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Old 12-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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We were in the same boat not long ago although, we figured that the AS we wanted was part of our retirement plan and not a hinderance to it. With a cabin on a lake in Alaska, we plan to spend the summer months there and migrate south for the winter. If the market and our other investments treat us well, we can buy a nice place in the Hill Country and look at our AS out the window. If not, our AS will be our nice place in the Hill Country.

When we started looking, we figured we would buy new although the 2014 prices were breathtaking for the 27 FB that we were looking for. We really lucked out by finding a 2012 on the classifieds on this forum. We had it checked out by a dealer and bought it sight unseen. We saved a lot of money over buying new and when we first saw it, we could have sworn it was new off the dealers lot.

We may have been once in a lifetime lucky but we are the third owner of this AS. I am not sure why because we can't find evidence of anyone being murdered in the bedroom and don't think it is haunted but I suspect there are a small number of folks out there that buy a large AS and find that they really aren't comfortable towing it and end up selling at a loss. My suggestion would be to set a time limit to look for a used one that suits your needs and don't be afraid to jump on it and buy it without seeing it as long as you have a dealer do a through checkout and perhaps get a member of the forum to visit it first.

Good luck.
Jim
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #16
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What ever you chose, do it now. The kids will like it in any condition and they grow up so fast you don't want to miss any time with them. We only go this way once.
All the money and "comfort" in retirement? Humbug.

You have this one chance to create a legacy of memories. You can't buy that.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:18 PM   #17
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An Airstream is a luxury. In the priority scheme of things it follows saving for retirement, always. No exceptions, ever. It also follows saving for your kids college and paying all bills on time.

Our first RV was a used tent trailer. Later we upgraded to a new tent trailer. Its all the kids ever knew.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:17 AM   #18
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Children

Tick, tick, tick - they're teenagers, then adults - faster than you'd think possible.

Whenever I see a family pull into a campground I'm always struck by how most of the children - even the tiny ones are just thrilled to be "helping" mom and dad camp. One picture I have in mind is a little boy perhaps 2 years old putting down the blocks under the stabilizer jacks and carrying the crank from wheel to wheel with his dad. Then there are the gooey s'mores parties, hayrides and gathering firewood or looking for four leaf clovers or just sharing a root beer and having a burping contest (with mom!).

Getting away from the and camping will create happy memories that will last your kids a lifetime. You can't bank it, but inflation can't wipe out the value of it either.

Quit dithering. Get something, new or used. Flip an effen coin! ACT! Make the memories. And BTW, right now interest is only about 4% - finance part of it and stop sweating the small stuff. The most valuable thing you have is your family. The only wrong choice you can make is to fail to do something that makes you truly happy... because that kind of happiness is highly infectious to your whole family!

You can get good deals buying a camper in the dead of winter. Wait til spring and the dealers will have plenty of buyers.

Trust me on this... I lost my father when I was 12... and my mother kinda went away too from fear and stress. GATHER those happy memories like you may never have another day to do it!

Paula
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:15 AM   #19
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Buy the new Airstream if you can do so without financial distress.

1) You will save a lot of time and money. I know a new one costs a lot, but fix up projects always take longer and cost more than you expect.

2) You will be able to set up your trailer and tow vehicle properly, and maintain it for long life. A lot of problems of used Airstreams are caused by ignorant owners and dealers.

3) Properly maintained it will last a lifetime

4) Airstreams hold their value. Your investment will not go to 0 when you drive it off the lot.

5) Cost vs years of enjoyment.

6) Depending where and when you buy, you can sometimes negotiate a substantial discount to the list price.

A lot depends on how close to retirement you are, how much you have saved up and whether the Airstream is part of your retirement plan. I say buy the Airstream if at all possible.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:55 AM   #20
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I'd buy new, but that's just me. I've seen too much stuff that was bubba'd up and then glossed over for a quick sale. With new you get a 2 yr bumper to ball guarantee and if you take advantage of that you will have a unit that will last your lifetime and be handed down. Get it now and start the traditions, every scratch bump and bruise will be a story oft repeated in family lore for generations to come.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:03 AM   #21
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I can't fathom buying anything new, be it a vehicle, RV, or boat. I've purchased at least three of each. Having said that, I'm handy and mechanically capable.

While you may not have time to do a mid 70s shell-off restoration, don't you have time to fix odds and ends on a 2010-2011 when it breaks for a $25-30k savings?

As for the wife acceptance factor, does she stay in hotels? Remind her of that perhaps. At least if you buy a used trailer, there's probably only 3 or 4 people who've laid in the bed or sat on the toilet.

Agree with the others in that time's a tickin' and the important thing is to get out and have a blast with your family.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:25 AM   #22
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All great replies, but I am still confused. What appears to be a perfect used trailer is way the heck over near San Antonio, TX. I would have to fly to see it, it just seems to hard to pull off. Maybe this will just work itself out and used won't be an option.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:36 AM   #23
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Our situation was similar, intending to buy new for the reasons stated. We were having trouble locating models at dealers to preview as we were not certain about size and layout.
Then we happened across a used, still in warranty, fully tricked out model nearby. We went to look at it, just to kick the tires. Bought it. It had almost never been used, just towed from NJ to NC, not even licensed. The PO was frightened by the drive and traded it on a MH.
The light use and the already paid depreciation sold me. My wife loved the interior and it was a Serenity where I had concluded we could only afford a FC new. I am pleased with what we did.
Larry
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:36 AM   #24
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All great replies, but I am still confused. What appears to be a perfect used trailer is way the heck over near San Antonio, TX. I would have to fly to see it, it just seems to hard to pull off. Maybe this will just work itself out and used won't be an option.
Give Patrick at Colonial Airstream a call. Plan on making it a day trip, so you have time to look over and through them all. They have new and used on the lot, and it will probably make your decision even harder...
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:38 AM   #25
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The RV lifestyle is "unique". Some people love it (me). Many (most) do not. I think the discussion of new or old, Airstream or SOB are great if you have an RV background.

If you are a 1%er, it also doesn't matter.

Anything new plummets in value driving it off the lot. A 90K Airstream is worth 70K a year later. A 20K Airstream is worth 19k a year later. A 10K Airstream is worth 11K a year later.

In my opinion, if they are your kids living at home, of course you have to buy with them in mind. Grand kids will go with you once.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:15 AM   #26
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All great replies, but I am still confused. What appears to be a perfect used trailer is way the heck over near San Antonio, TX. I would have to fly to see it, it just seems to hard to pull off. Maybe this will just work itself out and used won't be an option.
Only you know the limits of your comfort zone, and how far you're willing to venture outside that zone. But that "maybe this will work itself out…" seems like it's kind of self-defeating. Things don't just work out the way you want unless you make the effort to make them work out!

If flying to San Antonio to see a trailer seems like a bit of a stretch, you're going about it the wrong way. Fly to San Antonio to visit the Alamo and do other tourist things, and while you're there, take some time to see the trailer. Make the trip worthwhile whether you like the trailer or not, and then you won't go back home disappointed, whether you go back with a trailer or not.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:47 AM   #27
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Don't underestimate the psychology at work here. My wife also did not want a "used" trailer. It took me some time to understand her position. It was not about money, or value, or economics. It was an emotional feeling that "used" was not a good idea for something so "personal" as a small living space. Think "used underwear" to get a feel for what I am getting at.

I honored her feeling about it and we sprang (sprung, springed) for the new one, which she LOVES. More money, but a better experience. Just a thought for you. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:47 AM   #28
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Before you go all the way to San Antonio, get one of the volunteer inspectors (lower right side of the Portal) to check out the unit for you.
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