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Old 03-01-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
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Titomelega's Avatar
1952 17' Clipper
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 10
First time buyer needs your help with pricing

Hello Forum,

I am a buyer in the Los Angeles area looking for my first Airstream. I am looking for anything vintage in the 18-20 foot range, without tongue.

As I started my search it quickly dawned on me the difficulties of figuring out a fair price for any given trailer. I would truly appreciate your insight and guidance on determining a fair price for the following two examples.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Cheers, Tito.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:22 AM   #2
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1996 28' Excella
Portland , Oregon
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Both those listings have been deleted by the author.

What do you mean "without tongue"? All trailers have a tongue. That's the part that you hook up to the tow vehicle. Right?

1996 Airstream Excella 28'
2007 GMC Duramax 4x4 CCSB
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:12 AM   #3
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,418
Airstreams are generally measured including the tongue - which is about 3 feet long, so you'd be looking for a 21 to 23 foot Airstream.

Condition is everything! Especially in a used Airstream and many of the potential problems aren't easily spotted by a first time looker. Also on the west coast, Airstreams are a bit more pricy new, simply because of the cost of shipping them from OHIO. That may also reflect on the price of used ones.

If you have the luxury of time, you should educate yourself thoroughly before pulling the trigger. Join your local WBCCI, visit some dealers, look for AirForum rallies in your area, and generally poke your nose into a LOT of different Airstreams... And while you're at it, look at the "silver kin", Avions, Streamliners, etc. Looking at floorplans won't tell you that the bathroom door is too narrow for anyone with a waist bigger than 24" can't fit through, or that knee room will be a real problem. And what if you're too tall for a twin bed model? First find something you'll really want to keep for a long time, then go looking for that model! Many people move up from a smaller to a mid sized Airstream simply because they want something they can get the most use out of. Rallies, especially restoration ones will be full of people who can show you what to look out for... like rear end separation or bent/broken frames.

Once you've got your homework done, you'll get a better bargain on a gently used Airstream. If you decide to buy new, do it NOW before the camping season really starts. (NOW means this month!)

Good luck, Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:59 AM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Making an informed decision

To be time efficient, you need to visit a number of Airstreams around the age of the unit you are interested in, to really get the feel of them. This is best done by visiting a rally ( WBCCI or otherwise). The owners are usually very happy to invite you in to see what they have done. The best buy will be obtained by looking at the listings here or finding someone who has fully reconditioned a trailer and has either aged out or moved on from trailering. The final cost will, most times, be lower that buying one in need of repair and fixing it up.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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Titomelega's Avatar
1952 17' Clipper
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 10
Thank you all for your responses and advice.

Although these trailers have been sold, your answers help me moving forward.

I am back in town after a month of work on the go. Time to resume the search.

Cheers and happy roading.

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