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Old 02-03-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
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Lots of options...new streamers

Howdy folks,

My wife and I are moving from Austin to Houston in about 5 months and we're thinking how fun it would be to buy our first Airstream and live in it for about 1-2 months while we hunt for a house in West Houston. We figured why move 3 times (once into an apartment) when we could simply pack everything up and store it in a facility and live free and easy with money in our pocket and buy our dream home while paying off the Airstream.

Only problem now is which trailer? If I said I only wanted to spend $30K and was expecting to get that money back in about 5 years which trailers hold their value? Is purchasing an 80s unit or a 90s unit a lot more work for an Airstream newbie like myself? I have found some incredible deals on 34' but that seems like a massive trailer and would limit some of the places we like to camp at. I really feel the 23-27' range is our cup of tea.

Any other's experience with purchasing a used trailer would be wonderful for me to read about. I'm just now looking over this website and I know there are probably wikis here to guide me. Thanks for being patient. I'm chomping at the bit to get a bargain and make my wife happy.

Thanks,

Swim
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
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Longer Airstreams are less expensive, but are also more difficult to resell. If you fix up a long one, you won't get your money back. For me, 27' is max length. I really go for short, but I had a Caravel with one axle and didn't like towing it, but it was sweet inside. However, an 18' Airstream is fine for a month for one, and maybe for 5 days for two. If you're only thinking of being in it for 2 months, I think you'd survive in a 25 (Tradewind) or maybe even a 23 (Safari). The upside of being cramped for a couple of months is that you'd have a great vacation trailer afterwards.

I agree that a 34' is much too much.

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Old 02-04-2014, 01:33 AM   #3
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...on the other hand, the 34' has quit a bit of storage and space. I have really enjoyed my 82 limited 34'. Another thought is to grab an older 34' with good "bones", put a little into it and pocket the extra money. Use that to invest in a newer smaller one after you get your house done.
After having a 34 for many years, the size is not a big deal.

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Old 02-04-2014, 02:44 AM   #4
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We bought a 2011 27' Flying Cloud after looking at just about ever model AS made in 2011. We couldn't be happier. I don't know how older models compare with the same size in later years. That said, here's what we liked about the 27 vs its nearest competitor, the 25' FC.

The 27 has an island queen bed, that has space to walk around on both sides and at the foot. This is a huge advantage when answering "nature's call" in the wee--no pun intended--hours. The galley area is a foot or so longer with wider--usable--drawers, a bit more counter space, and a double wardrobe closet. Finally the head--toilet--is configured a bit more comfortably.

For the two of us, we don't need the extra room in the 30+ foot models; and the lighter weight allows us to get around the country pulling it with a Suburban 1500.

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Old 02-04-2014, 07:52 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention that I'm 6'4".
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:23 AM   #6
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I've found lots of options around Texas. Went to Camper Clinic in Buda and saw the full suite of AS trailers. Very impressive but also knew what price they would be. That's not so good and out of our present budget. We've found a 1985 Excella 29' with the twin bed option. Asking price $13000. At my height the twins fit me. So said by the owner that they had it for one year and everything works. I'm thinking... I would need to replace batteries, AC some time in the future, convert all lights to LEDs, what else? It has new tires, have no idea if the bearings have been repacked. I wish there was a checklist I could use to go look at the various used Airstreams we've found. Wondering if this is a good idea. I wonder what additional expenses I may face if I bought an older one like this.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:04 AM   #7
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I have to agree there are advantages to the longer Airstreams. We love our Sovereign and take it for extended trips, especially if we intend to remain in "civilization." We also like it because it has a center bath. This is great is you're going to have roommates for a few nights. But for overall camping, and maybe a little dirt road exploring, shorter is where it's at.

Actually, finding the shortest possible Airstream with a center bath is my quest.

Being tall doesn't translate to needing a longer Airstream. They are all the same "tall." But it does if the bed size is different. Earlier Airstreams had the standard 76" length, newer ones are 80".

Zep
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:42 AM   #8
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27, 28 or 30 in our opinion. We love our 30. Never been limited on where to camp to see the sights. 39 states and 2 provinces so far. Don't miss the listings in rvtrader.com as well as these classifieds. Lots of options in Texas. Go For It.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:17 PM   #9
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I have the rear twins in my 34'.... I usually sleep on the goucho couch up front...more room!
The rear twins are a little short for me...I am 6' 7".
A great feature for the kiddos though. We put them back there early and can stay up later without waking them up

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Old 02-04-2014, 09:07 PM   #10
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Love love love the feedback! This is great. The 87' sold today . Going to see a 1992 25' Excella 1000 tomorrow. The same seller also has a 34' in near mint condition. I'm torn. I so want the big one but my wife is my practical inner voice. Any issues with 1992s? I'm going to scrub read the boards on the individual year guides on each model. I love that you are 6'7" as is my Dad...he fed me 40% Bran Flakes in the 70s so I'm a runt at 6'4".
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:44 PM   #11
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Wait a minute......WUT?

Austin to Houston...............?

I'm sorry.

I was born in Houston, left in the 70's and will NEVER go back..........

It WAS a great town then, now?........no comment.

And yes, I am near Austin now.

Would love to have some REAL dirt - but not Houston!
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:42 PM   #12
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Austin is turning into Dallas and California and I'm a 5th generation Texan. I no longer recognize it for the hipsters and Orange County Range Rovers that now pollute the area. At least no one wants to move to Houston so I can enjoy my peace, heavy rains and mosquitos.

Saw a used 25 ' 1992 AS today...barf. Looking at used ones from dealerships so we can at least get financing...have our eye on a 2008 now. Now time to save up for the down payment.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:59 PM   #13
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Valid points................

If only Felix was still open!


Good luck sir.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:40 AM   #14
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The Texas joke about Austin is that only Californios and N'Yawkers are dumb enough to think Austin cool. Worst traffic in the state and nearly nothing of what make Dallas and Houston nice to live in.

As to the TT. It will take more time and effort than realized. If ones new home has a place for parking it, and one envisions a long future with a TT, then go for it. If it is transitional, I'd not do it. Getting a home up to speed, especiallly landscaping, takes cubic hours and dollars . . most ignore what is outside with a disproportional amount of time/money spent inside. Trees and a matured landscape take the most. Try the largest picture of homeownership and re-consider a TT if it is temporary.
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