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Old 08-20-2006, 03:42 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
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Question I'm hooked, help, which one?

Been looking at trailers, none have the community that the Airstream brand has.

I want to get one, need some advice on which model, plan on using it,

Oct thru April.

Just for my wife and myself, what size for two people should I concentrate on with a double bed.

Price range about $7,500

Bob
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Old 08-20-2006, 04:00 PM   #2
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Hi, and welcome to the forums!
For $7500, you should be able to get a 25' coach, depending on age and condition, in camping condition. If you want one for less cash, and fix it the way you want it, there is a 1960 (I think) Tradewind (24') advertised in the classifieds near you for $1500. The classifieds are great, just click on the "classifieds" tab at the top of your screen, and check in the areas for trailers for sale. You may be suprised, you may be able to get a newer coach than you would think.
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Old 08-20-2006, 04:23 PM   #3
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Is there anywhere online to see the different floor plans for the models?

Bob
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:03 PM   #4
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It really depends...

Several other factors might help narrow your search...

1. What are you going to pull it with?
- If you only have Tahoe or Expedition or F-150/Chevy 1500 type tow vehicle, then 25' is longest you can pull, and even then late model (wide body - 1995 and newer) trailers are heavier, so Excella or Classic from late '90's might be pushing it...

2. Where are you going to stay?
- Many state and local park campgrounds limit camper length to 25' or less.

3. What are you used to?
- Many members here have graduated from tents or VW Campers or Teardrops, and find a 16' or 19' trailer to be plenty, as long as it has double bed, shower and bath and A/C plus kitchen.. Others want room to entertain or travel with guests or spread out and have personal space...

All that said, $7500 won't buy recent 25' trailer, or much newer than 1985 or older, and probably with some fixing up.... The older you go, the more likely you'll spend time or money or both fixing systems and interior and running gear (axles/brakes/tires/hitch/frame)... You can also make decisions on interior taste, and whether dark vinyl wood-like trim and avocado upholstery meet your needs or you're going to have to upgrade.. You can find shorter or longer trailers than 25' for less, as larger ones take rarer tow vehicles, and smaller ones appeal to smaller market (often..) since they seem to be less roomy... I'd look in range of 22' to 25', and consider Argosy as well as Airstream brand..

DO search here for buying tips and other suggestions, to avoid trap of tapping entire budget and finding you have bad axles, a sagging separated frame, and failing appliances.. Sellers on E-Bay and other places would be delighted to sell you one of those and leave the surprise of discovering the ultimate cost to you for later...

John McG
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:10 PM   #5
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Welcome a 2nd time, lipets!

Layout is only visible indirectly as far as I know. See vintageairstream.com's Photo Archives & Model Index. Best wishes in your quest!

BTW, Terry's suggestion about value can be checked out further on the same webpage: Price vs. Condition
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:42 PM   #6
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There was a 1980 Excella II in 25' version that came with center twins or a double bed. A 1981 version came in a 24' as well as 25' but not sure what configurations they were. These (top of the line then) trailers should go for under $9,000 depending on condition and the market location. Four years ago I saw a '80 Excella II 25' go for $10,000 but it had received a complete factory check and new tires the year before. It was in the mid twin configuration and ready to travel.

If you look closely and act quickly, you might be able to find the rear double bed side bath '85 Sovereigns for mid $8 or 9k. I know that is a little more than the $7,500 you mentioned but that floorplan is quite desireable.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:06 PM   #7
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Our '66 24' Tradewind cost us $7000. The body is in great shiny condition. However, this old a trailer is bound to have some 'issues' as will most of this age. It will not prevent us from camping as all appliances work and we are looking forward to taking care of the 'issues' when we give it our personal decor and style. The older trailers are not as heavy (weight) as the newer ones so most half ton trucks or SUVs should be capable of taking your 25' or under wherever you want. The variety of floor plans for these sizes offer a double bed from a couch amidships and or the front. I do not think you will find a double bed in a rear bedroom in ths short of Airstream. Ours has twin beds amidship with privacy folding door and curtains separating rear bath and aother separated the bed(s) from the galley.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:27 PM   #8
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Hey, Bob.
I have a few trailers....I'm planning to part with one or two.
I know of others around, too.
Do you want old or new?
Large or small?
Fixer upper or....not?
And, as others have asked....do you plan to tow it far? Or park it?

Did I mention I'm around the corner, also in Riverhead?

-Chuck
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:30 PM   #9
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Condoluminum
Several other factors might help narrow your search...

1. What are you going to pull it with?
- If you only have Tahoe or Expedition or F-150/Chevy 1500 type tow vehicle, then 25' is longest you can pull, and even then late model (wide body - 1995 and newer) trailers are heavier, so Excella or Classic from late '90's might be pushing it...

2. Where are you going to stay?
- Many state and local park campgrounds limit camper length to 25' or less.

3. What are you used to?
- Many members here have graduated from tents or VW Campers or Teardrops, and find a 16' or 19' trailer to be plenty, as long as it has double bed, shower and bath and A/C plus kitchen.. Others want room to entertain or travel with guests or spread out and have personal space...

All that said, $7500 won't buy recent 25' trailer, or much newer than 1985 or older, and probably with some fixing up.... The older you go, the more likely you'll spend time or money or both fixing systems and interior and running gear (axles/brakes/tires/hitch/frame)... You can also make decisions on interior taste, and whether dark vinyl wood-like trim and avocado upholstery meet your needs or you're going to have to upgrade.. You can find shorter or longer trailers than 25' for less, as larger ones take rarer tow vehicles, and smaller ones appeal to smaller market (often..) since they seem to be less roomy... I'd look in range of 22' to 25', and consider Argosy as well as Airstream brand..

DO search here for buying tips and other suggestions, to avoid trap of tapping entire budget and finding you have bad axles, a sagging separated frame, and failing appliances.. Sellers on E-Bay and other places would be delighted to sell you one of those and leave the surprise of discovering the ultimate cost to you for later...

John McG
Good points, I have a F-250 diesel 4x4, so going into snow country should work, Ebay have it's problems, I would give any cash until I see it.

Size wise I really don't want to go over 25', I'm used to tight quarters on my sailboat. So if I stay between 20-25' is it possible to change out twin beds for a queen in that size?

What model do you suggest, what are the most common pitfalls with these units?

Besides the listings here and E-bay any other places to look?

Bob
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:09 AM   #10
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1963 16' Bambi
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What to do, what to do...

Another one infected with aluminitis.... oh dear!

Glad you got the bug! There are many things to do in looking for the trailer you want! There is a good thread on considerations when buying an Airstream that has nice information in it. I would take the time to read it. The link is below.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...eam-22920.html

I would also go and visit and look at every Airstream you can find! It will give you a better idea. Be sure and check out the rally schedule (located on the blue toolbar at the top of the forum) and find one near you and show up! There are always "tours" of everyone's Airstreams at rallys! There are also excellent websites that give oodles of information. The Vintage Airstream has a great link to photos and layouts of vintage 'streams.

http://www.vintageairstream.com/archives/

My husband and I have a 1963 Bambi. We looked for several years before we found just the right one! We found one we could restore and use the pay-as-you-go method. Worked for us. Took hubby 10 months to get her on the road, but he did everything. Frame off, total disassemble and reassemble. We just love her. Just the right size for us.

Where you want to go with your trailer, what your tow vehicle is like, and how many creature comforts you require will help you make the right decision for you. Good luck!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
"Good points, I have a F-250 diesel 4x4, so going into snow country should work " Bob
If I were you, I'd really think long and hard about towing an Airstream (or anything) in snow . . . even with chains on both the TV and Airstream. That's just me, though. Also, if the two of you prefer to sleep together, and you like a little elbow room, you may want to consider a rear bedroom model. - Roy
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:17 AM   #12
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There is this rumor concerning Wally Byum and his inability to find a compatible sleeping partner, thus most older Airstreams have twin beds. Several people have gone against Wally's wishes and converted the twins to doubles or queens but the space is limited. One other site to check is Fred's page for both layouts and classifieds.
http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:56 AM   #13
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what to do.

We have a 75 31 ft and just love it. We paid $5900 and it has been a work on as you can afford project, we have been able to camp during the process.
You will get all kinds of opinions on what year models we all like.
Some like the 60's and before because of all the great all wood some don't like the 70's because of all the fake wood.
We bought 70's because it was in the price range we wanted. We went with the 31 ft rear bedroom because we new we could add a queen to replace the twins and also because the bedroom was in the back. The 31 works great for us 2 adults and one growing by the day son.
We also went in to the whole idea of an older Airstream knowing we would have to work on it and keep it road worthy a lot of folks go in to buying an older unit and don't understand all the work that goes with it.
We bought our trailer from the classifieds here and everything worked pretty smooth.
We looked at a lot of trailers but you will know when the right one comes along, but jump on it then we missed 2 because we thought about it to long.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfield54
If I were you, I'd really think long and hard about towing an Airstream (or anything) in snow . . . even with chains on both the TV and Airstream. That's just me, though. Also, if the two of you prefer to sleep together, and you like a little elbow room, you may want to consider a rear bedroom model. - Roy
What would all the truckers and people who pull their sleds and ATV's in their fancy enclosed trailers all winter have to say about that

Yes many of the States are not set up to deal with snow on their roads - especially the States that lie on that infamous frost line. But a fear unfounded is the worst.

Learn to drive in the snow and learn it well - you never never know these days when you will have to drag that puppy through a snow/ice/sleet storm.

It is not as hard as you think - and if you don't drive like a summers day on the I 95 at 75 mph - you should be just fine - and if you can see the back of the drivers head in front of you - you will be asking for trouble.

Don't be scared - conquor your fear - just as some people are afraid of backing up their trailer - it is an acquired skill.....
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