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Old 12-05-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
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Buy off the lot or special order??

Okay we know what the pricing would/ could be for a new AS. Would it change the pricing to make a special order?? I.E. sky light delete, different flooring, etc etc versus just buying off the lot.

I ask this as my research is now finding that maybe a special order would be more to my liking than just getting it off the lot. Considering the MSRP, the order process do I have a great advantage either way?? Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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Unless you like, need or hate something specific I think you're better off buying off the lot. Some of the things we thought we wouldn't like, we did. And some of the things we thought we needed, convection/microwave, we are glad we didn't get. YMMV.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #3
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Hi, we special ordered our trailer. Nothing really special other than just what we want, no more, no less. The two biggies were that by ordering, we ended up with the next year model, [2005 instead of 2004] and no-one was able to do any damage to my trailer like they do the ones sitting on the lot waiting for a buyer.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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Often times when you special order there can be savings that reflect the dealer flooring costs. I special order all my vehicles, including my AS. I know what I want and do not care to pay for something I don't want. I would have a frank discussion with AS dealer GM and see if a special order makes financial sense for both parties. Also gives you some time to line up financing and insurance as well as to prep your TV.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:52 PM   #5
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Order exactly as you want it, and don't skimp if you think you might. The longer a trailer sits on the lot the more wear and tear of tire kickers, weather, sun, door slammers, corrosion, deterioration of seals, cabinet kickers, battery under/over charging and aging of tires and seals it gets.

They want to move stock along and make a sale so expect resistance.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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We special ordered our 23' Safari because we wanted two solar panels, the full awning package (awnings on all three sides), and two FanTastic Fans installed during the build of the trailer instead of risking potential collateral damage done by the dealer or by third party install!
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:35 AM   #7
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If your negotiating skills are up to par, you'll get a good deal either way, so it makes sense to special-order exactly what you want.

The only exception would be if there's one on the lot that is very close to what you want, and you only need to ADD items to get it perfect. In such a case, you might get the additions (performed by the dealer) thrown in at no additional cost as part of the negotiating process.

An example would be if there's one on the lot that has everything you want except solar panels, since the dealer should be entirely capable of adding solar panels, and may do it free or at reduced cost in order to guarantee the sale. Especially if you let him know the lack of solar panels (or whatever YOU want added) is a deal-killer.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
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I read so many posts here about (this and that) special ordered/changed from the factory. I started thinking that maybe it's just as competitive with the sale price to special order as to buy off the lot. I was reading a post about upgrading the brakes/axles another about deleting the skylights. These got me to thinking about placing an order over off the lot.

I have a good idea about the features I want and it's not hard to find them on order or on the lot. My biggest hangup is not knowing about a feature/change that most people here would order.

Maybe this will help. I love the International 30 Signature and Serenity models. The Classic 31 is a distant third since I'm not keen on the colors/wood. I do love the lay out of these models. For either of these I'd get awnings all around and the two A/C option, upgrade to the larger 10cuft refer for sure. What else could I change?? In the end I do need to figure in costs to make sure it's not out of my limit. So without regard to pricing for the changes what suggestions would you recommend??

I know this is long but I'm trying to get a good idea about what I can change before trying to sit down with a dealer and get the real numbers.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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HeavyAssault, Airstream has not been flexible about special orders in the past but things are changing somewhat, apparently. Because of the backlog of orders, soon a new order will result in a 2015 model year trailer, and they will have their own updates/changes, perhaps a new model or two.

To get the best advice, why not contact a dealer in your general area that really knows the Airstream product (not all of them do). Colonial Airstream in New Jersey seems to give up to date advice for example. You may also try the Airstream Customer Service department phone number from their website.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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I hear you. Colonial would be my best bet for info but I don't want to tie up time. I met the area AS Rep Tim and he has given me some info and guidance. It's possible from what he says. Best done with a dealer who has a unit on order, not on the line yet. He indicated the changes could be called in from the ordering dealer.

Since it seems some things could be done I wanted to see what changes people here recommend. I forgot to add to my known list of changes swapping the 40# LP tanks if I don't get the Classic model.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #11
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"If your negotiating skills are up to par, you'll get a good deal either way, so it makes sense to special-order exactly what you want."

This was in my experience.....but I found that still, the ones on the lots were still 1-2% cheaper....this based on my limited experience.

I would think that for something like a 30' serenity...if you play your cards right and find a unit on a lot you want, you could save a "decent" chunk of change...it would be borderline non-trivial....although considering the price tag on the 30' serenity one could make the argument that the difference approaches trivial...I wont make that argument....but it looms, begging the question...as such, following that logic...get exactly what you want?

In broader perspective, I think this is all pretty much splitting hairs....which many of us like to do.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:27 PM   #12
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As you look at the dealer's stocks, you tend to find most units have the options that generate additional profit for them and possible future maintenance night mares for the user.

One dealership puts the convection microwave into every unit (a $404 option on the Classic 30) saying it gives them the A/C power outlet for the microwave. They can switch out to a gas oven if desired. But then the gas line has to be adjusted to support both the cooktop and an oven.....and a swap fee can be charged.

On the 27FB models, they install the microwave which uses 1/3 of the pantry space. There are two different cabinet bases (one for the microwave option and one for no microwave) and would be extremely expensive to change out after the fact. Unless the inverter option is ordered, the microwave is useless when boon docking unless you purchase a generator which they also sell...

The feeble factory dual 53 watt solar panels for $2,950, coupled with a 1,000 watt inverter for $725 pales in comparison to a third party solar system with 400 watts of solar panels and 600 watt hours of storage batteries and a 2,800 watt converter/inverter for similar expense.

The power patio awning for $3,551 has, from personal inspection of several units with this option, a future wiring issue that could be expensive to repair or could cause collateral damage.

When we were considering the twin bed Classic 27FB, we wanted all the pantry space possible and the standard gas oven that works when off the grid boon docking. We also wanted the extra cost optional second A/C and 50 amp power service.

Thus when we ordered the twin bed Classic 30, we only selected the second A/C with 50 amp service as the charge option from the price list. For an additional $450, we were able to swap out the Classic wood board look linoleum material for the linoleum material used in the International Serenity models that we liked and install an aluminum backsplash behind the bathroom sink instead of the usual wall "fuzz".

Ordering the unit allowed me to select the build date window which allowed me to be onsite to photograph the build process and photo where all the plumbing and associated valves, heater system and controls and electrical wiring is installed in my trailer.

Ask to see the actual 2014 build specification and retail price sheet for the model and trim line you are looking for so you can make an informed ordering decision for those items you need/want and those you would like to omit or have others install for more capability.

Current available production slots are nearly completely booked for 2014. However, if the local dealership had an available scheduled build slot several months away, they can change the order to your model and specifications. The 2015 models start coming off the line in June 2014.
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
This was in my experience.....but I found that still, the ones on the lots were still 1-2% cheaper....this based on my limited experience.
But then you'd spend that 1~2%, and maybe more, fixing it up the way you want, only to end up with the same thing you could have special-ordered.

Of course, that extra effort on your part might be worth it, since you also get your trailer sooner (same day, even) versus special-ordering and waiting a month or three.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #14
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After some additional considerations I'm not going to worry about the special order route. For me most dealers are carrying the options I want anyway on their ordered units. The dealer I plan to use already has the trailer in production and expects delivery in February.
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