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Old 01-02-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
greenville , Texas
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dent repair on rear corner

Hi All,

I am looking to buy a TT 1974 tradewind. I haven't seen it in person yet, but the pictures look OK. There is a largish dent on the right rear corner (see Pic). How hard would that be to repair. Is there any other problems to worry about from that dent. also the vista windows were cracked and replaced with aluminum inserts.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:35 PM   #2
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Segment replacement..

You would be looking at segment replacement. Since you are in Texas (same as me) give Randy a call at North Dallas RV, he does panel replacements everyday.

Not a big deal, but the clear is going to look way different in that section. It is going to look replaced unless you re-clear the rig.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:05 PM   #3
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I concur
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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does that dent look like something major, should I avoid the rig and look for another? thanks for the replys. If I buy it i'm sure I'll be asking more questions.

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honez
does that dent look like something major, should I avoid the rig and look for another? thanks for the replys. If I buy it i'm sure I'll be asking more questions.

Thanks
The dent though largish does not look structural. So it depends on the price.
Simple dents even though large can be popped out. What can't easily be popped is when there is a crease in the metal. In that case the metal has been stretched but the size of the dent can still be significantly reduced. I have had good luck using a "Ding King" "as seen on TV". I wouldn't worry about a few character dings. My Tradewind actually has a couple of bullet holes, but I live in New Mexico. More important is the condition of the floor, axles, appliances etc. You can dump quite a bit into a good looking shell. I found my Tradewind after sitting in a field for 20+ years. I got it real cheap but had to replace all the appliances except the fridge and redo the upholstery. So far I spent $5K on replacements, doing a lot of the work myself and I'm not sorry I did it. The axles are also living on borrowed time.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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Was the vista window replacement done well or is it a hack job? One wonders how long they were cracked before repair and if water got onto the floor.

IMHO, given the body damage and the replaced windows, it would need to be inexpensive. You may also need to be willing to take on some repairs so having a place to do that work and the tools, or a "good" friend who is willing could be important. If it needs tires that's not inexpensive and you need to make sure the brakes function, all appliances (if they say they haven't tested them or used them in a long time I'd be cautious) and the floor is solid. So a good deal can turn out to be an expensive and/or time consuming effort. Another thing to consider is where it's spent it's life. I know of folks who were looking at a car in AZ and thought being from there it would be rust free. They learned later that sure it was in AZ but it have spent 20 years on the eastern seaboard first and had seen it's fair share of salt.

If, however, upon inspection the dent and the window thing are the only issues, it is clean and has been well maintained, then it might be worth adopting.

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Old 01-03-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. I havent seen the unit yet. The owner wants a 500 non refund deposit to hold it till the 21st. If the floor and appliences, and axels are good is 4K a decent price? The fridge is new, and the carpet is out, and the pics of the floor dont show any holes. The A/C also works.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:28 AM   #8
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Caveat Emptor

Quote:
Originally Posted by honez
Thanks for all the replies. I havent seen the unit yet. The owner wants a 500 non refund deposit to hold it till the 21st. If the floor and appliences, and axels are good is 4K a decent price? The fridge is new, and the carpet is out, and the pics of the floor dont show any holes. The A/C also works.
4K is an average price for an unrestored Sovereign of this vintage with most appliances working and no major problems. You can get an idea of the axles from a photo. There should be at least a couple of inches of tire showing between the top of the tire rims and the bottom of the fender well. Read Inland Andy's complete discription of axles in a search for more info. If you sight along the bottom side of the trailer the rub trim should be in a straight line without a high point above the fender well. There should be no outward bulges at the fender well. Check for rear end sag by standing on the back bumper and jumping up and down. You should seen no movement of the bumper more than 1/4" without the rear shell of the coach moving with it.

I would negotiate on that non refundable deposit.

"Everything works" is a very subjective description.

Is the new fridge 3way? 2 way? or just 110?
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:34 AM   #9
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Another Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by honez
I havent seen the unit yet. The owner wants a 500 non refund deposit to hold it till the 21st.
If you can't get out to inspect this coach till the 21st can any of you members out near this location help out honez with a inspection?

Plan B. Hire a local RV guy to inspect it, but, it's hard to find one who knows 74 Airstreams.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honez
...The owner wants a 500 non refund deposit to hold it till the 21st. ...
Absolutely not (IMHO). I've done five Airstreams, four of them were "rescues" from many years of sitting. The dent is not a huge deal, but should put the price nearer to $3,000 or less. No matter how well this trailer has been maintained, it the heater and water heater are original they will need to be replaced, as will the axles and [maybe] wheels and tires. I've had AC's that worked fine, but crapped out in a year or two--which is not a bad record, considering these things are 30+ years old. It just depends on whether they were used regularly, which seems to prolong their life.

The vista view window issue has two sides. I hate them--they leak, they can look bad, and they let the heat in. I replaced the ones on my Ovelander and Sovereign with skin patches. I think they turned out OK. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...gin-34135.html

I know you hate the dent, but you can make significant repairs by removing the inside skin--the size of the job really depends on your bathroom layout and how difficult it is to get to the dent from the inside. You'll still have a blemish if you don't replace the panel, but a call to the Dallas RV place will tell you what the cost tradeoff for a new panel is. Aerowood will tell you that aluminum likes its dents to be "rolled" out, not hammered (like a car body). We'll see how his system works on Saturday when we work on a similar, but not as creased, dent in my Safari. Photos to follow at http://www.airforums.com/forums/f421...ion-37609.html . You can see some of the preparation work in post 12 and a handmade roller in post 16.

You can find many Overlanders and Sovereigns of this vintage, so don't jump if the price isn't right.

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Old 01-03-2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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Agree with Zep for sure. Even 3k is more that I would be willing to pay unless everything else was spot on. As per the dent here is a quick look at a process I have used with some success on the Minuet. I have worked out three larger dents all with some creases good enough to paint. I had planned on holding the photos until the process was complete but will repost when I reach that point. I worked the dents from the outside only using hot melt glue and scrap wood. Keep in mind a zen attitude and work the dent in the reverse of how it happened, outside of the dent working to the middle. Glue several sticks on and pull a little on each one in turn. I deal with the creases with a small jewelers hammer while pulling on the closest stick, stop when you feel it move and grab another one. It pulls the paint and likely also the clear coat if you have that. Takes several slow attempts, don't get in a hurry. Denatured alcohol will clean off the residue.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Wow very good advice, Thank you. I have the owner's number now, so I can ask the more specific questions that you all have sugested. I dont mind the dent, so I just need a sound unit that wont need a lot of heavy duty work for 6 months or so. I plan on using the unit to live in as I am starting a new job and my family wont be following till June. I cant stand to throw money at an appartment. After the family moves down then I can do all the big jobs if needed.
Here is the link to this unit. Any more advice or comments are appreciated.
http://www.airforums.com/classifieds...uct=4820&cat=6

Thanks,

Honez
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:43 PM   #13
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1974 25' Tradewind
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I sent the owner this list of questions is there any thing I should ask him?

Appliances: What works and what doesn't. Age if known
Tires: How old and shape.
Axels: What shape (sag, Bearings, Ect)
Leaks: Are there any.
Electrical & plumbing: How is it
Body sag: Is there any rear end sag
Windows & doors: Do they seal, and open and close properly
Floors: is there Rot or any soft spots especially in rear bathroom area.
Frame: any known problems.
Belly skin: Is it intact and not corroded to bad
Brakes: do they work.
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:04 PM   #14
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honez
I sent the owner this list of questions is there any thing I should ask him?

Appliances: What works and what doesn't. Age if known
Tires: How old and shape.
Axels: What shape (sag, Bearings, Ect)
Leaks: Are there any.
Electrical & plumbing: How is it
Body sag: Is there any rear end sag
Windows & doors: Do they seal, and open and close properly
Floors: is there Rot or any soft spots especially in rear bathroom area.
Frame: any known problems.
Belly skin: Is it intact and not corroded to bad
Brakes: do they work.

Please don't go for the statement, "everything worked, the last time I used it."

Working and working properly are two different things, that are miles apart.

Ask for service records, especially for the brakes.

Check the axles out yourself. It only takes a couple of minutes. Reading the following article, will teach you how. 1974 and older axles are prone to failure, because of the composition of the rubber rods, and especially if the trailer has not moved in a long time.

Dura Torque Axle

How about any LPG leaks?

When was the last time the bearings and brakes were worked on?

Are the shocks leaking?

Look for cracks in the window and door gaskets.

You can bet that the sewer vent pipe gaskets were probably never replaced.

Dents can be sometimes pulled out, but in looking at the photo, you will still see some creases. Depending on the depth of that dent, was anything on the inside pushed away from their original mountings?

Hopes this gives you a little more inspection knowledge.

Andy
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:06 PM   #16
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Now wy didn't I thunk that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royce
here is a quick look at a process I have used with some success
This is the same basic idea as the "Ding King" or "Pops a Dent" as seen on
tv. The only difference is (1) those gizmos use a bar that is supported by arms across the dent and you turn a screw to pull on the dent, and (2) they use a low temp melting goo in a glue gun that pops off the surface pretty easy, sometimes too easy, but is easy to clean up and (3) Yours won't cost you $29.99. I did not take me to long to decide it was easier to put most of the gizmo aside and just use the goo. Looking at your photo the goo would work good with wood too.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:19 PM   #17
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Honez sez:
I sent the owner this list of questions is there any thing I should ask him?

Tires: How old and shape.
Tires get old just sitting there. Any tire more that 5 years old, no matter how good it looks is living on borrowed time

Axels: What shape
Most Airstream owners and even RV guys (present company excepted of course) don't even have a clue when their Dura Torque axles are bad. So don't take their word. Assume the axles need to be replaced unless the seller can document the axles are good. All the stuff which is attached to the axles (brakes, bearings, etc) is relatively cheap and easy to replace the axles themselves will cost you some bucks
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:49 PM   #18
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Thanks for all your input,
I got the owner to hld it with out the deposit. If all is well with the floor and apliences work is 4k a good price or should i try to bargin more.

Honez
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:07 PM   #19
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Its too much for what your getting. Add up what you will spend after purchase to get it functional. The "worth" of the aggrevation, I am sure is to come, should be factored in there too.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:54 PM   #20
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Exclamation $ $ $ $ honest HONEZ

For sure check it out
I paid $2,000.00 yup TWO THOUSAND BUCKS for my 1991 34' Classic Limited Edition. This is #8 of the sixty AS made for their 60th Aniversary..... AND I have a project on my hands.
I am replacing the following:
Reefer, rear 8' of the floor cause it had a 8"x 13" soft spot, ALL curtains, all upholstry, all mini blinds,all carpet & tile because PO smoked 12 packs a day & had 2 small dogs that never "went" outside, TV Antenea and a Fantastic roof fan.
After the interior is done then I will get to rebuild the brakes, wheel bearings, shocks, exterior lights and then I will find something else that needs attention.

I fully expect to have about $8,000.00 in it when I get to take the first trip.

So MAKE DARNED SURE that the items you and others have listed do work (as Andy says) VERY WELL.

I am doing this 'cause this is a great way to spend my retirement. Rebuilding an AS. And I am lovin' it....

Have fun. But check it out, very carefuly.


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