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Old 09-06-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
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Investigating: why an Airstream?

First I'm new to this forum, so I'm not even sure if I'm posting this to the right spot...

My wife and I are starting to think about retirement and RV'ing was always something that appealed to me. We have no experience with RV'ing and camping for that matter and are looking to tap into those that are doing it.

My first question is why an Airstream Trailer. We get the iconic look but beyond that what are the pro's and con's?
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
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Most people prefer motorhomes and fifth wheel trailers for the extra living and storage space. Some see this as value, bang for the buck.

Airtreamers like the iconic look a lot, it never goes out of style like the others and is always worth fixing when it breaks and refurbishing when it gets worn out. They also have the most aerodynamic, most stable towing travel trailer you can get.

There is a sense of pride when folks knock on your door to tell you grandpa had one of these, they have always liked them, and could they look inside. They still make them???
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #3
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Investigating

For me an Airstream is ideal.

I don't like to haul around a bunch of junk, so the lack of storage in my trailer is a plus to me.

My Airstream is an old one. At forty two years old, when compared to what other brands have survived from the same era, an advantage of an Airstream in this regard is self evident.

Are they perfect? No, they have their issues, but they are solid, and they feel solid.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:14 AM   #4
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Airstreams are solidly built-- you might inquire about the construction methods of some of the other brands. Nails and plywood covered with siding? When cared for, an Airstream will be on the road easily 40 years after its manufacture date. If you like the feeling of quality, some of the other brands (known as SOBs) feel like they have cheap doors and window frames. Airstreams are also very aerodynamic. You can imagine the drag on some of the white-box SOBs going down the highways. If you want to sell an AS, it will normally hold its value much more than a comparable SOB.

We are kind of in the "small is beautiful" club, which not all Airstreamers are. But honestly, even a 31-foot AS has a sense of taste that a giant Mo-ho or 5th wheel with its massive bulkhead sleeping area and slide-outs can't match. We prefer to go camping in places with gorgeous scenery, vs. simply having a pre-fab summer home on wheels, crowded into a RV park with others of their ilk.

We had done a lot of tent-camping, but had zero RV experience before buying the Bambi. The learning curve was nearly vertical. Fortunately RVers are generally a friendly, helpful bunch, so we could usually find someone to help us out in a real pinch. If you are mechanically handy, and are comfortable backing up a boat or utility trailer, you're one up on us.

For a lot of us, finding the right AS is love at first sight. Maybe that's not a rational decision, but it might just be the right one.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:15 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Why an Airstream? Because if you want a travel trailer, it is the best there is. Airstreams are quite expensive, but there is virtually nothing between an Airstream and low quality travel trailers.

Are Aistreams perfect? No, the have their problems.

We had our first Airstream for nine years. When we decided that we wanted a new travel trailer, we bought another Airstream.

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Old 09-07-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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Because even with their quirks and the regular maintenance they require... they LAST and LAST!
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
For me an Airstream is ideal.

I don't like to haul around a bunch of junk, so the lack of storage in my trailer is a plus to me.

My Airstream is an old one. At forty two years old, when compared to what other brands have survived from the same era, an advantage of an Airstream in this regard is self evident.

Are they perfect? No, they have their issues, but they are solid, and they feel solid.
Wow 42 years old that is amazing!

What would you say the issues are...I've read that the seams can leak.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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Go to airstream.com, at the top under community, in live riveted (the first one) you will find a video about performance and handling. This is the video that made up my mind to get an Airstream and it is the best trailer I have ever towed.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:57 AM   #9
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All trailers and all RV's of any brand can leak and will leak.

I tend to think of Airstreams as a bit of a lifestyle. And the community is a part of it. I think many would agree, owning an Airstream makes you an automatic member of a community.

If you've ever been apart of a car club, it's almost like that. Corvette guys all over the nation share a passion and can hang out and talk shop and attend big rallies or small cruise in's. Owning a Airstream is a lot like that.

I can really jump off the other commentors post about taking pride in the ownership. I think that's true. We have friends with trailers. That's it, they have a travel trailer. They go on trips.

The other PRO for me is design. I love my grandmother, but I don't want to live in her living room, and every other RV/Trailer on the road today seems clobbered full of wood grains, horrible floral print and generally the ascetics of the early 1990's.

I enjoy the modern design of our International Signature. It matches our tastes, and our minimalist lifestyle.

Plus, most are still on the road today. It's true some need repairs, that's common with anything old. But like cars, there are some you still see driving around, and others than came and went.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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We had a few leaks with ours initially, but they were repaired with better caulking. Any kind of RV is subject to Murphy's Law, but because we bought ours through a RV dealer, and since most of the stuff that went wrong happened in the first year, it was still under their warranty. They fixed the problems, and we didn't have to pay extra for them.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:06 PM   #11
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I had to do a lot of work on the rear floor of my 72, but I didn't HAVE to do anything with the rear floor of my 75.

It will vary from trailer to trailer!!
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:27 PM   #12
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It's sorta like motorcycling... "If I HAVE to explain, you will never understand!"

But, let me try.

If you are willing to "care" for things, buy an AS. If you can afford new, good for you! With proper care, you can sign it over to your Grandkids...and they may sign over to their kids without rebuilding.

You aren't likely to get that longevity out of an SOB. my neighbors brother came to visit with a 8 year old SOB and it has de laminating wall panels and a host of other "near Unrepairable" issues.

If you are someone who likes to rent vs own, get an SOB or trade In your new AS yearly. =}
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:43 PM   #13
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Anything man made can have issues. The question is can they be repaired. The aluminum construction of the Airstream has stood the test of time. The wood floors may get wet from leaks and rot, but they can be fixed. The frame can rust and be repaired. And the aluminum body is often hoisted up and a new frame and floor is slid under it and suddenly it is a new trailer again.

Where I have my service and upgrades done, there is a 1954 Airstream undergoing restoration. It has been polished to a mirror finish. The insides have been refurbished with new appliances and lighting. In all effects, it is a new unit but with an old VIN number and date of manufacture. The taxes are low as it is 60 years old on paper, but looks better than some of the new ones coming off the line today at Jackson Center.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:47 PM   #14
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AS are solidly built ...check the number still functioning as TT compared to the other brands. However, quality control varies as much as the weather!
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