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Old 04-06-2006, 06:44 PM   #1
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1955 26' Crusier Overlander
Napa , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Worried, help!

I've wanted a vintage airstream for many years. While picking up parts for my future tow vehicle, a 1942 WC 48 military issue Dodge truck 1/2 ton all metal station wagon, I found my dream trailer. It was days from going to the crusher for aluminium scrap. I purchased the trailer the next day. After visiting many cites I've determined that my airstream is a 1955 26' Crusier Overlander, made in California. It has the " whale tail " cap in the back.

Here is my problem. The airstream reportedly sat in someone's back yard since the 1960s, where it was used as a work shop and office. The story is that the property where it sat was sold, with the proviso that " all the junk in the back yard would be removed ". The airstream was hauled off by a local wrecking yard metal scrap dealer. I was in the right place at the right time.
Unfortunely, there is no title or license on the airstream. The metal scrap yard is trying to do a lien on the airstream and register it. They have the plate number, 6591 affixed to the right side of the airstream door. The number 6591 brought up two airstreams registered in California, one a private party and the other to California Fish and Game. The scrap dealer does not have much patience and is thinking of returning my money and crushing the airstream. Is there any other way to identify this airstream trailer and get it titled and licensed before it becomes aluminium scrap ?

Thanks, Walt Stanton or
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:58 PM   #2
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
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With a bill of sale from the scrap metal guy you can register it in Alabama I think, then once you have a new registration/title you can re-register it in your home state. PM RichardT here on the forums and he'll be able to help you, it was he who told me of this work around for missing registrations.
Just tell the crusher you're happy with a bill of sale and get it the heck out of there! We don't need Airstreams turned into beer cans.
Now what we really want to see are the pictures!! Show us the trailer...please.
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:14 PM   #3
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Aurora , Colorado
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Yea, I agree. Tell him a bill of sale is all you need. Then work out the registration and title later. It'll probably sit on your property for awhile anyway while you work on it, do repairs, so on & so forth. So, just get it home first.
Out for coffee!
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
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2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
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In California, a trailer that hasn't been registered for four years falls off the rolls. It doesn't exist. Unless the registration laws have changed (which happen daily there) you can probably just go register it, and pay for a new title. The only catch is that you may have to get a special bonded title (with insurance should someone make a claim against it). That may cost you a few bucks ($50 or so) and the bond usually drops off after 3 years.

In any event, with a bill of sale and a verified VIN, and whatever else DMV says to bring, you should be able to re-title the trailer.

Here's the link to the CA DMV page that describes the process for you:

havin' to fix my broken Airstreams since 1987...
AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N DODGE Sprinter
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:36 PM   #5
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Get it home with a bill of sale "as is" ASAP

It is no problem in most states to get a title and some states do not even issue or require titles on trailers that old.

There are services to help you available online.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:10 PM   #6
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1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
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Possesion is 9/10th's!?

If it was me I would get that baby in your driveway ASAP!!!!!!!!!

There seem to be no others 'fighting' to get the trailer ( name yet??) so I would get it out the crushers proximity, then sort the rest out AFTER you get her home!!!!!

Just another .02 cents.

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Old 04-07-2006, 03:40 AM   #7
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1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
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grab it and run!

do the paperwork later!

you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:04 AM   #8
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2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
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I agree with all the above posts - GET IT OUT OF THERE....

You can always get a title in alot of states with only POSSESSION OF THE VEHICLE. I don't know CA laws but I have to imagine that once you have the trailer w/ bill of sale from a salvage a title will be easly obtained.
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:30 AM   #9
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Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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What ever you do let us know what happened.
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