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Old 01-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #1
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buying used from non airstream dealer

I've been in talks with a major national RV dealership for a 2018 airstream. They are claiming barely used, 3 trips. But they obtained this on a trade-in, they aren't an authorized Airstream seller. And they want to charge me $1,400 in dealer fees (not including the $299 documenting fee) to get it ready and inspect, etc.

I know not all dealers charge this fee, but some do. I just feel like it's a very high number, and also question how knowledgeable they will actually be on final inspection/walk through with us if we agree to purchase and go to pick it up.

Should I hold off and keep looking for one from an authorized seller? I've called Airstream about the VIN, and it's had only a couple of minor warranty claims since purchased in March 2018.

We would also be purchasing sight unseen, which i know, you all do not recommend. I couldn't find anyone local to inspect it, and it's a full day's drive for us.

The price for the trailer is good, but these added fees are putting us a bit over what we want to spend on a used unit. We are very new to this, so any input is much appreciated!
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:59 AM   #2
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I have made my last "sight unseen" purchase of anything used.....got bit hard the last time...
It would be one thing if it was a 1800.00 pickup to use around the farm......but an Airstream? ......I would not do it.....unless it was an unbelievably good deal.....then I would pray. lol
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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I hear you, it makes me extremely nervous. The price is pretty good, but not so low that I feel like they are hiding something about the trailer. Since it's a larger national chain dealer, I felt a little more comfortable that I could take them at their word regarding the condition.

I've talked to a large Airstream dealer, and they've offered me the same trailer new for 11K more than the used one. I liked the idea of buying used b/c someone else has already handled most of the small issues that come with a new one. But ideally I would like to buy from the owner. This particular trailer was traded in for a Class A, so that makes sense to me as to why it would have little use.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #4
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Unless you have it inspected by an independent inspector, that you trust I would not purchase this unit. I understand the there is a need for the dealer to be covered for costs to prep the unit for sale but that should have been a part of their initial purchase price when they picked up the unit on trade. The only thing an AS dealer would bring to the table is a potential that they would be informed as to issues typical to your unit, places to look for trouble based on experience. I would be more likely to pay prep and inspection by an AS dealer than prep and inspection by an SOB dealer. For example, I was helping a friend look for an AS on a flipper's lot, many different trailers picked up "around". I watched his service people silicon caulk a roof vent ( bad idea on AS skins) and wash the outside of another with a stiff brush that was leaving scratches on the skin. We walked away.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:18 AM   #5
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Not to mention that buying the new unit gives you a 3 year warranty. And, why did someone trade in a "barely used 2018" on something else? Was it a situation where they just wanted more room or was it a "lemon"?
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:41 AM   #6
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The way I would look at it is the total price what I wanted to pay? What they actually call their markup would not matter. Personally I would fly out and do the deal in person or pass on it. Offer what I wanted it for and show them the ticket home. One shot at it. I have not bought a new trailer. But for 11000 difference I might if I liked the dealer and the trailer. It is awful easy to run up a 5000 bill at Jackson Center on a used trailer if you are picky and have a problem. What I do know is that some deals might be better or worse than other deals but there is no cheap way to own a nice, almost new, Airstream.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:46 AM   #7
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You don't say if you have had a trailer before. If not there are just too many things to look for that you need an independent inspector if you want to proceed. Your price they gave you plus the 1400 and the 299. should be less than what you can do elsewhere.

Are they going to give you any type of warranty? I would walk away. If you are willing to drive to get the trailer you want you should probably widen your search area and drive possibly a little further to get the trailer you want.

Dave
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASdreamteam5 View Post
I've been in talks with a major national RV dealership for a 2018 airstream. They are claiming barely used, 3 trips. But they obtained this on a trade-in, they aren't an authorized Airstream seller. And they want to charge me $1,400 in dealer fees (not including the $299 documenting fee) to get it ready and inspect, etc.

I know not all dealers charge this fee, but some do. I just feel like it's a very high number, and also question how knowledgeable they will actually be on final inspection/walk through with us if we agree to purchase and go to pick it up.

Should I hold off and keep looking for one from an authorized seller? I've called Airstream about the VIN, and it's had only a couple of minor warranty claims since purchased in March 2018.

We would also be purchasing sight unseen, which i know, you all do not recommend. I couldn't find anyone local to inspect it, and it's a full day's drive for us.

The price for the trailer is good, but these added fees are putting us a bit over what we want to spend on a used unit. We are very new to this, so any input is much appreciated!
I would ask to see the pre-delivery inspection report.... Most dealers will have one that they say is better than the manufacturer. Ask what are they doing and show you. Ask Airstream to send you a copy of A PDI sheet that they require upon the sell of a new one and that should be your standards for what should be done. Good luck
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:41 AM   #9
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Orlando , Florida
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Threaten to walk

Move on.. Walk if they don't waive the Fee.

You should send your own Inspector out there to check it out.

If not, stay on Airstream Classified.

Dealers don't care about you or any Customer. (Google complaints about this dealer. I'm sure it's not pretty).

Airstream Classified will find you something you can negotiate on.

Beware of buying from Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. They allow Fraud to take place on Titles. (Vehicles totaled by Hail not required to be listed as Salvage).
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:45 AM   #10
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This is all great information, thanks all. We aren't going to do the deal. This will be our first trailer, so I think I'll be more comfortable buying new from a certified dealer and eating the instant depreciation. Our issue is that we are looking at a 28' or 30' so that we can have the separate dinette and sofa bed. We have 3 kids and plan on putting them in the bedroom with twin beds and an air mattress. Which means that used ones of that size are a little harder to come by. From what I've seen/read/heard, smaller used units are much more common, one of the reasons being that people decide they want more space and trade up for a larger trailer. We are going to skip this step and just go for what we think will work, so I don't anticipate us buying another one for a very long time, if ever.
We have a dealer nearby, on the smaller side, but he's already given me a speech about how backed up orders are, and he only has about 9 on the lot, none of which are the specs we are looking for.
I've been talking to Jim at Arbogast, and I really like him. He offered me a decent deal, and I haven't tried to negotiate it at all, so I might get back with him and see if we can get the price for a new one down a tad more.
Am I looking at this all wrong? It's not that we have to have one right this minute, but we do have a trip planned in November with my parents and we want it before then. I've also heard that spring/summer can be a more difficult time to get a good price.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #11
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for your first trailer - you may want a slightly older model so it has all of the bugs out of it and has a lower price. I have seen a lot of 2017/2018s for sale - which i assume are 1st time buyers who realize that the airstream or RVing isn't for them. Typically an AS that is only 5 years old is virtually new. If you do buy new - i believe you can usually get around 20% off list. Good luck.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #12
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I would go with the new one. Don't worry about small issues. They are asking to much for used one are it is a real good deal on new.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:03 AM   #13
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Run, do not walk away.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:18 AM   #14
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Scottsdale , Arizona
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You should be able to negotiate 15-20% off msrp. I’ve did it on our units. You might even be able to squeak more out, especially if you buy a new 2018 off the lot. The warranty doesn’t start until first owner purchase so you can get deeper discounts and still full factory warranty. Of course in 2019 model years warranty increaed by one year, but not worth the big extra cost if s good 2018 new option was available.

We started with 27FB, kept for 18 month, then traded up to a 33 twin. At the end of the day floor plan is everything, so spend lots of time sitting in and evaluating what size/plan fits you best. We are only 2 people, but for us the huge bathroom, couch, and door separating the bedroom were the parts that pushed us to upgrade. Of course with kids then sleeping space and arrangement would become important.
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