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Old 02-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #15
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1957 26' Overlander
Winston Salem , North Carolina
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Posts: 356
Great feedback, folks. I love hearing all of your success stories!

Airstreamin' dreamin'.

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:47 PM   #16
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
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How many used AS did you check out before you purchased?

My purchase dates back to 1995 so there wasn't much assistance from the Internet even though I had Internet access at work. The search involved scanning every "Trader" publication that I could find as well as the classifieds in the Madison, Wisconsin and DuBuque, Iowa weekend newspapers for nearly a year. My search had begun with new Airstreams, but I couldn't find an acceptable floorplan as I insisted upon a rear bathroom arrangement. It only took one trip to the dealer to confirm that the new Airstreams weren't offering what I wanted.

During the year that I searched, I traveled in excess of 3,000 miles to inspect 12 Airstreams. The newest that I considered was a 1988 and the oldest was the 1964 Overlander that I purchased. In the end, my decision came down to two coaches . . . a 1977 Airstream Caravanner and the 1964 Overlander. I came very close to calling and cancelling my appointment to look at the 1964 Overlander, but something about its picture in the Trader kept drawing me back. The next day, I was on the road to inspect the Overlander.

Within minutes of entering the door of the 1964 Overlander, I knew that it was the Airstream of my dreams. Within an hour, I was making a good-faith deposit with arrangements made to tow the Overlander home five days later. I couldn't identify precisely why it had "instant" appeal, but over the years I came to understand its original appeal. Several weeks after purchasing the Overlander, I was towing it to my family's farm about 500 miles from where I lived at the time. My route took me near the home of a friend of my family who's parents had introduced me to camping in 1964. While visiting that family friend, I learned that this 1964 Overlander was the same one that those friends had just purchased prior to inviting me on that first camping trip . . . the Overlander had been brand new at the time and it had been towed by a 1957 Mercury Monterey. The Overlander was identified by the curtains that had been made by the original owner shortly before the trailer was sold in 1980.

My Minuet was a much different story. I wasn't really actively shopping for another Airstream, but had been intrigued by the first 6.0 Metre Minuet that I had seen at the 2000 WBCCI International Rally. It was during that Rally when I had the opportunity to meet the Minuet's owner who was a retired college professor. We spent quite some time talking about the little trailer, and in the end, I made a casual remark that I might be interested should he ever consider selling. A couple of years later, I received an e-mail from the professor indicating that he was going to sell the Minuet and upgrade to an Airstream Tradewind. Initially, I passed on the offer, but that decision bugged me for two days . . . I called and made an appointment to inspect the trailer. I knew as soon as I set foot in the little coach that it had to come home with me . . . I left a cash deposit and returned four days later with the balance due and towed her home.

I have never regretted the purchase of either coach.


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:51 PM   #17
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 775
Bought the first one we actually looked at but did some long distance looking prior. Couple of surprises but overall we got a good trailer that needed some repair work and the price was within reason. I knew I would be replacing axles, they were original, so with the cost factored in, it was still fair.

Unless you are willing to wait a long time or travel a long way, getting the "perfect" trailer may be very elusive and if you find one with a decent price in good shape, don't sleep on it too long or somebody else will be driving it home.

Ongoing adventures at:
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #18
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2006 25' Safari
Fort Myers , Florida
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Good questions. I started my quest about a year and a half before buying. I planned on shopping and saving for about three years or so. I started by reading about RVs. I had rented an RV (Mercedes View-like motorhome) for a trip in New Zealand and loved it. I started with those but the more I read, I realized that a trailer was in many ways a better choice. I still looked at 5th wheels, used class A types and more trailers. Then I focused on Airstream by visiting Bates RV in Tampa. I looked at new ones and fell in love with two models - the 23C and the 25FB twin. Then sticker shock came. I thought of used but when the sales person showed me 3 used ones (two were really old and rough) I was overtaken with learning how to build trailers! It was too much for me to rebuild one with no place to tear it apart and limited funds (they weren't that cheap). I went to the Tampa Super RV show in 2012 to look at other options. I found two - an earthbound and a galileo trailer. The turning point for me was talking with a Winnebago executive at the show. I was told by a local man about the new Winnebago One that was coming out and it would be fantastic. When I went to see it the Winnebago man asked me some questions about what I was looking for and where I lived, etc. He then told me that if I lived in FL the best decision I could make would be to get a rig with a metal or fiberglass roof and his was not either!! I told him about my findings regarding roof type and immediately he said Airstream or Galileo would be his advice. So, Airstream and used became my mantra. I then began the quest for a twin later model used. I was told that twins in newer models were not common and it may be a while. Then ONE MONTH LATER someone traded one in. I went to look at it. I spent over two hours looking at it. I was emailing people on this forum like crazy leaving posts, etc.

You see, all the Airstreams I had ever seen had silver walls inside and panoramic windows and called Flying Cloud or International. I had not seen the front panel window or the type of dark tinted windows that were on the Safari model I was looking at. So, that took me a while to consider if I liked it or not. Right next to it was another used one they got a 2007 Safari SE FB. I looked at that too but it was $10K more and I could not see that difference for me. I have now grown to like the insulated walls and ceiling (like a classic model) and the windows do not bother me at all. I added fantastic fans in the front and rear and ordered special lids. The one in the front is clear so there is added light and the rear is the translucent for light but not as much. It is a lot brighter than it was inside and I like it better. The fan motor blocks the direct sun but the light is still there as with the skylight. I believe you have to figure out what you want first, then when a used one comes along that meets MOST of your criteria you will know if it is in decent shape. Mine was scratched on the side and the bumper was pulled but I have fixed it up and it is all mine- more than I can say If I had purchased new holding a payment book! My compromise was initially the walls and windows. Now it does not matter I am enjoying camping and making it mine. Pick your size and layout. How big can you go?/How small can you go? How handy you are will determine how old you can buy? I wanted to stay in the 4-7 year old range.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #19
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1957 26' Overlander
Winston Salem , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 356
Very insightful! Yes, I have concluded that we are going to need to go vintage for weight purposes. We're going to need to keep it between 16'-22'. I haven't really determined which layout I prefer...mostly because I am a hands on type person. I'd have to step foot in it to see how I like it. While I'm not handy in electrical or plumbing, I'm hoping I can handle any other types of interior restore necessary. (Meanwhile, I'm already lining up friends and family that ARE handy with the aforementioned). I've also got someone that has volunteered to go cross country pick up for me if need be I guess they just want an excuse for a cross country trip.
Anyhoo, I'm in the wee stages of searching, so I'm putting the proverbial trailer before the truck. I just like finding out how it went for all you seasoned vets out there!
Airstreamin' dreamin'.

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Old 02-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #20
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Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,395
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How many used AS did you check out before you purchased?

Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:29 PM   #21
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2006 31' Classic
Archer , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 284
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We spent the weekend at the Tampa Super RV show a few years ago in January mostly looking at 5th wheels. On the drive home to North Central Fla we decided that we didn't want to haul around the Empire State Building and looked on the forums on my iphone. Found the one that we wanted in Pennsylvania. When we got home, we called and made the deal sight unseen (other than pictures). Gem of a lady (both seller and AS). It wouldn't stop snowing in Pa, so didn't take possession until late March. Haven't had one regret.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #22
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 268
One (1). Actually i bought it from my brother who wanted to buy a 5th wheel for more space. He owned it three years after he purchased it from the original owner that owned it for 20 years. The A/S came with five international stars reflecting the previous members WBCCI commitment for 30 years. I would have loved to have what they traded for this back in 1972.
It does have the rear bat,h mid twins, which to some is a non-starter, but this was in great shape so you concede on some things especially if the price is right and the unit is solid. You can have a lot of miserable sleepless nights in a queen rear bed, if the coach is not working or is non-functional.
We re-flagged, re-commissioned, re-numbered the ghost numbers as we have now owned it 19 years.
We've been across America in it twice and been in many other Airstreams wanting to possibly upgrade, but once you see what you have we ask ourselves, what are we gaining.
Keep it simple and make it comfortable. Like I am finding out this month, and continue to find out every time I want to upgrade something, I can swap out two vents with new fantastic fans, and have LED recessed lights placed in the ceiling by the dealer for allot cheaper than buying a newer coach with LED lights and fantastic fans.
It is all about the adventure and having the dreams of attending all the Airstream Aluma Events, (JC, Tuscon,Oregon....). It takes time and we'll eventually all get to where we want to be.

Keep looking and you'll know it when you see it.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:01 PM   #23
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2013 22' FB Sport
College Place , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 118
Looked at new ones, looked at two different local used ones over a couple months. Then went an bought a new one
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:10 PM   #24
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural, blink and you'll miss it , Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Bought the first one I saw/looked at. Old, beat up. Intended to be a project.
Bought the second one I saw. Heavily damaged, intended to use for parts.

Lost my job, sold both and ALL of the original pieces that I had bought to restore the first, (66 Tradewind, Icky) for start up capital for my own business.

Hadn't thought of another for a while but woke recently with the thought to look for another. Ebay. Close to home. Went to see it. poked, prodded, inspected. Bought it.

So I'm an impulse buyer too.
Not knowing enough to be afraid... (I know more than I did, but I did it anyway!)


1968 Tradewind Double.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:33 PM   #25
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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Lonewolf, we bought the third one we looked at and it was a gem! A recommendation for you. Look at the bottom of the forums and find a rally near you. Go there, the folks will generally welcome you and you will get to see a wide range of ages and models all in one location. We came away with a hand written list of units for sale, provided by one of the members. Bought the third one we looked at off that list..
Happy hunting!
Chuck & Skye
Rock and Roll Will Never Die!

WBCCI 3805
AIR 54011 Since July 2011
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:37 PM   #26
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2006 25' Safari
Fort Myers , Florida
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I looked at five used ones before purchasing. There weren't many to compare.
2015 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast 3.55 Lariat
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:47 PM   #27
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,014
Bought the first one we saw after we actually decided to buy. Before that, we looked at quite a few new ones on the lot and at the RV show in town. We knew what we wanted, what we "needed" and what we would settle for before we got started.

The internet is a wonderful thing as it gives you a pretty good idea of prices to expect. I found a few that would work but they were on the other side of the continent. One finally popped up about 400 miles away, made the call and drove down to take a look. It was as advertised and the deal was done.

In the process we did look at a few used ones on the dealer's lot which helped us to focus on newer trailers. Settled for a 2006 25 FB SE in 2009 and paid less than they guy owed on it after three years of payments. We were happy how it all turned out.

Good luck. Don't be in a hurry.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:50 PM   #28
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,239
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Blog Entries: 51
Hi, we originally were looking for the shortest Class "C" motorhome with a rear walk around queen bed on a Ford chassis. Another concern was that if it was too high we wouldn't be able to park it in our driveway and under the eaves. We weren't retired yet and our entire investment would be sitting in our driveway for a few years and only get used for a few vacation weeks.

Then my wife had a vision of an Airstream trailer being towed with a Lincoln Navigator. We studied sizes and floor plans and decided that a 25' Airstream was the perfect size for us. We did not like the six sleeper model and we only needed room for two people. We still wanted a rear queen, but I was willing to buy a rear twin and convert it into a queen.

I searched on the Internet every night for a nice used 25' Airstream. seemed like most of them were either in Texas or Florida and I wasn't able to make the drive since I was still working. Finally I found some in Southern California; They were beat up, stinky, had rusty tongues, bad tires and who knows what else. One dealer said they had a real nice used trailer coming in, in about a month, and would give us a call.

At this point we decided that the only way we were going to get what we wanted in decent shape was to buy a new trailer. We went to all of the local dealers and got used and abused buy some of the sales people. We liked the 25' Classic but it weighed 1,000 lbs more than the Safari and listed for about $15,000.00 more, and had the same exact floor plan. So now it was narrowed down to a 25' Safari. I went on line and bought a brand new 25' rear queen Safari in Oregon. It was in line to be built so we could get what we wanted and got a one year newer model too.

We looked at several trailers and the dealer called us almost one year later on the trade in that we were told about. [too late]


2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
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