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Old 10-17-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Fuel Prices & Airstreams

I'm working on closing a deal on a new AS 25 and a new 3/4 ton TV. However, I've been watching the price of oil lately and see that today it has hit a new record at almost $90 a barrel. This will most likely quickly translate into higher prices at the pump. My question is, does the price of fuel have a large impact on the deal I can get on the AS? Do AS sales take a big hit when the price of fuel goes up since the TV's typically get lower gas mileage and the higher cost of towing could keep people out of the market? I know from my personal past experience that the large car/SUV/Truck market usually suffers and prices come down on the big engine models so I'm expecting to be able to get a decent discount on the TV but not sure on the AS. Thanks for your insight.

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Old 10-17-2007, 11:09 AM   #2
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Oil prices affect the entire economy so I'm sure AS sales are affected somewhat. The thing about AS's is there is always some level of demand and dealers don't have tons of units in stock. As an auto dealer I have 500 vehicles in stock so when things get tight I'm affected alot more than an AS dealer with 20-50 units in stock. If you negotiate in good faith you'll get a great deal on both the TV and the AS

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Old 10-17-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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Yes and no. Good deals are around, but I don't think that Airstreams prices have been particularly impacted by recent spikes in fuel prices. We bought our '05 25FB new in June, 2006. We feel that we got a really good deal at 22% off sticker. Keep in mind that it was a left-over from the last model year. I haven't heard of any better deals since, even with the continually rising gas prices.

A late model used Airstream's price may come down a little with higher gas prices, but I'm not even sure about that.
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2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RIstream'n
Oil prices affect the entire economy...
As an auto dealer I have 500 vehicles in stock so when things get tight I'm affected alot more than an AS dealer with 20-50 units in stock...
no doubt about the economy statement...

while maybe on the 'stock' issue...

keep in mind the a/s dealer OWNS the inventory.

they buy 'em from j/c, which isn't how auto dealerships are structured.

dealers do (vehicle and a/s) have similar insurance, real estate, financing and operating cost issues

while auto dealerships stand to benefit from service and volume revenue that only a few a/s shops match.


the 'cost of money' may have a more direct effect or big ticket items like rvs...

during the carter administration when interest rates were 15-25% there was a B I G decline in rv sales.

and a price drop that didn't offset the decline much.

of course we experienced fuel rationing then too...

so don't expect to have ANY price change based on the oil roll-a-costa...

instead expect to see the factory produce some small lighter units that don't require a big block gasser or sludge burner...

about 1-2 model years after the bang.

but even those units may see price INCREASES...

a/s has had a 2-7% price increase over each of the last 4 model years.

your dealer may have old inventory to move but they've long since purchased those units...

and can't exactly give 'em away...



otoh the fuel prices can and do have an immediate effect on USED RV prices...

big or small
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:02 PM   #5
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Whether you pay cash or floor plan your inventory a slow down is a slow down and the less inventory{money tied up} the better. So if an AS dealer has 20 or so units he's not crippled by a slow down. It's alot easier to adjust his days supply quickly is all I'm saying. And although an AS dealer doesn't have as much service to bank on he does have an much,much larger markup. A typical car has about 3-4% m/u and an AS has 20-25%??? But I digress sorry....
I think sales will be affected but an AS is unique and they're not piled up so regular discounts will be there but probably not anything out of the ordinary
The important thing is that you buy one!!!
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:44 PM   #6
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It has been rather amazing to watch oil spike while fuel prices remained fairly steady (and still below the inflation adjusted peak circa 1980). Fuel prices have more to do with refinery capacity and demand factors right now than crude oil prices. Never confuse the cost of creating a good with the value of that good on the market!

There is no shortage of money for loans, either.

The economy is booming, employment near full, real income rising, inflation low, - the only bump is in housing and that one is still primarily an adjustment for a bubble.

The RV industry rag sees the current growth trend continuing. I know the local Airstream dealer is doing quite well, thank you, because I end up getting the referrals for potential membership and the salesman tends to bring a new rig to show off to some of our rallies. (what? 3 new ones in the BB this month? way too much paperwork ;-) )

As for fuel and RV's - it is a minor part of the overall cost, which is why recent increases have not had much of an impact on RV travel. Look at taxes and registration for a new rig, never mind the depreciation, and think about how much fuel that money could buy.

Whether you have a minivan towing one of those new Safari Sports or a one ton towing a 34 footer, your fuel efficiency is still very likely going to be in the 10 - 15 mph range or so. There's just not that much difference from one end to the other - and that shows in that the worry seems mainly in discussions and not in what people actually do.
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:55 PM   #7
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aaaahhhh optimism, I love it. Stop listening to the doom and gloom news and watch what's going on and you'll see a difference. Well said Bryan
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:15 PM   #8
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I have a classic '76 Sovereign I pull with a not so classic 1986 Ford F250. Her Majesty burns diesel at a minimum of $4.00 a gallon and she gets about 15-20 mpg pulling the Sovereign. Gas runs around $1000 to $1200 for a trip to Southern California from Seattle. A comfortable trip to San Diego takes three or four weeks, depending on how long we want to stay in various places. We only pay to stay where we really like the view and often find boondocking with terrific views. Allowing for a boondocking fudge factor of four days each way we pay for 20 days. Oregon camping last year was about $20 a night in state parks, (we plan ahead and book ahead) and California runs about $5.00 more. Using a California high and adding another $5.00 for this year I get a $30 per night high times 20 nights or $600 for lodging. (We always book ahead for State Camp Grounds) You eat whether you are at home or away, but in your RV you eat at home a lot more, at least we do. So we don't count groceries. That means the two of us can travel to the sunny south for $600-$700 apiece. When's the last time you flew somewhere, spent 28 fun filled days for that price? Remember, in an RV the adventure is in the trip and not just the destination. The price of motels and hotels average $100-$200 in various states for modestly priced rooms, you eat every meal out, you pay to rent a car or for cabs, public trans, vans and so forth. If you stay near the beach you can double your room rate. We refuse to stay anywhere that wants more. ie. You can stay at the Hilton off the beach in Del Mar for $110. Camping is near the beach and $30 for the family. I think all this means the price you pay to travel hauling your trailer, no matter what it is, is still not keeping up with the price of lodging. We love nature and the woods and the beach and they are all still free. It is true that the lighter the vehicle you pull the better the milage, but, the caveat is I find myself going faster when I haul lighter so I end up getting just about the same milage. I go 45 mph up hill, Yeah I know, in the F250 and she rumbles along, and I average 15-20 mpg. I go 55 to 65 up hill in the Astro hauling a Coleman Tent Trailer and I get just about the same. Finally, I think you pay the money up-front when you buy an RV. The more you spend for the RV the longer it takes to catch up. It is really an investment in a future you plan around travel with that trailer. You lose if you don't use it. The more you use it the more you gain in many ways. As far as I am concerned trailers are the way to go because we keep up the vehicle that pulls it for many uses other than pulling the trailer. Her Majesty hauls wood, goes to the dump, helps neighbors move, and does a host of other things. We regularly service the truck and don't use it just for camping only. I am currently trying to decide whether to get rid of the fifth wheel and the truck and replace Her majesty with a Suburban. My big question is not whether to keep on traveling by RV, but in which RV I want to travel as I grow older. The travel choices have to do mostly with comfort, my definition of fun, and my abilities. For years I have owned three different RVs for different conditions. No matter how I look at it RV travel is more fun and more cost effective.

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