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Old 10-19-2003, 03:28 PM   #1
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Why, Why, Why

Why is it that the guy on the phone always tells you the trailer is in( GREAT SHAPE) live in condition. And you drive 800, 900, 1,000 miles round trip for a junk? Need a camper inspection network or smoething of the like to save us all from the agony....................
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:51 PM   #2
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Been there done that - drove 800 miles to look at a complete hunk of junk. I had asked specifically if there was floor rot - first door I opened the floor was a rotted as can be.

Ken J.
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:09 PM   #3
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Ask another Forums member...

who may be a lot closer to check it out for you first. I'd expect that most of us would be willing to check a trailer out for another member if it's close to us.

It'll save you a lot of aggravation.

Roger
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:55 PM   #4
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I hear you man...

I went through the same thing last spring.
Was high bidder on a 67 tradewind on Ebay.
Drove 4 hours to WI to pick it up only to be disapointed.
The moment I drove in to the owners yard I could tell from 100' away that it was a pretty sad case.
The inside stank of cats and mold.
I couldn't buy it.
He was mad. I was mad.
Got a non paying bidder against me on Ebay.
An inspection network is a great idea.
At least the instector would try to be an impartial observer.
I'd be glad to go look at a trailer for another member here.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:16 PM   #5
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1 st look

Can't speak for others but I'm sure I'm not alone. If someone asked if anyone close to this area wanted help with a first look I would be glad to do it and give a report back.

Garry
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:47 PM   #6
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Same here... went about 3k miles in one month back in the summer looking for a used TT. Some we found on Airstreamsfor sale.net, others we found in Thrifty Nickles in various parts of the southeast, using the internet to search. Some people just don't see what they have, others intentionally misrepresented their trailer. Remember, it is always "Caveat Emptor". Even the ones with pix can be misleading. We spent many hours emailing as well. About the only thing you can do before parting with the long green is to see it first hand. Twice, I had certified funds with me, only to be disappointed when we saw the unit in person. One trip was over 1500 miles round trip! But we looked at it as being good experience, and seeing other parts of the country, and for the most part, meeting some nice folks, despite an inaccurate description of their Airstream. Wound up buying one about 50 miles from home and paying more than we had planned, but got a newer unit (1999) that fits us and that we both love.

Jim
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Old 10-20-2003, 09:29 AM   #7
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AS inspection volunteers

Jim, I'm all in favor of you posting a new thread on this subject.
It would be very convenient to have a list of volunteers and the area they would cover.
I'll volunteer for the east central Michigan area.
I checked out a local 75 Sovereign for a fellow in Texas just a couple weeks ago and sent digital pics along with a list of all the flaws I found.

Rog
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:56 AM   #8
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I was a little disappointed because mine had a couple of dents and I thought the body was perfect, and also some floor rot. I paid quite a bit for it so I wanted something in corresponding condition. All in all, it was okay, and came with new fridge, voltage regulator, carpet and a tow hitch.

A/S are rare and desirable and are bought relatively quickly in my experience (I offered about $10K for a 86 Limited, 32' and someone else got it before I did).
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Old 11-05-2003, 10:53 AM   #9
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Figures

10k for an 86 limited?

Of course someone beat you to it. No offense but you would have to climb over my back to get to a 10k deal on an 86 limited. Even in fair condition.

Anytime that you find an 80's and up for under 10k you should be moving pretty quickly and be suspicious.

I would not take less than 9500 for my 79 model and it is in excellant shape.

I did not pay that for it but I spent well over 2500 and many hours of intense labor to get it there.

I will sell you a 1983 34' Excella for 13k if that gives you any indication of price and value.

Good luck!
Smily
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:30 AM   #10
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I've been studying this phenomenon of sellers understating the problems with their Airstreams, and come to a few conclusions:

1) Most sellers don't really know their Airstreams that well. If you want to trust the seller's claims about condition, look for someone who actually uses their Airstream regularly and is an enthusiast (WBCCI member, forum member, etc).

2) "No leaks" is about the most worthless promise you can get. What it often means is, "I haven't seen the leaks yet," especially on vintage trailers. My favorite was a recent eBay listing where the seller said something like, "There aren't any leaks worth fixing." (In reality, there aren't any leaks you can safely ignore!)

3) Other dangerous phrases uttered by sellers:
-- "ready to go camping!"
-- "good for hunters" OR "I used it as a hunting camp"
-- "haven't had time to use it in the past XX years"
-- "everything works"
-- "I never used the XXXX so I don't know if it works" ( = it doesn't)
-- "I fixed it by XXXXing it, but it will need further repair."
-- "I don't have any more pictures"
-- "mint condition"

4) A lot of people think "vintage" means "valuable." My motto is, When you run into a seller who is convinced that their Airstream/Argosy is worth a lot just because it's pre-1978, run the other direction!

I experienced this with a seller who claimed "excellent" and "mint" condition. I guess that could be true if the mint makes them with dead mice in the cabinets, smells emanating from the toilet, mold in the fridge, dented cabinets, broken tambours, faded upholstery, rusty tongues, and weeds growing through the rear storage compartment! (It would have been funnier if I hadn't driven 300 miles to experience it personally. ) But the kicker was that the asking price was nearly $5k -- because it was "vintage."

6) And finally, ipso facto, I must disagree with your earlier statement. Most Airstreams are not truly rare. I do agree that they are "desirable" but that's entirely different.

The rare Airstream is the one that has been lovingly cared for by its owner and remains in excellent operating condition. Junkers, on the other hand, are readily obtained on eBay any day of the year.

Caveat emptor! and use the Volunteer Inspector list posted on this forum if you decide to buy another Airstream/Argosy out of state.

-- RL
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by rluhr
I experienced this with a seller who claimed "excellent" and "mint" condition. I guess that could be true if the mint makes them with dead mice in the cabinets, smells emanating from the toilet, mold in the fridge, dented cabinets, broken tambours, faded upholstery, rusty tongues, and weeds growing through the rear storage compartment
Now I know the truth...MINE is in "Mint" condition

Aaron
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Old 11-05-2003, 01:01 PM   #12
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Where is Volunteer Inspector list? I did "search", no results.

Thanks,
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Old 11-05-2003, 01:17 PM   #13
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Check the thread called "So you want to buy an Airstream that is three states away?" It's a sticky thread (always on top) in the "Our Community" forum.

-- RL
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Old 11-05-2003, 01:50 PM   #14
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Re: Prices - I am not sure that A/S are a national market. Regional maybe. Which means the local region defines the prices. How fast the seller wants to sell it and other conditions like that. I think it is not that meaningful to talk about prices in general because they do vary all over and based on a multitude of factors.

Rural south has different prices than say NY. But, of course A/S people here do try to sell their stuff at national prices, and it may or may not work.

The first post about travelling 800 miles only to be sorely disapponted is exactly why A/S are not a national market. I don't think there is *any* A/S I will travel 1,000 miles for. The seller might sell it to someone else while you are travelling, or something.

Finally, it is not wise to mislead customers. If you lie to someone, someone eventually will lie to you. I think full disclosure is necessary and in our best interest whether you sell or buy. Sets a good trend. Saves everyone so much aggravation.
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