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kittmaster 10-15-2018 09:16 AM

The Wife and I need some collective input......nearing ready to buy
 
Hello all,

Been here a short time as we have been researching the type, style, ins/out, and all things AS.

We made the trek to Albany NY to actually see the one we want to buy etc etc....

Came down to, once we did a final measurement, we went from 23 to 25 capability in a serenity (based on our driveway and turn around space area).......which opened a whole new can of worms....ugg!

So the question from my wife came up as, she has seen (on this forum) where people "shop around" for the best price and it could be thousands of miles away to get the best "deal" for said unit.

Now, some minor background, I am a Senior Electrical Engineer Manager, I am also have plenty of mech skills for repairing, replacing etc.....so I fear nothing about purchasing it from far far away.

The wife wants to know, since I'm handy, should we "not" worry about where we buy from since I can do most things......BUT, what do we do about service if/when we would have to make a service run........somewhere....

Does buying from a local dealer supersede handiness because at some point I will need it serviced by a dealer and not buying locally could create an "issue" of serviceability?

To me local makes the most sense since most AS dealers are within a 3 hour window to get service done, but if I can save XXX grand by traveling........we just aren't sure what AS buyers have done......and do they like it, regret it.....or other.

All views welcome, please help us make an educated decision.

We both thank you.
Chris

uraljohn 10-15-2018 09:30 AM

Where to Purchase
 
Call Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, N.J. I live in North Carolina and made a nice trip out of picking up our 2017 23D. Deal took 10 minutes over the phone and we did get 20% off of MSRP. We knew exactly what we wanted and they had one. Nick was our salesperson. Delivery was great and you can stay there a night or 2 and make sure everything is fine before you leave. They have a large inventory. Highly recommend giving them a try. Welcome to the Airstream world.

ROBERT CROSS 10-15-2018 09:40 AM

Welcome Aboard!! 👍
 
The only 'service' our dealer did was a very ill executed PDI...4 wks later they were out of business.
It took 10yrs before NYS got another dealer. :angry:

"Cloudsplitter" has never been to a dealer for service...at the time AS did send warrantee parts for self-install, water pump, window shades, pantry slides, storage door, plastic door latches.
But...it does seem that today there are many more concerns that involve areas that require factory attention.
ie... wavy floors, cabinets off the wall, panel seam leaks.

Sweet Streams & Good Luck👍

Bob
🇺🇸

BTW...RI, plan a trip to Colonial in NJ, the best for everything AS.

Acheron2010 10-15-2018 10:04 AM

I agree with UralJohn - Colonial Airstream is a worthwhile destination, from any of the 49 states. Their level of customer service and after-the-sale support is simply extraordinary. Not only do you get a great deal and a trailer that has been demonstrated functional, the days you spend on the lot involve the information transfer of years of wisdom on all things Airstream. Well worth your time and drive.
It's been my experience that what makes the difference in Airstream customer satisfaction is whether you are dealing with a 5-Rivet shop. When I had a serious issue in Colorado, I called Colonial in New Jersey, and they referred me to Windish in Lakewood, Colorado. I received almost the same level of care and service as if I were in the arms of Colonial Airstream. Don't let the service and support dissuade you - just get to a 5-rivet dealer.

aftermath 10-15-2018 10:17 AM

That is a tough question.


There have always been cases where you can buy new somewhere else but then have to rely on the local dealer to fix things. As far as Airstream goes, the company will back warranty work but the issue of how the local shop will treat you comes up. Will they put you on "hold" until a spot opens? Will they be vindictive when you come in?

Are you the kind that will fight over prices, insulting and threatening dealers along the way? If so then it might be easier for them to put you off.
I always look around for the best deal but, in the end, I will agree to pay "a little" more to support our local shop. The key here is "a little". This will be your call.

As an aside, we have a 25FB and love it. But.....did you look at the 27? 2 feet longer, only 300 pounds heavier. Nicer layout around the queen bed.

brick1 10-15-2018 10:26 AM

A local dealer is important - if - they are a good dealership. Shop for your dealer as hard as you do for the Airstream. You are also close enough to go to the factory if you have something major go wrong.
We shopped for the best price, and our local dealer was competitive. They have been great to deal with.
brick

Overstreet 10-15-2018 12:37 PM

I think you're going to do it the way you buy houses, cars, etc. It is what ever you normally do.

However, our local AS dealer doesn't have any AS on the lot. The next local dealer wants to sell what he has on the lot. The 200 mile away dealer sold us what we wanted. They had just about every kind of model. We've had ours in there twice for service. Both times we were in and out in about an hour. They are in a large expansion construction and only service what they sell/sold at the moment.

I'm a retired General Contractor and A&P mechanic. I can fix a lot of stuff too. But I don't want to.

StuartsDad 10-15-2018 02:40 PM

We had same desire to try to stay local given that a large, AS exclusive dealer with a good reputation, was six miles from our house, with a unit we liked on the floor. However, staying local had it's cost limits. We got an online quote from RVOne to order the same unit for much less, but required a road trip to Iowa for pick up and a 3+ month wait. Those each had a cost to us, but we were willing to do it if local dealer did not work more on price. We did not expect local dealer to match dollar for dollar, but we got to a number we were good with, including a hitch system and rear view camera. Getting the additional quote helped us understand what a good price was and to stay local.

Wayne&Sam 10-15-2018 03:03 PM

Ditto on Colonial.

We've bought two from them. We go west almost every year and when we've needed service we stopped at the Mothership. But Colonial also has a good reputation for service.

Rocinante 10-15-2018 03:53 PM

A few things, assuming you arenít itching to do all your warranty service yourself, and youíre thinking of buying new:
* We recommend buying from a local Airstream dealer with a good service dept.
* If thereís no local Airstream dealer or youíre unimpressed with their service dept., donít buy a new Airstream.
* Colonialís service dept did sone absolutely top notch work for us on Rocinante when we visited NJ. We canít recommend them strongly enough if they are your local dealer.

Al U. Minium 10-15-2018 06:00 PM

We bought used, but still under warranty, and called local dealer and first question was "Did you buy it here?".

I am NOT kidding.

Now they didn't refuse service, but they asked what was wrong and clearly if I could wait....they wanted me to.

KBAR 10-15-2018 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aftermath (Post 2168352)
That is a tough question.


There have always been cases where you can buy new somewhere else but then have to rely on the local dealer to fix things. As far as Airstream goes, the company will back warranty work but the issue of how the local shop will treat you comes up. Will they put you on "hold" until a spot opens? Will they be vindictive when you come in?

Are you the kind that will fight over prices, insulting and threatening dealers along the way? If so then it might be easier for them to put you off.
I always look around for the best deal but, in the end, I will agree to pay "a little" more to support our local shop. The key here is "a little". This will be your call.

As an aside, we have a 25FB and love it. But.....did you look at the 27? 2 feet longer, only 300 pounds heavier. Nicer layout around the queen bed.

When we where making our decision we had searched local for obviously reasons. When we couldn't negotiate on a price for same model local we searched nation wide. We took a drive to Fort Worth, TX and walked one of the most impressive show rooms for RV's. The show room was a large warehouse with tons of AC and made for a pleasant Shopping. Without even batting an eye the salesmen (Scott) offered 21% off the sales price. We have read where buyers had gotten 10-15% off but 21%? So we drove home (150 miles) and we contemplated the offer. After a few days of doing more research we drove to our local AS dealership. When I informed the local dealer about our other offer the head sales manager came back and said they couldn't come close to the offer. So I asked about warranty work since they are a AS service center, I got a straight in your face "Of course we are going to service our customers first and if there is time we will get to your AS". We can understand that comment but your a dealership service center. Please don't be vindictive. Bottom line we returned to the dealership in Fort Worth, Texas. To our luck the dealership that weekend had a RV show sale price that made the deal that much better 24.5% off list price. Makes us proud owners of an American Icon.

Albireo 10-15-2018 10:32 PM

I like John Ruskin's approach.


ďIt's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.Ē

― John Ruskin

I have no problem paying for good service because it is important to me. Others not so much. Can Am in Ontario, where we bought, has a great reputation which I found out after. I went there and they checked all of my mental boxes without even thinking about it. It just felt good and I felt like I was being taken care of. The price was competitive and for me price is only part of the equation.

When we left on our trip just the other day with our new Airstream Andy the owner said if you have any issues give us a call as we know lots of people along the road and we can set you up anywhere. This was the icing on the cake with all other services and transactions being top notch in our experience. Money can not pay for that. Good people are good people and good dealers make good experiences and good experiences are all part of the equation when I look to buy something.

I hope you find a great dealer and have a good experience and get a fair price while doing so.

Albireo 10-15-2018 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KBAR (Post 2168522)
Bottom line we returned to the dealership in Fort Worth, Texas. To our luck the dealership that weekend had a RV show sale price that made the deal that much better 24.5% off list price. Makes us proud owners of an American Icon.


I would have done the same thing and 150 miles is not far for us. We live way in the boonies so a long drive is standard.

Not only a good experience but a great price as well!! Can't beat that.

kittmaster 10-16-2018 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aftermath (Post 2168352)
As an aside, we have a 25FB and love it. But.....did you look at the 27? 2 feet longer, only 300 pounds heavier. Nicer layout around the queen bed.

Logistically, we are limited to the 25 max due to our driveway, it is 300 feet long and lands in our back yard. Part of the deal is that we have to use a powered turn around device as there is no way to turn it around once it is in.

We started at 19, reasoned to 23, and maxed at 25 based on what it would take to be able to spin it around. The width of the driveway is just around 9'2" so it's tight just going forward, let alone try to back it in. Also, our street entrance is a dead end but has a fairly good grade going up and then we have to turn right into our driveway which then grades down, see the first image:

http://www.kittmaster.com/imagedump/...m/driveway.png
http://www.kittmaster.com/imagedump/.../driveway2.png

I mocked up the first image because you can't see around the tree, but you can see from the 2nd image that it grades up, turns, grades down....and those images are from old google street view, now, many of the trees and bushes are very large now and we prune them so we can get my box truck down the driveway, same will be true now for the AS.

Also we are towing with a 2016 yukon XL and the max tougue weight is 1000lbs, 8000 max for trailer, combined max 14000.

So the 23 is very comfortable, 25 nearing the limit but manageable until we upgrade the TV.

There are only two of us, so the math is easy to track to ensure we don't exceed TV limits.....safety is our first and foremost over everything else.

TO ALL: Thanks for all your valuable feedback, I've been reading every response, please don't feel slighted if I haven't replied directly. Most have answered what we figured, that colonial is king for our area, just have to convince the Mrs. that we may have to just suck it up and go there....but you know.....happy wife...................

Will continue to watch this thread, greetz to all!

Regards,
Chris

Caffeinated 10-16-2018 08:21 AM

IMHO you should back it in. It's not that hard, just a bit of practise.turning it around once you are in there just complicates everything.

Mike

Rocinante 10-16-2018 08:25 AM

Given length of the trailer is critical to your decision, be sure to check the specs for the trailers you are considering. The model name, which ostensibly includes the length of the trailer, is not necessarily the same as the actual length of the trailer. By way of example, the 27FB is actually 28' 1" long (e.g. the alleged 27-foot trailer called a 27FB is actually an inch longer than the 28 model. I kid you not.)

kittmaster 10-16-2018 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rocinante (Post 2168649)
Given length of the trailer is critical to your decision, be sure to check the specs for the trailers you are considering. The model name, which ostensibly includes the length of the trailer, is not necessarily the same as the actual length of the trailer. By way of example, the 27FB is actually 28' 1" long (e.g. the alleged 27-foot trailer called a 27FB is actually an inch longer than the 28 model. I kid you not.)

We've verified the bumper to ball lengths of the 23 and 25 and we have the needed room to rotate it based on the actual build length measurements. We went out and used a tape measure to do an actual "spin" and we have more than enough clearance.....the 25 really 25'11" and we measure out at 28 and change before he "hit" the arborvitae trees. So that is why the 27 is off the table as well as the added weight..... :)

The Flamingo 10-16-2018 10:38 AM

We purchased our AS from Colonial AS in Lakewood NJ. I believe they are now the largest AS dealer. Many to choose from and easy to deal with. ZERO pressure Delivery was great stayed overnight in it and the next day they spent several hours going over all the functions and didn't make me feel stupid when I asked the same questions several times. Patrick was our salesperson and we loved him. His videos on youtube are very helpful also. Good Luck on your decision and purchase. We love ours with the exception of the poor sound quality of the TV.

jrwayne 10-16-2018 10:57 AM

Not saying you should drive all the way to Atlanta to Southland RV, but they are great. I am suggesting to look at the 26 RB. Great layout.


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