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Old 09-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
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1990 25' Excella
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Best Buy for $20,000?

I'm spinning this off from another thread I started here that is discussing the pro's and con's of a '79 vs. a '01. I'm a vintage guy interested in vintage things and my wife just wants to have an adventure with an extended (year or two) tour of America.

She is supportive as always but she would really prefer the nicest, most ready to go, most dependable Airstream that we can buy for our budget of $20,000. As we would like to head out in January, that probably makes a lot of sense.

So what's "best" in that budget range if "best" is defined as ready to go, dependable and comfortable?

Relatively - I realize that isn't a big budget for an Airstream. And there is an asterisk on dependable as I have spent a lot of time fooling around with old cars and, with the help available at this great forum, can perhaps take care of some things myself.

Poppy
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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Take a look at the Classifieds section to see what's available for your $20K budget...see what strikes a chord with you. "Best" is so subjective...what kind of camping will you be doing? Campgrounds? Boondocking? Courtesy Camping?

Keep in mind, trailers before '74 most likely don't have gray tanks.

Sounds like a fun adventure!

Shari

P.S. Hopefully, they all become "vintage" sooner or later ~
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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1984 34' International. Because that's what we own and we love ours
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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That 25 for 20000 still seems to be a good choice by your wife's criteria. Condition is everything's it is easy to drop 5 grand or so in repairs if you buy cheap upfront NS make a mistake.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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That 25 for 20000 still seems to be as good as you can do for that amount to me.
Ditto. Assuming it's in great shape. You'll newer have any trouble selling it if after owning it for a while you find another style you like.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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To help define best a bit more... We will be selling our house as a first step in downsizing and won't make other living arrangements other than the Airstream for now. We plan on being away from Bend for several months at a time, so the trailer will be home for a while.

Fortunately my son and daughter-in-law have a spacious house in Bend and we will be staying with them during holidays and the like. And we might dock (is that the right word?) in Central Oregon and/or somewhere in the Southwest for a couple months at a stretch. As I mentioned in the other thread, my wife and I have been married for 46 years and we're as close as ever, so the tight quarters will be just fine.

I have been watching the market for a coupe of months and a well cared for +/-10 year old +/-25 footer in excellent condition looks to be the sweet spot at the moment: 10 years old for the combination of dependable, ready to go, comfortable and price; 25 footer so we can use the tow vehicle that we have on hand.

My persective is limited, but it is getting broader quickly with the informed input I've received from this group. Thanks to all!

Poppy
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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BTW, the new avatar is a logo from a company that I used to have. It was designed to represent something else, but I think it fits perfectly here. To me it looks like the globe with a capital A and a twisty road through it. In addition to the more significant Airstream, A is also the first letter of my last name.

Poppy
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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I'm hoping the avatar brings me luck as I'm not an Airstreamer yet but hope to be very soon.

Poppy
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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I thought about this some more, after posting in your other thread. That 2001 25' is a lot of trailer for the money. Pay $18,000 and put the extra money towards Michelin tires, LED lighting, and maybe a solar panel or two. Maybe get rid of any carpet and put down a new vinyl plank floor.

Getting a higher trim-level Airstream, like an Excella or Classic, brings fancier appointments, including nicer cabinets and fully-opening windows. But staying under $20,000 for a 25' model is probably going to take you back to the early or mid-1990s. There are well-cared for trailers in that price range, but you need to be more discriminating.

Do you like that 2001 trailer? Or is it always going to bug you that you didn't get something older? If you don't like the newish Safari at all, that's not going to be a good deal regardless of the price. To be fair, to many people, all Airstreams have a vintage feel - "They still make those?"

Tom
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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We bought a 2002 Safari 25 with a rear queen two years ago. We couldn't be happier. We are a retired couple and rarely have visitors on our road trips. Our configuration has the queen in the back and a jack-knife sofa in the front. No dinette. Works perfect for us.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:38 PM   #11
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Thank you Tom and Bud. I think you're right - the 2001 is a good fit. I actually kind of like the way it looks and I don't care about luxe. The main mod that I would be looking at is to try and get a recliner in there somewhere for my baby baby back.

I'm going to try and move forward.

Poppy
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
...I'm a vintage guy interested in vintage things and my wife just wants to have an adventure with an extended (year or two) tour of America...So what's "best"...

Poppy
You really couldn't have picked two more different goals.
I like vintage and love touring. Both of those don't mesh well without a big awareness. A modern Airstream will fit the bill of touring in a unique coach. It may not fill the bill of vintage travel...(my lovely wife has no desire to do 'vintage travel') vintage often results in 'why won't this POS oven, fridge, water heater, oven, blah blah, WORK!

I suspect you will do just fine by traveling in a modern 'vintage' camper such as a late model Airstream.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:50 PM   #13
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You are in great shape. You have your TV, and you know what you want and have an idea about how much you want to spend. Now all you have to do is find it- piece of cake.
Enjoy the search.

Dan
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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Bought one! I bought a 1990 25' Excella with rear twins. The floor plan works out well for us as there's plenty of room to remove the Gaucho and install a couple of recliners. Looks to be in good working order, recent work includes: new tires, bearings repacked, newBarker front jack, new Powermax boondocker convertor, new battery, new Atwood water heater, new Shurflo water pump, new interior LED lights and new propane hoses & regulator. All the work was professionally done with receipts.

Expect maiden voyage the first couple weeks of October.

Thanks for the voluminous and informed input! I'm really looking forward to meeting many of you in person on the road.

Poppy
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