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Old 08-16-2014, 05:28 AM   #15
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
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step back from our Petri dish

Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
Thanks again to all for the advice. I notice a few of you suggested I take a possible purchase to an AS dealer for a thorough check. But what if I'm buying a used one from an AS dealer directly? Can I trust AS dealers to rectify hidden problems before they sell a used model? Does Airstream hold their dealers to a higher standard?
If the unit is a consignment model assume the dealer has done no inspection. If it is a trade-in or inventory, assume the dealer did a quick inspection and fixed any obvious or safety problems . (e.g. no moisture check)

An inspection is only as good as the person doing it so.... much depends on the reputation of the dealer and who the service dept puts on it. Keep in mind the dealer has seen every single major problem many times and has a very good idea of the cost to repair. The service department is not the sales department so if you pay them to inspect, it may be more independent than you think.

If it is consignment, and you pay the dealer's service department to inspect it, and they put a good tech on it, they will likely come up with a pretty good list with severity and cost of repairs. Talk directly to the service manager to do this, not the salesman.

If the dealer owns it, assume it had cursory inspection for major and safety issues. If you want more, a paid inspection by a good tech in the service department should turn up stuff - a third party inspection may better.

Keep in mind as you read this Airstream forum that it is a Petri dish for major problems. We do learn what to look for here, but also need to avoid getting too worried.... many many more people come here when they have a problem, than those with the same year/model without the problems.

If it is on a dealer lot, do not be shy about asking to spend a hour or so yourself in the unit looking and getting a feel for things. Ask to hook up the power and water

If you are prepared with a list of items from folks here and get a good inspection with an Airstream expert, your odds of knowing what you are buying go way up.

Then get it for a price that leaves you room for a few repairs.

2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:52 AM   #16
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Rear floor rot is what I would be most concerned about. What is the sub floor made of? Plywood is more desirable and more rot tolerant.


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Old 08-16-2014, 07:06 AM   #17
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2006 23' Safari SE
Dallas , Texas
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We have a 2006 and have been very happy with it.

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Dana and Olga
2006 Safari 23
2011 Tundra Double Cab
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:59 AM   #18
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2004 28' Classic
Fresno , California
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
I love the older Airstreams and am now on my third, a 90 25 Excella, 99 27 Safari and a 95 25 Excella. All three from either California or Arizona eliminating potential problems from those in other parts of the country. I always change the converter, new technology help the batteries.
Buying older you can take advantage of someone else paying the depreciation. Many buy new, use them infrequently and sell them in excellent shape.
In years past I “tinkered” with Jaguars and Porsche, the Airstream is much more user friendly.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #19
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
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In 2013 we became caretaker #3 of our 1999 Excella. Some floor rot, removed carpet to install laminate flooring, repaired folding step, replaced skylights with Maxims, removed The sorta average Fantastic Fan, replaced flush valves and black water rinse device, rear storage hatch latches, and added another AC.
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:36 AM   #20
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Morrill , Nebraska
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I would not rely on a dealer to check the coach out. Whether it is on consignment or not.
Get an experienced person to check it out. Then (if desired) have the dealer make the repairs. Make sure they did what they claimed.

Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
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