 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1972 29' Ambassador
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 135
Images: 6
Help and the voice of reason

Greetings, I looked at '67 30' Sovereign yesterday. And again today, and probably again tomorrow. I've always loved the look of Airstreams, and for some crazy reason, now I want to buy one.

I need some help and advice. All I know about them is what I've picked up on the Internet in the past 36 hours. Lots of info out there, but I want more.

The old girl that I want to buy is just about 100% original. Supposedly hasn't been used in 10 years. Current owner has had it for 30 years. She seems to be in good shape for her age, but needs some cosmetic and mechanical work.

I've read about a frame/body problem in these rear bathroom models. This one has none of the exterior signs of this, but on the inside the partition between the bedroom/galley has poked through the interior panels, on the ceiling. I've only seen it on jacks, so the partition is in it's normal position, but I can see what has happened. I've read about a couple of bulletins and frame stiffining repairs. Can someone out there offer some insight about the cost and complexity of the repair? Both to do it myself and to have it done.

It has some other minor issues such as, A.C. (fan works, but not cold), Oven doesn't seem to work, A couple of exterior lights non-functional. Otherwise all is as it should be.

I'm also wondering about restoration vs. renovation, and its affect on value. Should I try to restore it to it's 60's charm, or can I put in granite, hardwood floors, and bring it into the 00's. Without losing the respect of the vintage people.

Any advice is greatly, and urgently needed, I may have to buy it in the next day or so.

Thanks, Tamis
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Old 10-19-2003, 10:45 PM   #2
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,493
Well, as I understand it from the experts, Airstreams are designed to be supported only, ONLY on the axles. If someone has put this one up on jacks to the point that the partitions have moved, it may be time for you to move.... on to the next trailer.

Where are the jacks? If they're at the ends, and they're supporting the weight of the trailer.... uhhh, you might wanna do some more lookin'...

...or at least ask some of the experts here, like Andy.

"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case
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Old 10-20-2003, 07:01 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
1972 29' Ambassador
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 135
Images: 6
Thanks Don, maybe you could send Andy my way.

The jacks were just in the back to stabilize it, the wheels were still on the ground. I'm going to go and see what happens when the jacks are removed, later today.

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Old 10-20-2003, 07:30 AM   #4
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1968 17' Caravel
2005 30' Safari
Somewhere , roaming America
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,095
Images: 39
Sitting for a long time isn't good for anything except mummies. Check for mouse/insect infestations (droppings, chewed wiring insulation, mud wasps blocking furnace orifices, etc), water leaks, propane/plumbing leaks, mold, soft spots in floor, proper operation of doors and windows, rust on the hitch and frame. Expect to re-pack wheel bearings, replace brakes, replace tires, and some lights just to get it towable.

This sounds like a serious fixer-upper. Others on this board have talked about $1500+ to fix the rear-bath frame sag problem. I'd plan to drop $4-5k into this baby just for starters. You'll find more things wrong as you get into it.

Don't worry about restoration versus renovation, at least from a re-sale value perspective. You won't get your money back either way. Do it because you want a nice trailer. Make it what you want. Don't worry about what the "vintage people" will think -- it's nobody's business but your own!

But skip the granite countertops -- too heavy!

-- RL
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Old 10-20-2003, 07:36 AM   #5
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2005 28' International CCD
Pagosa Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 806
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We've got a '67 that is almost all original but have decided that we're not trying to create a time capsule and search for original parts to replace the worn out ones. We're inclined to lean towards comfort, safety and low maintenance instead. We use the Tradewind for kids, dog and parents to have a good time in and have tried to set it up inside to be more fun/funky and less RV looking.
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