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Old 12-29-2005, 07:47 AM   #1
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Going to look TODAY @ a 77 Trade Wind...HELP....

My parents are going to look at a 1977 Trade Wind for me today. They have a 2000 Excella, so they "know" Airstreams. BUT, I'd like to hear from you all about what they can/should look for in this older unit.

All comments/suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks-
Minya in Florida
(trying hard to contain my excitement!!!!!!!)
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveGreers
My parents are going to look at a 1977 Trade Wind for me today. They have a 2000 Excella, so they "know" Airstreams. BUT, I'd like to hear from you all about what they can/should look for in this older unit.

All comments/suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks-
Minya in Florida
(trying hard to contain my excitement!!!!!!!)
Congratulations!
They should look to all systems for functionality. Interior should be complete and functional, with no signs of water leaks. Inspect the belly and axle system real well, to see if th eunit was flooded during the recent hurricanes.
Poke around the perimiter of the floor, making sure there are no rotten areas. Especially around the entry door, and underneath the front/rear windows. Plumbing and electrical systems should be checked.
I would worry less about a flaking clear coat ( normal) or a weak battery ( cheap to replace)
Look at tires and brakes, and check the axles. ( use the forum search function for axle check) Try and get a receipt from the owner when the bearings were serviced last, or just have a trailer service do it just in case.
Inspect teh skin for damage and/or popped rivets. Make sure teh windows all open and close properly, and that there are no leaks on the eyebrow windows up above ( if so equipped)
Inspect roof vents for missing or broken lifters, and for cracked lids.
Look inside the cabinets and under the bed/couch. There should be plastic bins as drawers in there. Same in the dressser ( if equipped)
Good Luck, and Happy New Airstream Year!
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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Kinda depends on the price they want for the unit as to what you are willing to live with; however, I agree that the floor and the axels are a big item. These things are expensive to replace. The A/C is also important if it is original to the trailer. It probably won't last long for you if it has been up there all these years. That's about 5 to 8 hundred to replace. The frig. needs to work because that is also an expensive item. It takes a while for those old units to get cool, so your parents may have to turn it on and then do their inspection. Some things you can live with like the lights not working or the upholstery worn. Even the peeling vinyl wall covering is an easy fix. Check the fresh water tank for leaks and see if the pump works. Pumps are not expensive, but rewiring is, so get suspicious if none of the lights AND the pump won't work. Of course rust is a big worry for old costal trailers, so look at the frame as much as possible and the shocks and axel for this. We're all excited for you. Hope it turns out to be a great trailer.
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:00 AM   #4
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Thanks!

They are getting ready to head out so I cut and pasted your responses in an email to them. I'm not attaching myself to this camper, as if all looks/smells good, I'll offer them less and see what happens. I appreciate the info, and if it DOES work out, I know I'll have a TON more questions- !
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveGreers
My parents are going to look at a 1977 Trade Wind for me today. They have a 2000 Excella, so they "know" Airstreams. BUT, I'd like to hear from you all about what they can/should look for in this older unit.

All comments/suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks-
Minya in Florida
(trying hard to contain my excitement!!!!!!!)
Good luck! Check out my site, been restoring a 75 Tradewind!
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Good luck! Check out my site, been restoring a 75 Tradewind!
I checked out your site when I first started looking and thought to myself "wow, I wish I could do something like that!" You've done an outstanding job! It looks fantastic!!

I called my parents and they're not there yet. So funny-she said she gave me til noon to call, and I called 11 minutes earlier- ! LOL! I have our little neon flamingo lit up for good luck! BUT, it not this one, then there will be one for us, I just know it! I'll post back once I hear from them.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:19 AM   #7
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Got my fingers crossed for you
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:20 AM   #8
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The suspense is too much. Let us know as soon as you can. I remember waiting to see my "new" 78 Argosy. It's so exciting. I know what you are feeling. You don't want to get attached, but you can just picture yourself camping in it. Good Luck.
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:09 PM   #9
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The search will continue...

This wasn't the one for us. They said there were a lot of things not to great about it and for that price, it shouldn't have needed that much renovations. That's okay, it wasn't meant to be! I'll continue to look-although they said there was a really cute 2004 Bambi on the lot-lol!

Thanks for all the help and cheering! We'll find ours one day-and you can count on me continuing to look!!
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:39 PM   #10
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Not only look at the axles to determine negative axle deflection but also look at the frame where it comes out from the rear axle and heads to the rear of the coach. It should not be twisted but be straight as an arrow. Take a look at the outside skin for waves or bulges near the middle of the coach by the axles because this may also be a sign of rear end sag. You might also see this on interior trim near beds if you have a rear bath/mid twins.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveGreers
This wasn't the one for us.
Been there! Sorry to hear about the bad deal. Hope you didn't travel too far to be let down. Hang in there, you will find the right one. I have never regretted the trailer I walked away from, and I love the trailer that found me!
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveGreers
This wasn't the one for us. They said there were a lot of things not to great about it and for that price, it shouldn't have needed that much renovations. That's okay, it wasn't meant to be! I'll continue to look-although they said there was a really cute 2004 Bambi on the lot-lol!

Thanks for all the help and cheering! We'll find ours one day-and you can count on me continuing to look!!
Keep lookin, you never know where one will pop up!
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Keep lookin, you never know where one will pop up!
LOL-as I'm a "pop up" camper right now- ! Cute!
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:42 PM   #14
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Bummer!
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:44 PM   #15
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You will be rewarded if you can just remain calm and keep looking. A few years after purchasing my '77 31' off ebay, I was looking for something shorter, say in the 25' range. I saw an '80 Excella II 25' mid twin/rear bath go for a little over $10,000. I then waited for over 6 months while trying to get a look at a one owner '79 Sovereign 25' mid twin/rear bath in immaculate condition when a couple would visit relatives near by. When I heard they might be interested in selling so they could get a longer trailer, I let their relatives know quickly that I was interested in a shot at their trailer. OK, I figured I would pay a little more but it would have been worth it. I was heartbroken to learn they traded it in on another Airstream while at home in Florida.

OK, the story gets better though. I ran across a post on another forum noting a nice '86 Sovereign 25' with rear corner bed for sale WITH Hensley hitch. I talked to the person who had seen the trailer (I trusted her), sent emails to the owner and then called him the next day. He emailed me pictures and I went straight to the bank to get a loan to tide me over until the 31' sold. That loan is almost paid off and I ended up with a trailer I feel I can take anywhere. It is a little more suited for what I do whether we are talking hunting or just traveling. Settle for only the trailer you want and you will have one you will cherish for years.
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:14 PM   #16
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Almost..

We went about an hour up the road today to look at a 21' Globetrotter-1971, that's listed here on this forum. We were about 10 minutes too late, as it sold to a couple who was still in the driveway when we got there. But we were so pleased to meet the couple who owned it and it gave us a great idea of what a 21' was like (and I really liked the size). We appreciate them letting us look around it and in it, as we've never been in one other than my parents before.

So Congrats to BigBend for selling it so quickly- . And we certainly hope to see you again!!
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Old 01-02-2006, 04:28 PM   #17
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We looked for years. The very first one I looked at was as good as what I ended up with a long time later but I didn't know what I was looking at, at that time, or I'd of snapped it up. No such thing as an "online forum" then. People always underestimate the effort/cost of repairing something they are selling. The best part of all the searching is that it makes finding and owning the right one all that much sweeter. Keep us posted.
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