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Old 03-07-2010, 07:06 PM   #1
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Jonesing BAD in Alabama

Hi all! I am 41, wife is 43, I've never been anything but tent camping when I was a kid, and not a whole lot of that. I've never camped from a travel trailer, but have often admired them from a distance.

A funny thing happened to me, though.. The closer I got to 40, the more I wanted a travel trailer. I'm an avid motorcyclist and have really enjoyed travelling on my Victory Vision, but the trailer bug was crawling on my skin. Today, I went to Anniston and put my hands on my first Airstream. The first one I ever walked into in my life was a Bambi. It took about 5 seconds for me to fall in love. Not particularly with the Bambi (I'm 6'3") but with Airstream.

I have often seen them and had always known they were a little pricey, but now to lay my hands on one, I can tell what an investment it is, and what a GOOD investment it is.

I cannot afford to buy right now, but I'm looking at a timeframe of about 2 years or so. I can't help but wonder if buying an Airstream for your first travel trailer is the smartest thing to do, so here is MY take on it.

1) Return on investment - if I decide it's not for me, I would come a lot closer to getting my money back from an Airstream than anything else out there.

2) If we like it, we're set...

3) Build quality is excellent - I have looked at a TON of travel trailers, and by far, Airstream is the highest quality I have seen to date.

4) Lightweight - don't have to have a monster truck to pull it.

5) Instant COOL... the second you drive down the road with one of these in tow, you instantly become cool to anyone who knows anything about RVs.

It'll take me a little while to get in position, but I'll jump when the time is right.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:14 PM   #2
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"I cannot afford to buy right now, but I'm looking at a timeframe of about 2 years or so. I can't help but wonder if buying an Airstream for your first travel trailer is the smartest thing to do, so here is MY take on it."

Yes, it IS the smartest thing you can do ;-) but just as smart is your two-year timeframe 'cuz that will give you time (and 500 questions later, you become a "rivet master" like me, having never bucked a rivet in your entire life!) to become a semi-expert on WHAT to buy...

..this two years will be an amazing education and your eventual purchase will be so much BETTER than if you buy now...you will know what to look for and what to look OUT for...you will be well-served by considering an already-renovated unit and here's why:

- this very forum is full of amazingly talented craftspeople who fix a trailer, sell it (at a loss, if the hours of labor are factored in, which often, they arent') and move on to another one... THAT's the one you want to buy, hitch, and take camping! unless, of course, you're a glutton for punishment (with an understanding spouse) and decide to renovate on your own...which is great FUN, and an education in itself!
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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renovate on your own...which is great FUN, and an education in itself!
That would be nice if I had a garage to do it in and the patience for such a build. But alas.. one of my shortcomings is lacking patience with something I'm trying to finish..

I will be a babe in the woods when I hit my first campground.. LOL
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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Consider a Previously Owned Airstream

Hello AUstreamer,

You've come to the right place. This forum is all about Airstreams plus you'll find useful tips for other RV's too - mostly the exposed aluminum types such as AS, Avion and the like.

Consider buying a previously owned trailer. If it's a couple years old you will probably get a lower price and therefore hold more of it's value. Yes new Airstreams hold value better than some other brands but they all depreciate as soon as you take them off the lot. You might be able to find a rig with 2 - 5 years on it, just a few miles and it may be as much as 1/2 the original sticker. That's still quite a bit of money but it's better than paying full price.

Of course there's nothing like having a new vehicle and trailers are no different. But if you go to sell it you are likely to sell it for less than you paid.

Also remember that price is negotiable. Use the search function and you'll find lots of useful information about buying a trailer. I've seen reports of 20 - 30% off retail depending on where you buy.

Lucius
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #5
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Welcome.

Forget that nonsense of two years, Go out and get one. I just got mine and have NO regrets. Just Do it!!!!!

Note: Just kidding, learn all you can. I just don't have self-control and jumped in feet first. But you know what? It's AWESOME to learn this way also!!!!!

Alread yhave been on two "Voyages" and Next weekend it off to the Ozarks!!!!

Have fun.

Shane
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:34 PM   #6
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I can't help but wonder if buying an Airstream for your first travel trailer is the smartest thing to do, so here is MY take on it.
We went from car camping straight to Airstream after much time and careful thought. AS for your first trailer is the right thing to do since you have already fallen in love. This is IT for you and nothing else will do. Think of all the money and aggravation you will save if you just buy right in the first place.

Many first-time buyers eventually get a larger Airstream. Considering going larger so you will be set for many years.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:30 PM   #7
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If you feel you want to look and learn...locate the closest rally and spend the day talking with owners. Believe me, we like to show off our units. You will learn alot...what to look for, ect. When you finally purchase your first AS, do some group camping. That's a good way to get your feet wet while enjoying others company (and their help should you need it). We've been camping for over 30 years in one type of trailer or another...but as others have said...camping in an AS is an experience that you won't forget. Good luck!

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Old 03-07-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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What Roadrunner said.

Smartest possible thing you could do is find a nearby rally and drop in. Really. Just drop in ... especially about dinner time on a Friday or Saturday night. Theh folks there'll feed you (there's always WAY too much food and beverage) and everyone will want you to see their coaches. They're all different, and they all get "customized" some. So after seeing ten or fifty or so, you'll have a REAL idea of what you want.

Then you just gotta' find it. Took me almost two years to locate THE ONE I wanted. I saw a lot of others that were almost what I wanted, but not quite. And I bought used and saved a lot from the price of a new one. That brought a few repair issues, but nothing serious. Will I eventually "trade up" to a newer one? Maybe, but maybe not. By waiting, I did get what works for me. You can too, if you're patient and ready to jump when you finally see it.

Good luck!
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
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Hi AUstreaming- WAR EAGLE!!! We bought our 71 AS safari two years ago and have had nothing but fun! Now, when we bought it, I had only been camping once in my life and that was in a tent! I am 42, husband (dyehard AU fan) 43. He had been camping lots when little, so he knew what to expect. I saw a commercial the other day about renting rvs much like rental cars, but I would say just go for it if you think you and wife, and family will enjoy it! Keep a look around Atlanta, via Craigslist. Good many over there for sale. Have fun and WDE!
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
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First time camper owner, we went out and purchased a used 2007 25FB trailer. We've had loads of fun with it. We are similar ages to you. Keep your eyes open, do lots of research. the right deal will come around sooner than you think! Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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Hi AU,
We are the same ages as you guys. We bought our new Airstream 2 years ago, when I was 39. We have no regrets. We can afford it now, but once we are retired, funds will be tight, so we think it's great to buy while relatively "young". This was the first big "new" purchase we've ever made...we have always bought 2+-year-old vehicles, an older home... It felt really decadent to have a brand new Airstream (a bed and bathroom no once has ever used. A dream!). However, we didn't get a good deal on the price, but where we live, we pay more for everything (food, houses, vehicles).

If you can choose your perfect floor plan and trim package now (and get all the brochures for 2010 models), you can look for that trailer, gently used, in 2 years! You'd get the best of both worlds! It's nice to have the original brochure for your unit, so plan now, and buy later.

Best wishes. You won't regret it.
Lisa
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:18 PM   #12
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It took about 5 seconds for me to fall in love. Not particularly with the Bambi (I'm 6'3") but with Airstream.
War Eagle! Really - it took you a full 5 seconds?

We are not too far away from you (Hamilton, GA) if we can be of any help in your struggles!?! Actaully, playing at Grand National in a couple of weeks...

We have moved from backpacking, to tailgate camping, to non-descript square box, to Airstream - we have not looked back!
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:09 PM   #13
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My best advise....

Learn all you can...This is the best resource for that...

5 seconds is not enough it takes at least 10.

If I had known about the Forums when I sold our 63 Airstream in 2003, I most certainly would have bought a well maintained used unit instead of the Classic.

IMO they are priced well above their build quality. Take your time and decide for yourself.

Love the Lifestyle.... it's the Factory's lack of pride in what they build that sucks.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:35 AM   #14
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Hi AUstreaming- WAR EAGLE!!! We bought our 71 AS safari two years ago and have had nothing but fun! Now, when we bought it, I had only been camping once in my life and that was in a tent! I am 42, husband (dyehard AU fan) 43. He had been camping lots when little, so he knew what to expect. I saw a commercial the other day about renting rvs much like rental cars, but I would say just go for it if you think you and wife, and family will enjoy it! Keep a look around Atlanta, via Craigslist. Good many over there for sale. Have fun and WDE!
War Eagle!!

It's just me and wife and two very spoiled dogs.. We are very much looking forward to being able to get out and adventure in an Airstream. We'll probably take a short trip for the first one, just to wet our toes a little.. the hard part will be packing up and going home at the end of the trip..

Hope to see you at a campsite in a few years..
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