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Old 05-28-2015, 10:35 AM   #1
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Edmond , Oklahoma
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
Smile What has changed on Airstreams over the years?

Hi! I'm a woman in my late 20's looking to live the Airstream life full-time! I am, however, new to Airstreams and am in need of some expertise. I grew up going on road trips with my family in our trailer and then later an RV. I loved it so much and really miss going on adventures like this.

I am very much a minimalist and could easily fit all of my belongings into a trailer without a problem. I've been doing some research and I really love the 1980's Sovereign 25'-27'. The floor plan is great with the bed in the rear of the trailer, which is exactly what I'm looking for. The reason I'm considering one from the 80's is my assumption that the price will be somewhat lower than a newer model.

My biggest question is this: what are the major changes on Airstreams throughout the decades? Is it just the measurement and aesthetic differences, or did they start using different materials for plumbing and/or electric components? If this is the case, would you all recommend that I pay a little more for a newer model? And around what price should I expect to pay?

Also, I come from a family of carpenters and am expecting to have to do some slight interior renovation (upholstery, cabinetry, etc.), but I would rather not have to tear up the floor searching for leaks and then have to renovate the entire trailer. What are telltale signs of leakage?

Thanks so much for any answers and advice you might have for me!

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Old 05-28-2015, 07:28 PM   #2
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 856
Welcome, Amarie. I'm sure that others will chime in with more information, but until then I'll give you what little I know.

The older the coach the more potential problems there are. A 1980 coach that has been perfectly maintained may well have fewer problems than a brand-new coach right off the assembly line. More likely, though, is that an older coach will have more problems than a newer coach. Yes, the price will reflect that. Sellers would like to get back all of the money they have spent, but most understand that they won't. Instead, they will get a quicker sale and a somewhat higher price.

The first bit of advice for you, then, is that you will be happier with a better-maintained coach that costs a bit more up front than one with a lower price and a bit of neglect.

Starting in the mid-90's Airstream went to wide bodies on the larger coaches. That translates into only about 6" more of width, but that can be huge on the inside. If you can, see if you can look at two similar coaches, one a wide-body and one a standard body.

I see by your signature that you are in Edmond. We just left Stillwater Tuesday. I understand why you want to leave.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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