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Old 06-28-2011, 02:28 PM   #15
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Good work, Grasshopper...

I just loved old Kung Fu show....

Congratulations.. If you've settled on 25' length for room and bed arrangements, and beleive you can afford new with financing, then deciisons are getting narrower.. Colonial has good reputation here for service and pricing and availability (my impression) and would be good choice for new..

Going for old vintage not reasonable if you are thinking you are close to being OK with new... That really leaves decision down to late model used or new.. Also perhaps Front Bedroom or Rear Bedroom 25's... Decision points will therefore become condition, cost and your comfort level compromising on aesthetics and assuming risks of repairs verus warranty.. Since all are designed to be on the road when they fail, dealer network and remote dealers honoring warranty is a plus. Most dealers and independents happy to fix an out-of-warranty unit for credit card swipes..

All going back to 1996 are going to be same width and approx same weight (Classics are going to be heavier, due to interior woodwork..).

Bottom line is you could save 20 to 30% or more going back a few years, giving up warranty and aesthetics (choices of fabrics/condition/body dings, etc), and if you're going to keep it a long time new and exactly what you want is worth a premium...

Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:43 PM   #16
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Two things:

You are right to be concerned about Craigslist postings but it is pretty easy to quickly spot the scams.... even the ones who think they are smart crooks leave lots of little trails in thier posts or emails that just don't add up and of course the number one rule on those listings... if it looks to good to be true... it usually is.

Second thing

Based on the year and a half search that I did through all of those postings and the classifieds here, your chances of finding a good condition late recent to later model actually increase if you are looking for twins. I can't tell you how many 'perfect' priced and sized trailers I found on the classifieds here, only to open the thread and find that it had twins instead of full or queen bed. Our Safari has the corner bed, which we didnt think we wanted but for the price and the AS we found, we've decided its not really all that bad. making and keeping the bed made seems to be a bit more of a headache than actually sleeping in it. I will admit I've had a set to or two with the wall next to the bathroom but I guess I could have just as easily fallen out of bed if we had found a walkaround queen option. But once i discovered the technique of hooking a foot under the edge of the bed platform to pull myself up and out... I'm happy with the corner bed. Sort of has the feeling of being in a spacious sailboat cabin.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:36 PM   #17
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A couple more thoughts on sources of listings...

RVTraderonline.com has several hundred dealer listings for Airstreams (mostly late models), including a number of "leftover" models, never titled, but not current year models (2011/2012). Might also be place to look in addition to classifieds here, Craigslist and E-Bay... Unlike new car dealers, Airstream dealers won't swap inventory at cost, so two dealers 100 miles apart might have inventory that the other has a customer for, but they won't share inventory online, and they won't generally swap, so you may have to do inventory checks dealer by dealer... <If you found remote unit and tried to broker the swap to transact purchase with local dealer it might happen, but no guarantees...>

The deal with E-Bay and Craigslist is to understand and accept that they are NOT in the business of policing or filtering the scammers from legit sellers. That is the potential buyers' job.. Both are equal-opportunity mechanical marketplaces, and criminals list their ads right alongside honest people.. If you're not sure you can tell the difference, steer clear...
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #18
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More questions

Again thanks for all of the sage advice. I added the RV traders to my list. Although I have purchased items on E Bay they were not of the magnitude of an RV. Because of the potential for scams I am somewhat nervous of purchasing such a large item especially without seeing it firsthand.

So I believe I have three options: Purchase new or used from a dealer or purchase use from a private owner.

Purchasing new from a dealer:
Pros: warranty, relationship if dealer is close by (within 250 miles) support, latest models and upgrades. Dealer prep,
Cons: Instant depreciation when driven off the lot (not sure of how much an Airstream depreciates). more expensive, may want to nickle and dime during negotiations

Purchasing used from a dealer: Pros - warranty(?) reputation. Cons: suspect more expensive then a private seller, may have to travel

Private seller: Pros - Price. Cons - buyer beware, may not be able to see it before purchase no warranty, dealer may be reluctant to work on it in a timely manner, hidden defects may be costly to repair. best deal may be thousands of miles from home

These are my thoughts and any input would be greatly appreciated especially regarding depreciation and how to inspect from a distance.

also wondering if anyone can tell me how much difference is there in a 07/08 25' Safari SAF and a new Flying Cloud
Again thanks for all of your advice
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:36 PM   #19
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By Jove, He's got it...

Pretty good summary.. Not too much to add, however....


There are listings here of Forum members (usually with some history) who are willing to do general inspections for remote buyers.. Not a certified pre-purchase inspection, but a lot better than nothing.. I'd still limit exposure to "A long two day drive..." just becasue of the cost and hassle of getting somewhere and driving home empty-handed if you need to back out.. <and ALWAYS leave yourself some option to walk away if total misrepresentation and expections crushed...>

I think average dealer is going to offer no warranty on used trailer, but some might go for 30 to 90 days.. Worth bargaining for... Instant depreciation coudl be +/- 20% depending on model and price paid, and taxes paid are also sunk costs...

I believe switch from Safari to Flying Cloud was marketing nameplate only, but dealer can add more details...
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #20
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buying advice one more question

Again thanks for all your time and effort in answering my questions. They have been a great assistance as we take this journey, however I do have one more.

It has to with size of the trailer. I am particularly interested in responses from the young at heart and over sixty five RVers. I have always camped in a tent so anything bigger then 16 feet would seem luxurious to me, not so to my wife. She is looking at AS in the 25'. So I am just wondering what size you all prefer especially if you do a lot of towing and if you camp in National and State parks.

My wife and I have one shot at this so I want to have as much info as possible
before I pull the trigger.

Again thanks for you patience
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:08 AM   #21
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Urnmor, we bought our 2010 25' from Colonial last summer and have been very happy with it. We were having trouble deciding between the 23' with the sofa or lounge, and the 25'FB. There were three things that made us decide to go with the 25' - 1) The 25' trailer was 6" wider than the 23', which can make a difference in "livability"; 2) We knew that the "crawl-over-me" double bed in the 23-footer would get old really fast; and 3) We thought the bathroom was way too small in the 23-footer. We are happy with our choice of the 25FB and just love our Silver Twinkie!! Good luck! The folks at Colonial are top-notch. We had them add the side and front awnings to ours and are quite happy that we did - not only do they help keep the summer heat out, but they also provide a measure of privacy when we have our shades open.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:47 AM   #22
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I baught my 2007 Safari 20' through Caiglist for a reasonable price and now can sell it for more than what we paid (not counting the additions I made) after 2 years of use and 8,000 miles. I am looking for a 23' FB. Two much trouble climbing over my wife. We love our unit which has one of the largest galley and my wife love to cook.
Caution: When you look at the Craiglist or private ad make sure the person is genuine, original owner, good reason to sell not a broker. The person we purchased our's wanted to upsize his to 25 or 27". He even deliver it to our house 250 miles away, because we did not have the two vehicle. After word he did baught a larger one, we became friend after this deal.
For a new AS from dealer you should be able to get atleast 20% off the list price and get a few axtra's added like solar panel (new units come prewired for solar panel). I jsut talked to one dealer last weekend and he admitted that 20% is norm if you know it. He was willing to give me what I want but anly giving me 10% off the new.
Good luck and I am sure you will love the AS which ever one you decide to buy
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urnmor View Post
Again thanks for all your time and effort in answering my questions. They have been a great assistance as we take this journey, however I do have one more.

It has to with size of the trailer. I am particularly interested in responses from the young at heart and over sixty five RVers.

Again thanks for you patience



Well…. guess I fit that demo.
Started with a 63 22' Vintage Safari bought used way back in 89. Went to a new 03 Classic 25' twin, this was done without benefit of the forum.
It was an "impulse" purchase after seeing the trailer on a dealer lot. We were on our way home from a dog show with the Safari in tow.
DW fell in love with the 25,(sound familiar?) It was late Spring and I had just finished spending two weeks getting the old girl ready for the Season. Something that was becoming all too familiar, so I was susceptible too!
Had more than a few new purchase problems, a lot of which related too poor dealer customer service and lack of a proper pre-delivery-inspection. Unfortunately I was the last customer for that dealership. The AS factory was very helpful in the numerous warranty concerns that I needed to repair, with no dealer support.
Had I known about the forum at that time I'm sure our purchase plan would have been considerably different. There's a wealth of knowledge and common sense here.

First…I would have spent much more time researching the possibility of a quality gently used AS from a Forum member or a known reputable dealer. I think that a lot of the concerns that new owners have crop up with-in the first few Seasons. A quality used unit would have some of these surprises behind it along with the considerable depreciation.

Second…I'm sure we would have been better off looking at ALL the AS offerings.
We most likely would still have chosen the Classic, but that exercise would have given us the opportunity to learn much more about what to look for.

The Classic has been the perfect size trailer for us. It has served us well, taken us on many boondocking trips and several extended vacations. We definitely lucked out, luck trumped ignorance. But a lot of anxiety could have been avoided with more knowledge, and avoiding the spur of the moment.

The more time you spend here doing your homework the more likely your purchase will be a happy one.

Good luck in your search, your definitely on the right road.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:32 AM   #24
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The question is very personal, my preference is to buy the smallest size which will meet your need. Ease of Towing, parking, size limitations in some parks and economical aspect all points to smaller size.
My personal experience, I baught 20' Safari and now want to upsize to 23" FB for only one reason the bed (one us has to crawl over the other in the night when nature calls), even though my wife love the galley part of it. We do camp a lot may be 10-15% of the time and may increase after retirement but no plan for full timing
Good luck
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #25
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Becky and I looked for our AS for ~3.5 years before finding one. We had been looking for a 25' FB Ocean Breeze but kept missing some good choices by a day or less (good late model units sell quickly). Then a couple of months ago there was a posting for an '09 27' FB Ocean Breeze in the 'Classified' section of the forum and we pounced . Got what we still believe was a GREAT deal and just love the 27' FB. The big difference between the 25 and the 27 for us was the ability to put in a FULL size queen bed, the larger pantry and the much larger closet. We also prefered the center line queen bed over the side mounted bed since it is always easer to level fore and aft than side to side (hate sleeping wiht my head higher or lower than my feet) and you can walk around each side to make the bed. We have been going on long weekends almost every other week but just can't wait for an extended trip so we can really sit back, relax and enjoy our new AS .
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:33 PM   #26
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I think it was Paula that said earlier to THINK about what you are going to be doing with the trailer. We have no intentions of full timing so the whole couch up front didn't make much sense to us. We also did not like the idea of climbing over each other to get in and out of bed. We settled on the 25FB and have little regrets. Really like the bed, the separate shower and the decent sized bathroom.

I got mine through Craigs List and paid a fair price. I did not pay a penny before actually looking at it and inspecting it. I know that there are scams out there, I think it would be easy to spot one. It took us a couple of years to do all the research and then to actually find a unit. If I could have afforded it, I would have purchased new in a heart beat. As it was, I picked up a little used 2006 in the fall of 2009. It had been parked and suffered from lack of use. I did have to replace the batteries and the converter but that was about it. NO, I don't have a guarantee but my costs so far have been minimal. The set of tires I just put on would have been regular maintenance the way I look at it.

I am glad I went with the 25. The 27 FBs are nice and the extra space would be nice but right now, I am happy with the 25 and I like how it tows and I can park it in most spots in the state and federal campgrounds.

Good luck on your search. Get a used one if you can but only if you have the time and mind set to do so.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:51 PM   #27
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Well I hope I'm young at heart and am certainly over 65, so I met the first requirements.

I'm used to making quick decisions because in my profession I had to, but if you aren't, don't. My wife is slower at making decisions, but was in love with all Airstreams, so I had to keep her under control, an impossible task.

We looked at lots of Airstreams at 2 different dealers. Before that we studied floor plans on the company website. We were going to take our time, but didn't really take that much. At first we were confused, but we sorted it out. I had learned of the Forum before we started this journey and learned a lot, but maybe not enough. The first dealer's salesmen told us obvious lies and then disappeared to answer the phone and never came back. The 2nd dealer was easier to deal with, but after we got the trailer, we learned just how bad they were. We ended up having warranty work done 1,400 miles away at the Airstream Service Center. Generally they do good work, occasionally not. You have to be careful about dealers.

Buying privately takes time. A good deal will be noticed by many and by the time you get there, or have someone inspect it, it may be bought. Some people believe their trailer is better than it is, or just tell untruths, or price it too high for what it is. Any used vehicle may need things. But the price will be better than new and the time you spend may be worth it. If you have a job, buying used may be hard because of time issues.

Since you wife wants a 25', the odds are great you will be buying a 25'. It will not be so much bigger than you want (inside it is only about 22'), but if you cram her into anything smaller, you will not hear the end of it. We have the front bed and like that style. My wife has to crawl over me to get out of the queen, and I like that because she feels good. Her joints are better than mine, so she gets the inside. The 27' solves that because you can walk around the bed, but we decided 2' more wasn't worth the $4,000 more it cost in 2007. We were never interested in twins, so I know nothing about them, but if you decide you want to sell because you have chosen the wrong trailer for you, it will take longer.

We bought new because we didn't know enough to figure out a good deal for a trailer in good shape. After we bought, we found the factory does not do a good job with workmanship and there would be lots of repairs necessary. If we had known the dealer was so bad, and we'd have to travel so far for warranty work, maybe we would have taken more time, looked for used, or bought another brand. So we have mixed feelings, but the trailer tows very well, is iconic, looks cool and we fixed and improved it substantially. Colonial has a good reputation on the Forum and if I were in Md., I'd go there. I know nothing about any dealers closer to you. I'm not trying to discourage you from buying an Airstream, just a dose of reality. Some people report no or few problems with their trailer and they may be making them better now than in 2007. And, RV's aren't made as well as cars and trucks.

Good luck in your search. Others have told you things to look for. It's a big purchase and you are smart to ask for advice and take it carefully.

Gene
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:57 PM   #28
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Welcome to the forums. Whatever you choose, new or used or old, I would suggest moving up one size from the first one you think is comfortable.


Happy travels!
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