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Old 09-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #1
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1990 25' Excella
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Seeking Advice: '79 vs. '01

I'm about as newbie as it gets. My wife and I are downsizing (at 70, I guess I'm what you would call an aging newbie) and have our house for sale. We have decided that this appears to be an excellent time for an adventure.

I worked as a California State Park Ranger many years ago and we love camping. We've always had an itch to tour the USofA in an Airstream - specifically an Airstream - and we're going to scratch it. So we're buying one.

I've spent many hours here (great forum!) and elsewhere researching this, looked at a few trailers, and, although I know practically nothing, I'm ready to buy one of two: a '79 24' Tradewind or a '01 25' Safari. I'm pretty sure we would be comfortable in either one - after 46 years we've worked out most of the pesky nits of marriage.

They're both in great condition and the '01 is $5K more than the '79. One of my concerns is weight. We have a '06 ML500 that we're fond of and I'm hoping to use it as a TV. And the '79 looks to be quite a bit lighter. I've towed vintage Porsches in enclosed trailers with the MB and it performed well.

Other than the weight, what other pro's and con's should I be considering? I appreciate all input. Thanks very much.

Cheers,
Poppy
Bend, Oregon
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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hi poppy,
aside from towing, expect some issues with the 79 if everything is original. I'm an 81 model, all original, and even i have some issues. if you don't have a home base, will it be difficult to fix a broken water heater, or other things that go out on it? I'm all about the vintage, but I buy new tow vehicles because dealing with vintage vehicles breaking down is just not fun for me and i don't know how to fix older cars.

however, old airstreams are right up my ally.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
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I'm a vintage guy too. I'm just getting out of fooling around with old Porsches for 20 years (I was lucky to get into them when they were actually *affordable*).

Can someone tell me the inside widths in the front of the two trailers I've mentioned? I have a back that needs a littlle babying at times and I really like the idea of installing recliners in the front. My present home has a modest home theater and I'm hoping I can snatch a couple of those seats for the AS.

Thanks,
Poppy
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
I'm a vintage guy too. I'm just getting out of fooling around with old Porsches for 20 years (I was lucky to get into them when they were actually *affordable*).

Can someone tell me the inside widths in the front of the two trailers I've mentioned? I have a back that needs a littlle babying at times and I really like the idea of installing recliners in the front. My present home has a modest home theater and I'm hoping I can snatch a couple of those seats for the AS.

Thanks,
Poppy
I've had a 72 Tradewind (it was stolen) and then moved on to my 06 Safari. If you love fixing and refurbishing or just the vintage look then a Tradewind is great. Much lighter than a newer trailer. I will say that in the past 40 years Airstream has made some nice improvements. The same 25' is a lot mode comfortable to sit sleep in. Yes it's heavier but everything about it is better. Still long for a vintage trailer sometimes but it's hard to find the right one in the right condition.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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Hi, Birds and welcome to Airforums.com, the forum for all ages, as long as you have an Airstream

Maybe it's just me, but I find the difference in price to be a lot less than I expect given the difference in age of the two trailers.

So I will ask; what are the two prices, and if you would like to post some photos that might help us to understand your choices better, too.

One point regarding the '79: if it hasn't been done already, all the appliances are probably due to be changed (cooling unit only in the refer can be changed if the cosmetics are OK). So look into what a new furnace, water heater, and air conditioner will cost you, installed. Bet it's more than $5k.

Can't recall the interior width, but the '01 is 6" wider, if that helps.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome - and the advice.

The '79 is offered at $15K and the '01 at $20K. The '79 is highly polished and appears to have been well maintained. The '01 is original owner who is selling it for health reasons. My sense, based on very limited knowledge, is that the '79 seems to be priced a bit on the high side and the '01 a bit on the low side.

I would opt for the later one if I was sure that my '06 ML500 was a suitable tow vehicle.

Poppy (maybe "Birds")
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
I would opt for the later one if I was sure that my '06 ML500 was a suitable tow vehicle.

Poppy (maybe "Birds")
Welcome Poppy. I can't think of a better adventure for you and your wife than to get an Airstream and do some traveling.

My advice would be to get the most accurate weight data that you can on the two trailers, then place a call to Andy T., an Airstream dealer in Canada. He is probably the most knowledgeable person to advise you if your 06 ML500 will tow these Airstreams and what mods might be advisable.

BTW I owned a Porsche 72 911T Targa for about 15 years. I bought it new in 1973 for $8,600. If you like Porsches and MB, the only trailer you could buy would be an Airstream (or vintage kin).

Good luck and have fun.

Dan
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #8
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Here are pictures of the two trailers:

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Both appear to be in very good condition. I've spoken to both of the owners at length on the phone and they seem like straight-up guys. Going to see them on Monday.

Poppy
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:43 PM   #9
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Dan...

Thanks for the input - I will contact Andy when I have the data.

I had a '72 911 Targa also. Love Targas! Some think they're the Ugly Ducklings and the Flexible Flyers of the longhoods, but the they are great to drive.

And yes, I'm only interested in an Airstream. To me they're in the Hall of Fame of all time American products, along with things like White Mountain cast iron ice cream makers and Weber kettle grilles.

Poppy
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:36 AM   #10
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Poppy

Really glad to have you and your wife with us on this great adventure.

Here is an Airstream link that should get you the info you need.

Airstream, Inc :: 2000's

Dan
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:54 AM   #11
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Poppy

I just saw the photos. Both trailers look great. Both would probably do fine for you. I don't think 15k is unreasonable at all for the polished well maintained Tradewind, of course I am biased. Price is over rated. Buy the one that you really like. Pay what you have to pay. Either way it is pretty incredible what you can get for 15-20k, compared to the cost of a new one, and there is not that much difference. Trailers are incredibly simple and they have not changed hardly at all in the last 50 years, same suspension, brakes,fridge, AC, stoves, etc. BTW, you will need new axles for the 79 model if it does not already have them. You probably already know that, but I wanted to make sure.

Have fun buying and deciding which one.

Dan
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:18 AM   #12
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Nice looking trailers! If you want to keep that shiney look , be aware you will have to keep it polished and that is some extra maintenanced you may not want . I would go for the newer trailer myself , but the 79 has a lot of cool factor.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:41 AM   #13
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Poppy,

That '01 being under cover, if that's how they kept it they bought with the idea of making it a keeper. If it was under cover all the time, thats a plus in my book but still go get what you like and have fun.

Former park Ranger, bet you have some campfire stories to share!

Welcome to Airforums and good luck,

Gary
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:36 AM   #14
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I would go with the 01 25. We really like the 25 size. Does the 79 have a gray water tank? The 25's are popular and and not many for sale.
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