Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-12-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
LeisureTime's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Southern , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 11
What to look out for in an older AS?

I've recently been bitten by the AS bug. I think it's love - can't sleep at night or concentrate on work.

Sounds like there is a general consensus that there are some manufacturing issues with the newer models. Some people get good ones with few if any problems, most have some issues that can be resolved, and a few brand new AS's are plagued by terrible, serious and unresolveable problems. Honestly, it scares me to spend that much $$$ and possibly end up in the latter category.

So now I am considering buying used.

How many years ago did the quality seem to drop off? Or, put another way, what model years should I avoid? Or was there always a certain percentage that had quality issues?

What issues should I look out for when buying a used AS?

After reading these forums for a couple of days I now know to look for corrosion, soft floors, hose leak test, what else?
__________________

__________________
That beer was good. Let me see what the next one tastes like.
LeisureTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeisureTime View Post
I've recently been bitten by the AS bug. I think it's love - can't sleep at night or concentrate on work.

Sounds like there is a general consensus that there are some manufacturing issues with the newer models. Some people get good ones with few if any problems, most have some issues that can be resolved, and a few brand new AS's are plagued by terrible, serious and unresolveable problems. Honestly, it scares me to spend that much $$$ and possibly end up in the latter category.

So now I am considering buying used.

How many years ago did the quality seem to drop off? Or, put another way, what model years should I avoid? Or was there always a certain percentage that had quality issues?

What issues should I look out for when buying a used AS?

After reading these forums for a couple of days I now know to look for corrosion, soft floors, hose leak test, what else?
Bad axles, Dura Torque Axle

frozen tubing, bad door and window gaskets, rusty frame, rear end separation, rusted LPG bottles, if they are steel, inop tongue jack, possibly broken windows that were replaced with plastic, missing rivets, damaged entrance door, ill fitting entrance door, leaky water heater, bad brakes, inop AC, sticky walls, cigarette smoke odor, leaky fresh water tank, bad tires, damaged sheet metal, silicone sealer on the exterior, inop toilet, rotten spots in the floor, damaged drapes, leaky windows, damaged sheet metal, inop exterior lights, bad ceiling light switches, discolored ceiling light lenses.

The list can go further, but this will get you started.

Andy
__________________

__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 11:14 PM   #3
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeisureTime View Post
...How many years ago did the quality seem to drop off? Or, put another way, what model years should I avoid? ...
the a/s hasn't been built that can't be broken...

and the notion that any one year or era should be avoided is naive...

they all have issues.

the folks building them have an average time of employment approaching 20 years....

and people buying them like specific years or models or lengths for a variety of reasons...

new ones come with a warranty, old one do not.

it's a metal vessel on wheels, with appliances, gadgetry, furnishings and other crap inside.

so do ya want an old vessel with old or replaced stuff inside or a new vessel with the same?

the only "general consensus" is that every one from every year may have issues.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...tml#post561346

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ars-40462.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f468...tml#post525869

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

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f187...oid-31944.html

at some point it becomes useful to GO LOOK AT TRAILERS....

physically looking at units just like searching for the common issues here has it's value....

there are 3 things that ARE DIFFERENT NOW...
1. we can connect, compare, complain or commiserate very quickly today (this doesn't mean there are more or less build issues) ...
2. the 'new buyer' tends not to understand that rv construction in general is flimsy regardless of brand OR era...
3. many of these same 'new buyers' don't understand an rv (new or old) isn't a japanese car or rotisserie chicken...

u gotta cook this bird yerself, learn to deal with surprises, expect things to break and GO CAMPING to enjoy the primary value...

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
You can have quality issues with any trailer, new or used. I think your chance of serious issues goes down with newer. I personally would look for a newer, used trailer. The depreciation hit has already been paid for by the first owner. The appliances are less likely to be worn out or need service yet, same for axles, tires, door and window gaskets, etc. All of the things Andy referred to above.
OTOH, there are some very nice older trailers that have been refurbished, or well taken care of - but these are hard to find and you pay a pretty penny for a restored vintage unit.
My 2 cents.
Dave
__________________
AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 12:18 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
CaddyGrn's Avatar
 
1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,879
Welcome to the forums! We are nearly neighbors!

Good responses so far! Buying a Airstream is similar to purchasing a used car or a new one... you can get great deals, and lemons. The important thing is to find one you really like, size and design... one that is usable now (unless you have the restoration bug...) and jump in and go camping!

I would suggest you find some airstreams near you and go take a look at all makes, and years you can find. Check out the rally schedule and show up ~ likely folks will be willing to discuss their airstream and show you theirs! There is a rally near Lava Beds the second week of August... The nearest Airstream dealer is in Eugene.

Other than the things listed above, you might check out this thread that has good information to generally think about with a trailer! http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...eam-22920.html

Good luck. BTW, once you have the "bug" you can't get rid of it! Aluminitis is for life!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My blog: Yreka History
__________________
CaddyGrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 08:21 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
mustang's Avatar
 
1986 31' Sovereign
Kent , Ohio
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 803
I was always surprised at the simularities between Airstream and Harley Davidson. I also tell people Airtsream is the Harley Davidson ofcampers. That has always been able to sum it up. I like my old airstream, I loved my old Harley. I would by both and have had no regrets . I have met great people and pain in the rear people along the way in both as in life. Do your home work, and it seems the longer ones are more prone to problems.
__________________
mustang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 06:19 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
digger bear's Avatar
 
1973 23' Safari
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Bad axles, Dura Torque Axle

frozen tubing, bad door and window gaskets, rusty frame, rear end separation, rusted LPG bottles, if they are steel, inop tongue jack, possibly broken windows that were replaced with plastic, missing rivets, damaged entrance door, ill fitting entrance door, leaky water heater, bad brakes, inop AC, sticky walls, cigarette smoke odor, leaky fresh water tank, bad tires, damaged sheet metal, silicone sealer on the exterior, inop toilet, rotten spots in the floor, damaged drapes, leaky windows, damaged sheet metal, inop exterior lights, bad ceiling light switches, discolored ceiling light lenses.

The list can go further, but this will get you started.

Andy

"we can fix that in a weekend"

This quote was uttered by either my wife or myself pre -vintage airstream purchase -- but not currently owned up to by either of us.

;-)

Neither of us regret the purchase however.

Dive in. As long as you have this group as a resource, you cant go wrong!
__________________
Digger Bear
Non impediti ratione cogitationis

--------------------------------------------------------
digger bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
Mike Leary's Avatar
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,540
Images: 11
Like Harley, Airstreams built in the seventies were mostly junk. Be very carefull with
"good deals" or inflated "classic" prices during that era.
__________________
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
Mike Leary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #9
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Like Harley, Airstreams built in the seventies were mostly junk. Be very carefull with
"good deals" or inflated "classic" prices during that era.
Ouch! That hurt...
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:57 PM   #10
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
Mike Leary's Avatar
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,540
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Ouch! That hurt...
It should, we all got ripped off during that era; Beatrice Foods bought &
ran into the ground American icons.
__________________
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
Mike Leary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:59 PM   #11
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Like Harley, Airstreams built in the seventies were mostly junk. Be very carefull with
"good deals" or inflated "classic" prices during that era.
American made cars and trucks back then, were mostly junk too.

Technology advances.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 10:10 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
PizzaChop's Avatar
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 747
Images: 202
Quote:
I've recently been bitten by the AS bug. I think it's love - can't sleep at night or concentrate on work.
A single rear floor/frame rot repair will cure you of that.

Quote:
Like Harley, Airstreams built in the seventies were mostly junk.
This is a matter of opinion, and while I can't speak for HD, the Airstreams I' ve seen, when properly maintained, seem to hold up fine. Rubber gaskets, seals, and appliances do tend to fail after 20+ years. Just a fact of life!

My advice is to either buy a complete restoration (with pics) or a 1-2 owner unit which has been rigidly maintained. Either will cost you some $$$. Unless of course you're handy with metalworking, welding, carpentry, plumbing, and willing to learn a few new things along the way!
__________________
Ron Kaes
Psalm 112
www.paparonnis.com
PizzaChop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 10:32 PM   #13
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
Mike Leary's Avatar
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,540
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop View Post
A single rear floor/frame rot repair will cure you of that.
LOL, Our first (of four) had that ; Airstreams are not leakproof, no yacht,
land or sea, is.
__________________
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
Mike Leary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 11:40 AM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
Distantdrummer's Avatar
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
Whoa betsy !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Like Harley, Airstreams built in the seventies were mostly junk. Be very carefull with
"good deals" or inflated "classic" prices during that era.
I could be polite and say I beg to differ.
However I think your ridiculous utterance is better served by my saying this...
BULLS#!T
NONSENSE
GROSS OVERSTATEMENT
CRAP

My guess is 70s era has had fewer Lemons and fewer warranty claims than any era since.
Beatrice is a convenient whipping boy. But I have yet to see any evidence they dictated to plants to cut corners in materials or workmanship.
Manufacturing management and plant labor did not migrate over from Beatrice's other entities as I understand it.

I could not care less about Beatrice, Thor, nor Airstream the current Company. I do care about someone poisoning the market for used units of any specific era without concrete evidence. You have done a dis-service and are painting with way too wide a brush.
I reject & ignore your thoughts regards 1970 era Airstreams since I have owned a couple of those and find nothing you said to be true in my case. It is that you stated it as a fact, not as an opinion that raised my ire.

As for Harley's 1970's life I don't know or give a whit.
This is a trailer forum not a bike board.
__________________

__________________
__________________________
____ d'drummer ____

...aahh..rumm..pu..tum..tummm...
Distantdrummer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
As we all get a little older.... Jimandrod Fun & Games 20 05-30-2009 10:41 AM
Tenters getting older thehiker Member Introductions 17 03-20-2008 08:17 PM
Older floorplans Steve-O Our Community 1 01-09-2004 09:37 PM
Older Bambi Ajrandzin 1997 - 2004 Bambi 0 06-19-2003 07:52 PM
New vs. Older Kistler Our Community 10 11-14-2002 06:58 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.