Originally Posted by Teamaron
I am purchasing an Airstream Interstate and wanted to know if anyone could recommend a shipping company?
If it was me, I'd fly up to Iowa, have the seller pick me up at the airport, and drive it back home myself. It would be a pity if your Airstream's first road trip is with a stranger at the wheel! But if that's not possible, for whatever reason, you do have some options…
If you bought from a dealer, the first place to check is with the dealer; they may be able to deliver it for you, or handle all the arrangements for you. Dealers like Dave Abrogast or Colonial Airstream, who do business nationwide, probably have transporters that they regularly do business with.
If it was a private sale, or if the dealer wants to charge you an arm and a leg for delivery— though with power steering and automatic transmission you can drive an Interstate with just one arm and leg— then I'd suggest going to Google and typing in "vehicle transport companies." You'll find links to companies like National Transport and A1 Auto Transport, among others. After you've picked a "short list" of possible sources, check each of their records with the Better Business Bureau before getting quotes so that you don't waste your time getting quotes from a disreputable company.
Given the size of an Interstate, you've got two options if you don't want the vehicle driven to you under its own power: a lowboy trailer over the road, or a flatbed rail car. In either case, verify the shipping terms in advance, and make sure it includes insurance; if the unit is damaged in transit, you want the transporter's insurance to make it good, not your insurance company. That's usually easier (fewer lawyers) if the shipping contract specifically includes insurance coverage.
Finally, have the seller send you recent
digital "before" photographs of the unit (all sides) before it's loaded on the transport, and you take "after" photographs after it's unloaded at the destination. That way, if your Interstate arrives in anything other than pristine condition, you can determine whether the damage occurred while the seller had it, or while the transporter had it. Most professional transporters are good at what they do, or they wouldn't still be in business, but accidents do happen, and it's always best to be able to prove when any damage occurred.
Also, if the sale was done remotely rather than face-to-face, it may be best to have all documentation is sent separately by registered mail (not shipped in the vehicle), so that the documentation is sent insured and has to be delivered in person with a return receipt. The last thing you need is for the bill of sale, title/certificate of origin, or the odometer certificate to disappear before you can register the vehicle in your home state.