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Old 07-16-2008, 11:50 AM   #21
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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To get sober about wrenching and repairing - you won't use the trailer if you can't stand the way it smells. The formaldehyde used in black tank chemicals , insecticides and vermin musk will drive you nuts if you ignore them while shopping since that is when Aluminitus infatuation and the fixer-upper ego kick in...
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #22
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1967 22' Safari
Deer Park , Washington
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My 67 Airstream was drove hard and not maintained to well. It smelled of mildew. Had damage from water leaks and many other problems. I did not pay much for the trailer because of this and it took a lot of TIME and MONEY to get it back in shape. But, when it was all done, it cost 1/6th the price of a new one and I had the satisfaction of doing the work myself and having an interior how I wanted it to be. I cursed the whole process but I love it now. Like most everyone says, they are old so they will have some kind of problems. Find the size and model you want and go for it. You can't be a wimp when you buy any old trailer unless you have lots of cash to buy a restored one. I think we that have done the work ourselves have more pride in our outfits than anyone else no matter what it is.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:38 PM   #23
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To the original question, I think there are two categories of questions. One, are there design flaws particular to a given make and model? Two, what are the most common problems experienced in any particular vintage of Airstream.

An example of a design flaw is the rear end separation and frame "droop" in some longer, 70s era Airstreams. You can do a search on this and find ample information. Overall, however, I would say most folks think Airstreams have been fairly well built over the years and have relatively few design flaws. As for any mechanical system 30 to 40 years old, there are going to be issues caused by age, vibration, corrosion, metal fatigue, wear, etc. This is true of old trailers, old cars, old boats or pretty much anything else with moving parts.

Buying something vintage means making a commitment to spending time and money on certain things. There are two ways to look at this. One, you can see this as a money pit. Two, you can see this as an opportunity to improve on a good design.
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