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Old 11-05-2010, 01:56 PM   #1
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single mom need still more advice

Hi,
I am continuing a discussion from another thread and am still looking for thoughts and input. I am trying to decide what type of Airstream is best for me. I prefer vintage and so does my budget but I have no fixer upper skills so it needs to be in great condition. I need sleeping for at least 4 people and would LOVE to have twin beds or, even better, bunk beds. Do Airstreams even have bunk beds? I have to sell my Casita before I buy and have realized I am going to have to increase my budget. Have to stay under $20,000. I have been surfing the Airstream classifieds and saw a 2006 25 ft Safari with twin beds for around $29. My Casita is 17 ft which is too small but 25 ft seems big. I only have one child but we have not been able to take any friends camping b/c our Casita is so small. Maybe 25 ft is not too big...
I'm going to get another vehicle eventually. I tow my 17 ft Casita with my Nissan Xterra which has a max tow capacity of 5000 lbs. I'll wait to decide what to get for a tow vehicle after I decide what type of Airstream I want.
Not in any hurry to buy - very motivated to learn as much as I can about Airstreams first before I make such a big decision.
Thanks in advance for any feedback.
joy
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:26 PM   #2
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Don't give up - there is an Airstream out there waiting for you to put your name on it. Mine found me - I was not even looking got a TT. It just happened. I am almost finished with the refurb - maybe our paths will cross one day. Even better will meet.

There is always the poosibility of purchasing the twin and convert it into a bunk. Should not me very hard. I have read of others doing that. Use the search (use the google search box) and type in bunk beds. I found one that might help.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-64800.html

Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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Joy, two questions:

1) How many beds do you want? Are you willing to sleep in one bed and the kids will share another? The difference between having two sleeping areas and three can have quite an impact on the length of trailer; typically you need a 22' or longer trailer to get the 3 sleeping areas.

2) Are you willing to deal with vintage? Your Casita is a nearly new, low-maintenance trailer. Even if you find a well restored vintage trailer, they still need more upkeep than you're used to. For that matter, most "newer" trailers in your budget are still going to be at least 5-10 year old trailers that inevitably need fixes here and there.

Tom
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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Hi Joy,
You can tow a 22' vintage airstream with your xtrra. The newer ones are heavier so you might not be okay with a 2006. Airstreams website has weights for the current models and recent ones will be similar weight. My '64 Safari, Bullwinkle, is only #3100 dry.
Vintage does not mean worn-out. If you buy a vintage unit it should be checked out by a veteran Airstreamer, prior to purchase, to ensure that you are getting what you expect.
A vintage 24' would have the possibility of bunkbeds already installed and possibly be within your tow capacity. I would look very closely at a combination like that before making a decision though, as weight may put you over the limit with a 24'er.
If you want to go camping don't buy something that needs work. It will mess up your plans.

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Rich the Viking
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:26 PM   #5
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I am currently full timing south of Memphis. I have a 25ft rear queen. We went to Disney for a week with my 18 year old twins and the trailer was plenty big enough. The couch in the front pulls out in to a bed and there is still plenty of rom to throughh a sleeping bag on the floor. Your more than welcome to take a look around it if you want. I have had it for a year, absolutely love it and I am more than happy to help someone else get the airstream fever!
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:22 AM   #6
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How old is your "one child"? If this child is a teenager she might not be interested in hanging out with mom within another year. I'm always amused at parents who buy big houses because they have teenagers who'll be bringing friends over... then two seconds after the kids get drivers licenses... they are NEVER home. Three years later they are in college or the military, and mom and dad are rattling around in a 4 br. home that's a pain in the neck to maintain and heat & cool.

Kids are fine with tent camping, and with something the size of a Casita, a freestanding screen room with solid sides added will fit on the same campsite as the Casita. You can even set it up as an extension to your Exterra's trunk, or in place of an awning. If a storm strikes, the kids retreat to the Car or the Casita. An raised inflatable bed with some good quilts is all you need to sleep in a screen room. IMHO, the screen room is more practical than a tent because you can stand up inside.

This wouldn't be a good setup for cold weather camping, but the kids are probably in school during cold weather.

Once the kids are gone, the Casita will still be great, and highly usable.

I didn't have your price restrictions when I bought, so new worked for me, but even a gently used 23' is going to run you in the $30K range, plus if you go bigger, you'll need a half ton truck or Suburban/Tahoe type SUV.

Vintage is an option, but finding a really well done vintage can be hinky. Many restorers do meticulous work... others not so much. A bad restoration or a cosmetic cover up of a bad frame & dry rot could be a financial disaster as well as a total loss of at least one whole camping season.

Good luck whatever you choose.

Paula
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:21 AM   #7
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Not trying to sway you either way, but if I were doing it again this is what I'd think about........

I'd suggest starting at a length you are comfortable towing. For instance, we were uncomfortable towing anything with 3 axles which limited us to 27ft. Keep in mind that length isn't the only thing that dictates the floor space. Floor plan effects it too. Even with only two beds, enough floor space can be turned into sleeping. Our son sleeps on a camp cot while our daughter sleeps on the the gaucho in couch mode. Or friends can share sleeping beds.

How much work do you want to put in it? Our 1971 27ft A/S, which was in pretty good shape, did not go out on the road for 6 weeks after we bought it. It took a few weeks just to clean really good. Then spent a week or so at the service center. The only appliance to need replacing was the fridge ... so lucky there so far.

Price - We paid less than $6,000 but we've put at least another $4,000 in her(1,500 of which was a fridge). Not much considering some blogs you read here but depending on the condition, even a cheap trailer can get expensive. Though, as many have pointed out, newer doesn't mean problem free.

Finding the Perfect Trailer - We searched for over a year. In Oklahoma, finding a vintage A/S under 30ft was a challenge. Tons of 34ft out here, but not much under that.

TV - On my father-in-law's recommendation, we made sure our trailer was mid-range to what our truck could safely tow.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:08 AM   #8
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Dave and Felicia,

I would be thrilled to see your camper!!!! Can we schedule a time for me to come by?
Thanks so very much!

joy
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:33 AM   #9
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Thanks for the thoughts, everybody. My daughter's 10 and loves to go camping but I'd like to be able to take a friend for her so I don't have to always be the one to go on a bike ride or play a game. That's one reason I want more space. Would like to be able to take a friend for her and a friend for me.
Definitely would like a restored vintage trailer under 25 feet.
Not ready to buy yet. Have to sell Casita first. Just doing research right now.
If there is anybody close that would let me take a look at their Airstream, I would LOVE to see it and would be so grateful.
Is there a rally somewhere not too far way where I could see Airstreams or a place that sells them around here???? Isn't there something in Destin in January??

Thanks again,
joy
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:11 AM   #10
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Was cruising the classifieds and saw a 2006 23 foot Safari Limited Edition on Ebay. The reserve is 24,200. Don't know how to post link to it. Can't buy yet so don't mind putting it out there. Anyway, that's EXACTLY what we want. It's in PERFECT condition.
Any thoughts??
joy
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:17 PM   #11
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Hi Joy,
On Ebay you can do an advanced search, and search for closed sales(historical data) to find out just how much similar Airstreams have gone for recently. This is way more valuable to you than a posted reserve which could mean nothing.
No offense intended, but at 5:33 you were set on a restored vintage under 25', and at 6:11 you found a 2006 that is "exactly what we want". Do you realize that you have Aluminitis? That's what we call it when you fall in love with every aluminum travel trailer you see or hear about.
If you end up looking at late model used Airstreams you should read through the various threads that discuss each model years quality issues. There are some very unhappy folks out there with 2004 Airstreams that were made with bad frames. They only had 2 years of warrantee time to discover this, and I bet a lot of them didn't find it out soon enough. Now there are used Airstreams out there with bad frames and if you buy one you have no recourse with Airstream to get it fixed. I understand that they might give you the parts for the repair!
The seller will probably say "caveot emptor", see ya!
So be careful. Just because it's "newer" and looks really cool, doesn't mean it's not a money-pit. Do your research here, and buy with confidence

Regards,
Rich the Viking
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #12
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gotta keep that Aluminitis under control...getting a little too excited...

joy
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoymccalla View Post
Thanks for the thoughts, everybody. My daughter's 10 and loves to go camping but I'd like to be able to take a friend for her so I don't have to always be the one to go on a bike ride or play a game. That's one reason I want more space. Would like to be able to take a friend for her and a friend for me.
Definitely would like a restored vintage trailer under 25 feet.
Not ready to buy yet. Have to sell Casita first. Just doing research right now.
If there is anybody close that would let me take a look at their Airstream, I would LOVE to see it and would be so grateful.
Is there a rally somewhere not too far way where I could see Airstreams or a place that sells them around here???? Isn't there something in Destin in January??

Thanks again,
joy

Joy, the CanOpener is in January, just east of Destin at Topsail Hill State Park in Santa Rosa. We will be there along with 40+ other trailers. Great place to meet and see a lot of Airstreams. Bring the Casita, you will have a great time.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:34 AM   #14
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Thanks, Greg.

Got it under control now. Just got excited and started talking before I thought things through. I tend to do that.

joy
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