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Old 06-30-2018, 06:59 AM   #1
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1983 27' Excella
Charlottesville , Virginia
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Try a used one before you buy a new one?

My wife and wanted an AS for years. We looked at some new ones, and some very pricey vintage ones. Before committing ourselves to an expensive trailer, we thought maybe we should make sure this is the right thing to do by experimenting with nice used one that was neither new nor cool vintage.

So we bought an 83 27 footer for well under $20k. It was far from new, but not old enough to have a higher value as vintage. The PO pointed out some things wrong, and other defects were obvious. But we could have camped in it right away, and there were no problems with the tow home.

So we have been repairing and upgrading the trailer, and it's been pleasant work and not expensive. Some things we did pre-emptively, like tires and brakes, because we didn't know their history; and a new water pump and gas regulators, just to be sure the old ones didn't quit while camping. We replaced a tired fridge, put in new counter tops and sinks, and mattresses.

We've enjoyed our ownership so much that we have forgotten about buying a new one, which has saved us maybe $75,000. And if anything goes wrong, it's 100% on us to fix it...no leaving it at a dealer for weeks, or towing it to Jackson Center, no complaining about QC or warranty issues.

So what I am suggesting here is that you might consider an inexpensive "trial" trailer before sinking $100k into a new one. And you might end up wanting to make the trial trailer a permanent one. And this board has been invaluable to us.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:04 AM   #2
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Smart decision. We purchased our lightly used 2014 25’ FC FB Twin a year ago and have been on several great trips and are looking forward to many more trips in the coming years.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:06 AM   #3
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Great suggestion. Id go one further

Try a used one before you buy a used one. There are a number of reasons to buy a used Airstream over new.
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Old 06-30-2018, 02:05 PM   #4
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
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I've bought three used ones, been happy with each - and happier still when I upgraded. The last two I purchased I found here, on the forums classified.

Sold two of them there, too. Nice way to do business.

I would never buy new anyway...

Pat
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:18 PM   #5
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Excellent advice. Happy you are enjoying the experience with TT and you are correct, it doesn’t ha e to be an Airstream. There are other brands to consider at various price points. It’s all about enjoying the trip.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:27 PM   #6
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I've bought three used ones, been happy with each - and happier still when I upgraded.

Same. 3 later model used in 2 1/2 years! Didn't lose a dime on the first one in six, made money on the second after a year and a half, and got (again) a good deal on the third--which I believe if finally my long-term keeper!
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:18 PM   #7
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Bandera , Texas
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Ditto. We are on our second pre-owned unit, both from original owners. A couple of things to fix which we knew about, but basically no problems. I have previously written about buying pre-owned, they just make sense if you do your due diligence. Our current unit is 6 years old, and would cost nearly twice what we paid for it, if new. Im glad, though, that there are those who go new......gives me a better selection!
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:42 AM   #8
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It is good advice but for guys like me, who would starve if they had to make a living using their hands, it may be a bridge too far. I'm the guy buying new, soon I hope, because I don't have the skills to repair. Acquiring more every day, though, by reading here.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:56 AM   #9
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Danbertx—— please read more, much more, regarding the issues of buying new. I bought new and was overwhelmed by the skills I needed to develop quickly to keep my brand new Airstream functional. There is a reason why the company offers a 2 year warranty and have now bumped that up to 3 years. Not overstating at all - there is a very real probability that it will take 2 years to get all the bugs worked out in your new AS. If you aren’t comfortable with fixing things yourself then you will be having to wait while someone else fixes it. Start learning now the basics of electrical, plumbing, etc.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:48 AM   #10
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Hi

Just to put in a counterpoint. The factory stock "issues" with our particular AS have been trivial. The Ford truck has had more (equally trivial) issues than the trailer. With "new" I can (if I wish and recognize the issues) get somebody else to fix them for free. With used, I fix them myself or pay to fix them.

How many issues there still are on a used this or that depends a *lot* on how observant and obsessive the PO was. Over the years, I've had more issues on used than on new. Either the PO didn't notice the stuff or sold it rather than fixed it. There are always things that are a big deal to one individual and "not a big deal" to somebody else.

Trouble wise, we all love to talk about issues we've had. You'll notice there are no dimensions on "how long ago was that" on my comments above I'm old enough to have gone through a lot of stuff. Talking about what worked fine and never was an issue is boring. Talking about this or that crazy problem .... THAT's interesting. We all are wired that way. Ten trucks with no problem ... boring. One truck / RV / gizmo years ago with something really weird ... that I can talk about for hours.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:57 AM   #11
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Good points kendrick and bob both. Always two sides to every story. New or used is a complex decision and I'm not going to rush it. I am amazed though, at the numbers and types of issues. It's becoming where you need to be an engineer to keep a modern AS functional.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:20 AM   #12
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We bought a used SOB to see how'd we'd like the RV traveling style. We did and bought our Airstreams new. We found the cost of a recent model wasn't different enough to pass on a two year warranty (now it's three years!). We didn't have any major warranty issues with either the 2007 or 2014 models.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:03 PM   #13
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We were going to buy a new Airstream, and had negotiated a decent price on an in stock unit. We gave the dealer a $15K deposit and when we went to pick it up....to make a long story short, the deal sorta fell apart.

We found our 27FB International the next day on Airstream Classifieds. Went
to look at it, bought it the same day and took it home.

Best thing we ever did was buy the used one we currently have.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
We bought a used SOB to see how'd we'd like the RV traveling style. We did and bought our Airstreams new. We found the cost of a recent model wasn't different enough to pass on a two year warranty (now it's three years!). We didn't have any major warranty issues with either the 2007 or 2014 models.
Good to hear - were looking at these years! Im pushing for new, but my husband, who is handy and always loves a project, wants used. Well see what happens! Personally, Id rather spend more time camping and less time fixing!
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:49 AM   #15
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We bought used at first also. Bought a 19’ Bambi. We already knew we liked camping, but had always been in a pop up. We liked the Bambi, but decided we needed a little more room, and there was no way at 6’5”, that I would be comfortable in a corner bed. Found a 2011 in 2012 that was priced very well, and they gave us almost what we paid for the Bambi in trade. Just wish we had more time to use it.
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