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Old 10-07-2015, 10:59 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Arlington , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 13
New or Used...I need advice

I have researched and looked at many airstreams. I decided on a 25, which is the largest I feel comfortable driving and parking. I will be traveling solo with 2 large dogs. I am not mechanically inclined.

I am hoping that a barely used Airstream will have all the kinks out and with something major, AAA is my friend. Also the price allows for that initial off the lot depreciation. And truth be told, if I get a little scratch on the outside , I won't feel so guilty .

My other motivation is this is my first RV. While I think I will enjoy it, I am not guaranteed bliss. Since perusing Airstream ads, there are quite a few trailers with minimal use for sale because the owners bought on a whim and not find it not to their liking.

Lastly, there are many 2006 models of all sizes . Is there a reason for that? Was 2006 a very bad year or people are dumping because they are 10 years old?

What is your advice? I would appreciate any input.

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Old 10-08-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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2014 27' FB International
Western WA , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,191
Blog Entries: 49
Having bought a brand new 2014 model at the end of 2013, we agree that buying a gently used model makes a ton of sense. It might be handy if you find one that still has a few more months on the warranty so you can get any remaining issues resolved before you're on your own.

Happy hunting!

Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 10-08-2015, 06:50 AM   #3
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
Cuddebackville , New York
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Buying can make sense if you can get one at the right price. When I was looking for a newer used 25' I only would have saved a couple of thousand over new. I went with new and the two year warranty.
2014 25' Flying Cloud Rear Twin
2012 Dodge Durango Hemi/AWD
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:15 AM   #4
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,269
Bought our 2006 in 2009 following the same logic that you described, and for us it has been a good decision.

Cost a fraction of the new price, and after 6 years use and about 35,000 miles towed, we really have had very little problem with it - no major expenses other than upgraded skylights and 16" wheels - both expenses were upgrades that I chose to make and totally optional.

I would certainly go this route again.

Funny that you mentioned the "first scratch" issue - that was also a consideration for me, I would be so upset put that first scratch or dent in a trailer I had bought brand new - not to mention the first sign of filiform corrosion!!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:15 AM   #5
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2012 22' FB Sport
2003 19' Bambi
Port Townsend , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 209
You said it yourself. The classifieds are full of late model Airstream's used no more than a handful of times. You could charter a jet and book an entire hotel for what those few days cost.

Don't be that person. Maybe see if you can find an Airstream rental in your area.

Also, is that new trailer smell really worth $20,000 or more to you? A well maintained barely used two or three year old could easily save you that much.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:44 AM   #6
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2008 25' Classic
Nixa , Missouri
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,660
We purchased a 1 owner preowned 2008 Classic 25fb in 2013 that was barely used. You can't tell from the outside that it its not a newer model. We purchased it at a dealer so we probably paid a little more than we should of but we couldn't travel far and wide to view preowned Airstreams.

Some mid 2000 model Airstreams may have floor rot at the rear bumper area due to improper sealing from the factory between the shell and bumper rub rail.

If you do decide on preowned take advantage of Airforum inspectors to help you check it out. Having never owned an RV there is lots to learn about maintaining and using an RV.

Have you thought about renting a towable? It may not be an Airstream but you can learn a lot about RVs by spending a long weekend with one.

Post questions about anything, we are here to help.

2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
2010 Tundra 5.7L, Double Cab, 2wd, White
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:57 AM   #7
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 10,263
My first trailer was used. My current trailer was new.
For a poor man new is easier. It is hard to finance a used one. So, if you are paying cash, get a used one.
It is easier for a poor man to finance a new one. He ain't got no money to pay cash for a used one.
If I could have come up with cash, I would have bought a used 34'.
2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
2006 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson Road King Classic
1999 Black Nissan Pathfinder LE
TAC #MS-10
WBCCI #1811, Region 6, Unit 56
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:36 AM   #8
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2010 20' Flying Cloud
Hailey , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 292
Can't help with the 2006 question. But if money is no problem, go new. If there is any doubt, buy as gently used as your bank account can gently take. On a more certain WILL be guaranteed bliss. Safe travels. jon
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
Greenback , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 153
We have bought two used Air Streams, a 25' and a 30', and never looked back. Both were barely used and had been stored inside. The 30', especially, I would rather have as a brand new one. The previous owner had added many up-grades, i.e., all stainless steel hatches, extra TV, automatic satellite receiver, new mattress, back-up camera, hitch and everything one would need to go camping. I'm talking dishes, bedding, cooking implements, trash cans, etc. It was two years old and used about 15 nights. The guy's circumstances had changed and he had other priorities. We had to go to Texas to get it, but have now had it for two years and it is a wonderful rig.

Our 25' was not perfect when we bought it, but we had it fixed like we wanted it when we sold it. We had taken it to Jackson Center to deal with some leaks and to the ZipDee factory for awnings all around. It was in perfect shape, but an aged parent came to live with us, so we couldn't use it anymore. As a result, some one got a beautiful trailer and an excellent price.

My advice would be to keep an eye on the AS classifieds on this site, ask questions about any you are interested in, go and see any that are within a reasonable distance, get a good idea of how much you are willing to spend and go for it. Be patient, as there will be one out there somewhere with your name on it!

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Old 10-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #10
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2004 25' International CCD
NEW ORLEANS , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 6
I brought a 2004 25 foot International earlier this year and can't be more pleased. I was willing to spend more but when I found this one on craigslist I had to see it. Barely used, well maintained, and ready to camp. Truthfully, I think I was lucky. I've taken it on a number of weekend trips and a couple of week long trips into the Ozarks and the east coast of Florida. Only minor somewhat expected problems that are more like maintenance issues.

I wasn't sure I would enjoy RV'ing and I didn't want to spend a ton of money to see if I would like it. I would caution you to take your time to find what you want, don't get anxious, do a very thorough inspection (get help if you can), and don't be afraid to bargain (and walk away if you have to).
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:13 PM   #11
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2014 23' FB Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
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I just bought a 2013 used Flying Cloud 19. List on a 2016 is $62,000. Obviously, the actual purchase price would be less. Right now, mid $50s? Next year at closeout, low $50s? A new 2015 right now (MSRP $61,000 give or take) can be had for $49,000-$50,000 on closeout.

The one I bought was purchased new at the end of 2012, used TWICE, then stored in an aircraft hangar the past 2 1/2 years. I paid $40,500 for it. But essentially it's brand new, just no warranty. And virtually no difference as far as the 2013 vs. 2015 or 2016. Just a few things like ducted A/C.

One thing I learned in my search process was that the first year seems to take about a 8-10 percent hit. But then the depreciation slows dramatically after that. I have seen 2009 Flying clouds (4 years older than my 2013) listed for $39,000. The prices are very stubborn on these things. Which makes buying one a bit easier of a decision. Take care of it and it'll hold value well.

The prices can be very, very confusing and overwhelming. I wound up making up a spreadsheet of all the ones for sale, and then when the right value came up, I was able to identify it quite quickly. I sent a deposit in on the one I found within 24 hours of it coming online. And I have to drive 850 miles to get it, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm getting an essentially 'new' unit, 3 model years old but used twice and stored indoors...for $12-$15k (after dealer discount) less than a 2016. That's a 20 percent discount from new...but it really is new.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:14 PM   #12
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,846
The advantage of new is you can get exactly the model and decor you want, with the exact options installed during the build, two year warranty, the latest factory design and component changes, new tires and batteries and new equipment throughout, no unknown history, less maintenance needs, and you can deal for a price well under MSRP on the Airstream and optional equipment.

So we bought new, no regrets at all. It's now four years old, but it's only four years old.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:26 PM   #13
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1964 26' Overlander
Richmond , Virginia
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I'm selling a used that has been upgraded to new. well, new to 1964.

(although behind the scenes, everything is new)
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:58 PM   #14
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2016 30' International
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 45
We purchased our 2012 27FB used in 2013 for a very good price and just sold it last month for the same price as we purchased it for. What we did is 1) confirm that we love Airstreams at a very low cost and 2) used that experience to decided what we really wanted for the long term. We just purchased a 2016 30 that will be perfect for us for years to come.

Bottom line, if you are a first time owner, I say buy gently used and if you got lucky with your first one, never look back. If, after you have it for awhile you find that there are certain itches and that a new one could scratch, you won't be out that off-the-lot depreciation and you can purchase exactly what you want.

Good Luck,

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