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Old 10-19-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
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Seabrook , New Hampshire
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Greetings from Seabrook, NH

Howdy, Folks! My wife and I finally escaped from Connecticut and, as newly arrived political refugees, have settled in Seabrook, NH. I'm mostly retired and my wife is a 'short timer' concerning her job.

When she does retire we're planning on buying a used 19' Airstream, hooking it up to our 2014 F250 Super Duty 6.7L and doing some traveling. Being totally new to Airstreams I'd like to ask the question: what do I look for in a used Airstream? Our intent is to look at something 2005 or newer. Other than the obvious, is there anything that I should run away from?

I've been working vehicles all my life and, for years, refurbished old motorcycles. So, with that being said, I can work on things but I don't want to spend more time 'working on it than traveling in it' if you catch my drift.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
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Living in Connecticut, and apparently being on "the other side" of politics, I'll avoid that bait.

You've got a truck that can tow a train. I get the feeling that you'd quickly find a 19' trailer to be tight. Visit a dealer to see what would work best - most consider 25-27' to be a very livable size.

Beyond that, condition matters a lot. You do need to keep an eye on sealing seams and roof penetrations, or else you can get leaks leading to floor rot. Build quality improved over the years to some extent too.

Tom


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Old 10-19-2014, 08:31 AM   #3
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Thanks for the thoughts! Any 'years' in particular that I should avoid, or are later models in general better built?
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:35 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Even though you are considering a used Airstream, you should visit an Airstream dealer and take a look at the different models. During the last ten years, the floor plans have pretty much remained the same. Sit in the different models and consider how it would be living in each one.

I would agree that the 19' would be a little challenging for extensive traveling. We started Airstreaming about ten years ago with a 2005 25'. We used it for eight years and spent over 1,300 nights in it all over the country. After eight years we traded it on a 2012 23', wanting to downsize. After a year and 150 nights in the 23', we traded again back to a 2015 25', having found the 23' just a little too tight for our extensive Airstream traveling.

Take your time and consider your planned camping style before choosing a particular model.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:36 AM   #5
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Escaped from CT? Maybe I can do that someday :-)

I like Tom's advice.

There's a dealer in NH according to Airstream's website: http://www.airstream.com/dealer/

I haven't been there so I don't know what they have. Colonial in NJ seems to have the largest inventory and could be worth a ride.

Great info on this site - lots to search.

There's also an upcoming rally of the New England Unit of the WBCCI called "ScareStream" in Salem, MA during the 10/24 weekend. You can see more info here: http://newengland.wbcci.net/ and I'm sure folks there would be glad to talk with you live and offer some suggestions. If you're interested, let me know. I won't be there but would be glad to try to make some connections for you.

Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Living in Connecticut, and apparently being on "the other side" of politics, I'll avoid that bait.

You've got a truck that can tow a train. I get the feeling that you'd quickly find a 19' trailer to be tight. Visit a dealer to see what would work best - most consider 25-27' to be a very livable size.

Beyond that, condition matters a lot. You do need to keep an eye on sealing seams and roof penetrations, or else you can get leaks leading to floor rot. Build quality improved over the years to some extent too.

Tom


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Like any used vehicle, everything has certain problem areas. Even the new ones seem to have a glitch here and there.
I've had 3 used Airstreams, all within 12 yrs. old, and, apparantly I have been very lucky, because I have had no major problems.

As said above, I looked for ones that seemed to be gently used and in great condition. I buy toys to play with, not to work on.

My first AS was a '62 Bambi. It was fun, but soon became way too small. The next one was a 23" AS, and worked well for many years. (Although I always worried about having only two wheels, I never did have a tire problem.)

As also already said here, you can pull anything you want with that truck, so look around. The bigger ones are cheaper per foot than the smaller ones, and have much more to offer in many cases.
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:49 PM   #7
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Greetings DD430;

A 19 footer is great for weekends, but many folks find them too small for cross country traveling. I like the dual axle lengths for towing stability. The 25s and the 27s are the most popular models for good reason.

The mid 2000 trailers are built with OSB sub-flooring. That material doesn't like to be wet. Although Airsteam used it for 30 years or more. I think most trailers built in 07 went back to plywood subfloors. In about 2000, Airstream changed exterior aluminum that has a pre-coated clear coat. It looks great, but owners have had filliform corrosion develop along the uncoated edges, and on some of the tail light fixtures and door handles. It can be prevented with maintenance. If you see a used one with "white stains" along the edges of the aluminum and around rivet holes, well it's worth less. It is a bugger to repair. Also mid 2000 trailers have problems with rain water ingress along the seal between the body and rear bumper. The water migrates into the subfloor and rots it out. Check out the floor in any used trailer all along the perimeter of the interior. A inexpensive moisture meter is a good instrument to have.

We traveled the White Mountains in New Hampshire last month. What a beautiful state. And the folks we met were so friendly.

Welcome to the Air Forums where opinions are free!

David
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the thoughts! Any 'years' in particular that I should avoid, or are later models in general better built?

There aren't many known trouble prone years. 22' models from 2002-2006 typically have weak frames (there's an upgrade for their outriggers) and their OSB floors tend to rot.

In the years you're considering, IIRC only the 16' and 22' were still using OSB floors instead of plywood. Airstream supposedly went all plywood by 2009.

Having plywood still doesn't mean no rot. A very common trailer with a great floor plan is the 25FB. Some of these had leaks to the floor through the rear bumper trunk. Sealing back there was upgraded at the factory starting for 2012. Plenty of folks own these with no issues, but it shows that it pays to check floor condition closely.

Fit and finish supposedly has improved from my 2007 in the later ones. I'm not too sad about mine (lousy vinyl floor trimming); I found a 5-yr old trailer that looked brand new, but still had a cracked water tank (bad winterization), trashed frig fan, and dead batteries.

Hope this helps.
Tom


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Old 10-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
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I would recommend that you get the biggest & newest used Airstream you can afford. If you have to compromise between "newest & biggest" I would err on the side of "biggest." Very few people trade in their Airstreams for a "smaller" model.

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Old 10-19-2014, 05:35 PM   #10
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Thanks for the comments. They're all very helpful! I'll take look at the Salem, MA get together next weekend and snoop around.
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