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Old 11-06-2019, 09:38 AM   #1
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Hi,
brand new here so i'm sorry if this has been covered before.
My wife is finally thinking retirement in two years. I am a "retired" disabled former Sheriff's Deputy (17 years) put out to pasture too soon. I get a decent retirement and disability pay. Wife makes a fair living but still every penny counts.
When She finally retires we hope to travel for extended periods: 2-3 weeks out, home for a week or two and then back out again.

I have been looking at new Flying Clouds, 28 or 27Ft Twin. Of course these are not inexpensive but the engineering and quality has me impressed. I don't mind paying more to get more. To me value is in the quality and longevity of a item.

Roughly what kind of discount can you get from a dealer on a new Airstream? I know with the conventional every day trailers it's around 33-35% Just wondering if Airstream Dealers do the same?
Also I would be prone to buy a new last years model sitting on a Dealer's lot. I think those would be the best value?
Thanks all and sorry for getting long winded.
Rick
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:19 AM   #2
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RETLEO,

I can't speak to the discounts on a current year model on the lot, although these forums seem to suggest at least 15% as a starting point.

We purchased a new 2018 FC27 in May of 2019. The 2020s were just a few months away from arriving as well. Negotiated just under 30% off as the dealer really wanted to unload it. Also got the dealer to throw in some free accessories totaling around $250. Given there were not any major changes between the 2018 and 2019 FC models (or the 2020s), we were totally comfortable buying a new "old" model and saving some coin. We do realize that we lucked out since we went looking on a day where we found this available AS. The dealer told us a week later when we went to pick it up that he had received 4 calls about it since our visit. Thus, if you go this route, you may have to wait a while to find a new older model, or have to travel farther than you like to purchase it. Last, be ready to act quickly if you find it, as it probably won't be around long...
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:45 AM   #3
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And late fall is the best time to get a discount, because there are few if any buyers looking. Of course, right after the new models come out there tend to be pretty decent discounts on last year's stuff.
Do not disdain gently used units either. Someone moves up to a 33 after 2 years may have traded a beautifully kept 3 year old 28!

Do think about the tow vehicle you'll need for a bigger rig, and enough stuff for a 2 week outing.

And go spend several hours sitting in each of the models you are contemplating buying. Try the seating, bedding (and path to the john for midnight visits) and access every storage location. Your height, ability to get down to under bed storage, etc. Will be very critical. I would not choose a model with a microwave over the fridge... if you are six feet tall it is OK, but a child warming up mac and cheese... invitation for 2nd degree burns. Use your imagination plus consider mods you might have to make due to your disability. Adding a grab bar is no big deal, but the bathroom configuration may be a deal breaker on some units.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:56 AM   #4
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OK, I may not be the only one to tell you this, but study this forum and you will see that you are not buying quality for your money, maybe better quality than most other RV's but Airstream does not deserve the folklore label of quality. Be prepared for issues that you will need to fix yourself.
Second, you can save a bunch of money by taking your time and finding a used Airstream that has been well maintained and has been treated well. If money is no object, by all means buy new. You can save tens of thousands beyond what discount you might negotiate on a new unit. That should not stop you from visiting a well-stocked dealer to see what size and model interest you the most.
Larry
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:15 AM   #5
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+1 on buying this time of year. We were able to get 21% off MSRP by getting bids from large dealers nationwide and then asking our local dealer to match it on a factory order. You then wait 3 (ish) months for your factory fresh trailer to arrive.

Finding something at much higher discount than that would be quite a find. 30% off MSRP is an amazing deal and very rare.

Trailers that have been sitting on dealers lots for a long time have had a lot of people going in and out, opening and closing doors, tracking in dirt, sitting on couches, etc. Some have even been to RV shows with hundreds or thousands of people going in and out. If you get a fantastic deal on one of these units, or you need it right away, fine. Otherwise having the dealer order a new one from the factory was the way we went. You also get exactly the options you want.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:43 PM   #6
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A quality used AS could be a good option for you. We bought our first used snd after several years of use traded it in for a new one and received what we paid for it plus a big discount off sticker.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:17 PM   #7
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Unless you specifically want an Airstream and to be part of the wonderful community of AS owners, look at Lance, Nash, Oliver, and ORV coaches.

Unless you have been using a pickup as a daily driver, consider the motorhomes on the market as well as trailers.

The bigger ASs that you mentioned are quite nice. A 27 is a great choice for the type of travel you suggest. Small enough to fit and large enough to be comfortable. However, if every penny counts and you have no interest in full time travel, a smaller coach might be more cost effective.

ASs are a dream. They get complements from all who see them. However, there is less engineering associated with AS than most expect. Recent quality complaints may be changing that, but do not assume - research, inspect, investigate. There are great points to embrace .... low profile and light weight that's easy to tow and impacted less by wind; no slides eliminates common failures and leaks; the riveted shell can be taken apart and repaired; the appliances are common so repairable at most RV shops; the finishes are nice .....

You can upgrade to eliminate issues and add value/comfort, but do your research before you buy. Understand the good and the not so good.

There are lots of RV solutions. Hope to meet you on the road with yours. Pat
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RETLEO View Post
Hi,
brand new here so i'm sorry if this has been covered before.
My wife is finally thinking retirement in two years. I am a "retired" disabled former Sheriff's Deputy (17 years) put out to pasture too soon. I get a decent retirement and disability pay. Wife makes a fair living but still every penny counts.
When She finally retires we hope to travel for extended periods: 2-3 weeks out, home for a week or two and then back out again.

I have been looking at new Flying Clouds, 28 or 27Ft Twin. Of course these are not inexpensive but the engineering and quality has me impressed. I don't mind paying more to get more. To me value is in the quality and longevity of a item.

Roughly what kind of discount can you get from a dealer on a new Airstream? I know with the conventional every day trailers it's around 33-35% Just wondering if Airstream Dealers do the same?
Also I would be prone to buy a new last years model sitting on a Dealer's lot. I think those would be the best value?
Thanks all and sorry for getting long winded.
Rick
Rick, welcome to the forums! Thank you for your 17 years of dedicated public service. Sorry to hear about your disability but glad to hear you’re able to enjoy traveling.

I noticed the Airstream dealer near us, Ewald’s in Franklin, WI has a 27’ Globetrotter, 26’ and 27’ Flying Clouds with year-end discounts. As others have stated, you can submit requests for quote to several dealers and shop for your business.

I would expect dealers are looking for buyers like you. Our dealer sold a trailer to a couple from several states away because they had the best price.

Hope this helps!

Jeff
PS: Ask for George if you contact Ewald’s
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:43 PM   #9
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I know if you want to save a few $$ then used might be a good option if you have had a previous owner that took care of things. I know when I started looking for a Classic, I told my local dealership to look out for a trade in. I went up to look at three he had. One had gone through a tornado. Funny that the trailer looked good, but I noticed upon closer inspection that remnants of wind driven roofing shingles that were still wedged between the body and the rolled up patio awning. The next one he called me about looked perfect outside, but inside the previous owner had driven screws into the walls all over. Apparently he liked to hang things like keys, dog leashes, clothing on these screws. They weren't dainty cup hooks either. Just big end screws. There were others I saw. Some with carpeting in the bathroom that was urine stained in front of the toilet, and others that smelled like cigarette smoke.

Bottom line I kept rejecting what he showed me and he commented that I was so picky that probably a new trailer would be the only thing I would be happy with.

I thought about that and decided at that point that I would buy new. It ended up he knew how picky I was and when he saw my Safari that I was planning to trade in, he commented that my trailer was so clean he wouldn't have to do a thing to it. As a matter of fact a couple happened to be passing through town who were there looking for a used Safari. He told them that a cream puff was coming in on trade that day, so they hung around waiting for me to show up. Shortly after I parked I that couple came in as I was unhitching and deinstalling the sway control equipment. The couple spent about 20 minutes looking at trailer and 10 minutes later after going into the office they came back and said that they just bought my trailer. They took the Safari home a little later that same day after the dealer went through training with them.

Thankfully I was still working at the time and I also felt buying new while I was working (would limit its use) but I was buying during my peak earnings years. I figured if I waited till retirement I might be in a much different economic level that might make my choices more limited. I've never regretted that decision and after 16 years I still have that trailer.

When I do decided to hang it up, whoever gets my trailer is going to get a garaged unit that still stands up to the new ones (exterior wise) and is like new inside. Quite honestly some of the trailers of my vintage are less costly and lot simpler to maintain than the new ones rolling out today with all of the electronics.

Jack
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:11 AM   #10
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Thanks all for the great advice.....very appreciated.
I would probably be a buyer if possible to find exactly what I want or to order two weeks before Christmas or on a nice snowy day. I know the dealers are hurting for business in December. Plus I think it would be a tax advantage to take 1/2 of the price from our 401K one year and then take the other half a couple of weeks later in the new year.
I would not be opposed to buying a pristine used one. I take really good care of my "rolling stock" I learned this from my Dad who always said "take care of your equipment and your equipment will take care of you" Dad was a smart man. Prior to going into LE I drove semi's and heavy equip. for twenty years and then 17 years of depending on my patrol car confirmed his wisdom.
Right now my truck is a 2006 Toy. Tundra. It literally looks like new. I've had two guys within the last three months knock on my door trying to buy it. I get a kick out of that.
I know my 2006 Tundra would not be a good tow veh. for several obvious reasons. I will probably be looking for a two to three year old Tundra or a Ford F-150 with the 3.5 ecoboost. I'm a real Tundra fan but to get the carry capacity I will probably become a Ford owner.

I'm still pretty handy so little minor fixes don't bother me which would be needed with any new or used trailer. I can't see waiting or tying up a Dealer with little petty things to be fixed.
I have been studying RV's now for the last two years. Keeps me busy in the day learning about RV's. I have been leaning towards either a ORV, Arctic Fox, Lance or Rockwood. If my condition worsens then I would consider a Greyhawk Class C. BUT Airstreams are a American Icon.
I have been influenced greatly by watching Long Long Honeymoon on Youtube. I have seen the up's and down's of Airstream ownership by watching them. Their episodes with Vinnie have been really informative.
QUESTION:
If I could find a good well kept used AS 2 or 3 years old at what point do you go ahead and have it resealed? I know if it's been kept under cover would have a bearing on this but generally speaking?
Again,
Thanks to all for the great information and advice......Airstream owners seem to be a great bunch....I like that!
Rick
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:24 AM   #11
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Resealed? Do you mean the caulk? My example may not be representative, but I inspect the caulk frequently. When my Airstream was only two years old, the roof caulking was cracking and peeling in some places. I had a dealer remove the all of the old and replace the caulk, over $1000. The dealer would not use marine grade, only what Airstream uses. But, I did not think I could spend the time on the roof to remove and recaulk. The dealer uses scaffolding, smart way. The dealer says maybe 4 years before it needs it again, but I know many people who just don't do that. I have resolved that problem with 3M roof sealing tape. As for the sides, I have found a couple of leaks in the past 5 years, but I could recaulk those. I'd love to be near a dealer that could pressure test periodically, but no go.
Larry
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