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Old 04-07-2015, 08:48 PM   #1
Nomadwannabee
 
Currently Looking...
forest , Mississippi
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 9
Looking this weekend

Hi! We are looking at a 69 overlander this weekend. Curious to know what specific problems we should look for with this model?
It has a odd layout with dinette at the front instead if a sofa. Does anyone know if this is after market or was an AS option for that year?
Thank you for any helpful tips!
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:48 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Go to Airstream.com and look at their documents archive (under the "Service" drop-down menu). In this archive, you can generally see possible floor layouts per model for a given year. This might help you sort out what is original.

1969 was a cross-over year, so there are parts in a '69 that are hard to come by. For example the wing windows in the front have a square lower corner, and the '70's trailers they are rounded. This results in the cost of a replacement being about double. Other than this type of peculiarities, expect a '69 to share all of the problems common to the '70+ trailers, ie, floor rot, rear end separation, etc..

Make sure to download the buyer's inspection checklist from the portal page. This will help you to identify problems, regardless of the particular year.

good luck!
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:53 AM   #3
Nomadwannabee
 
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Bel...do you think it is worth the efforto to find an inspector?
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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It certainly shouldn't hurt. There is an interface toward the bottom, on the right hand side of the Portal page that will help you to find volunteer inspectors in the area. However, I would admit that an inspector is going to be hit-or-miss depending on their level of experience and motivation, so be prepared to actively inspect on your own (use the checklist).

Be ready to pummel the seller with tons of questions, ie., what repairs/mods have been done, ask to be shown what they are talking about. If they have pictures and receipts for materials, so much the better.

There are plenty of owners out there that do not know their trailers inside and out but honestly think that they have no leaks, and there is no floor rot. Don't take their word for it.

Similarly, there are some owners out there that bought an old "field find" trailer for $500, replaced some floor covering, upholstery, and paint, and attempt to sell for $15000. These trailers can be hard to inspect, because the rotting sub-floor may be hidden by fresh linoleum.

Have cash in hand, just in case its a great deal. Ask about the condition of the tires, rims, and lights before heading that way. Don't be afraid to walk away. There will be other trailers.

good luck!
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:52 PM   #5
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Looking at a vintage Airstream to buy is a lot of fun. Unless it's been restored and worth $15k or more, expect it to have plenty of needs. You will have to assess its condition and thus it's value. I good body and a good frame is worth $5000. Must be as that is what I paid for mine.

I believe the front dinette is standard fare for 69. My son's Globe Trotter has a front dinette. This trailer may also have a double bed, or twin beds. This was another layout option. And it may be the "international" trim level. Land Yacht was the base trailer, and the international option was a trailer with better woodwork and more amenities. Learn how to decipher the serial number and you will know where and how the trailer was built.

Start your inspection from the ground up. If the tires are 5 years or older, they need replacing, figure $100 each. If the axles haven't been replaced, they need it. Figure $1500 for both. Look at the belly pan. If corroded and hanging loose in spots, it will need replaced.

Now go jump on the rear bumper. Look for a gap forming between the body and the frame rails. If a gap is forming, it means the rear of the body is no longer attached to the frame due to rusted frame members and rotted subfloor. This is a big job to repair.

Open the bumper storage compartment door and look at the frame rails. How rusted? Reach up and feel the subfloor. Any holes? Open the rear storage compartment and look for floor rot. Rotted subfloors are common in old Airstreams. It is a big job to repair.

Now look over the body. Hail, dents, broken windows, awnings, steps, compartment doors work, etc. Damaged bodies are hard to repair.

Inside, open the windows to make sure they work. The seller can help you. Open and shut the door.

Now on your hands and knees, probe the subfloor with an awl or something small and sharp. The floor rot is usually under the leaky windows, buy the leaky door, by the leaky compartment doors, by leaky plumbing in the bathroom, and at the very rear of the trailer next to the leaky rear attachment point. If it his "vista view" windows above the regular windows, figure they leak. Now you can assess the condition of the cabinetry and woodwork.

Have the seller plug in the trailer to 115v and city water. Check out the plumbing and appliances. Note what works and what doesn't. Does the water heater ignite, does the fridge ignite, does the furnace ignite, does the water pump run, do the vent fans work, the AC blow cold. And ask the seller to back up his tow vehicle and plug the trailer in. Check the operation of the exterior lighting.

Hope this helps get your mind around it. It is very easy to come up with $10,000 in parts to get a "as found" Airstream to "travel ready" condition. If it is already in "travel ready" condition, everything works with receipts of work done, it might be worth $15000. Overlanders are a popular trailer for traveling, but maybe not worth as much as the cute little Caravels, Globe Trotters and Safaris.

David
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:40 PM   #6
Nomadwannabee
 
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thank you so much for the information. I've read the buying guide threads and now i am totally freaking out. I don't want to get in over my head and regret the decision. Athough I have good handyman skills and a few family members that can assist in plumbing, electrical, and carpentry, I know I cannot handle a full rebuild.

I actually plan to use this camper in the next few months and while the rebuilding/refurbishing/renovating idea is very romantic, I think that is not in the immediate future. That being said, I also don't want to throw good money after bad or get taken by a buyer that thinks I don't know what I getting into...
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:00 PM   #7
65will
 
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1969 25' Tradewind
Greenwich , New York
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look and enjoy

You need to look at as many as you can, There are good and bad trailers out there, compare, we have a 69 Trade Wind and love it! It was alot of work, but there were worst ones out there. Some may need only minor things to use it safely. Go and look at it take notes and enjoy.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:26 PM   #8
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
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The dinette in my 69' is in the front as well :-)
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:34 PM   #9
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1978 25' Tradewind
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I have the dinette in the front, too, and I specifically looked for that floor plan. How else are you gonna fit four people with coffee cups around the table?
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:52 PM   #10
Nomadwannabee
 
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forest , Mississippi
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the dinette was very appealing on this camper. I had not seen another one quite like it as the other all have the gaucho/sofa or missing it totally.

However, this particular one has sold. Have a lead on another of the same which is actually closer and are viewing it tomorrow.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:09 PM   #11
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
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Posts: 677
Quote:
Originally Posted by lealea75 View Post
thank you so much for the information. I've read the buying guide threads and now i am totally freaking out. I don't want to get in over my head and regret the decision. Athough I have good handyman skills and a few family members that can assist in plumbing, electrical, and carpentry, I know I cannot handle a full rebuild.

I actually plan to use this camper in the next few months and while the rebuilding/refurbishing/renovating idea is very romantic, I think that is not in the immediate future. That being said, I also don't want to throw good money after bad or get taken by a buyer that thinks I don't know what I getting into...
Don't worry, you have done research, have skills yourself as well as friends with skills, you will be fine and with the use of these forums you will find that you can actually learn how to do anything.

The 69's are the last year of real wood interiors

Arm your self with as much knowledge before you get to the trailer and do your best to keep your love blinders off. It is easy to be awed by the first ones you walk in and look past the flaws. Bring a friend and if the seller says he is unsure something works you can safely assume it doesn't work and deduct that off the price if the asking price is to high.

up here in Victoria BC, I personally would expect to pay about 5,500 for an as found original condition Overlander with all interior parts intact but unrestored. That would be with all the original glass intact and the body in reasonable condition. (check each window to see that they are glass or haven't been replaced with plexi, they will have a corning glass mark in the bottome right corner)

Also search anyone in this thread that has a 69 to see what they have done in their trailers, it may give you some ideas of what you are in for.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:12 PM   #12
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The people who bought the 69 will eventually appear on this forum. You’ll get to laugh at all their problems!
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