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Old 01-27-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
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Dilemma: Replace or Renovate???

We're looking for feedback from the group. We have had our dear Lucy (2005 Safari 25 FB) for almost seven years now. We bought her new in 2006. Last night was the 1,208th night that we have spent camping in her. She has now been towed over 100,000 miles.

Over the years, we have made Lucy our own. She has custom touches everywhere. She still works very well for us, but she is becoming a little bit worn and tattered. Not to the point that she has to be replaced, but to the point that she needs some major attention.

Lucy has suffered some significant dents and dings. She also suffers from a fairly severe case of filiform corrosion. She has some chronic leaks. The appliances are all working, but they may need attention/replacement based upon age and extensive use.

We are planning to take Lucy to Jackson Center. We are probably looking at spending around $15,000 to renovate her to an acceptable level. Of course, things always end up costing more than anticipated. Therefore, we are prepared to spend $20,000+ on her.

Now to the quandary. Do we spend the money to bring Lucy back, or do we trade her in for a new 25FB? Are the improvements over the last several years significant enough to warrant trading?

Brian
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Love it or List it

Have you ever watched that HOME DIV show where someone is considering renovation or buying another home. They go through the entire renovation process while at the same time looking for another home. At the end they decide to Love it and keep what they have or List it and then buy another place. I would get the actual estimate on all of the repairs and updates you want and at the same time look at some other Airstreams that are already at the condition you want then decide. Love it or List it.

Don
1976 31' Sovereign, Love it
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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From what you say, Lucy has given you great service, but she is tired and worn down. Like a car or truck with 150,000 miles, anything can be repaired or replaced but something else will pop up and have to be done. You sound like you love to travel, and use Lucy.

I guess, from my armchair perspective, it is time to replace her. She is a great tool, but not a person. Times change, things get worn out. Buy and enjoy Lucy2 the way you have with Lucy.

I renovated and replaced and upgraded and restored my '74 Argosy 20, but mainly because I love the floor plan and nothing like it is made today. Also, up to a point, I like doing the work. Each person has different reasons for what they do.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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I guess it depends on how much she's worth as is and how much you have to pay for a new one? There may be some deals out there but if $15,000 makes her like new again and it would cost a lot more to trade I'd consider the update. I do like the 27'fb.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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One thought - Lucy only has one panoramic window, and I thought all of the new ones have two. Do you care about that either way?

I admit, if I spent that much time in the trailer, I'd enjoy a 27fb or a 28.

Tom
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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Lucy doesn't have any panoramic windows. It's not really a big deal either way. I guess I prefer not having panoramic windows as they make the back end of the trailer look like a giant Darth Vader helmet.

Brian
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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The devil you know...

Unless you are not happy with the basic design you have (for example, you want a 30-footer), why change?

You know everything about Lucy, and you know precisely what irks you about her: WHY go through the break-in period with another trailer, when for a paltry sum, relative to the cost of going new, you could perfect her?

Hey, look at it this way: what if you wind up with a new trailer that is less reliable? Wouldn't THAT be a bummer?
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:54 PM   #8
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I thought about this some more. What's your goal in the renovation?

If you simply want a reliable trailer for many more years, you could simply replace appliances and get the leaks sealed and keep on trucking.

But if you want to regain that "new" look and feeling, I wonder if that's possible with extensive filaform. Plus if the leaks compromised the floors, that's more $. In other words, if you choose to make the big investment in Lucy, you'd have to make sure that you will achieve your final goal.

Taking off on what idroba said, it's like having a car with 150,000 miles on it. You can make some updates and fixes and keep on going. But it's not going to be "new" again. All depends on what you want.

Tom
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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Since we are spending your money, I would go for the newer one. Even if you spent to make your 05 Safari perfect, it is still an 05 Safari in the market place. It sounds like you and yours enjoy the Airstream lifestyle, and would benefit from the upgrade. After touring Jackson Center, I thought Airstream was building them a bit better now. I saw improved door latches, better bracing, better brakes, better steps, better windows, etc. Look for a two year old rig with very low use. Find one with exactly what you want, and trade your 05. Someone else can have all the fun and expense of fixing it up.

David
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:49 PM   #10
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The voice of "DOO-DOO OCCURS" here.

Lucy is "pre-dented for carefree use". Treat the filoform. Get an air pressure test and treat the leaks. Fix the other stuff as it breaks... don't anticipate problems. Jackson Center is good, but I'm not all that thrilled with the way they test for leaks and "fix" them. And Skylights... don't even get me started. The real reason they're crap is that they're designed for an RV with a FLAT roof, so when they're slapped on the slightly curved roof of the Airstream, the tension causes them to crack around the screws AND the flat skylight dishes in the curved roof so that water stands on it around the edge of the skylight. I'm ready to have mine REMOVED.

A Brand spanking new Airstream will be brand spanking new only until it acquires it's first beauty mark. And you'll still have payments out the wahzoo.... Or else a big dent in your wallet. (I got a crease on my 25' from a crazed motorist on a narrow mountain road 25 DAYS after I bought her!) Lucy's trade in value considering the "ridden hard and put away wet" status will probably be less than $20K.

Unless you want a 27 FB Eddie Bauer or some other modest upgrade... keep Lucy. And even if you DO want to go up to a 27... look for one that is gently used. It still shocks me that people will buy these, take them out once or twice and then get turned off/bored or whatever.

Panoramic windows - leak-o-rama!

Paula

(disclaimer: this advice is worth what you paid for it.)
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:11 PM   #11
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My dad used that phrase: Rode hard and put away wet. Love it. I would probably keep Lucy and fix her but then I'm a vintage person (in more ways that one). Have you looked at new trailers? You might want to do some shopping and see if there's something you fall in love with that's out there right now. That's what I would advise. Then you'll know when you fix her that that is what you truly want, or trade her, likewise. Good luck!

Kay
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #12
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We traded our 2007 20' for a 2012 25' front dinette. Significant improvements in design, features, and build quality and details.

Both our trailers had pano windows and they are key to a wonderful interior and view; they can leak like every other trailer opening, but are easy to spot and fix.

You have enjoyed the Airstream you have, budget permitting, you will love a fresh start.

doug k
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