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Old 09-29-2004, 12:28 PM   #1
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when to buy an A/S

Sometime within the next year or so we plan on purchasing a trailer. Is there any time of year when you are more likely to see trailers for sale, ex. are there more available in the fall after the traveling season? I am new to this game so I plan on reading and researching topics whenever possible.
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:49 PM   #2
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"Traveling Season" is dependent on your location...those with harsh winters travel in the summer and vice versa those with harsh summers travel in the winter.

I would imagine the best time for buying a new trailer would be after the next model year comes out (ie. buy an '04 after the '05s start to come out)...otherwise it's regional and would tend to be in the "off" season.

With vintage trailers...whenever "the right one" comes along!

Shari
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:49 PM   #3
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You might find out when the local "Camping and RV" show is held. I don't know if deals are better during the show or after, but I don't think 'just before' would be good.
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:53 PM   #4
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Almost always since I have been watching, the prices are the best when the older model year is on it's way our or if they have some of the prior year's units in stock. Good examples of that can be found here:

http://www.colonialairstream.com/newinventory.html
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:02 PM   #5
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Are you buying new or used? If you can get to the International Airstream Rally in Missouri in June you can find some good deals. There are many new airstreams for sale and people trade in to purchase them. At Vermont a trailer was sold new, the trade in was sold and the buyer of the trade in sold his old one. I don't know how far down the line this went. There are some good deals to be had because most everyone is selling at tradein prices not retail. Just something to think about.
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Old 09-29-2004, 09:36 PM   #6
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It all depends...

Crispy-

Posts above cover the market for new trailers, and best deals to be had are usually available in late summer and early fall as new models have begun to arrive on dealer lots, and existing inventory gets re-labeled as "last year's" pretty quickly... There are some dealers who look to acquire others' leftovers, and have last year models for sale into spring or summer of next season, but general rule is start looking in late August and September. These rules apply to units in stock, by the way.. If you want to order a brand new trailer from the factory, seasonality is pretty unimportant, and you may have to do some searching for dealers interested in making modest profit on ordered unit. Not all are so interested..

As for used, there is rise in inventory in spring and fall as people finish season ( or season of non-use) and decide to test market.. Some sellers wait til beginning of next season (either summer in cooler climates or winter in warmer climates.), which adds to spring and fall inventory.. Best advice (summarized from a number of threads) is to be VERY VERY careful about buying sight unseen via actions like e-bay, due to high risk of fraud, good faith differences of opinion regarding condition (your "trashed"ay well be somebody else's "like new!", and even bid rigging (Phony bidders, sellers who breach contract by selling to someone else after winner tries to claim trailer, etc etc... If you're going to buy long-distance (and many here have done so successfully..) try to learn as much as you can about unit and seller and condition before reaching any contract (including asking forum member to inspect, or having Airstrea, shop look at it..). Also be sure to agree in advance about remedies if agrement needs to be broken. Remedies can include money back (deposit or more) and walkaway with no travel costs paid, payment of sellers fees to re-advertise, etc etc...

Final piece of advice is that certain models (22 to 27' late models, Bambi's, and Caravels, etc) don't stay on market as long as others like 34' units that take heavy tow vihicles... If you find one you need and like, don't assume you have several weeks to sort it through. You'll need to move swiftly, from arranging payment or financing to inspections to pickups..

Good Luck!

John McG
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Old 09-30-2004, 08:41 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice folks.
I will be looking for a used model in the 21' to 25' length range based on my tow vehicle. I consider myself pretty handy and enjoy projects (I have built houses and rebuilt automobile engines) but I really didn't want to buy a 'project'. I was really hoping to find one where I could pick up and do somethings but mostly preventative maintenance. I really don't want a full restoration project. Also I was hoping to find one made in the 1980's because of the floorplans. I really like the rear twin beds. I figure I would spend just as much doing a rehab project as I would buying something a little newer and hopefully could use it right of way. Hopefully this criteria isn't impossible.
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:19 AM   #8
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Crispy just a word from someone that's been there. The better the condition of the trailer that you are buying the less money you will end up spending by the time you have in on the road. Most of the time from ok to great in a grand or two. You can easily spend more money and time trying to bring the ok up to great standards. Know what you are willing to spend on a unit before you start your actual buying process and when you find the "right one" jump on it like a duck on a junebug. They don't stay around long and I missed a good one years ago that I am still kicking myself over. best of luck and know that you have friends here that are willing to help in any way they can.
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:13 AM   #9
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Keep up the search...

Crispy-

Sounds very familiar.. That is kind of how we found our '88 Excella 25, though ours has rear queen bed.. They do come up, but I too agree that finding a better one for a $K or two more is worth it, and trying to get best possible price by negotiating aggressively might leave you empty handed...

Just to ease the angst, you're likely to find a few hidden zingers in anything, but with Airstream the parts and expertise and ability to fix are all there.. We had to replace bad refrigerator control board (much simpler than replacing refrigerator as 3 shops urged..), added Fantastic Fan vents, replaced water heater thermostat, leaky faucets, etc... Still a terrific deal and great way to camp...

John McG

p.s. In case you're tempted, a friend met at Oshkosh Airshow just e-mailed me that dealer in Florence CO has a nearly new Airstream Safari 25 with rear twins, used twice, and offered at asking price of $29K...
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:15 AM   #10
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Travel trailers and bird dogs have something in common..

they both tend to become available once the hunting season is over. The end of hunting season also coincides with bitter cold weather in the January-February timeframe. Look for better deals around that time, as no one is using their rig except those that are retired and heading south for the winter.
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