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Old 04-11-2007, 07:27 PM   #21
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Well, hang in there and the right thing will come along. I think it's best not to buy something if you're feeling pressure, or unsure about it. There's usually a reason, even if you don't know exactly what it is.

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Old 04-11-2007, 07:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by DennisT
I crawled under and the torsion bar arms are slightly sloped below level. I have some concerns there, however, "fenders," still ride about 4"+ above wheel. Comments on this particularly invited. Of course dealer said it is fine.

I pulled up top cover over rear bumper and examined each end of that storage compartment. Looked inside the 3" holes on each end that look into the frame as suggested here. I see surface rust but not to any depth. I've looked at a lot of rusty metal where the scale is so deep it has to be chipped off and this is not that way. For a 20-year-old unit then, is surface rust in there normal?
As the owner of an '85 25' Sovereign I can say that these are nice units if well maintained. With regard to your questions above:

Axles: I am not convinced that upward axle angles mean anything on a 1980ish and later Airstream Trailer. It probably is an indicator of axle condition on older trailers, but not newer. I believe that around 1980 or so the factory reduced the starting (unloaded) axle angle from 22.5 degrees down to 10 degress down, which will result in a loaded angle that is actually up on even a new Airstream. I think this was done to reduce the height or center of gravity of Airstream trailers. I have no proof that this was done, but I have never seen an Airstream newer than 1980 with a downward axle angle, so I think I am right. And supposedly, the rubber in the torsion axles was changed around 1974 or so and the newer rubber is not supposed to harden like the ruber in the 1962 to 1973 axles did.

Rear Frame Corrosion: This is unfortunately typical in 1980's and 1990's Airstream trailers as the frames were not galvanized or treated with any other corrosion preventative. A little surface rust or light scale actually indicates an above average trailer. I have seem many with large rust thru holes in the rear frame ends, some of which were covered with light gauge aluminum panels to hide the evidence. I wouldn't touch a trailer with rust thru holes, but I'd have no issue with a trailer with slight surface rust or even slight scale. I'd just plan to paint the interior of the frame ends with rustoleuon (or equivalent) when time permits to slow the progress.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:47 PM   #23
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but I don't think you were quite ready... I got a sense that there was an undercurrent of uncertainty. I wouldn't want to be second guessing myself as time went on staring at the trailer.

About your tranny leak - where is it leaking? Almost all American tranny's seem to leak around the rear seal - is this where it is? Is it a lot, or do you notice some evidence of a leak but no fluid on the ground.

I think you said you had a 2001? Is it under warranty(sp?)?

Don't worry about the trailer - as I said, those rear wraps were rare. I'm sure it sold itself.
Good luck in the future, and let us know what you find.
I think there is a 1989 on EBay right now, rear twins (no rear wrap) if you want another look at a simular trailer.

Search here about traveling with pets - that can be an option too sometimes. Especially if it's dogs - cat's are a bit harder.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:53 PM   #24
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Dennis,, so sorry about the trailer,, i also sensed a bit of unreadiness in your posts,, hope all goes well, and when you are ready, it will be a great adventure,,, best to you ,, donna
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:59 PM   #25
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Ritzville , Washington
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thanks + trans

Thanks again. Yes, I think it had to turn out this way. We've been rippling through many changes over the past 18 mo. Moved 300 miles; bought 5A 1920's farm with Bungalow/Craftsman home including most of an old church my wife's ancestors were members of. Lots of getting settled; too many things on top of one-another. But we get manybe 5 cars a day by the house and nearest neighbor is a mile away; dead quiet living ! Love it. Had all this not been ongoing, we'd have been better prepared.

3M: trans leak - Well, that's the other thing. I have a 1992 Chev. 1-ton 4WD 6.5 turbo diesel with 170,000 miles. Very slow drip now from drain hole in dust cover under bell housing. Trans pan and trans rear is dry. So I have a very slow leak in front trans input shaft seal developing. Truck is in very good condition otherwise but I see a rebuilt trans in the near future. Might be cascading into dealing with newly acquired (older) Airstream pulled by an aging truck had this deal this morning worked. Truck is also a standard cab so not a good pet hauler in itself. It is not a daily driver as we have 3 other rigs on the road; it can still be a good truck, just have to take care of things.

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Old 04-11-2007, 11:00 PM   #26
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Oh, 3M: My comment about Trees of Mystery is because many years ago I spend quite a long time about 100 miles south of TOM on 101.

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