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Old 08-05-2008, 09:30 AM   #29
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,639
Thanks all for the thoughts. I'm trying to sort a few things out:

- Trading the "street cred" and better resale (?) of aluminum for the big front window, interesting floorplans, and ability to paint an Argosy.

- Looking at classifieds to see if I can score a 98 Bambi or 92-95 Sovereign 21' for my price range vs. paying less upfront for vintage and then, well, spending the rest on updates. (Or finding a sorted vintage trailer.)

- I'm pretty sure, despite the cases passionately made here, that I want to stay under 25 feet. (I don't want to use a heavy-duty truck for towing.) Just have to figure how much tandem axle models are worth seeking out vs a Caravel, 20' Argosy, or Globetrotter.

- And yeah, I need to be patient. Given that any trailer will be a mix of frustration and joy, I want to start with something that I really like in the first place.

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Old 08-05-2008, 10:16 AM   #30
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1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
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We are in essentially the same boat (trailer?). We're looking for a 25' travel trailer and have discussed many of the same issues. Our first priority is safety which is why we'll stay with a 25' (or at the most, a very light vintage 27') and why we prefer a tandem axle. We're looking for a comfortable bed that sleeps two (rather than twin beds). This is probably going to involve some modest reworking of a floor plan. While we like the vintage option, head room is an issue. We found some of the "very" vintage trailers a bit low for two tallish travelers. At your $10k to $12k range, it would be hard to find a late 90s Safari in great shape, but I think a more diminutive Bambi is realistic. If we were looking at something in the 21' range, I'd forget about the tandem axle. You can protect the trailer with skid plates and if the tires are well maintained (replaced regularly) the chances of a blowout aren't really any greater than a blowout on a vehicle. You can always look at a TPMS if you are really nervous (or just over engineer everything like me). We're near Baltimore. If we find something that might work for you, we'll pass it along. Good luck.

By the way, in my opinion paint versus polished is just a matter of personal preference. I realize there is a silver twinkie "cachet," but I imagine there are paint jobs that would turn more than a few heads. I say go for what makes you smile.

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Old 08-05-2008, 10:44 AM   #31
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1969 23' Safari
New Orleans , Louisiana
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-as 2air has noted in other threads, there are some real bargains to be had in the 80's trailers, which seem to be in limbo regarding value/collectibility/etc... I could see a 20-25 foot 80's unit, tandem or solo axle, being a real steal if well maintained.. of course the older the vintage, the lighter the weight... and you probably already know the shorter the length the higher proportional price you will pay for it..kind of an inverse square math situation there.. Zep is restoring a '70 (?) Safari 23 tandem that looks pretty wonderful.. I've become a big fan of the 23-footer and camping with our family of three..a very nice fit, cozy but roomy enough..even with two dogs added to the mix..
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:33 PM   #32
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1972 25' Tradewind
old mystic , Connecticut
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Posts: 320
We too are new to AS. Having only owned ours about 3 weeks. Since you live in CT as we do, remember the salt air and rust issues we have here. Our AS spent it entire live within 10 miles of the ocean, so we have a lot of rust issues, fortunately very little of this issues ar with the frame. BUT it is a serious consideration when buying. We knew when we bought that we would be doing a TOTAL rehab. We have restored cars in the past so we didn't have stars in our eyes, well maybe a few. But when we gutted ours, we didn't find any real big surprises that we hadn't anticapated.

I think Fotochop said it well when he said "your first trailer is the one you learn airstream on." We paid 3,000. for ours and budgeted another 10,000 for the rehab. But when we are done we will know what we have from the ground up, No rotted floor, no rusted out floor stringers, brand new axels tires and rims,and all the mechanical stuff new. Our goal is to be finshed for next summer so we can take two of our grandkids to The Black Hills and see MT Rushmore. We'll see if we make it.

We don't live that far from you and if you want to come see what a "project " looks like let me know!

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Old 08-05-2008, 06:57 PM   #33
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2006 30' Classic S/O
Currently Looking...
Mohrsville , Pennsylvania
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Here are some threads from a recent addition to the forum that just happens to be from Connecticut too.

The deals are out there, but you may need to be willing to travel, as did Duff.

Good luck and keep an eye out.
Carl, Elaine & Finn The Beagle
2006 30' Classic W Slide & Limited Package Katarina
2006 GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Turbo Diesel Crew Cab 8' Bed
AIR #14487
NQ3U (was KB3UOM)
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:11 PM   #34
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1973 27' Overlander
East Haven , Connecticut
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10 to 12 can get you this:

I know that you prefer newer I just couldn't resist a plug. I think you are right to be patient. Keep at it. You'll get just the right trailer for you.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:36 PM   #35
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2017 16' Sport
Malibu , California
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Ok we recently purchased a 71 Caravel I love her. We got a great deal and then put money in. My research showed that 12000 all working is a good price, no major dents, aircon, heat, etc. For our 12000 i reuphostered cushions we had the airstream dealer do a check, I have 3000 reserve and our goad was nice efficient for under 15000. I did not get fooled by a nice shine. Better a nice body with working parts. Not a hag that sags Good luck! I really was the investigative reporter. I do believe you need a tool box for minor things with new or used. Now I want to buy a really old one and have her gutted and redone by someone meticulous, and our son wants ours.
Have fun no matter what and keep looking and then try out all systems.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:22 AM   #36
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Gail, thanks for bringing my thread back from the dead. You've got a fine looking Caravel!

To answer my own question:

- You can find newer trailers in this price range, but they're few and far between. I looked at a 2001 Bambi 16' - the floor plan didn't suit me, and the floor was in bad shape. I stuck my hand behind a dinette and pulled it out wet. That's bad.

- Lots of solid vintage stuff around $6000-$8000. I'm partial to the 78-79 Safari 23' - all of them seem to be priced at $7999. Looked at a beautiful 64 Globetrotter for $12,500 - but I like the 70s and newer stuff. (Talking about my generation, I guess.) Just missed a nice Argosy Minuet for $4000 - still a bit bummed about that.

- I'm beginning to think that the sweet spot is the mid-80s, early-90s trailers. We really like the center bath 25' floorplan, and those trailers seem available for $10k-$12k.

- So what did I buy in that price range? An used 2007 T@B teardrop for now. I don't need to do much to it, it's super simple, and it tows like cake behind my minivan.

I do wonder if the economic "slowdown" will bring a drop in prices for some of the newer trailers. I was seeing big prices for newer Bambi CCDs, to the point where $25k was a pretty decent deal (I passed that ad on to someone else who was looking, and she bought it.)

But I'm keeping my eye out for something bigger and silver...and a part of me (the eternal optimist) is hoping that I could get a fire sale on the (slow-selling) 09 Safari Sport 22' with the front wrap for the low $20k's in a year or two....

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Old 01-31-2009, 08:09 AM   #37
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1986 31' Sovereign
Elkhorn , Nebraska
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 21
We just purchased a very nice 31ft 1986 sovereign. We paid $8900 but it is travel ready and needs nothing.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #38
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buying vintage

As a novice I bought a 1971 28' land yacht believing it was "good" to go. My wife and I left last September on a 4 month trip that I had imagined for 25 years. I had to replace; 4 tires, 4 shocks, black water holding tank, hot water heater, rear half of bottom pan, propane tank regulator, and regular service to the tune of $8,000.00. I would like to sell it now and am asking $12,000 which will not come close to what I have in it and all for one 4 month trip. On the other hand a buyer will really know what they are getting. As a first time trailer puller I was also hesitant to go straight to 28' long, but after living in it for 4 months, I would not want a smaller unit. Once you get over the short learning curve, the length is of no concern and the comfort level is really nice to have. If anyone is interested call me 410-484-9688

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