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Old 09-04-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
TravelswithCharley
 
2017 22' Sport
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 26
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Turning Dreams into Reality

Greetings to all of you

Well, I finally did it! I take delivery of my very first Airstream next week, a 22ft Sport. Been dreaming about this in one form or another since I first saw an Airstream on the cover of Pat Metheny's 'American Garage' album in 1979 while growing up in New Zealand. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. I've lived in the US for the past 6 years, and truly cannot wait to deeply explore this gorgeous country.

I have a zillion questions, but I don't want to wear out the friendship in the first days on this site :-) It will be quite a while before I can afford the vehicle to pull the trailer, so my plan is to use it on my property as an additional bedroom (which I desperately need). I plan to hire a vehicle to pull it when needed for up to a year or so, then buy.

There's a thought running through my mind as to whether it might be valuable to rent the AS out on airbnb for a night here and there to help recoup purchase costs. Has anyone done this or considered it, and would you have some wise sage advise for me on the realities of doing this? I'm thinking the potential biggest issues or obstacles would be insurance and handling the cleaning/draining of tanks. Upside would be earnings and business tax write-offs. Thoughts?

Thanks for reading!
Mary
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,192
Hello and WELCOME, Mary!
You are not going to wear out your friendships here, so go ahead and start asking questions...(those are the real reasons we all hang-out here...in order to converse, learn, share, and help others with out own solutions... we WANT to exchange ideas.)
I've never rented out personal belongings ...(boat, airplane, motorcycles, etc.) to strangers/travelers. I've loaned a few times to trusted friends, and that's usually worked out fine, but renting involves an entirely different level of trust, in my opinion, and I've worked too hard to get them to consider renting them out. Hopefully someone else might be able to pitch in with that experience.
I CAN however, tell you that the 22'Sport is perhaps the sweetest little first-Airstream you could choose, and that my wife and I consider it a perfect size for us two...and the occasional grandchild in-accompaniment.

We've discovered a few shortcomings common to the 22' Sport:
1- The shower accordion-door, lower guide is not well-sealed and will leak from it's ends, contributing to damaged floor if not resealed properly.
2- The black-tank-flush anti-siphon valve is a defective design and will eventually fail such that it will not allow the tank to be flushed-out and will drip water inside the wall. (Look inside your wardrobe, aft wall, and remove the small access panel. The antisiphon valve is located there. If you are careful to never allow an unpressurized garden hose to remain connected, then you should have no problem simply removing that anti-siphon valve and replacing it with a 90-degree fitting using "shark-bite" type connectors and PEX tubing.
(One other thing: The wardrobe floor is removeable... simply pry it up, and peer beneath, to see the carelessly-installed wiring, etc. laying down there. Your water pump is there, and next to it is a screen inside a clear, hand-tightened cover....which will leak eventually and need to be retightened. I mention this so that when you discover water seeping from beneath the wall near the electrical converter... you'll know where the leak originated.)
3-The 22' Sport is excessively low to the ground and the axle-lift kit from Dexter will improve ground-clearance to better protect the sewer-drain valves from damage. (7.5" of clearance improves to 10.5")
4-There is only one, too-small towel-bar on the aft side of the bathroom door.
We installed three stainless bars from a home improvement store, using "binding screws" through the hollow door because ordinary screws cannot support the weight due to that hollow, foam-core door. (I'll try to post pics of our chosen modification.)
5-(This does not apply to the 2017 year model, but earlier ones):Be especially careful when closing-down the galley-sink that the swing-arm spigot does not open the small water-valve. If the pump switch is left "on", your fresh-water tank will empty into your grey-water tank (or worse, overflow that tank into your shower-pan and possibly onto the floor.)
6-The refrigerator condenser-fan (outside, upper-access-door) is noisy and short-lived. We replaced ours with two, 12v computer fans wired in series, which allows them to run on reduced electric-draw, more-quietly, and move a greater/wider air-flow.
7-The original LPG tank "pigtails" (the short hoses that connect directly to the tanks with hand-wheels) became hardened and leaked at the crimps near the 1/4" NPT brass fittings at the regulator and required replacement. The originals were about 8 years old when I discovered the source of the occasional smell of leaking gas.
8-I feel this little trailer really needs a rear bumper. I installed the Airstream rear bumper kit for this series trailer and feel it made a large improvement, not only in protection for the trailer, but also in useful storage space.
9-This trailer really needs a better "porch light", such as what is known as a "scare light". It would be easy to install by wiring directly to the same switch which operates the small step-light, by installing the scare-light on the outside wall, on the other side of the switch.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:46 PM   #3
TravelswithCharley
 
2017 22' Sport
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 26
Images: 2
WOW! Thanks for the kind words and the valuable detail on the shortcomings. I did add the upgrade kit, which includes Electric tongue jack, rock guards and rear bumper, plus a wireless camera. I'm a single traveler so I need all the help I can get to hitch up without incident! Re the items you listed, are these still known issues on the 2017 model? If so, perhaps I can present them to the dealer and get them to do some of this defect repair/upgrade work prior to final payment next week. Worth a try.....

more questions will undoubtedly flow soon
Mary
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:13 PM   #4
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Welcome! So glad you're getting such a sweet trailer and realizing your dreams.

I hate to sound like a wet blanket - but with your dream, do you want to open yourself up to a nightmare for some funds to offset expense?

My sister in law has a property in MA that was rented to a family who would not move out when their seasonal rental was over. Who would have known state law was on the RENTERS' side?!?! Owning the home didn't matter - the law - established to protect renters from bad landlords - had a "hole" that allowed these squatters to ruin their lives. Horrible!

Even if AZ laws are different, consider this is your baby. No one will care for it - or care about it - as you do. Something as simple as how to effectively use the toilet would likely be ignored by your "renters" and create more problems than it may be worth.

Again - I'm sorry - there are probably many reasons your business model could work - but far too many risks from my perspective to make it worth it.

Talk to a local lawyer - if you're really set on this path, be sure you've taken every precaution and are prepared for a loss.

And if you just enjoy it as a spare room for yourself, that's cool too. Eventually, when you're ready, you'll hit the road with your baby and it will be a dream!

Good luck (and for what it's worth - others will have good reasons you should pursue the business model you're talking about...this is just one guy's opinion!).

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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2017 16' Sport
Vernon , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 139
I see you are in AZ, did you buy from Desert Autoplex or elsewhere? Just asking as I am in the market in the next 6 months and I am considering purchasing from them and would love to know your experience.

Tara
Still dreaming of the perfect Airstream :-)
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:46 PM   #6
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2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Mary, I viewed the latest sales-video from Colonial Airstream in N.J. presented by Mr. Botticelli and although a couple of improvements have been made, the problems I mentioned were not addressed. The shower door, lower channel is a known problem and as far as I know has never been properly corrected by Airstream.
This problem manifested itself by a wet bath-mat we placed on the floor. But then I noticed a little bit of water appearing on the floor where it meets the vertical wall directly beneath that shower door. At first it appeared to be "splash" from perhaps an improperly-closed shower-curtain. But after additional showers with that carefully monitored... it appeared to be a leak appearing from beneath the wall which supports that channel.
I then considered that the drain plumbing beneath the shower might be leaking and I was fearful I"d have to remove the shower completely. and when I used a bright light and mirror and could not find water dripping from beneath the shower-drain another forums-member pointed out the common-problem. (One of the true advantages of these forums is the "tribal knowledge" that exists here.)
I had to pull the channel up completely, clean off the sloppily-applied silicone, then reseal the plyboard, and the ends and edges of the channel. I also carefully masked and added sealant to the vertical channel edges that make up the fore/aft portions of that door.
The major portion of the leak occurs at the forward and rearward ends of that lower channel, because is not as carefully sealed as it should be. After I laid down sealant, I then re-laid the channel and sealed it to the rest of the surfaces, and no more problems.
As for the anti-siphon valve, I doubt they will support the idea of removing it. This valve is likely a construction "code" item to prevent your black tank from backfeeding the public water supply.... an event that cannot possibly happen in any circumstance... but is still likely in the "code". The reason it's not going to be a "real" problem is because 1) The black tank flush line leaves the tank and travels upward about 24" to get to that valve. In other words, gravity will discourage any nasties from travelling up that PEX. Additionally, anytime that line is used, water pressure will be applied via a hose to inject water into the system. The only way nasties can exit back out of the trailer might be if you left an Unpressurized hose attached, and then it would require a vacuum to be applied to SUCK stuff out of that tank (which should be empty after it's been flushed anyway.) But...it's "code"...so Airstream will be uncooperative in removing it. But if YOU want to avoid future problems with it, that's what you should probabaly do.
The rest I posted were mostly improvements we personally found desireable and not actual defects that Airstream would cover under any warranty. (Although I'm certain they'll be happy to charge you for them.

Kind regards
George
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:13 PM   #7
TravelswithCharley
 
2017 22' Sport
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 26
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@ MsTara. Yes, I purchased from them. I've been looking for a while and asking lots of questions which they've always tried their best to answer. The process isn't quite completed yet. I take delivery of the trailer on the 15th. That's when they get to take me through a 2 hour orientation and then they are very kinky going to deliver it home to my property for free as I don't yet have a towing vehicle. Glad it's not me having to back the trailer into the property as my first AS driving experience. So I think they rate pretty high on service thus far. Ask me again after the 15th :-)
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:34 AM   #8
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2017 16' Sport
Vernon , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Desert Autoplex RV

Nice to know they are so sweet to deliver. I have visited them probably 4-5 times so far, looking at different models and sitting in them and asking questions. I am hoping to buy from them, but want a gently used model rather than paying full price for a new one.

Goal is in March/April unless the perfect one comes up beforehand.

Keep on posting about your experience!
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:42 AM   #9
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1973 31' Sovereign
Mount Angel , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Congratulations on your new Airstream! While we looked for a tow vehicle, we rented a Ford F-150 Ecoboost through the local Airstream dealer, Airstream Adventures Northwest. The cost was very reasonable and gave us exposure to that pickup. So, check out your local RV dealerships. We did not purchase our trailer through them.
Good Adventures!
Susan
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:03 PM   #10
TravelswithCharley
 
2017 22' Sport
Phoenix , Arizona
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Thanks Susan! Sounds like an excellent plan.
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:11 PM   #11
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Fraser Valley , British Columbia
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Congratulations. Please post pix when you can.

That is a long time to realize one's dream. You've got to have one road adventure before you park it. Beg, borrow, or steal a TV. You will never forget it. (Most Airstreamers feel the same way; the first trip is well remembered).

As to renting it out, you too may come down with "Airstream Protection Syndrome." The fretting and possible damage isn't worth the return.

However, if you really need the income and can stand the idea of strange people inside your trailer, go for it. (Discuss with insurance agent first, though).

p.s. It's great so many women Airstreamers are coming onboard.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:56 PM   #12
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2017 16' Sport
Vernon , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Mary,

I was wondering if you picked up your Sport and who you worked with at Desert Autoplex. I went in on Sunday and spoke to one of their sale people and they started to play the "sales person game" where they switched the numbers around higher even though I had seen the sales price in one of the Airstream as well as being pushy.

Why I wanted to buy from Desert Autoplex, that experience left me feeling like I should look for another place to buy my Airstream from. I really hate game players, left me feeling slimed.

Looking forward to hearing about your experience!

Tara
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:40 AM   #13
TravelswithCharley
 
2017 22' Sport
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2016
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hi Tara

I am taking delivery tomorrow - Wednesday. I initially dealt with a sales person who was really knowledgeable and non-pushy. When I went back a month or two later to actually make the purchase, the other guy had retired (weirdly suddenly) and I was left with CJ who I did find to be difficult to negotiate with. Most of my time was spent with Brian Knox, a sales associate, and he was good, but it was CJ who was 'in-charge' behind the scenes. I made a final cash offer which saved me approx. 11% on the MRSp. They probably clawed some of that back through the add-ons I purchased. I did lament the retirement of the initial guy i worked with. I can't remember his name though.

I hope you can find a great deal out there. I don't think there is another Airstream dealer in Phoenix that has the trailers.

Let me know how you get on. Private message me if you want to exchange phone numbers.
Best, Mary.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #14
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Vernon , Arizona
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Thanks Mary, It was Brian who I talked to on Sunday. I wonder if you originally talked to Denny who is still there and is the expert on Airstreams.

Can't wait to see pics of your new Airstream!

Tara
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