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Old 12-31-2016, 02:03 PM   #15
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1996 25' Excella
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Ditto on a lot of the above.
I paid 25K Canadian for my '96 25' classic. Thought I might have actually paid a bit too much for it but good units are rare here in Ontario Can. My friends in Michigan bought a new 27 foot light weight with slide for $25K US. Beautiful new unit ... their son asked the dealer what the expected life would be...he was told 15 years. I always figure my 20 year old AS will still be in service somewhere in 25 years. Theirs will be toast long before that. You can find a good AS mid 90's for your budget. You may find the aluminum is in rough shape due to aging/corrosion, but the unit should be a sound investment. You can decide whether to spend the money on a re-coat after using it for a year or two. I previously owned an '89 classic.; great trailer...little used. I paid $10,000 US for it in 2003; wished I had kept it. Late 80's early 90's are narrower but very dependable units. Early 80's come with some structural issues in the frame due to too light a grade of steel, but there are a lot of them on the road still today. Be patient and keep looking ...you will gain experience in seeing what a good deal really is versus just a good price.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:59 PM   #16
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1969 23' Safari
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If it were me (and it isn't) if you have a lot of time to look around I recommend downloading the RV Trader Apps and just start filtering on different trailer brands, lengths, conditions and ages. There are dealers that list new trailers on RVT as well as individual sellers. There are trailers in the classified section of this Forum that move very quickly and others stay on the listings for their full time allowed. It's interesting to see what sells and what sits - for price and condition reasons. I think that virtually every AS dealer sells multiple brands and they are just as happy to sell a Jayco as they are a Prevost motor home, it's all about moving inventory. There is no cost to visit RV shows and begin to look and see what you like and don't like. In the spring you may consider renting an RV (motor home or trailer) for a long weekend and go somewhere within a 150 mile radius of home which would be close enough to get home if you decide you don't like the whole RV thing.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:09 PM   #17
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Im allergic to depreciation. So when wife said she wanted a trailer, I said it would be a classic AS. You can pay a lot more for a used AS than other used models, but at least when you sell, you get your money back. We examined all our options, and she found which white box trailers she liked, but it didnt take long to see that the majority have a maximum lifespan of 10-15 yrs, which pushed us back to Aluminum.

Beware of TwoFootItis! We were stunned to learn there are MANY people who trade in their trailers every two years for a model two feet longer. Thats a major budget killer! We are champion cheapskates, so our budget was even less than yours. I knew we would have to buy the right trailer the first time.

After exhaustive searching, we finally settled on a 1989 34 Avion, which gave us much more bang for our buck. There are older trailers that have been pampered for many years. Ours shows signs of both regular use, and regular care. Our trailer is in superb condition and well accustomed to the road. By spending well below your 25K, we have plenty cash leftover for inevitable service and repairs.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:46 PM   #18
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In 2014 I bought a 2001 25' Safari rear twin model. The original owner replaced the front sofa with two LaZBoy recliners when he bought it. When he wasn't using it he stored it inside. I bought it from the second owner who only had it 9 months. It looked so good on the outside people asked me if it was new and were incredulous when I told them it was a 2001. I paid 19,500 for it including an Equalizer hitch. Two years later I traded it but I believe I could have sold it for close to what I paid for it or slightly more due to upgrades I did.

Watch the classifieds on here. If there is an Airstream Park near you check it out. That's where I found mine.

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Old 01-01-2017, 09:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by michaelt View Post
Hi all. New to the forums and doing a heavy amount of research. I've never owned an RV nor a truck and still in early stages of research with a tentative plan to hit the road by the end of the year. I'm not super handy but I am very tech savvy.

Since discovering Airstreams as a possibility for our trip, I really want to make it happen but the more I research the more complex this seems to get. As much as I would love to buy a brand new 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud, I don't think we can afford it and don't think I can convince my wife it's a good purchase either. Our budget is $25,000 and it seems with that range we can get a vintage Airstream.

I love the idea of restoring an Airstream but as I said earlier, I'm not sure how much I can accomplish having never done this before. I also live in the city (Seattle) and would have no place to park this while I worked on it. I've looked through the classifieds on here to see what $25,000 would get me and it's mixed. As an example, we really like the Flying Cloud 30 with Bunk. We would convert the bunk area into baby area for a 1+ year old.

The trip itself may last up to two years. We know it will be at least one year but could be a few more. Not really sure. It may not be something we for a long time but it's really hard to say.

I have a few questions:

1. From my understanding, Airstreams have a high resale value. If we bought a brand new 2017 Flying Cloud for $100,000, how much does it depreciate the minute we take it off the lot? How much would it sell for in two years? I ask this because while I like the idea of using the $25k budget as a down payment, my significant other is not convinced.

2. Generally how much work would a $25k 30 Airstream take to renovate? I'd hate to buy a 25k then have to use another 25k to get it to a decent place to live. And having never done this before, I'm afraid of screwing up.

3. I need more convincing arguments that a 25k Airstream from 30 years ago is worth it over a 25k brand new Jayco.

I think I'm what I'm trying to understand is what I'd get for 25k for a large AS. Obviously not exacts since this can range a lot but I'm setting a budget and need to set expectations if I were to go down this path.

Thanks all and I'm loving the community here. Great info.
Hi michaelt,

If you want to email your contact info I may be able to help you with your search for an Airstream travel trailer.

My email address for this forum is: thomm85n@icloud.com

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Old 01-02-2017, 06:11 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TMeeker View Post
Hi michaelt,

If you want to email your contact info I may be able to help you with your search for an Airstream travel trailer.

My email address for this forum is: thomm85n@icloud.com

TMeeker
Hopefully your offer will help the OP find a suitable trailer. With a little patience the right trailer can be found for less than $25k. However, it seems the OP has not been around since the first post. I hope he returns.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:10 AM   #21
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Smile

Hey everyone. Sorry for the late reply. First want to wish you all a Happy New Year! Thank you all for the incredible information! It looks like I have a lot of thinking to do. There are two RV shows coming up in the Seattle area so I'm going to see what they have.

I'm going to continue searching for the perfect Airstream in my budget in case I get lucky but rather than exclusively searching for Airstreams, I'm going to be more open and search for other brands as well. It seems like it's going to be a mission to find a decent 30 AS in my area that's in my budget and doesn't require a ton of work but they do seem to come up every now and then from what others are saying here.

Dreams are slightly crushed but helped put things in better perspective.

Edit: Really wish there was a better way to filter on airstreamclassifieds.com. Example is filter by under 25k, Washington, and 1990's.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:25 AM   #22
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You are living in a dream world...
Yep.

And don't forget to budget 50K for a tow rig that will pull the trailer.

Mike
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:45 AM   #23
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Yep.

And don't forget to budget 50K for a tow rig that will pull the trailer.

Mike
I have a separate budget for that. Also 50k for a tow rig is a bit much. That'd be a brand new 2017 F250 with several options. Unless you mean 50k for trailer + tow rig which makes sense.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:24 AM   #24
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Nube questions?

As you can see, lots of experience here! I would approach it a little different, unless you have traveled, pulling a travel trailer in the past. The TT size, the tow vehicle, and the type trailer are all important considerations, as well as the cost. I would suggest starting with a smaller used travel trailer, and see if you really enjoy the life on the road first, before investing your $25K. A 30' with some TV combinations, is a "lot" of trailer to maneuver if your new to this.

We have had 5 travel trailers, including 3 AS's. We purchased a used a pop up first, then a 06', 25' AS, then a 08' 17' Casita, then an 08', 25' AS again. All of this over the past 18 years. Each time we were able to sell within a year or 2 and, recoup most or all of our original investments. (Even made a little money on a couple of them!) In 2014 we finally took the plunge for a new AS 25' FC Twin. We were able to negotiate a great price, and are happy with our choice. (except we wish we had ducted air!) But my point is, most everyone here on the AS forum, has seen new members "jump in" and purchase a new AS, only to find out it was not for them and selling; or, upgrading/downsizing with in a year or so. Until you travel some with any TT, you won't really know if this life is what you expected. You will see many folks on the road with an SOB (some other brand) travel trailer. There are few AS's out there compared to "other" travel trailers. Why? Cost has a lot to do with it, but the camping life or travel life "is" what it is all about.
Even though we are spoiled with our AS, it really is the experience on the road we enjoy most. (although wife will not even let me look at another TT!)

As a famous beer pitch man said recently, "choose wisely my friend!"

You can quickly invest a lot $$ on any TT and TV combination, and new will certainly depreciate fast, so make your choices carefully, perhaps even rent an AS prior to jumping in with your savings. There are a few places that rent AS and the TV. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:34 AM   #25
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I would suggest starting with a smaller used travel trailer, and see if you really enjoy the life on the road first, before investing your $25K. A 30' with some TV combinations, is a "lot" of trailer to maneuver if your new to this.
We've traveled and worked remotely for 8 years around the world, just not with a TT. We're going to rent a setup for a weekend away to see what we like and don't like about it. We're pretty certain that this is what we want to do but it'd help to make the trip anyway at least to help select a TT and TV. Renting is certainly not cheap but think it'll be worth it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:49 PM   #26
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I paid just a few grand north of 25k for our 2007. Just look harder. And don't let the negativity keep ya away.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:53 PM   #27
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Remember that a thing is worth what a willing seller will take for it from a willing buyer. Check ppl for what they have sold Airstreams for, as well as what they have for sale. Yes, they are in Texas, but if they happen to have the right coach for you it would be worth it to drive down and get it. Also, remember that you can offer what you think a coach is worth TO YOU to anyone who has one for sale. If they say "Absolutely NOT!!!" you have lost nothing. If they say "Yes" you have purchased a coach. They may want to negotiate.

Keep in mind that condition is everything. A 2010 Airstream that has always been kept in a garage except when actually out on the road and has brand new tires, brakes, and batteries, and is absolutely spotless inside and out is naturally going to sell for more than another 2010 that has been outside all the time, has the original tires, batteries, and brakes, and will take more than a little air freshener and elbow grease to get presentable.

If you are handy and have the time, you might want to try to find a diamond in the rough. I'm not suggesting a project coach, but one that maybe needs a little tlc.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:00 PM   #28
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I have a separate budget for that. Also 50k for a tow rig is a bit much. That'd be a brand new 2017 F250 with several options. Unless you mean 50k for trailer + tow rig which makes sense.

Purchase price of my three year old turbodiesel truck and twenty-two year old vintage kin trailer was a couple of hairs shy of $30k. With a lifetime of experience -- and a trailer bought below market due to problems -- I also knew that I'd spend well more than the $10k on the TT that I posted above.

Sweat equity. And patience. Add in those two if nothing else meets the budget and much more can be done for less.

Original condition, even worn, is worth much. Great exterior (with allowance for AS clearcoat deterioration). Past that, interior water damage and electrical fires. (Avoid salvage title).
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