Originally Posted by pksben
So….we are wading into the airstream waters and have started to look around. If we decided to buy a new one, how much off MSRP do you think I can get one for?
First WELCOME! This site is a motherload of information and practical help. Dive in.
15% to 20% - the more popular the model, the less you'll get off. You can possibly get a bit more if a particular model has sat on the dealer's lot for a long time.
You did not ask, BUT this is obviously your first Airstream. Consider buying gently used. Why? Well here is a very personal example. (Don't bother reading the rest if you think $20,000 is just something you'd drop for a week or two vacation, or your kid's sixteenth birthday. )
I bought an 05 22 ft CCD and a year later traded up to a 2006 25 FB SE Safari. Last year I was involved in a rollover wreck, and got very lucky to find a 2012 25 Eddie Bauer that was very gently used. Got it at Colonial Airstream where another "first time owner" had bought it a year earlier, had it shipped to his home in Florida - and apparently used it either zero or ONE time. If I told you how much money he lost/I saved, you'd probably need to change undies.
They do depreciate heavily in the first year or two. The odds of you finding the perfect trailer on the first go round are 50/50 at best. So, IF you decide you need to upsize or downsize - or just realize after a couple of trips that this just isn't for you - the walk away cost will be much lower. And don't forget, you'll probably need a tow vehicle too.
Ways to research available Airstream choice for your family?
- visit a dealer without your checkbook - sit in and pretend your camping in several models
- look at the "upcoming rallies" in this forum - they're generally open to anyone who wants to attend, and there's almost always an open house where owners will show off their units and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their model
- WBCCI is the Wally Byam Caravan Club Internatonal - they also advertise their rallies on this forum, but call or send a message to see if they are "open" or closed events before just dropping in
- click on "Classifieds" here and explore
- look at craigslist, local newspapers, storage yards, etc. you can find anything from vintage to something only months old
- there are actually Airstream Only RV Parks - if there is one near you, it can be a happy hunting ground, as owners DO sometimes simply age out - or develop medical conditions that make travel a bad idea.
And by the way, the vintage community has some drool worthy choices too. You're probably not ready to really choose until you know what an Argosy is, what the common vintage kin trailers are, and a "squarestream" - what the heck? Oh and just one more thing. An SOB is "square old box" or "some other brand" on this forum. Happy hunting and happy trails.