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Old 09-16-2003, 09:06 AM   #1
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Hiring an Airstream Trailer


I am a new member and would like your advice.

My wife and I are from England, UK, and have always wanted to tour the USA in an Airstream trailer, in stages. For the first stage we would like to hire the trailer and a vehicle to tow it from March 2004 to October 2004.

The plan is to start on the west coast and travel through California, up to Vancouver and then go east, criss-crossing the border until we get to new Hampshire.

I intend to spend the winter planning this but the first question is where can we hire a trailer and vehicle to do this. If I can get an answer to this one, I then I have a million other questions.

You all seem to have a fantastic time and we would like to be part of it.

Best wishes


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Old 09-16-2003, 09:27 AM   #2
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Here is a link to a thread that addresses this question...

Rent a Trailer

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Old 09-16-2003, 09:35 AM   #3
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While this may not be what you want to hear, I would recomend buying a late 80's to early 90's trailer and using that. If you are going to spend that much time in the unit then, I think that you would come out money ahead. Use the trailer for your (I assume) multiyear tour and then sell on the other end. You should come out better off than renting and having the moeny just poured down the drain. There are some headaches involved with owning. But with the lenght of time you are wanting to rent for you could have the same problems. Just some food for thought.
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Old 09-16-2003, 11:54 AM   #4
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Hi Roger and welcome to the forums!

Your trip sounds wonderful, wish we had the time to do it!

Before buying an AS we had thought of renting one and trying it out. We looked into it but were soon scared off by the prices. Anything over a we or week is prohibitive!

The few, very few, places that do rent AS are usually people who own several and are trying to get some money to pay repair on their other units... What they are renting is usually in pretty bad shape...

Costs of "minor" repairs add up very quickly, especially if you're in no man's land, far from the big commercial stores and have to rely locally for parts and pieces.

Who we spoke with did not rent tow vehicles. We had to rent an suv from any car rental and then pay the additional $ for a hitch. Although some guys will rent you a tow also. Check prices and renting responsabilities. Sometimes that includes repair costs in case of breakdowns - not refundable!

We absolutely agree with mkeith54's suggestion. Buy and buy now before the winter season starts. Many folks who want to sell will gladly save on winter storage and maybe discount that extra savings from the selling price.

A few dealers take trade ins and sell them off their website. If you explain your situation to them I'm sure you could do the entire transaction via internet and they could give you free storage untill you're ready to pick it up.

We're on the east coast and I know our dealer has done similar sales before, he's very good in sending pics of the units and any info you may need.

Maybe you could contact Andy of Inland RV in California, he's a member of the forums here, very competent and always very helpful.

Let us know what you decide and if you need us to check a unit out for you near us on the east coast will gladly to so.

Wish you all the best!
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:10 PM   #5
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Roger, my wife and I live in England, but now spend half of each year in the USA. We have a 25 ft Airstream Excella and a three-quarter ton Dodge Cummins 5.9 litre turbo charged diesel pickup. When we are in England, the truck and trailer go into storage in Maryland or Florida. I don't believe the renting idea is feasible. New, the combination would cost nearly $100,000. The rental cost would be astronomical. We bought our 11 year old Excella for $10,000, the 3 year old truck for $19,000, plus 6% sales tax, and we expect them to be with us in 20 years time. The Airstream is just wonderful, as are the State and National Parks, and the American people we meet there. You need to learn a lot about Airstreams, weight distribution hitches, electric brakes etc, but its very interesting, and the great folks on this forum are always ready to advise. Experience in towing a "caravan" in England in no way prepares one for rigging and maintaining a travel trailer in the USA. We live in Cornwall, and if you want further details, our phone number is 01822 832507. Good luck. Nick
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:26 PM   #6
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I was in England for just a few hours, on the shuttle between Heathrow and Gatwick. I quickly came to the conclusion that learning to drive on the opposite side of the road wouldn't be all that easy - I wouldn't have made it out of the airport traffic circles alive, I'm sure.

I wouldn't want to have to learn with a 30' trailer behind me!
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:58 PM   #7
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I don't believe the renting idea is feasible. New, the combination would cost nearly $100,000.
Only if you buy both BRAND new and a long trailer.

Depending on the footage you can buy a new AS for $30,000 and and a decent tow vehicle for $25,000.

Our combination was under $75,000 with a new new 25ft and a 2000 Diesel Ford Excursion with 19K on.

Decide the footage you need and then look for a used capable tow vehicle.

There are plenty of trucks out there w/ loads of power (Ford F250, Chevy etc.) for under $10,000 if you don't mind a few dents and scratches since most of them are used by construction workers and have at least 60K, but these are engines that are good for another 200K.

Just two days a go we met three couples selling their Excella and Sovereign for under $12,000. They're not the only ones! Friends of ours just bought a Globetrotter from a Salvage company (the owner backed into it with his truck, collected money from the insurance and they got it) for $1,500! The dent in the front is very visible but it did not damage the interior shell's esthetics. They bought an old '98 Suburban to tow it, 72K, for approx. $8,000. Now that's feasible!

If you're not too fussy on cosmetics you can find a decent looking, working combination for under $20,000!

Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:51 PM   #8
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Being curious...I just looked quickly into the cost to rent a Cruise America Motorhome for 6 months (Oct '03-March years rates are not yet posted). The cost would range from $25-30,000 depending on the size. That's not a trailer/truck it's a motorhome and it's not an Airstream but it is an option. FYI, the options I used were pick-up in Los Angeles, CA (Carsen) and drop off in New York, NY.

Cruise America

I'm sure that's not all inclusive, these things rarely are and you just turn it in in the end.

Buying a truck/trailer and selling it at the end of your trip is sounding like a better deal!

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Old 11-27-2003, 05:23 AM   #9
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Thank you - Renting a trailer

Thank you for all the replies. I am taking your advice and am in the market for a late 80's 25' Excella. I have contacted Walt RV and I am on his waiting list.

If you hear of any trailers coming on the market, in good condition, please let me. If it comes with a compatible tow truck even better.

Thanks again.

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Old 11-27-2003, 05:53 AM   #10
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Hello, Roger -

There are a number of websites you can search that have Airstreams for sale (some also list tow vehicles together with the Airstream)

Here's a few of them:

In addition, there is a thread on this bulletin board (I don't recall it's title, but I'm sure you can find it, or someone can direct you to it) where a number of people have volunteered their services to inspect Airstreams for prospective buyers, like yourself, when it may be impractical for you to personally travel to see the unit.

Best Regards,
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Old 11-27-2003, 09:04 AM   #11
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Re: Thank you - Renting a trailer

Originally posted by RogerB
Thank you for all the replies. I am taking your advice and am in the market for a late 80's 25' Excella. I have contacted Walt RV and I am on his waiting list.

If you hear of any trailers coming on the market, in good condition, please let me. If it comes with a compatible tow truck even better.

Thanks again.

Hi Roger! Good luck with your quest! I'd recommend doing a google search for Airstream dealers, or get the list from the Airstream website and begin emailing some of them regarding your plan. Most sell other brands as well, and take tow vehicles with trailers in on trade for motorhomes as well.

If you get the word out quickly enough, you may be able to have one of the many dealers find a trailer AND tow vehicle combo for you that you can fly in for, pick up, and drive away. Many of us are close enough to a dealership that we can check it out for you before you plunk down your hard-earned British Pounds. See the thread about "So you want to buy a trailer 3 states away". Make sure you do the pre-delivery inspection things that you can find out about on other threads here. That way you'll be sure to have a less-trouble-prone stay with your rig.

ANOTHER Roger....
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:58 AM   #12
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I posted a similar message in another thread, but I thought I should post one here as well.

I am working on behalf of a corporate client that would like to rent a 28' Airstream for one week (starting a week from now!). They want to put it on their office site in Northern California as a place to meet w/ potential employees.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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