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Old 08-14-2002, 04:07 AM   #1
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Question about a buying decision!

Hello there,

My husband and I have been looking for an airstream for a couple of months. Our knowledge is growing, but it's a lot to learn in a short time! We now have two airstreams [sellers] that we are talking to and were hoping for a little guidance from experienced folks!

The two we are currently looking at are 1990 "excella" and a 19?? "land yacht" that looks probably to be mid to late 70's with a rear bath configuration.

These are two extremely different ships - we were hoping for a little heads up on what each has to offer - pitfalls - possible problems and so forth.

We also have a line on a 1980 SilverStreak that is pretty wonderful - but again, we know little about it except it looks alot like an airstream but obviously isn't!

So...there it is...any help?
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Old 08-14-2002, 09:13 AM   #2
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WOW...apples & oranges!

There are many factors to consider in making this deicision...It depends on you & the goals you have for travel with your Airstream....it really is a personal choice.

If you are wanting to participate in Vintage rallies (alot of fun!) your "new" trailer will need to be 25 years or older. With that though, comes some difficulty in finding replacement parts as they become needed...not impossible, but you have to be more creative. With the newer unit you will most likely have fewer repairs and you will probably be able to find service centers willing to work on it. Most vintage owners tend to be more "do-it-yourselfers".

And of course, there's the ecomonic factor...the 1990 model probably costs more up front than the 1970's one...however, the 70's may require more work along the way...some of which can be deferred, some which probably can't. It may end up costing as much in the end.

Regardless, hope you decide to join the Airstream family...it's a friendly bunch! Good luck in whichever you choose~

Shari

P.S. There is also some problems in the longer 70's rear bath models with rear end sag & separation. Here is a link to a similar previous thread that briefly discusses this issue ~

Purchase of '73 Safari
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Old 08-14-2002, 12:56 PM   #3
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Thank you!

That was helpful info and we [my husband and I] thank you for taking a moment to post it.

We have, as of this morning, made contact with another trailer - a 1966, 26' which is more in the size that we were interested in.

The older the trailer the more it may take to get it road worthy, so I must admit, right now this is a concern.

It looks wonderful in the pictures, no sag anywhere along the body from an outside view and the inside looks clean.

There are so many trailers up for sale, but the problem is one is in Denver, one in Yuma, AR, one in Maryland! Yikes! We could go traveling for a year just to see these trailers. This is a little bit daunting.

My husband and I have both been captured by airstreams since we were children. This will be our first trailer and one that we plan to live in for the next year! - so must admit this is a fairly significant decision we are about to make.
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:35 PM   #4
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It is a big descision....especially if you are going to be living in it full time for awhile! We just got our '64 in January, it's only 19' long so it would be tough to live in full time, although I've met people who do "full-time" in trailers like ours, for 6-9 months at a time.

We were fortunate to find one in good shape system-wise, but still have put a bunch of effort into making it aesthetically pleasing. If aesthetics aren't as important right now, that's alweays something that can be deferred...just make sure all the systems are a-okay.

If you would like to see all we've done, check out our webpage

"Maxwell"

You don't say where you are located...it would help forum members to help keep an eye out for you....maybe someone knows of other ones for sale.

Shari
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Old 08-14-2002, 08:03 PM   #5
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Why the answers may be evasive

It would be hard to know quite how to answer your question, even if we knew you, your plans, your abilities, your expectations, etc. And we do not know any of these things.

A few generalities, most of which have exceptions:

The older trailers are easier to pull for their size than the newer ones - lighter weight, more aerodyanamic.

The new units offer more amenities. Grey water tanks did not appear until the early or mid 70's, for example.

Older units have heavier aluminum which can take a mirror shine. This is, of course, either very expensive or very work intensive, and possibly both.

Many models from the mid 90's on are six inches wider.

And on and on. There is rather a lot of information archived on this site. A few hours spent here may save you rather a lot of remorse later.

Mark
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:35 AM   #6
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Here's our story...

will try to keep this brief and just a 'little' interesting!

Three months ago my husband and I chose to give up our apartment in Portland, OR. We stayed in the home of a friend while they were abroad for a month, went to another friends home in California for a month, then came back up to Portland just about a month ago because I was scheduled to teach a class here for a yearly seminar.

The choice to leave our apartment ultimately turned out to be a gift to us for many reasons. Long story short we realized that the perfect thing for us to do was look for a trailer.

We have a 1999 GMC Safari van. Well, little did we know it's towing capacity was btwn 4,500 and 5,500 lbs [depending on the differential which we still haven't gotten a clear answer on from our dealer]. It does appear this is the heavy towing package but 5,500 isn't heavy duty when you're talking airstream.

The first trailer we settled on was the Casita, a little fiberglass beauty made in TX. However, they only go up to 17' and the more we looked the more uncomfortable we became with the "smallness". We've both loved airstreams forever and my folks used to have one when I was a kid that I thought was a rocket ship!

We started looking for used airstreams after going to a dealership and seeing the prices of the new ones. I was more than a little disappointed with the quality I saw in the new ones - hope no one is offended by that comment - and I couldn't see the price matching up with the workmanship. I'm glad someone still makes airstreams, but I was surprised at the swapouts that have happened. Anyway, one person's opinion right!?

So we've been looking - but the rub is A., we have to get into another vehicle it appears B. we are a timeline that seems pretty short - though you can't push a rope! So we're taking it one step at a time.

Hence the reason we ended up here looking for info. This site is wonderful and I've been picking through it for a couple days now.......

We are greatl do-it-yourselfers BUT - we don't have a house to live in while we're doing the work so a fixerupper isn't an option...along with no tools etc., etc.

We are located between Portland, OR and LA, California right now - roughly speaking and definately looking for a gem, that fits into our budget. It's out there, the perfect one.....we're looking.
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:32 AM   #7
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If it helps...

It seems there may be several trailers that might "fit the bill" right now on both the VAC Classifieds & theWBCCI Classifieds

Happy Hunting!

Shari
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Old 08-15-2002, 03:29 AM   #8
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They say Grey water did appear 73, but it must have been mid. of the year. My 73 is with out one. The BIG thing i would say is to make sure the water pipes are good, and try to look at the TT when it is raining out!!!!
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