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Old 04-10-2007, 09:31 PM   #1
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Any advice appreciated re: which Airstream to buy

Hello all,

I'm new to this, so please excuse me if I am posting this in the wrong place or anything.

I have long wanted an Airstream, largely based on childhood memories of playing cards in the trailer my Grandparents kept beside their barn.

I'm trying to decide whether to buy new or used, modern or vintage, etc. I have different requirements than most, I think, some of which might be blasphemy, but I'm going to ask anyway.

To start, the trailer might never move from a spot behind my house. I want it as an office, not for traveling. I'm a writer and want to move my office out of my house, even if it is only fifty feet away.

Some things I know I want:

Small... part of the reason I want to move my office into an Airstream is to bring the walls in a bit. I prefer working in a more closed environment. So probably 16' or 19', maybe as high as 22', nothing bigger.

The Aluminum interior walls. A must for me. I'm a little confused about this, I can't tell which models have this and which don't.

The built in 4-seat table. Another must. One of the small desks like in the 22' internationaly would be a nice bonus, but the table is most important.

Preferably something I get get from a dealer. There are signifigant tax advantages if I can do this as a lease, with the intent to purchase at the end of the lease.

Also important:

It can't need any signifigant work. At least any signifigant work requiring any restoring ability at all... because I have little of that in me. Also not enough time to spend doing it, even if wouldn't totally screw it up. Which I would. Massively.

What's not important:

Well, I can't imagine the toilet/bath getting used. Running water and appliances, yes.

It will be getting, as I said, zero or next to zero mileage. If I get a new house it would travel to the new place, but not for camping or anything.

I want something that can be aestetically pleasing as a writing environment without a lot of work.

I am really fond of the 75th anniversary edition of the Bambi, the 19 footer. I love the interior, love the design. The price tag seems high at $61,000.

Does this description bring any particular models or years to mind for anyone?

Any advice or help on any aspect of this would be greatly appreciated.

(I know it might seem wasteful to some to spend a bunch of money and have a perfectly good Airstream that doesn't travel, but look at it this way... I will be spending ten or so hours a day, six or seven days a week in it. An Airstream seems like an excellent place to spend that kind of time.)
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. We are glad to have you with us.

If I were using an Airstream like you intend to, I would go with a Vintage unit; they look way cool. You would not have to be concerned with the running gear. It would be relatively easy to install a window A/C unit. If you need heat, you can either use the trailer furnace or get a reverse cycle A/C unit.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:52 PM   #3
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I have seen a few vintage units restored this way. You have several options:

1. Buy new off the lot.
2. Call the Airstream factory and see about a custom build.
3. Buy a vintage unit and have it restored. Pay some one else to do it. it might be cheaper than buying new and a custom restoration would get you exactly what you want.

Mostly vintage airstreams have aluminum interiors... the problem is that they were/are mostly painted or covered in some way. it is possible to remove these coatings -although it's a lot or work.

Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomonkey

Well, I can't imagine the toilet/bath getting used.

look at it this way...

I will be spending ten or so hours a day, six or seven days a week in it.
hi nomonkey and welcome to the forums!

2 thoughts...

1. you must have a very large bladder or mightly slow kidneys ...

2. this thread might help IF taken beyond the misleading title...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...bad-21921.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:58 PM   #5
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Thanks Moosetags and Janet for your quick replies. I think this site has more members than I thought there were actual Airstreams.

I don't know if it makes a difference, but I'm in Los Angeles. Won't need a heater, at least.

Thanks for the tips... it hadn't really occured to me to get one designed or restored to spec. Only that I would botch it.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
1. you must have a very large bladder or mightly slow kidneys ...
Heh. The trailer would be literally about 25 feet from my current office. I had guessed it would be easier to walk 15 feet to the indoor plumbing than try and empty whatever kind of toilet was in the Airstream. But since I know *zero* about Airstream plumbing, that could be wrong.

Thanks for the link, checking that out now.

I will admit to being seduced by the interior design of the 75th anniversay trailer. I think I have to let that go and open up my mind for now.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:27 PM   #7
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Fellow Californian Airstreamer

My vote would go to a vintage trailer that could be designed to cater to your needs. I feel as though you would be waisting a bunch of features with a new one simply parked on your land for business ONLY, not to mention a whole lot of cash. Great luck to you and early welcome to the vintage trailer community. Rick
PS. Unless you just have extra cash sitting around and if so???
Best of luck
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomonkey
I had guessed it would be easier to walk 15 feet to the indoor plumbing than try and empty whatever kind of toilet was in the Airstream. ...
I will admit to being seduced by the interior design of the 75th anniversay trailer. I think I have to let that go and open up my mind for now.

Have you looked into the tax breaks associated with maintaing an office? Does it have to have a bathroom (the way a second residence does)?
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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mcrickc - I think you make good points... finding just the right vintage trailer might be harder than I thought, though. Not a whole lot listed on ebay, for example.

Financially, I need to get more information. It might actually make more fiscal sense to get a new one from a dealer, I'm not sure yet.

Janet - As I understand it, and this is only from a brief conversation with an accountant who is going to look up some specifics... and who I may have misunderstood...
He would categorize the Airstream as a "mobile office". This has different rules than either a second residence (or an office in a primary residence).
It would not just give a tax break on the interest, but make the entire lease a business write-off. (I'm incorporated, so the rules are different, I think.) That's why I am even entertaining the thought of getting a new one.

But, man, some of your vintage trailers here are gorgeous.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:18 PM   #10
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Couple of thoughts...
There is a recent ad in the classifieds for a 63 something or other that is nearly as you describe - very nice looking, in California and 35k.

The other thing is, have you considered calling Jackson Center and saying
"I'd like a 19' Bambi shell with a dinette, a desk, a furnace, a refrigerator, and an air conditioner but no bed, no water system - no sink, toilet, shower, or holding tanks" and see what they say? They might just do it, and it might be more along the lines of exactly what you want and less expensive to boot. Seems worth a couple of phone calls maybe.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
The other thing is, have you considered calling Jackson Center and saying
"I'd like a 19' Bambi shell with a dinette, a desk, a furnace, a refrigerator, and an air conditioner but no bed, no water system - no sink, toilet, shower, or holding tanks" and see what they say? They might just do it, and it might be more along the lines of exactly what you want and less expensive to boot. Seems worth a couple of phone calls maybe.
sorry the a/s factory NO LONGER, or at least CURRENTLY...

does NOT build custom units at the factory.

no more book mobiles, or dental clinics or funeral coaches and so on...

this division was quietly disbanded when class a moho production stopped...

wanna coffee bar? the president said 2 me he'd consider it...

if i ordered a run of 50 or so

they also don't sell shells or partially complete units to the public and never have, as i recall...

however ONE could go to a dealer and ask them to remove bits from a unit on the lot...

some very creative dealers will do modifications for a little coin...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:56 PM   #12
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Thanks RedSHED and 2airishuman. I appreciate the input.

Can I ask a really dumb question for anyone?

Is there such a thing as an Airstream trailer with the door/awning on the driver's side?
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomonkey
Is there such a thing as an Airstream trailer with the door/awning on the driver's side?
everybody's got something to hide 'cept for me and my monkey!

great minds...

clearly ask the same silly questions...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...try-15287.html



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Old 04-11-2007, 09:15 PM   #14
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I forget which southwest (southern AZ?) source had a custom 3-door unit for sale a few months back. The factory used to fulfill all sorts of special requests. Two curbside doors are a fairly now and then occurrence. The third door in question was streetside. I don't have any more details and keywords for a search like this would give numbingly numerous nominations without providing many true leads.
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