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Old 06-28-2005, 09:35 PM   #1
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why get an airstream?

My wife and I are toying with the idea of getting a travel trailer. We can't afford nor do want to spend more than 5k on a trailer.

We are planning a family and have looked at a few trailers. The airstreams appeal to us because of the design and what seems like better quality.

Are we going to be unhappy buyin a used airstream from the 70s to weekend in (I work 48hrs on 96hrs off) and my wife is a school teacher. Should we try to find a newer non airstream or????

What compels people (like myself) to want an airstream?

Howard
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Old 06-28-2005, 09:44 PM   #2
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Talking Tough decision...

Too bad you weren't in the chat room tonight. You would have had the opportunity to ask that question of a variety of people and get an immediate answer.

You are not crazy to want an Airstream. You are a member of this forum because you are interested enough to ask questions before you buy. We didn't find the forum until after our purchase.... too bad on our part.

Contact richardt for info on the 1970 trailers. From my understanding, there were some problems in the company during those years and short cuts were taken.

Take your time, do research, ask yourself if you can really restore a trailer, or do you need one that's road ready?

Best of luck in your search
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:08 PM   #3
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Howard,
We got a '71 model and love it. That being said, we didn't like all the 70's dark laminate look, so we have spent the last 3 months redoing . It has been worth it. We go on our maiden voyage this week. We still have a few things left, but for the most part it's looking good. As with any trailers look for floor rot and read all the old threads here about different things. There is a wealth of information. Good Luck!!!!!

Dawn
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver 67

Contact richardt for info on the 1970 trailers. From my understanding, there were some problems in the company during those years and short cuts were taken.
These forums contain hundreds and hundreds of posts concerning the different models, the advantages and disadvantages of different years. There are many thousands of owners of 70's coaches that are justifiably proud of their trailers.

BUT...
The 70's models have more potential traps for the unwary than perhaps any other 10 year production period.

You should definitely do your research. It is possible to purchase a perfectly functional travel trailer for $5000 (Airstream, or other brand), but for every one that qualifies, there must be a score or more (Airstream and other brands) that are an absolute money pit.

Please also make yourself aware of the towing requirements for any potential purchase. If you are on a budget - and aren't we all? - buying too heavy or too long a trailer for your tow vehicle can cost you thou$ands, or even your life. And do not fail to budget for a hitch adequate for whatever you buy.

There is a wealth of information in these forums on all these matters. Good luck to you.

Mark
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:19 PM   #5
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What compells you to look at AS is the fact you can. A mid 70's AS is thirty years old. Try finding any other brand of trailer that is thirty years old and worth $5000.

However, $5000 on an AS will not get you much. You may find one that has a solid floor, dent free, etc. But likely the appliances will need replaced, the tires will need to be replaced and possibly the axels. Not to mention just fixing up the living space the way you will like it with new upholstry and flooring, etc...

You will likely have to put an additional $5K into to get it nice and reasonably trouble free, if you do the labor yourself.

The good part is, once you put the money into it, the value goes up as well. So when your ready to sell your likey to recoupe your investment.

With any other trailer, your likely to loose any money you put into it.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:21 PM   #6
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The airstream that I have looked I described in this post http://www.airforums.com/forum...913#post161913 , I still have to post some pictures, it is 1969 if that makes a difference in quality? I wouldl have to negotiate an acceptable price with the owner to buy it though.

First thing I did check was the floor.

Tow vehicle is not an issue as anything I buy will be moved by a 01 Ford Excursion diesel or 05 4x4 GMC 5500 (GVW 19,500lbs) with a duramax, both trucks are used for my plowing business in the winter
I am curious to know if the airstreams are built better than the trailers from other manufacturers in the 70s.

Howard
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver 67
Contact richardt for info on the 1970 trailers.
I am unsure how I ended up it this thread, but while I am happy to help anyone, you would be better served by asking your questions of the entire forum.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:23 PM   #8
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+I've wanted an Airstream since I was a wee young lad . My family had a Sears tent trailer that served us well, as I recall. But every time we went down the road and I saw one of those shiney bullets, I'd say "Dad, there goes another Airstream!"
I didn' actually get one until I was in my late thirties. It was a 195? Traveler, which needed to be COMPLETELY restored.
After I got married, my wife and I decided that this size (18ft+/-) was going to be very cramped, so we sold it and began an online search for a larger size in a vintage year.
We ended up with a 1959 Tradewind in good condition with everything working. It needed polishing and a few other things but that's about it. A vintage trailer involves more upkeep that a new model but I think it's worth it, given a MUCH smaller purchase price.

Those small trailer are cute, but when you're taking along your children and dogs etc., cute doesn't cut it.

That's my take,

Paul
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chtucker
I am curious to know if the airstreams are built better than the trailers from other manufacturers in the 70s.

Howard
Howard,
They are still around and being used...something like 60% of ALL Airstreams EVER BUILT are still around, I don't think any other manufacturer can claim that. Airstreams are fairly unique in that the body and frame are unusually durable. In a typical SOB the wall frames are wood and rot away very quickly if they are not taken extreme care of. Airstreams on the other hand have an aluminum structure that does not rot. My unit has not recieved the kind and generous care that it should have in the past, however after some floor replacement, minor frame repairs a thorough cleaning, and some strategic caulking it will be ready to hit the road for another 30 years of use.

Aaron
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:53 AM   #10
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There is alot of good information contained in this thread.
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:20 AM   #11
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Howard----The answer as to what compels people to want an Airstream is one you may never get. I worked the last 11 years of my working life in a Harley Davidson Dearlership and find a lot of similarities. There is something about some products that are connected to our History that have an attraction that can't be described in words. Harley folk have a saying that I think applies to Airstream as well.-- "If I had to explain it you wouldn't understand it anyway".-- Just like Harleys there are lesser expensive brands that may serve you purposes just as well. There as some other brands that are really fine products. That said I can tell you from experience, if you have your heart set on an Airstream there is "NOTHING" else that will satisfy you. ---Pieman
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Old 07-06-2005, 12:49 PM   #12
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why get an airstream?

Greetings Howard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chtucker
My wife and I are toying with the idea of getting a travel trailer. We can't afford nor do want to spend more than 5k on a trailer.

We are planning a family and have looked at a few trailers. The airstreams appeal to us because of the design and what seems like better quality.

Are we going to be unhappy buyin a used airstream from the 70s to weekend in (I work 48hrs on 96hrs off) and my wife is a school teacher. Should we try to find a newer non airstream or????

What compels people (like myself) to want an airstream?

Howard
There are many factors that compel people to purchase Airstreams -- among the reasons can be the "mystique", the design esthetic, perceptions developed through actual exposure or the media, the camaraderie of the WBCCI (one of the few remaining marque-specific RVing organizations), or unexplainable attraction. In my case, it was exposure to the Airstreams that family friends owned while I was growing up -- after owning a series of Brand X coaches, I finally realized that an Airstream product was the only RV that would provide me with long-term satisfaction, and I purchased my '64 Overlander in 1995 and have never had any serious regrets (especially when I learned that it was the coach that my family's friends had purchased new in '64 and that I had taken my first camping trip in when I was five years old and the coach was new).

Your ambition to purchase a 1970s era coach allows you a great number of potential choices in both rear and center bath arrangements -- and after 1974 the coaches would have both balck water and wash water tanks (the wash water tank, even if small, greatly improves the usefullness of a coach IMHO). There are issues to be aware of with these Vintage coaches, but within your budget, you should be able to find a livable coach in one of the larger sizes (24'+) -- finding a single axle, smaller coach in your price range may be difficult (if you consider the Argosy, it may be a bit easier to find one of the smaller coaches in your price range). The information contained in R. J. Dials Price vs. Condition webpage should provide some good points to consider as you inspect and evaluate a potential purchase.

Among Airstreamsers, you will likely find many couples who can share occupational experiences with your and your spouse. I know there are many teachers both current and retired among the Airstreamers and WBCCI members with whom I travel (I am a teacher myself -- junior/senior high school Business Education and Computer Science). At one or our luncheons during the WBCCI International Rally earlier this week, there were four public school teachers in attendance and we had a great time comparing the ways that our schools were handling new technologies. There were also several (at least four) educators/former educators who were on the Wagon Wheels Caravan to the International Rally -- it seems that there are usually at least two educators on any of the Caravans in which I have participated.

To me, the WBCCI is probably one of the reasons that my Airstream and Argosy provide so much enjoyment. While it can vary tremendously among the various local units, the WBCCI can provide many opportunities for both short as well as long rallys and caravans. The camaraderie and relationships that develop over time result in friendships that can make WBCCI rallys and caravans like family reunions. My situation is a little diifferent, as a Free Wheeler, I find a sense of security knowing that I am traveling with friends -- this was particularly apparent during my recent experience caravanning to the International Rally and at the International Rally -- my first night on the Caravan, I had an accident with my Minuet's aluminum step and scraped a large spot on my calf that bled profusely and was a bit frightening -- a fellow Caravanner who is a medical professional helped allay my fears and put me at ease that the damage was less severe than it appeared (and also provided periodic reassurance during the duration of the Caravan) -- then at the International, my next door neighbors both of whom are medical professionals, offered their assistance when they learned of my earlier accident -- in neither case was it necessary to ask for assistance as it was offered in friendship. I can't imagine what I would have done had I not been traveling with my WBCCI friends, but I suspect that my trip would have likely been have been cut short during the first few days. The medical professional who assissted me during the Caravan is one of my new WBCCI friends while the medical professionals who offered their assistance at the International Rally have been good friends for a number of years as we have been neighbors at a number of International and regional rallys.

Good luck with your search and research!

Kevin
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:15 PM   #13
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Lets sum this thead up..


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Old 07-06-2005, 02:40 PM   #14
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Or to make it even more concise.

Why would you buy ANYTHING else?
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