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Old 01-28-2013, 11:56 PM   #43
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1977 31' Excella 500
Los angeles , California
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:57 AM   #44
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Originally Posted by Protohyp View Post
Check your messages
And how you do that is....
Look in the upper right hand corner. Click on "Private Messages" when the screen opens, select each unread private message. (She's a noob fellas. So were we all once. Now I'm an "expert" Rivet Master - but of course an Expert is just a former drip now under pressure)

So - New vs. used. There's "gently used" there's "Used" and then there's "Effen Used" which includes some, most or all of the following:
  • rear end separation
  • floor rot
  • frame broken, bent or rusted out
  • missing or leaking holding tanks
  • the gentle scent of mouse urine
  • missing interior or worse - it's still there and looks like an elephant gave birth on it
  • "PO (previous owner) creative "fixes" that can be such charming things as old garden hose replacing a broken pipe, propane lines sealed with hope, prayer and duct tape, wiring done with a free "tingle" included, ad nauseum
  • missing windows, skylights, home appliances installed by chopping the S*** out of parts of the interior or windows, etc.
  • axles that have sagged and frozen
  • territorial raccoons
  • lice, hanta virus, used condoms or other abandoned "novelty items"

So if you see a "basket case" or "insurance totaled wreck" run like crazy. If at all possible go with gently used and get a volunteer inspector from this forum to help you do your initial selection.

Learn how to seal your own seams - even if you'd regularly prefer to hire that out... you CAN do it... and it's a good thing to know. In a pinch (the middle of 7 rainy days when your skylight starts leaking and it's too wet to USE sealant) you dry the roof seam with a microfiber cloth, and lay down a strip of aluminum tape. Or several pieces if you can't spot an obvious source! The rain stops, you get up on the ladder, get the tape OFF, use WD-40 or a gentle solvent to get off the glue and re-seal.)

The two best ways to find the right Airstream for you are to go to a RALLY - or a big dealership. Some WBCCI rallies are open to potential owners so ask, virtually all forum rallies are open to future Airstreamers. Most people love to show off their Airstreams at rallies, and there are usually "open houses" at most rallies. Folks in California can tell you where you can see the biggest dealerships. And what they haven't told you about yet are the places that do custom Airstream work but of course that isn't "economical". None the less, put on a drool cup and check out Area 54 or one of the others just to torment yourself. If you'd like to go online and look... well New Airstreams for Sale, Used Airstream Trailers for Sale, Airstream Mercedes Sprinter Interstate for Sale, Flying Cloud, Bambi, Classic, Sport has the best website but is on the wrong end of the country. Websites will only tell you so much. You really need to walk through and sit in an Airstream before you choose it or it chooses you. There are some where knee room and door openings to bathrooms are real issues.

Do a lot of reading here because there are a few models with known problems.

Gently used - ideally still a bit of the original warranty left. People bought impulsively then employment, health or life changed and the RV turned into yard art.

Good luck and happy trails. Paula

PS when touring anyone else's Airstream - kicking off shoes at the door is a signal that you get it!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:25 PM   #45
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1966 26' Overlander
Tampa , Florida
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I just acquired a 1966 Overlander and plan to refurb and live in it. I like living in small spaces and have even lived in a treehouse for a few years. The first thing I did when considering this was to look for RV parks (I'm in Florida). I visited several and spoke to people in the parks. I found one that I really liked and submitted an application. I was accepted, but then lost my job and was unable to move it there. I'm currently in my father's driveway. Not so bad, except not being able to hook up to the water here due to septic tank regulations. I say... go for it! Live your dreams!
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:33 AM   #46
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2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Fraser Valley , British Columbia
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Right now I'm privy to a severe leak and floor rot.......
via the park model which is on the same property.

Why be "normal?" Living in an Airstream is way kewl. For how long? Depends on the stubborness/eccentricities of its inhabitant(s).
easily distracted by shiny objects
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #47
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
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I like the post up there about people with imagination! Be sure you research the year and model. Some of them have huge problems. I've only been on here for a few weeks and I notice it's a continuing theme to tell women who ask questions about living in Airstreams that they should move into trailer parks and a mobile home. Ugh. Or they can travel around with packs of other women in Airstream clubs, etc. Phooey. Airstreams are awesome. You are on the right track.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:36 PM   #48
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2011 20' Flying Cloud
nisqually , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2011
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I LOVE living in my airstream. I've lived in it for 18 months and I love it. I'd do it again tomorrow. I wish I'd done it years ago.

For me, it was a steep learning curve (I had never towed anything substantial, nor had I ever even camped in an RV). And! it has always been my dream to own an airstream. I've trolled the classifieds for years and years. And in November of 2011, I purchased my 2011 20' Flying Cloud. I had always thought I'd buy used, but eventually the benefits of a warranty and the reliability of something new without existing unknowns and problems won out.

Side note: I've wanted to write a supplemental book to the "Airstream for Newbies" because I found it was missing critical information for those of us (just me?) who had never RV'd before. Ever.

I'm 38. I'm single. I live in "Opie" with my 70 pound dog. I have parked in a "full service" park with sewer, water, electrical, and cable for the past 18 months. I wake up smiling every day. No one told me to change my dreams because I'm a woman.

Side note: why are people members of an airstream forum promoting less reliable RVs and double wides?!?

I do wish I'd bought the 23' flying cloud because I hate (read: loathe) making the bed. The walk around bed could change my life.

I spent weekend after weekend walking through models at the airstream dealer in Covington, WA. I knew the color, year, and layout of the trailer I wanted and waited until I found one that was priced right.

Happy to share more of what I have learned (septic, water heater, towing, security, and more) if its helpful. I also find it very liberating to use the outdoors as a second room. We eat and work outside a lot!

So, I'm happy every single day. Every single day.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:20 PM   #49
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I had a Nature's Head composting toilet installed in my Airstream. No longer dependent on any hookups. Good thing because there is no running water on the ranch where I live.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:17 PM   #50
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1969 29' Ambassador
Denton , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2013
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2 years in an airstream

I can tell you from personal experience, and as I write this sitting in my 1969 airstream. It's very doable. More then doable. My husband ,my dog and my cat have been living in our airstream for 2 years. We actually love it. We're newly weds and getting on our feet. Saving to buy a house. As we have lived in it and as the seasons have past wev fixed things here and there. I would say when buying your airstream the most important thing to look for is make sure all the plumbing is up to date and newer and that the floors are solid. Those two things are the hardest and biggest deals to fix. Other then that's its just cosmetic. You will enjoy making it your own and comming home to your own little space. We found and rv park that allowes full time Parker's. meaning u can stay as long as u like. They have a thing u plug your airstream into for electric and a place to putt your plumbing into the ground so we just put a real toilet in and flush it down like a regular system. We live right off the lake and swim in the summer and cozy up on our couch to watch movies in the winter. Our electric bill is about 100 a month and our rent to park is 325. We live in Texas so it's probly different pricing there. I say go for it. Airstreams are so much cooler then any old camper or rv. Very Americana
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:35 AM   #51
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
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"Side note: why are people members of an airstream forum promoting less reliable RVs and double wides?!?"

Because they are bigger and cheaper, if you are not moving all the time you do not need the features that make an Airstream special, like streamlined body and light weight.

They offer better value for money if you are going to stay put.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:03 AM   #52
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2004 22' International CCD
2015 30' International
Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I've looked at lots of fiberglass RVs, but find all that puffy velour upholstery, brass accents and oak trim depressing. I envy the slideouts and storage compartments, but I like my CCD!

And -- honestly asking here -- what about resale value or longevity? Is an Airstream truly longer-lasting with better residual value, or are some fiberglass units as good?
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #53
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1974 25' Tradewind
Kerrville , Texas
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Hope Lindsay has pursued her dream. Anyone hear from her?
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:36 PM   #54
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
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I haven't heard anything, but I've enjoyed reading through the thread!
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:03 AM   #55
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los angeles , California
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Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum but found this thread to be very informative. I am exactly where Lindsay was when she wrote her first post, and I'm wondering: if you're there Lindsay, can you please tell us how it's worked out for you? I am thinking of going with a new Flying Cloud because of warranty, but I don't know how to start looking for land or an RV park in Los Angeles? Any tips would be much appreciated. And for those of you doing this, thank you for all your insight, it makes a long-time dream seem actually plausible
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:01 PM   #56
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Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Posts: 695
"And -- honestly asking here -- what about resale value or longevity? Is an Airstream truly longer-lasting with better residual value, or are some fiberglass units as good?"

One way to check that is to look at resale value of a five-year-old airstream compared to what it was new and do the same for whatever you are also looking at. ALL vehicles will depreciate quite a bit in this time, but some are better than others. Is a five-year-old RV worth 50, 75, 90% of new? Now do the same thing for a 10-year-old coach. If you really want some fun, do the same thing for a 25-year-old coach.

To address the last point about whether another brand might be as good as an Airstream, the intended use is key. How many adults, children, pets all are factors in picking the right RV. How often will you be moving? Where are you going to be visiting? Are you full-timers? What physical limitations do you have? An Airstream is a great coach, but it isn't the perfect one for everyone. If it was, Airstream would be the only RV manufacturer in the country. I would venture to say that every coach made is absolutely perfect for someone, somewhat close for some, not really right for most, and absolutely the worst possible choice for someone else.

Whether you are looking to buy new or used, spend some time seriously analyzing your intended use of the coach. Be as honest as you can with yourself. If you have a champagne taste and a beer budget you are going to be looking at high-end used coaches. If you just won the lottery you can buy whatever suits your needs.

David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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