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Old 11-01-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
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New guy with lots of ?????????

Hello,
My name is Steve, married (24) years to wife Barb, two kids both moved out, and a 4 month old grandchild. My wife and I grew up camping, we always had Holiday Ramblers and Barb's parents had a host of different mini's. We as a family started with a 19' Golden Falcon, next a 33' Coachman and in 95 we bought a new 36' Four Winds. We sold it in 2000 due to our busy girls. We decided to get back into it, but I refuse to buy another average camper. Due to the obvious problems and the cheap construction. I have always been intrigued by Airstream and the quality. We toured the factory in 2000. My interest would be something from the 70's, somewhere around a 31 footer, tow vehicle will be a full size G.M. wagon or sedan (yes with a big block), I'm a finish carpenter and an old car nut so a fixer upper is no problem. What I don't know is the which is top of the line to least expensive. Thanks for listening and the hunt begins
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. You've found the right place for all things Airstream.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by batcar View Post
What I don't know is the which is top of the line to least expensive.
In the '70s, there were a couple of different levels of Airstreams - Land Yacht, International & Excella. Each line was offered in various lengths 18' to 31' except for Excella which was just the 31'. Each length has name: Caravel 18', Globetrotter 21', Safari 23', Tradewind or Caravaner 25', Overlander 27', Ambassador 29' & Sovereign 31' - so you could find a name plate that says either "Sovereign Land Yacht" or a "Sovereign International" - they are both Sovereigns and 31' long. The International package added a few things like additional exterior trim, different finishes as well as some other things a 70's owner will have to address. Keep in mind that pre-'73 trailers do not have grey tanks - only black. Generally, the smaller trailers are more expensive and harder to find so if you are looking for a 31-footer you should have several to choose from. I believe, Excellas were considered the top of the line at the time...

For more info on sizes and layouts, check out these Photo Archives

Good luck in your search!
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:21 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Forums! Enjoy your hunt, and make sure you check out inspectors here if you run across an AS good distance from you!

You should find all you need here....

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Old 11-01-2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome and information. I will definitely go 73 or newer, gray water tank is a must. This is going to be fun.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batcar View Post
Thanks for the welcome and information. I will definitely go 73 or newer, gray water tank is a must. This is going to be fun.
My 73 does not have a grey tank ... think the previous post should have said 73's and earlier have no grey. I have a portable tank that I use for campgrounds that do not allow me to drain my sink-water freely.

Good luck in your search. The 31's sure give you a lot of room!!!

laura
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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Hope you find what you are looking for...and stay with this group for assistance. It don't get no better than this !!
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:38 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum - I agree with all of the above - These are a great bunch of very knowledgeable people - I try to check in here every couple days to see all the things these people have going in their project list. Wow
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:46 PM   #9
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Steve,
We did alot of research before purchasing our new to us 1979 in March. After getting it home, we weren't sure of the additional options that came on the International line but found the original flyer online. There are a number of useful documents if you are trying to see what upgrades could be purchased...

1979 price schedule

Here are other 1970 years line info. If you want to see 60's or 80's, click on "Customer Service" tab at top of the page and then the "travel trailer spec" link.

Good luck and I hope you find what you are looking for in an AS!
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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Welcome fellow Ohioan!

Hi Steve and Barb,
There is an informal Airstream group right down the street from you! Several of us Ohioans found each other here on the forums and live in the areas of LaGrange, Oberlin, Wellington, and Elyria as well as others around OH. We try to post where we are going camping and then join up if we can. We have had several little OH rallies and some of us have gone out of state together to other rallies. We post to the OH informal thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f290...g-50587-3.htmlto keep track of what everyone is doing.
Larry and I live just down the road in LaGrange, and would love to meet you and yours. You are welcome to come and visit sometime. PM us when you have the time to come and visit. We got our new to us 1989 on the classifieds here. Good luck with the shopping! This is a great place to research and stop by to visit.
Lou and Larry in LaG.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:29 PM   #11
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This group of people is the one thing I missed in camping as an adult, I hate to throw out (brand X) name Holiday Rambler, but that group used to have this atmosphere. It seems they have gone the way of the 40' and up coach route. This group seems to be close bunch who enjoy a great quality (American made) product and friendship. Thank you for the warm welcome . I hope I can be an asset to your community.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:21 PM   #12
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friendly

Larry and I have been to lots of rallies with the folks from OH and nearby states now. We have found all of them to be a very, very friendly bunch. The small group from around here is friendly...and we love camping with them. We have had a great time camping around OH. I think it would be great for you and Barb to get together with all of us some time. You can see some of the models available and get to know a little bit about some of them. We have a pretty good selection of different aged trailers...from vintage to recent models. It is fun to look at what everyone has done to their units to personalize them too.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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Steve and Barb:
We just bought our first Airstream from a wonderful couple in Ohio at an RV resort at Indian Lakes near Dayton. First, they took great care of this trailer. Then they gave us a thorough day of trailer and driving instruction since we were such newbies. Sold us the hitch and hooked it up, too.
Stick with these forums. They are an invaluable source of information. The best tip we got was to select the trailer size you need regardless of tow vehicle; then get the tow vehicle you need to pull the trailer. Somebody said, "The trailer will outlast the TV, so get the trailer you need. Otherwise the trailer's the wrong size and you won't enjoy it as much." Something like that. And we were glad we moved up from a 19 to 23 footer.
You are wise to consider the older models; from mid-late 70's into 90's or so. Save some coin (but probably buy some fixer upper features, too). We found the 23 International to be just right. When we both retire and want to vanish into the Western landscape more full-time we'll probably upgrade to a 25 or 27. Something suitable for 2 adults and a medium dog. But right now this is perfect.
Enjoy the search and the trailer. Oh, and another point we appreciated was a suggestion from the forums to search all over the country for the trailer you want. Find somebody to go inspect it, and drive to wherever it is. It's a trailer, after all. We drove from Denver to Dayton to get this beauty and had a grand adventure hooking it up and towing it home for the first time.

Cheers!
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:29 AM   #14
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Hi I have an 86 Argosy 33' front kitchen model. It's in great condition overall. I paid slightly over Blue Book for it. I stay in it during the week to save a couple hours a day drive time. With myself & the cats it's plenty of room. Check around your local RV dealers too. I found this one in the back lot of Chesaco RV in Edgewood, MD. Good luck with your search! Happy Trails, Tony
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