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Old 07-17-2004, 12:36 AM   #15
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I bought my 20 ' trailer for $4000, spent $ 2000 for running gear, spent $13000 or new plumbing and electric, new tanks,fancy new kitchen, new belly, more stabilizers, floor repair, all new appliances, toilet , framework, new dinette. Still need cushions, curtains and exterior. I could have gotten a new Bambi, for what I will end up investing.. But I don't think that I would trade mine for a new one. Nor would I sell mine ( if I could ) for what I have put in to it. I will spend 2000 nights in my trailer before I am too old to tow. You do the math because I am stupid , but it looks to me like about $10 a night. Maybe I am not as stupid as I look?

P.S. I insured my trailer for $20 K
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Old 07-17-2004, 08:14 AM   #16
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Putting money into a classic AS motorhome make some sense to me, since new ones are no longer made. But IMHO putting as much money into an old trailer as you would spend on a new one seems silly.
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Old 07-17-2004, 09:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dmac
Putting money into a classic AS motorhome make some sense to me, since new ones are no longer made. But IMHO putting as much money into an old trailer as you would spend on a new one seems silly.
It can be an exercise in pride over prudence, of course, but it can also make sense. The older Airstream trailers are rather a lot lighter size for size than the new ones. Tow vehicle considerations are an important factor for some people. Or take my own situation - I have rather heavily customized my '86 Sovereign to fit my own requirements. If I had a new one I'd just have to spend rather a lot of time and money on it just to get it the way I want.

These things are all expense anyway. Very few of us get good enough buys to make it an "investment".

Mark
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Old 07-17-2004, 12:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggerbadbrad
This reminds me of an article I read a few weeks ago regarding how the rich became rich. It gave examples of what you should and shouldn't do to acquire wealth such as never pay retail, always dress like you have money, always purchase brand new appliances when they break, etc. I actually agreed with most of the suggestions until I got to the one that said...bear as few children as possible. hmmm. Now they didn't mention anything about whether to purchase a Classic Airstream MH or not. lol

So here's the way I see it... If you make wise financial decisions throughout your lifetime you will have lots of money, you will never go camping, you will be very lonely, and you will have a nice shiny new refrigerator.

bbb
Yep, I agree, more kids, more camping, more fun, the greater riches!
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:17 PM   #19
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putting money into something you get a lot of enjoyment out of makes a whole lot of sense. Its sure more fun than re roofing your house, paying for insurance, taxes, utility bills....so on.Of course all in order. If you can't pay the latter don't buy the former.
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:46 AM   #20
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MORE KIDS>>>MORE CAMPING>>>....I am reading this with great interest as I am looking for an Airstream or Argosy motorhome. I have 8 children age 13 and under. Yes,I did say 8 children and they are all belong to my husband and I. I always get asked that! The older ones sleep outside in a tent, so I don't need it to sleep that many but I do need it to seat that many, or be able to be modified to seat that many. We have previously owned a 71 Safari (too small),74 Argosy (not as small) and an 87 Excella(worked well except with an extended passenger van I was huge and long on the road).I have been casting longing eyes on the classic motorhomes...Throw everyone in and go! One long vehicle instead of two....besides, that lovely twinkee shape...the gleam of silver Airstream or cream Argosy...I have been an addict for so long...so nice to know I am not alone in my nuttiness over these!
I am willing to pay $10,000 cash immediately.Possibly a little more. Maybe I am crazy and I won't be able to find one for that price but it does not hurt to try...I am hoping for one that runs well...the interior condition not important. My husband can fix just about anything as far as carpentry,electrical,etc, we gutted and restored the Safari. But not engines...he is not a mechanic. I know a good mechanic though...Am I insane to hope there might be one out there for me? This week on ebay there is a classic motorhome that seats 13...very tempting! I am terrified though of engine blowup...the last van I had blew the transmission 2 weeks after I got it...now I am very worried about engines....sigh...any help or suggestions would be extremely appreciated...thanks so very, very much!
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:38 AM   #21
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froggies,
We have WAY fewer kids (three under nine) but thats exactly why we ended up in a MH. It's a dream traveling now. There's nothing better than handing our PB&Js at 60 mph. I would think you would need to look at the larger MH's (325/245) to get the right number of seats with seat belts. Basically it would be you and your husband up front, there are two belated barrel chairs on the passenger side. Three belts on the couch and two more belts in the dinette. You would still be one short but I think you could add two more belts in the dinette pretty easily. This would give you seating for nine in the coach and two up front.

One option we are considering is to convert the rear bed into a U-Lounge which could add three or four more belted positions but still convert into a bed when camping. This has more to do with the seperation of children while traveling than anything else. Besides, when we're on the road they all want to go back there and look out the windows but we won't let them for safety reasons.

You may be able to modify a smaller coach in similar ways to meet your budget for the MH. It could be hard to find a larger Airstream MH in good running condition for 10K. More like high teens to twenties for a 310 and high teens to high twenties for a 325/345.

You can certainly find an Argosy in that range but it would require some modifications to accomidate safe seating for 10.
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:51 AM   #22
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Thank-you Steven for the ideas...we have added seats and seatbelts to our various autos so I know I can do that with a motorhome if there is room. The rear into a U lounge is a great idea...thanks for the info on price, any ideas on warning signs as far as the engine?
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Old 07-21-2004, 08:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
When, or if, Airstream gets a new "Classic" motorhome into production, all the money you spend acquiring an older Airstream motorhome, plus all the money you spend on repairs to bring it up to standard, plus all the money you spend on upgrades, STILL might be less than the sales tax alone on a new one - at least in many states. And that is an absolute dead loss.

Mark

Mark nailed it on this one... unless you concentrate on very rare coaches, buy low, restore well, and sell high, Airstreams are most definately NOT an investment. Investments appreciate. RVs in general continue to depreciate with age. The limited depreciation on Airstreams is where it's from a financial perspective. Any RV that you can use as long as you want and still get 70% or better of your initial expense returned at sale time is a good buy. There are some cases where you can get your entire expenditure back or even make a few dollars.

Once the "New" Classic motorhome hits the market, I predict that your coaches will begin to appreciate. I'd expect the new coaches to be in the $200k bracket, and they will bring in a new segment of the market who are folks who want the new Classics but can't afford them. They'll look at the old Classics for sale, and those will get snapped up quickly in the $20k-$40k range. The original Bambis, Caravels, GTs and Safaris have skyrocketed in value because of similar market demand in the past five years as folks compare them to the new models at $30k+ and up. I'd expect to see a similar rise in the old Classic coaches. Perhaps not quite as much or as fast, because the Classic motorhome segment of the Airstream market isn't as large as the small coach buying segment, but I think you'll see them go up simply because of supply and demand.

I watch the value on the Behemoth closely, and interestingly it hasn't depreciated in the two years (two camping seasons, about 16 months now) we've had it. I suspect that's probably because the new prices have gone up something like 8% a year for the past two or three years? It may not be appreciating, but at least it's holding it's own and it's not costing me a fortune to own it!

And yes, I used to compare my 325 to my sailboats. The common definition of a sailboat is: "a fiberglass hole in the water into which one pours money." While not fiberglass, I think this the old adage about sailboats applies equally well to Classic Motorhomes as a hobby.

Roger
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:04 AM   #24
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a hole in the water lined with wood....what is this schtick about fiberglass....
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
any ideas on warning signs as far as the engine?
Well everything you would want to check mechanically in a truck with the additional issue that many motorhome engines die an early death not because they were abused or have racked up too many miles, but rather because they were hardly used at all. The average Motorhome only gets about 5K miles per year on it! So a twenty year old coach with only 50K miles on it sounds great but could be worse than one with 100K miles on it. It all comes down to proper care a feeding by the previous owner(s). I just looked at a beautiful 89 345 on a dealer's lot last week which gave up the motor on a test drive. It was advertised for $28K with "Low Miles".

Do a search for "Motorhome Checklist" on the forum. Thats a good place to start regarding what to look at mechanically.

BTW - I agree with Roger on the value of these old beasts. I bought mine at a very good price but it needed some TLC. I think if I sold it when it's done I could make my investment back to date. I don't think I could make a profit as I've put a lot back into it. But to me the value is more in the use and quality you get as compared to taking on a second mortage to buy a fiberglass box.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:16 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norbert
a hole in the water lined with wood....what is this schtick about fiberglass....
Steve... folks who have wood boats are in their very own class of crazy!

Roger
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Old 07-23-2004, 10:23 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggies
MORE KIDS>>>MORE CAMPING>>>
I am willing to pay $10,000 cash immediately.Possibly a little more. Maybe I am crazy and I won't be able to find one for that price but it does not hurt to try...I am hoping for one that runs well...the interior condition not important. My husband can fix just about anything as far as carpentry,electrical,etc, we gutted and restored the Safari. But not engines...he is not a mechanic. I know a good mechanic though...Am I insane to hope there might be one out there for me? This week on ebay there is a classic motorhome that seats 13...very tempting! I am terrified though of engine blowup...the last van I had blew the transmission 2 weeks after I got it...now I am very worried about engines....sigh...any help or suggestions would be extremely appreciated...thanks so very, very much!
I suggest start looking at these motor homes to become familiar with them. Get an idea of what to expect a good one is like. Then you will know when you have found a good one. Engines and transmissions are another story. They can seem fine and then boom, problems occur. The chasis engine, and tranny of any vehicle requires repair if one keeps it long enough. Just budget in advance for potential drivetrain problems to avoid future disappointments. Perhaps lean toward units that favor your repair skill sets and away from units with chasis repairs required. And have a great time with an airstream. Be sure to join the "wally" club. Safe bunch of folks to have your children around.

regards,

Mike
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Old 07-23-2004, 11:11 AM   #28
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mike...thanks....since i don't know what a chassis is....i may be in big trouble....and again, sorry no capital letters on this computer...

we have been in the wbcci for i think 3 years....but i must confess even though the people were wonderful i don't think i will renew this year. long story.
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