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Old 01-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
2014 22' FB Sport
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 227
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How do you buy long distance?

I'm a newbie here, so I'm not even sure where to post this. But I'm sure someone will set me straight.

My wife and I are looking for an Airstream. The model we're looking for--Flying Cloud 20--is very rare. I really want to buy used to save a few bucks, but there are virtually none in our area. There are a few far, far away. I can't figure out how to ascertain that the trailers are worth the cost of a ticket to check them out--I'd have to be pretty sure it was right to spend the money on a flight--and I can't figure out how to "take it to my mechanic."

Given the rarity of all the Airstreams, I'm assuming that this is not an uncommon problem, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to solve it. But I'm pretty sure you all know. So any thoughts would be much appreciated.

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Old 01-21-2014, 02:12 PM   #2
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Are you looking for a new- or recent-year FC20 then?

If you're looking for new, a large dealer like Colonial Airstream that has one in stock may be helpful for you. They may also have a lightly-used one available. A reputable dealer will provide you with a written description of the trailer's condition and should be amenable to an arrangement whereby you put down a deposit and go to inspect it, and close the transaction if it's as-described or get back your deposit if it's NOT as-described. Of course there can be snags in a process like that, but a reputable dealer should deal honestly.

It gets more complicated when you're buying from an individual. For the most part it's not difficult, but not everyone is as honest as we'd like them to be and not everyone has the same idea of "excellent condition" even when both parties are being honest. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #3
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2014 25' FB International
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 591
It's not uncommon AT ALL to "see" folks on the forum drive half way across the country to get an airstream. It is possible to ask for help with an initial inspection from a member located close to a particular airstream for sale.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,375
Down the right side of the portal page of the forums, is a section titled "airstream inspectors" where you can request someone in that area go look at a trailer for you. I think, for the most part, we're fellow AS owners with some experience in the trailers (we are anyway). We've done it a few times for people and have a blast. You could try that route to get an idea of a trailers condition before you fly in to see it.

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Old 01-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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2015 27' FB International
2006 25' Safari FB SE
2004 19' International CCD
Oak Creek , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,591
1. Ask for lots of pictures including detail shots of dings or wear.
2. Ask for someone to look at it for you. A forum member or a dealer if close by to the seller who can check it out and test the systems.
3. Jump on a plane and check it out. A $300-400 ticket is cheaper than $1000 worth of unknown problems.
4. Jump in your vehicle and go get it.
This is the strangest life I've ever known - J. Morrison

2015 Airstream International Serenity 27FB
Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel

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Old 01-21-2014, 05:53 PM   #6
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1960 33' Custom
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
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I'll throw this in… I arranged with the seller for a tow truck to transport their trailer the relatively short distance to a facility that could verify from my description etc that the trailer was as described; the seller could follow along and assuming the facility could call me to say it was as described that they could hand the bankers cheque that I'd FEDEX'd down in advance over to the seller for the title. If the seller could take the trailer there themselves it would have been even simpler. Second trailer I just kept my fingers crossed and drove the 2000 km or whatever really fast before they could change their mind.

1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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