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Old 05-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
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South , Texas
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how far would you ride

To go see and possibly buy an Airstream?
"of course after deducting the trip to the price of the Airstream"
Jaja
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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Seeing and buying are 2 different things. You can see them at any dealer, but some dealers are to be otherwise avoided. I believe Colonial in NJ will deliver to you, but you'll have to check on that. The reasons to buy far from home are that a good dealer will prepare the trailer better, but you'll still have to go somewhere for warranty work. That can be a problem and the dealer we bought from (240 miles away) was so bad we ended up going to the factory service center in Ohio for warranty work. A long trip, but they do good work there and we made it part of a road trip.

Texas has several dealers and hopefully some Forum members will give you recommendations on the best one.

Buying a new Airstream is not all that easy because they do not have a large dealer network. You might consider buying one a few years old—it has been through the initial problems that have hopefully been fixed and you avoid the big depreciation in the first years. Some forum members will inspect the trailer for you. Inspectors are listed on the right side on the Portal page. There is a classified ads section on the Forum too.

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Old 05-30-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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I drove about 400 miles to Florida to look at and possibly buy a used model fom an authorized Airstream dealer. A few weeks later I drove about 400 miles to North Carolina to look at another used model at a dealer that is also an authorized Airstream dealer. I did purchase the unit and had to return the following week to allow time for a few minor repairs.
I have been fortunate to find a local RV center (not an Airstream dealer) for needed service.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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I would not pay you, through a price adjustment, to come and look at my Airstream. If you are looking at used, that's at your expense.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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Well we drove 1200 miles to look at and buy our first airstream (trailer and 1100 mile to look at and buy our second (motor home). As long as you know everything and are ready to go and the only thing the trip will do is decide NOT to buy you are in good shape if you are just thinking about it or still deciding, than save your time and money and stay local...... But that perfect unit, layout, etc... is out there and I will be a diet soda it isn't in 100 miles of you!
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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I believe there are less than 60 active dealers in operation now. So that means that there are 60 locales where it is a local drive to an authorized dealership. Everyone else gets to drive some distance to look, see, and feel the merchandise. In new units that are basic, the units will be like Fords or GMC trucks, they are identical vehicles on any dealership lot.

So the commute decision to a dealership may be based upon proximity, reputation, or specific inventory or a combination of these. Since it was not a "command performance" for the customer to show up at a specific dealership, I look at the driving expense as part of the cost the Airstream experience.

There is no way around it, this can be a very expensive hobby. One has to pay to play.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Mine was located almost 300 miles from my home. I had a member here pre-check it out for me. I made the drive over with cash in hand, prepared to buy if it worked out. Well it did and I made the drive back with an Airstream in tow. I was a nervous wreck by the time I pulled into the yard. I had never towed a travel trailer of any kind before.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:07 PM   #8
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Orange , California
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AS Dealer

We purchased our 2013 16' Bambi Sport from South West Coaches in Corona, CA.

They are only 20 miles from our house and after reading some of the threads in the forums feel very fortunate to have a top notch dealer so close to our home.

We've only had it back once for a hitch adjustment and that was handled perfectly.

Good Luck,

Jack Dog
in So Cal
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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I have made the mistake of driving 900 miles (EACH way) to end up leaving an awful trailer there to continue rotting. I should have waited the extra week until someone more local could go inspect it, but I thought it wasn't the disaster it turned out to be and worried someone would buy it. I have a very particular floorplan in mind.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:11 AM   #10
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For some unknown reason 200 miles each way seems to be the range for us in each of our two purchases. Once we decided that we wanted a mid 2000 used 20 footer we hung tight until the one we wanted appeared at Colonial in New Jersey. We looked at the pics online and went down immediately intending to buy that day if we liked what we saw. We did...bought an 06 in 09. Then this past year we decided to move up to a 25 so we watched the classifieds. I considered trips of 1000 to 1500 miles to look at ones we saw pics of but never got off the couch. Then one (another 06) came up from an individual in Connecticut. Again the pics were good and we made the trip intending to buy and we did. Both trips were almost exactly 400 miles round trip.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:15 AM   #11
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The OP should have specified if buying new or used. Well, on the used front, I can share a little experience. The further you drive the more inclined you will naturally feel to buy, since you don't want to invest two days in a trip and come home empty handed. This can be dangerous. I drove 600 miles each way to get my trailer. I got just what I wanted at a very good price. But the fact was, over the two years I spent looking, I saw several trailers locally that would have fit the bill, though they were a little more expensive. I wasn't so conscious at the time of my purchase how much renovation I would be doing, regardless of how long I shopped. Had I known, I would have bought the first trailer I saw, and it would be done my now.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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If it was something that I really wanted I would drive to Hades and back.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:42 PM   #13
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I drove 800 miles each way for my 2005 19 footer and 350 miles each way for my friend's. do you mean there are some actually close to home? Crap. worth every mile, btw.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #14
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We drove 520 miles each way to fetch our used, but tenderly cared for, unit listed in the classifieds after three days of telephone conference calls and e-mailed photos between the elderly owner in Florida and his son in Virginia who coordinated the sale to ensure satisfaction for all involved. Interestingly, this became the best deal experience of my life for accuracy of condition and valuation, and we encountered no surprises or regrets afterwards. Our community does have some very fine people among the membership.
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