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Old 01-14-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
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If not an Airstream, what then?

I am currently seeking an AS but price is holding be back. I am convinced about the quality but..... My decision is to either decide to get what I want regardless of price or find the 2nd best travel trailer. Can anyone help with the notion of "If not an Airstream, what then?
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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We could not afford a new Airstream so we bought a gently used 30 year old one. Very happy with the decision. 2nd choice would be a Big Foot new or used.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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You need to do some research , but buy a product that the manufacturer is still in business.For example Bigfoot is no longer in business.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:19 PM   #4
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If I couldn't have an Airstream, I would look really seriously at the Star Stream by Starcraft. We have a close friend that has one that I have gotten a really close look at. I am impressed with the fit and finish. My friend has a 29' with a slideout.

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Old 01-14-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asnubie View Post
"If not an Airstream, what then?
Nothing.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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The Airstream Sport might be an option...Lighter weight and less expensive...or you can find you a good previously loved Airstream right here in the forums classifieds!

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Old 01-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asnubie View Post
I am currently seeking an AS but price is holding be back. I am convinced about the quality but..... My decision is to either decide to get what I want regardless of price or find the 2nd best travel trailer. Can anyone help with the notion of "If not an Airstream, what then?
Depending on your abilities/interests, you might want to look at the 'Award" trailer.

Originally a UK design, these were made in Canada for a number of years.

We owned one for the last ten years and loved it. It is quite a unique low profile light weight design and tows beautifully. Our 27 footer had a light weight of less than 4000 pounds..

The interior layout is very similar to the Airstream. These trailers were not cheap when sold new, and were aimed I believe at couples rather than families with children, interiors are pretty nice, though perhpas not quite up to AS levels.

One downfall with them - maybe the only one - is that they need constant attention to caulking. Any leaks can quickly cause expensive damage.

In the end, we sold ours as it was becoming a bit of a money pit and I had no room to work on it myself at home. I'm still not sure if it was a wise decision!

When we sold it we considered almost every option, trailer, motorhopme, you name it. In the end, it came down the airstream being the only option for us - hope I won't regret it! We bought ours used in September and hope to take our first long trip next month.

There is a Yahoo group dedicated to the Award trailers. Ownership has become almost a cult thing!

The company in Canada made them from the mid seventies to the mid nineties I believe. They then closed there doors - there are different stories as to why.

A few of the managers started up again in a much smaller way and they were building maybe 20 a year, mostly going to the US and selling for about $65,000Can until a couple of years ago when the Canadian dollar began to rise and sales to the US dwindled.

I think the company still exists - but just barely hanging on and only refurbishing trailers at present rather than building new. They were selling refurbished ones in the $20k range. They did have a website, AwardRV or something similar.

We sure enjoyed ours and it took us back and forth across teh USA many times!
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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We could not afford a new Airstream so we bought a gently used 30 year old one. Very happy with the decision. 2nd choice would be a Big Foot new or used.
I have heard good things about Bigfoot, but unfortunately, I think they just closed their doors within the last few months.

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Old 01-14-2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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I would definitely consider an Avion. They are very similar to an Airstream in design and in some ways, are better than an Airstream. Yet they sell cheaper because they do not have the well known brand name.

Personally I like my Travelux, a Canadian made Avion copy. But that's because I am Canadian, and just enough of a patriot to get a kick out of owning the home grown product.

I don't recommend you look for a Travelux, they are pretty rare. But a good trailer too.

There were other high grade aluminum trailers made by Streamline and Silver Streak in California. They turn up sometimes in Texas. Both were very sturdy well made trailers. Their disadvantage is mainly that they are rather gloomy inside due to the small windows and dark wood paneling. Also the ones that turn up for sale are mostly from the mid 70s. You may not want a trailer that old.

Of course, parts are a problem for anything but an Airstream. Avion, I believe still has some parts available. The others went out of business years ago.

The situation is not too hopeless because most of the things that need replacement, such as appliances, brakes, etc. are standard units bought from outside suppliers and therefore, are not hard to get.

As I said I like my Travelux and would consider an Avion, Streamline or Silver Streak. Would also consider a Boles Aero or Holiday Rambler, both box style trailers but with aluminum frames not wooden frames. They don't shake to pieces and rot away like the typical wood framed box.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:11 PM   #11
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I have heard good things about Bigfoot, but unfortunately, I think they just closed their doors within the last few months.

brian
Yes Brian they have shut down the plant but the ones on the lots could be a deal right now. Down side is there would be no factory warranty. Having a Bigfoot now could be a cool thing as there are no more to be built.

Re Awards... The manufacturer had a couple Awards at the Hamilton RV show last year. They were still alive and kickin at that point. The factory was/is ? down near Lake Erie. Dunnville maybe?

Side note... I think we may have met??? I was riding my bike through Aldershot last year and stopped to talk with a guy that had a 27' Award. He was kind enough to show me through the trailer. Maybe this was you??
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:19 PM   #12
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if not an Airstream- then nothin!

there are so many years, models, (fully restored, semi-restored) to choose from, there's always something to be found- just keep looking
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:41 PM   #13
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"If not an Airstream, what then?"

For most on this forum there is no answer to your question.

I am fixing up an old (1965) Airstream, you might think that would save some money,
but I'll still have $10K to $15K plus a lot of hours of work in it. I guess that is less
than a new one @ $30K to $40K.

If, not an Airstream, well I would probably motel it.
I am not trying to be a snob.
I just don't think I would get wooped up enough to put in the effort to do the
whole trailer thing unless I really liked the product.

I can honestly say I had this attitude before I got my Airstream, not after.
Something else to consider is resale value in your cost equation.
I figure I will be able to get my money back out when I sell,
that is not true with many other brands.
New ones (any brand, even Airstreams) will not hold value as well as older ones.

Just one persons perspective, there are lots of other perspectives.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:58 PM   #14
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Gently used

Quote:
Originally Posted by asnubie View Post
I am currently seeking an AS but price is holding be back. I am convinced about the quality but..... My decision is to either decide to get what I want regardless of price or find the 2nd best travel trailer. Can anyone help with the notion of "If not an Airstream, what then?
A gently used Airstream! Ditto!

And there will never be a better opportunity. Consider this: 2 years ago Joe Keepupwiththejones bought a Harley, a Lexus, a vacation home in Florida and an Airstream... along with having granite countertops installed in his kitchen, a jetted exercise spa in his backyard and on and on. He has so much stuff he doesn't have time to use half of it. Business is slowing down and he's looking at getting laid off. What CAN he sell? Yep, the Harley and the Airstream will go first. And they'll go for whatever he can get even if it's 40 cents on the dollar.

Feel bad about being a vulture? Well I can't help you there, but the guy who is dying for $12K in cash will let his 4 year old Airstream go and be grateful if it gives him 4 months breathing space to try to hold on to his core possessions. I say, if you don't buy it, he might be forced to sell it to recycle $700 worth of aluminum. SAVE the AIRSTREAM!

Paula
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