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Old 06-21-2003, 10:07 AM   #15
a.k.a. Ambassador Tim
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1960 28' Ambassador
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Back on track please...

Originally posted by williamhenshall

I learned a HUGE lesson myself about vlaue of what you put in and what you can expect to get out...

That is one of the reasons I started this thread, which seems to have gotten off track btw

You always must becareful of the value of return on something if that is what you care about.

That is one thing that I think about with my trailer. You see people trying to sell vintage airstreams for $10K + all the time after they put in custom wood work and new everything and shined it all up. But how many of them really sell?

I keep track so I don't have to wonder. If I sold mine today I would probably get what I have put in. If I keep putting more into it and get it much of $7k then I won't.

That is realistic.

But I would like to steer this back to what my original question was. How much did you pay and what have you put into it?

1960 International Ambassador 28'
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Old 06-21-2003, 12:20 PM   #16
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Sorry William but Roger hit the nail on the head,

Just lick your wounds and consider it one of the many lessons of life. Did you really think you would be able to get your total investment returned?? My story now. I had a Mercedes 450SL a few years back, paid 5k for it, dropped nearly 8k into it and countless hours of labor and ended up selling it for 8k for a total loss of 5k, plus my sweat and tears. Do I regret it? No. I enjoyed that car, drove it across the US and have memories that will last a lifetime. I bet when it is all said and done you will lose far more on your new diesel pusher.


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Old 06-21-2003, 12:24 PM   #17
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Heh, I don't blame anyone but me for my personal business decision to invest all that cash in our 345LE. We thought we were going to keep it for many years, and hugely enjoyed doing it up.

But I do not blame the Airstream community per se! We have met some of the kindest folk we know through this...

When a life changing opportunity came along, to change our work drollness and make a completely new path we talked alot about what to do, and in the end I calculated the loss on the 345LE into our overall bigger picture.

In case anyone is interested, here's what made it palatable to us in the end.

The guy I bought the Prevost from had invested about 75k over his asking price, and I was able to get it at another 25k below that - making his compete loss around 100k. He was an inexperienced (and wealthy) RV owner and had bought the big coach on a bit of a whim and his wife didn''t like it. She just wanted him to get rid of it and buy a lake house instead. So his loss and our gain. So we were effectively up about $50k at the end of the transaction.

Funny how life works everything out eh?

Best wishes to everyone from Las Vegas, where we are on our honeymoon!

Will Henshall
WBCC #8048
1958 18Ft Traveller
Los Angeles CA
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Old 06-21-2003, 02:55 PM   #18
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Re: Back on track please...

Originally posted by Safari Tim

How much did you pay and what have you put into it?
We bought ours for $3000, we consider it a steal. Has new michelins, ect. We have put in $1000 making it comfortable, $150 in minor repairs of thing that just wear out. We put another $1000 into our tow vehicle to prevent any nasty suprises. But these figures are all off the top of my head. We enjoy working on her, and we are always picking up little things for her. Our RV hobby envolves more than traveling and camping, we browse Ebay, read RV magazines, come up with ideas to try, watch RV Today, and, yes, even read this forum for ideas. It kind of extends our recreation beyond the trips. Can you put an "investment value" to a family hobby? Sometimes returns cant be quantified in $, as hard as our society tries to convince us that that is the only valid way. I will get off my soap box now, see what happens when you mix your meds.
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Old 06-22-2003, 07:16 AM   #19
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I paid $4,500 for my trailer and then shelled out another $9,000 to have the interior professionally carpentry, fridge, upholstery, ect. I'm now paying $3,000 to have it polished. It is now a brand new 40 year old trailer.
$16,500 is just about what an entry level SOB costs new.

I don't look at it as an investment. I have something that is exactly what I wanted, is solid and good quality, and a head-turner to boot.

There's a part of me that feels a responsibility about owning an American icon and keeping it is good shape.

This may sound silly, but when I'm in my trailer alone, sometimes I get the feeling she's very happy to have another chance to look good and ready for more adventures.
(OK, maybe it's too early in the morning and I haven't had enough coffee!)

I've been trying to upload before, during and after photos for weeks and still haven't been able to. If I ever stop getting "error" messages, I'll let you know.
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Old 06-22-2003, 08:20 AM   #20
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Is a house really an investment?

Sort of off topic, but if you buy a house, mortgage it, spend money on improvements, pay property taxes, etc.? Is it an "investment"? I think not. It is more of an expense.

For example it you purchased a home for $100K, financed it for 15 years, at 7% you would pay back around $162K. Then factor in say, $2K property taxes for 15 years, ( I know some areas are much higher) add another $30K, your up to $192K. Of course there are many more variables, such as repairs, unforseen tax increases, mortgage refinancing, appreciation. But in the end it is more or less a wash, depending on how high your property taxes are.
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:21 AM   #21
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How much invested?

Between my '64 Overlander and the '78 Minuet, I have approximately the cost of a new '22 CCD invested in the two coaches. With the two coaches I have the best of both worlds - - the Overlander for the long, leisurely vacations; and the Minuet for those impormptu, short trips.

To date, the Overlander has required $25,000 total including original purchase price; and the Minuet has required $9,000. The Overlander for all intents and purposes is completed while the Minuet is still in need of new paint and awnings as well as some repair to the fiberglass shower.

I don't have any qualms about what I have spent on my Airstream and Argosy, but know that it is unlikely that either would sell for what I have spent on them. When I compare the pleasure and fun of RVing to the alternate of hopping from Motel to Motel and wrangling all of that luggage - - my RVs pay tremendous dividends.

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 06-22-2003, 03:02 PM   #22
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Palm Bay , Florida
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You know you always wonder if you got a good deal on your purchase. I paid $8900 for our 78 Excella 31'. That was high but as I read the various posts and look at the coaches and their condition, I feel we got a fair deal. The coach is in excellent condition, inside and out. Everything worked when we got it. The interior is completely original down to the tacky fabric on the couches and trim, which is still in good condition. My V10 Excursion came with a hitch receiver and wiring for the brake controller. The addition of the Reese Equalizer hitch and a couple other items brought the price to $11,000.

I put another $2000 into tires, bearings, brakes and shocks. I tore out the really nasty carpet and put down tile for about $120. Two new deep cycle batteries for $140.

Last winter I stripped the clearcoat and polished with Nuvite. Purchased a Cyclo Polisher to do that job. All in all it came to $800 and I am pleased with the result. I figure I saved $2300 on that job since pros charge $100/ft. See my airstreamphotos.

I am about to spend $1100 on a replacement airconditioner.

11000 for the coach and hitch
2000 for running gear
120 for tile
140 for batteries
800 for polishing
1100 for airconditioner
15160 total so far

Owning a Vintage Airstream... priceless.

My wife and I use the rig to get out of the summer heat of Florida and travel. This is something we have always wanted to do and now that retirement is here, we are doing it. Any work on the coach is a labor of love. I don't look at the cost as a loss, which it is, but as an investment in enjoyment for the future. We are 62 and hopefully have many good years left. We have a vintage classic coach and couldn't be happier.

Owning an Airstream Trailer, regardless of the age is special. Rarely will anyone remark about the retangular white boxes most people drag around, but take an Airstream on a trip and heads turn, people come up and want to talk about it. It is fun to own one and after all, isn't the point to have fun?
Vic Smith
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:58 AM   #23
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Originally posted by startrekker2001
The interior is completely original down to the tacky fabric on the couches and trim, which is still in good condition.
I tore out the really nasty carpet and put down tile for about $120.

Owning a Vintage Airstream... priceless.
Vic, Vic, Vic, Vic....

I am TRULY shocked and appalled! That olive and orange "tacky fabric on the couches and trim" and that olive shag "really nasty carpet" was the HEIGHT of "neuvo chic" expression in 1978! I can't believe you haven't pulled out your eight-track disco tapes and your polyester leisure suits and started to boogie-down in your '78 coach!!!! It's all a part of that "Priceless" vintage Airstream experience!

WhatEVER were you thinking????

"Retro-on dude!!!"

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Old 06-23-2003, 08:06 AM   #24
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Here are a couple of links to some older polls you may find interesting: How much did you pay for your A/S? and How much will you spend this year on restoration, maintenance & upgrades?


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Old 06-23-2003, 11:44 AM   #25
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Pick, I think you would need to subtract the cost of renting an apartment, unless you consider being homeless an option. Maybe you need to subtract the cost of renting an similar house.
I think $500 a month is about the minimum cost of an apartment in most areas. Atleast in areas in which you can buy a $100,000 house.


Say $1000 a month for a nice house.

12000*15 years=$180,000

Subtract that from your $192,000 an it might be an investment after all. That is if someone will mow your yard, paint your house and everything else for free.
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:21 PM   #26
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expense/investment.....think "asset" and "liability". Assets generate income, liabilities take it away. a house is a liability, unless someone else is living in it and paying YOU rent. it is just another cost of living. whether it is an apartment or house, or a trailer, matters not.
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Old 06-24-2003, 11:06 AM   #27
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Kentucky Girl, Sorry about the all caps. . .

Please excuse the faux pas. . .I was dashing off my post at work. My computer is set for all caps for order entry, and I just didn't think about it. No offense intended.
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Old 06-24-2003, 11:14 AM   #28
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I believe the evidence supports........

Chuck. The purchase of a home used to be considered an investment. Sometimes, that still plays out. However, for the most part, the money we spend on housing is more of an investment on a lifestyle than a financial portfolio. Likewise, money we spend on such luxeries as Airstreams is investment in a way of life. We just spent the better part of four full days and nights away in our trailer. Every penny seemed like one well spent for a change.

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