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Old 05-31-2016, 05:41 PM   #15
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Burnside Bob's Avatar
2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
1973 31' Sovereign
Mt Angel , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by SMWASONMYMD View Post
we are city folks - and I am not mechanically inclined - in fact my wife is far better than me - but we are in love with the idea of getting a big AS. . . .So my question is - are we getting in over our heads if about the handiest we are is being able to use a hammer and a screwdriver every once in a while?
Working on an AS is like working on your house, except you don't have as much room to work in. Same basic systems and infrastructure, so same issues--leaks, blown electrical circuits, toilet plugs, things that go bump in the night. So if you can handle those things at home, you've got a handle on them in your AS.

But, different idea, why don't you rent an AS? Even rent it to take it home.

Do you have room for it where you live? And if you do, can you keep an RV on property without running afoul of the CCR's? Ultimately, will you have to pay for RV storage? Not if you rent.

Did you like the floor plan? No? You can try another.
Problems with this or that? Well, its not yours so you don't have to fix it.
Maybe you or another family member decides they don't like camping.
Perhaps you can rent from the AS dealer closest to your camping venue--drive your own car to his place so you don't rack up big mileage on your rental.
Winterizing? Not your problem.

So you can get an Airstream experience without buying one. My wife tells me there is an Airstream dealer that "rents-to-own", so your rental fees apply to your purchase if you decide to go for it. If only she remembered where! But she did see that here on Air Forums, so happy searching.

Good luck!!

Best, Burnside

"To err is human, to air is devine."
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:19 PM   #16
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2015 22' FB Sport
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 708
I would suggest visiting at least 3 dealers before any purchase.

You could look at Joliet/Chicago, and Bill Thomas in St. Louis. Maybe Milwaukee or Minneapolis or Ohio for another option.

Look for yourself at how much inventory they carry, what sort of prominence Airstream vs. other lines of business receive, how large is their service area, how long have they been in business, how long have they carried Airstream? Do they have a full service type of business? How knowledgable are they?

Try and have 5-8 specific questions to ask and see what the salesperson can tell you. Most dealers have websites that show their inventory so you can have some idea on that by looking online.

Here are some questions to consider:
How much do the waste tanks hold? How large is the fresh water holding tank?

Do you like front bed or rear bed models, and why?

How does the outside storage differ on these models?

What is the hitch weight and unit weight on these models?

How long is the bed in this model?

What kind of oven is on this model?

How large is the refrigerator on this model?

In my opinion, anyone who sells Airstreams for a living should have a pretty good idea on most of these without looking, or looking very long.

If you, after reading on the forums, have more knowledge than your salesperson, that tells you a lot.


Piggy Bank
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:37 AM   #17
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Currently Looking...
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 20
Thanks again to all who have weighed in - this is all very helpful and futher convinces me we are on the right track - camping was our main way of traveling pre-kids and we always preferred it to hotels and after 38 years of staying in hotels for work that's the last thing I want to do when we travel. Come to think of it, the canoes we used on the trips i lead were all aluminum (Grumans for those who know) and we had to fix them up every so often - so I now realize i have had experience dealing with riveted aluminum even if it was a hollowed out shell that floated and bubble gum was our chief implement - so we will be out there in the next year - thanks again.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:39 AM   #18
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2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by SMWASONMYMD View Post
so I now realize i have had experience dealing with riveted aluminum even if it was a hollowed out shell that floated and bubble gum was our chief implement - so we will be out there in the next year - thanks again.
Airstreamers are a little more sophisticated than that. We prefer duck tape over bubblegum as the repair tool of choice.
WBCCI #1105

Engineering: Finding complex solutions to simple problems you didn't even know you had.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:08 AM   #19
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,021
Something I haven't seen mentioned here is storage. Are you able to keep your trailer at home or need to pay for storage. If paid storage, will you have access to it on your schedule ?? Airstreams ( all campers) are nothing but a boat on wheels. They always need some attention. Sometimes it can wait and be done while on the road sometimes not. Most things are simple and I just put it on my list and get it done whenever I think about it. Some are more " NOW" things. Will you be able to plug it in during storage ??
If you leave it plugged in long term double check to make sure you have a multi-stage convertor so as not to cook your batteries.

Lots of experience here. Don't let it overwhelm you. It's a great lifestyle so enjoy it.

Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
Winston Churchill 1948

TAC - NJ 18

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