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Old 06-08-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
Rivet Master
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1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 661
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bewildered by used prices .. !

I have my Sovereign on the market and am looking every day for a smaller unit (my kids have grown up, just don't need the space, although know I'll miss it)

I'm seeing total wrecks or gutted trailers etc for $10k+ ... are these real prices ? cant be ...

Is there a thread for what people actually ended up paying ?

I'm finding it near impossible to find anything even half decent, don't want to really drive half way across the country, although happy to drive anywhere in Cali. I'm looking here and on CL ...hoping to find something in the 24'-26' range with twin bed layout and not a wet bathroom .. early 1970's with original interior. Should I be looking anywhere else?!

thanks, Nick
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,242

As you have noted, there is a *wide* range of possible conditions a 1970's trailer can be in. Comparing this one to that one is tough. Figuring out what this one should cost compared to that one is even harder still. Coming up with a list after the fact - not easy.

With anything like this, the over priced will sit on the market forever and ever. The "right priced" will sell, but maybe not in a hurry. The stuff that is at 1/3 of what it should be will get snapped up by the first person who notices it. My guess is that a wreck with a $10K price tag will sit on the market roughly ... forever.

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Old 06-08-2017, 03:07 PM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 15,970
We are now in the middle of "high season" for the pricing of used trailers and RV's.

A seller's market.

Prices will be lower next fall and winter.

Supply and demand . . .

Good luck!

PS -- Give my regards to Mountain Charley's in Los Gatos.

Yee haaaaa!

PS2 -- There is a sticky topic at the top of this sub-forum on trailer value guides -- FWIW:
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:05 AM   #4
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,242

It's most certainly high season for RV's up here in snow country. Storage over the winter is indeed an issue. I've never really understood if that also applies in sun country where there may be a "counter cycle" market for people escaping the snow. It certainly is easier to go look at an AS in Florida in February. They don't have to shovel it out from under 2 feet of snow

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Old 06-09-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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Taos , New Mexico
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 566
So the question is if there is a place where you can go to see what a unit actually sold for. I have not seen one but have noted that prices tend to be more reasonable and realistic on sites like CraigsList, eBay to some extent, and in the local sale papers and cork boards around a locality. Cash speaks pretty loud and my sense is showing up with cold cash in hand can help seal a deal if you feel good about the amount you are paying once you inspect the unit. It may be a sellers market right now but I do see that the market corrects pretty effectively on the Airstream Forum marketplace in terms of the outlier prices that feel a little (or a lot) unrealistic and the one-off build outs that are priced way out of the market because the owner wants to recoup their investement plus they tend to appeal to a narrow market - they sit on the site for an extended period then disaappear probably unsold. Then there is always the “Airstream-itis” where peole think the nameplate + age alone (words like vintage, rare, custom, one of a kind) means higher value. But - back to your question - I have wondered the same thing and am not aware of how you would go about seeing what a trailer actually sold for. In the end - somethiing is worth exactly what someone else will pay for it with their own hard earned money.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #6
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1991 25' Excella
2011 19' Flying Cloud
Santa Ynez , California
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,177
I have wondered if were in a bubble as far as market value goes on used Airstreams but as long as people keep buying the new trailers at ever increasing prices the value of older ones should trail behind.
Anyway supply and demand on the used trailers and like said "I'm finding it near impossible to find anything even half decent, don't want to really drive half way across the country" so supply is not good.
As far as what they actually sell for that usually stays between the buyer and the seller, and dealers sure won't be publishing that info.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Will Rogers

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:04 PM   #7
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1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 854
Check out Ebay, and if you are a member, you can log in and see sold units, and what they sold for. There are far more listed than what sell, but I guess that if you put a price on your trailer, and there is somebody willing to pay that price, then everybody is happy. Good old supply and demand!!!
ACI #7394
2012 GMC 2500 HD Duramax Denali
1976 31' Gone but fondly remembered
1976 22' Argosy
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:28 PM   #8
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
Rancho Murieta , California
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 247
Patience, my friend. You are looking for an older property and you need to stay focused. There are lots of "Fixers" out there and sometimes people are in love with them.
Ownership records help. California or Southwest units are usually going to be a more sound unit depending on storage and maintenance.
As you spend time searching, you will quickly learn a good deal or a fair deal from a bad deal. There is no buyer's value guide and there's no shortcut to understanding values. Be willing to travel if needed. California units are just going to be more expensive. Period.
Do your homework, pay for inspections, don't fall in love and again, be patient.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:35 AM   #9
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,242

On stuff that is < 7 years old, a bank will still do a loan. That sets up an interesting dynamic at about 8 years old. The number of buyers shrinks a bit and prices are impacted. Up to that point, a lot of people talk about a percentage factor off of the original price.

On *any* vehicle past 10 or 15 years, the value is simply a guess. The only way to get data is from auction records and documented vehicle condition. Even that data only works if there are a number of sales of similar items over something like a year. Old cars, old boats, old trailers all have this issue.

Do prices / values / interest cycle up and down? Of course they do. The economy matters. The price of fuel matters. Supply vs demand matters. The RV business *is* cyclical. Wait for the bottom of the next big recession and prices will be better. It also will be a better time to buy a time share, a used boat, or a pickup truck.

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