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Old 07-25-2015, 07:02 PM   #1
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1976 25' Tradewind
Tallahassee , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 77
Going to go inspect a '68 Overlander tomorrow

It's the first time one has popped up so close to home - there's another one floating around in nearby cities but it's at a slightly higher price tag.

My original goal was to purchase before my 25th birthday, which is in less than two weeks. I've been saving and shopping for one for about 6 months now!

I'm going into Fort Pierce tomorrow morning (7:30 am!) so that I can get back to my job after seeing it. I'm hoping to get a good look at the visible bits of the frame and the floor to see if it's worth buying. I really hope it is, because it's the exact make and model I originally wanted and within spitting distance at home which makes getting it towed home MUCH easier on the schedule AND the budget.

I'm really crossing my fingers that this is it. I'm so over the shopping... I want to be FIXING.

Any advice on transferring the title, doing a bill of sale, how to pay, anything like that... never purchased something this large or for this much money EVER. It's a little intimidating.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:55 PM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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Good luck with the trailer. Try not to be rushed to do your inspection, you really need a good hour or more to go through it and look for staining on the edges of the subfloor by the walls and underneath cabinets. You dont mention what they are asking for it, but assuming its something in original, unmolested or unrestored condition, then its a 47 year old trailer down in Florida, which in my book, doesn't bode well for leaks, rot and rust. Get underneath it and look at everything and borrow a ladder and get up and look at the roof. Look for anything and everything.

Try all the appliances and see if you can hook it up to water and check for leaks and electric to test out the AC and fridge. If it has propane then light everything off that uses gas to test.

If you decide to go with it, take plenty of photos and leave a deposit to hold it, preferably by check. You probably wont be able to get a regular bank loan on it as the banks go by NADA and the book values are next to nothing for a trailer this old. Post back for more feedback. Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:32 AM   #3
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1976 25' Tradewind
Tallahassee , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 77
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Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
Good luck with the trailer. Try not to be rushed to do your inspection, you really need a good hour or more to go through it and look for staining on the edges of the subfloor by the walls and underneath cabinets. You dont mention what they are asking for it, but assuming its something in original, unmolested or unrestored condition, then its a 47 year old trailer down in Florida, which in my book, doesn't bode well for leaks, rot and rust. Get underneath it and look at everything and borrow a ladder and get up and look at the roof. Look for anything and everything.

Try all the appliances and see if you can hook it up to water and check for leaks and electric to test out the AC and fridge. If it has propane then light everything off that uses gas to test.

If you decide to go with it, take plenty of photos and leave a deposit to hold it, preferably by check. You probably wont be able to get a regular bank loan on it as the banks go by NADA and the book values are next to nothing for a trailer this old. Post back for more feedback. Good luck.
Thanks! As far as I can tell he just pulled the trailer from Maryland, so I'm hoping it hasn't been in Florida mugginess very long. I'll be looking at everything I can and in every cupboard. I do want something that needs work, but too many major projects and I may have to pass on it.

Is it better to use a check? I guess that way you can cancel the check if the trailer disappears on you. Luckily I've saved up enough to make a straight offer on it without a loan - I try to avoid debt whenever possible, I've been lucky enough so far!
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:30 PM   #4
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1976 25' Tradewind
Tallahassee , Florida
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Well, it was a little disappointing. But I'm not as let down as I thought I was, the excitement of inspecting another one has reinvigorated me rather than drained me. I'll take comfort in that, since it appears this is not a dream I'm ready to give up on!

Compared to the first Overlander I inspected a few months back, this one was in worse shape. The entire tail had dropped and was repaired by a couple of braces that held it up - the entire utility drawer under the back flap was gone, as was the back access panel (he had the remains, it had fallen off and been run over on the trip down from Maryland). What I could see of the frame was rusted pretty badly and the crosspiece on the back was just gone.

There are two big dents on the front curve, with a busted window on the front - he says from parking under two heavy pine trees during a snowy winter. I checked the rest of the windows - out of seven, only three of them were the original glass. The rest were plexi. On top of that, EVERY window had water in it or under it. It would have needed a lot of work just to get the shell watertight again.

The A-frame was modified and the hitch socket replaced, a different one welded on, with a mechanical rather than electric leveler. There were also some ants that had taken up residence in the three days it had been parked there, inside the rusty frame.

The upsides were that there was the potential for at least a couple of those original appliances to be in working condition. But the frame itself is not something I can build on and have last a long time without basically taking the shell off and building a new frame for it to sit on. Which is way out of the scope of what I can do.

The guy is flexible on price, for sure. He mentioned to go ahead and make an offer, cause it's costing him rent sitting where it is and he and his wife only really want one last trip in it. If he doesn't sell it, he may just leave it on the side of a road. I told him to definitely call me if it gets to that point, cause I'd give him at least a few hundred just for the parts! But it would be to supplement a different restoration, not to get this one back to it's former glory. :/

The other one I saw was in pretty decent shape, I wish I'd had more money saved up when I saw it! It was definitely worth the 5k it sold for a couple months ago. Now that same one is back on ebay, I THINK under a different name, and the bidding on it is up to 7k.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:59 PM   #5
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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I'd pass on that one for sure. My 68 Trade Wind looked OK but it took 2 years to redo and I'm retired. Amazing what you learn in the process- ha. Most of the lessons are expensive too. If I were doing it again I would pay more and find one in better shape.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
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Sorry this one didn't work out for you....but better safe than sorry! We looked for a long time to find the one we wanted, and are glad we waited until the right one at the right price came along!

Are you going to be living in the Airstream, or just camping? Be sure you check with your auto insurance about what they will/won't cover when towing your trailer, etc. We took out an additional endorsement for replacement value on ours... because our trailer is also vintage, I had to supply my insurance agent "proof" of value, so I found sold items on eBay, here on the forum, etc. and printed out the similar trailers within a 6 month period to help establish value. Good luck in finding just what you want!
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:59 AM   #7
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2010 20' Flying Cloud
Hailey , Idaho
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Compared to the first Overlander I inspected a few months back, this one was in worse shape. The entire tail had dropped and was repaired by a couple of braces that held it up - the entire utility drawer under the back flap was gone, as was the back access panel (he had the remains, it had fallen off and been run over on the trip down from Maryland). What I could see of the frame was rusted pretty badly and the crosspiece on the back was just gone.

There are two big dents on the front curve, with a busted window on the front - he says from parking under two heavy pine trees during a snowy winter. I checked the rest of the windows - out of seven, only three of them were the original glass. The rest were plexi. On top of that, EVERY window had water in it or under it. It would have needed a lot of work just to get the shell watertight again.

Starstruck
I think all of us here admire you for being so young and so goal oriented, so we're pulling for you. Having said that...run away from this particular camper. And if you do see it one the side of the road, sigh wistfully....BUT KEEP DRIVING! It'll be a money sink. jon
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:53 PM   #8
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1976 25' Tradewind
Tallahassee , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by B00merang View Post
Starstruck
I think all of us here admire you for being so young and so goal oriented, so we're pulling for you. Having said that...run away from this particular camper. And if you do see it one the side of the road, sigh wistfully....BUT KEEP DRIVING! It'll be a money sink. jon
OH NO, if I got this vehicle, it would be for PARTS. If the frame and important bits are gone or unsalvagable, I'm not dumb enough to sink a bunch of money into it.

BUT a working original fridge is $750 by itself, not to mention the 3 good windows, the exterior lights that aren't missing or broken, bits and pieces of propane system, the water tanks, etc. Plus I've heard that everything from the front door to the tiny bits of hardware can be hard to find in order to replace broken ones.

I am thinking about making a really low offer on the ebay version at the end of the listing, just to see if he'll take it. Having a bunk version of my preferred trailer on hand could be very useful when I find one actually worth working on, as I can combine the best traits of both to fix it up. Plus, deconstructing this one for salvage would allow me to really get to know the inner guts of the airstream.

I might even be able to take the skin and transplant it onto a light aluminum frame, if I'm feeling bold. But right now I'm just thinking about the organs of the beast.

It's risky, as if he doesn't get an offer at ALL, I could get the thing for free, which would really save me money, especially if the important appliances don't work at all. Offering to pay any money at all for it could be a risk.
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