View Poll Results: Vintage AS or Newer AS
Vintage AS 71 72.45%
New AS 27 27.55%
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:08 AM   #15
Rivet Master
2003 25' Safari
Eden Prairie , Minnesota
Join Date: Nov 2002
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Originally Posted by Spiffy Gem
...Did I mention the cost? I had completely miss-calculated the cost before I started the project. Many will wonder why it cost so much: I'll have $25,000 - $28,000 into it - not counting my time.
Wow, I paid $30,000 for my 2003 Safari 25 brand new.

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Old 03-31-2006, 11:15 AM   #16
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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Food for thought ~

With $25,000 into a vintage unit you have a custom built highly upgraded trailer to your own specifications rather than one off the line from the factory.

Not every vintage restoration is $25,000 ~


Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:31 PM   #17
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Vintage - vs - New

It's definitely Vintage for us. Not only is it the money but we have had so much fun making our home away from home just as comfortable as our home.

Maybe we've been lucky but our trailer is in great shape, everything works and we are so in love with it.

Lee Pace
WBCCI 7287
72 Tradewind
Greenville, Tx
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:03 PM   #18
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2005 25' Safari
West of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 217
We bought new ... Time is at a premium so we spend our time traveling with ours... We have taken some long distance trips and I am hoping on doing considerably longer ones. We also get to some of the WBCCI rallies. I have been thinking about picking up a vintage as a project but new has been very nice for traveling. I would do vintage for style and as a hobby.
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:07 PM   #19
Vintage Airstreams Rock!
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
1949 18' Trailwind
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 44
Been There, Done That!

Hi Brent,

I started out with a 67 Safari that I spent hours repairing and then had the A/S plant work on it doing frame repair. When I went to Jackson Center to pick it up I took the tour of the plant and fell in love with the new trailers. Sold the 67 and bought a brand new Safari which I regretted as soon as I brought it home! It was so boring! Nothing broke down, no work to be done, no need for a cyclo polisher! I began a search for the perfect "0ldie" and found Pearl, my 54 Flying Cloud. I haven't been bored since, too much work to be done!! I sold the Safari a year after finding Pearl because I never used it.

Honestly, vintage isn't for everyone. I prefer the design of the older trailers and especially the panels. You also need talent for repairs or the money to have them done! When I'm on the road someone always asks for a tour and I get a lot of thumbs up signals from passing motorists. I recently bought a 1986 32' Excella so that I can take my family with me to rallies. I bought it because that model has all the features that I like about older models.

Hope this helped in your decision.

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Old 03-31-2006, 03:30 PM   #20
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2004 19' International CCD
Chicago , Illinois
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We bought new, but seriouslly considered used, in particular we almost snagged a 67 Caravel in mint condition, original owner, heated-garage stored, unbelievable and $6500.00. Deal fell through long story short. Owner decided to hang on to it.

For us, a used AS would have been great had we been able to keep it anywhere near where we live in Chicago. Our storage place is 33 miles out of the city. But it is safe. The distance alone would have made working on it a real pain. I have the know-how and most of the tools. I've completely renovated a two flat, but schleping to work on it would have gotten old quick.

The idea I loved most about vintage and restoring is that you could change anything you wanted to however you wanted using any materials and mechanicals you desire. The thing that bugs me and most people on this list is the sometimes crappy workmanship and materials on new units. If I were going to the trouble of doing a renovation myself, this simply would not bee the case. And yes, maybe my renovation project would cost MORE than a new unit, but it would last forever.

The advantage of the new AS is that your ability to imediately go out and camp. Some of the people on these forums have been working for months, maybe years on their AS's and they have all my respect.

You just have consider which road you are going to go, but no matter what, make sure it is Airstream!

Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:09 PM   #21
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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I have the utmost respect and admiration for those folks who purchase vintage units for restoration or upgrading. Literally I have no time for upgrading an older unit, and at this point my wife would rather see me concentrating on the house and its upkeep than doing long term work on a vintage unit.

Secondly I'm still working and hopefully can afford the higher initial cost. I figure it will be paid off by retirement and at that point I'll have time to do the maintenance necessary to keep my trailer up to date.

Finally we like the wide body trailers, and at this time wide body units are not considered vintage.

There are some pretty nice older new units that have taken the big deprecation hit and are much more reasonable, which can give you some of the features not found in the vintage trailers. Before we bought the Classic new, we spent about 6 months looking for a used newer Classic. Problem was at that time, the stuff coming into the dealer had issues that caused me to pass them by. I finally decided not to continue the search since my '01 Safari had a great trade in value and my dealer's offer for trade gave me a trade in quote for more $$ than what I originally paid for the Safari new in '01.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:41 PM   #22
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1968 26' Overlander
Wenatchee WA , Cape Cod
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Vintage for us too
Can't afford a new one, and frankly wouldn't want one. They are beautiful and wide, love the shiny insides of the CCD's but......

I love that we are doing the work ourselves. I love that we are picking out the color scheme. I love finding just the right stuff to put in it. I love the journey of making it our own.
Jim & Kathleen
1968 Overlander - WBCCI #5793
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:04 PM   #23
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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There's a middle option...

Instead of really Vintage (1970's and earlier..) or Brand New, there is a third option and that is to look for Airstreams from the late 80's or early 90's (pre 1995 when they got wider and heavier..). Finding one of these gives you fairly modern appliances and stuff (electronic Water Heater ignition, Microwaves, large tanks, etc) but leaves you with $$ leftover for a "Makeover" rather than restoration...

A Makeover might include upholstery, curtains, blinds, flooring and bedding, plus an appliance or two and some fixtures and trim.. All that could be done by a pro in a few weeks for ~$6-8K, leaving you with a proven sturdy trailer, trimmed exactly to your liking, and a remaining savings account in event some other maintenance is required (brakes and plumbing for us..). You could also add flat screen TV, satellite antenna and sound system and new lighting and have a very practical rolling home away from home..

John McG

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:10 PM   #24
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1963 26' Overlander
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1963 19' Globetrotter
Portola Hills , California
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Originally Posted by InsideOut
Not every vintage restoration is $25,000 ~

....right, many are a lot more.....
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:13 PM   #25
30' 1999 Excella
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Kingwood , Texas
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Talking near new

I agree with Condoluminum. We bought a 1999 30' back in December. Paid $21K - when a lot of that size and vintage were going for $25K. We've put $6K into it (new carpeting, complete reupholster of couch and dinette, new Sleepnumber bed, small miscellaneous). We now have what we consider to be a new AS, with only a few weekends work on our part.

We want to use it, not work on it. I REALLY admire the beautifully restored AS, but we're anxious to hit the road in a 'home away from home' with as many amenities as possible. We love the outdoors, but not rough camping!

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Old 03-31-2006, 07:23 PM   #26
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2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
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I've had both. I enjoyed working on the 74 International and made a nice job of it I had about $6,500 tied up in it and still had all original appliances and had not looked at the sagging tail rear bath curse. She had a pretty tail that wasn't sagging yet but the fear was there along with how long I could reasonably expect the other stuff to continure to work. It needed some vista window replacements and had a leak in the pantry area that I had been unable to correct. I'm sure that for another $8-10K I could have made a beauty out of it. I sold it and for 20k difference I had a 20 year newer unit that I had confidence in and did not have to work on every spare moment. Its a very personal decision and there are rewards each way. One day I might own another vintage but not right away.
Keep the shiny side up.
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:37 PM   #27
Vintage Airstreams Rock!
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1953 21' Flying Cloud
1949 18' Trailwind
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 44

Dicky Reigel was lucky that the A/S plant had practiced on MY Flying Cloud just before working on his! Unlucky, in that I picked up my FC two weeks before the BIG fire that did a number on his FC!

Vintage units sometimes need upgrading that means the difference between dumping your "black" water on the ground vs a holding tank! Pearl had no holding tanks, a full bath that emptied into a gopher hole or a camp ground with full hookups. Also, no 12 volt, she was a "park model", meaning that most units made in the 50's only worked when plugged into a campground. The vintage units on Ebay look inviting but you have to fully investigate what all has been upgraded vs what YOU will have to upgrade! I like to forget what $$$$ I've invested in Pearl because she is worth it but it isn't for the faint of heart or wallet.

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Old 03-31-2006, 08:44 PM   #28
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2007 30' Classic
Albuquerque , New Mexico
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Been There; Done That; Back to Vintage

Hi Brent,
My name is Ken, and I'm an alumaholic.

Our third travel trailer and our first Airstream was a '76 Safari 23' for which we paid too much and in which we invested great quantities of time and $$. Since we bought it in 1996 it wasn't yet vintage, but we joined Vintage Airstream Club and counted the months until Jan 2001 when we could really call ourselves vintage Airstreamers.

Then in April 2001, calamity struck. While having some work done on the '76 at Oasis RV in Tucson, my wife stumbled on a "same as new" 2000 Safari at a greatly reduced price. We drug our '76 back to Albuquerque, slapped a "For Sale" sign on it, and went right back to Tucson to purchase the 2000. We were cured, we had turned our back on vintage; or so we thought.

Neither one of us could bond with the pristine new Airstream, nor could we bond with many of the non-vintage Airstreamers among which we now found ourselves. Instead, we found ourselves lurking in the shadows just outside the light cast by the campfires at vintage Airstream rallies. Finally, after last year's Rocky Mountain VAC Rally, we said heck with it, and sold our 2000. Better to have no Airstream at all than not have a vintage.

Within days as fortune would have it, we found our '76 Sovereign. It was overpriced, funky, and needed much work. We were content.

Actually, Silver Toy offers good advice. Determine your needs, decide upon floor plan and features that suit you, and then start hunting for the Airstream that meets your needs whether it be new or vintage. If you aren't handy, stay away from the fixer-uppers. With any luck you'll find something that suits you, and if you are really lucky it will be vintage.


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