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Old 06-16-2014, 04:10 PM   #1
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New here. Looking to become an AS owner!

Hi!

Not really sure where to start but here goes,
Me and my husband, Graham, are looking to become AS owners. We are a young couple, both 25, and we just got married last September. We currently live in Redmond, WA but are both native Texans(both small East Texas towns). We have no kids but 2 have two fur children, a beagle mix named Maddie and a fox hound mix named Bailey.

Since we moved up to WA for my husbands job we have been road tripping ALOT and have pretty much decided we would rather have our own space and not have to worry about pet fees, then keep staying in strange hotels.
We had an AS growing up, one with a rear bath and middle beds, and we took many trips in it as family. Me and Graham both really like the history and the community that comes with owning an AS and are ready to purchase one in the coming months.
Problem is, we have NO idea where to start lol. I've been browsing the forums and they are full of helpful information.

I know we need bigger than a Bambi, but are hoping to keep it under 30ft. It will be mostly just us, but we'd like the option of having friends road trip with us and stay and for potential future kids to have a place to sleep...so I'm not sure what size we need, but I know I like the RB more then the middle ones.

We want to spend less then 10k on an AS and would love to be able to do some renovations, my husband is very handy as am I and we think it will be good practice for remodeling a house(once we eventually buy anyway). But I'm hoping 10k will get us one that is in good working order in terms of plumbing, structure and electric. Is that realistic?

Any good tips or starter guides out there to point us too?

I have a 2010 F150 that's a 4x4 with the tow package on it already, so I know we can haul one.

Thanks!
-Katherine
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Your best bet may be to go to a rally, and take advantage of any open house event they have to look around at other peoples' trailers, and see and feel what you get with the different sizes.

For the $10k you are looking to spend, you may have to look around a while to get something close to what you want. But, you can probably find something built in the 80's or 90's that is still in pretty good shape, but is in between being a much-sought-after Vintage model, and a un-depreciated modern trailer. Just realize that any of these trailers can have "old trailer" problems--rotten floors, leaks, rodent infestations, etc., so learn what to look for, as the purchase price on an older trailer is often just the down payment. It is easy to get more renovation than you bargained for.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:53 PM   #3
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Re-read Belegedhel, perfect summary of how-to. Check the Airstream.com site under Service for Document Archive and you'll find data about past models, floor plans, and specifications. Take your time and the unit for the two you will appear.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:00 PM   #4
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welcome to the forum..

you will find 10K will get a big mess of a unit.. the cost and time to restore one is always double or more what you think it will take..

you might expand your budget to 25K and get something that need less work for the get go. You live in a area with not a lot of sunny days so to harder to get out to work on the unit.

but have a good one.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:51 PM   #5
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Here are some ideas to knock around.

Does 10K budget include purchase and cost of getting unit finished?
Or purchase only.

Would you be OK with a multi-year project for the interior, but be OK with a dry and road-worthy unit for starters?

Does where you live offer a place to store it, and work nights and weekends? Or will you need to find off-site space?

From my limited observations on used units, I think you might be able to find a big, not updated but well cared for unit from late 80 or early 90s that would give you the best options. But your budget may need to come up some.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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A couple years ago I looked around in the Seattle area and 10k just would'ent do it.
I looked at lot of junk, frame off type stuff (multiple thousands of dollars not to mention
time). Ended up paying 27.5 for what I have and it was a fair deal on both sides considering these AS's seem to hold value. The big ones go for less per ft. sq. b'cuz
you need a F250 to haul + hard to find parking in camp site/drive way.
25' seems to be the most desirable size...
If you look at how many 25' are on or en route to the PNW Airstream Adventures you'll see they ordered 2-3x as many as the other models.
22's might suite you best or Arctic Fox Brand is a fair substitute...
Keep a close eye on Craigslist....you might get lucky and get a well maintained older one.....gotta move fast if you see one. It'll be gone in a flash....lot of people in Seattle are looking. Good Luck, keep the faith.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:31 PM   #7
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I agree with many of the posters here. There is the initial purchase cost and then the OTHER costs- tires, etc. I would not rush it. You have a good plan but you may have to widen the net to include other brands. Airstreams are premium and like Mercedes is to cars... You CAN get one eventually but you have to also be careful in forcing the issue with a certain price point. I paid under $30K but I am way beyond that in upgrades these past few years. When I was shopping, $10K would not buy one without a secondary budget for remodeling. There are buys. Someone just posted about their find, a 1970 for $1300 but the renovations at this point are unknown to them.

Here is the link to the thread with pics of their new to them AS

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f186...er-121334.html
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:39 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone

We were hoping that 10k would cover the AS + anything it needed to be road worthy. It does not have to be pretty or even fully functional(as in not all the drawers open etc) We are quite fine with doing renovations over the years as long as it is road worthy and its systems are good.

We rent a house with a huge lot and already have the okay to store it in the extra driveway space.

Do yall have any other recommendations of trailers that make good starter trailers? Maybe I should ask that question in hushed tones lol
One part that makes AS's so appealing is also what makes them expensive. They just hold their value really well.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:12 PM   #9
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Did you get a chance to look at the link above? It is possible to find an Airstream. Anything is possible. Besides Airstream? That is hard to say. Take some time and look around to get an idea of the condition of different models in the used market in the price range you are willing to spend. That will help to pinpoint exactly what is best to invest your money. Would you like a Casita? They are small but also all fiberglass. They also have a committed group following!

http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...=show&pageId=3

Casita Travel Trailers - Our Showroom | The Patriot, Spirit Deluxe, Freedom Deluxe, Liberty Deluxe | Call 800-442-9986

Brand new the start around $14K and used ones can be found. They are unique egg-like and from Texas I believe! They also have a tongue weight of 215-255 lbs and weigh about 3000 lbs fully loaded so they can be pulled by smaller economical vehicles.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:20 PM   #10
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I worked my way up to a used Airstream and even with that have spent almost 5k more in upgrades. 18k and up will get you something more ready for travel. If you go the SOB route, there are huge amounts to choose from, but you have to do your homework for them too.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:42 PM   #11
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Have you thought about buying from another state that has lower prices for A/Ss? Purchasing from any of the coastal states usually has two drawbacks: higher prices (homes, cost of living, etc) and often more damage caused by higher rainfall/sea-salty air. The desert Western states, however, have a lot less trouble with water/salt issues, and often lower prices, IMHO.

And don't forget that Forum members are often willing to examine a trailer for a distant buyer.

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Old 06-17-2014, 01:31 AM   #12
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New here. Looking to become an AS owner!

We bought this one for way less than 10K, and still don't have half that in it after a whirlwind renovation (exactly two weeks of work less Sundays) and full freshwater plumbing replacement.

It can be done. But this one is 31 feet, and still kind of ugly outside. (But not really ugly)

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Old 06-17-2014, 01:44 AM   #13
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We were kind of lucky with this one. All of the stuff worked but the hot water heater which I imagine froze up like the rest of the fresh water plumbing. The floors were not perfect but good and included a couple of patches that the OP had done.

The brakes were good, the tires were new. It will need new axles because of their age, but this can wait because as soon as we got it done it went to New Mexico where it will sit stationary for a couple of years as my brother in laws full time residence.

The axles will cost about $1,200.

The PO had taken a bunch of stuff apart and then decided he didn't want a project. Its state of disassembly helped with the price.

Shop well, avoid a rust bucket and really bad floors and you can do it.


As bought;

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Old 06-17-2014, 01:56 AM   #14
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This one was bought for way less than 10K too, but I have more than 10 k and a lot of time in its refit.

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