Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-19-2015, 06:19 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
San Rafael , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8
Noob needs advice ASAP

hey everyone,
I am seriously thinking about buying a 2015 25' airstream on the east coast (I live on the west coast). I am getting a very good deal so it's possibly worth the hassle. My options are:

1. have it towed by a transportation company (getting quotes of $5-$8k)
2. Fly out there & rent a truck (Enterprise Commercial rents one way trucks I believe) and bring it back myself.
3. Fly out there & buy a truck (used/new) and bring it back myself. Either keep the truck or sell it when I am done.

2500 miles. Never towed anything before.

Need to decide in next 12 hours.

Any other advice? Am I in over my head?
joe12pack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 06:27 PM   #2
Stefrobrts's Avatar

1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 12,184
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
Just be sure it's a legit deal, because anytime I see people saying they are getting an incredible deal, I worry about scammers.

Personally, buying it and then buying a tow vehicle and driving the whole unknown combo back with someone who's never towed before - that's a lot of unknowns, but certainly possible.

Renting a tow vehicle - might be a better choice but I always question the condition of rental vehicles. And it needs to be setup with a proper hitch and brake controller.

Having it transported, might be the best option, but not cheap.

Are you getting it from a private party, or dealer? If it's a dealer at least they could help you get it setup to tow. Also, if it's a dealer, could you use that offer to leverage someone on the west coast to meet that price and get something closer to home?

Stefrobrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 06:28 PM   #3
Rivet Master
87MH's Avatar
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
I think I'd pass on the unprepared trip, especially since you have never towed before...too many new things to go wrong.

Don't worry - good deals are always coming along - wait until the 2016 models come out for a great deal on the 15's.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 07:03 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Foiled Again's Avatar
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,604
First know that a 20% discount off list is not all that uncommon. Second, they will make more of them, this is not a "never again deal".

I Know only one thing about you - you've never towed before. The odds of your first RV being a perfect fit are slim. I wouldn't spend that much out the door with no experience.

I was in your position almost 10 years ago. I'm now on my third Airstream - and I recently bought a nice used classic Avion. DOH. Do yourself a favor and buy a gently used Airstream OR even a semi-decent SOB for your first one. It's a lot cheaper to buy a $14,000 used SOB and sell it for $5,000 a year later - then get what you really want after a lot of careful thought than it is to make a $62K miscalculation.

(The dealer's reputation is very important too. I wouldn't want to trash any dealer but there are OK ones and a few great ones.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 07:31 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
San Rafael , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8
Great thank you everyone. As exciting as it may seem... I think I am leaning against this grand under taking. As part of this I was even considering buying a new Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins diesel from an East coast dealer. Would be $110k+ worth of equipment and a week of driving. Might be a little bit more than I can chew off. Guess Airstreams have that effect on people-- getting them to do insane things.
joe12pack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
duncans's Avatar
2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
1973 31' Sovereign
Mount Angel , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 255
How much time do you have to be on the East Coast? To get the correct tow package for your trailer will take time.

I am always in support of learning new skills and think that this could be a fun trip. You can avoid driving at peak hours and proceed cautiously. However, I grew up on a farm and hauled my first trailer ( with my old blue Ford tractor) when I was 10 years old, so it is hard for me to gauge. It is not difficult. Wind gusts and passing semi's can get your heart going!
duncans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 07:59 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
San Rafael , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8
I can take as much time off as necessary. I do consider myself a good driver. I drive stickshift and have driven a diesel VW Jetta for years. The Ram 2500 I was thinking of purchasing would be a stick shift also.

I have tonight to think it over. Once I put down my deposit it would be no turning back. I would put down $5k on credit card and wire another $5k for a $10k deposit.

As a side note I was considering AirBnBing this trailer. I live in a very wealthy area in the SF Bay area and have the space. Most of everything I have read on here 99% of the owners would not rent out or AirBnB their trailer as it's too nice. It's a nice exercise to go through and I do think it might be a fun trip.

Thanks again for everyone's advice. It's all appreciated.
joe12pack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 07:27 AM   #8
3 Rivet Member
1965 mustang's Avatar
2005 25' Safari
Stoughton , Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 125
Images: 2
Noob needs advice asap

DON'T wire any money. If it's a dealer they will take a credit card deposit. There are a lot of scams with airstreams involved. We looked for over two years before we found ours (locally). We saw a lot of scams, they always want you to wire money! See it, touch it, smell it, see the title and meet the people (owner)! Why take a chance with all that money?

Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
1965 mustang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 07:49 AM   #9
Rivet Master
BambiTex's Avatar
1955 22' Safari
1967 26' Overlander
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,342
If you decide to go through with the deal I highly recommend using It is essentially an online auction site for shippers. You can often get a very good deal (less than $1/mile) if you find a truck that is deadheading home after a long tow.
BambiTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:05 AM   #10
4 Rivet Member
Nomad518's Avatar
2001 25' Safari
Ridgefield , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 310
Before thinking about buying a new vehicle out of the state of California, you might want to check to see if you will have problems registering it in CA if it doesn't have CA approved emissions systems. It would be a big mistake to lay out big bucks for a new truck that you couldn't register when you got home.
Nomad518 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:13 AM   #11
Rivet Master
Mrjkq's Avatar
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,024
Joe12pack, wiring money is widow to a scam. A $5K cc deposit will hold any unit with a reputable dealer, you're being pushed into making a decision that may haunt you in a very short period of time. Most private sellers don't have the ability to take a cc deposit so i'm assuming this is a dealer or wholesaler, wired money is like cash, once handed over kiss it goodbye.

Also, if this is NOT a new unit with a manufactures bill of origin be further skeptical about title problem or undisclosed damage like fire or flood.
Mrjkq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:31 AM   #12
Rivet Master
TinShack's Avatar

2005 28' Safari S/O
Paradise , California
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,445
Images: 28
One other thing about a new truck is that many of them require a mileage defined break-in period BEFORE towing. For my new GMC it was 500 miles, so you may want to look into that before committing.

Also, as for renting a truck, most do not allow trailer towing. I looked into this awhile back and found that Uhaul was the only company that did, and there were certain restrictions.

I used a truck with a stick shift for towing next truck was an automatic and I would never go back to a stick for that purpose. Love a stick in certain cars.
TinShack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:37 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
LongShot's Avatar
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Ashland , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 88
Images: 8
Joe12pack - All of your Spider Senses should be on HIGH ALERT with regard to wiring money - if it's to a dealer, they'll wait. Also, remember, no matter how good a deal they're offering, no way are they not making money - make them earn it.

With regard to buying and towing - I think it's a great idea IF you approach it with a good plan. Plan to have a sway/load hitch installed and set-up properly (watch them set it up and know how to modify it yourself, research your brand preference online before flying out). Plan to drive no more than 300 miles your first day; plan to go no faster than 60 miles per hour; plan for everything to take longer than you thought it would/should (braking, passing, merging, parking, pulling in to get gas, etc.).

After your third day, you'll probably look down and realize you're cruising along at 65 mph - that's OK but beyond that and you may start to stress out your brand new tires. You'll need a list of items to bring with you or buy within the first 100 miles including: Flashlight, high-pressure tire gauge, paper towels, drinking water, cups, soap, etc. Get just the basics and add as you drive along. Keep a pad and make notes of what you need/want.

DO NOT rush into this lightly, but if you do purchase, welcome and take your time heading home - get to know your new camper and enjoy the ride.
LongShot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:56 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
San Rafael , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8
The dealer will take the initial deposit of $5k via credit card so I'm protected in that sense.

The last $5k will need to be wired before everything closes.

From my research he does seem like a legit dealer with website/eBay/etc.

He says his offer is only good if we can close by end of month. With only 10-11 days left in the month and with all the FedEx'ing of paperwork back and forth he said I need to make my decision very soon. I know it's a sales tactic to try to pressure me.

He did come back with a shipping quote of $3k from "U-Ship" which he says is some type of bidding process but he can't talk to the shipper until I move forward with this.

This deal for $62k for a 2015 International Serenity 25' seems too good to be true however I think where they are making up for it is the rate of 5.99% that he is offering me which is not the greatest (240 month term). Comes out to $420/month.

Anyway, I feel pressured to make a decision today and this might be something I should just let pass and do more research. The 2016's are already out so I suppose the fantastic pricing is due to this model being a year old already.
joe12pack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:13 AM   #15
2 Rivet Member
LongShot's Avatar
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Ashland , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 88
Images: 8
Joe - Do NOT Wire money. Tell the dealer that'll you will bring along a 'Cashiers Check' which you will turn over to them AFTER you have inspected in person. If that is not acceptable to them, walk away (they'll call you back). I got the same BS from my dealer in Florida, I told them that this is the only way it's going to get done and they finally relented. Of course, when we showed up prior to delivery to inspect the new unit, we brought along a Cashiers Check for the balance which actually put a frown on the Finance guys face as he couldn't sell us any financing and other needless stuff. Remember the old saying: 'If there's a deal today, they'll be a deal tomorrow!' Good luck.
LongShot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:22 AM   #16
Rivet Master
paiceman's Avatar
2020 28' Flying Cloud
Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,930
Images: 1
If you feel pressured back off. Let it go.

If you decide to go thru with it do not wire money. Have him send you the VIN and have it traced, if you can't do it your local police probably will, mine will. Do not bring it home yourself, never towed, new truck or new to you, new trailer is simply asking for trouble. Have it shipped. The service he quoted you is a bid process of individual people, some are not bonded, not insured and do not have DOT registration numbers. This part is probably not a scam, but it's questionable.

I'd wait and find something closer to home - any time a dealer or anyone else puts a time on something I turn, what most often happens is I wait and they sell it to someone else, which is always ok with me. Just lost a Shelby Cobra that way, there are others, and other Airstreams.

Good Luck

2020 28' Twin Flying Cloud-(Our 5th Airstream)
2021 F350 6.7 King Ranch
USAF Master Training Instructor (TI) - 68-72
paiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:37 AM   #17
3 Rivet Member
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Ponce Inlet , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 168
Agree with all do not wire money. 5k cc deposit should hold it. Tell dealer you will fax him copy of airline ticket purchase. This should be enough for the dealer to hold until you get there to inspect the AS. If not I would run not walk away from the deal. Bring a cashiers check or finanace the balance. I would purchase a RT airline ticket so that a way you have an automatic out and can make your decision(s) with out having to deal the hassel of how do I get home if...... If it doesn't work out spend the time sightseeing.
Good luck hope all goes well.
Beach Bum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 10:02 AM   #18
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
My opinion is that the "deal" you think you are getting is not going to be any cheaper in the long run than finding the same trailer on the west coast and transporting it a few hundred miles by yourself with your new tow vehicle (which you can have time to purchase).

The Airstream disease of deals and immediate purchase sight unseen from unknown parties has burned a lot of individuals over the years. Buy reasonably locally, inspect the rig personally, evaluate the seller, (private or dealer) and then make an informed decision. There is always another day, and another Airstream. They still make them brand new
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 10:06 AM   #19
Rivet Master
Gsmblue's Avatar
2015 25' Flying Cloud
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 743
Walk away from this. No RUN away.

The actions of the dealer you are describing are not the actions of a dealer worth working with. So many classic pressure tactics. Crappy interest rate too!

Take time, cool the jets a little. Deals come up all the time on airstreams. Go talk to your local dealer and see what they have to say.
Mad Astrophysicist turned sales guy that works to fund his dirty snowboarding habbit, mwah-ha-ha . . .
Gsmblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 10:10 AM   #20
4 Rivet Member
Curtis Wright
Currently Looking...
Eyren Haven , South Jersey
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 326
i would not send any vehicle sales person in nj any deposit unless i was on site to check the seller and the merchandise.
That said, towing a 25 foot trailer with a u-haul (not a van) would not be overly difficult on the interstates. i would stay south to miss the mountains.
Zil is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need Advice ASAP please - Brake controller question LizGK Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 36 04-05-2014 02:21 PM
Noob needs advice netman1969 2005 and newer - Bambi all models 5 06-02-2012 08:37 PM
Airstream noob wants advice gitrokr Interior Restoration Forum 4 03-09-2012 12:52 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.