cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Value of 1980s Holiday Rambler TT.

Brockc
Explorer
Explorer
Hello. I'm in the market for an older TT. I see many across the US and am primarily interested in the Airstreams and Holiday Ramblers.
While I find Airstreams in abundance, I don't see much where the HRs or Aluma-Lites are concerned. Would greatly appreciate any input. Looking in the 24-30 foot range.
Thanks
11 REPLIES 11

QCMan
Nomad III
Nomad III

After two years they have probably figured it out.

 


2020 Keystone Cougar 22RBS, Ram 1500, two Jacks and plenty of time to roam!
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. A.E.
Good Sam Life Member

ChevyWindyRiver
Explorer
Explorer
  • Are you still looking for one of this 32 ft 

Brockc
Explorer
Explorer
I honestly am not looking for an investment. I just like the look of the older stuff. As far as I'm concerned I want something I can keep for the next 25 years. When it comes time to sell.. either at a loss or a profit, it doesn't matter.
Agree... finding an older RV with few issues is tough. However; they are out there. Some folks care for them like pets. That's what I'm looking for.
Obviously, there will be maintenance needs, but I've yet to find something that was beyond my ability to do. It certainly helps to have some mechanical knowledge and experience.

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Brockc wrote:
Appreciate all the input. My interest in an older unit is related to a couple of things?
1. I like the older look of the 60s-90s units. Specifically the mid 70s-80s.
2. I am less reluctant to renovate, change, or make improvements on an older unit because of a much lower investment. They have already depreciated as low as they are going to go. A new unit such as the one I just sold still retains a high level of value in the current market where families with children are concerned.
3. Having owned TTs for 25 years now that included models between 1995 - 2013, I consider the older units to be much stronger in terms of structural integrity.
The 2013 that I just sold was like trying to keep a shoebox safe, dry, and protected from the elements.
I know there re some very fine newer units on the market, but well above a price point that I am willing to pay. All I need is a unit that does not leak, is clean, and has a bed and AC. 🙂


The problem with renovating "older" units is you can dump huge amounts of cash and time into them and yet you still have a RV worth only scrap price and huge amounts of your lost time.

Sure an older unit has depreciated, but no matter how much lipstick you put on the pig, it will never increase in value.

For instance, my current TT is a 1984 26ft Komfort brand, I bought it about 10 yrs ago for $700. Total gut job inside and out. Had severe water damage. Took 9 months and $3500 in materials and hundreds and hundreds of hrs of my time. It is currently worth $700 if I were to try to market it.

Why?

AGE.

There is an extremely small fine line as to what folks are willing to pay for a 40yr old RV which has been fully renovated and only AS might get a better return due to its zombie cult like following.. HR, Aluma-lite, and other brands not so much.

Previous TT I bought was a 1981 20ft trailer, partial rebuild, wasn't planning to sell but the 26ft trailer popped up and gave me more room.. The 20ft TT we paid $1800, put $1800 in materials to rebuild, took six months. Used it 5 camping seasons.. When it came time to sell, well once again, AGE played a huge role in price.. After 6 months listing it for sale, finally got a real buyer, offered $1800, I took the offer.. I lost $1800 in materials plus hundreds of hrs of my labor.

Your looking at RVs as an investment that gains value. This is not the case.

Can you save money buying an older unit?

Sure, in most case but only if you do not overpay and have to dump tons of money into it (but those ARE rare).

Are older units "built better"?

Nope.. In fact some of the older units may have inferior materials, insulation and even build quality not to mention weigh a lot more which has nothing to do with build quality.

In a lot of cases, the only big change to RVs has been color choices, the 80's outside often were brown tones, inside yellow and brown wallpaper with squared windows, mid 80s gave radius windows.. The 90s brought the ugly green "jungle print" interiors with lighter outside paint jobs.. The early 2,000's brought you a new color of "jungle print" wall paper and white outside with huge ugly swoopy graphics..

In other words, pretty much cosmetic changes..

As far as finding the elusive non leaking RV goes, your not going to find one. They ALL leak or WILL leak.

It is the nature of the beast, RVs unlike a sticks and bricks is constantly being twisted. It must be flexible, if it wasn't it would literally rip it's self to pieces as you drive. That movement takes a toll on any place where water can get in.. It is your responsibility to check all the caulking and joints once a yr or more often and replace any cracked, dried or failed caulking. Older units are no exception to this.

Brockc
Explorer
Explorer
Appreciate all the input. My interest in an older unit is related to a couple of things?
1. I like the older look of the 60s-90s units. Specifically the mid 70s-80s.
2. I am less reluctant to renovate, change, or make improvements on an older unit because of a much lower investment. They have already depreciated as low as they are going to go. A new unit such as the one I just sold still retains a high level of value in the current market where families with children are concerned.
3. Having owned TTs for 25 years now that included models between 1995 - 2013, I consider the older units to be much stronger in terms of structural integrity.
The 2013 that I just sold was like trying to keep a shoebox safe, dry, and protected from the elements.
I know there re some very fine newer units on the market, but well above a price point that I am willing to pay. All I need is a unit that does not leak, is clean, and has a bed and AC. 🙂

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
My parents had a 1978 and it didn't get sold until my Dad passed away around 2014.

It was a good unit but it was also really old. I did repair the entry way where the floor holding the steps had rotted out from a leak.

It was still usable but not pristine. I think it got sold for around $1,400.

Our first rig was a 1996 Sunnybrook with aluminum studs. Kind of sad we sold it but it really needed a new roof and that was going to be more than it was worth.

Honestly, I wouldn't look at anything Pre-2000 unless it's been professionally restored...but then the price is likely to be silly.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Did a quick look at my local CL..

Found a 1979 31 ft AS for $7000..



Yep, floor is roached out..

Exterior is in rough shape..



Thats hundreds of hrs in buffing and you hope there is no other leaks..

I wouldn't pay $700 for it.. But there are lots of folks who will pay the full asking price.

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Just because of the aluminum build, does not mean you are going to find a 40 yr old pristine HR that didn't leak, didn't have severe water damage and looks as new as it was when it came off the assembly line.

Once again, as even AS do develop outside shell water intrusion leaks, so can HR..

If there is a seam, it has two conditions, one that it will leak eventually and one that it IS currently leaking.

After 40 yrs of weather exposure, doubtful you going to find any RV including HR, Aluma-lite or AS that hasn't had a few water intrusion issues. Not to mention 40yr old paneling, decor, carpeting and flooring all which will have 40yrs worth of use.. In other words, it will look worn. I would suspect poor to fair/usable condition, very good condition would be highly unlikely.

I would suggest dropping your expectations bar down a bunch of notches.

Sensible price, yeah, right now 10 yr old junked out RVs are being posted on CL at prices above new.. Seeing those with asking prices of $20K-$40K and those are the run of the mill middle brands to entry level stuff.

I would suggest, if you liked the '86 24ft one and you sort of liked it and it fits what you are looking for that you may need to swallow hard and offer more than what you were thinking would be fair offer.. Stuff sells fast now days and you really have to be able to spring into action quickly in order to buy very specific items now days.

Keep in mind, as you research "other markets" the "bargain" that you might find is going to cost you literately THOUSANDS of Dollars in fuel and your time to go there depending on how far it is from you, buy it, then haul it home. Then once you get it home you discover a bunch of hidden leaks and or damage..

Pictures lie.

Brockc
Explorer
Explorer
Thank you for the responses. Honestly, I have almost no real interest in the Airstream. Obviously, if one came along that was too good to turn down, I might consider it. I like the HR because of the aluminum build as well as the physical appearance. I am just hoping to find something in very good condition, mostly original, and at a sensible price.
I came across an 86 24' that seems to meet that criteria. However; upon researching it, it seems to be priced excessively high compared to others on the market across the US.

shelbyfv
Explorer
Explorer
I agree, they'll be valued same as any other 40 year old trailers, no cult premium.

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Your post looks a lot like a "wanted to buy" ad..

Value is subjective depending on perceived brand reconginition, condition, demand, supply, what you are comfortable paying and what the seller is comfortable selling at.

Price of 1980s anything can range from scrap prices (couple of hundred) to tens of thousands..

AS enjoys a huge zombie like following so used prices reflect that and does not necessarily imply or mean they are better. They have that cool "retro look" from the 1950s but at the same time, that design limits what you can do with the rig to pull it into the 21st century like slide outs and even interior..

HRs and Aluma-lites do not enjoy the zombie like following, sales of those most likely were considerably less when new meaning many less of those out on the used market.. Less means the small following that may be out there is holding on to them because they love them or because they are trying to squeeze the highest price out of them.

What ever you decide, look it over and look it over very hard, they all can suffer from water damage (yes, even AS units leak) and at that age you will be looking at full blown restoration will be in your future..