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Old 10-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
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Aspiring Owner Seeks Advice

First, I would like to say that I have done a lot of reading on the forums and have to say that this is an informative and supportive group - nice job!

I am seeking some advice about a camping trailer and whether or not my planned use would benefit from an AS or not. I have some country property with a nice site for a trailer and I am considering that route for a couple of years while I decide if I want to build a cabin, etc.

I know that AS is the cream of the crop, but since I do not plan on using it as a travel trailer, is it overkill? In other words, I will not be taking advantage of the trailering aspects, but I am wondering if quality and resale still make it a better choice than a "SOB" (as I believe you guys refer to).

Any insight is appreciated.

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
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What are your plans once you build the cabin? Would you sell the trailer? You could hit the road with your AS at that point.

- Ronnie
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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Beyond aesthetic considerations, I think that Airstream's main advantages over some of the competition is in towing performance... reduced drag, better performance in crosswinds, lower-profile suspension, better structure for tolerating towing over the long term. (NOTE: I did say *SOME* of the competition, I know that some vintage kin share some or all these advantages, etc.)

So, if your goal is really just to plunk a trailer down at your country place for a few years to serve as a cozy retreat, you may be able to do a bit better for your money. Since you pointed out resale, you might be able to take advantage of the relatively weaker resale values of SOBs in this instance, and find one a year or two old that's been little-used and well-maintained and get a bargain. I'm in the midst of helping my sister search for a gigantic SOB to live in for a few years... she just couldn't imagine downsizing enough for an Airstream or even the biggest of the vintage kin, she wants slides. There's some cheap stuff out there (and it looks it) and since she won't be moving the trailer around much, the less-durable construction won't be an issue for a long time.

On this site, though, I predict you may get more of the same reaction as my overall opinion, though... If it were for me, I'd get an Airstream, an Avion, a Silver Streak or a Streamline.

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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I've long thought about doing this. I would probably buy a big 80s Avion (even better built than an Airstream) to park on the property. Assuming the floor wasn't too badly rotten, I would just do cosmetic repairs and upgrades - after all, it isn't being towed. And once I was done, I'd sell it as is.

That way, I'd probably spend $10k-$12k to start and get a decent chunk of that back when I was done. I'd lose that much if I left a newer Airstream sit immobile outside for several years. (Heck, you lose that when you pull it off of a dealer's lot.)

But, if you have the coin to buy a new $50k Airstream and park it - it would be mighty nice. You'd still need to maintain it, checking that the panel seams are sealed and the like.

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:46 PM   #5
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My neighbor sold a very nice 90's 5th wheel that had been stored inside it's whole life. It was like new, not one mark on it. Sold it for $3500 USD.
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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You can get used FEMA trailers for $4000 or less and they are setup for parking. If you are just going to sell it in 2 yrs then I would not invest in an Airstream unless you plan on traveling in it. Old Airstreams can have lots of hidden issues that you might have to deal with and that would mess up your plans.

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Old 10-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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First of all, welcome to the forums. I would like to add my voice to the others here about buying used. A slightly used two or three year old Airstream could save you upwards of $20,000 over new. Money that you could then use to add improvements to your cabin if you decide to build one. As others have said, the chief benefits for the Airstream are in towing and life expectancy, aluminum doesn't rust. Since you are only talking about a a few years, I would think that a used SOB could be a very nice option and given the current state of the economy there is a large supply of used SOBs around. If you can take your time and shop around, you might find a trailer that the owner had decided that this was their last year using and doesn't want to spend the cost of winterizing and storing the thing. The question is how far away from where you are do you want to look. If you don't currently have a tow vehicle there are services that can tow the trailer to your desired location. Your mileage with these outfits will vary so shop around. Despite my love of Airstreams, the only reason to go Airstream over an SOB lies in resale value, even a couple of year old Airstream will hold up better in value than a couple of year old SOB. So, if total cost is your concern, I'd suggest a used SOB, on the other hand if money isn't the primary issue, you can find some really nice slightly used Airstreams floating around. Good Luck with whichever way you go and please post some pictures if you get a chance.

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Old 10-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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Thank you so far for the postings. I should have stated in the original post that I indeed would go used in either case. I don't have to have a perfect one, but don't really want a project, either.

Insightful comments - keep them coming!

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