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Old 06-29-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
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What should we pay?

My wife and I are in a position to buy a travel trailer for a six- to 12-month "sabbatical" road trip. After doing some shopping, we think we can make the 25' Airstream Safari SE work (although we're tall enough to find the shower and bed a bit short). Given the soft economy, price of fuel and coming of the 2009 Flying Clouds, we thought we might be able to get a decent deal on a 2008 (although we have no objection to something "gently used" as my wife calls it). Colonial in NJ has a 2008 listed for $51,000. Is this a reasonable price or is there some "flex"? Are we better off waiting to see if the economy results in some used trailers hitting the market? Thank you in advance for any thoughts.
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:01 PM   #2
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Check the classifieds here

A 25' SE is for sale here now. LOTS less expensive....if thats important to you.
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:07 PM   #3
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When you say "here," do you mean on this website? If so, can you direct me?

And, yes, the more we save on buying the Airstream, the longer we can stay "on the road." By the way, thanks for the quick response.
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:55 PM   #4
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Click on the "classifieds" tab at the top of the page...
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
... better off waiting to see if the economy...
hi hampstead and welcome to the forums...

pricing is a VERY common question here, so just scan the many threads in these buyer guidelines...

or get adventuresome and search terms like discount, pricing, markup and so on....

here is ONE useful thread 4 ya, because it is still relevant and $ is but ONE of the many important issues when buying.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...-se-20214.html

YOU are an ECONOMY of ONE!

currently a dealer OWNS the unit in question and very likely knows exactly how much $$ he has in it.

he may not know how much he'll sell it for yet,

but i doubt discussing the current or future u.s. financial picture will move him much.

discounts from msrp vary WIDELY (0-35+%) and sales at a loss occasionally happen...

much of this depends on HOW YOU handle the contact sport of buyingnselling...

and while this thread may not be useful on pricing, it is an example of looking and looking and looking...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...lue-25926.html

and don't forget to read a few of THESE threads, before buying an ANY price...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ppy-16643.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the links. You are right. The general discussion is useful. My general impression is that the savvy buyer can expect to receive a discount of between 15 and 25 percent of MSRP from a dealer, although this varies by area, model, circumstances, etc. Buying new means a warranty, but reading a bit further, I'm not sure the Airstream warranty is always "all that and a side of fries." My gut sense is that if the economy continues to founder, it will be a decent time to shop for Airstreams. I'm not sure the dealers will flex much, but there may be an increase in the number of private sellers. Of course, there is a different cost/benefit analysis for the old "as is" purchase.

I have restored an old pick up truck and renovated two houses... so my wife would like me to consider something a bit more "vintage." She's not a huge fan of the interior materials on the new Airstreams. And I think she would like to try a bit of interior decorating. We were out kicking some tires this weekend and she saw an old Excella she liked. I'm not sure this is the right place, but do you have any thoughts on going new (or nearly new) versus the older girls?
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:58 PM   #7
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...do you have any thoughts on going new (or nearly new) versus the older girls?
not any NEW thoughts...

but here are a few old ones on the topic....

with LINKS (inside the LINKS) to other threads within the LINKS...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...new-36995.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f348...new-32343.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...rse-39275.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...oid-36858.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f468...oid-40020.html

generally the best value will be a lightly used recent trailer or a 70s unit with a SOLID frame/floor, or a 'barn find' old one...

while professionally tricked out old stuff and recent OR old stuff that is in need of a shell off redo...

are just as expensive as the new ones, but with no warranty (except maybe new appliances)

read, go look at trailers, ALL of them u can from any era...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:21 PM   #8
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You are the Encyclopedia Airtanica. Of course, if you are of my kids' generation, that particular reference (no pun intended) may be a bit obtuse.

By the way, I have read your comments on the various threads. They have been very insightful. My wife and I have spent a fair amount of time home shopping over the years. She's the "look and feel" person. I'm the one crawling in the odd corners looking for wiring and plumbing that's not "to code." Airstream has a good reputation, but it seems clear that they are not immune to the corner-cutting of modern industry. It's a shame, really, because given the money, one would think they could do everything absolutely top drawer.
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:23 PM   #9
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... do you have any thoughts on going new (or nearly new) versus the older girls?
I'll answer your question with a question, or two.

How much time and money do you want to spend before the trailer is truly roadworthy? Would you prefer to spend more for a new(er) trailer and be able to use it immediately?
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:32 PM   #10
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Our "hiatus" does not officially begin until our youngest daughter graduates in the spring of 2011. That's not to say we wouldn't prefer having the trailer much sooner. As for "truly roadworthy," not to sound short, but if something isn't a rock solid 100 percent, I won't pull it.

As for budget, when my wife and I started our background research, we were both biased by a long-time admiration for Airstreams. Her grandmother always wanted one and never managed to afford it. Compared to the modern tin most folks pull, Airstreams generally have the most character and charm. We love trains and the Airstreams remind us both of old Pullman cars (with some of the advantages and disadvantages).

Our unofficial budget is $50,000, cash-on-the-barrelhead. This doesn't include some changes I plan to make to our tow vehicle or the usual "outfitting." Based on my snooping around, this would probably allow us to get into a new 25' Safari or thereabouts. Now, my wife has noticed that my over-six-foot tall frame and size 14 feet hang over the edge of the "queen" bed in the Safari and she giggled when she saw me standing the shower. Fortunately, we were at the dealer and I was fully clothed, otherwise she might have been rolling on the floor. She has suggested we might find an older tin girl that could be tweaked to better accommodate our dimensions. (She is a tall woman herself). Since there are only two of us traveling, we really don't need to worry about accommodating anyone else. Since I have restored a few older things (houses, cars, etc.), I know there are advantages to a restoration... and there are those moments where you question your very sanity.

So, Cameron, getting the trailer fast is much less important than getting the trailer right (or getting the right trailer). We could wait 18 to 24 months (if necessary) and if the end result made my lovely bride happy. If I started talking about spending more than $50,000, I would have to do some very fast talking... the kind men usually have to do when it comes to necessities like roadsters, tractors or playoff tickets.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:25 PM   #11
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My 2 cents worth? You have the luxury of time and as you say, the faltering economy could very well work to your advantage. I'd use that time to find the trailer size that best suits you & your wife's needs. If either of you have hobbies you want to take along (ie if the wife is a quilter?), that becomes important in terms of storage. And yes, the "RV queen" bed leaves a bit to be desired, but I learned to make it work. You might find letting someone else eat the initial depreciation leaves a shekle or two for other fun things.
Good luck in your search. One thing is for certain, you won't regret owning an Airstream!!
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:32 PM   #12
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I'm 6'-3" and have headroom clearance in my '72 Tradewind (25'). The beds are a little short, but being single allows me to sleep on the diagonal!
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:55 PM   #13
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I have to say, Cameron, I'm leaning towards staying married and finding a way to make the bed a little longer. I guess one of the appeals in renovating a vintage trailer (versus the "off-the-lot" approach) is the chance to make a few of those changes.

And, Whit, thanks for the vote of confidence. I grew up poor and spent a good number of years pinching the buffalo off the nickel. Through hard work and more than our fair share of good luck, we've come to a point where we can start buy what we want rather than what we can afford. If we're going to take some time off after the kids have left the nest, I want to enjoy the experience. I think we can make a 25' trailer work for our hiatus... and I'd prefer to keep it about that length with a modest dry weight to avoid buying a new two vehicle. It's just a question of fine tuning the interior a bit, I suppose.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:24 PM   #14
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Bed and Shower?

Hi, hampstead38. I guess with a little work and $$$$$$$ you could make room for a longer bed, but I'm curious on how you plan to make the shower taller. Dropped floor? Bubble top? Sky light? Or Raise the body higher on the frame? $$$$$$$
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