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Old 04-11-2017, 04:18 PM   #1
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Is Airstream worth the price?

So we are in the initial stages of researching and setting a budget and I want to know if Airstream really is worth the exceptionally high cost? Are their any competitors even close to their quality that should be considered?
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:20 PM   #2
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It's worth it to me. Your mileage may vary!

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Old 04-11-2017, 04:30 PM   #3
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When we decided to get back into camping two years ago there was no question if it would be an Airstream. They never look old!
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:34 PM   #4
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Welcome!

Only you can answer that, but to a lot of us here, they are. Depending on the size you are looking at, you can check out Olivers. I haven't seen one in person, but people speak highly of them. Arctic Fox trailers were the closest in quality we could find and see when we were looking, but they didn't really appeal to us.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:36 PM   #5
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We just bought a 2017 FC 26U. This is our 4th RV and we have progressively upgraded from a 17' hybrid, to a 29' TT with a bunkhouse, to a 35' Class A motor home (Winnebago). When we bought the Winnebago I thought it was so much better than the previous two quality wise. And it was. But after 10 years, it just looked old. Sure we could clean it up nice, but the graphics, etc. there is only so much to you can do.

Our Airstream was nicer from day one. Seems very solid and they always seem to look great. Everything in it is solid. It's the little touches as well as the overall design. Like a china toilet vs fiberglass/plastic, built in black water wash/rinse, macerator, etc. I think for us the decision is a great one and the 26U will likely last through our camping years and still have value when it's time to sell or pass on to one of our kids/grandkids.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:36 PM   #6
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We think it's worth the price. We got our first AS as a lightly-used two-year old, which brought down the price considerably.

A lot depends on your camping style, as to what would best suit you.

We wanted a smaller RV, to fit into old Bureau of Land Management, forest service, state, and national park campsites. (Generally these do have big-rig sites, but not lots and they tend to fill up first.) But we also enjoy the feel of "glamping" (glamour camping) when we're off in those more remote woods and deserts.

We live in bear country, so we wanted a hard-sided camper. We wanted a trailer vs. a van or motor home, so that we could park the trailer at our site, and take off on interesting-looking dirt roads.

As you go through this kind of calculation re: your own camping style, you can see what suits you best.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:37 PM   #7
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Watch what you ask for....

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith279 View Post
So we are in the initial stages of researching and setting a budget and I want to know if Airstream really is worth the exceptionally high cost? Are their any competitors even close to their quality that should be considered?
Wow; this should get some interesting responses for sure! In the end, everyone's experience is personal. We are on our 3rd AS; we have also owned a Casita in between the AS's, a Class A MH, a pop-up, modified van, and couple tents. Wife will not look at another brand. I find when I'm sleeping, it really does not matter, as long as I am comfortable! AS retains it's value probably better than anything out there. They have similar "flaws" like any RV built by hand today. (some may say "more") But what you have is a solid travel trailer with great aerodynamic properties (compared to other RV's), that will last longer then most anything else in this space, and a great bunch of folks on the forum to help you with any questions!(And, you also have a "lighter" wallet, which may be an issue to some!) To us, nothing comes close.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:48 PM   #8
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Worth it to me. I let someone else eat the deprecation by buying a pre-owned Safari.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:00 PM   #9
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Yes, they are worth it due to how well they hold their value. I tried finding a gently used one but ended up buying new (I was looking for a specific length, model, and layout for my situation) and found a dealership 3 miles from my house who was willing to work with me on price. Check www.rvdirect.com for base pricing and go from there. Make an offer, dealerships are in the business to move trailers. Best of luck if you decide on an AS. I went and checked out the Tommy Bahama model at my local dealership today and WOW!!! The rear door with the slide down screen is really nice! If you're near NC, ask for Robert (retired Coastie.....shameless plug for a shipmate) or Mike in sales at Out of Doors Mart. They will take care of you.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:11 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone appreciate the feedback. The AS really look great and since our goal will be full timing in it, we want to make sure we get a unit that will last years with proper care.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:29 PM   #11
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My apologizes, just realized you were in Alaska. Little bit of a drive to NC. I do miss it up there though. Some great memories fishing! (I'll attach a couple pics) I start full timing in my AS here in the next week and not sure I would have made this decision going with any other brand. Just my 2 cents. Again, best of luck with the search!

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Thanks everyone appreciate the feedback. The AS really look great and since our goal will be full timing in it, we want to make sure we get a unit that will last years with proper care.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:31 PM   #12
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Anything is worth what someone is willing to pay.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:33 PM   #13
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But....what size and which model, you may ask...

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith279 View Post
Thanks everyone appreciate the feedback. The AS really look great and since our goal will be full timing in it, we want to make sure we get a unit that will last years with proper care.
Here is where most of us have had some issues, especially when you go to a dealer that has several units. If you've never owned an AS, it can be as confusing as "which Mercedes do I get"? All the AS's are nice on first glance. Your lifestyle and your "partners" may differ on the road...we spent (and still do) many hours in the new AS's at dealers...seems we always find something new or at least confirm some information we may have forgotten when inside. It's tough to just go in, sit for a little while, and buy...when your using the unit, or towing it, or backing into a spot to camp, your initial decision can certainly be influenced...also, "size" does matter...no matter what others may tell you! You want to be comfortable pulling, comfortable living inside, and also be comfortable maneuvering the unit you select. Several of the folks here have gone up and down the spectrum in size for various reasons...just remember, if you start out "used", you can likely work out many of those questions in the first year and still sell your unit, (if not the right one), without taking a big "hit", if any hit $$.Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:07 PM   #14
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No, the AS coach it is not worth the price. No, there is no competition. We purchased one.

The smiles you experience from owning a shiny AS or similar are priceless.

You can save $ if you purchase a used coach. You must learn to do a lot of repairs and troubleshooting yourself or the cost to experience an AS RV is quite expensive. LEARN BEFORE YOU BUY! Compromise saves cost. The TV and gear may well be as expensive as the coach. Perceived safety can also be expensive. A conservative approach saves expense. Drive 55-60mph.

Keep it dry. Use it. Enjoy it. It will last a long time. At twice the price it would still be a value long term. Note, you can buy a Bowlus Road Chief for that, so maybe there is competition. Depends on you and your budget.

Travel safe. Good Luck with your research. Hope to see you down the road. Pat

Chapter 2

The Airstream is not a four season coach. They use the same appliances as other SOB coaches with the same warranty. They need upgrades to meet many RVers requirements. The Airstream is an ICON and derives it's value from that position in the market. You may well be able to purchase several new SOB coaches new for same price you will spend for one Airstream.

Chapter 3

If you choose to go with an AS. Do it right the first time or learn how to flip your way up with renovation and DIY skills. If you but too small, the wrong layout, or too big for where you want to go, it's expensive to trade.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:09 PM   #15
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Airstream Value?

In the last 14 years, I've owned a 25' Safari, a 30' Classic and a 30' Classic Limited with a slideout. I've pretty much recovered my investment on all three units. The main thing is to never buy a new one, in my case, all were 3-4 years old and hardly used. I made good purchases up front and was use each unit 3-4 years and get my money back. My only regret is that I should have kept the Limited as the prices have gone off the charts.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:33 PM   #16
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Is it worth the price? Compared to what? What will it cost you initially and down the road? And/or is it worth it?
Many people on this AirForums say Airstreams certainly cost too much for their poor quality, but they still buy and love them. So it’s that serious personal question seeking an outsiders simple answer?
Considering that thousands of people own Airstreams does not mean you should too.
How useful or enjoyable will it be to you though out the year? And for how many years until you give it up?
Will you get the same value for your money as others, or move on after a few short years, and feel you “been there done that” but maybe didn't get your moneys worth? Who knows what it might be worth to you?

Values like taste, and desirability are personal quality judgments. And how do you define quality? Many put more value on the quality of their life experiences than what they own. You might get just as much fun, and enjoyable experiences, adventures, etc. in an inexpensive used white box trailer.

For me personally, I bought my Airstream in part because of the WBCCI, and the many good people I met throughout the country. The club added value through it’s rallies and caravans. Too summarize: the price was worth it to me. AirForums.com is a good place to ask questions and get answers. Good luck with your decision making process.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:47 PM   #17
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I started with a '64 Silver Streak then moved to a '77 Airstream. We may move up to a newer year at some point, but I'm a glutton for punishment, I like my trailers old and riddled with problems. That way, when they are fixed, I know everything about them and the only one I can blame is myself. I'd never buy an airstream off the lot brand new, for both the immediate depreciation and the inherent problems they all have.

I did get a chance to check out an Oscar and I was very impressed by the build and attention to detail. I'd consider one for the right price and I'm always on the lookout for a good Avion...

Good luck with your decision, this is the best forum there is of any kind, there is nothing like it for any other trailer/RV. Having a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips and thousands of friendly folks experience to draw upon may be reason enough.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:56 PM   #18
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My apologizes, just realized you were in Alaska. Little bit of a drive to NC. I do miss it up there though. Some great memories fishing! (I'll attach a couple pics) I start full timing in my AS here in the next week and not sure I would have made this decision going with any other brand. Just my 2 cents. Again, best of luck with the search!


Great catch, I try to get out Halibut fishing at least once a year and Salmon fishing a few times.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:57 PM   #19
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Yes, it's worth it, especially at resale time. But, impossible to quantify is that feeling you get when someone in a Provost talks longingly about owning an Airstream. Or when someone comes up to you to tell an Airstream story from their past. You can't put a price on being a part of an iconic community. Well, check that; you can put a price on it and it's worth it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:25 AM   #20
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So we are in the initial stages of researching and setting a budget and I want to know if Airstream really is worth the exceptionally high cost? Are their any competitors even close to their quality that should be considered?
Arctic Fox builds a nice trailer for a 1/3 the price, sure the value goes down but look what you loose with an airstream..which is very expensive...I like my as, but I don't think it was worth what I paid....
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