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Old 09-29-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
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Pre-Dented for Carefree Towing!

Years ago a friend of mine successfully sold his battered classic VW Bug by placing a reasonable price on it and the caption "Pre-dented for Carefree Driving"

Thinking it over, that's a good tag for any Airstream with a "Beauty Mark" or two.

I've met another newbie looking for an Airstream... a bit unfocused as most of us were when we first started. He'd been to Safford RV just off I-95 near Fredericksburg, and told me they have a new manager in charge of selling the Airstream brand. Said the man seemed to be very knowledgeable and was a straight shooter. That would be a pleasant upgrade, so anyone in Virginia - you might want to give it a look-see.

At any rate I knew of a slightly used unit a bit bigger than he was considering, but it had one feature we both really like - and a bit of damage to the skins. I mentioned the price break and he admitted he'd liked the bigger unit but the price of a new one was a bit out of his range. So he made a long distance call and is going on a trip to look at a "carefree" pre-dented Airstream.

On this forum many people, especially those who've been posting for years, have had more than one Airstream - some serially, and others as part of a family of Airstreams. If I won the lottery I'd have more than one, and possibly an Avion and an Oliver too.

On the other had, there are a lot of people who buy an image of camping in an Airstream and find they really would rather have a hotel and catered everything. So there are a lot of Airstreams (as well as SOB's) with very low miles, sitting in yards and storage lots, abandoned or for sale.

The one problem with the FIRST Airstream is that you really don't know enough about living in one to get the right one the first time around. I've been an advocate of starting with a gently used one, just so you don't take a huge hit when you trade it in for the "forever" Airstream that you'll get down the road. I'll add "pre-dented" to that too. A lower side panel with an 8 inch scratch would cost $7K or more to have replaced, but a 9 inch flag decal would cost three bucks! No Brainer?

And how many of us aren't all that obsessive about FULLY redoing a vintage one? I know two or three families with 10 to 15 year old Airstreams that have had minimal changes - and the families are just as happy campers as the ones with new beauties or vintage beauties.

I don't know how I seem to have become a magnet for newbies looking for their first Airstream, but I believe this is number 3 this year. Anyone else finding they're helping others on the way to aluminitis?

Paula
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:38 AM   #2
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Airstreams are fragile, somewhat like eggs. A falling tree branch, a piece of road debris, hail, or any other common situations can dent an Airstream's skin. They are expensive to repair, so they usually wear the battle scars with dignity.

Buying a pre-dented one is a good way to save some bucks. And it doesn't take too long before you forget the dent is there.

David
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:38 AM   #3
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scratch

Interesting that you brought this up at this time Paula. I marked our AS with a new scratch on the rear bumper last weekend, 4th time out. I dropped a voltmeter at the rear storage, and leaned one of my Equalizer bars against the bumper. It seem stable enough, I reached down to pick up the volt meter and the dam bar started sliding my way. On the way down the edge of the bar, went right across the face of the bumper. Wouldn't buff out with wax.
Looking for a new bumper sticker.

moral of the story, lay the bars on the ground. No Chance of scratch and they won't hurt your foot when the fall over

Have a good one !
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:47 AM   #4
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One of my coworkers, who is retiring one week before I do, has been bitten by the Airstream bug. I recommended to him to go to the nearest Airstream dealer just to take a look at all the different sizes side-by-side and see which size best fits his needs, and THEN go look for used ones in that size range.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:38 AM   #5
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Yeah it was the same with me and Fil-a-form corrosion. I deliberately set my sights on fighting an airstream with the issue so that I would not have to worry about it too much once I had it. I consider myself extremely lucky that I found one on my first try!

Ian
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:15 AM   #6
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Love helping the newbys! It brings back that excitement of getting my first Airstream and makes me fall in love all over again! A blemish (or two) just adds to the character.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:38 AM   #7
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There's a quote from the movie Fight Club that I love:

"I don't want to die without any scars"

I've owned some pretty cool material items and found as soon as they were blemished in some way, I could let my shoulders down, relax and use the item. When the items are shiny, i'm usually stressed and not enjoying them as much as I could. Some items ended up owning me. I'm a "user" -- still take care of things, but I think it's foolish to try and keep things perfect. That's just no fun.

Great topic. Life lessons...
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:52 AM   #8
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I've owned some pretty cool material items and found as soon as they were blemished in some way, I could let my shoulders down, relax and use the item. When the items are shiny, i'm usually stressed and not enjoying them as much as I could.
Yeah. It's not really mine until the "new" wears off.
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyvekcat View Post
Interesting that you brought this up at this time Paula. I marked our AS with a new scratch on the rear bumper last weekend, 4th time out. I dropped a voltmeter at the rear storage, and leaned one of my Equalizer bars against the bumper. It seem stable enough, I reached down to pick up the volt meter and the dam bar started sliding my way. On the way down the edge of the bar, went right across the face of the bumper. Wouldn't buff out with wax.
Looking for a new bumper sticker.

moral of the story, lay the bars on the ground. No Chance of scratch and they won't hurt your foot when the fall over

Have a good one !
May I suggest the bumper sticker should say
  • HI-HO Silver, Away! or
  • Yes, they Still make Airstreams!
Or of course you could just go to a truckstop and get red/white reflective tape and enhance the visibility of your bumper.
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