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Old 11-18-2003, 08:58 PM   #1
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The value of Classic Airstream Motorhomes

1 does not equal 1.
1 may equal .25 if you are lucky.
If you buy a mid 80's MH lets say for 17K and spent 10K to bring it up to par (labor not incl), can you sell it tomorrow for 27K?
Not hardly. Maybe 20K if you provide good documentation of your upgrades.
My point is that the classic Motorhome does not make any sense financially.
A friend and forums member called me a few weeks ago and wanted my input on a sales price for his 89 345, in immaculate condition with many thousands of $$ in improvements. He was shocked when I told him mid 30's if he is lucky. To this date it's sitting in dealers lot with a price tag of 28450.-
There must be more to the story that drives us to participate in this insanity.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:13 PM   #2
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I use a different rationale, it still does not make sense, but it is mine.

I compare the money I have spent vs. a new MH. By the time I am done I will have 16-18K in my MH. As you all know I also have a new engine. By the time I am done I will have a 1978 rolling chassis with 85% new parts. To my pea brain I will have a NEW motorhome. Now look at what you can buy for the same dollars new. Keep looking, there is nothing that I can buy new for what I will have invested. I admit that I got a good deal on the intial purchase, but even if I add 10K to the price I again cannot find a motorhome that will do what this one does.

Will I get my money back out of it, no. I don't expect to. I went into this process with my eyes wide open.

There is also the cool factor. The shape is unique, the production run was limited, and everyone casts a longing look over one when it goes by. To me that is the why. It is part of the sickness.

If you think we all spend money like water talk to a GMC owner. If you think we are nuts with the time and money check out the travco fourms. I think the classic motorhome owner is a bit off. I can say that I am one.

I figure each trip has a value and if I have a good trip that I enjoy then I have gained something from the time and money spent. Trying to recoup 100% of the costs would cheapen that experience.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:14 PM   #3
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Perhaps its the reality that to match the quality and design in a modern SOB you would need to add a zero and move the decimal place on digit to the right to the value of your Classic MH.

Or...maybe its the love of these silver beauties that is worth more in bloodied knuckles and good stories with other like minded (read crazy) individuals than you could find in the NADA Guidelines.

Or...maybe its just the coolness of having people stop you just to ask what kind of RV that is.

Or...maybe its the sense of community around Airstream and the good people that make up this forum.

Or maybe it's about all things aluminum (I bought siver aluminum flashlights from HD this weekend...just cause they would look cool in the AS)

Or...maybe it's all of these reasons and your own; the "value" of our AS MH's might be a lot like a person's "wealth". You can measure it in dollars and cents but you would be missing the point.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:29 PM   #4
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"classic Motorhome does not make any sense financially"

I have never seen a hobbly or out side interest that made financial sense.

the comment has been made the airstream is a money pit but most would not part with their airstream except to upgrade to bigger or newer( sometimes older) airstream

The word classic ,i think,keeps it from making sense
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:56 PM   #5
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before I bought my 1985 345, my wife and I looked at several types and makes of MH we narrowed it down to a gmc or airstream the gmc is so limited to 23 or 26 maybe 30 custom.So the Airstream is the clear winner.I know right away that the money spent to the MH will not translate to more value to your MH.But look at all the glory,people stop in my front yard to admire the timeless beauty of my MH,my neighbor down the street have a late modle deisel pusher its nice,cost provably 50 times more than mine but its just another class A .
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Old 11-19-2003, 01:52 AM   #6
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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
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:29 AM   #7
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The Value of a Thing

What is it worth?

Two Answers:

1.) What can you sell it for on the open market in a reasonable amount of time.

2.) The value of the utility, pride of ownership, enjoyment, and gratification to the owner, which price can only be set by the individual involved.

Have I invested almost twice the purchase price in upgrades?...Yes.

Can I expect to get a return on investment on those upgrades?....No Way.

Would I do it again?.......Hell Yes.

You have to ask yourself "How many Cruises (Airline flights, Hotel Stays, Ski Trips, Foreign Travel,........) could I have taken for the money I have tied up in the Airstream?".
I always come up with the same answer. .... "I don't care."

It is an end unto itself, a never ending journey parked next to the house.

The money and effort spent providing for a total interior restoration has culminated in a unique,classic, and timeless setting that, in my opinion, could not be purchased in a new off the floor unit.

Was it worth it to me?.....absolutely.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:27 AM   #8
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When I look at the current market for Motorhomes there are so many recent (10 yrs old and newer) that have depreciated way down from their sales price.
The few that stand out are the quality built ones that have a reputation for that, and can be trusted to be sound if properly maintained.
For an example- what does a 25 year old Bluebird sell for? What about the mid 80's Holiday Rambler Imperials? Late 80's Vogue Mh's also seem to be in that group.
Way more pricey than other MH's of their age bracket, due to their rep for quality.

So you see Airstream Classics demanding prices as high as newer but less quality built motorhomes. You can also bet that these will continue to ( with the aforementioned maintenance) hold or increase in value in the future. More will be retired, wrecked,etc.
So the fewer that remain in good working shape will always be of a value level that may surprise some.

One thing to note of course is supply and demand. The 345's are more prevalent on the market- many for sale to few of the smaller models, and so they don't seem to demand quite the level of price they should be able to.
I have closely watched sale prices over the past three years, and feel like if you paid a fair price, maintain it without going to the extreme, and you can get your money out when ready. The things you choose to do to make it your own special rig may or may not add to that valuation, but so what...enjoy!

Also it should help the market when the new Classic MH is for sale, and hopefully is a strong seller at its 6 figure price.
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:11 AM   #9
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Re: The value of Classic Airstream Motorhomes

Quote:
Originally posted by PeterH-79MH
........
There must be more to the story that drives us to participate in this insanity.
I guess it is the journey and not the destination.
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Old 11-19-2003, 08:27 PM   #10
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wanted one all my life

For me.....there are certain items I have always wanted but they took a backseat to family, health, and responsibility. An A/S motorhome is one of those short list items I have now can have.....I feel fortunate every time I get one of those "always wanted" items with the cost not really being an issue to me....right now I am tickled with the Silver Buffalo......jem
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:14 PM   #11
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Anyone ever see an AS aMBULANCE?

Hey ya'll

Check this one out!

An '87 AS Ambulance!!

Executive Coach, Airport Shuttle, Ambulance, and Hearse -- hmmmmm......

How 'bout a travelling bawdy house?...red velvet interior....private bedroom....love seats...........


E-Bay link

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=50058

One unique Motorhome!
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:35 PM   #12
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It is a comfortable investment. I feel satisfied, it is for the long haul, something that will retain it's value more than an SOB. I will never recoup the financial investment but the mental peace it gives me when I take a nap in it, or want or have to travel somewhere, it's home. That makes it worth it.
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Old 07-16-2004, 08:57 PM   #13
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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
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Old 07-17-2004, 12:04 AM   #14
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if we crASH IT, we will never see the cash back unfortunately, it's not like a house. But how many house's go rumble like a 454?!?
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