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Old 01-26-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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Help Me Avoid Buyers Remorse

First time A/S buyer here. I am looking at a 2004 22' International CCD in very good condition. The seller is asking $34k for the trailer. I was planning on offering him $28k, and from my discussions I think he would accept.
My problem is I have been doing too much research and I am starting to convince myself that $28k may be too high. I have recently seen a 2006 22' CCD go for about $34k (Colonial Airstream). Additionally the NADA guide books the '04 out at about $22k. I know the NADA guide is not gospel, but it books the '06 out at about $34k (which is what it sold for).
I have been shopping this for about a year and it is clear the uses A/S market for smaller sized trailers is almost nonexistent.
Some people say the market is getting softer due to the current economy while others say it is heating up because the Boomers are retiring and want to travel.
What does this community think? Does $28k seem fair for an 2004? I think the floorplans were much improved is 2006 (dry bath, no hump under table, etc), but I can live with the 2004 limitations. I would find it hard to live with the fact that I overpaid by $6k.

Please don't reply with "...if the trailer works for you then the price is fair.." type answer. I am really looking for some more meaningful, financially based input. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:40 AM   #2
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We bought our 2002 22' CCD when it was two years old (in 2004) and paid $25,000 for it from a private party. It was in excellent condition. Of course, the price new for a 2002 was less than the 2004 model you are considering, but I feel that $25,000 was a fair price for our AS. We really like the 22' CCD floorplan (it works very well for the two of us) and found that used 22' CCDs were fairly difficult to find, especially within reasonable driving distance from our home. So..... It seems to me that something in the $25,000 to $28,000 range is reasonable for a three year old 22' CCD, assuming it is in excellent condition. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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NADA and other guides use a percentage per year depreciation for their guides. This is fine when you are dealing with equipment that will be at the end of its useful life @10 years, when NADA has depreciated the equipment to 0. As we all know, Airstreams have a longer useful life than that, so their depreciation is extended over a longer period than most guides allow for.
If you calculate depreciation over 15 years, you get closer to actual value. This is also why the asking price is skewed higher.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:05 PM   #4
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Biased Opinion

We were in your shoes two years ago. We weren't sure that we would like camping with a trailer. We do - in fact we wonder now why we didn't get a trailer before. We were going from a new 25FB to a vintage. We decided to get vintage unit and if we didn't like it, we could sell it for what we bought it for. We bought an Argosy 24. Best thing we ever did. Total sunk cost is $6500 including all of the accessories (black water tote alongs, generator, new propane bottles etc.). Everything works, hot water heater, furnace, plumbing air conditioner and running gear. We've been on a bunch of three day trips and one long one. No problems, easy to tow and big fun. For what it is worth...
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teksmith
First time A/S buyer here. I am looking at a 2004 22' International CCD in very good condition. The seller is asking $34k for the trailer. I was planning on offering him $28k, and from my discussions I think he would accept.
My problem is I have been doing too much research and I am starting to convince myself that $28k may be too high. I have recently seen a 2006 22' CCD go for about $34k (Colonial Airstream). Additionally the NADA guide books the '04 out at about $22k. I know the NADA guide is not gospel, but it books the '06 out at about $34k (which is what it sold for).
I have been shopping this for about a year and it is clear the uses A/S market for smaller sized trailers is almost nonexistent.
Some people say the market is getting softer due to the current economy while others say it is heating up because the Boomers are retiring and want to travel.
What does this community think? Does $28k seem fair for an 2004? I think the floorplans were much improved is 2006 (dry bath, no hump under table, etc), but I can live with the 2004 limitations. I would find it hard to live with the fact that I overpaid by $6k.

Please don't reply with "...if the trailer works for you then the price is fair.." type answer. I am really looking for some more meaningful, financially based input. Thanks in advance.
Books are guides that's all. If you can go find the 06 you like better for $34-$35k then do it. If not then work out a deal on the 04. Who says he wouldn't take less. Also keep in mind that the books ballpark condition. If one 04 has been owned by a smoker with 5 big dogs and there is odor that will never come out vs. a perfect one owner, well kept unit that looks and smells new which one do you want? Would you pay more for the perfect one? Well according to NADA they have the same book value. Just a thought....
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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I agree with Mike. Of course, I've never been in a position to spend $28K on a toy. Compare the advantages of vintage to "newer" and the cost savings on purchase can certainly be huge and allow some "fixes" to be made. Just for fun, think of this: there is currently an '86 Rolls Royce Silver Phantom with 25K miles for sale in Portland, OR for $34K, the same as your seller's asking price for the Airstream. Not very comparable, but I think I'd rather have the Rolls! Darol
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:43 PM   #7
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hi teksmith and welcome to the forums...

how do you intend to use the trailer?

will it remain mostly in florida and the ultra-humid, wet southeast?

the model in question is one of the 3-4 that are on my 'do not buy' list...

at any typical price.

as i recall, this unit has an osb floor not the more water tolerant plywood. this could be a problem where u live.

also the carry capacity is really really small and the bed is a problem.

you may see more of the 22s available in the small/used market than other sizes...

and there are reasons for this.

this isn't the type of answer u r soliciting but imo the price is secondary on this model, and u did ask about 'buyers remorse'.

now i realize many folks love there 22s and IF one lives in the arid southwest or only plans short trips...

it might be ideal 4 ya,

but of all of the newer sizes/models available this one has a very high potential for problems...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...-04s-7106.html

i'll duck and cover now

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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Hi Techsmith.

I'm with 2air on this on e.

" as i recall, this unit has an osb floor not the more water tolerant plywood. this could be a problem where u live."

I've seen this unit first hand at the Airstream factory, the owner looking for floor replacement. The sag and spring was very bad. Seems they also should have placed one more cross-member in the frame.

Also, which windows does this unit have?

Your ball.

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Old 01-26-2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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This is all good feedback and pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate it. I plan to use the trailer in FL. Probably short trips, 3-5 days, at first, but I want to be able to opt for longer trips. I am not sure what kind of windows, the ad is not real descriptive (a pic is attached). I am going to see the trailer tomorrow so I should have more data. I am beginning to think that this might not be the one to buy.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:37 PM   #10
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take a camera, but keep it stowed till the end.

bounce around on the floor inside....

stand in the shower.

try to 'make' the bed...

lay down on it 2! try sitting on the john...

turn EVERYTHING ON, including the a/c.

open every door and every locked outside compartment...

DON'T BE SHY about this, it's your coin...

raise the vents and windows and run the water pump...

take a ladder and check out the top, looking of gaps/cracked sealant or plastic bits in decay...

open the awning, it you don't know how, have the owner do it...

inspect the battery and connectors. crank up the bat wing!

look closely for corrosion on all the exterior trim, liight bezels, wheels and trailer skin...

check the tires, including air pressure!

then when you've taken off the gloves and put away the k-y jelly,

grab a batch of photos of any and all issues to look over later and share here...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teksmith
I am not sure what kind of windows, the ad is not real descriptive (a pic is attached).
Those are the good windows to have -- hinged at the top, full opening. Note a couple things at the dinette -- intrusion of the wheelwell on the dinette space and the window closest to the door can't be left open or you risk smashing it when wind catches the door. We sure love to camp with friends or have our grown children tent at the site -- seating 4 at dinnertime is hard to do without.

I'll double the vote against the OSB floors used in these early 22' Int'l Airstreams -- hard to confirm unless you really get deep into spaces under cabinets. Chronic leaks will be bad with a plywood floor but OSB turns to mush too easily. Quoting theVAP.com guys and Jim & Susan's signature -- "They all leak" at some time or the other.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:47 PM   #12
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I have been hearing that there have been some frame issues with the 22 foot units. I no longer think they are even being offered. Airstream now has a 20 and 23 foot unit. I would shy away from the 22 foot unit. I heard they had a frame kit for those units. I am going from memory here (which is not all that great), so I'd do a bit more research before offering anything for that 22 footer. My opinion is that I would look for a good 23 foot unit, as it nearly matches what you are looking for and I have not heard about any frame issues with that unit.

I also seem to recall that some of the 22' line at one time did not have 2 batteries and had electric tank heaters compared to the rest of the fleet. Additionally, I seem to recall the 22' had a "wet" bath, which was one of the many turn offs for us going w/ the 22' and at the time, the next size up was the 25. Had the 23' been around back in 2004, it may have swayed my decision.

Back then though, it was 16, 19, 22 then 25 and we went to the 25.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:50 PM   #13
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2air,
Based on your first post, it really doesn't matter if all that stuff works as the '04 has design flaws (ie. osb floor and missing cross-member). Are you saying if all that stuff works, it might a reasonable buy?
I am going to look hard at this trailer and if it has an osb floor I think it is a deal killer.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:54 PM   #14
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Glad to hear your checking

I purchased a new 25' Safari in 1999. I purchased it to retire and live in (yeah, I know there not sold for permenant living). I lived in it for about 4 years and found many serious problems. I just didn't have the time to give it up to the dealer. However, I should warn you to carefully check out the plumbing, I was shocked to see the quality of the plumbing in a product that is supposed to be the top of the line.

The wood work is third world in my estimation. I have decided if I keep my trailer I will have to spend many grand gutting and replacing the particle board with real wood.

The propane piping looks like it was done by an amateur. Pipes are not curved but bent with kinks, etc. Actually the only thing about the trailer I really like is the shape and outside skin.

Just be very circumspect about the hidden items.
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