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Old 07-03-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
Short Gal with a Big F250
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 46
Smile Newbie: Top five things you wish you had known prior to purchase

Hi there!

Shopping for an '05 International - either 25 or 28' footer.

Can you give me some words of wisdom on things you wish you had known prior to your purchase?

Trying to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible

Thanks! Pinky

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Old 09-13-2010, 11:07 PM   #2
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1999 19' Bambi
Modesto , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
how to overcome sticker shock

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Old 09-14-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
Wise Elder
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,020
1) I chased used too far before realizing that the best prices on a factory order were much lower than I thought.

2) Think carefully about twin beds, they do have advantages

3) Consider both local and nationwide dealers

4) Consider the cost of the hitching system, brake controller, tow vehicle modifications, and interior outfitting in your financial planning. You can spend $3,000 on parts if you get a ProPride hitch, a Maxbrake controller, and some wiring. You can spend $1000 on linens, Corelle, Lynx blocks, and sundries.

5) Think through your tow vehicle situation and assess any back maintenance. Many people find they have to replace their tow vehicle because it just isn't capable enough. I ended up doing a bunch of repairs to get my truck from the "snow plowing and occasional trips to the lumberyard" condition to "long trips towing 8000 pound trailer" condition.

Have fun, and good luck.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:16 AM   #4
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,842
Weights and capacities. In your case, the 25' and the 28' weigh almost the same (using current spec's), the 28' has a larger air conditioner and furnace.

Best use of living space. The 28' is only two feet longer than the 25', but the side dinette is more efficient, and allows a full lounge across the front. The bed is also easier to access.

Looking at used trailers, read up on corrosion and leakage problems. Right here in this forum.

Roadability/size. It must be something you can handle comfortably on your highways, or you won't go anywhere. Decide that first, then look at floor plans.

Dollars and sense. Get what you can afford to purchase, operate, and tow. The devil is not in the details, it's in the price tag.

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Old 09-14-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
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2009 19' International
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 69
Images: 13
...where to park it when not in use during the camping season?
Where and how to store it during the off season?
Any city/town bylaws against parking RVs on front streets, alleys, on your property, etc?
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,382
Images: 5
After 700+ nights and 60,000+ miles in Lucy (2005 25FB), these are the features that we would not like to live without.

The shower separate from the rest of the bath. This is a major plus for two or more people.

The built-in black tank flush option. If you use the trailer a lot like we do, this is a must.

Two bowl kitchen sink.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 672
There"s a lot of hype surrounding Airstreams so look very very carefully at the unit you 're actually purchasing. Fit and finish seems to be issue and the finished product is all over the board. Generally the materials are good (with exceptions) but the assembly can be anything from pretty good to down right bad ,and I mean really bad. You tend to notice these small details after you've taken ownership and although some of them can be corrected through warranty repair others could require major work to correct. So after you"ve decided on the unit,go over it from top to bottom ( bring friends) before you sign those papers. We're actually pretty happy with our unit but there's a long list of small fit and finish items that drive me crazy and should have never passed any real quality control. Seems ""good enough" is good enough for Airstream. Oh and if you find any rivets or screws missing you can find plenty of them under the cabinets or floor.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:35 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
2008 25' Safari SS SE
west plains , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 71
The twin beds are a good choice as they allow the bedroom to be useable as a room...for resting, dressing, emailing, etc. (due to the walk-around space).
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:58 AM   #9
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Vintage Kin Owner
1973 Avion Travelcader 25' , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8,983
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1. There's Never Enough Time for Camping.

2. They all eventually leak in some way, shape, or form.

3. Ownership can be addictive which can lead to more time here, or more trailers in the yard.

4. Plastic Flamingos are a Fashion Statement. Gotta love em.

5. That had I known I could get away with wearing flip-flops and delightfully tacky Hawaiian shirts for a week at a time I'd a bought one years ago.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:50 AM   #10
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2008 30' Classic S/O
Dearborn , Michigan
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The one thing I wish I’d known before buying our Airstream was-
the irresistible urge to camp once you own one.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:59 AM   #11
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,382
Images: 5
So true. We would rather be out in Lucy than at home, and we live three houses off the beach.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #12
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2010 25' FB International
Arlington , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,277
Images: 4
Upgrading to the international,..not really worth the upcharge, IMO.

I love it, just think I'd be just as happy with the flying cloud in the 25' FB.


"Stay Thirsty My Friends"

Tow Vehicle" 2011 Superduty Diesel!!"

TAC ID TX-1432
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:26 PM   #13
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Currently Looking...
Louisville , United States
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 127
Blog Entries: 4
Wish I'd known about:

1. How useful the Airstream Forums are in getting straight talk and good answers.

2. How to configure the hitch correctly for maximum stability

3. How quickly any RV can take money

4. How much I'd enjoy this--it's more fun than I thought it would be, and the whole family agrees!
'94 Excella 1000; '03 Silverado 2500HD
Louisville, Tennessee
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:30 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
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1978 31' Sovereign
Bella Vista , Arkansas
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 12

1) If I had known how great AS ownership was, I would have done it in my 30's or 40's.
2) When replacing an AS toilet, always order the porcelain upgrade. It is worth the extra model and be sure and get the sprayer attachment (and I am not saying that because I am a woman, my husband thinks it is cool too).
3) Check the trailer for closely for repairs done by the previous owner. Some may be done correctly, but as in our case the previous owner had no clue what he was doing and we had to redo everything he touched. It all turned out fine, but be willing to look things over carefully because not every homespun handyman knows what they are doing.
4) Study the forums and order the service manual for the model you buy. The schematics are killer and if you have an electrical problem they will save your life. You can order them at the airstream site for $60.
5) Don't sweat the small stuff - and it's all small stuff. There will always be something to fix. It is just like a house, or a Harley. If you think you are ever going to get perfect, you are probably wrong. But you are in for a great ride.

"Speaking without thinking is like shooting without aiming".
Lady K - Bella Vista, Arkansas
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25', 28', international, purchase

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