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Old 04-14-2007, 02:13 PM   #1
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Lafayette , Rocky Mnt. Region
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Trying to purchase an Airstream...

Hi,
I'm in the market for an Airstream (this will be our first) and hoping I can get some advice. Unfortunately, the local dealer that I've been trying to purchase from won't return my calls. The last two sales reps I was dealing with have both left the dealership (ie. no longer working there). There's another dealer in our state but I have not heard a lot of positive reviews. So, I've been reading various threads on this forum about how you should not only look at price but service quality from a dealer as well. I'm now thinking about looking out of state to purchase an Airstream. Does it really matter if I buy it from out of state and then try to get service from a dealer in state? Would appreciate the pros/cons that you might have! One other note is that we are looking to order from the factory vs. buying off the lot.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:23 PM   #2
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Keep the Faith...

Rich-

It may be possible there is something in your dialogue with the dealer that is offputting (expecting 25% discount off MSRP, for example..), but there are dealers who do enjoy selling Airstreams and treating people well, so you might expand your search... There are many posts here where people traveled further to buy, and folks buying 75th Anniversary models considered dealers all over the US as potential sources.

That said, you might also try Private messages to some of local Airstream Vintage owners in Colorado (strong group..) and see who they recommend as dealers, and if there is another contact name you could try to find a motivated sales person..

Two things to be concerned about...

1. If a dealer doesn't enjoy providing service on Airstreams, and consider it part of their business plan, they won't do much better providing warranty service than they will for paid service.. Maybe worse.. Many dealers do provide great service, but not all. For that reason, some members here just arrange visits to Airstream factory for service, or plan trips to remote dealers and call them "camping trips with scheduled services.."

2. Whomever you buy from, you should NOT plan to drop in, swap checks for papers, and drive away.. The best time and opportunity to fix factory warranty issues is at the dealer before driving away with your new trailer. Take sleeping bags, meal choices, and plan on spending overnight in trailer at dealer, to test everything. Fixing water heater or TV cable or missing rivets gets harder the further away your are...
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:24 PM   #3
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Rich,

You might want to find other Forum members who live nearby. Use the search function on the Member List tab to find people in Colorado whom you could contact directly for advice. Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:33 PM   #4
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Condoluminum / Mike,
Thank you both for your advice!
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Old 04-14-2007, 03:23 PM   #5
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Old 04-14-2007, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschafer
Hi,
I'm in the market for an Airstream (this will be our first) and hoping I can get some advice. Unfortunately, the local dealer that I've been trying to purchase from won't return my calls. The last two sales reps I was dealing with have both left the dealership (ie. no longer working there). I'm now thinking about looking out of state to purchase an Airstream. Does it really matter if I buy it from out of state and then try to get service from a dealer in state? Would appreciate the pros/cons that you might have! One other note is that we are looking to order from the factory vs. buying off the lot.

Thanks!
Obviously ordering will get you exactly what you want rather than compromising. We ordered both our Safari and Classic trailers. In the case of the Safari it was to get a spare tire carrier and power hitch (both which at the time were not on the option list). On the Classic it was to get the 15,000 BTU air conditioner.

Now purchasing elsewhere and servicing locally can be done. I think the biggest thing to say about buying locally is that the servicing dealer knows who his purchase customers are. I think because of that I get a little better treatment from my dealer. Not in quality of service but more in the TLC area. Example if I have a problem, my chance of getting a quicker appointment or squeezed in his existing service schedule is much better. In some cases I know I've had some things checked at no charge even though I'm out of warranty.

Obviously I shopped around and my best deal was $300 cheaper about 400 miles away. I considered that not worth the trip and bought locally. I've had no regrets.

Jack
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:28 PM   #7
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We purchased our 2005 25' Safari FB from our nearest Airstream dealer which, in our case, is 300 miles from home. When we purchased Lucy, we checked her over on the lot as completely as possible and made list of of items to be corrected prior to taking delivery. We took delivery of Lucy two weeks later. We towed her to a KOA near the dealership and spent two nights in her there. A couple of additional minor problems were disclosed during our maiden camp out. We went back to the dealer and had these corrected before taking Lucy home. During the following six months we spent 80+ nights in Lucy and towed her 11,000 miles. We returned to the dealer with her to have the axles serviced. Several additional warranty items had been disclosed by then, and we had them corrected at that time.
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