’68 Airstream sells for $5,200; There are many more where it came from

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By James Raia

Airstream is an RV industry icon. New models range from around $46,000 to $165,000. But there’s another option. How about a used model, well into middle age, for $5,200? The deal sounds good, and it is.

The 52-year-old Globetrotter that just sold on eBay Motors is in great overall condition, according to the buyer and seller, and there are more where it came from. In skilled hands, it’s ideal for a vintage camper restoration project or as part of a trailer collection.

The Globetrotter is only 20 feet long, ideally suited for meeting the vehicle length parameters at national parks. It weighs less than 3,000 pounds and is towable by most vehicles with towing packages. It features Corning Glass curved windows, included only on 1967 and 1968 models. The window clips, however, need to be replaced.

Berning Trailer Sales in Fort Wayne, Indiana, sells vintage Airstream models.
Berning Trailer Sales in Fort Wayne, Indiana, sells vintage Airstream models.

The Airstream’s exterior aluminum has only a few blemishes – scratches along the passenger’s side of the vehicle. There’s also some pitting.

As part of the incomplete restoration process, the previous owner removed the original interior (which is included in this sale). It’s missing one side door. The body and underbelly, according to the seller, are in good shape. There is some rust, notably in the rear of the frame. It has the original gas-powered stove, sink and tub, all factory molded.

It’s no wonder why the Globetrotter recently found a new home as someone’s potential new home. But, pun intended, there’s a silver lining: It is in really great overall condition and is the ideal candidate for restoration as a collector trailer or very nice camper.

The company that sold the Globetrotter is Berning Trailer Sales, a fourth-generation family business founded in 1953 and located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It has sold thousands of new and used Airstream vehicles, including the first Airstream sold out of the Ohio Airstream Factory. And it has a substantial vintage inventory still for sale – models from 17 to 31 feet.

James Raia, a syndicated automotive columnist in Sacramento, Ca., publishes the website theweeklydriver.com and its corresponding free weekly podcast and e-newsletter. Contact him via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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Cindy
3 months ago

Used Airstreams are more expensive than only a few years ago. Part of the reason why is that they LOVE them in the UK and Germany and they are being bought up by the hundreds to be rewired and sold there! Check UK and German Ebay sometime and see how many are listed and at crazy prices. Also, be CAREFUL when buying a used Airstream. People do not realize they had design flaws that have meant many older ones have had to be rebuilt in the back end. Those with rear baths (especially those made in the 70s) were not supported sufficiently. If you look at the trailer from the side you can sometimes see the rear sagging! This has to be addressed as it only gets worse, especially if you travel with full tanks. This was worse with the longer trailers, of course. So check carefully.

Tim Bear
3 months ago

We bought a ‘93 Airstream Excella in 2012, 30’ long and in good condition. Had to replace about 3 sq ft of floor from prior water leak, decided to reupholster the couch, updated the carpet, changed Dometic plastic toilet for a ceramic, and I converted the rear twin beds into a full king. Everything else was intact & serviceable, and we enjoyed the trailer for many trips. We only traded it when we went f/t and needed more space – those curved wall/ceilings didn’t provide adequate storage space.

friz
3 months ago

Do not understand the appeal of Airstream trailers. Unique but ho-hum. Is that the true market price or is it a used car dealer reeling in a sucker? That particular one is beyond a “few blemishes”. Looks as if it has been in combat.

Marty chambers
3 months ago

I wonder how many of today’s RVs will still be around in fifty plus years. Very few I think.