Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-20-2003, 03:48 PM   #1
Rivet Master
drboyd's Avatar

1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,398
Question Airstreams: 1978 versus 1984

I'm in the market for an Airstream, and there's a 1984 and a 1978 in the same size that are available. Given all the other considerations, the two are roughly equivalent prices.

Now first of all, I haven't seen either one personally up close, and there may well be considerations about either that would put it out of the question. But what I'm looking for is opinions about which year is more likely to have major problems.

Like "For gosh sakes, don't buy a 1978, because that's when Beatrice Foods had 'em firmly in the trash!" or "Watch out for the 1984's because they all explode once a week!" , or general wisdom like that....

Any input or suggestions? Thanks!

drboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2003, 04:20 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
startrekker2001's Avatar
1978 31' Excella 500
Palm Bay , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 268
Images: 34
The range of conditions can vary widely. I was very fortunate when I bought my '78 Excella 31 footer. There were others at the dealership that looked a lot worse for the wear, but on the outside looked about the same. I am very happy with the 78 even though Beatrice Foods was responsible for the line then.

Unless you can touch them both and look for the faults, it is difficult to make a decision. Both being the same price, the first inclination would be to go for the '84, but 6 years isn't much to an Airstream. What really matters is how were they maintained.

Good luck and welcome to the forum. You will find that the folks here are honest, likeable and above all helpful.


Vic Smith
Director Florida State Rally
WBCCI Florida Unit 027 Trustee
WBCCI #6782
31' 78 Airstream Excella 500
2001 Ford Excursion V-10
Reese hitch and dual cam sway control
startrekker2001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2003, 11:48 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
overlander64's Avatar
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,389
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Airstreams: 1978 versus 1984

I would second Vic's advice, given the modest age spread condition and evidence of good maintenance would certainly be a deciding factor.

If the conditions and maintenance issues are comparable then it will be more of an aesthic decision. Tambour was still being used for many of the cabinet doors in '78, but was being or had been phased out by '84 if my understanding is correct. The '78 may also be outfitted with some of the "typical '70s decorator elements" such as burnt orange, avacado green or harvest gold appointments as well as "flower power" wall covering in the bath - - I suspect that the color palet would have been more neutral by '84.

In either case, at twenty plus years of age, either coach may be in need of new software in the interior (drapes, upholstery, cushions, etc. - - I know that it was a #1 need in my '78 Argosy).

Good luck with your inspections!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2003, 06:07 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 30
I think you have received some very sound advice. A couple of inputs from my Airstream search. Stay away from the early to mid 70's units with "double pane" windows. There are a lot of entries on the site about them and replacement or repair gets expensive. Second, look hard if you get a rear bath unit - rear sag, etc. I stayed with the rear twin units and center bath - a tried and true design for the 70s and 80s.

Finally, the feel of the unit means a lot. How many owners has it had? How's the documentation and has it obviously been cared for. I can tell you that you will view several units before the right one jumps at you, unless you are luckier than me. GOOD LUCK.
CO_Don is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
VSD Magazine featured Airstreams yukionna Airstream "In the News" 25 09-28-2003 07:02 PM
When did Airstreams ... mikey Our Community 4 08-22-2003 03:28 PM
Do they Still Make Airstreams? Steph Our Community 18 08-19-2003 06:21 PM
Number of Airstreams made APB On The Road... 4 04-12-2003 11:54 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.