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Old 09-02-2010, 09:24 AM   #1
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Question Advice on buying Tow Vehicle/New Airstream

I am interested in buying my first Airstream. Is it best to buy NEW? And my tow vehicle is a Hummer H3 2006. 60,000mi. (4500lbs. tow cap.) Should I trade in for....What?, Help? Thinking of a Safari 16'. Going to a RV show in ATL. in a few weeks. Thank you for any help from seasoned RVer's!!!

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #2
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Personally, I'm a fan of buying lightly preowned stuff - if the price drop makes sense. But finding an recent-year used 16' Airstream isn't all that easy. They hold their value very well. If a Sport 16' has the features and finishes you like, the haggled-down price might not be much more than getting a used (higher-trim level) 16' International CCD Bambi.

I've driven a H3 with the five-cylinder but haven't towed with one. Are you happy with its power? I wonder if it will struggle when towing. You could always get the trailer, try it out/live with it for a while, and then upgrade if you feel the need.


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Old 09-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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The H3 is based on the GM Colorado chassis, so that makes the vehicle weight and suspension appropriate for that size trailer.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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I'm partial to buying a new trailer.
Actually, ordering it the way you want it. At least you know nobody overflowed the sink or spilled milk in the carpet or let it run under the vinyl flooring, etc.
Yes, it will cost more but to me it's worth the extra.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by loveart View Post
I am interested in buying my first Airstream. Is it best to buy NEW?
It depends.

If you're considering new you should be checking at least three alternatives:
* What Patrick at Colonial Airstream in NJ can do for you
* What kind of a deal you can get on a unit at a dealership
* What kind of a deal you can get on a factory order

That way you can be sure you're getting a good price and avoid ending up with a trailer that has too much, too little, or the wrong stuff on it.

In general there is a shakeout period with any new trailer during which typically a dozen or so problems are found that can be fixed under warranty. Usually this stuff doesn't become obvious until the trailer has been driven and camped in for a while. With a used trailer one question is whether the previous owner got this stuff fixed or just let it ride.

I occasionally see trailers older than mine for sale used with an asking price more than I paid new. I was originally going to buy a one year old trailer but it was sold during the negotiation process and I ended up with a factory order for not much more money.

Take the time to shop and don't be in a hurry.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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I asked our Minnesota Airstream dealer which model was most popular. He said the 19' models by far. Take a look at floor plans and capacities of each and you may see why.

The 16' is a model of efficiency, but it looks to me like a weekender for most people. The 19' looks like a tourer, not excessive space, but capable of comfortable long-distance travel.

Why buy new and small? The admission price is still relatively low, it has a warranty, you know its history, and if its not your cup of tea, the experience won't bankrupt you.

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:48 PM   #7
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Having never trailered before, we opted for NEW - especially with a two year warranty. I figured it would take us the first year to understand anything - the second year to get anything fixed that needed it. We've not been disappointed as we head through our third year. We'll spend 60 nights on it this summer/fall and couldn't be happier. We nearly purchased a 22' and were ready to sign the papers - decided to take one more look at the 25'....slept on the decision and purchased the 25'. Maybe we should have selected the 27' but only time will tell. It does point out that it really is easier to buy too small the first time around. Good luck with your selection and happy 'streaming.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:34 AM   #8
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Hummer H3

Hello fellow Hummer owner! We just posted a question about towing with our Hummer H2. We also own a Hummer H3 and sell Hummer parts. Unfortunately I just don't have towing experience with the Hummer H2 or H3 (only the H1). The H3 as noted in this thread was "based" on the GM Colorado but that is all it was is based on it. The rear frame is different than the Colorado and the drive train is not the same. It is a rock crawling animal!

Now as to the towing, you have a 5 cylinder engine and the weight of the H3 makes it down-shift a lot when driving without anything being towed in mountain or hilly highways. I strongly suggest having your computer re-programed to change the shift patterns and increase the horse power. There are other things you can do as well, feel free to write me.

As to the Airstream.....that I will leave that to the experts on this forum.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:21 AM   #9
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Tow vehicles come and go. Airstreams not so easy.

First determine your trailer/tow vehicle budget. It is easy to mortgage your future at the RV show.

Then get the trailer that fits your budget, and your needs. Then use/trade for a tow vehicle that not only can pull the trailer, but more importantly, can manage it. Handling, tow weight capacities, payload, hitch design, as well as power must be considered.

Don't waste your time asking an RV salesman if your tow vehicle is adequate . . . "No problem, we'll hook you up and get you down the road! Get the big expensive one, you only live once!"

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