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Old 06-17-2013, 06:13 PM   #29
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I recommend a trip to the factory not just Airstream but some of the others you may be interested in.

The things that go into all RV's is pretty much the same stuff like frig, water heater, AC, water pumps, range and electronics.

How the RV itself is built is unique to the manufacture, cabinets, materials and stuff like that .

With a factory tour you will really see how they are built, the employees attitude and their pride in their workmanship.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by overlander63
The best advice I can give to someone with the means, and no experience, is to buy brand-new (yes, I know, $$$), and USE IT. By the time the warranty runs out, you will have: 1-found and gotten fixed any "bugs", and 2-learned how to use your Airstream, and how to take care of the basics yourself.
Spot on! We're in year one. I didn't start knowing how to use a ball peen screwdriver and now, I am amazed at the stuff I'm learning and having fun doing. Still, anything major is going back to the dealer. So far - nothing major at all except the fun and friendships we're making along the way!

We were thinking 1 trip a month from Apr to Oct. after our first trip we decided we have to get out every possible weekend! Overlander63 is absolutely right - new unit and use it a lot!!

And it probably goes without saying, but this forum is also incredibly valuable as a part of the Airstreaming experience. Excellent folks, excellent advice, even some comedy from time to time whenever the debate about best hitch, tow vehicle, etc. comes up. I would want it no other way. :-)

And I gotta agree with your assessment of that New England unit of the WBCCI. We're members of the Charter Oak unit but have been to a couple events with the New England unit and they are outstanding folks!!!

Stuff happens. Maintenance is needed. Nothing is perfect. But with all that - for us - we couldn't possibly be happier! Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:23 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
The best advice I can give to someone with the means, and no experience, is to buy brand-new (yes, I know, $$$), and USE IT. By the time the warranty runs out, you will have: 1-found and gotten fixed any "bugs", and 2-learned how to use your Airstream, and how to take care of the basics yourself.
That is where we are at....man we are getting excited!
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:40 PM   #32
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You know, the last New England unit rally I went to, back in early May, I gave an ode to the zen of Airstream ownership. But I have to say - sat in our cozy and fully-vetted trailer this Memorial Day, rain whipping down in Vermont. LED lights glowing, furnace pumping toasty air, everything right in our cozy Safari SE world.

It isn't like owning a Japanese car. They need work, even the new and almost new ones. But we've had fun with the trailer every time we took it out. Same for the Argosy before it, and the T@b teardrop before that.

To boil it down - filaform is cosmetic (annoying, but not structural), and rotten floors can be repaired. So can bum RV appliances. And at the root of it is one of the best towing and iconic trailers you can get.

Tom
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:08 PM   #33
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To boil it down - filaform is cosmetic (annoying, but not structural), and rotten floors can be repaired. So can bum RV appliances. And at the root of it is one of the best towing and iconic trailers you can get.

Tom

I showed my wife pics of some bad examples of filaform - and even with that worst case, she preferred that to the other options...and if it became cosmetically bad enough...because of concerns about leaks and peace of mind, we are paying for covered storage local - more expense though - hoping to figure out a way to create storage in my back yard....worried about the darn sprinkler lines being damaged running over the grass though - pretty sure that will be a problem if I tried.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #34
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Yes. Towing performance is a big plus.

This may sound strange, but I am happiest enroute to my destination with the FaN hugging my truck like a lover - than actually being at the destination.

Quote:
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More signs that streamers are not only having fun - they are enlightened - even having deeply spiritual experiences!

Indeed. Aviators and RVers/campers are privy to those experiences.
I love this photo of the Milky Way, courtesty of a KLM cargo pilot. I was privy to same during my last Airstream excursion.

Whether we call it sacrifice, or poetry, or adventure, it is always the same voice that calls.
- Antoine de St. Exupery

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:24 PM   #35
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Airstreams like my 1976 are pretty easy to work on, all the parts I've needed have been available, and the body will not rust or rot away. The trailers are well suited for travel and there's a pretty strong resale market.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:34 PM   #36
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I too was discouraged also. I ended up with a Vantage trailer. No rivets, no soft metal that flexes and eventually leaks in places you can not see. No outrageous new unit pricing plus has a slide. The Vantage is built rock solid and I am very happy with it.

Keystone stopped building the Vantage but there are still a few new ones out there. I bought a 25RBS. Look at the Vantage 29RLS. It is proably the best blend of space and function. It has a couch, a dinette, and two chairs in the living area.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #37
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Oh I dunno. Seems that the AS tows best when I a on my meds...

Just sorta kidding.

Look, I can give you a litany of little things that PO #1&2 did not take care of, or had "professionally" done yes they needed to be redone properly.

She ain't perfect, kinda matches me.

Once I get the little AC, electrical, water heater problems resolved she will be truly road worthy.. BTW, she is a 1999 Excella, 34' in length Widebody. So there are bound to be a few
Character flaws...

If you want " perfect" you better have deep pockets and the time to drop off with "professionals" who will gladly charge you for working on your TT or MH.

Remember or it has wheels or .... It will give you trouble. However I thoroughly enjoy playing with both., but not at same time.

Buy it and make it yours.

I had a friend who once said "I couldn't be with he same woman more than a year!" I said, "If you were doing it right she would not BE the SAME woman!"
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:52 PM   #38
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Dave, we've had our AS going on three years and love it. We have had some issues but nothing that would cause us to reconsider our purchase. Yes we have had some leaks. Most were taken care of, but there is one I am still chasing.

As mentioned previously, most of the interior components are standard RV components. Its the construction of the trailer that separates AS and SOB's. In addition to our unique construction, look at how high SOB's sit. All trailers leak, it just seems that ours leak a little more Go to a few different dealers service departments and ask what their top 3-5 repairs are on SOB's.

We didn't look at SOB's because our hearts were set on an AS. We were looking at used trailers, but wound up buying a new one. Yes it was/is $$, but it has a two warranty. Along the way we learned a lot from the dealer and other Streamers, but more importantly the Forums. The forum helped us learn what to look for and what to ask. You will find our community is very knowledgable and willing to help.

Don't be discouraged. Keep looking, go to some local rallies. Most have a 'trailer crawl' and you will be able to see all sort of trailers, new and old, heavily modified and factory fresh.

We try to go camping (glamping) once a month between Mar/Apr to Oct/Nov, with one long trip a year. We would go longer and more often if work didn't interfere.

Don't rush your decision you will find the right trailer... then use it and have fun
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:10 PM   #39
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I didn't start knowing how to use a ball peen screwdriver and now, I am amazed at the stuff I'm learning and having fun doing.
Hmmm, the ball peen screwdriver...is that the tool you need to fix the muffler bearings on the trailer?

On a more serious note, choosing a trailer involves a lot of managing expectations. What do YOU want out of a trailer, or out of a vacation, for that matter.

For some, the issue is the "rent" vs. "own" difference. Do you want to show up, stay somewhere, then go home and never need to give it another thought? Or are you okay with making lists while on vacation of things that might need a bit of attention when you get home? Or, even further in that direction, can you see yourself being eager to get home and work on that next intriguing little improvement that you just thought of while camping next to some lake?

If you're in that first group, you might want to stick with vacationing in someone else's cabin.

If you don't mind the responsibilities of ownership, you'll be fine with an Airstream. Yes, there are occasional expenses. If you're not sure what to look for to avoid the ones you don't feel comfortable dealing with yet, contact a volunteer inspector from the forum (there's a list on the right side of the portal page) and have them check out any older unit that catches your eye. Or get a new one and shake out all the rough edges under warranty.

Few units are perfect from the start and things do wear out over time. But it is manageable if you know what you want, know what you can do, and have an idea of what to expect.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:24 PM   #40
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Discouraged

What you read here is often the exception and not the rule.
We have owned 5 tow trailers and 2 sailboats since 1974 and used all extensively without a major problem. Oh to be sure there was the time when sailing home to Seattle from SE Alaska we hit a log took on water and thought briefly we were going to sink. Instead, we got to work stopped the leak worked on the boat all afternoon and went on south returning home without further incident.

We have wintered in Arizona 5 winters without problems other than a couple of flats. Our 2010 airstream now has 18,000 mi and performs flawlessly.

we love it! I follow the maintenance manual, watch my tires for condition and pressure and do not drive above the speed limit.

Go for it and just be cautious but have fun.

Lou
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:00 AM   #41
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Dave, if you are a handyman, you have a huge leg-up over our initial lack of experience with RVing when we bought the Bambi in 2007. We were total babes-in-the-woods. No previous RV experience, towing experience, backing-a-trailer experience, repair experience, you-name-it. We just try to be friendly to the RV mechanics who fix stuff for us.

Maybe I should feel lessened somehow by these admissions, but I think it is helpful to prospective Airstreamers for somebody just to say that, while it is helpful to understand the mechanical side, and while some guys truly enjoy restoring an old AS as a hobby, you can still have a lot of fun in one without all of the expertise and without all of the work. We've been all over the western states and southern BC in ours, without a moment of regret.

Off camping to Kikomun Creek Provincial Park in a couple of hours. Rain the forecast-- but we are bringing good books, rain gear, and good spirits. Ministry of Environment - Recreation - Kikomun Creek Provincial Park
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #42
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Len n Jeanne....

I just want to say thank you for that bit of perspective....as similar newb's soon to own our first AS, its a tad intimidating....my wife and I will be in the same boat...I am not the handiest person in the world..I expect RV mechanics will take my money away after my warranty expires....is november here yet folks??
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