Today I went and checked out an Airstream that had been sitting unused for over a decade. I was eager to take a look, but knew in my head there would be some serious issues that would need immediate fixing. After my husband spoke with the seller twice on the phone, I felt pretty confident it was a project I could handle. No leaks, little rust. Too good to be true? Yes.
Upon arriving at the property, the first thing I noticed was the awning. It was completely covered in mold. The top AC box looked like someone lit it on fire. The tires were deflated, causing the alignment to be crooked, and the bearings were rusted though. There were two random, significant holes (both the size of a baseball) near the door for ‘ventilation’ that definitely didn’t belong. At this point, I thought it still had potential, until I opened the door.
The owner had been using it for storage the last ten years, but I didn’t even notice the mounds of miscellaneous items because all I could focus on was the mold. It was everywhere. Everywhere. Massive chipmunk nests infested every nook and cranny. The floor was rotted. The undercarriage was terribly rusted. But that mold… I had never seen anything like it. It covered every inch. I guess he didn’t think it was an issue worth mentioning.
It’s a total top off restoration and would be a great project for someone with experience. But asking almost $8,000 for a trailer in this condition, I had to walk away.
It was another great learning experience. Never take a seller at their word. Get underneath the trailer and look for rust. Walk around (if you can) and check for soft spots in the floor. It’s easy to justify obviously problems because you want it to work out so badly. The more trailers I check out, the more I know Airstreams are definitely for me. I just have to find the right one. This wasn’t the first airstream I wanted to purchase, and certainly won’t be the last. It is disappointing to be so close to something you’ve always wanted and
walk run away, but I knew I didn’t have the means to take on such a huge project. The search continues (so if you know of anyone wanting to sell an old airstream, shoot me an e-mail)!
I’ve gained so much invaluable knowledge in my 3+ years of Airstream research, and can’t wait to start working on a project in the (hopefully) near future.