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Old 08-31-2005, 08:08 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Airstream values prior to 1990

How do you know how much an Airstream is worth prior to 1990? We are purchasing our first trailer and want to get a good deal, but want to get a quality trailer. We found a 1984 Limited in very good shape with only 1 big problem the refridgerator coils need to be replaced.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:11 AM   #2
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New fridge cost about 800 to 1500 dollars. A new coile for rebuild is 500 to 800 dollars.


As for value, allthough there is some info on this forum pertaining to values, it is easier to give description of potential unit and get a concensus of the forum.

Search trailer values and or "used Airstream prices"
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarknhounds
How do you know how much an Airstream is worth prior to 1990? We are purchasing our first trailer and want to get a good deal, but want to get a quality trailer. We found a 1984 Limited in very good shape with only 1 big problem the refridgerator coils need to be replaced.
Thanks
Take a look at this document:
http://www.vintageairstream.com/rr_t...condition.html

It has very good information to get you started.
Then you need to take a very close look at the trailer, perhaps you can find a forum member nearby to take along if you are not familiar with Airstream's little quirks.

Do a search on this forum with the following keywords:

frame separation
refrigerator
floor rot
axle

Those are also the main parts of the trailer that might need attention. A 1984 is now 20+ years old, and is definitely suspect to a number of more or less hidden damages.
However, the chances of finding a very intact 1984 model are much greater than, let's say a 1974 model of the same size.

Make sure you also consider your tow vehicle's limits and purchase of a good quality hitch in your budget.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:22 AM   #4
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Thanks

It is a 1984 Limited 34.5' it is on it's 2nd owner. It was ordered originally with everything fully loaded. It even has a central vaccuum system. Basically evrything works and everything is pretty much original. Short of the refidgeerator you could live in it right away. Some features: MachIII Coleman A/C, 50 gal bl, 30 gal gry, 50 gal fresh, 7cu ref(three-way), 2 new batt, 2 40lb LP tanks, all kit appliancecs, 3 axles, 2 twin beds.
Ballpark maybe?
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:25 AM   #5
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Ball park

About 8k fair to good shape to 15K for good to excellent shape
I sold a 1983 Excella 34 footer last year (search 1983 Excella for sale). It sold for 12.5 K It was not a limited. I know a forum member that bought a 1984 limited loaded about two or three years ago and she paid 12 - 13 K
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:37 AM   #6
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We're in the range then

It's exactly what we're looking for and it's in that range. We have to finance it and the bank will only finance 7,400, so we'll have to come up with the rest. We will be living in it about 8-11 months out of the year for at least a couple of years. We are used to cramped living though (2 kids and 2 dogs). (Bloodhounds, not exacly a mini poodle). We'll be traveling with my husband to work construction out of state, to pay off bills and save money to buy some land an build a house. So we need a quality rig!
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:38 AM   #7
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One thing that doesn't come up much in discussion of buying a used or vintage Airstream is the cost of transport, and supply and demand in your region.

Here in New England, a good used Airstream is hard to find and you might end up traveling a good distance to buy. At nearly $3.00/gallon for fuel (and climbing), and with low supply v. high demand in our area, a person might end up paying a little more in the Northeast than, say, Florida, California, or Texas. On the other hand, if you happen to live in one of the areas where Airstreams are more plentiful, you'll have more to choose from and lower cost of transport, and hopefully, you can get one for a better price. Just something to keep in mind when you're looking at those average price ranges.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:39 AM   #8
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I'd concur with Smily's value assessment. There are a lot of 34' trailers out there to choose from if you're patient. There's no reason to buy a junker as there are always nice ones for sale reasonably priced. You may just have to drive halfway across the country to get it.

Roger
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:56 AM   #9
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thanks

this one is actually about 1 1/2 hours away and it was listed locally in the paper. we were thinking about buying a larger new trailer in the 20-30K range, but after talking to some people we decided to start looking for an older trailer. Our Squadron Chief (currently in the AF, I will be out in dec) lives in a 1987 Avion right now and when I asked his advice he said buy an older airstream or avion.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:59 AM   #10
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By the foot

I have sold a few AS's and I have found that it is harder to sell the longer AS's than it is the shorter ones.

Point being that the 34 footer may have more room for negotiation.

It seems that a shorter trailer is worth more by the foot and in higher demand.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:59 AM   #11
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not so many limiteds?

When I search the internet for trailers, why don't I see many Limiteds, and tons of excellas? What are the main differences between the two, besides size?
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarknhounds
this one is actually about 1 1/2 hours away and it was listed locally in the paper. we were thinking about buying a larger new trailer in the 20-30K range, but after talking to some people we decided to start looking for an older trailer. Our Squadron Chief (currently in the AF, I will be out in dec) lives in a 1987 Avion right now and when I asked his advice he said buy an older airstream or avion.
What you buy should depend entirely on your needs. Recognize, however, that after you live in your $30k new trailer for a couple of years, you will have lost over half it's value to depreciation. A $10k twenty-year-old Airstream may require some maintenance during your stay in it, but it will probably still be worth close to what you paid for it when it's time to turn it. Even if you depreciate it fully, you'll still have lost less than you'd lose to depreciation on a new $30k white box trailer.

Roger
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarknhounds
When I search the internet for trailers, why don't I see many Limiteds, and tons of excellas? What are the main differences between the two, besides size?
As it implies..........."limited"
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smily
I have sold a few AS's and I have found that it is harder to sell the longer AS's than it is the shorter ones.

Point being that the 34 footer may have more room for negotiation.

It seems that a shorter trailer is worth more by the foot and in higher demand.
The Limited was (is?) an options package that included electric stabilizer jacks, leather upholstery and a few other items. I chose our 34' because it was a Limited AND had two doors. There were three other two-door Excellas for sale at the same time.

The 34' trailers are very popular with full-timers and snowbirds. The down side is that you need at least a 3/4 ton tow vehicle, and long-term storage is more expensive. There is a popular myth that the 34' trailers are difficult to tow, and it's truly just a myth. The only difference between towing a 34' and a 25' trailer is that you have to be a little more judicious with cornering as the 34' will cut closer inside. It does make it a little more difficult to get into tight gas stations, and may make some of those unusable without dropping the trailer. Other than that, they're no different to tow than a 25' and we use ours as a weekender, and store it on a pad on the side of the house during the summer.

That they're less popular with the weekend crowd causes the market to be narrower for the 34' trailers. That tends to keep the prices down as there isn't the demand that the smaller trailers have. They still don't depreciate much tho... the prices have been holding pretty steady.

Roger
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