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Old 04-17-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
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HELP!!! Airstream Basics.

Hello,

I recently found Airstreams on the web and i fell in love with them. I'm currently in school, full time job, and part time Military. I don't want to buy a home or rent an apartment and i figured an Airstream is a great alternative. I visited a few dealers but i'm very overwhelmed with the kind of information they are giving me. They also told me financing can be difficult if my credit is not as good. What should i know about buying... how should i finance? Are there any additional costs i should know? I've been reading the posts here and hopefully i can get more insight. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you!

Breliz
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:22 PM   #2
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School first

Don't burden your self with an expensive Airstream at this time. Finish the schooling, do the Military duty and get yourself a reasonable Airstream. Make it your fun, make it your home. Keep your eyes open all the time for that one special one too. If I were you I'd look for an early 80's Excella.....25 footer.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:32 PM   #3
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Living by yourself in an Airstream is very doable, and can be afordable. This first thing that I would do is check out campgrounds in your area. Pick the one that you like the feel of, and get prices for a long term stay. See waht's included, cable, wifi, etc. Take a look at some of the prices for a gently used Airstream that you think would be suitable. Crunch the numbers and see if it works for you financially. If you want to travel some in your Airstream, a suitable tow vehicle is also a consideration. If travel is a part of your plan, you might consider going with the smallest Airstream that you think you could live in.

If you are in the active military reserve or National Guard, you have access to the campgrounds on military bases. Our son is an E-7 in the Army Reserve, and takes his 19' Bambi on training assignments. He camps on base, and still draws his perdiem. He also stays on bases on vacation. The price is usually really good.

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Old 04-17-2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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Hey B, and welcome!

I agree with Melody Ranch.

There are more good used rigs on the classified than ever before.

Try late 80's - mid 90's

Save yourself a bundle, and don't get yourself in debt!!!!!!!!

Michael
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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One other item. Dependent upon where you are stationed, an Airstream may not be suitable for 4 season use. Consider that once you get significantly under freezing temps, insulation is marginal, windows are single paned, you do have issues with condensation, and you will burn a ton of propane, assuming you will be using the furnace to keep the under floor areas thawed. Add to that the issues of water and sewage, you will lose your fondness of your Airstream fairly quickly.

Now if you can stay out of hard winter, then go for it.

Jack
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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hi breliz and welcome to the forums!

which model?

how much?

financing?

put it where?

is this for me?

overwhelmed?

4get the a/s stuff and start with the basics...


Selecting the RV for You - For Dummies

more basic rv books...

no foolin!

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:46 PM   #7
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I'm sorry, here's some additional information. My SUV can tow a max of 5000lbs. One dealer told me i can probably tow up to a 23". Also, i asked the dealers about used models but they quickly suggested otherwise. They also suggested i put 20% down (i questioned this, which is why i'm trying to inform myself). I did check around post (Fort Irwin, CA) and i will be able to rent a space for a moderate amount of money. The temperatures here range from the low 40's in the winter and over 100 degrees in the summer. I do plan to do some traveling but not on a regular basis. I figure i can afford about $700-800 a month for living expenses. I must say, thank you for all your input. I know now that a used model will be my best bet. Again, thank you so much!
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:08 PM   #8
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Keep in mind all the new shine of a fresh-off-the-dealers-lot unit takes a huge dip in value, the 20% down could very well be the total value lost as soon as the trailer is titles as "sold".
That 20% might buy a reasonable used unit outright...
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:24 PM   #9
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Don't worry about new. Take your time, and a great match for you will show up. And save you some coin. Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:58 PM   #10
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This is a great time to find a nice Airstream. Lots going on the market. Check out ebay, craigslist, and your local papers... but also check on the classifieds here! Compare the prices, look at pictures, kick the tires... you will find one you like! The last year I worked I lived in a 5th wheel while hubby was at our home... it was a piece of cake...enjoyed it alot. Not a lot to clean and take care of, but enough room to do all I needed!

The vintage airstreams are lighter in weight, just FYI. Ask any and all questions here on the forums about any 'streams you see. Take 2Air's advice and pick up the books, you will learn alot!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:53 AM   #11
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Hang in there Breliz.....You and your Airstream are searching for each other and you will hook up soon.

You are doing the right thing by questioning what the dealer is telling you.

I prefer a vintage unit because they weigh less and are more economical on the tow vehicle. The can, however, require more work at times.

If you are leaning towards new, perhaps look at some other dealers in other cities.

Good luck with your search and please keep us all updated. We are here to coach you along.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brelize
I'm sorry, here's some additional information. My SUV can tow a max of 5000lbs. One dealer told me i can probably tow up to a 23". Also, i asked the dealers about used models but they quickly suggested otherwise. They also suggested i put 20% down (i questioned this, which is why i'm trying to inform myself). I did check around post (Fort Irwin, CA) and i will be able to rent a space for a moderate amount of money. The temperatures here range from the low 40's in the winter and over 100 degrees in the summer. I do plan to do some traveling but not on a regular basis. I figure i can afford about $700-800 a month for living expenses. I must say, thank you for all your input. I know now that a used model will be my best bet. Again, thank you so much!
One caution to be aware of is living in an Airstream near Fort Irwin. It will be quite hot and the air conditioner will run almost continuously and loudly trying to keep cool in the 100 degree plus temps there, much like it would in Riverside.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:58 PM   #13
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Fort Irwin is also the site of one of the top 10 road signs that I've ever seen. Leaving the main gate the cautionary sign there says "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - Next 22 Miles" and that statement is spot on.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:46 PM   #14
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I'm awaiting my dream home a/s as well. Something small maybe a bambi. I'm already learning so much on this forum. Thank you everyone. jodi
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