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Old 04-17-2005, 07:15 AM   #1
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This is my first post here. I would appreciate your advice. I have never had a travel trailer before. I am pretty mechanically inclined and can fix most anything. I am also very experienced in towing heavy loads.

I was considering an older 76 model Airstream that I have found. It will be parked most of the time and not towed much at all and usually not very far from home. Weight really isn't an issue with my purchase.

I have been told not to buy an older Airstream like mid seventies. Somebody told me that special tools are required to access some things and that they are nearly impossible to work on. Was I correctly informed on this??

Also if I did pass on the Airstream is there a place like J.D. Powers or Consumer Reports that tells the brands with the highest customer satisfaction? Or does anybody have an opinion on which is the most trouble free brand? If I don't buy the old Airstream I want the "Toyota" of Travel Trailers.
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:20 AM   #2
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First of all, Welcome to the site!
You could probably "google" for Airstream trailers to get your answers. Or try the forum on vintage trailers.
The biggest issue is the initial build on the unit. Was it sold as a "Joe Six-pack" low end unit? If it is used and five or more years old it is probably not worth looking at. It all depends on where the unit was taken for vacation. E.G. boondocking or strictly private RV parks.
Buying a high end used unit is often the better idea. There are a ton of used RV for sale web sites. If you look at enough of them you can determine the value of the unit that you are looking at. is a good place to start.
NADA and KBB have some ratings on prices fro used RV's as well.
Good luck in your search.
p.s. Look at the classified ads here as well.
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:59 PM   #3
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For the life of me, I can't figure out what parts on an Airstream could require special tools.

Since you said that your travel trailer will be parked most of the time, I would say two things in favor of the Airstream you have your eyes on.....1.) the older model will not depreciate and 2.) the aluminum centrifuge is practically leakproof. If you buy something newer, it will depreciate at a terribly fast rate, and if you buy something with a rubber or vinyl roof, you might be working on the re-sealant more than you are using it.

Two thumbs up for the old Airstream.

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Old 04-18-2005, 04:00 AM   #4
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First, welcome to the forum!!

Our Airstream is a '87 model --- don't know of any special tools required to work on any part of the unit unless it comes to rivets.

Watch out for two things (that come to mind) on older Airstreams.
1. Rear bathroom. weight-causing problems to structure.
2. If someone used an acid cleaner on the outside to "polish" the aluminum, don't purchase the trailer. This causes every rivet to become loose -- can you say "leaks?"

Also Airstream floorplans have both twin beds and double beds. Double beds are a pain -- you crawl over each other. Stick to the twin bed floor plan.

You might want to visit the Airstream Forum for a LOT of info and help. Also these is a large group of Vintage Airstream Owners (units over 25 years old).

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Old 04-18-2005, 06:20 AM   #5
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DannyB, let me also offer a welcome to irv2. You have probably heard the remark about realestate,it's all about location,location,location. Well for used rv's it would be condition,condition,condition. If the initial appearance and floorplan appeals to you get an 8ft stepladder and inspect the roof. Then crawl around the under carriage inspecting both for anything unusal. An inspection of the interior will generally reflect the care the coach has had over the years. Some usage wear is of course normal but all appliances should work. In rv's repair of a fridge can be expensive for instance. If the rig is sound an investment of some time can give many years of enjoyment. Check us out on the Vintage RV thread and keep posted on your progress. Don't hesitate to ask a question. Someone out there will have an answer. Happy Trails!!
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