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Old 10-04-2017, 04:48 PM   #1
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Family looking at AS's

Hey all,

New here and wanted to post an interdiction with a few questions, any advice would be welcome.

A couple months ago I watched a video in my Youtube recommended list about a couple that was transitioning from a MH to a van. Caught my attention and then over my shoulder my wife and then over her's the kiddos too. So we spent the weekend watching a few of their videos and her and I started talking about traveling and trying van life after the kids are grown...about 10 years from now the youngest will be finishing up high school. Plenty of time to plan and sort details.

Of course then the kids chime in about not being left out. Well lots of long late night talks, a million more youtube videos, blogs forums, and a bit of shopping and Airstreams have really stood out to us. We have been watching a lot of the popular youtube channels about families traveling full time. We have always loved taking vacations with the kids and showing them the country. Last year we did Yellowstone in September and had a blast. We stayed in an Airbnb cabin outside of West Yellowstone and used it for sleeping....out early in the morning and back late, strait to bed. It worked but as we started thinking about an RV we saw that for our travel style we need beds, some food storage and a place to stay on bad weather days. But we also want to travel in comfort with a good level of amenities.

From so much of what we have seen and read Airstreams really look like the cream, floating just a bit above much of the other RV's out there. We really like most everything we see in the FC 30FB Bunk. There are a few things that we wish were different...like a real door of some sort for the bedroom...we would like a bit of privacy. But I have a few ideas there and having formerly worked in housing construction, mostly as a finish carpenter I have something in mind. We like the Bunk set up and that with the TV in the bunk area the kids have an area to hang out sometimes. We like the full single bath, the counter space, the living area layout...with the dinette down and a few throw pillows on the lounge we think we could do movie night. We think we can also all fit around the dinette for family dinners...which we do together always. We like the amount of storage and I actually feel that it's more than we would really need, prefer that to trying to squeeze everything in with a shoe horn like we do no in our van for trips.

So on to the questions (sorry I get to rambling).

We have looked at a few SOB trailers. We have not been impressed the way we were when we visited the localish AS dealer. The light, the soft leather the feel and heft of the cabinet doors, the room and use of storage just feel so much better. But Looking for a 1-3 year old 30FB Bunk the asking prices seem to be in line with what I have read here and other places to be what we should shoot for on a new one off the lot at the dealer. But more reading here and so many folks are having major build and QC issues out of the factory on new ones. I read lots of recommendations to take the trailer back to Jackson Center but that's a very long ways from Idaho and while we have thought we would really love to make a East coast (DC, Boston, Maine) trip there is a lot to hit closer in and we were thinking east coast in 2-3 years. JC is more or less on the way to what we would hit out there but it also leaves us hanging out if we did drop a trailer there for work...If we even found we needed any.

So Any thoughts? Any recommendations? Should we keep looking at used and hope to find a more competitive price? Should we push forward on a new and fine tooth comb it before accepting (would do anyway if we get one)? Should we be looking harder at other brands?...sorry I know this is ASForums. So many things impress us so much, but I also know they are there to do just that...windows and soft leather are great but systems that don't work and leaks that destroy the investment seem to be the norm off the line.

I am probably just chasing my tail around and around at this point. If we had impulsively jumped on something it may have been easier, but we may have regretted it too. Sorry for the chapter book.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:02 PM   #2
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Wow...no easy answer.

I'd like to think that there are tons of Airstream owners out there, that do not have lots of problems, and therefore, are not on this forum complaining.

We used to own a 2013 Airstream motorhome, and had a few issues with it, but nothing major. We owned it for 3 years and put on about 25,000 miles traveling all over the US and Canada.

Then, just this week, we had to reject delivery on a brand new Airstream trailer, due to some shabby workmanship.

We've looked at other brands. Unfortunately, we are in love with the Airstreams, and just hate all the other trailers we've seen (except some really cool ones that were way too small for us).

I do think it'd be safe to say that, no matter what brand you buy, you should not be surprised when it needs repairs. It is part of owning an RV.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply weirdstuff. Your thread was one of the ones I have been following recently with so many folks mentioning issues. I am sure that any rv will have issues. That seems to be one of the few consistencies in the industry. But seeing so many major issues with airstreams that are pushing at or over $100,000 is getting harder to swallow. We could get something that checks most of our likes/wants for $30-40 versus the 30fb for $80ish.

We are looking at what would be our home for the summer and as many weeks/weekends that we could squeeze in the rest of the year.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:24 PM   #4
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Since you are handy with tools, I would look for a reasonably used 2015 if you want quiet a/c - save yourself $20k off new and room for easy DIY upgrades.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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If you aren't just madly in love with the Airstream design, and don't mind the interior design and layouts of other trailers...then I'd definitely look at another brand. Sure it'll probably have issues too, but it will be a fraction of the cost.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #6
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I just bought a 27' 2018 in July. There have been a few minor issues, and one larger brake issue, but overall, we are pleased. The bottom line? Most RV's are junk. Terrible materials, terrible workmanship. If you're a carpenter, you'll gag when you see the other brands. Airstream isn't perfect by any means, but they respond to problems, and I'm confident all of our issues will be resolved within the warranty period.

As an aside, years ago I bought a brand new, 37' sailboat. It was from a quality manufacturer, but had some minor issues as well. I spend 12-24 months getting it in perfect order, and swore that NEXT time, I would buy a 1-2 year old sailboat. (Let the original owner do the shake down.) Then, I bought a brand new Airstream- go figure.

Maybe you should consider a 1-2 year old Airstream? Find one owned by people happy with their trailer, but for whatever reason, are unable to stay on the road?
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:59 PM   #7
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How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:12 PM   #8
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Buy a few year old used trailer that's in good shape.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrArrowhead View Post
Thanks for the reply weirdstuff. Your thread was one of the ones I have been following recently with so many folks mentioning issues. I am sure that any rv will have issues. That seems to be one of the few consistencies in the industry. But seeing so many major issues with airstreams that are pushing at or over $100,000 is getting harder to swallow. We could get something that checks most of our likes/wants for $30-40 versus the 30fb for $80ish.

We are looking at what would be our home for the summer and as many weeks/weekends that we could squeeze in the rest of the year.


The bunk layout is a bit harder to find, I looked a few over the last 2 years. There was a 2005 on the classifieds if I remember correctly that was a bunk layout and in the mid 30s not too long ago. I’d honestly go that route if I had to do it over again.

We settled in on a 16 30’ IS. It’s been great and the quality is good, but I sure as heck wouldn’t have paid $110+ sticker for it though.

If you don’t plan to spend a ton of time on the inside, why pay for the extra “luxury”. You might end up nitpicking everything like me.

IMHO, buy older, enjoy it for a little while, then take it down to the skin and start all over! At least that’s my plan.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:38 PM   #10
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http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/...30-california/
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:10 PM   #11
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Also, don't go by msrp pricing.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:08 AM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I really do appreciate it. Wife and I looked at the listing on the 05 Safari for a bit and tracked down the youtube walk through. Not sure yet where hour minds sit on it. A lot less windows than the current FC versions. Which is one of the things we really like is the open, bright feel of the FC's. We can also see a few remodel things that we would want to do...seating is one. But it's also an airstream for a more affordable jump in price.

The kiddos are 13, 10 and 7...but our 13 yr old jumped a grade and started High school this year so we really only have about 4 summers before he will be headed off to college. We had never really thought about RV travel as a family before this summer and now we are hooked and really want to get to travel more and show the kids more of the country. While we are not planning full time we do think we could work out full summers on the road. And we want to get going on that sooner rather than later so that our oldest can go along before he is out of the house.

I have been watching both the classifieds here and RVTrader for the past couple months and to be honest not many have popped up. There are 3 on RVTrader right now...1-3 years old and asking price is what many here have said to shoot for with a new one at a dealer. Thats one of the things I am struggling with a little bit, why buy a used one that's 1-3 years old for about 20% off new when reading here many have been able to get 20% off MSPR? If the price is the same (or at least very close) I would always pick new, personally.

We have talked about just getting SOB trailer to use for a year or two and see how things play out from there. But the Airstreams keep calling back at us, they say "we are shiny and have lots of light and you can fit everyone around the U dinette, and we have storage, and counter space, and soft leather, and......"

Thanks all for the sounding board and suggestions. Appreciate it.
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:59 PM   #13
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Don't let the naysayers turn you off. Remember that, while they no doubt have valid reasons to complain, they do not necessarily represent the majority of AS owners. Our new FC was almost flawless.

One of our daughters, her husband, and two toddlers decided to build a new house in a mountain pass with a short building season. So they purchased a new 2014 FC30 and have been living in it while they build. In addition to the building project they have managed to travel the entire western half of the US. Our grandkids have been to more USFS forests than I even knew existed. Their experience has been so wonderful that once their house is done they are planning on trading their FC30 for another FC that's just a little smaller as they like to get into some tight boon docking sites.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:44 PM   #14
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Forums are a magnet for problems. Most purchasers who don’t see major problems wont ever find Air Forums and/or similar websites. Forums can and do provide a jilted view, Its just the nature of the beast.

Further, it is not unique to Airstreams that “newly deployed” technology is often “problematic” in the first year or so, and it looks like Airstream has rolled out a lot of new stuff as of late.
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