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Old 05-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #15
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
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New versus Old

We looked at both new and old and ended up buying a 2008 model "lightly used" in August 2011. The price was substantially below new. The used model also came with a sway control hitch and a number of accessory items affording us additional savings.

If you buy a recent used model, plan to spend some additional money, as well as time, addressing issues you may not uncover at the time of purchase. We spent $400 to have an Airstream dealer "thoroughly" inspect the trailer before we paid the owner. Three months later we discovered we had substantial floor rot as well as a number of bad leaks. This situation necessitated a trip to the factory where they replaced about 1/3 of the subfloor and all of the vinyl flooring. The factory also installed a street side awning and made some minor repairs. Separately we replaced the four year old original tires as a safety precaution. I also added LED lighting to the interior and upgraded the converter myself.

Even though the costs associated with repairs and additions have been substantial, we are still ahead of the game economically and very much like our trailer. No buyer's remorse at all. However, if I had known the trailer we were buying had the floor rot problem at the time of purchase I'd have walked away from the deal and purchased a new one from the dealer who did the $400 inspection. It is ironic the poor job of inspecting a used trailer cost this dealer the sale of a new unit. In addition, should I ever trade my current trailer for a new unit, I will go to a different dealer to make the purchase.

It took us a year to find the right used trailer and we looked at a number of really good units and some poor units before we landed on our trailer. My observation is that units 10 years old or newer in excellent condition tend to sell very quickly and go for a premium over trailers in average condition. Poorly maintained units tend to languish on the market for months unless very sharply priced. My other observation is some sizes and floor plans seem to be more popular than others on the used market.

Good luck. Whatever you do will be right. Life is too short to agonize. If you enjoy traveling with your trailer the experiences will be priceless.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:08 PM   #16
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New, no wait, old, no ...

The wrap around windows add so much to the light and feeling of space. So do the aluminum interiors, much like mirrors do. Obviously if you buy new you get to ask for all the bells and whistles you want. However, a quick trip thru the classifieds will let you see that a used Airstream about 5 or 6 years old will cost you about 60-65% of a brand new one. That is a significant price differential.
If money is not a consideration, new is good. But remember that an Airstream, with some care, will last a lifetime. Ours is a 27 ft 1984, wrap around windows in the front. 28 years old and in the prime of its life. (-: The price was right. And we have made many significant improvements (inside and out) without even scratching the price range of a new one. Always fun to have people ask me how old it is and watch the reaction when they are told...
That said, I search the classifieds daily...sigh

Good luck! And enjoy!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #17
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It was not to long ago that my wife and I went through the same Scenario. In the end we bought a new 25' FC. Not sure of your age but from your post I gather that you are close to our age mid to late sixties and at that age health is always a consideration in making major decisions. It did in ours and it was one of the main reason we bought new.

We looked at used AS on the web for months even made an offer on one. However, I found that most used AS were not in the local area or were not what Claire and I wanted. Also the search was taken longer then I wanted so we decided to bite the bullet and buy new. We are glad we did. First and foremost we bought what we wanted and second the warranty is nice.

I am not one to worry about depreciation because we purchase for the long term. Yes health issue could be a problem but heck you made it this far so why do you think you will be in poor health in five years or so?

Yes new is expensive but if you can afford it I would strongly recommend going new. You worked hard for where you are and no doubt made many sacrifices along the way. Now is the time to pamper your bride and yourself.

Looking to seeing you on the road

John
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:59 PM   #18
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Consider doing a factory order. We got exactly what we wanted and didn't pay a dime for things we didn't want. From order date to delivery was about six weeks. Depending on the dealer, factory orders can produce discounts due to the elimination of flooring costs.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:07 PM   #19
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I know this thread is a month old but to add my thoughts, You could still get used and what you want. You also mentioned I believe not necessarily having it that long. Personally I would rather have used and the 25-30K of cash left to make it mine. to each his own I guess. I like the pano windows but I would not want them in my bedroom. Also, I bought a used one with the upholstered walls. I have since come to like it and actually thing it would be great to have a classic with the addition of wood cabinets. Yes, this coming from a person that wanted an International at first. Oh and for me I would rather not have a dinette. I have a place outside a pop up leaf table inside and that's enough but again to each his own.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:21 PM   #20
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Oh, forgot to mention that your 25' used Safari option could be gussied up. I have an '06 Safari twin and since Feb I have added two fantastic vents with sensors, A new microwave, top end mattress, LED lighting all over with clear lenses, an entertainment system that includes led Tvs, Blueray Hdmi switching, subwoofer, soundbar, new radio upgrade with whole trailer Bluetooth voice command and hands free calling and it wasn't that hard to do. at least all but the HDMI wiring.. I also added a rear view camera for towing.
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