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Old 03-29-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
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time2play's Avatar
2013 30' Classic
Kent , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 323
Asking for negotiating tips

My husband and I are thinking of purchasing a 2013 28' Flying Cloud. We would appreciate any advice about making this purchase. Should we buy now, or wait? How do I find the MSRP? And how low of an offer should we make? I'm hearing everything from 10% to 25% below MSRP. But then it looks like there are other factors I need to consider, i.e. time of year, etc. Tomorrow (March 30) is the last day of the month. I know this is a good thing when purchasing a vehicle, but not sure about Airstreams.

Also, we are totally new to this. So appreciate any advice on some of the extras. For example, $700 for a 22" TV in the bedroom seems pricey to me. Can we buy our own TV? What about the leather seats (which I like)? The 3-way oven (microwave, convection, regular), etc.

Any advice is very much appreciated. Again, we are totally new to this.

thanks in advance.

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Old 03-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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2012 16' International
Jamestown , Rhode Island
Join Date: Mar 2012
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My personal thoughts on this process are dealer first, price second. We purchased ours from Colonial Airstream at about 15% off list. The "extra" $2500 we may have spent buying our trailer there instead of at another dealer has been saved a number of times over due to the care they took prepping the trader and in helping us through the couple of issues we had. I say may have saved as our trailer was the last of the International 16's a available on the east coast.
The dealer is everything!
Have fun,

Barely getting by, towing our 16' Bambi with our Ram 2500 CTD "Moby"!
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
Twin Rocks , Oregon
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First, don't let the salesman know how much you want the trailer. Second, ask for everything you want, at a greatly reduced pice, they can only say no. Be carefully of the extras, sometimes the dealer will charge 2 to 3 times what a RV repair shop would ask (example - solar). Do your research in advance. If the sales person hesitates on your price, pull out the checkbook and tell them you'll write a check now, for YOUR price. Money talks.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,508
I think the dealer is VERY important. Not just the sale, but for what comes after. If you spend enough time reading on AirForum you're going to find the importance of maintenance can be paramount. I'd look at around 20% as an OK deal. Right now, the factory has upped its head count due to increasing demand for Airstream trailers. This may or may not factor into the "deal". From what I understand, the prices are going to increase significantly for the 2014's (and no, there aren't huge improvements or additional standard content up fits, either). I did buy a 2012 28' (Intl Signature). I ordered it so I'd get exactly what I wanted....and I did order the UltraLeather, the thermal/convection/microwave, the 700W Inverter, awnings on rear and street side, and the BR TV. Yes, the TV prices are inflated, but when it arrives the TV's are hooked into the system for you, and trust me, you'd be perplexed at how to run sound from your 22" TV into the AS audio system (which you'd want to do). I think if you amortize these extra costs you'll probably arrive at the point where it makes sense to get it the way you want it. I have made substantial improvements to my trailer (probably $12,000 or so) with custom curtains/bedspread, better converter/inverter, WiFi, Bogart TriMetric, 16" Wheels/Michelin Tires -- I could go on and on. Be sure and check out all the info on hitch selection. I ended up with a ProPride -- which I cannot recommend highly enough. In fact, if there was only one thing I would spend extra money on (above purchase price), it would be the ProPride. Good luck and let us know what happens!
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
WBCCI # 3430-Unit 21
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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2012 28' International
Currently Looking...
New Orleans , Louisiana
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Get deal sweeteners, when you get to a price then ask for the bike rack, the day night shades, move the hitch or throw one in, ask for an additional sewer hose holder, a extra magazine rack to close the deal. Dealers will have a form that you both sign on these items. Also do a punch out on the trailer before you sign the deal, same thing get a list of all items to be corrected. Look at the wheels if they have corrosion have them replaced you will be surprised how much easier it is to get these items before you actually sign the papers. Keep a sense of humor. We reached a price and told the salesman ok not let me get my list of deal sweeteners out he smiled and I smiled back. He knew he had a sale but had to sharpen his pencil a little sharper. I actually consider the sales staff at the dealer I purchased from friends.

BTW I used the opposite tack, I told the salesman I really wanted that trailer but he had to get the price right so I would buy it, man I really love it but you have to convince the Dear Wife, what can you do so I can get into this unit, the whole idea is to keep the carrot out in front, one of the primary attributes of a good salesman is greed, you can use that to your advantage , keep moving the goal line. He doesn't get paid until you sign the check. Make it fun and stay friendly not adversarial.

When you pickup the unit bring your check lists, torque wrench, tire gauge, and start checking things in front of the sales staff and techs. Tell them you want to see what pressure is in the tires, you want to see the wheels torqued in front of your. You want to see the hot water heater cycle through several fills and dumps. Have them show you the battery is filled with water, be nice joke and talk, but check everything and smile.
Jim N5TJZ Air# 174
2012 International Serenity 28
2005 Safari 25 SS Traded
1968 Globetrotter Sold
2011 F150 Ecoboost
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Probably 15% less than sticker retail is a reasonable final deal. You may be able to do a little better, but I doubt much. RV dealers don't work on the end of the month deals in my experience, but spring season is a bit busier than other times, and so prices may be a bit harder to work out, especially if they feel they will sell it to someone else at closer to list fairly soon.

I think, but not sure, that the Television is standard equipment on the FC, so it is really not an item you can eliminate. No dealer is going to remove it at any rate, so if it is on the rig you are looking at, you get it.

The Ultraleather is a real option, but the unit you are looking at either has it or does not. Same for other colors and countertops. The microwave/convection oven is an option, but if you are buying off the lot, you take what the trailer has. Personally I always want a real oven, you may not care or really want the microwave instead.

Other options I have seen on the FC's are solar panels (more expensive than they need to be in my opinion) and an inverter (also somewhat costly). The FC is pre wired for solar in any event, but the panels and charge controller would need to be added.

So, buying off the lot, what you see is what you get. Buying by placing an order will get you just what you want, but you will wait now for a 2014 as I believe all the 2013's are pre ordered now. Probably the '14's will have a higher price too.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:20 AM   #7
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2013 30' Classic
Kent , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 323
Wow, thanks so much for all this information. We have a lot to process and learn before we jump in and make a purchase. I'll keep reading here and hope to absorb all this information. What a helpful group of people you all are! Thank you again.

And keep the advice coming.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:47 AM   #8
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Getting a good deal is dependent on making and offer you think is fair and walking away if their is no counter offer or an unreasonable one. Airstreams are mass produced and there is always another one.
Adding a flat screen tv is easy and will save $$. Add ons and options are marked up. If you want something like leather seats, you will have to pay the price because you can't add that on your own easily and cheaply.
Airstream sales are seasonal. Your dealer in Washington is heading into his spring and summer sales season. The dealer in Mesa Arizona has several new AS' on eBay motors and it will be 110 in Arizona in 60 days. Sometimes you have to go out of your area to get a good deal. But make sure you have the sales tax thing all worked out before you buy out of state.
Having a good relationship with the selling dealer is somewhat important. If you are a first time buyer you want the help they will give you and there are always bugs in a new trailer. On the other hand, the dealers service department is always looking for work and your trailer is a potential source of revenue even if you purchased it somewhere else.
I have the best luck with independent service people rather than the dealer both in terms of cost and quality. Ask around, there is someone good in your area.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:34 AM   #9
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2013 30' Classic
Kent , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 323
We're close to buying ---but we have a question about the air conditioner unit. The one we're considering does not have dual a/c. Is this a "must have", or something we can live without?

I'm sure it's a personal thing, but I've read some of the threads about the subject and I can't get a handle on whether it's necessary on the 28.

I would appreciate your advice.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:04 AM   #10
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 818
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The best way we've found to get that "best deal" on any major purchases is simple:
  • enter final negotiations on whatever model you are interested in with more than 1 dealer (3 is good).
If you do this in a meaningful way then your best deal will end up making itself - and you will know it.

Good luck,

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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There have been threads on the Airstream forum about air conditioning efficiency of some of the newer Airstreams.
Posters have complained that those AS with lots of windows and skylights have a lot of style but don't cool very well. Our older 25 Safari doesn't have that many windows (only skylights on the roof) and cools o.k. even with the smaller air conditioner.
If I were a potential buyer I would consider where I plan to camp. No Airstream is very comfortable in 110 degree temps. We know because we take a summer trip in Arizona and find that when we take the AS out of storage, the air conditioner takes five or more hours to cool it to livability and never cools it to less than 20 degrees outside air temperature. I would also consider the options available on the trailer. You will probably have to go to a longer trailer to get two air conditioners but a bigger air conditioner may be an option. Make sure you are getting the biggest one available. The dealer can easily install a bigger unit if you negotiate for one before the sale.
If you have your hearts set on a particular trailer, even one that doesn't cool well, consider what other owners have done to mitigate the problem.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 389
We purchased our 30' Flying Cloud with two a/c units. During two seasons, we have yet to use the rear unit, but in fairness we also have not camped in Arizona during the summer, though we will this year.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:27 AM   #13
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2013 30' International
lubbock , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 252
2nd a/c needs will be determined by how much time you ll be in the hot dry areas ... The 50 amp cable is quite heavy and a lot heavier than the 30amp.
Our International has the 2nd a/c cause we roasted in 115 degrees in 2011 and since we were ordering ... then ... There ya go
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:30 AM   #14
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2013 28' International
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 264
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I went through the same debate when I ordered my 28' International. Lots of glass, a few more vista view windows then the 28 Flying Cloud. However, I did not want to give up the fantastic fan in the bedroom in order to have the 2nd A/C. We will be boondocking with it and therefore care a bit more about the fans then the A/C units. We have no plans to use it in AZ or TX in the middle of summer so hopefully this was a good decision.

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