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Old 10-09-2003, 07:42 PM   #1
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Purchasing Advice: 2004 22' Safari

A few months ago I queried this forum about a reliable AS dealer in my neck of the woods (northeast Indiana). I got three recommendations for Dave Carleson at Woodland Travel Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Well, he just got in a '04 22' Safari and I'm in love.

Dave's been good to work with so far, but I want to run his deal by folks who know more about Airstream and its dealers than I do.

List price for the 22 footer is $35,903. Dave's offering it for $33,500 which includes a load equalizing hitch and installation (he says this is about $600). That's about seven percent under list, which from my experience is less than the 15 to 20 percent off most dealers will give when pushed. It's a new model in a new model year, so perhaps I can't expect the dealer to discount as deeply as he might after it's been out for awhile. Is this a reasonable deal?

Related to this is another question for those with experience purchasing Airstreams. My wife and I will be taking a closer look at the unit and I wonder, are there particular weaknesses in construction or other quirks particular to Airstreams that we should look out for before putting money down?

This forum has been of enormous help so far. I hope to make my participation legitimate in the near future. Thanks for all the help.
Don
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:32 PM   #2
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Don,

Paul Sherry in Piqua, OH, is not to terribly far and the prices were better than 2 other dealers I worked with.

Eric
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:06 PM   #3
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Models that are in high demand and or short supply will not be discounted as heavily as other models. I suspect that the new 22' Safari would be one or the other, if not both.

$600 is about right for a simple load leveling hitch with friction sway bar. Even for a 22' Safari, I would go the extra $100 - $200 for a Reese Dual Cam. They are so much better, and the amount of money as compared to the total cost is so trivial.

A dealer who "has been good to work with" is worth paying something of a premium for. How much more is hard to say.

The entire trailer is a "quirk". No one makes a trailer today using the Airstream construction. Given the skills, effort, and cost it is a minor miracle that even Airstream still does. The Safari 22' is, I asssume, basically the former International AS, and a weakness in the frame was discovered earlier this year in that model. Current production models are being built with a strengthened frame. With reasonable care, experience suggests you should be good for about 40 to 50 years.

Mark

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Old 10-09-2003, 09:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
A dealer who "has been good to work with" is worth paying something of a premium for.
I agree with this. You need to have a dealer you feel comfortable with.

Regarding the price...consider this: we're off season now. This is the time to get the best deal! 15-20 off is obtainable, you just need to shop around and probably drive a few hours more.

Quote:
It's a new model in a new model year, so perhaps I can't expect the dealer to discount as deeply as he might after it's been out for awhile.
This is not exactly true, if you shop you will find the right price. We have had first hand experience with this. We bought a brand new 25'CCD in August!
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:18 PM   #5
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Thumbs up 2004 22" safari

A 22' 04 safari for 33500 with hitch sounds good. The big question is are there any options on it?

My wife and I 3 days ago bought a 22" 04 safari for substantially more than that , 36,150.00 , but we had plenty of options/ or maybe we paid too much ( we did a custom order in June ).
the options we had were:
Awnings package all around.
2 fantastic fans , reversible with rain sensor.
Brake control, reese weight dist. hitch & elec.
stainless steele wraps in front ,Elect. hitch
They threw in the usual strff , Sewer lines, electric adapter, cords
We love it , yes they are expensive, but our dealer has been great to work with and they have a real Air stream sheet metal mechanic in their shop ( 15 years expierence )

QC was really pretty good only a couple minor things. Good luck with your decisions hope my info helps you.
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:20 AM   #6
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2004 22' Safari

The one I'm looking at has the Amarillo upgrade ($347 retail), an electric hitch jack ($?), and the weight distributing hitch (about $600). That's it.

I emailed Paul Sherry for a quote, but never heard back from them. I've had problems in the past with a large volume dealer like this one, so I'm not surprised at the lack of a response.

I'll work on Dave. Maybe he can drop the price some, or throw in a Reese Dual Cam for the same price.

A question related to lee's post: Do you find a weight equalizing hitch necessary on the 22 footer? My (admittedly limited) experience suggests that, generally speaking, load equalizing hitches don't really help much on trailers under 25 feet. If I'm wrong, please let me know.

Thanks to all for the advice. It's appreciated.
Don
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:29 AM   #7
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Don,

Call the toll free number on the website and and ask for Jerry Penely in sales. My exp with Paul Sherry was the opposite. I sent an email price quote request from their website and I had a response within 24 hours or less.

Jerry is pretty good about getting answers too.

Sherry's price in my particular situation was the lowest by a bit more than $1000.00.

FYI......

PS- I have a 19' trailer and weight distribution is very much needed. When the weight of the trailer being pulled exceeds 3000-3500lbs, a good rule of thumb is to then go up to the weight bars. Most hitches say clearly on them that the hitch is good for a tounge weight of 350-400lbs w/o weight distribution and 1000lbs with. Althought he weight bars primary issue is to balance the hitch weight, it also provides some extra rigidity to the connection which enhances the tow performance I find.

Eric
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:45 AM   #8
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I just set up our 1995 Sovereign with a weight ditributing hitch. This AS has a dry weight of about 3900 lbs and we are towing it with a 2002 Ford F150with the towing package. When I hooked up without the hitch it pushed the back of the truck down 3 or 4 inches. The weight distruting hitch helped a lot. I went with nothing fancy, just an EZ lift with 750 Lb bars, cost was $320 with ball and sales tax.

Phil
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:49 AM   #9
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I'll second the weight distribution advice. you definately need it, unless you're pulling w/ a 1-ton, which some say is bad for the trailer due to the stiffness of the suspension.

Before hooking up the weight distribution bars on my 1/2-ton pickup, it resembles the volkswagon ad where they hook up a trailer to a beetle, and the front of the beetle lifts off the ground. And as Eric said, the hitch on my truck is rated at 500lbs, or 1000lbs with WD. the tounge weight on my older, (and therefore lighter) 23' trailer is 580lbs. So, there you have it. New trailers of the same length weigh considerably more.
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:57 AM   #10
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Don,

I think you will find that there are much better deals out there. If I were you, I would not worry about what the dealer is throwing in and keep everything separate.

In my opinion, you should find out what the MSRP of the trailer is with all the options and work off of that number. I think a reduction of somewhere between 17% to 20% should be your goal.

After that, you can negotiate the equipment that you need. I hope that this helps.

Josh
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
A question related to lee's post: Do you find a weight equalizing hitch necessary on the 22 footer? My (admittedly limited) experience suggests that, generally speaking, load equalizing hitches don't really help much on trailers under 25 feet. If I'm wrong, please let me know.
Absolutely necessary on my 22' International on my 1/2 ton Silverado. Haven't hitched up yet on my new 2500HD, but I will use the bars to add stiffness to the connection whether or not they are needed because of truck rear end drop.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:32 PM   #12
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2004 22' Safari

Thanks to everyone for the help. A phone call to Jerry Penely got me quotes on a couple units somewhat lower than the prices I have gotten so far. It is also clear that I need a load equalizing hitch for whatever I end up with.

Like my son says: This forum rocks.
Don
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:44 PM   #13
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Don,

Glad to hear Jerry took care of you. I liked working with him. He really is on top of things.

Eric
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