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Old 08-06-2016, 10:06 PM   #1
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Pacific Grove , California
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Buying Very Soon


I am a Naval Aviator planning to buy an Airstream and travel cross-country to my next duty station. I am a first time trailer buyer, and am open to any and all advice during my purchasing process. To the point. How much would you pay for a 99' Airstream Safari? See link below. I contacted a guy in San Fran who does custom renovations, and he told me he do an inspection of the unit and let me know if its solid or not. I don't mind putting in elbow grease, but I do need it to be road worthy to literally travel from coast to coast. Also, is there a general consensus on whether buying a post 1980 or 1990 model is better than a 70's model. Lastly, if anyone on this forum is from my area, please let me know and maybe I can use your expertise. Thanks.

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Old 08-07-2016, 09:40 PM   #2
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1958 26' Overlander
Kansas City , Missouri
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It's good to have someone inspect the airstream for you to find out if the floor is solid, the pipes are good, check the axles, the frame, etc of the unit. That way it's what you are looking for. As for a vintage unit ( which I have) they could be cheaper or not it's what you are looking for. It's going to be your airstream so you need to get one that fist you and what you want. Good luck and welcome to the forms!
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:15 AM   #3
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Yreka , California
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You might also want to check the electrical systems, etc. Advice above is excellent! I would ask the seller to show you how everything works and actually see if it works. Make sure the 'fridge works well, all lights, etc. See what the batteries are like. Good deep cell batteries or something else? Much of your decision will surround the quality of the 'stream you purchase as well as if it will fit your wants/needs. Be sure the tires and brakes are in great shape, and if you tow from one coast to another, I would ask your insurance to add the trailer to the policy as well as towing for the trailer...

We have vintage, and love it. Happy streaming!
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:41 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:46 AM   #5
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Somerset County , New Jersey
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I think you need to look at your expectations. A '99 is bound to have "issues" that need to be dealt with - simply from age. Plus older decor and such.

Your needs might be different, but if I were buying an older trailer I'd be looking to spend a lot less than $21,000 because I know I'd be ripping out a ton of the interior and rebuilding it. I'd actually be looking for one in worse condition if that makes any sense.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:41 PM   #6
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I have a '74 Argosy 26'. I would not hesitate to hitch it up and travel any where I want to go.
This is because I have completed many upgrades including replacing the original axles.
The earlier trailers were narrow bodies and the are much lighter to tow. My trailer empty weighs around 4,000 lbs.
The GVWR is 6,200 lbs.
What is your tow vehicle?
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:12 PM   #7
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi and welcome to the Forums. I properly cared for 99 Safari ought to be in good shape and ready to go. I think of 1999 as a "late model" Airstream as I travel in an 86 and sometimes in my 66. Airstreams can last a long time.

I think 99 was the first year of the new polymer coating on the exterior skins. And it might have been the first year of the "wide body" upgrade. Others will have to chime in and get the story correct.

I believe 99s still had the OSB subfloor. My 86 does. OSB isn't the greatest material for moisture resistance. So do give that subfloor a good inspection. A southwest trailer sees less rain events than a southeast trailer.

Filiform corrosion can be a problem on the new polymer coated trailers. It is a cosmetic issue, not a structural one. It appears as "while worms" that have bored their way under the coating. It is more prevalent on trailers stored near the sea. There is no easy fix, but some Airstreamers have developed methods to improve their trailer's appearance.

Any nearly 20 year old travel trailer will have problems. You can expect the water heater, furnace, fridge, water pump, air conditioner, or other appliance to give you a headache now and then. Most of the appliances on my trailers have been repaired or replaced through the years. Tires are brakes are important inspection points too.

Good luck with your assessment of this Airstream.

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Old 08-08-2016, 07:16 PM   #8
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Woodland , California
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Whenever I see "Naval Aviator", I can't help but think of "The Right Stuff", one of my all time favorite movies. I question whether this trailer "has it".

According to the Criagslist ad, this trailer now has "hardwood laminate floor". That sets off alarm bells for me, as in rotten original floor that was not properly fixed or replaced; instead covered up with heavy (and likely cheap) flooring. The surfboard resting on the door and the fact that there are no recent tire tracks in the photos suggests that this is a yard queen at best.

If you decide to inspect, definitely take a moisture meter or do something to ascertain the condition of the original floor for "issues".

Just my 2 cents; best of luck on your journey.

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Old 08-10-2016, 07:16 PM   #9
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2009 19' International
Santa Margarita , California
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Central CA

I'm working for the Airstream dealer on the Central Coast of CA. If I can help in any way, let me know! Sounds like a great adventure!

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