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Old 09-30-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
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I have always admired (lusted for) Airstream trailers. My wife and I are retiring at the end of this year and we're looking for a used Airstream that can be towed by either my Ford Ranger or her Toyota Sienna minivan. We're looking forward to many years of traveling around this great country while sleeping in our own bed, cooking our own meals, having our own private toilet/shower and living out of something really neat and fun to just be in. We had an awful ownership experience with a Collins trailer which had water damage and eventually began to just break apart. We want something that will last as long as we do and are hoping to find a used Airstream and set off on the first of many happy journeys. Any advice as to which Airstream models would be towable by a small 6-cylinder engine greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum...I'm sure you will find the answers to all your questions here. And, good luck on your search for your perfect Airstream.

Based on your tow vehicles, I would say nothing above a 19 footer, but lots of people will tell you to select the trailer that is best for you first, and then get the appropriate tow vehicle for that trailer.

Either way, good luck.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 990rick View Post
I have always admired (lusted for) Airstream trailers. My wife and I are retiring at the end of this year and we're looking for a used Airstream that can be towed by either my Ford Ranger or her Toyota Sienna minivan. We're looking forward to many years of traveling around this great country while sleeping in our own bed, cooking our own meals, having our own private toilet/shower and living out of something really neat and fun to just be in. We had an awful ownership experience with a Collins trailer which had water damage and eventually began to just break apart. We want something that will last as long as we do and are hoping to find a used Airstream and set off on the first of many happy journeys. Any advice as to which Airstream models would be towable by a small 6-cylinder engine greatly appreciated. Thank you.
1973 and older Airstream trailers, do not have a gray water tank.

The rear end ratio of the tow vehicle, is also important.

Be aware that the older the Airstream trailer, the more likely it would need new axles, or if it was parked for an extended period of time.

You can learn how easy it is to check the axles out, by reading the Dura-torque axle article in the Airstream Central section of this Forums.

And, welcome to Airstreaming and it's world of a zillion questions............well almost.

Andy
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome and the guidance. I'm determined not to be hasty in my search. That's going to be a bit of a challenge for me, but I'll be spending a lot of pleasant time on this site to educate myself. After reading a few threads I'm leaning toward 74 - 79 models. I want a gray water tank because we won't always be parked where there's a septic hook-up. And I'm curious about the Argosy line. Where can I learn more about them? Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:03 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. You'll be up late reading all the information you can find here.(for many nights) The Oregon Unit WBCCI is having a rally at Belknap Springs east of Eugene next weekend and you are more then welcome to come by and check out a lot of different Airstreams first hand.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:43 AM   #6
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Teresa's advice is good - the folks in the OR club are really friendly and you'll get a chance to see a lot of neat trailers there.

If you get an older trailer, you can use an external tank to catch grey water. That's what we do. I was also looking for a mid-70s model and ended up with my 68, and I wouldn't change a thing. Real wood interiors, great layout, the best bathroom they ever put in an AS I love our little trailer.

You might find you want a bigger trailer for your adventures than your current vehicle can tow. I am one of those who says get the right trailer, then fit a tow vehicle to it. Once you have the right trailer you'll keep it longer than the tow vehicle.

Good luck in your search. In addition to the local Airstream club unit, there is also an active informal group of Airstreamers who get together several times a year. We'd love to see you around someday!
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
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Hi there - welcome to the forums! I'm glad to see someone from Azalea here; Sean's family is all from the Azalea/Glendale area. We get down there to visit a couple of times a year.

We have an Argosy, and just love it. You can find lots of information on them in the Argosy subforum area. We have some pictures of ours you can see by clicking on the blue "11" next to the word Images to the left of this post, under our profile information. Sean found ours by searching Craigslist throughout Oregon & Washington. Take your time, and make sure you find the trailer that will best suit your needs. Most of the older model trailers need some work, so you should decide how much time & money you want to invest before you start looking. The purchase price is only the down payment! Axles, tires, floor & plumbing repair - it can get spendy pretty quickly.

You'll find an amazing wealth of knowledge here, and there are some really good pre-purchase checklists that should help you determine if the trailer you're looking at is right for you. I hope you find something that you will love for years to come. Good luck!

Sharon
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

The vintage Airstreams are generally lighter per foot than the late models. The weight of modern Airsteams probably limit you to 22 footers and below with the tow vehicle that you have available. You need to check both the gross towing capacity and the maximum tongue weight of your tow vehicles.

You will need to research the towing capacities of your tow vehicles. You also need to research weight distribution/sway control hitch systems and trailer brake controllers. In the case of your tow vehicles, you are probably going to need a Class III or IV frame mounted 2" receiver.

This is also the place for Argosy information. Argosies ARE Airstreams.

Brian
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