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Old 04-21-2003, 09:56 AM   #1
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Posts: 25
Question Maybe buying first AS/Newbies need advice!

Sorry, lousy subject line! Hi folks, this is my first post. I have reading your posts for a while now. My husband and I have the opportunity to buy a 1978 25ft Tradewind International. We have purchased other older trailers but not an Airstream before.

I was wondering about the interior. What parts can be "gotten" easily vs. extremely rare to find. One item I am wondering about if the storage bins. Has anyone had to replace these? If you did, were you able to find them? Did you just "go to Walmart" and buy new Tupperware-style bins and find they fit?

I know some items will be hard to find, like the undercabinet drop light covers. I can deal with that, but how many items on an Airstream are really hard to find???

My husband is in love with the "idea" of having an Airstream and he really wants to have a project. I, on the other hand don't mind an older trailer, but want one that can be really used. I don't want to have to worry about our boys (ages 3 & 7) camping in an "antique". Help!
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:57 PM   #2
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,523
I don't know if you had gotten any replies to this post:
many of us have the older units and use them with our kids, digs, friends, etc. My 20 yr old one is pretty "young" compared to some.
The project goes on as long as you want it to, other than essential maintenance items, you may choose to be in a continual upgrade or redo mode.
Meanwhile you have a decent investment, and something you may be able to enjoy while working on it. I have enjoyed mine for 2 years now, and I work on it all the time, items getting done and new ones taking their place, sometimes whether I want them to or not!

That said, it all will depend on how much of a project it is....asnd if you all have the temperment to deal with the unexpected parts that are sure to arise.
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Old 05-01-2003, 02:51 PM   #3
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Greetings, and welcome to the Forum!

Jump on in---the water's fine!

First of all, a 1978 Airstream is hardly an "antique;" it's practically a newborn in Airstream years. There are nuts out here who regularly buy trailers from the 50s and 60s, and use them hard. Fogetaboutit--- An Airstream can take it, and there's an abundance of parts available for 1978 models.

Second, except for the body itself, few parts of an Airstream were of a special manufacture. Therefore, suitable substitute parts can usually be found at hardware stores or RV dealers. I suspect that you can find a plastic bin in every size from 2" X 2" to 4' X 4' without leaving your hometown.

Finally, if you're gonna be one of those "keep it original" wackos (and you know who we are), do one of 2 things: 1) buy a trailer in original condition (and there should be plenty of '78s), or 2) identify the missing parts before you buy, and check with Inland RV, this website, the VAC classified site and e-bay for the availability of replacement parts.

Bottom line: you won't have to baby a '78 Airstream, and finding parts will not be hard. Join the club! Good Luck!
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Old 05-01-2003, 02:56 PM   #4
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Now---if you want some REALLY useful advice, here it is:

NEVER camp downwind from a meat packing plant.
(But you probably already knew that )

GO Buffaloes!!!!!
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Old 05-01-2003, 03:03 PM   #5
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1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 305
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78 Airstream

Only one problem with purchasing an
Airstream from the disco era: All those
leisure suits you have to wear in order to
match your trailer. The upholstery in our
79 is an acquired taste.
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Old 05-01-2003, 08:45 PM   #6
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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I have a 1971 AS and found if you are not insisting on "all" orignal there is almost nothing time and money won't fix.
Staying orignal can be a challange, my wife prefers orignal so I have had to do a lot of creative repairing.
So far the only parts I could not find , at reasonable prices, was a motor for the furnance so I had the orignal rewound and a thermostat for the oven that was available but not worth the price to me. I suspect if I had known about this forum at the time I would have been provided a source for the both parts. I would think a 1978 would be considered almost new with plenty of parts available.

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