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Old 04-25-2004, 10:15 AM   #1
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Buying Advice Needed

I am looking to buy my first airstream (2004 25' CCD) I live in California and don't know what I should pay for this. The dealer discounted it to 45,000 inc the entertainment pkg, hitch, equalizer. I just dont know if this is a fair deal for both the dealer and I.


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Old 04-25-2004, 10:27 AM   #2
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Search the archives and you will find pricing information. If you hunt around you should be able to get about 20-25% off "list" price. My 2003 Safari 25 with the option package (electric jack, Corion, black tank flush, spare tire...) listed at ~$40,000 and I bought it for ~$30,000 new.

I would guess that the 25CCD lists for about $40,000. The entertainment package might add about $2000, and a typical Reese weight distribution hitch with anti-sway less than $1000. The list price of the unit that you are looking at should be in the $43,000 - $45,000 range. A reasonable price to pay would be between $32,000 and $36,000.

Many dealers have a huge territory and think they have a monopoly. They don't - call around. Drive a little, save a lot...

Edit: I just looked at Airstream's web site and see that the 25CCD list price is $47,243. Wow - an $8,000 premium for what is essentially a 25SS with different decorations!

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Old 04-25-2004, 01:44 PM   #3
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the more i look the more confused....

I spoke with 2 dealers,
at dealer #1 the msrp plus options I wanted was 51k, the dealer offered me 45,000 out the door with a 2.9 interest.
at dealer #2 MSRP was 48K (no entertainment pkg) he offered me $43,000 at a 5.9 interest rate.
I can do the math, the deal #2 was really bad.
I think that I should be able to lower the price at dealer #1 to 40,000 out the door. Is this a good offer? Should I try buy out of California?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-25-2004, 04:12 PM   #4
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Check the archives; there have been some threads on this. Going from memory (always risky in my case), it is my recollection that the dealers were getting closer to list on the CCDs than other models and that the most people were getting was something in the area of 15% off list.

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Old 04-25-2004, 09:23 PM   #5
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I will say the iron is hot, and inventory turns more frequently, the laws of supply and demand are in full effect out there. There are dealers that will deal. Have you contacted George Sutton RV? I think the web address is:

Either way you cut it, in a few weeks the 2005s should be rolling off the line and into dealerships. If you are looking to order a 2004, odds are at this point, you'll be looking at at 2005. If you find a 2004 on the lot prebuilt with the extras you are looking for, you might get a good deal....however, if what I heard was correct, the 2005s also had a price increase which my initial scan of Airstream's website just now does not seem to take into effect...the prices on the website are still that of the MSRP for the base 2004 units.
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:57 PM   #6
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12%-14% off of dealer list is a good place to start with
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:30 PM   #7
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I'm certainly for saving money, but please don't forget that you will need a good relationship with your local dealer, who will service this rig for you long after the sale. If you can get an option to option price comparison from a remote dealer that seems like a good deal, then give you local dealer the opportunity to get close.

Airstreams (or any RV for that matter) are not like cars. You don't have a Ford dealer who'll service you on every corner in America. IMHO, there is some value in keeping your purchase, all other things begin equal, close to home

My 345 came from a dealer in PA, but I purchased it through my local dealer (not an AS dealer) just so I had that local relationship in case anything went wrong. It's already come in handy on a number of occasions when I needed answers on something. They were more than happy to help out adn they are a ten minute drive away (instead of a 1000 mile drive away!)

I've spent too much time around RV dealers and know that if you didn't buy it from them you may find yourself at the end of the waiting list when it comes to service or warrantee work. It's not necessarily fair, but all too often it's the way it is.
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Old 04-26-2004, 06:13 AM   #8
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As for the discount, 15% to 20% is normal according to the research I did before purchasing. Final discount will depend on where you are.

I price shopped three dealers. Saved a few bucks buying further from home. In hindsight, wish I bought from one of the closer dealers. Had bad service from the dealer I purchased from and what are you gonna do when you are 100's of miles away? The the few bucks I saved would have better been invested in my local dealer.....

Remeber, that AS really hold their re-sale. So while the up-front discount is important, it is not as critical as when purchasing SOB. If you plan on keeping it, you will get your money back through use (little service, excellent product) or through re-sale.

Good luck!

WBCCI #2468
2006 Ford F-150 Lariart 4X4
2004 19' Bambi Safari LS
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice, I understand about finding a local dealer. This thought has crossed my mind. However since I will be calling my AS home, and visiting parents in California. Anywhere is an option... I must say that I am very excited.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dmac

Edit: I just looked at Airstream's web site and see that the 25CCD list price is $47,243. Wow - an $8,000 premium for what is essentially a 25SS with different decorations!
Well, not really. I was told that just one of the windows for a CCD costs as much as ALL the windows in a Safari. Plus the added Labor and extra build time for all the visible interior skin panels, I don't think it's a bad deal. It's definitley not a redecorated 25SS.
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:13 PM   #11
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Cool Plan and gather ye data...

As professional negotiator, best single piece of advice I can offer is to do as much Research as you can stand, and then try to make deal with local dealer using that data...

Difference between "MSRP" and "Dealer Cost" is in range of 20%+ on most Airstream trailers, but they will generally want to sell newer units in high demand for more, and older units on lot in low demand for less. This explains ranges of 10% to 12% to 14% to 20% mentioned above.. Dealers typically get "free" inventory financing or "flooring" for first 2 or 3 months after they take delivery, with some factory specials as well to take inventory when seasonal sales are slow (like February...).

If you have found a unit that you like, at dealer that is reputable, and it's a popular (CCD + Entertainment) version, then 12% off MSRP may be as good as you can do... If it's a small Safari (hypothetically) and there are lots of them around and available, and it's a left over 2003 model, or early 2004 and off the free flooring plan, and dealer has ordered a 2005 for delivery in August, then you might get more aggressive discount. Other variables include factors like whether unit has been on "Show Circuit", or maybe even ordered for a customer who defaulted or failed credit approvals..

Knowing what your dealer paid, and what circumstances are surrounding the actual trailer you'd like to own, as well as possible deals elsewhere go a long way towards building a good plan.. Lying to your dealer, or pretending, or bluffing badly are all poor choices...

John McG

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:34 PM   #12
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I agree with the local dealer relationship thing, but if you find that your local dealer too is somewhat shadey, then the local service is not really an option, or at least it was not when I went to upgrade to the Safari C a year later.

Driving to Ohio in my case save me about $1000.00. For about a ten hour round trip, that was $100 per hour! Gas was also not $2.30/gallon then either.

Given the circumstances I find myself in with the local folks, I have already reserved myself to vist Jackson Center for all my needs as it is close enough that it makes sense (as the local folks also didn't have an impressive service dept).

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