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Old 10-29-2004, 02:01 PM   #15
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renting an rv for a trial is just not the same thing as an A/S. If you are one of those folks who like clean spaces and loads of light go for the ccd. Even older A/S can be dingy and dark. The problem is the dark wood on the interiors and the early american feel of the decor. The 25 ccd is just about perfect!

We have a 2500HD and love it. The seats are comfortable and it is surprisingly quiet. We would love a ccd to go with it. Short of gutting an older A/S to modernize the interior, the ccd is the best (or maybe a better) option. Rehabbing an older trailer is a lot of work and expense. You can't take that cash with you.....
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:29 PM   #16
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Please note, I never meant to suggest that another RV will ever come close to the aesthetic appeal of any Airstream. But renting one is a good way to identifying if the rv "camping" lifestyle is to your taste (although with a motorhome, you'll never quite experience the exquisite joys of backing a trailer into a tight camping slot). I personally had a former coworker who bought a SOB trailer and loved it right until her first dump. The experience was far beyond her comfort level and she couldn't face it again. She ended up selling the unit at a big loss.

I have to protest to one generalization--very few vintage units have dark wood, an early American feel, or are dark and dingy! Janet, you really need to see a vintage rally to see some of the neat stuff folks are doing with older units (or at least skim the photo archives here)! There are rehabs that are even more cutting edge than what Airstream produces (one of my favorites is Lexxy's trailer in the archives). Restorations can be really impressive as well, bringing back only the best part of the vintage era represented. Moreover, if you buy a fully restored or rehabbed trailer, there won't necessarily be any more work/expense associated with maintenance than with a new trailer (maybe less, if the workmanship is better than Jackson City). In fact, purchasing will probably come in at a lower cost (drawback--tough financing if you don't have cash on hand).

But at the bottom of this is a personal decision for all who consider buying a trailer (or a tow vehicle, for that matter). There are cost/investment issues, lifestyle issues, and personal taste concerns. For us, the opportunity cost (ie, how much time would we have to work above our current financial obligations to save the money--and what other opportunities we would pass up in the equasion) for the kind of combination of trailer and tow vehicle wasn't justified with the purchase of new vehicles. The thing is this tradeoff is different for everyone--so you have to allow everyone to make their own decision in that way. And, while CCDs are cool, they aren't the only cool option out there, by a long shot.

Now a friend of mine who tracks trends for marketing reports shared an interesting point with me about "coolness." The current theory is that the only styles that are ever considered embarrassingly unfashionable are the most recent trends to fade from popularity. Once a trend fades, the previous style goes into a revival, oftentimes reinterpreted.

This may mean that in ten (or so) years, the CCD may end up embarassingly gauche, while 80's trailer returns to coolness in a hip retro way. In twenty years, though, the CCD might be cool again, considered by all as a retro emblem of the early 2000s! The great part about this marketing theory--once something goes into revival, it will always have cachet as a "classic" until it becomes so old that its rarity gives it additional status (so hopefully, my precious '61 becomes a valuable antique)!

Something to think about!

Mary


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Originally Posted by Janet
renting an rv for a trial is just not the same thing as an A/S. If you are one of those folks who like clean spaces and loads of light go for the ccd. Even older A/S can be dingy and dark. The problem is the dark wood on the interiors and the early american feel of the decor. The 25 ccd is just about perfect!

We have a 2500HD and love it. The seats are comfortable and it is surprisingly quiet. We would love a ccd to go with it. Short of gutting an older A/S to modernize the interior, the ccd is the best (or maybe a better) option. Rehabbing an older trailer is a lot of work and expense. You can't take that cash with you.....
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:53 PM   #17
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Mary, that was a fascinating post to read! About the on-going discussion and expense of the new CCD, please note that several of us here on the forum are proud owners of those "embarrassingly" ten year old range AS's (I'm poking fun at myself here, Mary!) and love them. We have units that helped us escape the BIG depreciation of the new units and that have not demanded the refitting needed by the older, vintage units. Just another option to consider. And by the way, we are also among the 2500HD owners who love the way our trucks tow our babies! Ouch to the fuel bills, but everyone is feeling that pinch now. So much to consider, but bettcha you'll love it if you get it--and never look back, just ahead at the next bend in the road! Hope we get to welcome you to the world of Airstreaming!
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:11 PM   #18
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Another voice for gradualism..

There are two basic questions in need of asnwering before a $90K depreciating investment looks really like genius...

1. Is the camping experience in general (campgrounds, hookups, travel with pets, freedom from worry about housekeeping, etc) one you will actually enjoy over other forms of travel?

2. Is the Airstream 25CCD and 2500HD truck the necessary and right combo, or would some other combo work as well or better for less money $..

If you've never driven from campground to campground with the cat and done hookups and cooked with propane, I'd second the proposal to try renting a small motorhome for a long weekend just to experience the concepts. Perhaps the cat gets carsick, or you hate taking showers in small showers with limited hot water & pressure, or whatever... If you change your mind after $90K contracts signed, it will be expensive...

With respect to trailer and trucks, it's a very personal value judgment, but I'd urge consideration of starting cheaper and trading up, rather than starting at top and having a difficult exit strategy.. With current gas prices and panic, there are lots of late model trucks and vans and Suburbans or Excursions available for $15K to $20K which make great first time tow vehicles. There are also lots of used trailers from vintage to late 90's Safari's for under $20K in lengths of 20 to 27'. Starting at combined entry cost of $40K to $50K with financing (and second home deductible interest on trailer) is a lower risk starting point, though I'd acknowledge it will always be a "compromise" relative to your dreams, and some dreams just don't lend themselves to compromising...

Many members of Forum have bought previously owned, and sold for same amount or more to trade up to new trailers or bigger ones... It is lower risk and lower cost, but value trade is yours to make..

Since Big Dee didn't mention it, you could also choose to drive down to Monterey Peninsula this weekend and join Forum camping event at Laguna Seca campground and talk to a dozen or more Forum members, and check out their vehicles, from new to used to vintage... Group will be gone by noon Sunday ( I imagine, but more than 12 trailers due to be there Saturday night).

John McG
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:24 PM   #19
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A rally is an excelent way to check out rigs and hear people's stories of their camping adventures. You definitly have to be pretty easygoing to enjoy RVing. I loved the story about someone bailing out of the whole deal because she didn't like dumping. You've got to be a little more easy-going than THAT, I'm afraid.

Personally, I think of my vintage unit as 'cozy' with it's dark wood and yellowed vinyl walls. But I think any vintage unit will be in constant need of tinkering. This is from years of experience with classic cars. There's always something else needs fixing. Maybe not if you bought one totally rebuilt from the ground up with new appliances and all, but pretty much any other one you might buy.

I've seen some very nice units in the ten year old range that look as good as new to me, have all the ammenities, and are a steal in comparative price to new ones. They don't have the aluminum interiors (how many of us are waiting for the day that the CCDs start hitting the used market regularly? Lots, I'm sure!) but they are very nice, and would make a good starting point. Then you could treat yourself with an upgrade later if you really enjoy it.
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Old 10-29-2004, 09:51 PM   #20
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Wow, this is a great forum. Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. I'm seriously thinking about heading down to Laguna Seca to visit with the folks at the rally. It's only 150 miles away.

I'm just about ready to just make the leap. If it's a bad decision, it won't be the first bad decision I have made in my life. Very few bad decisions can't be fixed. But, I don't think this looks like a bad choice.

I could work at getting into the Airstreamer world more inexpensively, but part of the "I'm turning 50 and deserve to treat myself" thinking is to get all the best, shiny new stuff. I mean a sparkling new AS and the smell of new leather upolstery in the tow vehicle, not to mention heated seats. How can you go wrong?

Thanks for all your support!
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Old 10-30-2004, 03:12 AM   #21
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You know, the funny thing about 150 miles is that it doesn't seem very far once you have an RV. For years we put off going across the state for an attraction they had there, then once we got the AS it suddenly seemed like no big deal to drive six hours to go there. We went there three times this summer, took a long trip to the Napa Valley, and one great trip to the CO rally and on to visit friends in OK. We've never done road trips like this before, but suddenly we can't hardly stay home with that little trailer ready to go. Next year we're planning to head out to see Rushmore, and we can't wait!

The things we've seen, places we've been, and the freedom to literally pull off the road next to a lake and cook dinner before continuing on (which we have actually done more than once), you just won't believe it until you try it.

Definitly go to the rally and get a feel for the lifestyle. Then if you treat yourself, at least you looked into it a bit first, so you won't be kicking yourself later for not doing your homework. Personally, if we'd known how much we would love it, we might have bought a brand new one to start with. I love my vintage trailer, but sometimes I could do with a little less tinkering and a little more uneventful camping.
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Old 10-30-2004, 09:44 AM   #22
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Cool - sounds like you have made a decision - I can relate to being good to yourself at 50
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