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Old 11-29-2016, 08:53 PM   #1
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As relatively new empty nesters we've decided to begin a new adventure in traveling. After much shopping around for travel trailers, once we looked at an Airstream there was no other consideration. Since we're newbies, though, we had felt confident that we needed to go with brand new. However we just saw an opportunity for a used 1985 that fits our needs but are concerned that we don't know what to look for that would be concerning. Are we crazy to consider a used trailer that old?
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:21 PM   #2
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We have an '89, and are very happy with it! Someone else took all the depreciation for us, and left us with an excellent trailer for less than the cost of a new popup. It is very common for newbies to get a trailer they think is enough, but upgrade to the next larger model within 2 years. With an older trailer, you'll be able to get all your money back when you sell for the upgrade.

All trailers need repairs from time to time. Getting a new trailer, although covered under warranty, will still have plenty bugs that need to be worked out. You may not have to pay out of pocket for items under warranty, but you'll keep a lot more money in your pocket to begin with if you buy used.

Good luck!
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Warrier View Post
As relatively new empty nesters we've decided to begin a new adventure in traveling. After much shopping around for travel trailers, once we looked at an Airstream there was no other consideration. Since we're newbies, though, we had felt confident that we needed to go with brand new. However we just saw an opportunity for a used 1985 that fits our needs but are concerned that we don't know what to look for that would be concerning. Are we crazy to consider a used trailer that old?
The bad thing about buying this time of year is that most owners have winterized their trailers. One of the things I'd insist upon if I was purchasing is to hook the trailer up to city water, put water in the fresh water tank and testing the pump and water heater. If an owner is truly interested in selling they would dewinterize to allow all of the systems to be tested.

I am in the St. Louis area and would be happy to talk to you more or assist you in your process.

Jack
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:38 AM   #4
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Road Warrior,

Welcome to the forums and good luck with your decision-making. I agree with the previous posts. If the '85 is in good shape and currently camp and road-worthy, it gives you a lower risk opportunity to try the experience, figure out what you like best, then upgrade later, if desired.

In our experience, the folks here are very experienced, helpful and supportive. Jack's offer to help is a classic example, he may even be able to take a look at the unit you're considering and give you his thoughts.

Good luck on your decision (you can't go wrong with an Airstream, in my opinion.)

Roy and Marie
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:38 AM   #5
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Thanks Jack and would appreciate your insights. We're in the SoCo area. What would be the best way to reach you? Would likely be next week before I'm available due to work.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
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I'm southwest county in Fenton. I'll send you a PM with my phone number. Let me know if you have problems getting this.

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Old 12-01-2016, 11:16 AM   #7
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-- snip -- Are we crazy to consider a used trailer that old?
You are not crazy, but proceed with extreme caution.

A moisture meter is your friend. Airstream trailers are constructed from many panels and punctured with many holes for rivets. It not properly maintained, they leak.

A well cared for coach is a joy. A neglected coach is a full reno project.

Do your research first. Folks flip these things with all the good and bad that can mean. Folks also lovingly care for them since new. You want one that has been stored inside and used/maintained annually, or one that has been renovated to better than new, or one that you are willing to enjoy as is, or one you can make your own.

If you are a DIY person/couple - you can deal with all. If you have a pay to get it done life style, find a perfect coach - either renovated, maintained, or new.

AS has gone through ups and downs. Quality in design and manufacture has varried with the health and management changes in the company. Some of the older trailers are likely as good or better than recent new models. However, old is always a risk.

In the boat world, you want to find a good deal, you look for the one that someone has worked for years to make perfect at no expense spared and then finds the wild blue yonder is not for them. Not too many ASs come to the market under those circumstances, but there can be good deals. The new option cost is high, but as an older person with retirement facing you, it is time to move forward now.

Consider your options and make the choice that is best for your lifestyle. We purchased new with an extended warranty and we support our local dealer's service department. It's time to do our traveling now, so we moved forward to make it happen, while we still have the health to go for it. Not everyone has that option. Some folks do it with an aluminum shell, because that is what they can afford while they DIY their renovation. Others just buy an SOB. Do what works for you, but do it.

Travel safe - Pat
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:04 AM   #8
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We're in the SoCo area.
We are in south city, but our trailer is in storage over on the east side. If you'd like to see what a well loved 27 yr old trailer looks like, we may be able to show you ours too.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:37 AM   #9
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Welcome fellow Missourian. I live on the other side of the state and have a 1962 Tradewind. Good luck on your inspection of the 85.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:19 AM   #10
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Welcome from another St Louis area Airstreamer. We love ours. We did exactly what was described above. Bought used, and then went up in size three years later. With the temps we are looking at starting next Tuesday, you might have a tough time getting to water test a trailer. I guess you could check plumbing etc.. with just pumping the RV antifreeze through the pipes and tanks. We've had good luck with the dealer in wentzville. (Bill Thomas) We mostly camp out west, not so much in Missouri. We do like the empty nest though!
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