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Old 06-04-2011, 12:05 PM   #15
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1956 16' Bubble
Dallas , Oregon
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David. Just to encourage you. I was looking at a wee wind online that was 1400 miles away. Just about ready to book a flight and then a 1956 bubble came up on craigs list just 75 miles away (a few weeks later) from me in Portland. I ended up buying the bubble And just a year later a 57 Bambi showed up at an rv place 5 miles from my house. You'll find the right one. Wether close or far. Get one in as good of shape as you ca afford because it takes a lot of coin to rebuild one Cheers Ted

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #16
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1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
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If you are seriously looking for an Airstream, spend some time putting "Airstream Wanted" ads on various appropriate websites and on bulletin boards at local grocery stores, RV dealers, shopping malls, newspapers, etc.. Seriously, some people hate selling things because of all the hassles of phone calls, tire kickers, etc. You might just get someone to call you with their trailer before they put their own ads out there - you might beat out the competition! Plus, there are still lots of people not on the internet regularly, so use all media types to cast as wide a net as possible.

Good Luck!

Every home needs a dog, and every dog needs a home.

1977 25' Tradewind (with two ... three... FOUR dogs)
2011 Ram 1500 Quad cab, 5.7 Hemi, tow pkg.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:49 PM   #17
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Originally Posted by mikethefixit View Post
ok u ask . Dont. If you cant reach out and touch it dont buy it and dont pay for it.

Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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2005 22' International CCD
Buckhorn , Ontario
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Always err on the side of caution.

I think it all depends on what you are looking at and your level of handiness. Your experience and research. It also helps to have a good handle on feeling out people and assessing whether they are genuine which also comes with experience.

Maybe we have been lucky - or maybe it is our own expectations of what we are buying in the first place.

As far as airstreams go - there has not been a single one (except the wrecked 99 that was within a 1000 miles and a different country no less.

For our first - a gentleman from here befriended us and helped us out with the sale and purchase of our 69 GT.

How that worked was - lots of initial research on buying our first vintage. Knowing what to look for and scouring a ton of pictures and lots of posts here at the forums. You get to know the people here too on their own levels of understanding and experience.

When all our questions were satisfied with both parties and our own needs for a particular trailer we set the logistics into place - but with safeguards.

We had our airforum new friend go and inspect the trailer and give his full report - more questions and lots of photos and we were okay with what we were purchasing.

Next we sent settled on a price with the seller and required deposit. Then we sent the deposit to the inspector - who exchanged that for the title but left the trailer with the seller. We had the title searched and were satisfied we would be able to bring her across the border.

We then sent the rest of the money though to the inspector and he picked up the trailer. When we arrived we had made one last concession and if it did not work out it would all be reversed. We got together with the owner to do the final bill of sale and the remaining funds.

It all worked out like clock work.

Our GT63 was an ebay purchase - but I spent a lot of time with the seller to feel him out. There were a few little hiccups but nothing we could not handle. The trailer inside was a grotesque mess - but we knew that going in - we were basically purchasing a shell and that is what we paid for.

Our CCD purchase was through a Silver Sister friend here on the forums - so we had already met, I had already seen the trailer several years before I had purchased it. It also had a few unfortunate hiccups with some panel damage - but nothing that would make me back out of the sale. I was on the hunt for a specific model and year and she had it ha so I was going to get it. This one turned out to be the best decision of my life. I love it and I have put 1000's of miles on her and many more to come.

So like I said - if you are not a handy person at all you might want to stick closer to home and even pay the extra money to go through a dealer.

If you are like many of us here - a bargain is a bargain at any cost How else are you going to save enough money to travel with it Or buy that TV.
Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #19
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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I'm one who bought remotely (more than 2,000 miles from home) and it was successful transaction.. Also a Contracts Attorney and Retired Risk/Fraud Mgr at $2B Credit Union, so have seen lots of fraud around checks, wires, sales of mythical vehicles without title, etc.. Here are some learnings from our process...

1. Even if you can't see & touch, reach out and try to find 3rd party who can.. No seller and buyer have same opinions about condition.. (even honest ones..) There are members here who'll drive by and take a look, or maybe you can find some acquaintance or colleague who has feet on ground near seller...
2. Imagine a risk curve, and the older the trailer, and more amazing the deal seems, and the more money involved, the higher that risks get. A fabulous completely restored 1970's trailer on E-Bay with some "special terms and communications channels and mention of overseas transfers" for price of $3,000 is going to be a scam.. Period.. (as folks above have mentioned...)
3. Do your research, and be persistent.. Where do sellers live exactly.. Can you verify address, see down from Google and see real residence? Where do they work? Have you called or checked to verify? How do they hold title? is there a loan? Is there a VIN number? Does it match description as to year/model etc? You can run CARFAX or title check on trailer just like a car in most locations.
4. Do try to have dealer/independent shop inspect if possible...
5. Have a back-out plan and be sure both parties agree to it.. You're likely liable for costs to get there and see it and go home, but the sellers should be on hook to return funds if not as described or legit reasons to back out of deal.. <It is unreasonable and silly to demand sellers pay your airline or driving costs if you back out, but people try anyway...>
6. Paper checks (including certified or "cashier's checks) are essentially worthless anymore for large $$ without independent verification, since any high school kid with a printer can fake them, and they do.. Either plan to do wire transfer, or use Traveler's Checks or cash, which could include pulling cash from ATM or csh advance at bank on credit card at time of transfer.. Don't offer to pay 100% in advance unless you have become very confident in relationship and integrity with sellers. (international wires between US and Canada are easy and legal, but buyer is going to be asked to fill out paperwork and disclose purposes, which some buyers might resist.. Resisting or trying to fool system with multiple transactions often creates more visible files for law enforcement...). A bank to bank wire (even if receiving bank takes into holding account to protect private account # of seller) requires each party to have an account in good standing at the bank, and gives you a starting place to pursue remedies if deal involved fraud.. Western Union and Moneygram are #1 and #2 for drug money launderers and criminal cash scammers, and you should be very wary about using either...
7. Familiarize yourself (including research here in EBay Scams threads) with the typical scams and frauds, to be sensitive.. It is ridiculously simple to hijack an account, post phony pictures of a phony trailer, and then ask for wire/money order via western union while trailer is stored at bonded phony warehouse secured by EBay, etc.. They buyer is selling for another, is leaving the country, needs to be contacted only by separate gmail or cell phone number, etc etc.. NOBODY should be fooled by these anymore... (But some are...)

Even if you follow all of these, there are risks, but if you are committed to find an Airstream of particular vintage and model/style, it is a national market and relatively thin market, meaning only a handful may surface in a given period, and you may have to take some risks to move quickly.. Good luck with your search...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:53 PM   #20
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2005 30' Classic
Kingston , Washington
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Lots of great information on here (especially from Condoluminum). Thanks again all!!
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:46 PM   #21
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1977 Argosy 24
Culpeper , Virginia
Join Date: May 2011
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Kevin is right, I put an add on Craig's list that I wanted a small airstream. We were contacted by two people. The first one was a disaster gutted and twice the cost of the one we ended up getting. The second person contacted us and it was dirty but almost all original interior was still intact. It was just what we were looking for and it only took a few days to work out our deal. He saw our add and had not advertised his RV for sale yet.

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