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Old 12-03-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Canaan , New Hampshire
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 10
Need help with purchase decision

First of all, I have been lurking on this forum for sometime. We have been RVing for over 25 years. The most recent RV's have been motorhomes but we've had a pop-up, 5th wheel, and truck campers as well.

We are in the process of selling our motorhome and would like to buy an Airstream. Our dream Airstream would be an 25FB International Ocean Breeze.

However, we considering buying a used Airstream so we can get into the airstream life and maybe upgrade to a new airstream in 5 years or so. We have a child who brings friends and with a used unit I wouldn't be as scared about things getting 'USED'.

I need some help in what to look for when looking at used Airstreams.
Keep in mind that we would be looking for something 2005 and newer.

There is a 2005 25SS Airstream Safari at a dealer (2 hrs away). We haven't looked at it yet but have seen pictures. They want $22k for it. NADA says low retail is $16,690 and avg retail is around $20,000. I was thinking that if it is in good shape then we could offer between 17-18k for the unit. Would that be a reasonable offer? I don't want to over pay but also don't want to insult the dealer.

It has a corner bed which my husband really doesn't like. However, if the unit is in good condition and the price is right he would consider it.

The one thing I would like an answer on is the rubber around the windows. The Internationals have aluminum around the windows. Do any of you know if the rubber around the Safari windows would be prone to leaking more than the International windows?

I also saw something, I can't remember where I read it, but that the 2004-2005 Safari's had some wheel bearing problems. Apparently the bearings were not packed with enough grease. Is this true?

Where should I look for leaks? ie: where are the common places to look for leaks on an airstream?

As I stated we have had several RV's and know what to look for in quality. But we would like to know if there are any specific things we need to look for in the Airstreams.

Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you!

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Old 12-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,691
Welcome to the forums.
First, NADA values are based on "SOB" trade-in values, as there usually aren't enough Airstreams traded to give them a good baseline for value. They just deduct a flat percentage per year for depreciation. You might be able to get that SS for less than $20k, with some negotiating.

The axle problem was a grease problem, and if the trailer has been used and had its wheel bearings repacked any time in the last 5 years, there is no more problem.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,314
Look at the CLASSIFIEDS HERE! This is where you find AIRSTREAMS for sale.

"Nearly new" will save you a lot of money. There's always a big chunk of initial depreciation. Even new, you should expect to pay 15% off list.

If your husband is leery about the corner bed already - PASS on it. The other bad thing about the corner bed is the access to the bathroom.... if you aren't skinny it's a very tight fit. Imagine the 2am urgent bathroom break and needing to suck your gut in so as not to wake the hubby. Talk about worrying about leaks! Egad! There are lots of 25's and bigger with walkaround beds.

So tell - what's motivating you to leave the moho world?

Oh - and WELCOME. Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Originally Posted by dbms View Post

I need some help in what to look for when looking at used Airstreams.
Keep in mind that we would be looking for something 2005 and newer.
welcome aboard

i think this short/basic list is a good starting point (see the 5 ITEMS in bold)...

but my approach would be be to print out a COMPLETE buyers/trailer check list and go over every thing.

pricing/making offers/buying is contact sport.

many variables, like region and model and production #s will affect perceived demand and relative value

it helps to check ALL the dealers for used inventory online, classified and so on...

and minor issues (like a hitch install) or options (solar/larger fridge or AC) might alter the price by 1000s of $.

RIGHT NOW is the beginning of RV hibernation in many parts of the county, in your hood it started months ago.

so many units on the dealer lots or in ads, will STILL be there in march/april.

which means YOU have some leverage when shopping, use it wisely.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:04 PM   #5
1991 25' Excella
Sapulpa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 89
go to coloniaal airstream and pay the asking price.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
2005 19' Safari
Duluth , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 102
Welcome from the frozen tundra of Northern Minnesota!

We purchased ours "new" from a dealer that had one of "last years models" still on the lot. We got a very reasonable deal on it but it was still a lot of money to us... We did EXACTLY what you are now doing. We made the leap and have been thrilled with the decision ever since. We have the very issue referenced above with the corner bed. Fortunately neither of us are very large and the narrow door to the bath isn't too big of a deal, though it is tight. Truth is, we just love having such a high quality rig for our travels and take her everywhere (including places it probably shouldn't go - Like the BWCAW in Northern MN - the dirt roads up there are tough on any unit)! HAving made the purchase we too will no-doubt be considering an upgrade in the not-too-distant future. Ours is an 05 Safari and we have had absolutely no problems whatsoever with it (either wheels or any leaks). Our only misfortune was a 45' Pine tree falling on it during a wind storm at home and leaving a rather remarkable impression. We brought it back to Jackson Center OH (the mother-ship) and had her repaired. You absolutely cannot tell! What a wonderful experience, from such a gut-wrenching occasion!

I wouldn't be concerned about a used AS, but it might be worth looking on-line to see if anyone has old inventory from 09 (or even 08) on hand. They have likely been building 2010's since July or August... and the old inventory is going to cost them floor plan dollars all winter if they cannot move the rigs. That was how we got our terrific deal. If you can find a new one, you might find a wonderful deal can be had for a close-to-used price.

Regardless, enjoy the experience. You are going to LOVE your new unit!
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
Wheels Itch)(Must Travel
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
- east coastal area - , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 458
Images: 20
all the above are good points to bear in mind before you buy.

most rest on the assumption that you will physically inspect the AS before any committment is made.

this is really important. it doesn't matter if the AS is across town or across country [there was a recent thread about how far some folks have travelled to get their AS] you, or someone you trust, should do a real hands on inspection.

lastly - be ready to walk away if things aren't the way you want them to be. it might take a while, but you want to get the right AS for you.

Jon & Deb
Phoebe & Ellis - Airstreaming Mini-Schauzers

* * * * * * *
I Don’t Always Pull A Trailer
But When I Do - I Pull An Airstream
Keep Moving My Friends
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Canaan , New Hampshire
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 10
Thanks to everyone for your advise. As I stated we are not new to RV'ing but are new to the Airstream world.

Having a motorhome is great. However, we have an 8 yr old who brings a friend and we are now having to tear down camp to run them to amusement parks with the motorhome. We could pull a car but we figure if we are going to have to pull a car then we might as well pull a travel trailer and save the expense of maintaining a 3rd vehicle. We want something that will last so that's why we want an airstream.

Our motorhome has a corner bed. It's not even a full sized bed (49" x 75"). I think we would be fine with a larger corner bed. I guess we need to look at one and lay on the bed. We aren't large people so the bathroom will be fine. The layout of the rear of the 25SS and our motorhome is the same.

thanks, keep the suggestions coming.

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