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Old 03-23-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 6
Frugal newbie on brink of purchase decision – need reassurance/reality check!

Greetings all! Single woman here, seriously considering pulling the trigger on purchasing a 2010 27’ CCD International Signature. I used to fulltime with my ex-sweetie in a 24’ Class A ’71 Grumman, and would plan to use the AS for full-timing between 6-8 months of the year after some initial smaller trips/practice period. I’m getting a lot of results when I try to search these topics separately, so thought I could maybe toss out a few of my current hesitations for expert input - ? Need to make a decision in next day or two.

- Ticket prices on new are staggering to me, but then there’s the new ducted AC to consider, and several folks have advised me, ‘you’re just going to trade in later anyway’… I've never purchased anything this expensive aside from my house, but the price on the 2010 at least seems in the realm of the do-able. I hate the thought of eating that initial depreciation on a 2015. I see ‘buy gently used’ offered as advice on here, but not sure if that applies when such a major new improvement as the AC had been rolled out. I initially was thinking to buy & restore a vintage, but ultimately deemed it to be way beyond my skillset/tolerance.

- Should I spring for an extended warranty on the 2010? $3k for 4 years.

- Ok to store her in my unpaved (Florida sandy soil) driveway for now? I'd consider paving later after a proving period.

- Am I going to be able to handle a 27’ alone? Awning opening, hitching, etc.? I’m youngish (42) and pretty strong, but I’m petite, and jeez – I couldn't even reach both handles to open the window over the dinette yesterday with the table up.

Have to buy a TV too (thinking Tundra right now; an early 2000s model I can just pay cash for) but I know there’s a ton of threads on here addressing TV questions.

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Old 03-23-2015, 01:52 PM   #2
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arg! and just realized have posted in wrong area. >_< Am off to a good forums start, heh.

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Old 03-23-2015, 02:17 PM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
2008 16' International
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 87
I will jump in and give you my 2 cents. Unless you are getting younger why wait?

The trailer won't know or care that you are a single female. We have met more than one 'on the road'. Last one was a host at a Texas state park and I never saw her without a smile on her face.

I have a small trailer bought from a single female and I can't get the windows open from the inside myself. I have to unhook and then go outside to raise or lower them.

Some people want to only buy new but I couldn't justify doing it. I even brought my TV from Car Max for the same reason.

If possible get someone that is experienced to look it over and give you feedback on the price and condition.

If you pull the trigger then take everything slow while you are learning the ropes.

The good and the bad news is they will sell pretty fast. Good news if you are selling but bad if you are buying.

Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Manheim , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 186
Are you buying used from a dealer or private party? Financing?
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:18 PM   #5
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,678
Fulltiming nearing 9th anniversary

Hi, my name is Paula and I'm a grateful non-recovering Aluminut.
I've owned 3 Airstreams in 9 years. Sold #1 (22' wanted something bigger, saw the 25FB SE drooled and bought on impulse, Rolled #2 (felt like #2 too), now have a 25 FB SE Eddie Bauer. Looking at a custom 30 foot 2 door Serenity with lust in my heart even as we speak.

Airstream is backordered out the wahzoo and doesn't seem interested in building one for me even for biggassbucks. Saved from temptation for the short run at least. Every trailer I lust after seems to be on the west coast.

May just get that 34 Avion and have it modernized. (French Provencal GAG)

Extended Warranty - read the small print - several times - most are pure garbage. They only pay if you have the dealer that sold it do the work. And it will never need service until/unless you're 1200 miles away and needs a liftback to get it home to the dealer.

Buying new - list price is fiction. 20% off used to be pretty standard, but now that the economy is recovering sort of - you might have to push to get over 18%. Now doesn't that sound more reasonable. If I had it to do over I'd have bought very gently used on #1.

Inspect inspect inspect. (OR go buy a used POS SOB (square old box) for a couple of thousand and learn to tow - then buy an Airstream.

BTW, finance rates are still very low - it'll never be more affordable to buy a new one. Financing is scarey and you might decide to sell at a moderate loss, but you can be on the road in a week. Put $10K to $20K down and look back only when you write the monthly payment check. I do think you should go to a dealer and spend a whole DAY going through the models you're interested in. Sit on the john, lie down on the bed (shoes off please). Imagine cooking. Learn to open and close the awning. Etc, Etc. Etc. FORGET about all of your "can I do this?" issues (as long as you don't have 4 chargeable accidents in the last six years - in which case you really are a bad driver and don't need to add a tow vehicle into the mix). Take a towing course from a local truck driving school. It's virtually the same learning curve whether you choose a 23 footer or a 30 footer.

Me I think the ducted air is overrated - but then I've not seen one in the flesh yet. Someone always buys one, then has a big health crisis and needs to sell it a few months down the road. Be patient if you want gently used.
You ARE contemplating buying during the peak demand period. Oh if only it were November.

Find a nearby rally - go! Good place to look around.

See you down the road, Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tastytreks View Post
arg! and just realized have posted in wrong area. >_< Am off to a good forums start, heh.
No worries - the thread is moved and it's likely you'll make bigger goofs in your airstream odyssey
1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

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Old 03-23-2015, 06:42 PM   #7
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Thanks all! (and to Janet for popping my post into the right spot!)

The very gently used one I've fallen for is through a dealer - 4.25 percent (or possibly less) interest, 20% down. Looks absolutely showroom immaculate. I tromped into every unit offered on the lot, and I would not have known it was NOT new, aside from a few Command and teacup hooks the first owner installed.

I did just finish a longer visit yesterday, setting up my work equipment on the dinette, flomping around on the bed (w/o shoes!!) and doing pretend tests in the kitchen/shower/loo. I couldn't find a newer unit I liked more, even temporarily ignoring the price points. The used one just feels right.

The extended warranty appears to cover suspension system, brakes aside from pads, major home systems, even food spoilage or propane loss if the breakdown affects them. If outside the original dealer 100 mile area, towing up to $500 to nearest other facility is included, and so are overnight accommodation costs for me for up to three days and vehicle rental for five. (Funny math right there - I guess you get to sleep in the rental car for the extra two days if needed, lol!) Hard for me to judge what might break down over the next few years on a unit as new as 2010 – lots of things were D.O.A. on the '71 Class A we used to have, and we just replaced items slowly as $ allowed.

Paula: aha, I suspected there must be towing courses offered out there!! I have a CDL school just a few blocks away from me; will look into that. I've towed a car trailer with a 24' truck cross-country more than once; it can't be THAT different.

I love RJPuckett's point: "Unless you are getting younger, why wait?" Darn tootin'. And I'm not worried about doing the travel alone, per se (after all, I'd be part of the AS family, right?) It was just more of wondering about logistics: if the finicky awnings can be opened by one person, and how you hitch up without the person in the back hollering, "Good; left... left.... no, your other left!!"
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:44 PM   #8
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Sopchoppy , Florida
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Radical Self-reliance
Airstream, encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:47 PM   #9
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Sopchoppy , Florida
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Tempered/Chilled water AC, better than ducted.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:54 PM   #10
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
Pleasant View , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 9
Frugal newbie on brink of purchase decision – need reassurance/reality check!

I'm no single woman, but with my hubby constantly gone (military), I've had to make trips on my own. I'm a 41 1/2 yr old petite (5'2"), with 3 boys (7, 14, 17), and I can tell you that you can definitely do it all yourself. My longest trek was 10 hrs to the beach, sooo worth it. I was a little scared at first, but my initial local trips definitely helped. Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:32 PM   #11
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2003 31' Classic
Terra Alta , West Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 204
You will be just fine! You have the determination and that's the big part. Have your dealer help with suggesting a TV. I'm sure a newer (bigger) model Tundra would be one of the top choices. Hopefully the RV dealer will give you good honest council on hitch set up. That is so important along with the other instructions. They should be patient and give you advice you can trust. If you pulled a car trailer...you are already on your way. Time is wasting...let's go!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:33 PM   #12
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Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 694
Welcome, tastytreks! Most people trade coaches fairly quickly in the first few years, even after doing lots of research. The reason is that few people get it absolutely, spot-on right the first time. Buying a used coach means that someone else has taken that depreciation hit, so when you trade your hit won't be quite so bad.

As for a tow vehicle, look at the trailer's gross weight. Figure 15% of that gross weight for the tongue weight. The actual tongue weight may well be less than that (10-12% is considered normal) but the extra will give you a bit of a margin for the weight of the hitch itself. Don't let a sales person tell you that the truck can handle the trailer. Get the numbers and verify that the particular truck you are looking at can, indeed, handle the coach you want. Many people want to have a safety margin of 5-20%. What that means is that if the truck can safely tow 10,000 pounds, they figure on 8-9500 pounds as the actual capacity, depending on what safety margin they are comfortable with. You can't have too much truck, but you certainly can have too little truck.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:49 PM   #13
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2006 19' International CCD
Denville , New Jersey
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I am female, 62, getting shorter every year. I can't get that front window open without unlatching then going outside to lift. I can hitch by myself. Before my new TV, i just got in and out of car a lot to check where I was. Now I have camera.

I can dump, dewinterize and not only can I do the awning on my own, I can get that little end out on my own when I accidentally let it go too soon. The hardest part for me....those darn sheets in corner bed!

Go for it and see you down the road, I'm on it 20k a season, 160 nights!
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:58 PM   #14
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
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Do it.

Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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