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Old 03-31-2016, 07:13 AM   #15
2 Rivet Member
1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
We bought out AS used as well and usually a dealer is "OK" but it is also a hit/miss thing. When I contacted my local AS dealer for parts info, they didn't even call back. We'll never buy an AS from them new or used. Anyway, if you learn about the "issues" with AS units then you'll be better prepped to shop for a new/used unit. Other than leaks (which they all seem to do at some point), the appliances are pretty much the same as any other RV and aren't really all that bad to replace. I just put in a new/larger AC and that took two people to do, but went well. You can "rebuild" a used unit for a lot less than new and you will learn a lot more than just "signing" a paper and driving off. Maybe not so much on this forum, but it does seem that anything that is not from the early 70's-older or new is not seen as a viable AS. We like our "tweener" and enjoy learning about her one piece at a time. Good luck!!

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Old 03-31-2016, 07:53 AM   #16
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2006 25' Safari
Fort Myers , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,087
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Revisiting this conversation, something that required "Airstream knowledge" in my case was a few years ago when I backed into a wood plank someone threw up on a top shelf in the warehouse. The crater dent was about a foot across and around 3 inches deep. I used my auto body skills to make it better but aluminum does not have memory like steel and the panel needed replacing. I planned on going to Jackson Center. I called them to set up an appointment and they highly recommended J.D. Sanders as there was an Airstream trained metal worker there with around 38 years experience (or so). I drove up there and had it done. That kind of work is special to Airstream. There are a few places I understand that do that work as well but metal work like that is not a Campingxxx task.

One of the issues with ANY RV purchase is that the prospective owner must a) be handy and comfortable with ongoing maintenance or 2) have a large stash of money to pay for others to maintain their unit as it is ONGOING. Upgrades and/or modifications are also on the list.

I am now over $20K in costs for upgrades/modifications above the purchase price with me doing all but the panel replacement. That is quite a chunk considering none of it is labor costs; however, my AS is vastly improved from what it was originally with nearly every feature offered on a new unit and with better grade in most cases. It is a way of personalizing but also keeps the AS modernized.

2015 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast 3.55 Lariat
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:19 PM   #17
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 691
Rodster, I think people who own high-end RVs, no matter what the brand, spend money to keep they updated simply because the coach will last. The original refrigerator in our MH was dead when we brought the coach home, so we replaced it with a residential unit and upgraded the inverter. Two weeks ago we spend $3000 for new cabinets around that refrigerator since the new one took up less space than the old one, even with the same space inside. When we sell the coach we'll get that money back.

I suspect that any RV, cheap or expensive, that was well maintained would last longer than average, but if the basic structure isn't well made there will eventually be major problems that go far beyond regular maintenance.

We're sure hoping that maintaining an Airstream and pickup will be far less expensive than maintaining a DP MH and towed.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:56 AM   #18
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2008 30' Classic
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 615
Images: 1
We bought used, from an Airstream dealer, Reliable RV in Springfield MO. At the time, we lived in Indianapolis. The selling dealer has never seen our unit for service, because we full time. The AS service center in Jackson Center has seen it three times, when we were in the area or had specific items we wanted them to do. Desert Autoplex in Mesa, AZ did a recall for years Dometic fridge, as they had an opening in their schedule in the timeframe we were there. Foley RV Gulfport MS did an exterior panel replacement, damaged while we were waiting for our service appointment at Desert Autoplex by an SOB pulling an SOB fifth wheel at a casino parking lot.

The fridge recall was frustrating to schedule as the Dometic supplied contacts either did not want to do it, or said they could not do it. California AS dealers were booked until after we had to be out of their area. Otherwise, all of our dealings have been welcomed by the AS dealers,other than the Tucson, AZ dealer, who was the least interested one we contacted.

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WBCCI 5809 Reg 5 Unit 041
2008 Classic 30'
2013 F150 Ecoboost
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