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Old 01-13-2009, 01:15 PM   #21
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This may sound dumb but.....

.... As you are new to the forums have you looked into the classified ads posted here? There are some nice units for sale and some that need work too! Just thought I'd mention it as you may have been overwhelmed by all the great information that is available here. Good luck on your search, and Welcome to the group! Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:56 PM   #22
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Welcome, Vintage is certainly very cool. But you did say you wanted a unit ready to camp at a reasonable cost. IMO this would dictate 85 or newer. As noted above, these units tend to be very sturdy structurally (no rear bath issue, heavy frames) and also will have all the amenities that brand new units have; micro, cable TV hookup, etc. (if these are important to you). These units are also quite heavy, but you did say you were looking at 22’ or less ( for 4 people? Are you sure?). Units from this era (85-92) can be had a very good prices, but will require a stout tow vehicle. Less than 25’ feet a nice domestic ½ ton would do, over 25’ you should be looking at ¾ ton. The newer (Safari, et al) have returned to much lighter weights. Some would say this is an indication of cost cutting. The future will tell. I towed a new 25’ recently and it was way lighter than our 25’ Excella. IMO, AS’s from 85-92 are the best value in a camper most likely ready to go. You may or may not need to replace/repair appliances that are almost 20 years old (we replaced our fridge a couple years ago. Everything else has been fine with normal maintenance. A little bald on top-oh well)
Good luck, take your time. When you find the right one you’ll know!
(Disclaimer; all camper, regardless of year, should be thoroughly inspected).

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Generally I agree with Bill. However, there is very little difference between ’83, ’84, & ’85 so you could widen the range a little. And ’84s just turned vintage this month.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:07 PM   #23
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60's vs. 70's vs. 80's

I would also add -- Don't automatically discount one of the pre-1980 models with the comfortable rear bath. For anyone who is larger than average in size, the accommodations of a rear bath coach cannot be beaten by any of the 120 odd side-bath Airstreams that I have looked at (28' and smaller). A rear bath does not automatcially relegate a coach to the status of less desirable (IMHO).

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:30 PM   #24
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Like everything else here, I have a different opinion. I find that I like the shower in the ’83 Excella center bath vs. the “tub/shower” on the ’67 rear bath Trade Wind. The “tub” is more of a “wash pan” and really too small to use as at tub. The shower curtain is really a joke. You can take a shower if you are mid 5 feet or less, but anything less is difficult.

In this cast, size really does matter. The mid bath shower will accommodate a taller person. It will be nicer as a shower for everyone.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:34 AM   #25
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Thanks for all the advice!

I think what I'm finding is there are lots of different opinions. We're planning on attending the open house at the Texas Vintage in San Antonio in Feb. and hopefully will get to see lots of Airstreams there to get a feel for what will work for us.

We both work full time and have a toddler and a preschooler hence the need for something that is fairly ready to go. Bill, I thought the smaller size would be easier for towing and parking, not to mention getting better gas milage. Do y'all find length matters for those reasons? It seemed to me anything would be bigger than a tent but maybe....

The only Airstreams we've been in were new Safari's (very nice but unbelievably out of our price range), a 1980 Caravelle - the guy doesn't have Title, and a 1960-something Overlander - again no Title.

As Deitz645 suggested, we'd prefer a double bed instead of twins and my husband is 6'3" so I'm wondering if he can even sleep in the old beds. Hmmm...

Also, I just got Wanderlust in the mail - wow!I wish Feb. would get here so I could come dream.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #26
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At 6’3” your husband will be happier with the shower in the middle bath. As far as beds go, be aware that RV “Queen Beds” are not longer than Twin Beds like a real Queen Bed, just a little wider. I replaced the “Queen” in my Excella with a high quality twin, but there’s just me.

Take pictures and share at the rally!
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:04 AM   #27
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TexasAggie,
You are taking the correct approach by attending the rally. You will definitely get to see a lot of Airstreams and you will find the owners falling over themselves to show you their coaches. It's a wonderful thing about Airstream owners. Be sure to take pictures, ask lots of questions, and take notes on the myriad of floor plans you will wonder through. Who knows, you may even find your Airstream at the rally, as there are always a few for sale or somebody that knows of one for sale.

Since you mention your husband is 6'3" he may find the showers and beds a bit small. I was just in our '06 and '87 and measured the shower stalls and both at their highest were 6'. Which is more than enough us as I am the "tall" one in my family at 5'6" on a good day. We are probably some of the only people that can enter and exit our trialers without ducking through the door.

Another suggestion is to look at the clasifieds here on the forum, do Ebay searches, Craig's list searches, look at dealers' on line inventories, do a general Google search. The more you look and research the better off you will be. It may seem madening at times, but don't get discouraged, you will find your Airstream.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:20 AM   #28
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Without even reading the posts, I went to the end because Ifeel so strongly about the perfect Airstream. I had a '71 24 ft Land Yacht. It was perfect for many reasons. Good size and storage for myself, wife and three kids 5-7, towed easily with a 350 chevy, cheap, easy to work on and everything is mechanical. Don't let anyone tell you that electronics makes it better. There is nothing like being able to fix everything in the box with a tool box and it doesn't matter if the battery is dead and still have the refigerator working. I bought mine for $2500 and everything worked. Replaced a few things cosmetic, used it for five years and sold it for $3500 in good shape to a retiring couple who are still using it up. Good luck on your persuit and enjoy it now.

Sorry, I was corrected in a private message. It was a 25 ft Tradewind as the Land Yacht was the generic name for the masterful trailer that I learned to love. Can't say enough about how tough that trailer was. I really asked it for everything and gave very little back except pure love.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:55 PM   #29
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What to buy ???????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasAggie View Post
Hello all,
We are looking for an Airstream probably around 24 feet or less, that sleeps 4 and doesn't need too much work for not very much money. We want to be able to camp in it right away. That's not too much to ask is it?

My question to all of you is what are the pros and cons of the various decades of trailers?

Any help or advice is appreciated. This is a big investment, and we want to be sure we make the right decision for us.
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TexasAggie,
You have much advise on here to consider, I would strongly advise with the Vintage Ralley coming up that you not be in a hurry, and go to it and ask many of the questions you asked here of owners there. Listen to those that have owned different size trailers as they will give you answers close to your search and what size is really best. Write all your questions down between now and then so you forget none, another piece of advise is not look for one in a certain price range yet but look for what will best fit your needs not only now but for at least 3-5 years in the future, such as are you going to need more space (kids grow)? Answer this- where will I put the kids when it rains? will I have enough room for them inside for an extended period of time (such as all day or days)?
Once you have answered all your questions found what you need and want then you will be in a excellent position for the price part. This will lead to you finding the unit best for you and at a price you can afford.
I am betting that you change from the 22 to a 28, not much difference in towing, but has the added space for growth. Also many can be found in a resonable price range.
On this forum there is links for persons who inspect A/S trailers, use them, also consider something further away from you such as here in the South East rural areas.

Mark "Sarge" Hutchens
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:56 PM   #30
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We made the trip from Houston to the Texas Vintage Airstream Rally this weekend. Thanks for everyone's input and knowledge (and on the forum). My husband and I had a great time and everyone was incredibly welcoming and inviting into the airstream fold.

After all that we saw, we think we have a better idea of what we want - we like the layout of the mid-seventies with the middle bath, rear bedroom and angled kitchen counter. I am also leaning towards some of the recommendations given earlier here, such as in a longer model anywhere between 27'-31'. Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of a '75-'78 models airstream Overlander thru Sovereign. My husband was not as particular, he still wants a 60's model.

One consideration that I have is tow vehicle. My husband tells me we have a Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton V8. He thinks we'll be okay, but I wanted to get opinions since some of the trucks we saw there, he tells me, were 3/4 & 1 ton. That's all I need is to give him a reason to get a bigger truck.

Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks again for everyone's kindness at the rally. It made us leave there wanting a big, shiny Airstream even more.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:03 PM   #31
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One consideration that I have is tow vehicle. My husband tells me we have a Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton V8. He thinks we'll be okay, but I wanted to get opinions since some of the trucks we saw there, he tells me, were 3/4 & 1 ton. That's all I need is to give him a reason to get a bigger truck.
Hi, either you can find a trailer, in a size and weight, that your existing truck can handle properly; Or you can find your dream trailer and deal with the tow vehicle capabilities at that time. Seems most people on the forum choose the trailer first because they plan to keep it much longer than the tow vehicle. And then there are some who change trailers several times until they find the one they should have bought in the first place.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:19 AM   #32
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for not very much money. We want to be able to camp in it right away. That's not too much to ask is it?
I'm the down'r here...
We started our Airstream life with a 63 Safari, "everything worked", but not very well. It took two seasons to fix the everything works 'til everything worked. It was not a, "not very much money" experience. Was it worth it? You Bet!! We loved that coach for 18yrs and would have kept it had we had the room. But time changes things, and the "let's get camping" theme became more important to us.
Enter the 03 Classic. It has been a different experience. We are now learning how to maintain all the "new" stuff. One thing I think we all can agree on, owning any Airstream takes time and effort. But...the effort is worth it. I have gotten a perverse satisfaction in doing the warranty repairs myself, with a lot more attention to detail.

IMHO Bottom line, do your research here, it's your best tool. And if getting started right away is indeed your primary goal, go for the newest within your budget. Consider what is available in our classified section.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:05 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by TexasAggie View Post
We made the trip from Houston to the Texas Vintage Airstream Rally this weekend. Thanks for everyone's input and knowledge (and on the forum). My husband and I had a great time and everyone was incredibly welcoming and inviting into the airstream fold.

After all that we saw, we think we have a better idea of what we want - we like the layout of the mid-seventies with the middle bath, rear bedroom and angled kitchen counter. I am also leaning towards some of the recommendations given earlier here, such as in a longer model anywhere between 27'-31'. Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of a '75-'78 models airstream Overlander thru Sovereign. My husband was not as particular, he still wants a 60's model.

One consideration that I have is tow vehicle. My husband tells me we have a Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton V8. He thinks we'll be okay, but I wanted to get opinions since some of the trucks we saw there, he tells me, were 3/4 & 1 ton. That's all I need is to give him a reason to get a bigger truck.

Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks again for everyone's kindness at the rally. It made us leave there wanting a big, shiny Airstream even more.
Texasaggie- good move. Nothing like seeing for yourself and trying one on to check the fit! Lots of good advice from Rc and R-RUS above too....

Don’t let the ¾ ton/1 ton thing scare you. They are not really “bigger” just more capable. If you intend to buy larger than 25’, this is where you should be looking in TV’s. You already own the ½ ton, so you may try it (if you are within specified limits-you probably will be close) but don’t be surprised if your desire to “do more, see more, live more” steers you toward a more capable TV in the future…you won’t be the first.

Bill
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:29 AM   #34
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It's one thing to "camp" right away. It's another for everything to work right away. You can buy a renovated vintage trailer where most things work, but this isn't necessarily "cheap." The bottom line is that vintage isn't really cheap... but then again, you generally get what you pay for. Buying an older trailer may seem inexpensive when you look at the price tag. And if you are relatively handy, you can do a fair amount of work yourself but it doesn't take long to run a pretty stiff tab replacing, repairing or upgrading things. Probably the cheapest way to get a camp ready Airstream is to buy someone else's restoration or look for a deal on a 90s era coach. I think going to a rally and looking is a great idea. Knowledge is power.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
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After all that we saw, we think we have a better idea of what we want - we like the layout of the mid-seventies with the middle bath, rear bedroom and angled kitchen counter. I am also leaning towards some of the recommendations given earlier here, such as in a longer model anywhere between 27'-31'. Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of a '75-'78 models airstream Overlander thru Sovereign. My husband was not as particular, he still wants a 60's model.
I was at the rally and could have given you insight of my own. I have a mid bath 1975 Ambassador that was rennovated will everything new. It is quite roomy, and works great. If you are interested, some pics can be seen at my blog listed below. More pics can be seen on Flickr if you want to see them.

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Old 02-09-2009, 06:02 PM   #36
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Asking too much

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Hello all,
We are looking for an Airstream probably around 24 feet or less, that sleeps 4 and doesn't need too much work for not very much money. We want to be able to camp in it right away. That's not too much to ask is it?
I am sorry but I think it is not possible.....sleeping 4 in 24 feet or less would be very cozy indeed. Not sure what "not very much money" means but trailers that don't need much work are generally pricey and even some that do need a lot of work can be pricey....the trick is to figure out how much work it is going to need. The trailer can look great and everything can "work" but if it has a rotten floor, none of that matters....the floor is an integral part of the structure of the trailer. And replacing a rotten floor is not easy or cheap--unless you inherit one for free.... This is just IMHO......On the other hand, there is nothing like an Airstream be it 60's 70's or 80's. Good luck in your quest.....you can find all the answers to your questions here. pj
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:35 PM   #37
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Howdy Ag,
My wife and I are shopping for our first AS.
As much as I like the older ones, my wife knows how long it would take me to
work on one, and of course I know nothing about maintenance on a trailer.
We've pretty much decided to go new (or at least newer) thinking there'll be
less to fix and less time till we're on the road.

Fish Bell - F2 "What's it to you snake?" - '75
Good luck and keep in touch.

(My Aggie son lives in Houston by the way)
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:38 AM   #38
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Airstream Choices 70s and Texas

Howdy from Houston. I looked for a long time and went with a 72-25' Tradewind. It's not as big to haul as the 30 footers but does have a separate cabin with beds in it and a curtain to separate the "bedroom" from the front couch bed when our 12 yr. daughter can sleep with a friend. Smaller trailers have kind of an open one room concept. Bigger ones are more to haul and if you're new to trailering then pulling a 30 footer is something to try before you buy. I had hoped to find mine in Texas or nearby but it didn't happen. Had seen some close by but the deals didn't work out. Once you decide the model you want and the target year then be prepared to pay what it takes. Some one else is always out there with more money to spend, especially if the trailer you want is restored and ready to go. Even then make sure all systems work and are tested. Thought mine was and wound up putting in a new fridge and toilet the first month. There are a lot of the "I'm selling this trailer for a friend" or the "Don't know if anything works" sellers out there. In that case you can assume that they don't and you WILL be putting lots of money into the coach to get it to where you want. It's not hard to fix one up, but you need to expect to spend the additional money after purchase.
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