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Old 03-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
Cincinnati , Ohio
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How much to replace heater, refrigerator and axles

Looking at a '65 25 ft Overlander for purchase. The heater does not work and the refrigerator is only electric not two way. What should I be looking at in cost to add heater and change out refrigerator to a two way? The owner replaced the "suspension" but I don't know if the axles need replacing? What would that cost??

Any help would be great on this?
Thanks
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:34 AM   #2
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If you order complete axles from one of the reputable sources frequently referred to here on the forums, and install them yourself, you will pay about $1500 for the two. Ask the PO for more detail about what he means by "suspension," as you can't just replace the "springs" in an elastomer axle (I would asssume that he swapped out the entire axles, but you don't know until you ask).

A new RV refrigerator is pricey. ~$700 for the counter height models, and ~$1200 for the "full height" models.

A brand new propane powered, forced air furnace will run you ~$5-600 new.

good luck!
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #3
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What belegedhel says, and if you cannot do the work yourself but have an RV dealer do the installations, I would approximately double the price of the item itself.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
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Thanks belegedhel. that is extremely helpful in coming up with a potential offer. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:17 PM   #5
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Question: Is the seller selling this trailer as a "restored" unit with a price tag consistent with restoration, or is it more of a "well maintained" price?

My point is that substituting a "dorm" style electric fridge for an RV fridge is a common shortcut folks take when trying to keep costs down. Of course it could just be that they always use the trailer with full hookups in the summer time, so an electric fridge and non-working furnace works for them. But if it is a matter of performing a "restoration" (A.K.A "flip") at the lowest cost, be very careful with your inspection, as you might find a lot of other shortcuts that simply cover up problems without really addressing them.

good luck!
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
Question: Is the seller selling this trailer as a "restored" unit with a price tag consistent with restoration, or is it more of a "well maintained" price?

My point is that substituting a "dorm" style electric fridge for an RV fridge is a common shortcut folks take when trying to keep costs down. Of course it could just be that they always use the trailer with full hookups in the summer time, so an electric fridge and non-working furnace works for them. But if it is a matter of performing a "restoration" (A.K.A "flip") at the lowest cost, be very careful with your inspection, as you might find a lot of other shortcuts that simply cover up problems without really addressing them.

good luck!
You said a mouthful - AMEN.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:46 PM   #7
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A fridge is pricy, but I'd say check ebay and Craigslist, that's where I found mine. A dorm fridge isn't made to take the abuse they get in a trailer. For heat, I'm planning on one of these Westy Ventures / Propex heaters for mine, a small forced air unit to replace the old gravity unit. Not cheap but doesn't take up much room and well made. I tend to go with boat items rather than RV, because the quality is better
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:25 AM   #8
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Hi there
Looked at the Overlander yesterday and it had way more work to be done on it than my wife and I thought. The owner was nice but we thought there would be there would be considerably greater expense than just the replacement of the appliances mentioned. We also used a checklist my wife found on another site that provided estimates for assessing older airstreams, which was a very big help to us.
So, back to the classifieds. I think we also felt that unless a trailer was in pretty good shape, we probably would be looking at newer used trailers, even if the prices were substantially higher.
The old axiom is true, you get what you pay for, most of the time.
Thanks for your earlier guidance. It helped us be a bit more realistic on costs.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:00 AM   #9
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Well, good job walking away from a trailer that was potentially more work than you were ready to take one!

That axiom ("you get what you pay for") is true, most of the time. If the trailer is cheap, it is probably cheap for a reason.

But all too often, I see vintage trailers for sale advertised as "refurbished." They might have a shiny exterior, probably have new pergo floors, fresh upholstery and painted interiors, and a pricetag of $15k. Although this is a lot of work, it just scratches the surface, as sub-floors are probably rotten, frame might be seriously damaged, axles are sagging, plumbing is leaking, and appliances have been replaced with Walmart stand-ins. I'm not even saying that these sellers are trying to commit a fraud--they might just not know any better.

So if you continue looking at vintage trailers, try finding one that advertises having had the work done already. Ask to see receipts and pictures to prove that the heavy lifting has been attended to. Expect to pay for it, but if you do, at least you actually will be getting what you paid for.

Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
Well, good job walking away from a trailer that was potentially more work than you were ready to take one!

That axiom ("you get what you pay for") is true, most of the time. If the trailer is cheap, it is probably cheap for a reason.

But all too often, I see vintage trailers for sale advertised as "refurbished." They might have a shiny exterior, probably have new pergo floors, fresh upholstery and painted interiors, and a pricetag of $15k. Although this is a lot of work, it just scratches the surface, as sub-floors are probably rotten, frame might be seriously damaged, axles are sagging, plumbing is leaking, and appliances have been replaced with Walmart stand-ins. I'm not even saying that these sellers are trying to commit a fraud--they might just not know any better.

So if you continue looking at vintage trailers, try finding one that advertises having had the work done already. Ask to see receipts and pictures to prove that the heavy lifting has been attended to. Expect to pay for it, but if you do, at least you actually will be getting what you paid for.

Good luck!
Ditto all of the above, however go one step further & ask to see "detailed" photos of how the work was done, as in floor section replacement methods, rust repair etc. We see bodge jobs all the time that look "OK" on the surface, but need to be taken completely apart again in order to do it correctly & make it structurally sound & safe.
Colin
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:41 AM   #11
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Be Careful With Tweeners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin H View Post
Ditto all of the above, however go one step further & ask to see "detailed" photos of how the work was done, as in floor section replacement methods, rust repair etc. We see bodge jobs all the time that look "OK" on the surface, but need to be taken completely apart again in order to do it correctly & make it structurally sound & safe.
Colin
Very, very similar to dealing with vintage cars. I've mentioned before that I was deeply involved as a hobbiest in the restoration and showing of vintage Porsches. One thing I learned over time is that the best way to start a project was with a bedraggled car with good bones that no one had made an effort to restore. They were the cheapest to buy and there was no need to pay a premium for work that most likely needed to be redone.

The two ends of the spectrum are raw projects in original, albeit bedraggled condition and well done restorations. I call everything in between "tweeners" and usually tried to avoid them. The work done on them was often poorly done. At worse was the "lipstick on a pig" syndrome where a flipper had done shoddy but shiny work in an effort to deceive. Shiny is often a danger signal.

The best were old original cars in great condition, but those are rare and usually command very high prices.

Poppy

P.S. Here's a link to my favorite Porsche project if anyone is interested in cars: http://audettecollection.com/306607/
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