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Old 08-11-2014, 12:10 AM   #1
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Feeling comfortable buying a 9-year old AS?

I'm in the market for a used AS trailer and found a 2005 International 28. Would most AS veterans in the market feel comfortable buying a 9-year old trailer, even if it appears to be in good shape from just a walk-through? If everything runs okay (i.e., lights, faucets, toilet, air conditioners, fantastic fans, tv(s), gate valves, hitch), do I have to worry about anything else falling apart on an AS this old?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:42 AM   #2
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Whether you should consider this trailer really depends upon your tolerance for surprises, and the thoroughness of your walkthrough. If you have the time you could find a nearby fellow ASer to walk through the trailer with you. If you have a dealer nearby perhaps the current trailer owner would allow you to borrow his trailer for a day to have it looked over. Even a non-AS dealer could be better than nothing. Is seems that floor rot in AS trailers is a repeating theme here on the forums so looking for signs of leakage and water damage might be worth another inspection.

Budget to spend some money after you've brought your trailer home to take care of things that probably need to be addressed like new battery/batteries, new tires, bearings, brakes, etc.. Perhaps you'll need a weight-distributing hitch - if you don't have one yet you really should consider it. If you haven't already taken the trailer into the dealer you might want to once you're the owner just to get a baseline on anything critical that should be done.

My tolerance for surprises is pretty high. I recently purchased a 10 year old AS. I didn't perform a physical walkthrough, nor did I have an independent party look it over before purchase. However, once I owned it I did take it into the local AS dealer right away, and had them perform basic maintenance, and do a detailed walkthrough of my trailer - essentially what they would do if I was trying to sell the trailer to them, but in more detail. They did discover some things that I had them take care of, and others that I took care of myself. A few others I've put on the back burner. If you can get the trailer for your "right" price then a few surprises might be acceptable to both you and your wallet.

Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:54 AM   #3
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Best bet is to get a walkthrough with a knowledgeable forum member. Must do is get a moisture meter and check the floor in several places. http://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-...7753804&sr=1-2 Moisture should be uniform and below 20%. Problem areas are near the door and the floor below awning brackets, front and rear pano windows and the rear wall. If abnormal or high readings are found expect some effort drying the floor and sealing the skin detailed in other threads. Search on the term "floor rot". If the wet area measured feels "solid", you should be OK. If it feels "mushy" you might be getting into something more that would dictate partial floor replacement which is a formidable task. - Brad
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:18 AM   #4
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Some folks with mid 2000 Airstreams were experiencing cracked frames. Airstream has some type of strengthening kit for the problem. I met a couple while at Jackson Center having this repair done. I was disappointed to hear of this type of flaw in such a new trailer. I do not have details on the problem, but I'll bet these Forums can provide more information.

So, be aware there was some type of frame problem in the era and size of trailer you are considering. It is another reason to have your potential purchase appraised by a 3rd party expert. Hopefully it was just a limited problem on a limited number of trailers.

David
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:24 AM   #5
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I agree with the airogant one, any seller with nothing to hide should be willing to allow you to have it thoroughly inspected, otherwise, walk away. There will be others. You also run the risk of losing out on a good deal if you hesitate too much and you really want it.

However after a thorough assessment, if there are no glaring issues and the price is right, you may have found your new passion. Remember, it's not the last AS on the market, just the last one you looked at. My wife and I lucked out and bought ours from a wonderful couple three states away and had no surprises or issues really.... We could not be happier. Keep us posted and good luck!


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Old 08-11-2014, 06:58 AM   #6
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I have a 2006 that I've used and abused with over 100,000 road miles, road salt, temperatures between 3 and 113 degrees, etc. I average about 90 nights per year and have a been absolutely thrilled with how well the trailer has held up. A lesser brand would surely be falling apart by now.

I believe the frame issues mentioned above were only in the 22 foot models.

The only major failure has been the fridge, and it cost about $700 to get a rebuilt and beefed up cooling unit. I'm still on the original water pump, a/c, and all other systems.

I'd say you should plan on replacing the batteries, then get up on the roof and reapply the Trempro/Vulkem sealant, and check the Acryl-R sealant around the windows. Check the big skylight because the plastic gets brittle from UV exposure and mine began cracking. There's a nice polycarbonate replacement available that will last a lifetime. Other than that, get out and enjoy camping.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:28 AM   #7
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A nine year old Airstream is not an old Airstream. As already suggested, see if you can have it checked out and if everything is working and the price is right, go for it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:09 AM   #8
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Wow, thank you all for the great insight and relayed experience - I appreciate it! One thing - is there a good place here in the forum to contact a local member and ask for his or her time and experience to help with a walk-through?

Thanks again everybody!
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:14 AM   #9
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9 years old is a baby. Ours is 19 years old, and we bought it without hesitation, and there are plenty of people here with much, much older ones.

That's not to say it may not have issues - parts break, things wear out, etc. But a 9 year old Airstream shouldn't be worn out and ready for the junkyard. That's what SOBs are for.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:19 AM   #10
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We have a 1999 28 Excella that we bought to full-time in. Our replacement has been as follows:
Electric heating element in hot water heater
Fan in A/C Heat Pump roof unit
Refrigerator
Water Regulator
New Batteries
Tires
Bearings and brake check every year
Going in for axle alignment Tuesday

So still love my trailer and know these things are in great shape.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:39 AM   #11
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Budget for repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
... do I have to worry about anything else falling apart on an AS this old?

Thanks for any input!
In 2010, We purchased a 2006 30 ft. Classic from the second owner and have not been dissatisfied. No matter how good the unit looks, budget about $1,000 to $3,000 for repairs and upgrades during your first couple of years of use.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:40 AM   #12
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We have a 2006 and had to replace the AC, but luckily it was still under extended warranty. You can probably purchase an extended warranty if you'd feel more comfortable, but the cost is quite high. We replaced the tires when we bought ours and had it checked over at the local AS dealer. It still looks brand new and I love it!
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #13
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Look on the Portal page

Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
One thing - is there a good place here in the forum to contact a local member and ask for his or her time and experience to help with a walk-through?
On the right-hand margin of the portal page there is a link to a list of volunteer inspectors.

There are also links to a very detailed inspection checklist you can use for guidance.

Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:46 AM   #14
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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?
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