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kaulike 08-07-2006 11:10 PM

How much damage is too much?
Hi all, I'm also in northern California---must be a convention here!

We are building a house this year and we have been considering getting a cheap vintage Airstream (or similar) to use as a site office during the build, and as as my office afterward. I telecommute full-time, and with the price of land we have just enough to build a small house without much in the way of an office even though we obviously need one. Long-term, I plan to build an office at the property and then we can start restoration on the travel trailer.

I have found a 1960 Overlander, asking price is $1500. Seller is about 200 miles away, but right near my office so I can combine a trip to go take a look. Interior looks like the beginning of a restoration project, i.e. trashed but not really important. However, the poor beast had a tree fall on it in the back, and it looks like the ridge seam split. There is also a broken window on one side, so obviously my first question to the seller is, how much water has been inside. There are also a few wrinkled skins, which really gives me pause.

So am I worried unnecessarily, or should I turn tail and run?

InsideOut 08-07-2006 11:17 PM

IMO, "turn tail & run" especially if you are wanting to use it right away. Major damage like what you describe involves lots or labor to repair...not impossible, but not for the faint of heart.

Shari :flowers:

ROBERTSUNRUS 08-07-2006 11:22 PM

Damaged trailer
:) Hi, first off don't call any Airstream cheap; I prefer, inexpensive. Next add the purchase price to the estimated repair costs. If the inexpensive trailer is $1500.00 and $2500.00 to do the body repairs, you now have a $4000.00 trailer. [to remodel into your office] Can you find a better trailer for $4000.00 or less?

:) :) Bob:) :)

CaddyGrn 08-07-2006 11:34 PM

Always check out the floors... poke with ice pick .... many floors are "gone" and need replacement, especially under water heater, water holding tank, etc. Inspect it as though you were a CSI looking for a tiny hair in the dark corners under the pipes.... replacing the floors is a big job! "Doable" but time consuming!

Good luck!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)

Jim & Susan 08-07-2006 11:47 PM

Like others have said, lots of work just to get that one usable even to a small degree. $1500 is much, much more than that one is worth. $500, MAYBE. You basically will have to rebuild it because of all of the damage to the shell. NOT inexpensive to buy skins. Like Shari said, I think I'd walk away from this one.

Good idea, btw, I just think I'd find a better trailer to use for the job.


kaulike 08-08-2006 01:30 AM

WOW thanks for quick responses! Very good advice also. I think I'll keep looking. Trailers seem to crop up in out-of-the-way places, maybe one will find us instead of the other way around.

thanks again

till 08-08-2006 06:20 AM

Aaa where is this trailer????? ;) I dont have enough work :p

Yes, if you want to use it soon, do not start with shell damage. The price is a little steep for the discription you gave. Mine set me back $900 and had a complete interior, minus the damaged area. Keep looking.....

kaulike 08-10-2006 11:33 AM

Just to answer... I found the poor crumpled can on craigslist (sf bay area, california). The seller sounds honest.

Magpie 01-20-2007 01:10 AM

Hi..I have the 1960 overlander and bought it for 1150 a few weeks ago. The guy in Ukiah gutted it and had sort of pushed the caved in area where the tree had punched through in the back and pretty much destroyed the fiberglass area in the bathroom roof and vent some but the damage is repairable. I will post some pics soon and show the progress. He gave up on it and wanted 1300 or best offer. His wife said how about 1150. I sort of tried to get him to give some info on how much he payed or whatever but he never said. I have removed the bathroom plastic sink tub and toilet. The floor is still pretty nice but some rot at the very back is all. Many broken windows though and two had plexyglass. Have about two or three good glass windows still. It has maby 8 windows in it. More then I've seen on some models. It has a circular porch light near the door outside thats missing a lens but is built in the shell. One odd thing is that it has unusual taillights in that they are not circular single lights as I've seen on all others but are sort of a little further out and are in plastic squarish taillight mounts painted silver that extend somewhat wider . I think there are two lights perhaps on each taillight, one larger then the other. Have only seen one style like this so far. Is it true that 1958 - 63 ..they were similar pretty much? .except I have learned the dual axels were 1960 first year, with either single or dual. Mine is dual axel and it seems to have some sort of torsion bar type springs in the square axels because I see no springs but shocks only. It rode smoothe though.
The hot water heater had old rats nest in it and it was pretty trashed inside I think. Too bad he destroyed it all and didn't drill the rivets but just took a pry bar to everything and tore the rivets all out..all the rivited panel aluminum strips. Bent it all. Have a few mahogany sticks but not much really. Will just start over. I like it a lot though. Not too bad shape..a few dents and one slight side swipe. Will give some pics soon.
I also have a maby 1970 -72 overlander. Am not shure really. I bought it for 500 a few years ago if you can believe that. Someone hauled it into a second hand store and it was there 2 hours with a for sale sign 500 dollars. That was the luckyiest day of my life I thought. Also need to work on that one. No title and was a wood stove in it going out the window and total trash in it as if someone was living in it and the property owner just wanted it gone it seemed. Am now studying other threads on people restoring thesse. Yea I really like these airstreams. Want to restore the other one now also. Really like this forum. It has so much info. Have been studying every night.

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