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Old 10-11-2015, 11:39 AM   #1
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NADA Values vs. Asking price

I tried posting this in another thread but never got a response, so I'll just make a new one.

I've recently begun researching purchasing an Airstream. Although I understand that they hold their value, I'm honestly surprised at the disparity of what NADA will lists for value and what people are asking for (mainly on this site). Most of the ones I'm interested are 2-3 times what NADA value is.

Is this true across the board? Are there other sites where the prices are a little bit more in line with NADA value? The trailers I'm looking at aren't that old (7-10 years) so it's not like they've had a full frame-off restoration.

I'm pretty new in the world of Airstream, so any input is appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:47 AM   #2
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Both NADA and Kelly Blue Book are useless when placing a value on Airstreams. Their publishers are pretty good with car values but are clueless when it comes to our trailers. Do your own market research and set your own top price and work down from there.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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For a variety of reasons (which you can research using the search function on this site) NADA values have very little bearing on the true market value of used Airstreams, it seems that NADA does not track actual sales prices but rather uses some travel trailer depreciation formula which appears not to apply to Airstreams.. You might want to look at the Airstream classifieds on this site to get an idea of what people are asking for their units. Whether they sell for those prices is anyone's guess.

Airstreams do depreciate although like a home, a unit with a lot of good aftermarket improvements will be worth more than a stock model of the same age. Condition makes a big difference, and once you get into the vintage and collectible units, all bets are off.

Your best bet is just to observe and make notes of asking prices making sure to note age, size, floor-plan, aftermarket improvements, and condition so you compare apples to apples, and ask around to see what people have actually paid for their used units. Eventually you will get a sense of what is reasonable. But used Airstream sales are nowhere near as common as used auto sales so the market will never be as perfect or efficient (to use an economist's term) as it will be for used cars.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:28 PM   #4
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Working backwards, it appears NADA uses a formula that follows this approximate depreciation schedule assuming [MSRP-10%] as the starting point. I was unable to match this to asking prices for used Airstreams after the Airstream market seemed to surge in mid-2014, but it seems to more closely fit the SOB resale pricing.

YEAR DEPRECIATION
1 18%
2 10%
3 7%
4 6%
5 6%
6 5%
7 5%
8 4%
9 4%
10 3%
11 3%
12 2%
13 2%
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:29 PM   #5
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Hi from AZ. . . welcome to the Airforums, and as others have said NADA & Kelly guides are pretty much useless for Airstreams. Try to set a budget, figure out how long you need, if you can, and go look at some, maybe at a dealer. The Classifieds here are an excellent tool, & RVTrader.com has a lot of dealer adds.. . .I found my 1st one on line in another state, after much looking. . . good luck, Craig
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:35 PM   #6
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Thanks....I've been looking at a lot of ads on Airstream classifieds. I think you guys confirmed what I've been thinking. Which leads me to my next questions-

- Do most people pay cash for these trailers if the supposed value doesn't match the asking price?

- If the trailer were to get damaged would the insurance company work off of the NADA value leaving me high and dry?
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:52 PM   #7
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When I bought my Safari I had to finance part of the cost. My bank wanted to use the NADA to place a value. I was able to prove that the guide was incorrect by showing them a half dozen ads and final selling prices. I used the same info for insurance purposes to get a realistic value for coverage.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
it seems that NADA does not track actual sales prices but rather uses some travel trailer depreciation formula which appears not to apply to Airstreams.. You might want to look at the Airstream classifieds on this site to get an idea of what people are asking for their units. Whether they sell for those prices is anyone's guess.
AnnArborBob and SeeMore have it right. You have to ignore it BUT friends, it is not just about purchase and pricing but also INSURANCE! Get an agreed value policy!
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:55 PM   #9
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"If the trailer were to get damaged would the insurance company work off of the NADA value leaving me high and dry?"

I suggest you confirm exactly what value your carrier will use before binding the policy. Most of the well known outfits will use NADA unless you have agreed otherwise beforehand. The official/technical term is an 'Agreed Value Policy' or 'Agreed Value Endorsement."

Can't speak for others, I paid cash.
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:47 PM   #10
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I made a thread about this very topic and shared my findings. Not everyone agreed but I found that unless your trailer is two years or newer (somewhere around there) they strictly follow NADA. I called most major insurance companies including the one with Good Sams. I ended up with Farmers with an agreed policy. WBCCI had a brochure at a rally on them so I called. I got a rate just a bit more with coverage for what I paid that is non-depreciating. To answer your question, yes; however, some posted that their company took care of them but my take is that they would not HAVE to.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:33 PM   #11
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Notice how dealers always try to sell tradeins way above NADA prices. If people sold their Airstrams at NADA prices no one would buy a new Airstream. I thought about trading on a new 25' Bigfoot and a dealer only offered $30k on my Classic. I know theywould try to sell at $45k. Decided to keep my Airsteam.

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Old 10-11-2015, 08:38 PM   #12
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AnnArborBob & SeeMore do have it right.
In our almost ten month search for the AS Kay and I wanted, we threw the NADA "values" out the window. They just don't equate to the real market for a PO AS. We knew the specific model we wanted, and we watched what similar rigs were selling for. We did a ton of research, and it payed off for us in the long run. Eloise was on the AS classifieds for 32 min when we reached an agreeement. Wonderful PO too. Do your research and diligently follow what comes onto the market. Call the seller and ask what it sold for. Homework pays dividends.

As for insurance, it's just like a boat. Get an "agreed hull/value" price. Progressive is great to work with. Getting the veteran discount makes it even better. My agreed value price is 2 grand more than what I payed for Eloise. Used AS's dont stay on the market long when priced correctly. Do your homework, choose the model you want, and have alot of patience. Get your ducks in a row financially so you can pounce on the deal like we did. There was no way in hell we were gonna miss this gal. Eloise has been one of the best investments we ever made. NADA meant little to nothing to us because we were on top of what was out there, and the expected asking price of the year & model we wanted. It takes a long time to buy a used AS. It's worth the wait. Wish we could have bought new, but that's ok. For our starter AS, Kay & I both agree, we "done good". She is part of our family, and that's the main thing. Part with her? Not a chance!
Happy camping!
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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Check Progressive. When I called them this year (that is who my truck and scooter are with) they did not have agreed value policies. It could be a state to state thing. I found too that the model year and purchase date were critical to getting an agreed policy with anyone. The only thing that seemed to change that was if the trailer was new. Two companies required that the trailer be purchased in the last two years. Another company, three years. They all required sales receipts and matched the purchase price. If that did not work, they required appraisals. People with new trailers can get replacement policies as well.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:39 PM   #14
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In our area of the country (New England), many Airstreams are advertised for sale on Craig's List. You can create an automated search using their search functions.
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