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Old 03-17-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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So why should I buy an Airstream?

I am looking for a large travel trailer to serve as a semi-permanent base on a property that I own for hunting and recreation. It has to pass the wife test. I started looking at Airstreams because this trailer will be outside 365 days a year with a snow load that approaches 3' at times. I am finding AS to be overpriced in many cases in my opinion. For example I have found several Jayco campers of 1994 vintage with much nicer and updated interior trim for about the same price I'd pay for a 1975 AS if I'm lucky. Do the Jayco have more of a tendency to leak/break/ etc than AS? Are the flat roofs on these Jayco's one solid piece of metal with the exception of holes for vent, etc?
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:26 AM   #2
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I have a 1972 Airstream Tradewind that is in nearly as good a shape now as it was when new. Compare a 1972 trailer from another manufacturer and I think you'll very quickly see why we all love Airstreams.
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:30 AM   #3
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I just made a call on a 1971 Tradewind. Supposedly everything works but the air conditioning unit was taken out and replaced with a vent. It is not in restored condition but from the sounds of it good condition. It has the rear wet bath. They want $8500 for it!!
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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I would agree that the prices of used Airstreams are inflated over the cost of a comparably equipped stick-built trailer. The prices for the in-demand size used trailers have nearly doubled in the past five years. There are several reasons. First is that the prices of new units have climbed significantly in the past ten years. Second, the price of a used Airstream next to a new Airstream price looks pretty attractive, even if the used unit prices have doubled. Third, they're trendy and currently in great demand. Fourth, that being the case and although you may pay more for it initially, you won't lose money on your Airstream when you go to sell it, provided that it's in reasonably good condition. You'll be fortunate to be able to sell a ten year old stickie, much less recoup your investment. Last, generally a '70s Airstream with reasonable care will be in better condition than a '90s vintage stick built trailer. Stickies have seams that leak without regular attention. Leaks cause rot. Rot in an Airstream is limited to the floor. Rot in a stickie means the end of the line. Most stickies have about a ten year expected life span. An Airstream can be a lifetime purchase. Sometimes several lifetimes!

Roger
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:18 PM   #5
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Wacnstac,

Considering the use you plan for the trailer (ie: "semi-permanent base on a property that I own for hunting and recreation"), an Airstream may be expensive overkill. I'd think long and hard before I plunk down alot of bills on even a used AS, if it is going to sit forlorne collecting pine tags, bird poop, mice nests and dry rot. My $0.02.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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It will be just sitting. Would the stick built trailers hold up just as well as AS if they are just sitting their entire life and not being hauled and jostled around on the road?
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:41 PM   #7
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why not a mobile home

Why don't you just buy a repo'd double-wide? It could probably handle the severe weather better.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:55 PM   #8
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If you need to ask, you should'nt.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
It will be just sitting. Would the stick built trailers hold up just as well as AS if they are just sitting their entire life and not being hauled and jostled around on the road?
Nope. Most of them just sit around their entire lives, whether it's on a site somewhere or in the back yard. They have seams that can and do leak. It's their nature. The posts above are right though... If you plan to leave it sit, you won't have nearly the investment in it if you buy a stickie. When it does die, you can replace it again with another stickie and still probably not have $5k in both. I predicated my earlier response on "semi-permanent" which would indicate that you plan to tow it, at least occasionally.

Roger
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:26 PM   #10
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Will the stikies with their flat roofs be able to withstand rain and multiple feet of snow? I guess that's the first thing that got me to start looking at airstreams was their arc'd roof. I suppose there are people who store stikies outside 365 days per year so their roofs must hold up to some water and snow stress.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
I am looking for a large travel trailer to serve as a semi-permanent base on a property that I own for hunting and recreation. It has to pass the wife test. I started looking at Airstreams because this trailer will be outside 365 days a year with a snow load that approaches 3' at times. I am finding AS to be overpriced in many cases in my opinion. For example I have found several Jayco campers of 1994 vintage with much nicer and updated interior trim for about the same price I'd pay for a 1975 AS if I'm lucky. Do the Jayco have more of a tendency to leak/break/ etc than AS? Are the flat roofs on these Jayco's one solid piece of metal with the exception of holes for vent, etc?
Reading between the lines It seems you've already made up your mind and are looking for someone to agree with you. Soooo----I think you should buy the Jayco. Does that help???? ----pieman
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:51 PM   #12
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No, I'm not looking for somebody to just agree with me, I'm looking for some honest advice as to whether the AS will handle weather outside 365 days per year better than a stikie.
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
No, I'm not looking for somebody to just agree with me, I'm looking for some honest advice as to whether the AS will handle weather outside 365 days per year better than a stikie.
Actually the answer to your question can be seem when you examine the two side by side. I think if you looked at a 1950's model Jayco next to a similar year Airstream you would see the difference.----pieman
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
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Is the snow where you are wet or dry? Regardless, I seriously doubt any stick built trailer with a flat roof will be able to support the load of three feet of snow, wet or dry. Perhaps what you need is a yurt, like one of the ones offered by this company:

http://www.yurts.com/

You could probably see one locally, if they are used by your State Park system.
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