When we were considering buying a tiny home we contemplated how that would mesh into our lifestyle. Very early on we knew we wanted a travel trailer. Though not just any travel trailer. We wanted to reflect our personalities, thus a vintage Airstream Argosy. Why? It was the perfect for us. It was as though the universe made it all happen, and we were the last one’s to know it. We love every minute of our project, our Lucy.
5 things to know before buying a vintage Airstream
- You don’t know what you don’t know. And there’s no way to know until you peel her secrets away and she will have secrets, rivet by rivet. “Trailer in good condition” could be code for a major rehab project.
- The frame is everything! There are a lot of Airstream parts available out there – so don’t fret, the parts will be the least of your worries. The frame however is crucial. Ever had an interest in welding? Well…now would be a good time to consider. Go ahead and buy a gallon of POR 15. Trust us.
- Be willing to walk away! Seriously though, you should be prepared to if necessary. Don’t allow the romanticism of rehabbing a vintage Airstream lock you into a bad judgement call. If your heart wins the deal, your pocket book may loose.
- When you make the purchase, bring extra cash for the unexpected. She, (the Airstream), may not come home with you as willingly as you had anticipated. Ohhhh, did you honestly think you’d just plug in the seven pin, hitch it up, and drive off into the sunset!?!! No, no, no…now that’s wishful thinking! None of our lights worked on Lucy and her four tires were dry rotted beyond repair. Also, google the term “hitch stabilizer”. You’re safety is of the up-most importance!
- Have the right tools for the right job. Don’t cut corners and DO YOUR RESEARCH. Be prepared for a lengthy, challenging and tedious rehab. Sharpen your investigation skills ’cause they will become necessary to figure out just exactly how she was put together. Airstream Forums will be you’re best friend. Never hesitate to ask for help, we have an incredible community of Astream Addicts.
Bonus. Be prepared for the Full Monty. Aka, The Lift. Definition: lifting the camper entirely off the trailer. Separation at its fullest. There is a reason why Airstream campers stand the test of time, they are built well and will take an incredible amount of fortitude love and patience to bring her back to her glory. Though well worth the journey. Welcome to Vintage Airstream Rehab!