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Old 04-25-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Question Value question from a newbie

As I search for my future used AS, I have discovered SIGNIFICANT price differences that do not seem to be related to the year or the condition of the unit. For instance, I have found that 20-25ft trailers, as a group, are significantly more expensive than similar year and models of greater length, such as 29-32ft. These price differences are sometimes as much as DOUBLE! I cannot help but wonder if ALL of this is due to supply vs demand....or are there some other factors, that I do not know about yet, at work here. Recognizing that the towing costs are more for the longer, heavier trailers, there must be other considerations that influence these major price differences. I am single, so my thinking right now is that a 20-25 foot'er would be adequate for my needs. I plan to be on the road for several months at a time. I would welcome any comments, experiences and wisdom from all you experienced ASer's on this subject. Thank you, Bill

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Old 04-25-2006, 11:28 AM   #2
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It's demand. With the high price of gas and of bigger SUVs, the smaller trailers can be towed with a 1/2 ton, which is, of course, cheaper. Therefore many people can tow or think they can tow with Explorers, Grand Cherokees, Park Avenues (Eric!), Rangers, Corvairs, etc.... Getting a 30 Classic requires a bigger vehicle and most people don't have them already, and that would require a new vehicle purchase.

Again, as I said before, I think the 25 with the rear bedroom is the way to go, especially if you are going to spend a lot of time on the road.


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Old 04-25-2006, 11:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AYRSTRM2
Again, as I said before, I think the 25 with the rear bedroom is the way to go, especially if you are going to spend a lot of time on the road.
That brings up an interesting point. How long is too long?

It does seem to me that a lot of people buy the smaller bambis or safaris only to sell them within a year to get a larger one. So that is something to consider.
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:42 AM   #4
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Prices for 25 footers

I own a 25' 1989 Excella, my previous trailer was a 25' 1972 Tradewind.

These trailers seem to offer the best compromise between trailerability and room. They also are more difficult to find for sale and priced accordingly. If you are on a limited budget, an older 25 footer might provide better value. The ones that do come up on the market go fast. I sold my Tradewind to the first person that looked at it for the full price.

I agree with the previous post that a read bed room 25 is great for traveling, I have about 20k miles traveling with mine!
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:42 AM   #5
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Hello Bill -- Welcome to the Forums. There are many variables and you've hit on some of the important ones. Airstreams may end up requiring a lot of work -- as would any 20 year old product (think sailboat or aircraft). As they get older yet, the amount of work goes up so rapidly (for example, a floor-off restoration) The 1950-1970 shorter s are extremely desirable. Frames used to be lighter so may not be able to take much weight in a major overhaul -- dated plastic ain't purdy but some wood laminated cabinets from the real old Airstreams are highly desired if in reasonable shape. The major systems age. The shell junction with the floors may break down, leak, and result in floor rot -- very common. If it was stored out of the weather, that will help a unit retain a lot more value. A starting point is Vintage Airstream's Price vs Condition page. Ultimately it comes down to a previous owner thinking they've got a hot item that should go for top price -- then you need a careful inspection. Ask further questions about any other Forums member willing to help you near any prospective purchase.

eBay is loaded with castoffs that couldn't be sold in other ways -- beware of anything there! Prices can also run up terribly the last half day of a sale. There are free want ads on these forums; some people also sign on after finding something they liked at -- think there are want ads there too. Beware rear-end separation issues from the years of Beatrice Foods ownership -- any 1980s of longer length, though frame issues can affect any older in other ways too...

Best of luck -- come back with many questions -- and patience pays off!

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Old 04-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #6
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Hi there;
Welcome in the community.

I'm not an expert in fuel consumption but i think you have to choose the trailer you can tow easyly with you actual car, suv or I don't know (I've seen some of us tow with trucks... ).I don't think there is a great difference in fuel between models; it's only your suv that ride easy with it or not.

The most important for you if you decide to live in it for monthes, is to have the maximum place inside, even you're alone because , finally, An Airstream has'nt an appartement surface and living in a small place is not pleased at all. The more place you'll get , better you feel. It was in this way , I choose my 27'; up was impossible to drive in FRANCE.

After that, this is a question of price...

That 's my opinion.

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