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Old 04-25-2016, 07:57 PM   #15
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Financial Justification for an Airstream

I have about 25K hard cash in mine and it has MORE than paid for itself already in money saved on hotel rooms when we are working in New Mexico several months in a given year.

It is one of the better investments I have made, and we are about to head to NM again this week

Beside that, I really enjoyed building it, (my favorite project ever by far) and I enjoy using it.

Superat stultitia.

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 04-25-2016, 08:20 PM   #16
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For the analytical types, the attached is an interesting take on vacation cost comparisons.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Vacation_Cost_Comparison.pdf (133.5 KB, 155 views)

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Old 04-25-2016, 08:36 PM   #17
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Can you calculate the health benefits of stress relief? Can you quantify the value of the grin you can't wipe off your face when camping? I've done my share of "CBAs" (cost benefit analysis). When the benefits are incalculably high, the analysis is unnecessary. Cost justified. 😀
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:22 PM   #18
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As a mechanic and handyman I can assure people that you will in general get more towing miles over more years than you would with a wood frame trailer. There may be exceptions I don't know about. Also you can take an Airstream apart and put it back together more readily than a SOB. There some things that Airstream does I have doubts about but in general they used quality materials. The main thing I wish the factory had done is waterproof the floor especially the C channel area. A well built RV has been the topic of discussion with myself and other Airstreamers and RV'ers over many portable beverage container emptying sessions. It seems that the best built RV's never stayed in production because people went for couch size or carpet color or something other than structural integrity at a given price point. After a lifetime of RVing I'm still not sure I've seen the perfect RV! What I do know is that you should do what you enjoy now because tomorrow is the futures today. Or as somebody said "Be Here Now".
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:17 PM   #19
Len and Jeanne
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All the best on your retirement, Paula!

We tend to think in terms of psychic dollars. It's hard to put a price tag on them. We bought Bambi I slightly used for Can$35,000. We had just sold a second home (this was 2007) and were feeling flush. We were getting too old for tent camping. A baby Airstream was exactly what we wanted, and we had lots of good times in it.

Had we put that money into another piece of real estate, it would have depreciated drastically in 2008. As it was, Bambi I ended paying for itself because we had got some really good RV insurance on it that paid for the replacement cost of a new 2005 when ours was written off in a traffic accident. So $35,000 in 2007 got us $50,000 in 2015 (less the cost of the insurance,) which was the price of a new 16' International AS in 2005.

Of course, once we decided to upgrade to a 19' 2015 AS, our $50,000 had to be topped up. We also decided that we wanted a V8 truck to tow it, so upgraded our Tacoma to a Tundra. The new truck was the real expense, but the Tundra is sooo comfortable, and tows up those steep mountain grades like a breeze.

So now we're in the poor house, yet somehow feeling we got good value for our money. We spent 8 weeks this past winter on a snowbird trip to the Mojave desert, and always felt smug and snug in our tasteful AS.

Spending less money on an RV we didn't want seems like poor economy compared to spending more money on an RV that we really do want.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:00 AM   #20
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We will finish the last of all the possible modifications that will make the Airstreams the way we want them this May. We have probably spent too much, but as Paula said, they can function as the home of last resort in a financial melt down like in 2008 (all the signs are reappearing for a repeat performance).

If my wife were to pre-decease me, I would cheerfully sell the real estate homes and abide in the 31' Airstream full-time and follow the sun and heat. After all, it has all the comforts of home!
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TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

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Old 04-26-2016, 01:16 AM   #21
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Hi, not to brag, but our Airstream cost was 11,000 times more than our yearly income, and we still paid cash for it.

2005 Safari 25-B
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:51 AM   #22
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No justification, empty nest, within reason wanted to go 1st cabin - Airstream. If you want to play, you have to pay.
Charlie M - WBCCI 4045
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:45 AM   #23
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What can I say?
I have never done anything so financially irresponsible in my life, but I love my trailer!
2013 Classic 30 Limited
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:45 AM   #24
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Justifying purchase

Before you dig too deeply in the math, practice by trying to economically justify getting married. Some things just don't calculate.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:51 AM   #25
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My trailer was acquired new in 1969 by my parents. I've had to recently replace key items like copper water tubing for pec, new water heater, new AC, etc.. but otherwise the trailer looks and actually is the exact same trailer as it was when we brought it home in 1969 including the carpeting. I don't worry about the trailer when I'm on a trailer trip because it just works, instead I focus on having fun on my trips. Is that worth the additional cost that, even in 1969, was a premium over what other trailers my parents could have decided on? That is for each person to answer themselves. The same argument comes into any depreciating asset discussion including motorhomes, cars, airplanes, boats (now there's a big one), riding mowers (I'm buying a brand new John Deere instead of a generic MTD make - but is the Deere really worth the extra? - some may ask) motorcycles, original art, etc.. One can build an rationalization for themselves to purchase anything but in the end, something is worth exactly what someone will pay for it. And for now as I understand it Airstream is selling every single trailer they can build ...
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:53 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
(If your first response was bull****, you hit the nail on the head.)

Anyone with a basic grasp of financial reality can absolutely prove that there is no way to financially justify owning an Airstream. Even if you full-time in one (as I do) it's still a depreciating asset - and no matter how much money you pour into maintaining it, you'll only reduce the depreciation fractionally, and you'll never see any increase in value.

A Boat is a hole in the water, surrounded by wood or fiberglass...
...into which you pour money!

An RV is a hole in the atmosphere...
and this one ends exactly the same way!

So how CAN we really justify WASTING our money on these expensive toys?

The justification is to be part of a genuine FAMILY and sometimes a genuine TRIBE. How many "families" do you know which are no more than a group of people who occupy the same dwelling and yet seem to have nothing in common? And school - which for me was a refuge from a screwed up family? Now students at schools think they are practicing "freedom of speech" by bullying other students sometimes even to death?

The RV community as a whole has a lot of genuinely nice people - and quite a few wannabe's who hopefully can be welcomed and be convinced to drink the cool-aid....

Being an Airstreamer to me simply means taking TIME and FOCUSING on things like companionship, the joy of being helpful now and then, the tall tales told around campfires, the touching sight of a three year old kids "helping" daddy put down the stabilizers and helping mommy put up the screen room... and their parents patiently concealed laughter. It also means claiming victory after changing my own tire, and cramming that wretched 16 inch spare into the 15 inch carrier, and even if I do smell like a goat and look like a fright - Politely thanking a neighbor for offering his torque wrench, and then pulling out my Snap-On tool... so he can put away his Harbor Freight model.

And after I get over that moment of snobbery - telling the truth. I have an Airstream and a few top of the line tools, and YOU have three grandchildren having the time of their lives. Envy? I envy you (NOW!) 15 years ago when you were raising bratty teenagers... whew You paid your dues, and I dodged the bullets.

For me, being an Airstreamer means enjoying the finer things, but really relishing the finer people who participate in the family or tribe or cult. It also means never looking down on anyone with a SOB - if they've got the heart, the Airstream will find them in the fullness of time.

I'm Retiring next month and I can't stop being Pollyanna. Feel like I've been sipping on some really good white wine.

I'm going to stop procrastinating ... tomorrow or the day after.

Carpe Diem! Or seize the Carp for all I care.

This morning I had coffee sitting on the step of Eddie Haskill and I watched the wind blow the last of the blossoms off of the wisteria vines that grow wild here in Virginia. It's a good day to be alive.

My sentiments exactly. I don't view it as an investment question, I see it more like pride and pleasure of ownership. Especially nearing or being in retirement.
The Germans have a great saying that expresses it well: The last shirt has no pockets.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:48 AM   #27
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When people ask me why I spend so much for a Airstream, I tell them it's like the Single Malt Scotch I buy that cost $ 85.00++ a bottle and be able to travel all over the USA in a Airstream, is because I can.

If you have dreams of doing something, better do it ASAP.

NO ONE GETS OF OF THIS ALIVE, we do have a expiration date.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:11 PM   #28
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Spearfish , South Dakota
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So, in one month someone will pay you not to go to work. And you are wringing your hands in worry, Pollyanna?
Over what?
Your tales of travel, trauma, & tribulations are threaded here.
Is it the concept of having the whole world to play in, over the need to stay somewhat close to your rapidly decreasing time at work?

Have fun, , ,

"Chip Tank" is in Flagstaff Az.
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