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Old 05-26-2020, 07:23 AM   #1
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Airstream Prices in retrospect

Recently I have seriously been considering an update to another Airstream and started studying models, prices, etc. I am choking at the prices. I CAN purchase one but at a significant loss to my savings (I am a teacher). I began wondering about the prices of Airstreams compared to other related things over time so this is what I found:

Airstreams have doubled in price since 2007 (88K FC25/44K) using lower trim models Safari/Flying Cloud

F150 prices have increased 34% avg since 2007 (KR)

Travel Trailers OB marketwise have increased 23% avg since 2007 (avg 24K/now 31K avg)

I was thinking about inflation and other things. I know that more equipment is on them now from 2007 but that would be the same for other brands as well. It is a lot of money and a big decision and cost for, I believe, most people. I have been told that they are discounted 20% or so if new. Am I alone in my perspective or affordability "index" ?
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Am I alone in my perspective or affordability "index" ?
RVs in general aren't a mass market commodity and Airstreams in particular aren't. Politics aside money in our society is percolating towards the top. Airstreams are marketed to the upper percentages of the economic lot so affordability hasn't been a problem. I think if you look at income distribution charts the upper 10% or so has kept right up with Airstream's pricing.

But the real cost of ownership is purchase price plus maintenance minus selling price divided by years of ownership. In that regard Airstreams stack up quite well. I bought my current 2003 from the original owners. They paid, according to them, $42,500. I bought it for $23,500. I can tell you they didn't put much into ongoing maintenance. Other than minor items cost of ownership $19,000 divided by 16 years, $1,187.50 per year or just a tad less than $100 per month. Not too shabby considering they got to use new everything until it was pretty much wore smack out.

After about a year of ownership I'll have right at $30K in it. New axles/brakes, air conditioner, 400 watts solar, converter upgrade, AGM batteries, LVT flooring, and lots of miscellaneous repairs. Maybe not cosmetically the finest available but it's what I wanted. Unlike most everything else I bought in my life up to this point, I didn't buy this or renovate it with a thought of resale. Even so I think it safe to say I could sell it for what I have in it. I'm not one of those who thinks Airstream is the best of the best but they work for me. But when it comes to value as in cost of ownership, new or used, I don't think many hold a candle to what Airsteam offers.

So even new, or better yet, almost new, I still think Airtream is worth it. Their pricing is as ridiculous as diamonds but unlike diamonds you can actually recoup a fair amount of your purchase price when you are finished. Maybe a big hit on your savings but also a good bit returned to savings.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:41 AM   #3
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Life is Short... Buy an Airstream :)

A RV or Travel Trailer is no different than a purchase of a boat, airplane, second home, cabin in the mountains or a Hermes Togo Shiny Niloticus Crocodile Birkin Touch 25 Black purse for $30,950. You can live well without any of the above.

All the above are depreciating assets... other than the purse.

None of the above are necessary. A large Tent can also be a perfectly fine option as a rolling second home... being towed anywhere you may want to go.

For 'retired individuals', like myself, savings are now available and my life is on the short end of expectations of longevity. Enjoy your health and these investments of years of income invested wisely, can now be used and enjoyed.

I would rather have the Airstream in my RV Garage than a sheet a paper with a list of investments that can go sour, anytime. Talk about depreciating assets in the last four months, as an example.

Airstream understands that their market is like the demand for a high end purse. There are many who are willing to purchase an Airstream, which is also easy to resell in the future after years of enjoying a home on wheels. Much better than a Cabin in the Woods... costing MUCH more and if the scenery becomes tiresome... sorry.

USED Airstreams are wonderful for those wanting to purchase. Often they have been used very little and have everything necessary for a comfortable life of travel and adventure. My 2006 and 2014 were 100% operational and in top condition... selling for a premium over beaten full time lived in models.

New Automobiles and Airstreams are not investments. They are purchases to enhance one's life.

Our current Airstream will serve us well as a Vacation Home and Cabin in the Woods. The sooner you step into an Airstream, the more you will enjoy your free time.

Do I regret the purchase? Never. Does it matter to us? No. Do I feel we paid too much? Never.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:05 AM   #4
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I'm kind of on the same wave length as Ray (scary I know, ). At my point in life there is more behind me than ahead. I've worked hard, made wise choices and good investments, etc. For what? Some numbers on a piece of paper? I'd rather have something tangible that I can enjoy. I know everyone's situation is different.

And AS's are expensive but, IMHO, money well spent.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:18 AM   #5
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One thing COVID-19 has reinforced for me is being assured that you have backups for the backups. Be prepared for failures that you never anticipated. To me that means not spending accumulated wealth on anything that you really do not need, if it costs more than some arbitrary X dollars. I had wanted to spend some significant dollars on a remod of my Airstream to change the layout to something more comfortable, but now I am not sure that spending that kind of money on my Airstream makes any sense at all. I am not even sure that there will be available camping sites in the coming future as Americans decide that resorts, foreign travel, and other such venues are no longer vacation activities...opting for camping with something better than a tent instead.
So my answer to you is that a new Airstream purchase makes no sense, TO ME. But, it is your money and you can spend it as you see fit.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
I am choking at the prices... It is a lot of money and a big decision and cost
Why is it important to buy brand new? Can you tell the difference between a 2020 and a 2010 airstream? Fixing up what you have, or refurbishing or updating a used airstream is far far more cost-effective.

While there is some joy to be had in owning an airstream, and working on one can be a source of fun and enjoyment for people infected with a certain quirky kind of crazy, It is important to remember that the trailer is a means and not an end. If you would rather spend your finite dollars actually traveling, exploring, and camping rather than on a hunk of aluminum that sits in your driveway most of the time, I would seriously consider purchasing a previously owned one that fits your budget.

I am convinced that you can pick up a vintage airstream trailer, spend tens of thousands of dollars (IF you so wish) fixing it up, and end up with a perfectly-tailored-to-you trailer that is far superior in quality to anything rolling off the line in Jackson Center, and still be thousands and thousands of dollars cheaper than buying one brand new.

Such a strategy is also far wiser from a financial standpoint as you avoid the huge depreciation hit, long time readers of this forum will also be well familiar with the host of problems, annoyances, and flaws that come with a brand new airstream that take years for the dealership and factory to eventually fix. Buyers of used coaches get trailers where most if not all of those flaws have been fixed.
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:15 PM   #7
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Thank you for the many thoughts. That is why I wanted to post to get the "branches" of thought!

First, I have been looking at new and used. What I am finding primarily is that the used ones are very close in price to the new ones minus 23% (that magical figure that a few have shared they were able to get off a new one recently). I am looking at all options, including keeping the '06.

As far as finances go and time to camp, I foresee camping more in the future barring any national issues. My situation is odd in that I retired in 2017 then went back to work so I do not have my freedom- yet; soon though. I will have met my financial goal four years early this October (main reason I went back) so I have saved but that also does not mean I have unlimited camper funds- LOL. I really like camping and relate to each of the posts including Isbrodsky with the hesitation of fix up and Skyguyscott with the make it yours for less. I am there brothers! My Safari is nice but it is really starting to show filiform exterior-wise. I do not know how much that matters but Airstreamers don't like it. The way I see it like broke boater says- I could sell it for $30K+ range, I believe based on updates and value (hardly anything is '06 in it) and have to at least double my money to buy anything used ($60K) which is what I am finding 5 year old 25' footers priced. A new 26 is about 10K more than a used one.
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Thank you for the many thoughts. That is why I wanted to post to get the "branches" of thought!

First, I have been looking at new and used. What I am finding primarily is that the used ones are very close in price to the new ones minus 23% (that magical figure that a few have shared they were able to get off a new one recently). I am looking at all options, including keeping the '06.

As far as finances go and time to camp, I foresee camping more in the future barring any national issues. My situation is odd in that I retired in 2017 then went back to work so I do not have my freedom- yet; soon though. I will have met my financial goal four years early this October (main reason I went back) so I have saved but that also does not mean I have unlimited camper funds- LOL. I really like camping and relate to each of the posts including Isbrodsky with the hesitation of fix up and Skyguyscott with the make it yours for less. I am there brothers! My Safari is nice but it is really starting to show filiform exterior-wise. I do not know how much that matters but Airstreamers don't like it. The way I see it like broke boater says- I could sell it for $30K+ range, I believe based on updates and value (hardly anything is '06 in it) and have to at least double my money to buy anything used ($60K) which is what I am finding 5 year old 25' footers priced. A new 26 is about 10K more than a used one.
I guess you could sell yours first, then look for something a "few" years newer like a 2012 for example. If you are going from a Safari Base to a Serenity, you may feel a upgrade, but I will cost you 20 k (sell yours for 30, buy the next one for 50. Or put 10-15 in yours and make it newer the way you want?

Or get a 2016-18 Classic for 75-125k and finance it for 20 years using your Safari as a down payment.

You draw money from your Fund's, but when you are done camping in 15-20 years you can sell it to finish off the debt or have some left over for the retirement home
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:38 AM   #9
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Keep the 2006! Fix it up, if necessary.

Rod... keep your 25 foot.

You can upgrade the lighting to LED's. Add Solar. Change out the Batteries to AGM's or Lithium. If you have the microwave over the refrigerator that uses the 12 volt fan... hopefully you have a quiet coil cooling fan.

Add a 3 inch lift. Go to 16 inch Sendels and Michelin tires. You now have the perfect go anywhere Airstream... ADD at least two roof Solar Panels, OR get two Costco 100 watt panels to lean against milk crates for ALL the Solar you will need for under $260. Or secured to brackets you can adjust as the Sun moves...

We loved our 2006 23 foot Safari. What killed it for me were the 14 inch Marathon tires and the thought of towing with C Rated 14 inch tires, after having tire problems the first year. It had the single 80 watt Solar on the roof that worked fine for us. A 25 Foot Safari would have been our first choice had we seen one on the lot in 2006.

If your Airstream shell is clean and better yet, like new... wow!!! Your interior is clean and everything is hanging and swinging... WHY replace it? It is already a Classic Vintage Airstream. We had denim covers made to put over the original cushions and seating for protection and durability in our dirt road travels right after purchase.

We sold it for a premium price and the first looker bought it. A second was standing there wanting the First Looker to... pass. He wanted it as well. This was in 2014.

We finished a 3500 mile trip and went to Blue Beacon truck wash to wash it before parking at home. The supervisor thought our 2019 was... an antique and if Airstream was still in business.

Airstreams all look alike from for twenty years. That is the magic of owning one.

The other option is to sell your Airstream and travel in the tow vehicle and stay at Hotels. It is a lot cheaper. If you stay at RV Parks... what is the difference?

We use our Airstreams to Off the Grid Boondock. Otherwise the trailer would make no sense owning and staying in RV Parks that may charge MORE than a Hotel room in the area.

Every vehicle I have owned is now considered Collectable Vintage. Had I kept each, parked them in a barn... it would have been a smart move on my part.

The lighting does draw more 12v battery than the LED's used today. Our 2006 had the 60 watt Solar with AGM batteries that did not suffer, although without Solar you probably know what I mean.

KEEP that 2006. The 25 foot is perfect for most trailer wanna bees. Bzzzzz around and even trailer owners do not know you have a 2006, a 1972 or a 2018 Airstream. You are confusing new with... BETTER. They are pretty much the same with different fabric and colors. You already own what many WISH. Don't be stupid. I regret selling our 25 foot, so a year later bought a new 27 foot. You will regret it also.
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