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Old 07-11-2019, 08:22 AM   #1
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Looking to purchase - need advice please

I'm looking to purchase a used Airstream. If I'm not mistaken, the Flying Cloud is the most no nonsense trailer of Airstream. I'm a first time guy. My wife and I are thinking of a 27' to house us two and out Japanese Akita.
What year between 2014 and 2018 is the most reliable/easy to work on, etc.
Thanks ahead of time.

Spaggs
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaggs View Post
I'm looking to purchase a used Airstream. If I'm not mistaken, the Flying Cloud is the most no nonsense trailer of Airstream. I'm a first time guy. My wife and I are thinking of a 27' to house us two and out Japanese Akita.
What year between 2014 and 2018 is the most reliable/easy to work on, etc.
Thanks ahead of time.

Spaggs
We have a 2 year old 27' Flying Cloud FB Twin. It's hard to say which year is better, but ours has been relatively problem free. We had a brake issue- the star wheel adjuster came loose and made a LOT of racket as it rolled around inside the brake, but no problem since then. Hopefully, you can find one with comprehensive maintenance/repair documentation . . .
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:01 PM   #3
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Far more important than the model year is the care that the previous owners took of the trailer.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:25 PM   #4
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27’ trailers 2015 and newer have ducted air.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:10 PM   #5
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You are not likely to realize a significant savings over buying new if you purchase a used AS <10 years old. There is a big hit the buyer takes in initial depreciation once he rolls off the lot, but afterwards, not so much.

While you may not realize much financial savings in a <10year old trailer, you will realize better quality since AS relies on the original owner for their Quality Control process. The OO finds all the nagging problems and unexpected failures and incomplete or shoddy assembly and should have already taken care of it under the warranty, so you will be getting essentially a better-than-actually-new trailer at a slight discount, with, perhaps, only a few minor cosmetic dings here and there, of the sort you yourself might inflict on your first camping trip. (Plus some handy camping extras and necessary trailer mods the OO will likely throw in for free)

Far greater savings can be realized on an older or even vintage trailer, but those will often require more time and effort to restore. But, you would end up with a better than new trailer at a fraction of the cost of new, even if you invested tens of thousands of dollars into its refurbishment or restoration, but at the cost of time or personal effort if you DIY.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:33 PM   #6
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You want a well maintained coach with the features you see as important.

For two, a 25,26,27,28 - older 29/31 will work. I like the 27 best, but you may find just the right deal on any of the others.

Easiest to maintain is one that has been maintained. Take care that the changes implemented are safe and effective. The shade tree mechanic that uses substandard materials and fixes is not good. The shade tree mechanic that understands safe and effective procedures for repairs and upgrades can produce better work product than the professionals. Knowing the difference is the challenge. There are inspectors who can help.

The good thing is that if the rig was kept dry - inside storage - most of the other maintenance can be cost effectively addressed, if the coach is purchased for a reasonable price.

Now - go back to the post on ducted air. That is key - if you plan to use AC, it makes a real difference. Also, single or dual AC can be a consideration. Living in a coach is different from traveling a few weeks a year. Make sure you do not want a four season trailer. That moves your a different direction.

There is a lot of information in the forum threads. Do as much research as you have time to absorb. There are several forum members who have had good service from their 27s. Many report issues that they have resolved.

When full timing, you need an exit strategy. Don't ignore that issue. Someday you will quit moving so much. It may be by choice, happenstance, or misadventure. A plan smoothes out the bumps.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
27’ trailers 2015 and newer have ducted air.
This quote is especially helpful. Your other posts are very valuable as well with advice to try and purchase one that has been stored inside.

After reading you posts, I think I'll ask to see the seller's tow vehicle and see what kind of shape he keeps that. That might be good indicator as to how he really treats his toys.

Thanks very much for helping me out. My wife thanks you as well.

Spaggs
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:47 AM   #8
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Hi

First step is to figure out what size / model you really want. Head over to a dealer and take a look at a number of them. There is no way to figure out "what fits" simply from stuff on the internet.

Once you decide what is and isn't right for you, realize that there are not many used Airstreams of a given size / model / year range on the market. When one comes up, it may be a ways away from you. People do drive 500 miles to check out trailers and then decide against this or that one.

Good ones tend to sell pretty quick. The ones you don't want tend to hang around for a long time. Having cash in hand is generally a good idea. Fiddling with financing approvals after one pops up ... likely not going to work well.

None of this is to suggest that you aren't going to do fine with this or that model or model year. It also is not trying to say you can't find something close. It's only to say that getting everything figured out *before* that magic "for sale" listing pops up is a really good idea.

Bob
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:57 AM   #9
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https://www.atozmotors.com/

We got a great deal from Vince.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:56 AM   #10
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"27’ trailers 2015 and newer have ducted air." is a fact.

And there are a ton of replies on this forum each saying in their own way that the non-ducted air conditioners are noisy as hell, ineffective, and to be avoided.

We bought a 2016 27, and so far, I'm not aware of anything significant that we're lacking with respective to newer 27s.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:58 AM   #11
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A to Z Motors are awesome. Vince has a great selection and does it from his ranch. everythingbutcars@gmail.com
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:42 PM   #12
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. -- snip -- non-ducted air conditioners are noisy as hell, ineffective, and to be avoided. -- snip --
This is not quite correct. They are noisy, noisy, noisy. However they are not ineffective. What is ineffective is the AS design as it has limited insulation. If you really need AC, because you will be staying in 100 degree temperatures on a regular basis, consider a better insulated four season trailer.

In very hot circumstances, an AS needs a full awning package. The bigger ones need two AC units.

If you follow the 70 degree temps, your need for AC drops off and that's where the AS shines. We visited Illinois a couple of years back. They had a heat wave. After two days, we hitched up and rolled home. Had a snow storm chase us across Wyoming. It's where you go, not always how the AC blows.

But the non-ducted are noisy.

The newer coaches have a three year warranty. That can be of value to you too.

Good luck in your search. Pat
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:15 PM   #13
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Far more important than the model year is the care that the previous owners took of the trailer.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:19 PM   #14
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I would go to a dealer and check out the floor plans you like. This is a big investment.

Do you have a tow vehicle ready to go? Have you towed before? If you find one you need to be on it ASAP.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:30 AM   #15
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I would go to a dealer and check out the floor plans you like. This is a big investment.

Do you have a tow vehicle ready to go? Have you towed before? If you find one you need to be on it ASAP.
Yes I do. Thanks for asking. It is a 2000 v-10 Ford Excursion I bought brand new. I've got a buddy who owns a Ford dealership. I had four (4) boys and needed it for vacations to the beach. (At least that was my excuse to my wife instead of getting a Honda Odyssey). I've got a tow package, rear sway bar, rear spring helpers (I can't remember what they are called, but they are parallel springs that raise the rear so high I had to adjust my headlights), heavy duty Michelin tires (3rd set), steering stabilizer shock, Bilstein HD shocks (3rd set) limited slip differential, larger transmission pan, brake modulator, and assorted other do-dads. I've towed back hoes, Bobcats, 24 travel trailer through 6 states and a 03' Corvette ZO6 on my Featherlite open trailer. I know how to back a travel trailer into tree, also. I've got a mild form of dyslexia so I need a backup camera.

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Old 07-13-2019, 10:27 AM   #16
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Hi

Even with the 2014 - 2018 range, the cost savings on a used trailer will not be a whole lot compared to a new one. If you then lop off the cheapest year (2014) that makes this even more true. "Not a lot" is by no means the same as "no savings".

With a 3 year warranty on a new trailer, you do get a lot of "comfort" in terms of issues. The idea that a previous owner finds and fixes all the problems is (at least to me) questionable. A lot depends on just how handy they are and what they dig into. People who wash and wax the trailer weekly and keep lots of notes do not always catch problems ....

We spent at least 40 years looking at various RV's and always put off pulling the trigger. We must have looked at a hundred or more over the years. Each time we went back to camping in tents. Since we did make the decision the only real question has been "why didn't we do this earlier???". No regrets about what we bought or who we bought it from.

Bob
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:47 PM   #17
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In regard to cost savings buying used - our experience: We bought our 2013 25ft International Signature in 2016 and paid about 65% of what the original owner paid for it new. We paid the asking price. The original owner gave us all the documentation for the trailer including the dealer invoice. It was in perfect condition, always stored under cover when not being used and it was 7 miles away. Lucky? Maybe.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:25 AM   #18
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I bought a 2004 classic 30ft which is a wide body with all the awnings, TVs , roof solar, 4 angels battery’s from a very respected dealer here in CA Paid about $125,000 less than a new one and actually like the warm wood tone through better that the sterile look of the new ones and the body is perfect. So for 30k I’m a happy camper
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:03 AM   #19
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Thanks again guys for your help!

Since I do have a mild form of dyslexia, from 2015 to new, do all of the 27' Flying Clouds have the backup camera?

I guess my second question is, is the camera a hard wire or wireless?

And, what type/make of monitor for my Ex do you recommend?

Much appreciated!

Spaggs
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:26 AM   #20
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Hi

You see a *lot* of newer trailers listed at prices that are *above* what they likely were bought for when they were new. Some are listed above the list price when they were new ... yikes .....

Listing price may or may not be selling price. I'd hope for the poor buyer's sake that there aren't a lot of sales at above list price when new ....

Bob
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