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Old 10-17-2014, 01:09 AM   #1
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Is putting cart before the horse a good idea? Is this a good deal on the cart?

My first post ever here so be gentle please.

I think I found a good deal on a 27' Flying Cloud. That is question #2. Question #1 is whether it's a good idea to jump on that deal now before I've even purchased a tow vehicle. I won't be able to test tow it without a truck so I will have to trust the private seller. Please let me know your thoughts about that.

Question #2 - is $54k a good price for a 2011 27' Flying Cloud from a private seller? Looks to be in very good shape in person and he promises to clean the interior really well. It still has that new-ish Airstream smell. Anyway, would you pay $54k for the trailer?

Thanks in advance folks!
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:57 AM   #2
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You are preparing to marry the first girl you went on a date with. You are preparing to take the first job you applied for and work there for a decade.

Go on a few more dates with a few more girls. Interview for a few more jobs. You might find out that girl #1 was the one after all, but you likely will find out that there are other girls out there that suit you better (that are cheaper in the long run).

I don't have a dating analogy to correspond to the "buying a trailer without a tow vehicle" part, but suffice to say that's the opposite way I'd suggest.

At the very least, go see some more trailers.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:47 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what your doing is such a bad idea. If you settle on a 23 foot vs a 30 ft, that might make a difference in what tow vehicle you buy. 150 vs a 250. From what I hear, used Airstreams in good condition, fairly priced go fast so sometimes you don't have time to think too much about it. Test drive a trailer? We bought our Airstream new, picked out a truck, then hitched it up. Test drive was out the dealers lot then home. No turning back at that point.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:59 AM   #4
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Bigger question to me is, is this the rig you want? Do you know enough to know that?

If you have done oodles of research and seen several models in the 23 to 30 size and determined what rig/rigs you would consider (in light of features, layout, and tow vehicle capacity required), then if this fits with your plan, not bad to consider it.

If you have only seen this rig, and can't rattle off the tongue weights, tow weights, payloads of different trailers in the 23 to 30 range, and have not researched tow vehicles you would consider that meet the capacity required to tow these different vehicles, as well as their prices and affordability for all of this, then I think you might be acting hastily.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:11 AM   #5
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A good price for a used Airstream is one that a seller is willing to take, and a buyer is willing to give, but look around and see what similar units are selling for.

You need to decide if you can afford the luxury of a dedicated tow vehicle, or if you need to also use the tow vehicle as a daily driver. If the latter is true, you may not want to drive a vehicle big enough to comfortably tow a 27ft trailer. Don't buy a trailer, any size trailer, and then a marginal tow vehicle because you won't be happy with the performance of the rig.

If, however your tow vehicle will be used only for towing the trailer, then it really doesn't matter. You also need to have it clear in your mind about how much you will use the trailer, and how frequently you will tow the trailer, and how far you will tow the trailer.

All these things are difficult to predict with 100% accuracy, but you do need to have some thoughts about them. Might save you some money in the long run.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:22 AM   #6
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Hi and Welcome,

I've purchased all our rigs used and never even considered taking a "test tow". I suppose there's justification to do so but a thorough inspection has always sufficed for me. As for buying the trailer before the TV. As long as you have a way to get it to your destination I see no issue. Buying the trailer first allows you to better select the TV of choice IMO.

I can't help you much on the price but others here are adept in that area and can offer sage advice.

Best of luck,

Kevin
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:20 AM   #7
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You do have to consider what kind of TV you might end up with. Some people have some self imposed limitations as to what they are willing to buy to tow with. A 27 footer is going to require a very capable, well setup 1/2 ton TV at the very least and many, my self included, would feel better with a 3/4 ton something for that size. If you are willing to go there with the TV then buying the trailer first is just fine. On the other hand if you really want to tow with a soft 1/2 ton or smaller you may want to find a smaller trailer.
Airstreams tow very well. A test tow will tell you little about the trailer. It will tell you a lot about the TV and how well it is set up for the trailer.
If you really like the trailer and that size trailer and are willing to commit to getting a adequate TV I would say buy it. I can not help with the price. My newest trailer is a 1988 model. From looking at trailers at shows, etc. I would say the price is in the right ballpark. Price depends somewhat on the accessories, etc and a whole lot on condition.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:28 AM   #8
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You are preparing to marry the first girl you went on a date with. You are preparing to take the first job you applied for and work there for a decade.

Go on a few more dates with a few more girls. Interview for a few more jobs. You might find out that girl #1 was the one after all, but you likely will find out that there are other girls out there that suit you better (that are cheaper in the long run).

I don't have a dating analogy to correspond to the "buying a trailer without a tow vehicle" part, but suffice to say that's the opposite way I'd suggest.

At the very least, go see some more trailers.
Ummm, I did all three. Married my first serious girlfriend, met when we were 14, married at 21, that was 34 years ago.......took the first job offer out of college, been there almost 31 years. Bought the first AS I looked at (it found me), 4 years later, very happy.

If you know what you want in life, don't over analyze!
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:59 AM   #9
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I think you will be happy with a 27 foot model. That size is one of Airstream's most popular and you are not getting a super small unit simply because "it is cute." Most (but of course not all) people who trade in an Airstream after a couple of years end up getting a bigger unit. So starting with a 27 is a good place to be.

The asking price seems a bit high to me. Have you checked to see what a brand new similarly equipped model would sell for? Keep in mind that dealers will offer discounts of between 15% and 20% or the MSRP (escpecially at the end of the camping season.) A 2011 model is now four model years old. I would think that a four year old model should sell for about 25-30% less than a new one. Also, compare the features of a new unit vs. the older one. Ducted air and LED lighting come to mind.

If you check the classifieds related to this forum, you will see some pricing of recent model year trailers. Keep in mind that those are asking prices, it is likely that any sale was made for somewhat less than the asking price.

Happy hunting!
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:05 AM   #10
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Oh, and as to your question #1, the tow vehicle. I wouldn't worry about a "road test" for a three or four year old model. It will almost certainly tow just fine. There are lots of threads on this forum discussing the various types and sizes of tow vehicles. Towing a 27 foot Airstream will not require an exotic vehicle, a 1/2 ton pickup is most common, a 3/4 ton pickup (with or without diesel) is probably next in line. There are plenty of people who tow 27 foot Airstreams with SUVs, large passenger cars and even some minivans! There are as many opinions about the tow vehicle as there are people posting on this forum!

The most important issue you need to look for in a three to four year old trailer is leaks and any related damage. Again, there are tons of threads about this on the forum.

Make friends with the "Search Function," ask specific questions and you'll do fine.

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Old 10-17-2014, 10:05 AM   #11
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One of the things to realize is that you are one to two seasons away from having to replace the tires. You might factor that into your offering price.

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Old 10-17-2014, 10:41 AM   #12
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If you know what you want in life, don't over analyze!

Exactly! Also, learn to be satisfied with a good decision. You can second guess and what-if all day long...

With all that said, I trade guns so often, I'm known as The Gun Whore.

-Red, being no help at all...
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:36 AM   #13
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We bought ours new and never considered a test tow knowing our TV was fully capable of doing the job. If it was me I'd go for a new one if the price was within $12k. His asking price seems high considering like another poster pointed out, the tires are nearing their useful life.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:48 AM   #14
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Ummm, I did all three. Married my first serious girlfriend, met when we were 14, married at 21, that was 34 years ago.......took the first job offer out of college, been there almost 31 years. Bought the first AS I looked at (it found me), 4 years later, very happy.

If you know what you want in life, don't over analyze!
Ditto. Married first serious girlfriend, met her 34 years ago. Sitting next to her right now in our 27FB that we tow with a SUV (Ford Expedition).

Also took first job out of college 31 years ago. Worked up to management. Happy and looking forward to retirement.
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