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Old 07-20-2015, 05:38 AM   #1
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Gonzales , Louisiana
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Why Airstream?

My wife and I are researching the advantages/disadvantages of owning a Airstream travel trailer. Through the past 20 yrs of camping we have owned a Wilderness travel trailer, Sunnybrook fifth wheel, and currently own a 2003 Tiffin gas motorhome. Within the next few months we will be purchasing a new "recreational" unit. We are very interested in an Airstream travel trailer! However, realizing the difference between a motorhome and a travel trailer - and also, realizing respectfully the Airstream is unlike any other travel trailer, we are interested in the opinions of Airstream owners that may help our decision. Thank you in advance!

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Old 07-20-2015, 06:00 AM   #2
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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Posts: 5,319
The primary practical reason for owning an Airstream compared to any other travel trailer is they are easier to pull, and handle better on the road.

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Old 07-20-2015, 06:08 AM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
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The advantage is an American icon that never goes out of style, always repairable and worth the expense, low wind resistance when towing or parked, independent suspension for great handling and low entry, several well-designed interior choices within a common shell; take very good care of it and it will last a lifetime and look good all the way.

Disadvantage is high price, metal riveted shell susceptible to corrosion and sealant leaks (which are treatable and preventable with regular inspections and maintenance), typical mediocre RV components and accessories, uncomfortable dinettes as the only seating in many models, very limited storage compared to fifth wheels and mh's, and disappointed owners who discover these things after purchase and the inspection/maintenance required to keep such as expensive travel trailer in excellent condition.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:24 AM   #4
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
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We have owned two SOB trailers and now the Airstream. I do believe that the Airstream is built to a greater quality standard, but it is certainly not a linear relationship! I.E. paying three times the money does not get you three times the quality IMHO. For example, you will have water leaks sooner or later - and the floors are still wood and subject to rot. The appliances are all pretty much what you will get in any RV.

Certainly they tow well, have a unique look and are very nicely finished inside and draw lots of attention wherever you camp. You'll get lots of interest and questions from fellow RV'ers!

On one instance we we re camped next to our daughter and her family in their RV. Someone asked our daughter "What's it like being camped next to the Airstream?" to which she replied "It's ok, they are my parents!"

As I get older, sometimes I think about moving to a motorhome as I assume there are less "Physical demands" associated with setting it up.

They sure look nice, but every time I start to get serious about it - and that has happened several times, I eventually talk myself out of it for the following reasons ....

- We only camp maybe 6-7 weeks a year so it would be a lot of $$$$ tied up in an RV getting little use.

- I would have the hassle of getting a different driving license.

- there are enough things to go wrong with an Airstream, let alone a Class A motorhome with all of its extra systems and equipment.

- I'd have to tow another vehicle anyway and couldn't back up, plus having to buy and fiddle around with the brake buddy.

- half the gas mileage.

- My wife won't drive with the trailer and it would be nice in emergencies if she could/would. She would not drive a class A either and although I would be ok with a class B, she is convinced it would be too confining and won't consider it, so switching to a class A would give no advantage there.

- Mtce costs of the motorhome would be much higher.

- We store our RV about 15 miles from our home. If it were a motorhome, I imagine I would want to go and start it up and run it a few miles every month or so.

So all in all, from my perspective, it seems that for us, our Airstream Classic 30 is a good a choice, and most likely will see us through our remaining RV'ing days.

If we did get something else at this point, it would likely be a newer Airstream!

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Old 07-20-2015, 06:36 AM   #5
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2015 30' International
2009 27' FB International
2007 25' Safari
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Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,550
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My "RV" history...or travel history....tens of thousands of miles by car...nearly all 48 states...about ten years ago...solo motorcycle across the U.S. and returning from Portland, OR, decided I was tired of motels.....went to my AS dealer.

I of course was thinking they must be at least $30,000......LOL.....when I saw the $70,000 price tag.... Bought 2007 25 footer....very nice International Safari. About six months later, traded for 2009 Int 27 FB, pulled this nearly 30,000 miles, decided to go "full time", so Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QGP in 2010. Had I "arrived" more LOL?

After 50,000 miles, never getting to the full time status I found my desires in wanting to get into state and national parks which was not possible with 43 feet of Moho.

Sold it, purchased 2015 Serenity 30 RB, recliners, awnings, etc, and could not be happier. Much of the Moho gear ( enough to fill a small house) fits into the Serenity and my TV, a Dodge/Cummins 4x4.

Have pulled more than 10,000 miles in first year with this AS, love it. But, the question of why a trailer selling for nearly $100,000 vs. a box trailer or fifth wheel with twice the space, half the cost..... Totally subjective, but there is something special about an Airstream which is not present in other TT. The aluminum, shape, appearance, ease of towing, or maybe the WBCCI....?

Ah, yes, for me, the fellowship and social interactions of the Airstream community....a huge part of ownership. I do not think this is equalled among any other RV brand. And, my expectations, especially the WBCCI International have been far exceeded.

Want to see:

Ms Tommie Lauer
Greensboro, NC
2015 Serenity 30 RB / 2008 Dodge Cummins 4 X 4
WBCCI #4165 AIR #31871
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
AIR #31871 K4MTL
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:04 AM   #6

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12,978
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Question Why Airstream......

......Why Harley?

Honestly, I don't know. We went from a tent to a 63 Safari in 1988, and never looked back.
Always thought they were kool, they are..... kind'a.

But everything has positives & negatives
There could be more room....
there should be no leaks....
quality may not match the price point when new....
sometimes form takes precedence over function....

They are great to tow....
the exterior will last for a long time if maintained....
they are a curiosity magnet at any Campground....
they can turn most anyone into an RV maintenance guru in no time....
a very loyal fan base which will defend them far beyond beyond a non-owners understanding....

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Old 07-20-2015, 07:27 AM   #7
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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More importantly you have to ask yourself why not an Airstream?

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
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Full Time , Texas
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Since you've owned conventional travel trailers and now a motorhome and are use to the fit and finish, maintenance required etc, what has drawn you to look at Airstreams?

2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:53 AM   #9
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2014 27' FB International
Green Cove Springs , Florida
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As an FYI, with the search function you'll find several similar threads here on the forum with lots of great thoughts on the topic as food for thought.

If you have work hard talking yourself into it, no matter what brand or model it is, it's probably not the RV for you.
Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 07-20-2015, 12:45 PM   #10
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1976 27' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
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Posts: 796
The leading characteristic for me was re-sale value. Although RV's are purchased with our "disposable" income, I did not want to dispose of my income.... which is what I feel like on 1-2 week fly-away vacations with my family of 5.... (yes I have the memories... blah blah blah )

We may go through times when we use our camper alot in 1 year... or maybe we go through a phase where we dont use it at all because of other life events. If we're in a time when not using it, I dont want to feel guilty of owning something thats just sitting there depreciating.

I've seen many friends get into pretty sweet SOB's. Yes, they can sometimes be roomier and more plush with cool features, but ultimately one day its just sitting for years before they say "maybe we should get rid of that thing because we dont use it anymore". By that time, somethings broken, stained, damaged, stinky.... Even worse if its been leaking and rotting... Re-sale at that point hurts. I think of many SOB's themselves as "disposable"... If you understand that up front, no problem. Just use them up and enjoy it's serviceable life, then consider that money you would have spent on a vacation anyway. However, Airstreams have a much longer useful life- both because they are VERY rebuildable, and also because the styling is timeless. So there is a much longer market for them as previously owned.

In the end for me, I like knowing that if I needed to, I could sell mine and liquidate my equity. Or if I ever want to change to a newer, longer, shorter, etc. I can use my equity.

And then there is just the cool factor...
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:11 PM   #11
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I can say for me and my wife after walking through at least 10 SOB of all different stripes when we walked in the 28 FB International it just felt right.. expensive as hell but man that thing did shine.

I know for us, short of winning a couple hundred thousand dollar lottery, a new AS is out of the question.

I have been looking for the last year or so and man the prices on used unit is starting to get stupid high.

just today on the classified site there was a 2007 27ft listed for 47K and a 2011 27ft listed for 54K.. not sure how to figure out what a good value is any thing now.
Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Airstream Club, Unit #161, Region #3
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:21 PM   #12
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2005 25' Safari
Stoughton , Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 125
Images: 2
1- They are cool
2- 9'7" high . It fits in a 10' high garage door
3- My aunt and uncle full timed in one. So it's sentimental
4-Resale value
5-I saw a picture of one with a tree on top of it. So seems pretty safe and sturdy
6-Pulls nice
7-My wife likes shiny things
8-Cult like following
9-Easy setup and take down
10-They are cool!!

Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:44 PM   #13
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Mission , Texas
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Look at other RV makes and models - how many are still in business and how many are still in use?

Nothing stays new forever, but being able to maintain and repair goes a long way.

So with that initial logic, we looked at a couple of ASs, "fell in love" with one and it followed us home.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:23 AM   #14
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,676
Ain't nobody no where restoring or remodeling a fiberglass RV.



Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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