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Old 06-19-2007, 08:16 AM   #1
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galveston island , Texas
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shopping for my first

Hello everyone ! I'm currently shopping for my first airstream/avion/argosy??
recently on my own for the first time ever and looking for advice from you to keep me from making the really big mistakes. I've found a 1966 avion 24 that looks really good online but I'm in Oklahoma visiting the grandbabies for a month and she's in Lansing, Michigan. Listed but did not meet reserve on e-bay, will be talking to the salesman later today so I'm looking for mega words of advice.

I will be taking a 1000 mile road trip to the Gulf Coast of south Florida in my purchase and there I will make this my year round residence. A big step for a single woman "of a certain age...."

Isabelle G
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:33 AM   #2
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Hi Isabelle,
There are a couple of nice units available right now in the Classified section. Look at the Minuet there today. Its nice and looks to be done right. Easy to haul and all the comforts. Have a knowledgable person check it out...a dealer, rep, salesman or worse of all....a flipper....are not reliable.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:53 AM   #3
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Hi Isabelle,
First, welcome to the forums!
I would echo Melody Ranch's comments. There are a number of folks here on the forums who have volunteered to inspect trailers for someone like yourself who lives in another part of the country.
There are a number of common problems with older Airstreams - the Avions/Silverstreaks, etc may have their own set of issues to check. I hear that the Avions were made well.
Good luck in your search, do your homework and you should be fine.
Dave
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:00 AM   #4
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Given the intended use, a lot of homework needs to be done BEFORE you buy. You need to see the trailer in person and evaluate it as best you can. Do all the applicances work? Hot water? Heater? AC? etc, etc. Don't take anyone's word on this, operate them yourself. Then the running gear needs the same review. Tires, brakes, axles, shocks, rust, frame free of rust and cracks, etc. It is best to hire someone to do this, same as you would do when buying a house.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:35 AM   #5
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No one asked, but when has that ever stopped ME? If you're planning to park the trailer permanently, do you really want or need an Airstream or a close cousin? I'd start looking IN Florida for a park model or fifth wheel that is already set up on a lot... you might get a porch, landscaping, a shed, etc. Frankly if your funds are limited you might get a lot better deal that way.

I fulltime and I travel quite a lot. I love the look of the Airstream, but more importantly I love how securely it tows... quiet, not sucked sideways by semis etc.

If you plan to travel, then you'll never do better than an Airstream or Argosy (or a cousin like the Avion, Silver Streak, etc.). As previous posters have noted, the older ones are almost always "projects" rather than ready to live in. Several women have restored vintage units, and while I have the skill set I no longer have the desire to spend my life fixing the next thing. (Owned an OLD house/money pit).

There may be exceptions, but generally you can't HIRE someone to do all of the restoration work you may need on an older unit. If you can, one of two things are likely to happen: you'll pay as much as a new unit would cost, or you'll get poor quality work that won't hold up once you hit the road. (Of course BOTH might happen too.)

I bought new. Looking back AND looking at the Classifieds on this forum, plus e-bay, craigslist, etc., iffin I had it to do over, I'd probably have bought a one to 5 year old unit.

It's amazing how many people buy the wrong size, then buy up, or camp 3 times and decide they hate it, or realize after the fact that they really can't afford the ongoing expenses of ownership. You can save quite a bit of money being the second owner... and get a virtually new unit.

THINK carefully. I love being a fulltiming woman Airstreamer, and I hope you can benefit and $AVE from my experiences.

Paula
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