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Old 05-12-2005, 03:21 PM   #1
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Cool N.A.D.A. value: Useful or bogus?

hi all you airstream owners! I'm new to the "big travel trailer" topic, only have a pop-up now but considering upgrading to a 1989 29' excella 1000. My question is, what really is a reasonable price to pay for one in very good condition?? NADA says something like $7700. I see that most prices for similar units, in paper classifieds and on the web, are usually more. What gives? I will guess that it's just supply and demand. Can any of you with some experience with buying and selling these offer me a ballpark number to look for? Is this even a good model, or should I consider another? What about getting one from the 50's or 60's- any advantage to that? If I plan to mainly have it parked, is an airstream a good choice? thanks a lot
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:25 PM   #2
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From my many years retail car and truck business experience, the NADA was a guide as it is stated on the cover, and is based on auction sales figures and such. However it was never as accurate as we would like. Most dealers used other means to gauge the value of a unit to buy, sell, or trade.
The NADA is good for establishing general range of valuation for insurance, etc.
I think the market in your area dictates the true value of course.
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tphan
I see that most prices for similar units, in paper classifieds and on the web, are usually more. What gives?
I spent a over a year trying to find a good clean used AS in California ... only to find sellers asking way more than the NADA guide. And this was for trailers needing a bunch of work ... they were really used.

A dealer told me he didn't like to take used unts in trade because the owners always had a lofty idea what their trailer was worth. Perhaps he was right?

Also, I did find a really clean Airstream ... stored in a barn ... only used 5 times. The seller got cold feet and decided not to sell ... never did get to the price. But I was ready to pay more than NADA.

The trailer happened to be a 1989 29 foot Excella!

Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:45 PM   #4
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NADA is useful only to dealers and to banks. It is THEIR guide for financing and has NO use in determining what a willing buyer and willing seller can agree to about price of a used Airstream trailer.
Airstreams have a "cultlike" following and high desireable brand identity. Everyone wants an Airstream....there is mystique. Banks don't loan on mystique. Dealers don't pay you for your trade on mystique. They figure average depreciation of units across the ENTIRE white box SOB landscape and apply just about the same depreciation to Airstreams. And, in fact, the component parts, AC, refrigerator, furnace, stove, water heater, tires, hubs, bearings, etc....are no better in an Airstream than in any other RV on the road.
What is better about an Airstream is the construction design that has held the test of time. There are few SOB's that are 30-40 years old that are still in service. There are MANY Airstreams in service that are that age.
Dealers and banks want to talk financing price. Airstream consumers want to talk VALUE. There is a huge difference in the two terms resulting in many consumers paying much more than NADA for an Airstream.....because if the used trailer reflects some pride in ownership, the Airstream IS WORTH IT.
--just my 2 cents--your mileage may vary--
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:59 PM   #5
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As a RV Sales Representative, I can tell you that the exact value of that trailer is as much as you're willing to pay, and as little as the seller will let it go for. We use NADA, but yes, only as a guide. We never give a buyer only NADA value for their trade. We always "over allow". We take money from the profits of the one you are buying and "show" you that money on your trade. Basically, it's money out of the dealer's pocket simply because we know you won't like what NADA says it's worth.

Unfortunately, the ammount "over allowed" on Airstreams is the same ratio as everything else. That means Airstreamers usually aren't happy with what we give them for their trade and I don't blame them. An Airstream seller will do much better selling it on his own. An Airstream buyer would do better to buy from a dealer (if you can find a dealer with a used Airstream) because you'll probably get a better deal.

That's the skinny.

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Old 05-12-2005, 04:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
From my many years retail car and truck business experience, the NADA was a guide as it is stated on the cover, and is based on auction sales figures and such. However it was never as accurate as we would like. Most dealers used other means to gauge the value of a unit to buy, sell, or trade.
The NADA is good for establishing general range of valuation for insurance, etc.
I think the market in your area dictates the true value of course.
Alan is very correct on this, especially as it applies to Airstreams.
I have noticed that certain Airstreams and Argosys fetch a higher price west of the Mississippi then they do in the Midwest.
These trailers are pretty much based upon supply and demand the older they get.
They do last for more than a lifetime and they are worth the investment of time and money to restore and maintain.
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:25 PM   #7
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NADA: My Thoughts

I recently bought a 97 30' Excella. During my search I found several trailers that met my requirements but almost all of them were priced so far above NADA "high-book" that I didn't consider them. Two examples were an 2000 priced $10,000 over high-book and an 02 $8,000 above. The only trailers I found offered below high-book were an 04 30' Classic and an 04 28' Safari slide-out. Since both were in the $40K price range and one of them was 3,000 miles away so I passed.

I ended up paying $2,150 over high-book for my Excella and had to drive 4,000 miles round trip to pick it up. It was the best compromise I found.

In the end it all depends on what you want and what you're willing to pay. I needed to finance my trailer so I was limited to what I could spend at the moment to go over high-book.
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:55 PM   #8
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NADA and insurance

Dont' let the insurance companies use NADA to settle a claim if your unit is totaled. They will low ball right off the NADA book. If for some unfortunate reason your trailer gets totaled , fight for fare market values and find comparable models to use as evidence, drag your feet on the settlement, I did and I got what was fair.
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Old 05-13-2005, 05:35 AM   #9
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Insurance settlements & NADA

You are best served to have an Agreed Value policy. Then you know exactly what your settlement will be in a total loss situation.

Why take a chance? Get the value locked in from the start!
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:55 AM   #10
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thankyou for your insights!!!!

what a good forum! did not expect so much help so soon- I will keep on doing my homework as far as regional values go. But there is no way I will settle for an SOB- it'll be my way on the highway!!Hope to join the AS club one day soon- cheers.
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Heywood
The only trailers I found offered below high-book were an 04 30' Classic and an 04 28' Safari slide-out. Since both were in the $40K price range and one of them was 3,000 miles away so I passed.
Was the Safari at Paul Sherry's? We've got a 28' Safari Slide Out for $40K on our lot. If we're talking about the same unit, what a coinky dink!
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