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Old 10-10-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
wannaroam's Avatar
1978 31' Excella 500
Harmony , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 311
Images: 36
Thumbs down How many did you look at?

Before you bought your first AS?

I read in another post how disappointing it can be to drive long distances and see units that are not what they were purported to be.

Boy, how true. We just spent a full day in travel to look at a one owner, vintage Trade Wind that had been only used 6 years and stored under cover ever since then. Two windows were shot out, mice had made nests in all the cabinets, and inside the oven, mice dirt everywhere, and the highlight of it all was the garbage pile *and much worse* in the bathroom. I am amazed that anyone would show an rv in that condition.


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Old 10-10-2006, 03:09 PM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,819
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
I pretty much bought the first one I stepped into. I couldn't even find one to look at they were getting snapped up so fast. Paid top dollar and ended up doing a lot of work to it. Still don't regret it though!


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Old 10-10-2006, 03:11 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 119
Been looking since July, about a dozen trailers, and still at it. The market's improving everyday as the weather cools off
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:17 PM   #4
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1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,741
Images: 97
We got lucky!

Never stepped foot inside one before the one we bought. Just went to look to see what one looked like inside...the rest is history!

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | Sisters on the Fly | Tin Can Tourists
BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,445

We bought the first one we looked at - had also never even been inside one prior to that.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:50 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
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1973 27' Overlander
Southport (Panama City) , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 426
Images: 2
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I bought one off ebay and drove 750 miles with just some pictures i seen of it and hauled it back 750 miles with no problems thank god and it is in really good shape for a 1973 only a couple small things and the previous owner had already told me about them hope to get to use it real soon it was also the first one I had ever been into but I like all the retro 70's stuff
Your Friend Sam In (Southport) Panama City Florida

Air#15607 TAC FL-2

Good Sam (LifeTime Member)
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:10 PM   #7
Silver Mist
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,008
Images: 28
One, got lucky
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

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Old 10-10-2006, 04:14 PM   #8
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1978 24' Argosy 24
Woodinville , Washington
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 657
Images: 10
Got lucky. We'd been shopping ads, mostly Craigslist for several months. Ended up driving by ours parked along side Hwy 99 with a for sale sign only because I missed the turn to the Mukulteo ferry. Wrote down the phone number, called up and went back with the wife to look the next morning. She loved it, we made an offer close to the asking price and haven't seen a better deal since.

I think the moral of the story is "better lucky that good"

One thing I will say is don't rely too heavily on internet postings. Owners that don't have computer access are selling to a limited market and are less likely to be caught up in the "collectible" paradigm. It's also costing them more to advertise which means they are less likely to just hang out an absurd price and troll for someone that's desparate. I have noticed that there seems to be a big difference in values across the country.

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Old 10-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,611
We got lucky also

In May, 2002, we decided to upgrade our camping lives from a cab-over camper on the PowerWagon to a trailer. It was a "no brainer" that the trailer would be an Airstream, my parents owned two different ones in the 1970's. Although I did not know much, we started looking in June, 2002 and found the Safari in August. We received many pictures from the prior owner and then drove 460 miles to look at it. We decided on the spot to purchase it. We wanted one which did not need work and that we could used immediately and we found it. Since we drove the mini van up to inspect, we went back in two weeks with the PowerWagon to bring it home.

Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon, 1977 Lincoln Continental, 2014 Dodge Durango
1979 23' Safari, and 1954 29' Double Door Liner Orange, CA
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
When we bought our first one, we really only looked at one. We had been internet shopping for a used one, and in the process went to our local A/S dealer just to check out floor plans, options, etc. When we finally found the used one that looked like would fit our needs, we drove 3 hours, liked it, bought it.

When looking for our second one, we drove to LA (4+ hours one way) and looked at one that I would have been embarassed to advertise. Of course it was "one of a kind", "great condition", etc. We turned around and drove back home. We drove up past Sacramento the next day (6 hrs one way) and looked at another one we had been considering. We didn't want to pay as much as they wanted so had put off looking at it. After looking, it was in supurb shape for the year, and we bought it.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:11 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
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1975 31' Sovereign
1960 26' Overlander
Mount Vernon , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 115
Images: 7
Blog Entries: 1
I didn't really buy one, Had no choice. My father gave me this one. I was not sure I wanted it, then did, then not again. It had been in storage for over 5 years and had to go to Calif. to get it. spent two and a half days going through it and removing all the old stuff, removing mice #$#&@ and checking everything, Doing a limited cleaning just to make it so we could camp on the way home. It has a large dent in the back do to storm (tree) damage last winter. after getting it home and going through it I find that it has rear end seperation and needs new axles. I have already redone the inside with new flooring and a good cleaning. have made it waterproof on the outside.
Been camping twice since I have had it home.
No regrets and I am hooked on the thing.

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Old 10-10-2006, 05:13 PM   #12
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1976 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,770
Images: 24
Bought mine from pictures off RV Trader from a dealer in El Paso. Talked to him on the phone, sent the deposit after getting a copy of the title by Fax. Mark, the owner of the business, said he would return the deposit if we didn't like it, so we drove 700++ miles and hauled it home. It's an Argosy, something I never considered, but what a great trailer. No polishing!!! It was just as Mark had discribed it. I feel we were very lucky to have met an honest man with a great trailer. Have gone to inspect some trailers for others that were horrible.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:16 PM   #13
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,038
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
I looked at 2 in the Phoenix area that I knew I would not buy, but looked at them any way. It helped me spot things that I had read about on the forums. I did an 1800 mile round trip one weekend to buy one which I walked away from as well as a $300 deposit. I then got in touch with a forum member who was selling his trailer (he had bought a project). Drove 500 miles bought the trailer. I am very happy with this trailer. It pays to wait. Do not be afraid to let one go. I have seen too many posts on the forums from people who should have walked away.


WBCCI President 2016-2017
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:19 PM   #14
We can tow it!
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1996 28' Excella
Where the water tastes like wine , Michigan
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,625
Images: 82
Smile Results may not be typical...not counting window shopping

We were lucky too, our first Airstream was only the second one we looked at within a 45 minute drive of home, advertised in the local paper. We hit the jackpot with a super senior who maintained everything and had lots of spare parts. Our second Airstream was the first one we looked at. Of course I'm not counting all the drooling I have done looking online, here in the forum, and at rallies...

Steph in MI Air# 6996-
I Hockeytown USA!!
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