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Old 01-20-2004, 09:09 PM   #15
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Originally posted by Ed & Debbie
I'm perplexed. Why didn't any of the nine respondents who "bought A/S instead, NOT buy NEW...all, ALL, were vintage owners.!??????? Am I not supposed to be buying a new A/S?????
Ed& Debbie,
I can't afford an new Airstream! the only way I can own was by buying vintage. I can take anything apart...and usually get it back together again. A new 31' AS runs around $65,000 or so. The vintage unit I bougth cost less than $4000 and if I put another $3000 in it I will be suprised. Plus it has some advantages over the newer it can be polished and if I decide I don't like it I can probably get my money back easily without taking the depreciation hit. If I am lucky it may actually apprecitate in value. Another item that comes to mind...60% of all AS manufactured are still in use. I guess you could call it a form of recyling


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Old 01-20-2004, 09:12 PM   #16
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new unit

Ed & Debbie.

Can't go wrong buying a new unit. Nothing wrong with them for sure. Probably just the difference between buying a used car (albeit a classic with style) and a new one. Although the vintage ones are holding value and some even nosing up, it's still generally cheaper buying used and fixing it up. Nice thing about the AS is that when you fix up a vintage you've got that "cool factor" built in. THere's times I wish I had a new one as my fix it list gets longer.

"would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?"

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:14 PM   #17
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Ed & Debbie,

I think that I can confidentially tell you that buying a new Airstream would definitely not be a lose / lose situation for you or anyone.

I am extremely pleased with my new unit and I can't wait to take more trips.

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:15 PM   #18
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
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ok, here's the rub

Thank goodness there are NEW Airstream buyers. They make it possible for folks like me who want the best quality in an RV but at an affordable price. That is why I only buy vintage AS's.
I dare say that the quality built into my 33 year old trailer holds it head above the new box trailers and I'll bet my bottom dollar that it will still be in service when most of the 04 SOB's have been resigned to the junkyard.

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:21 PM   #19
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This forum is heavily populated by owners of vintage units simply because we need each other. Those who buy new have their warrenties and their dealers. The rest of us have no warrenty, and frequently no dealer within any reasonable distance.

This is starting to change as more and more prospective new buyers are using this site as research tool. And as they find this to be a good place to get the maximum use and enjoyment out of their new purchase. Quite rightly so.

For myself, there was really no other choice once I investiged the issue. I knew that whatever I bought would have to submit to some serious customization, and the idea of buying something new to take it apart never seemed rational. I needed a good basic design to work with. I needed something that would hold its value within reason. I wanted something with good towing qualities. Quickly the only question became WHICH Airstream.

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:34 PM   #20
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I always thought that my Hi-Lo was pretty unique and was built like a tank. Steel frame foam-cor walls Aluminum bonded exterior walls. Lifting system engineered to lift 10 times the weight of the top section, Henschen axles. Probably the quietest trailer I ever owned and the only travel trailer which tows better than an Airstream. I kept it 14 years, bought it in 1982 for $8,100 sold it for $5,500.

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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:43 PM   #21
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
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You make a good point, Mark

Where else other than Airstream, new or used, can you expect not to lose money on your toy???

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:49 PM   #22
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It was just a quick observation I made & it hit a hot-button while I'm about to plunck down over $30K (borrow!) on a new A/S & I'm nervous!! I really appreciate the vintage units. When younger I would buy quality (brand name) sail boats, refurb them, use 'em , & then sell. Never could afford the nice ones otherwise. Age & health dictate today's actions, have to buy 'ready-to-go'!
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Old 01-21-2004, 01:45 AM   #23
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Hi Joshua,

I too have wanted an Airstream for a long time. However, by chance I started to look at the Avion trailers. So, you can probably guess - yep, I ended up buying an 87 Avion 34V trailer.

I have had my fill of wood frame trailers - both fibreglass and aluminum exteriors. Would not go back to them gain, that is for sure.

Both the Airstream and Avion use similar construction techniques. Airstream are still being made, Avion are not. I find the Avion to be equal in quality to the Airstream of the sam year. Insulation different and I think, a little heavier to tow. For me that is not a problem as I have a 3500 Dodge dually with the Cummins engine.

My old trailer has a few things that need fixing and they will get done this spring. The one advantage I have (if you can call it that) is the alumi,nium is anodized and not plastic coated like the airstream. It tows like a dream and I am very happy with it so far. If I could have bought an Airstream (within 800 miles from home) instead of the Avion, I would have. I didn't but still enjoy reading about them and lookng at them. They are pretty close cousins, in my book.

We all have a story and I have found it interesting reading all about other peoples choices.

Happy trails.

1987 Avion 34V travel trailer (the other cigar tube).
2002 Dodge CTD 3500 Dually, Auto, 4x4
1986 F250 T/C 6.9 Diesel, LB,S/C,4x4,Auto
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Old 01-21-2004, 06:50 AM   #24
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Late Model Used Airstreams

There is a third group of buyers for Airstreams - the buyers who look for a late-model unit. What you lose is the factory warranty and the financing advantages. What you gain is a tremendous reduction in the new price - which serves as an insurance policy against potential problems. It's not for everyone - and the late model Airstreams are just as hard to find as the vintage units.

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
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Old 01-21-2004, 07:03 AM   #25
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Making a profit on your resale

Rog says:
Where else other than Airstream, new or used, can you expect not to lose money on your toy???
It's possible to turn a profit on resale of your SOB, but I expect rare. I had a Trailmanor. These are unusual and sought after units. Primarily because they can be pulled by many six cylinder trucks and suvs.

I paid $10k for it in 2002 and sold it for $11k in 2003 and didn't make any significant repairs or upgrades.

I looked at SOBs at the Atlanta RV show after selling my Trailmanor and saw some that looked nice and comfortable. To be honest, I can't recall the name of a single one of them. They were just not unique.

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Old 01-21-2004, 07:05 AM   #26
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Originally posted by joshua32064
The only way I do combat that, is by telling them that they will have to buy three of those, before I need to purchase another trailer.
This, by far, is the biggest advantage to buying an Airstream. The resale value and the longevity of them. How many 30 year old SOB's do you see out there? Not very many.
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Old 01-21-2004, 08:22 AM   #27
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I will chime in here as an owner of a new 2003 25 Safari SS. My wife and I looked for nearly 2 years to find a late model six sleeper and couldn't find one anywhere close. So we bit the bullet and bought new. Can't tell you how much we love it - one of the best purchases we ever made.

I like the look of the vintage trailers, but don't have the necessary skill set(s) or space to do major renovation/restoration - hence the decision to go new.

Like others in the forum I bought Airstream for the long haul, don't want to replace it every 5-10 years
Malcolm & Randy
WBCCI # 12523
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Old 01-21-2004, 08:33 AM   #28
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We recently aquired a 22ft International 2003 after my wife decided it was worth the extra cost compared to all the other SOB on the market. I've owned a Jayco folddown and a Hi/Low. The Jayco could be repaired, and needed repair, using general woodworking tools but was subject to rot. The Hi/Low blew out the hydrolics in the lift system and the seal between top and bottom boxes making it a very towable tent.

We looked at new AS and then found the 22ft that had all the bugs worked out and the owner moving into a 25ft. Seems the ideal catch.

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