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Old 08-03-2003, 05:38 PM   #15
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Tipton , Iowa
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Originally posted by Narnian
New question.

I really have my heart set on air conditioning. I think it will cost me another $1000 to add it to this Safari, which is more than the $4000 I wanted to spend initially.

Is it possible to get a decent 23' to 27' old Airstream with Airconditioning for under $4k? Should I exhibit patience and wait for a better deal, or is this about what I can expect to pay?
I agree with Kevin. Buy the coach if you like it and it's in good shape, and add the air. One in the hand is worth two in the bush... It may be a while 'til you find another worth buying. It really depends on your timetable on when you need to be in it.


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 09-08-2004, 09:07 PM   #16
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2003 22' International
Waverly , Pennsylvania
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Why does it cost so much to put an air conditioner on an Airstream? I added an 11,000 BTU Coleman A/C With Heat Strip to my Pop-up two years ago and paid less than $500 installed (actually it was really less than $450).

Maybe it was the way I accomplished the purchase:

First I surfed the web for prices. The best price I found was somewhere in Virginia. I really didn’t want to drive that far, but I would have if necessary.

Next I called Camping World and spoke to a customer service representative about their match any price guarantee. I e-mailed them a copy of the advertisement and got their guarantee for the price match. In the meantime I joined their President’s club.

I called the closest Camping World outlet (New Jersey – only a few hours drive) and told them which unit I wanted and made an appointment to have it installed.

While making the appointment I was told that they were having a special on all installations and the cost for the install would be $25. This was partially due to the fact that I had a vent opening where the A/C unit would be installed so essentially the opening was pre-existing.

Everything was arranged, I drove down for my appointment and had the unit installed while I browsed around the showroom.

I got a bit of a surprise when I went to pay my bill, because they had given me an additional five percent discount. What a deal!

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Old 09-08-2004, 09:43 PM   #17
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Picking out my first Airstream, is this good?

Greetings Nayl!

Welcome to the Forums!

Originally Posted by nayl
Why does it cost so much to put an air conditioner on an Airstream? I added an 11,000 BTU Coleman A/C With Heat Strip to my Pop-up two years ago and paid less than $500 installed (actually it was really less than $450).

There is at least a three-fold reason why it is often more expensive to have an air conditioner installed on a typical Airstream.

  • 1. There are only a limited number of air conditioner models for which Airstream manufactures condesate drain pans that permit the use of the built-in through the wall cavity condesate drain system.
  • 2. Vintage Airstreams were braced and wired for air conditioners at points other than exisiting vent openings so that it is necessary to measure precisely and cut the opening for the air conditioner.
  • 3. The installation procedures are somewhat specialized and often, only an Airstream dealer or Service Center is willing to perform the installation.
  • 4. If an original Armstrong Bay Breeze is being replaced many shops not familiar with the Armstrong air conditioners shy away from making the replacement once they realize that it was not installed in a typical vent opening (requires additional care in removing the old unit as well as cutting a square opening for the replacement air conditioner unit).

I went through my Airstream dealer for installs on both of my coaches - - on the '64 Overlander it was a replacement for its original Armstrong Bay Breeze while it was a "new" installation on the '78 Minuet. I learned with the Overlander that none of the generic RV repair shops in my area wanted to touch the replacement on my Overlander (including the Camping World near Chicago, IL), and knowing that the install on the Minuet would be from "scratch" I didn't even consider going anywhere other than my dealer to isnure that the opening was placed in the factory-specified location.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:47 PM   #18
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1969 18' Caravel
, Iowa
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Hi Narnian and welcome to the Airstream site!
I would have to concur with the replies regarding adding AC, as opposed to hoping to find another trailer with all you want AND functioning AC.
In the price range that you are considering, chances are that you will be looking at late 60's to very early 80's models.
At that age, many of the air units are not operating or near a point of exhaustion. Plus, some of the late 60's-early 70's models used air units that are no longer being produced (ie: Armstrong) and repair parts are next to impossible to find. So if there's a failure you may have to replace the air conditioner anyway.
So, if all else seems above-board and you like the features (such as single axel, floorplan, etc.) of this trailer, I wouldn't let the need to add AC hold you back.
On the other hand, you may feel more comfortable in your selection after you've had some time to look around at other Airstreams for sale. This might give you a more complete picture of what's available at various price points.
'Just my $0.02

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