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Old 05-09-2016, 03:24 PM   #1
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bradenton , Florida
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Think we've narrowed AS search to Safari SE 25 fb twin

We have been doing much research (and 'soul' searching) and believe the most economical (well,.. 'AS economy') and floor plan would be a 2005-2008 Safari SE 25; Ultimately want a twin bed (front); Thing is, daily searches have yielded almost none! I looked on JS Sanders, but he is relatively small (and Colonial AS seems to have very few AS units added considering its size (and not to mention very, very few older than 2013). Based on the handful we've noted that have sold, it seems $25 - $32,000 was the utmost BEST pricing we found via Airstream Classified, Oodle and RVtrader (and of course, there were others far higher based on what was "in it as extras,") This may be a crude research figure, but there just hasnt been much to go on, let alone how in the world we are going to find one. We've ruled out that we will be well out of FL to find this baby. We haven't called any dealers like JD Sanders or the one in MS (the name escapes me). Please offer what your experience tells you re: what we noted above and what else we can do/look to find something over time. (forget Craigslist in FL - that all looked junk unless it was only 2 yrs old). Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:30 PM   #2
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Be prepared to have to drive cross country if necessary for your perfect trailer. Mine was a well deserved 3000 mile round trip. Keep checking the classifieds and eventually your trailer will pop up.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Be prepared to have to drive cross country if necessary for your perfect trailer. Mine was a well deserved 3000 mile round trip. Keep checking the classifieds and eventually your trailer will pop up.
Ditto. I drove 2,500 mile round-trip to get our 2008 23' Safari SE. No regrets at all: nice drive from California to Colorado, and an even better time bringing it home! (Also drove 1,000 mile round-trip to get the Basecamp.)
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:07 PM   #4
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Just be sure you inspect it before buying it. This models are prone to water leaking at the rear bumper rub rail and rotting the plywood subfloors, very common. Airstreams since 1999 have a durable shell coating that is very susceptible to filiform corrosion, especially along panel edges and rivet holes. Also exterior fixtures such as light bezels. Look underneath for excessive rust on the steel parts. Look for signs of poor maintenance and rough usage. And make sure all the systems, heater and A/C work.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:26 PM   #5
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25's are very popular and hard to find used. They sell very quickly. I wanted to buy a couple of year old one and found it only cost a little bit more to get brand new with a two year warranty
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:52 PM   #6
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We have also strongly considered the Bigfoot 25 (2004-2009 apx). While comparing that to an AS Safari SE is like Wrangler vs Lucky Brand blue jeans ( um, the Bigfoot being the pair of wranglers - maybe tougher and more sound for an older unit, but its not designer jeans)! What are your thoughts (since we live in FL, this is our first travel trailer, we are smokey mountains and everything 'West"- bound with Nat'l Parks in mind, (with hopes to boondock as we travel, in places. Also more FL and GA travel spots. It may be hard to comment as AS 'mindedness' (and I can't blame you), but all the above a relative budget, I am curious to know all your thoughts as we hone in further. We know we up for 'travel' to get either one at some point, so....
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Old 05-09-2016, 05:22 PM   #7
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You will have to make a decision on whether you are willing not only to do a 3000 mile round trip, but are you willing to purchase from a private party.

If purchasing from a private party, you can search the members in this forum for those who volunteer to be "inspectors" in the area where you find a trailer, and one may give it a once over for you. It doesn't guarantee anything, but at least you get someone else's eyes on it.

My wife was not comfortable with me doing this. She preferred I buy from a dealer. Buying from a dealer has some advantages, although again it doesn't guarantee anything. But a dealer like Colonial Airstream has a reputation to uphold and they won't take advantage of you. They can show you pictures and videos of your trailer and tell you exactly what is wrong with it.

This eventually won us over, and we are going on a 2000 mile round trip week after next to pickup our trailer from Colonial. There are several other dealers you can contact. If one of them finds the trailer you want, I would suggest you take a week off and go get it.

Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:29 PM   #8
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We spent at least a year and a half looking at Craigslist, RV trader and checking every dealers inventory weekly east of the Rockies! Finally posted a want ad on the Airforums classifieds and got a reply from someone 100 mi. away that was just thinking of selling. Went down to see it and made the deal.
Good timing or good luck?
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:32 PM   #9
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We spent at least a year and a half looking at Craigslist, RV trader and checking every dealers inventory weekly east of the Rockies! Finally posted a want ad on the Airforums classifieds and got a reply from someone 100 mi. away that was just thinking of selling. Went down to see it and made the deal.
Good timing or good luck?
Congrats! I think it was a little of both!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:54 PM   #10
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Hi from AZ. . . yep, I flew out to Tucson because ex-dealer had 3 25s. . . so I picked out the one I thought best (had local AS guy with me for 'inspection'), flew home & drove from ATL to TUC, & brought it home. My current one popped up on Airforums classified on a Thurs evening, 7 miles from mi casa in AZ, & I looked & bought it Friday. . . It's an adventure isn't it ! ! good luck to y'all. . . Craig
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #11
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Congrats to narrowing down the multitude of options. We have a 2006 Safari SE and have not had a single maintenance issue (except for a few self-inflicted which were readily resolved). My suggestion would be to remain flexible about options and look for meticulous maintenance inside and out. Many have the 'mouse fur' interiors which can be hard to clean IMHO. So if you have pets or like to open a lot of champagne be prepared for additional care. The fabric walls are warmer for cold weather camping or if you are a 'Barestreamer'. Also the windows may be the kind that only open partially (Herr?), you won't get as good of air circulation but the view is more open than full screens. Of course looking for them online is great but a lot of trailers in the Airstream parks change hands between the other Airstreamers and never make it online. Also maybe try the Wally club and their classifieds. Happy hunting!
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:44 PM   #12
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Looking for a specific floorplan will be harder and expect to travel. When we decided on a 25 we found one near Branson, MO and it was a 400 mile trip to see it but we didn't like the condition. While up there I found ours online just 60 mi from where we lived at the time at Vogt RV in Ft Worth. It was more money than the one in Missouri but a newer model year and a Classic 25fb with little use.

It has the mouse fur and vinyl ceiling which we have found is easy to maintain and gives us a little bit of insulation over a bare interior aluminum wall. With the mouse fur you don't feel cold aluminum. Its grown on us and if we were to ever needed to replace our Airstream we would look for another Classic. We don't like the bare aluminum interior in the later model years. Our Classic has pleated drapes and day/night shades.

We considered a Bigfoot but they are hard to find. We finally did see one in the floor plan we considered but felt it was too small inside. The fiberglass had faded but I suppose it could've been buffed out. The Bigfoot offers more R factor and is a 4 season trailer with dual pane windows. New ones cost about $50k in the largest floorplans. Dealers in the US are few and far between. The closest one to us is in Texas and there is one in Colorado.

Since owning our Classic 25fb for three years we've decided the queen doesn't work for us and we are getting it converted to twins soon.

This one in the Classifieds is like ours.
http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/...west-virginia/

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Old 05-10-2016, 03:49 PM   #13
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Our Safari 25 was purchased after looking on line for months. It was 900 miles away. If it was to be in excellent shape it was offered at a good price. So, during a weather break I drove to near Syracuse, NY to have a look. It was lightly used and appeared as new. I went over it very carefully. Then took out a bank cashiers for the asking price. It was worth it. An hour and a half later we drove back from the DOV office with our NY state transit permit, and started for home. 1,800 miles and bought a trailer in three days we were home. Weather windows in January in Upstate NY don't stay open long. I have not been sorry I bought it.

Looking for specific options can take a long search. We bought a 25 twin rear bedroom. It works well for us.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:24 PM   #14
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Long Beach , California
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We started with a 19' that took months of daily searching/calling to find. It arrived at our local dealer and hadn't even been prepped for sale. We went down and bought it the same day after making a call on a whim.

Two months ago, we traded it for a 27' from another dealer located 450 mi away. That was a bit of an adventure, driving the old one up and then towing the new back in a short weekend.

I wanted something larger, but was somewhat flexible with a 23, 25, or 27. In the end I'm quite happy with the 27'.

One thing I learned with both of these is that it's pretty tough to get everything you want when buying pre-owned. Some items are "must-haves" and others are compromises. Some features you didn't know about and turned out to be nice surprises/positives.

Are you pretty sure the 25 is it and a 23 or 27 would be a deal-breaker? I was intimidated by the 27 (going up from a 19) but, in the end, it's been a breeze to tow and I love the space!
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