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Old 01-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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Any Huge Glaring Issues?

Are there any known major issues I should be aware of before purchasing a 2007FB SE?
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Two that come to mind:
1. You'll love the floor plan.
2. Small person goes on the front side of the bed.

We looked at 23' and 25' floorplans, and decided the 25'FB was the best for us.

Best,

Bob
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:00 PM   #3
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For some reason I can't find the edit button on my post. The trailer I am looking at is a 2007 25FB SE.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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L', you can check the other Safari threads because many things did not change for several years. You can also check the '09 and later Flying Cloud threads.

Then look for corrosion—some get it, some don't. There's a very long thread on that (search "corrosion").

Quality control is also a big issue and some trailers have many problems, some don't. Ask for warranty and subsequent repair information.

Many of us find the mattress and seat cushions to be substandard. The mattress is uncomfortable, but a foam topper helps a lot. The cloth on the seat cushions are sometimes cut badly and have no liners, so it slides around the foam.

Check the dates on the tires—if they haven't been replaced, they will need to be soon. If they are Marathons, you may want to change to another brand (search "marathons" and you will find out all the complaints).

Some recent models have had front end separation (search that too) and though it appears to be mostly longer trailers, a much used one might also have that problem. Look for "elephant ears" as that will tell you it has been repaired, though maybe not properly.

The most agile person gets the front side of the bed, or the one who gets up least during the night.

We like the size and floor plan. We had a tough time deciding between the 27' and 25', but we saved several thousand dollars and it's a little easier to maneuver in campgrounds. If we were going to do it again, we might choose either the 27' or 28'—it would be hard between them. So, we have no regrets, but choose wisely because this is something you want to get right the first time.

Gene
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Leaks around the back windows and or the exterior trim that covers the attachment of the shell to the subfloor. Crawl UNDER the dinette, look, sniff, at and poke the floor, open the storage bin, and peel back the vinyl (it isn't attached) & repeat. Go outside and check the exterior trim around the bumper locker. The design of that locker can cause water to pool by the subfloor. I and many others have removed the beltline trim and sikiflexed the hell out of that area before reinstalling the trim and putting a new bead of caulk on the top of the trim.

This floor is plywood - so if there's a bit of minor damage it can be safely repaired with Rot Doctor or a similar product - but if it's far gone, It's a partial floor replacement. It's certainly a talking point on price depending on your willingness to do the work and/or your distance from a repair shop with an excellent reputation. The resealing work can be done neatly - the owner will probably tell you about it if he's done it. I am eternally grateful for the people here who recommended using blue painters tape on either side of the seam when resealing. I however am a magnet for every type of glue, caulking or sealing compound made. I always get more on myself than on the project. I actually Sikaflexed a pierced earring to my ear (ouch!) and I have no memory of scratching or touching the ear. I got a haircut that weekend too. I live in fear of POR-15.

You didn't mention whether you were looking at a Safari/aka Flying Cloud, an International or a Classic. I'd look for signs that the drawer hinges and closers may have come loose in the Safari and Internationals. They use plywood and laminates and I've had a lot of screws back out (I fulltime which puts more wear and tear on the interior than most people do.) It's a super easy fix, but if it hasn't been maintained it could be a sign.

The cheapass catches on the drawers tend to allow the drawers to fly out in transit. See how neatly the owner has applied a fix. I've seen one or two where they just put a cheap hasp on the outside - GADS! Some people use those babyproof hooks on the inside of the drawer. Effective and clean looking, but you have to open the drawer two inches, then push down on the hook to release it the rest of the way. I added extra magnets on the inside of the cabinet frames which really helped. If the owner has added centramatacs on the wheels that is a great sign. Ask how the owner fixed it.

The table and countertop laminates are paper thin on the Safari - so you may have wear issues or trim on the side coming loose. Got Gorilla Glue?
I just discovered a bottle of Avon Skin So Soft had tipped over in my medicine cabinet's top shelf. Must have been a week or longer before I spotted it. The mineral oil base has destroyed the adhesive that attached the laminate to the cabinet shelves. A nasty mess to clean up - and I suspect impossible to repair right. I got it semi decent looking, but I suspect I'll be pulling the whole thing out and rebuilding it from scratch before I'm happy. Watch out for that kind of damage.

The shower door is notorious for leaking around the bottom. This affects nearly all models. Clear caulk will fix it, but it's a maintenance item. Mine needs redoing now. The shower head may be clogged up too, and I am NOT impressed with CLR. Got to get a new one.

If you have a propane oven check it carefully. The hinge on mine broke (it's cheaply made) but it was a fix it yourself job. Did wish I had a third hand though. The stainless steel burner surround on the stovetop lifts up - what it looks like underneath there will tell you a lot about the seller's idea of "clean".

Things that don't drive me nuts but exist.
  • filoform damage on the exterior - l live 4 miles from the ocean. I get it, I periodically treat it. It's an ongoing issue. Check stem to stern, look closely, only you know whether you can live with it.
  • tires - if they are original they are toast, look at the date manufactured!
  • wheels - even if you don't have filoform on the A/S you're gonna have it on those Chinese rims - if you don't someone took some real time and effort to clean them up.
  • Pull the propane tank cover and look under the tanks - rust or not? Nice newly painted with a rubber mat between the tanks and the frame would be a good sign (mine looks like crap right now, and will until spring).
  • the water pump is noisy - it doesn't bother me, but drives some people nuts - if it's been upgraded to a quieter one - again good sign
  • the kitchen hood fan is noisy - Again some people have modified that with a reostat to slow it down about 10% which makes it a lot quieter. Again it doesn't bother me, but... it might bother you.
  • Look behind the exterior covers of the water heater, refrigerator and furnace for infestations of paper wasps, or other critters.
  • Get underneath the unit and really look at the belly pan... scrapes and damage there are a bad sign.
  • Use your NOSE everywhere. A propane sniffer wouldn't be a bad idea either. Sniff all of the cushions and mattresses up close and personal. Kid's wee and dog funk can last forever. Watch out for the cushion that has been flipped over to conceal something. Somewhere in this country there are a couple dozen units that went through the great Atlanta flood at CW. You would never want to buy one of those without knowing it.
  • The bathroom door is hung with a PLASTIC piano hinge which is cracking - fulltiming wear and tear - it's a gitarountuit issue, not a deal breaker.
Wow, I rambled on didn't I? Everyone customizes their unit. Do you like what the owner has done(work quality/durability/aesthetically)? How easily can it be undone if you don't like it?

The more the owner wants to show you, generally the better deal you're getting. If he/she will take the time to open and close the awning, show you how to hook up the slinky, shows you how to lubricate the dump valves, step hinges, leveling jacks, door lock, etc, etc, etc - you're probably getting a well looked after unit.

Good luck, Paula
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:43 AM   #6
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First off I want to say, thank you for the info. and your candidness regarding this trailer. This forum has been very helpful, and I hesitate to say, an eye opener. I don't want to sound like a smart ass here, but I guess I should have titled this thread, "Is there anything about a 2007 25FB SE that doesn't have a quality problem?" This is very disappointing to hear these reports. I have owned many different campers during my life, and none of the SOB's had a list of problems this long. I'm not saying they didn't have problems, of course they did. But we are talking about an AS. The top of the line, premium priced travel trailer. But, I'm hearing things like panel separation, serious leaking, rotting floors, inferior tires and rims, corrosion and rust. These are or have the potential to be serious issues and the trailer only 4-5 years old.

I have always tried to apply this scenario to my purchases. "Never be afraid to buy the best you can afford. Since you will never be disappointed with it". After reading these reports, I no longer know if that saying holds true.

For many years I have dreamed about the day I would be able to afford an AS. The pride of ownership and the mystique they carry with them. Now that day is here and I am having serious doubts about the product. I know for years the AS was second to none. There was a reason to pay the premium price for them. Has that now change? At what point did the quality start to decline? And then to follow on with that, has the quality improved with the newer models? But again, we are only talking about a 5 year old trailer here. I always attempt to find the best value in my major purchases. Rather than concentrating solely on the price of an item, I try to determine if what I am purchasing is good value or not. That is why I have shied away from buying a new AS. Why not let someone else take the first few years of depreciation? After all, what could possible be wrong with a 5 year old AS? There good for at least 30 years, not? But maybe this is no longer true. Maybe I should look closer at buying new in an attempt to avoid these potential known problems? What is the general consensus on their quality issues? Have they improved in the later models? Or is it just too early to tell yet?

I don't mean to start yet another argument here about how much better an AS is over SOB. I realize there are 30, 40, 50 year old AS still on the road today. But now I have to wonder, 30, 40, 50 years from now, how many 2007, 2008, 2009, etc. will still be on the road?

Hmmm
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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Okay.. now I get the post. Didn't mean to imply that you were trying to start an argument, L4740. Happy hunting and glad that we are a at opposite ends of I-35 so we don't step on each other's toes too much in the search process. Have a great weekend.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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I'm going to a local RV show this weekend. Every time I go and look at other trailers I realize my Airstream IS better built.

One day Toyota or Nissan will start to make trailers in the USA - and then US manufacturers will quake in their shoes.

I FULLTIME in my 25 FB SE. I will wear mine out. Most people take their trailers out 3 to 12 times per season. Some take three trips and park them until they're consumed by green algae or weeds. At this point it doesn't make sense for a manufacturer to build a unit for the 3% who really USE one heavily. A lot of components within an Airstream or any other RV are not manufactured by the RV company. Axles, air conditioners, fans, awnings, furnaces, water heaters, water pumps, converters, inverters, ovens, stovetops and refrigerators spring to mind as do televisions and sound systems. Trailer manufactureres assemble those components within their shells.

That aside, there are a few other manufacturers who build high quality units. Lots of people speak highly of Arctic Fox - but I'm not sure they survived the recession. Airstream for all its faults is still way better than 90% of the others built, and some are about equal to a cardboard box.

If you look on e-bay today, there is a 2010 wrecked unit for sale. Most SOB's (square old boxes) with this much damage would be reduced to component pieces strewn across a quarter mile of highway. This unit is definitely FUBAR, but still it's impressive that it held together. An Airstream can be in a minor wreck and be fixed - where even a minor problem on some SOB's means you're shopping for a new unit. Snooty RV parks that don't allow units older than 15 years on the lot generally can't tell what year your Airstream is.

Oh, and vibration and movement DO count for a lot of wear and tear that simply doesn't happen in a home. Everything needs maintenance.

You might not know that many KOA Campgrounds have rental Airstreams - and they happen to be 25 FB SE's. Now there's an inexpensive test drive to see if you're going to be happy in one. Of course head for the far south to find one that isn't closed up for the season! The one here in Virginia Beach isn't going to be available until March.

Sorry if I turned you off earlier. I have two ears and one mouth..... should probably learn to use them proportionally!.

Paula
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:24 PM   #9
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There are some Airstreams for nightly rental at the KOA in Las Vegas.

Would I buy another Airstream? Probably, but I'd look around. Arctic Fox is still around—you can Google them. I'd certainly, like you, look for a 4 or 5 year old Airstream if I were in the market. A lot of problems should have been fixed by then.

They tow easily and are cool. They do hold value for years and that makes them something of a good investment. A lot of things aren't made as well as they used to be made, so Airstream is no exception. We have bought a lot of Toyotas and they have declined in quality also, though they seem to be coming back. Some people on the Forum say the most recent models are better, but that, like all information here is anecdotal.

You have to look carefully at any used product and Forum members will help with an inspection. On the Portal page on the right side is a box for locating inspectors.

The Forum is a good place to find out information and I don't know a lot of other RV's have forums for that, so this Forum is a plus. Don't give up yet—just look carefully.

Gene
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L4740 View Post
I realize there are 30, 40, 50 year old AS still on the road today. But now I have to wonder, 30, 40, 50 years from now, how many 2007, 2008, 2009, etc. will still be on the road?
Something to think about - I have one of those 30 year old trailers that is still on the road. But those old trailers are a bit like George Washington's hatchet - the head was changed 2 times and the handle was replaced 3 times, but by golly it's the same old hatchet!

In other words, the vast majority of those old trailers that are still on the road either have more major issues than the ones you're detailing (we're talking major floor rot or frame rust), or they've been restored/repaired/renovated.

As for your question, I think plenty of today's Airstreams will still be on the road decades from now, but they'll really need some interior work. That said, I'm not sure if folks will want to pay for the fuel to tow a 6000 lb 25' trailer at that point. (Personally, that issue has me wondering how smart I would be buying a 4700 lb 23' trailer in a few years...but I don't want to pay to restore another trailer...)

I think you should thoroughly look over the trailer you're considering. You've been told the worst of it here. Given that tires are only good for 5 years, their replacement is a given anyway. Your plan to buy lightly used cuts down the depreciation hit. And no RV is immune from component problems - my 2 year-old T@B blew its water pump, and the window screens fell off, and...

Tom
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