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Old 04-21-2021, 09:39 PM   #1
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How Major Is This Damage?

Hello,
Iím looking to buy my first airstream and found one on Ebay with an incredible interior (new plumbing, new kitchen, new everything) but a bit of a rough exterior. They claim a tree fell on it, hence the damage, but that it is roadworthy. It has a Nevada salvage title, and they said insurance paid out $90,000 for the trailer. They are asking for $41,000. This may be a no brainer, but should I pass or is it worth checking out? The interior makes the exterior so tempting to look past, but I donít want to spend more than $15,000 in repairs or take on a much bigger project than I realized.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:54 PM   #2
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To answer your question directly, that's A LOT of damage. Expensive to repair PROPERLY, meaning no leaks and metal needs to match after repair.

I don't believe the $90,000 figure. Just looking at the outside of the trailer, it looks nice for it's age (except for the damaged area of course). Wheels are cheesy. No pictures of the interior? Are you sure the pictures you have of the interior are genuine? Salvage titles are hard to re-insure, if not impossible. And, it's an Ebay find for a bunch of money.

I would definitely pass. Look at the classifieds here on this site, many better Airstreams for sale here. Lots of Airstreams for sale in the world.

Just my 2 cents. Enjoy your search!

Jim
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
To answer your question directly, that's A LOT of damage. Expensive to repair PROPERLY, meaning no leaks and metal needs to match after repair.

I don't believe the $90,000 figure. Just looking at the outside of the trailer, it looks nice for it's age (except for the damaged area of course). Wheels are cheesy. No pictures of the interior? Are you sure the pictures you have of the interior are genuine? Salvage titles are hard to re-insure, if not impossible. And, it's an Ebay find for a bunch of money.

I would definitely pass. Look at the classifieds here on this site, many better Airstreams for sale here. Lots of Airstreams for sale in the world.

Just my 2 cents. Enjoy your search!

Jim
Hi Jim,
Thanks for throwing in your two cents! I appreciate it. I think Iíll pass and keep looking in this case. I think it only allows me to post four images so I didnít include any of the interior, but the interior alone probably cost 40,000. It was gorgeous. That said, itís not much good if itís rotting from the outside in.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:27 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum . . . FWIW I agree with the "pass" . . .

Also, as Jim said, it can be difficult to get any insurance with a salvage title . . . for example this recent thread:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f35...ge-221676.html

FYI/FWIW
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:12 AM   #5
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Insurance may be an issue - yes ... what I would also check is to make sure you can even licence it for the road???
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:18 AM   #6
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Thatís a lot of damage both sides of the trailer. What year is this one.?
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:23 AM   #7
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It almost looks like it’s was crumbled up like a sheet of aluminum and then pressed flat again. I would definitely pass.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:25 AM   #8
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My AS was side-swiped by a truck, with grooves running down the trailer's right side, and the cost of repair at AS Northwest was $16K. Your damage seems to me to be significantly greater and thus more expensive to fix.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:25 AM   #9
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1978 I believe.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:26 AM   #10
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My AS was side-swiped by a truck, with grooves running down the trailer's right side, and the cost of repair at AS Northwest was $16K. Your damage seems to me to be significantly greater and thus more expensive to fix.
Yikes, noted. Definitely a pass.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:57 AM   #11
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Nice enough looking trailer, but I am not sure I would pay $40K for it, uncrumpled. I seriously doubt insurance paid out $90K for it and then let the owners keep it if was valued at anywhere near their asking.

As others have already said, insuring and registering a salvage is a major PITA.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:18 AM   #12
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No brainer for a pass to me.

I think that the shell is the important part of an Airstream and is what you pay for to be in good condition. No interior would good enough to cancel that dent out for me.

An expert has already evaluated that trailer and decided that they could not make money repairing it.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:41 AM   #13
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Proper repair of a single corner for a newer unit is about 10K so this would probably be in the 25K neighborhood. I don't see the value. You have to get this very cheap if you wanted to chase it. Insurance may be another problem but a specialty firm may take it at a value based policy. For the money you would have to spend I'm sure you could find a nice older polished unit if that is what you're after. If "shinny" isn't important I'm sure you can get a nice used newer Airstream for the money you would have to spend to bring this one up to condition you want.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:51 AM   #14
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Looks like they somehow tried to reduce the looks of the damaged area to help the sale. I know I wouldn't be interested.
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:41 PM   #15
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Perfect answer.
It was definitely polished before being wrecked and may have been beautifully redone inside too. So it is possible the owners had an assigned value policy and got 90K for it. SOMEONE bought it back from salvage, but they were idiots if they paid more than a couple thousand for it. Parting out the interior and undamaged parts of the exterior is Hard Work!
The exterior skin looks dimpled out. Seems like someone took a hammer to the inside and just pounded away. That might work on a steel auto body, but not acceptable technique on an Airstream AND you'd have to remove the interior down to the skins to do it. The photos of the inside were taken when? Before shots, not after.

I see the OP has already walked away. Let us pray some other inexperienced person asks for advice ahead of time too.

Paula
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Nice enough looking trailer, but I am not sure I would pay $40K for it, uncrumpled. I seriously doubt insurance paid out $90K for it and then let the owners keep it if was valued at anywhere near their asking.

As others have already said, insuring and registering a salvage is a major PITA.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:51 PM   #16
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Hi

Like the others, I'd really like to see the paperwork that proves that 90K number. Something along the lines of: "we think it's worth $90K, insurance paid out $50K, now you get to pay $40K to make up the difference" sounds a lot closer to something I would believe.

How much to repair the total damage? You only will know once it is done. There are lots of things that will not be apparent until somebody tears into this or that. Could it be $20K .... maybe. Could it be $50K ....yup ....

Most $50K interiors are done because it's *exactly* what the owner wants. To somebody else .... it's worth $30K. If you can find an actual sales transaction on a 1978 that is anywhere near $90K, I'll buy you a beer. . I'm not talking about people who have put a lot of money into a project or what was paid for a pro to do a "build to spec". I'm talking about a straight sale process.

I would run (not walk) away from this one.

Bob
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:27 PM   #17
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Yikes, noted. Definitely a pass.
Thank you OP for confirming in Post #10 that you do not intend to purchase this trailer.
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