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Old 12-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #29
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I'm getting the impression you can't have family travel and camping adventures without an Airstream. Looking back at ours (with tents, backpacks, canoes, bicycles, camper van) I would say you might be missing a lot.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #30
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new or used?

I pull a small used airstream to go camping when I have some weeks to see the world. I have a large newer SOB parked back in the woods for the long or short week-end/holiday outings. I feel I have the best of both worlds, for about the cost of a new 32' A/S. joe q in Minnesnowda
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:33 AM   #31
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By reading between the lines, I think you better go the new route. Your loving wife is never going to let you forget that she wanted new everytime you have to fix something on that used $$$$ sink hole.

You say you have other priorities at this time so there is no way you have time to fix and remodel someone else's problems that they have given up on.

This is your retirement, your just starting early.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:34 AM   #32
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We have had both. We started out with a brand new 2005 Safari 25FB. Her name was Lucy and we used her extensively for almost 8 years. We ended up spending almost 1,400 nights in her, and towing her 120,000 miles. This last 8 years has been the greatest times of our lives.

On our recent trip to Wyoming, we started discussing replacing Lucy. We liked the idea of downsizing to a 23FB. On our way home we stopped st the Airstream Dealer in Gulfport, Mississippi. We took s long hard look at brand new Flying Cloud 23FBs. We decided that the 23FB was what we wanted.

We had intended to buy new. The dealer happened to have a very lightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB. It had some really nice upgrades, and the price was about $8,000 less than a new one. We jumped on it and took delivery about two weeks ago.

The moral of the story is that there are really good used Airstreams out there.

Even if your spouse doesn't like the idea of a toilet and mattress used by someone else, these can be replaced with brand new for about $500.

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:39 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
Its not an affordability issue, its if I should drop that money on a toy or saving for retirement, etc.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. You can afford an Airstram by deferring saving for retirement, or you afford to fully fund both at the same time? You better save for retirement because Social Security for today's young folks will be more problematic than for us "about to retire" types.

By definition camping is low cost. We've all chosen to make it expensive by purchasing an Airstream (and associated costly tow vehicle). Most camping families still create those wonderful camping memories in a tent. An Airstream is not a prerequisite in order to create wonderful camping memories.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #34
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For me, there is no wife or family in the equation, so my situation is somewhat different. My original plan was to retire from Federal Service and buy a live-aboard boat that I could use to cruise America's Great Loop. Then I needed foot surgery, and the idea of living aboard something that never stops moving even when you park it suddenly didn't seem like such a good idea.

I had been saving up to buy the boat, and now I had all this money, and no idea what to do with my retirement years. Then I started looking at RVs, almost by acident. One of the members of the America's Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA) mentioned on their forum that he bought a Good Sam membership just to get discounts at Camping World, because outfitting his boat with RV equipment was cheaper than getting identical items at West Marine. That caused me to somehow associate RVs and boats in my mind, and allowed me to shift gears.

This was just over two years ago. Didn't take me long to decide that I wanted a small motorhome, a Sprinter-based class B, that I could park at my apartment complex without having to rent a separate place to store it. Then after much research and many test-drives of different brands, I stumbled upon the Airstream Interstate, almost by accident. More research, more test-drives, and I decided to buy one.

I've had my Interstate for almost two years, and I've even managed to recover about half of what I spent on it, by virtue of figuring out what my retirement income would be, living on just that much, and banking the difference from my working salary. My Airstream is already paid off. So is my toad. I have two-years'-worth of retirement pay scattered among my various accounts as a buffer against emergencies. I'm set.

I don't get to go camping in my Interstate as often as I'd like (yet), but every time I do, I get in another weekend's worth of retirement practice, so that by the time I retire— in another 13 months if all goes well— I'll already be really skilled at being retired.

I have never once regretted my decision. However expensive an Airstream might be, it's still only half the price of a comparably-sized and comparably-aged trawler-style boat. Campground sites are about half the price of marina slips. And fuel, well, 18 miles per gallon in my Interstate compared to 4 gallons per mile for some trawlers is a no-brainer. And given my present health, I can see more of the world by RV than I cold see by boat, because I'm not up to making long solo ocean passages, but I can drive coast-to-coast by myself as long as I pace myself and stop to see the sights in between.

It's all a matter of attitude. If you look at your future Airstream as a toy, you'll always have misgivings, because you'll always find something more worthwhile to use the money for. My Airstream is not a toy; it's the cornerstone of my retirement plan.

I've known too many people who retired, and then literally died of boredom in less than a year because they had no idea what to do with all the empty hours anymore. I am determined NOT to be one of them! When I'm not camping, I'll be maintaining the Airstream. And when I'm not maintaining the Airsteam, I'll be planning the next trip. I can spend as many or as few hours on it as I choose, anywhere from zero to twenty-four hours a day. I can go off alone if I want to get away. I can go to a rally or go on a caravan when I want to be social. As long as I can continue to pay my bills, I can do whatever I please, pretty much wherever I please. As the television commercials say, "Priceless."
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #35
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Just a couple of thoughts on going the "used" route from a lady who really resisted the idea.....the one we bought didn't smell, was really clean, has not had a bunch of expensive problems and was ready to camp in, which we did the night we bought it. Equipped with my new towels, sheets, mattress toppers, kitchen items etc, there is no yukky feeling of living in someone else's space. Moreover, the couple we bought it from were clearly neater and more maintenance oriented than we are. So there are good used ones out there. I am a junkie for modern design, and I didn't get that, as compared to some of the interiors now offered, but I got a really comfortable space that is quite pleasant to be in.

And one more thought: while I take joy in the design of a space that I live in, as others have said it is the camping experience that really matters. When our kids were little we had a pop-up (used I might add) and we had a blast. They thought it was a palace compared to their boy scout tents and they learned so much helping us make camp. We did a 3 week swing through the Southwest one time that was epic. I came to really love our little "doll house" on wheels and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. It is hard for me to think that an Airstream would have made it any better. Does your family want to go camping? If so, it doesn't really require much.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #36
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Just so you all know, we already own a large popup, a Coleman Niagara full of amenities including a full kitchen and bathroom. We love it, and it is great for the kids, I agree. I will never get rid of it. The importance of kids sleeping under canvas was the reason I bought it.

However, I have been researching trips for years to go to the National Parks. It is one of my highest priority’s as a father to take my kids to these great places, there will be numerous multi week summer trips. I have many, many public boondocking locations saved from my research from using all kinds of mapping software.

I just can simply not get these trips done in the popup. I need hardwalled for more convenience especially in bear country. Poping up and down would be too much.

So I agree on the comments about camping in tents, but I do need a TT for these major upcoming trips.

We will also be taking an annual trip to the in-laws in April in FL. That we will do in the trailer.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:19 PM   #37
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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.
Lysol the toilet, buy a new mattress - the basic Airstream model isn't the best quality though the one in my EB is a big step up from the old Safari one. My "used" EB was pristine except for one stain on the duvet cover - and it came out in the wash.

Paula
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:43 PM   #38
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I have owned a used trailer. It was in such good condition you would never know.
The decision to buy the new Airstream was simply based on the fact it had no carpet- the used ones had carpet in the living room and bedroom-
I always buy used cars- everyone thinks they are brand new-
I also had a used mobile home trailer that everyone thought was new-
If you were to buy my trailer everyone would think it was new-
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:01 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
Just so you all know, we already own a large popup, a Coleman Niagara full of amenities including a full kitchen and bathroom. We love it, and it is great for the kids, I agree. I will never get rid of it. The importance of kids sleeping under canvas was the reason I bought it.

However, I have been researching trips for years to go to the National Parks. It is one of my highest priority’s as a father to take my kids to these great places, there will be numerous multi week summer trips. I have many, many public boondocking locations saved from my research from using all kinds of mapping software.

I just can simply not get these trips done in the popup. I need hardwalled for more convenience especially in bear country. Poping up and down would be too much.

So I agree on the comments about camping in tents, but I do need a TT for these major upcoming trips.

We will also be taking an annual trip to the in-laws in April in FL. That we will do in the trailer.
TED... I will assert one more time MAKE YOURSELF & YOUR WIFE HAPPY BECAUSE it's contagious to the rest of your family.

Take the whole family camping one weekend - at Colonial Airstream. Lakewood NJ - just south of NYC & Philadelphia. Call Patrick Boticelli and he might even arrange for you to have water and electric hookups at the dealership. Spend a lot of time actually checking out every Airstream that might appeal to you. There's a world of difference between looking at pictures and floor plans and walking through and testing dinettes, beds, bathrooms, etc.

Colonial kicks butt when it comes to pricing too. Go ahead, squeeze the nickel til the buffalo craps in your hand!

BTW, Patrick isn't out to just sell you something and throw you off the lot. I met Patrick in 2006 at an RV show in Atlantic city - and he wasn't able to sell me an Airstream until June of 2013 (right after I rolled my tow vehicle and stream on a trip to St. Louis). He had just gotten an 11 month old Eddie Bauer in stock and remembered that I'd been drooling over them on this forum. The prior owner, a doctor, decided he didn't like camping. I was ready to buy new, but I'm like Ado Annie, I couldn't say NO to $20K savings.

They have a HUGE inventory of Airstreams (new and used) and are quite likely to have any model you're interested in. When I was considering my first Airstream my sister and I toured the Airstream factory "the mothership" and by really SEEING and sitting in the model I thought I wanted, I quickly decided to move up to a slightly longer one.

Happy Trails, Paula
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:15 PM   #40
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Two cents from a frugal person. Contact an inspector to look at the tX Bunkhouse. Get them to take lots of pictures. If it isn't up to snuff, buy a new one. Then you won't wonder, "could I have saved a bunch of $".
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #41
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I bought used and never looked back. Granted it was near by and in very good condition considering I'm the 4th owner.
Went and bought all new linens, cutlery, towels, cooking tools etc , etc which you'll have to do anyway if new and that's at least a grand!
TAXES!! new vs used? That was a shock!
As stated, for a grand you can have new mattress's and a new toilet installed by the local dealer. While there they can fix what ever needs done and sanitize the tanks if needed. Get a professional cleaning service to clean the soft goods (like curtains, couches etc for a couple hundred.
One way you're supporting the Airstream Factory the other the service center employees and local economy--- trust me Airstream is not in any financial difficulty....but the dealers really have to work for it as a lot of folks on these forums are jacks of all trades and do their own work.
Help the small guy and be financially responsible....win win!!
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #42
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I too cringe at the price of a new Airstream. We upgraded from a pop-up to a '75 Excella with twin beds - we just wanted to test the Airstream waters and it was in good shape. We loved it but when the repairs started to add up, we decided to get a new Airstream. We looked at all the new ones and just couldn't pull the trigger knowing that it would depreciate so much. Our 1975 Excella cost $12,600 new in 1975 (we had the original sales receipt from previous owner) we sold it for $9700.00 in 2012. We ended up buying a 2006 Classic for a third of the cost of the new Classics. We put on new tires and painted the inside and hung new window coverings - it is beautiful and we just love it. If you have never had an Airstream before, you might want to go with a used one for a season or two and decide what you like about it and what you would change before spending the big bucks for a brand new one. I thought I wanted the queen bed and now realize that I miss the twin beds and wish I had them in our newer Airstream. Good Luck.
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