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Old 05-29-2015, 08:25 AM   #1
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2009 Flying Cloud FB/Twin

We have found a 2009 Flying Cloud Front Bed Twin in a private sale that is priced at the top of the range we have seen here on the Airstream Classifieds for a 2009 Flying Cloud.

The owner is an older gentleman who purchased it new in 2009. He says it has been used just three times for two to three weeks each time and has been towed about 6,000 to 8,000 miles. It has not been used or moved since 2013.

It has been kept under a carport. The only service or repair he recalls having done in six years was to repair a sensor in the water tanks in 2009.

He seems like a very nice guy but somehow has been under the impression an Airstream needed no regular service.

He lives five hours from the dealer where he purchased it from and is not physically able to tow the vehicle any longer.

We have read the threads here about buying a used Airstream and are concerned about buying a six year old Airstream (which looks in good shape to us) but has not been used or even moved in nearly three years.

We have talked with the service managers of two dealers who felt we could easily put $3,000 to $4,000 or more into a unit like this if it needed major system work, A/C, heat pump, refrigerator, tires, brakes or bearing/hub work.

Any advice or perspective on this would be greatly appreciated. Buying our first Airstream without a dealer inspection has us pretty uncomfortable. Thank you.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:43 AM   #2
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As we all know Airstreams do hold their value, but the one thing you don't want to do is pay to much, so that should be your first consideration, is the price right? If not let it go.
Second, any of those items mentioned by the service managers you spoke to is a real possibility in any RV as it ages. This Airstream having been ideal for so long will certainly need some maintenance updates and hopefully no major repairs, but its a gamble.
Taking the above into consideration it would not be unreasonable to make an offer that reflects some of the gamble in buying this coach.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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It sounds like it is a nice unit. If everything looks good, you may have found a gem. The tires are now six years old and should probably be replaced regardless of the tread wear. All of the systems need to be thoroughly checked by someone who is familiar with these units. Keep in mind that the refrigerator, air conditioner, water heater, etc. are pretty much the same in all RVs. You may be able to get a technician from a nearby RV dealer to check them out for you.

Sometimes, the logistics of buying a used Airstream from a private party can be difficult. It's just something that you have to work with.

Brian
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. Should we also be concerned about leaks at seams, around windows and fans covers and the sealant not being refreshed/maintained?
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:16 AM   #5
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The fixtures and appliances are off-the-shelf RV stuff, you can power them up and see if they work. Turn on the propane and see if the gas appliances work. Hook up water to check for leaks and operation. The cabinets can be inspected visually. The running gear should be looked at to see if the mileage claim is accurate, and the frame, axles, underbody steel for rusting.

The unique part of the Airstream is the riveted aluminum shell, its Alcoa pre-finished aluminum panels and their susceptibility to filiform corrosion, and the likely leakage from 2,000 holes punched/cut into this shell which drains down inside the wall cavity under the thin vinyl top floor and rots the plywood subfloor.

Filiform corrosion on the aluminum surfaces, especially at the edges, and plywood subfloor rot are common in this generation of Airstreams. It would be good to research and learn how to recognize and find these issues, or get help from someone familiar with Airstream issues to check it out for you.

cheryl
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:52 AM   #6
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I purchased a lightly used 2008 Classic 25fb from a dealership in 2013. The tape holding the fridge crisp bins were still attached and the shower stall had the stickers on the shower walls. The hot water heater looked new from the outside door panel and the oven didn't look like it had seen use. It had the original GYM tires.

I purchased it after having an Airforums volunteer inspector check it out with me. Maybe you can get someone near the seller to check out the trailer for you or with you. Despite this I still found minor issues when I started using it. The biggest was replacing the converter/charger ($225) which I replaced myself. The shower door leaked to the hall floor, the black flush one/way valve was broken and when using the black flush water poured out the bottom, the AC drain hose where it connected to the drain pan dripped.


The tires should be replaced if you purchase. The brakes are probably OK since he didn't use it much but you might want to have them checked also. If the batteries are the originals then you should replace those too. I replace all my tires with Michelin tires.

The seller should set up the trailer as if it were ready to travel so you can test all the systems. He needs to have some water in the tank so you can test the water system, have it connected to shore power so you can test the AC, LP available to test the fridge on AC and LP and test the hotwater heater.

You would need to inspect for any soft floors that would indicate water infiltration. Rear bumper/shell leaks are too common on mid 2000 models. Look under the rear dinette seats and under the dinette. Mine seemed OK. A Sonin moisture meter has a sharp probe to detect moisture. You can poke it through the vinyl floor to the subfloor.

Kelvin
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:55 AM   #7
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I'm sure it is a good trailer. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:10 PM   #8
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Be sure to check to the rear end for leaks, which seems to be pretty common. We bought a 2001 Safari from a private seller that hadn't been moved in ages. All systems worked, but there was some rot in the floor in the back. Everything in an Airstream is really an easy fix if you or someone in your family is "handy". Gotta love the silver bullets : )
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:02 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone who responded with advice and recommendations. They all make a lot of sense to us.

Unfortunately, the seller has changed his mind about allowing the local Airstream dealer to do an inspection at our cost. We had it set up for Monday morning.

Now he is saying take it or leave it. We can do a walk through but no Airstream inspection at the dealership.

We decided to pass. Thanks again.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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I would pass also. That just isn't right if you want to sell something. It would make me suspicious. Since the owner wants top dollar, and he won't let a prospective buyer properly inspect, he will most likely be keeping it for a long time.

Brian
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #11
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I think you you just got lucky lloydnc, personally I had bad vibes about this since your original post.
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