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Old 04-29-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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2007 25' International CCD
Chico , California
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Future Airstreamer with questions

Hello all. My husband and I have decided to purchase an Airstream in the next couple of months. We have a young child and dog that will travel with us, and we are at a loss over what size trailer to hone in on.

I love the idea of a 19' International Bambi or a 23' International. Both are small enough to easily store and maneuver, but I'm concerned about long-term trips in a smaller trailer. Everything I've read while lurking on your site has stressed getting larger than you think.

To add to our confusion, we have no Airstream dealers within driving distance. We are considering a trip to a large dealer so we can really test out the different models.

Does anyone recommend a particular dealer with a large inventory? I'd prefer to know owner's opinions on trailers rather than get the sales pitch by someone who might not even own one.

Thanks in advance. This community is a wealth of information!

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
1971 18' Caravel
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 423
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I know it might be a pretty long drive for guys but there is an RV show coming up May 14-23 at the the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton California. Bay Area RV shows and you can see 100s of RV manufacturers' lines, ... at one convenient location.

RV and Motor Home Shows, RV Sales

From the past video is looks like there was at least one Airstream dealer there.

I think you just missed the spring show in Sacramento.

Good Luck in your search.


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Old 04-29-2010, 10:27 PM   #3
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
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Look in The Rally Zone and see if there are any get togethers in your area. Airstreamers love to show off their rigs. You can learn more in a day of talking to owners and looking at different trailers, than you would any other way.

All Airstream fans are welcome whether you own a trailer or not.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Hi, bikemom. I believe there are about three dealers in California where you can check out new Airstreams. For me, buying my trailer from George Sutton RV in Eugene, Oregon was the best deal. The trip made for a great first vacation and if you play your cards right, you won't have to pay any sales tax. Check out all of your options; Some people who live on the west coast have bought trailers from the east coast. Buy a trailer that suits you best then buy a proper tow vehicle. I bought my tow vehicle first, but I already knew what trailer I was going to buy.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:14 PM   #5
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
2010 20' Flying Cloud
Los Gatos , California
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Posts: 65
We bought our 20' Flying Cloud from Toscanos RV on Los Banos, CA. Our salesman was Dave Morse, nice fellow! Toscanos is an exhibitor at the Pleasanton, CA. RV Show. They have a nice selection of new trailers, I don't know about used, we wanted new!

Good luck with your hunt!
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:29 PM   #6
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Rockville , Maryland
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Although I went to Irvine - I ended up finding the best deal in New Jersey at Colonial Airstream - money saved more than paid to go out and pick it up - but they often deliver all over the country (just shipped one out to Oregon if I remember correctly)...
John "JFScheck" Scheck
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:42 PM   #7
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Genoa , Nevada
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I'm more of the idea to find a well mannered prekept 'stream, check it out and get an idea of what you want. Then sell it for more and get the one that will like your puppy. Sort of like you don't buy the learner "Star" windsurfer, you take lessons on that then buy the high wind sail.
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:23 AM   #8
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,275
Gently used

I've bought new twice, and that's fine if you have the money - but you DO take a big hit in the first two years. I don't have kids to send to college or relatives I particularly want to leave money to.

And... no matter how much you "think" and plan before you buy your first one, the odds are that with a growing family your needs will change even if you're lucky enough to get the ideal unit the first time around. If you get a 2-3 year old model, put the difference into your child's college fund. If it's long term perfect so much the better, but if you need to resize it'll be less expensive to do so!

I've noticed that several people who've listed in the Classifieds lately have also admitted "job situation has changed, can't afford the time to travel" or "really haven't used as much as we planned to." Some people plan to go out 20 times a year and actually never use their RV's after the first couple of trips. In a down economy $30K or more of "yard art" isn't something you keep. Their loss - your gain - and if you end up with yard art too, well if your zoning allows you put it in the back yard and call it your child's playhouse or the pool cabana.

The real test to me is how you'll actually USE the Airstream. I know a few people who use their Airstreams primarily like a cabin... They park it in the mountains in the summer. In fall it's a fishing camp and in the winter it's the "condo" in Florida or Arizona. If you're only moving it 2-3 times a year than go as big as you want to! You could even rent or borrow a honkin' big truck to pull it rather than buying. I know one nice 75 year old woman who has a big SOB she couldn't tow after her husband passed away. She pays a neighbor to haul it to Florida for the winter and bring it back to a local campground here for the summer. She accurately observes that the $2000 she spends on that STILL saves her money over renting an apartment or condo.... or owning the big honkin truck!

If you're planning to go out one or two weekends every month and rarely spend more than a week at a time in it, a 23 would be my choice... with a child who WILL get bigger every year, a 16 or 19 could get "sardine can" small really quickly.... though I do know friends who have 3 kids and a T@b trailer. They'll boondock for two weeks, too. They really still think of the trailer as a hard sided tent.

Happy Trails whatever you choose. Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:39 AM   #9
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Currently Looking...
Indian Harbor Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 182
Welcome to future Airstreaming! We bought our first AS in Jan from a RV show in Tampa. Took delivery of it in Feb. We bought a 27' and so glad we did. We like the extra room. Don't forget, as your young one gets older, he/she will want a friend to go along on a trip once in awhile, make sure you have the room. I was very apprehensive about driving a 27', but with a great hitch and lots of practice, I have no problem driving, or backing (very slowly!). We have often wished we had our AS when the kids were young, you're very fortunate to get one when your child is young enough to grow with it....enjoy and capture the memories!
If you buy at a show, one piece of advice, buy the last day of the show, go low on the price. We bought ours on the last day, last hour of the show and they really wanted to sell one more. We got a very fair deal...but get EVERYTHING in writing that you negoiate in the sales deal.
Have fun, see you on the road.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:03 PM   #10
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2007 25' International CCD
Chico , California
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
We decided!

Thank you all so much for your input. We decided on a 2007 25' International FB. While it's larger what I originally thought I wanted, it will allow us to spread out more while not being huge. It's also a super clean unit. We are having two more Zip-Dee awnings made and installed, then we'll be off for as many trips as possible this summer. We decided to go with Toscano RV in Los Banos, and they have been fantastic.

Again, thank you for all of your help. I'll be gleening as much information as possible before we hit the road in June.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:43 PM   #11
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2007 25' Classic
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 244
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Wow, you don't let grass grow under your feet. That was quick! It took me 6 months to do what you did in a few days.

We have had ours for about a month... loving every minute.

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Old 05-08-2010, 02:48 PM   #12
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Pompano Beach , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 19
We just got a 25' ourselves, and I think it is perfect. Enjoy.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:58 PM   #13
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2008 25' Safari SS SE
Longview , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2007
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We started with a 23 foot Safari that we bought used, and had to upgrade because we have three kids. We now have the 25 Safari SS, and it's the perfect size.

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