Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-25-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Charlotte , North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 50
new or used...

In buying a motorhome, we all more or less know the advantages and disadvantages of buying used vs buying new...My cousin and her husband bought a used Winnebago, that I borrowed for a week in the NC mountains...

But what about trailers? Other than options and ordering exactly what you want is there any real advantage in getting new one over a used. You check for wear, yes, but isn't one of the advantages of Airstream trailer is they really seldom wear out? Isn't why there are so many vintage AS out there?

mack-in-nc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
Rivet Master
c_lewis77's Avatar
1982 34' Limited
Brunswick , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,084
Images: 22
My Airstream is 30 years old and doing great. Like anything, maintenance is the key to longevity. I think the vintage models have a lot of character. I would probably have a hard time doing many modifications to a new rig, especially considering the cost. I enjoy working on mine and have come to know just about every rivet intimately!
Your perfect trailer depends on what you are looking to do with it. A new one could be the last one you ever will be vintage eventually

1982 34' Limited
2000 Excursion V10 4x4
WBCCI #3321
TAC #GA-24
c_lewis77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
overlander64's Avatar
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,389
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
new or used...

Greetings mack-in-nc!

One of the things to consider when thinking in terms of a pre-owned Airstream travel trailer is whether you want Vintage (25-years old or older) or a more recent model.

Originally Posted by mack-in-nc View Post
But what about trailers? Other than options and ordering exactly what you want is there any real advantage in getting new one over a used. You check for wear, yes, but isn't one of the advantages of Airstream trailer is they really seldom wear out? Isn't why there are so many vintage AS out there?
If you are thinking about a late-model pre-owned Airstream travel trailer, you can expect to gain the economic advantage of allowing the first owner(s) to absorb the big hit of initial depreciation. Probably the biggest unknown with a coach upon which the two-year manufacturers' warranty has expired, is just how vigilant the first owner(s) were in pursuing the resolution of any warranty issues encountered during the critical first two-years. Where the first owner's vigilantly followed up on warranty repair issue resolutions and kept up with routine maintenance, a late-model, pre-owned coach can provide great value.

The older the coach that you examine, the more care that will be required as there will be a higher probability of issues that might be present resulting from postponed maintenance -- floor rot issues, rear end/front end separation issues, frame rot issues, window and body penetration sealing issues, bad torsion axles, etc.. In addition, like household appliances, RV appliances also have a built-in obsolescence factor so once they reach a certain age, the usual recommendation of repair technicians is to replace rather than repair -- and it seems that age is usually around ten years of age for most appliances to no more than twenty years -- on the older vintage coaches (pre-1980), many of the appliances were more rebuildable (PAR water pump, Armstrong Bay Breeze Air Conditioner, Dometic RV Refrigerators, etc.), but even those appliance have a finite life expectancy.

Beyond budget, there are other reasons that some people consider and purchase pre-owned or Vintage Airstream travel trailers. There is the appeal of the older coaches with their 1960s/1970s design themes and nostalgia; as well as the availability of certain floorplans that can't be duplicated in current model coaches. Despite, the undeserved (IMHO) bad reputation of the Vintage coaches with rear bathrooms, I wouldn't have an Airstream travel trailer without the rear bathroom because I find the additional bathroom space provided in this floorplan to be worth any additional maintenance required to maintain the sealing on the coach. The initial reason that I purchased my 1964 Overlander rather than a new 1995 25' Airstream was that I couldn't tolerate the mid-bath floorplans in the new Airstreams and looked until I found my '64 Overlander that was in ready-to-camp condition. The initial condition of my Overlander allowed me to spread its restoration/refurbishment over a period of nearly five years while I retained the use of the coach throughout the process -- as all of the restoration work was confined to the off-season which allowed me to take advantage of specials offered by vendors during their off-season for projects that may have been too complicated for their shops during the busy camping season.

A key component to the new versus pre-owned is how particular you are about the combination of floorplan, interior color scheme/decorator plan, required factory options, etc. Purchasing pre-owned generally means being a little more flexible about colors and options to get a desired floorplan, but with perseverence, just about anything desired can be found given a generous time-line and a willingness to travel to find the desired coach.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing Question- 2012 Touareg TDI- Airstreams in general or 2011 Flying Cloud 23fb Roger L Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 21 05-17-2014 07:32 AM
New owner from California calair Member Introductions 18 04-25-2012 10:20 AM
New Airstream traveler steverino The Pet Forum 3 04-08-2012 11:34 AM
Repairing or rebuilding Tambour cabinets? lewishw Cabinets, Counter Tops & Furnishings 19 04-01-2012 07:59 AM
Stolen in Seattle Area - Brand New 31 foot Airstream! Airstreamnw Our Community 47 03-28-2012 05:35 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.