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Old 08-06-2003, 04:54 PM   #1
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Airstreamer wana be

Hello Airstreamers,
I can remember when I was a kid seeing an Airstream trailer for the first time and thinking "how cool is that". At that age I thought they were something built by Boeing or McDonald Douglas, I was just a kid. Along with the winged super cars from Plymouth and Dodge, an Airstream trailer were always something I dreamed of owning one day. Well by the time I grew up (some), any winged or Hemi powered Chrysler product became a hot commodity in the speculators market thus pricing it way out of my reach. So latley I find myself thinking more and more about that Airstream I always thought would be cool to have. I drool over their catalogs and visit their website often. My brother recently purchased an SOB, (I hope I used that in the correct context), camper and invited us out for a weekend trip. Well now that Airstream is really weighing on me more and more every day! So I start surfing around the net for info and come across this forum. May I just say that everyone hear sounds so friendly and caring to fellow Airstreamers. I like that!! But now for the sad part. My enthusiasim for owning an Airstream has some what become de-tuned after reading post's of owners having problems with new Airstream trailers. Am I correct in saying that per linear foot an Airstream is close to the top of the price scale? Not having ever been in one, no dealers where I live, I just always thought that they were built to the highest standards acheivable. Why else would they be that expensive was my reasoning. I must be missing something here in the RV trailer world. Is it that the SOB's are less of a trailer thus putting the Airstream at the top of the heap? Feel free to enlighten me here. So I'll step back here before spending this kind of money and do some more research, find some that I can look at up close and re evaluate. Maybe a well cared for preowned is the way to go for my first Airstream. A Mr. j54mark posted some true words on another post;
Quote:
I guess what I am saying is aimed at prospective buyers of Airstream trailers who could easily come here and see nothing but an endless parade of problems. It is worth remembering that these product-specific forums are where people come with their problems, not their successes. I mean, who wants to read a post that says "We've had 6 problem free, care free years with our ????"
Wise man!! I frequent various automotive forums and agree with what he is saying. I always thought of an Airstream as an alloy palace reserved for the elite, after all they are used by our space program. Who else can claim that? Well thanks for listening and believe me when I say I am envious of all Airstream owners!! You make me turm my head everytime you pass by me on our highways!! Maybe my day will come soon.
CIAO,
Andre
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:09 PM   #2
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Andre, it's true, Airstreams are expensive. But they're worth it.

For most first-time owners I would suggest a lightly used model. Buying used will save you from the depreciation monster, which will be important if you decide to get a different model after a couple of years of experience. Many people on this board are serial Airstream owners, while others buy one and keep it for life. If you fall in the latter category, a new one might make more sense.

-- RL
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:04 PM   #3
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We too were awed by them as kids...so we bought in the era we remember being awed by...1964, $3500 + restoration...still well under $10K and after our restoration, exactly like we want it!

Whether you decide to "go vintage" or late model pre-owned, if you're on the fence between an Airstream and a SOB, go with Airstream...the quality will always be better dollar for dollar IMHO...and you'll own your dream! You can always "trade up" if you decide to go with new...and you will be more likely able to get your money back than you would be with a SOB...

Shari
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:18 PM   #4
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Hi Shari, When you say "restore" did you restore it to as close to original as possible or did you restore it to suite your taste? Is it a restoration you did yourself? I've restored several old cars in years gone buy, with this in mind, are there enough resources out there to restore one my self?
Thanks,
Andre
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:42 PM   #5
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We kept the cabinets all original except for building a new dinette where the front gaucho was. The new dinette was built as we believe one would have been in the 60's.

We did change the "soft-goods" ~ flooring, draperies & upholstery to new...but tried to stay true to the era. If you want to check it out, click on the "www" button at the bottom of this post...90% of the work we have done ourselves, we did have professionals install the flooring (I did the demo & prep) and make the cushion covers, but the rest has been done by us.

Shari
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Old 08-06-2003, 08:08 PM   #6
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Shari,
All I can say is WOW!! What a beauty. You did a fantastic job restoring her. You should be very proud as I'm sure you are. I hope you don't mind me addind your site to my favorites as I will visit it often. Makes me want to rush out and find me a project Airstream. Congrats!!
Andre
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:00 PM   #7
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Let the Airstreams do the talking. Find any other place on the web dealing with campers and see if you can find as many vintage units there as this forum has. Take a look and your will find a lot of 30-50 year old Airstreams on this site that are still in regular use.

I'll save you some time....you won't find it. Those box trailers are disposable. They are used up by the time they are 20 years old. There are a few that come close, Silver Streek, Avion come to mind and the reason you will find some of them still around is they are made in simular fashion as the Airstream.

You throught of them being built by a aircraft company is not as far off the mark as you would think. These are BUILT like a aircraft. The use aluminum framing to form the shell and it becomes part of the structure just like a airplane does. That's why they are typiccaly a good deal lighter then a comprable size SOB. The newer units are heavier then their older counter parts but still lighter then others.

Shari's Maxwel is a inspiration to me. I hope to have ours close to as good of condition as her's by years end. Our Caranvanner was inherited recently. It has been in continuous use all it's life but the last few years have not been kind. The achilies heel to these campers is the plywood floor. I have some major rot to deal with that went unnoticed for many years. Once I get that taken care of it will be ready for the next 40 years and go on to our kids to enjoy.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:13 PM   #8
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Aw...shucks, guys!

Thanks ~

Shari, Rob & "Maxwell"

"Off to the VAC Rally to hang out with more cool oldies" this weekend!
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:15 AM   #9
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Home town

RACRX,
I live in Moncks Corner and am very active in Airstream restoration. I invite you to come and see several units at one of our local unit rallies or you can come over to my house and check out the one I am working on right now.

The bottom line is this, you may spend some time and money in restoration on an older unit but you will gain much satisfaction, admiration and you will definitely regain what you put into it.

If you have noticed, the Airstream craze is rising again and about to hit full speed.

If you are intersted in a newer unit then you will be putting out the money up front.

I dont belive that there is a such any thing as a problem free RV but it is safe to say that Airstream is recognized as the BEST!!!!!!!

Even owners of SOB's recognize that the Airstream is KING.

I will admit that there are SOB's that are very attractive but not one of them will be on the roads 40 years later and being fought over in auctions.

Come on over or just give me a call at (843) 425-1706

Smily
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:45 AM   #10
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You see what I mean about friendly people? I've just come to this forum and already Mr. Smily invites me over to check out his handy work. You guys must have a blast at the rally's. Makes me think Airstream owners are in good hands with people like these on this forum

Thanks for the offer Mr. Smily! I would love to come look at your airstream in progress. What kind of schedule do you have? I'm off today, work tomorrow, and going camping this weekend in my brothers SOB, (he, he, I said SOB).
Andre
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