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Old 05-19-2015, 06:19 PM   #1
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San Rafael , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8
Noob needs advice ASAP

hey everyone,
I am seriously thinking about buying a 2015 25' airstream on the east coast (I live on the west coast). I am getting a very good deal so it's possibly worth the hassle. My options are:

1. have it towed by a transportation company (getting quotes of $5-$8k)
2. Fly out there & rent a truck (Enterprise Commercial rents one way trucks I believe) and bring it back myself.
3. Fly out there & buy a truck (used/new) and bring it back myself. Either keep the truck or sell it when I am done.

2500 miles. Never towed anything before.

Need to decide in next 12 hours.

Any other advice? Am I in over my head?

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Old 05-19-2015, 06:27 PM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
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Just be sure it's a legit deal, because anytime I see people saying they are getting an incredible deal, I worry about scammers.

Personally, buying it and then buying a tow vehicle and driving the whole unknown combo back with someone who's never towed before - that's a lot of unknowns, but certainly possible.

Renting a tow vehicle - might be a better choice but I always question the condition of rental vehicles. And it needs to be setup with a proper hitch and brake controller.

Having it transported, might be the best option, but not cheap.

Are you getting it from a private party, or dealer? If it's a dealer at least they could help you get it setup to tow. Also, if it's a dealer, could you use that offer to leverage someone on the west coast to meet that price and get something closer to home?


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Old 05-19-2015, 06:28 PM   #3
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I think I'd pass on the unprepared trip, especially since you have never towed before...too many new things to go wrong.

Don't worry - good deals are always coming along - wait until the 2016 models come out for a great deal on the 15's.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 05-19-2015, 07:03 PM   #4
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First know that a 20% discount off list is not all that uncommon. Second, they will make more of them, this is not a "never again deal".

I Know only one thing about you - you've never towed before. The odds of your first RV being a perfect fit are slim. I wouldn't spend that much out the door with no experience.

I was in your position almost 10 years ago. I'm now on my third Airstream - and I recently bought a nice used classic Avion. DOH. Do yourself a favor and buy a gently used Airstream OR even a semi-decent SOB for your first one. It's a lot cheaper to buy a $14,000 used SOB and sell it for $5,000 a year later - then get what you really want after a lot of careful thought than it is to make a $62K miscalculation.

(The dealer's reputation is very important too. I wouldn't want to trash any dealer but there are OK ones and a few great ones.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:31 PM   #5
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San Rafael , California
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Great thank you everyone. As exciting as it may seem... I think I am leaning against this grand under taking. As part of this I was even considering buying a new Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins diesel from an East coast dealer. Would be $110k+ worth of equipment and a week of driving. Might be a little bit more than I can chew off. Guess Airstreams have that effect on people-- getting them to do insane things.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #6
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1973 31' Sovereign
Mount Angel , Oregon
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How much time do you have to be on the East Coast? To get the correct tow package for your trailer will take time.

I am always in support of learning new skills and think that this could be a fun trip. You can avoid driving at peak hours and proceed cautiously. However, I grew up on a farm and hauled my first trailer ( with my old blue Ford tractor) when I was 10 years old, so it is hard for me to gauge. It is not difficult. Wind gusts and passing semi's can get your heart going!
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:59 PM   #7
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San Rafael , California
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I can take as much time off as necessary. I do consider myself a good driver. I drive stickshift and have driven a diesel VW Jetta for years. The Ram 2500 I was thinking of purchasing would be a stick shift also.

I have tonight to think it over. Once I put down my deposit it would be no turning back. I would put down $5k on credit card and wire another $5k for a $10k deposit.

As a side note I was considering AirBnBing this trailer. I live in a very wealthy area in the SF Bay area and have the space. Most of everything I have read on here 99% of the owners would not rent out or AirBnB their trailer as it's too nice. It's a nice exercise to go through and I do think it might be a fun trip.

Thanks again for everyone's advice. It's all appreciated.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:27 AM   #8
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Noob needs advice asap

DON'T wire any money. If it's a dealer they will take a credit card deposit. There are a lot of scams with airstreams involved. We looked for over two years before we found ours (locally). We saw a lot of scams, they always want you to wire money! See it, touch it, smell it, see the title and meet the people (owner)! Why take a chance with all that money?

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Old 05-20-2015, 07:49 AM   #9
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1964 17' Bambi II
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If you decide to go through with the deal I highly recommend using It is essentially an online auction site for shippers. You can often get a very good deal (less than $1/mile) if you find a truck that is deadheading home after a long tow.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:05 AM   #10
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Fair Oaks , California
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Before thinking about buying a new vehicle out of the state of California, you might want to check to see if you will have problems registering it in CA if it doesn't have CA approved emissions systems. It would be a big mistake to lay out big bucks for a new truck that you couldn't register when you got home.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:13 AM   #11
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Joe12pack, wiring money is widow to a scam. A $5K cc deposit will hold any unit with a reputable dealer, you're being pushed into making a decision that may haunt you in a very short period of time. Most private sellers don't have the ability to take a cc deposit so i'm assuming this is a dealer or wholesaler, wired money is like cash, once handed over kiss it goodbye.

Also, if this is NOT a new unit with a manufactures bill of origin be further skeptical about title problem or undisclosed damage like fire or flood.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:31 AM   #12
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One other thing about a new truck is that many of them require a mileage defined break-in period BEFORE towing. For my new GMC it was 500 miles, so you may want to look into that before committing.

Also, as for renting a truck, most do not allow trailer towing. I looked into this awhile back and found that Uhaul was the only company that did, and there were certain restrictions.

I used a truck with a stick shift for towing next truck was an automatic and I would never go back to a stick for that purpose. Love a stick in certain cars.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:37 AM   #13
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Ashland , Kentucky
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Joe12pack - All of your Spider Senses should be on HIGH ALERT with regard to wiring money - if it's to a dealer, they'll wait. Also, remember, no matter how good a deal they're offering, no way are they not making money - make them earn it.

With regard to buying and towing - I think it's a great idea IF you approach it with a good plan. Plan to have a sway/load hitch installed and set-up properly (watch them set it up and know how to modify it yourself, research your brand preference online before flying out). Plan to drive no more than 300 miles your first day; plan to go no faster than 60 miles per hour; plan for everything to take longer than you thought it would/should (braking, passing, merging, parking, pulling in to get gas, etc.).

After your third day, you'll probably look down and realize you're cruising along at 65 mph - that's OK but beyond that and you may start to stress out your brand new tires. You'll need a list of items to bring with you or buy within the first 100 miles including: Flashlight, high-pressure tire gauge, paper towels, drinking water, cups, soap, etc. Get just the basics and add as you drive along. Keep a pad and make notes of what you need/want.

DO NOT rush into this lightly, but if you do purchase, welcome and take your time heading home - get to know your new camper and enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:56 AM   #14
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San Rafael , California
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The dealer will take the initial deposit of $5k via credit card so I'm protected in that sense.

The last $5k will need to be wired before everything closes.

From my research he does seem like a legit dealer with website/eBay/etc.

He says his offer is only good if we can close by end of month. With only 10-11 days left in the month and with all the FedEx'ing of paperwork back and forth he said I need to make my decision very soon. I know it's a sales tactic to try to pressure me.

He did come back with a shipping quote of $3k from "U-Ship" which he says is some type of bidding process but he can't talk to the shipper until I move forward with this.

This deal for $62k for a 2015 International Serenity 25' seems too good to be true however I think where they are making up for it is the rate of 5.99% that he is offering me which is not the greatest (240 month term). Comes out to $420/month.

Anyway, I feel pressured to make a decision today and this might be something I should just let pass and do more research. The 2016's are already out so I suppose the fantastic pricing is due to this model being a year old already.

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