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Old 09-03-2014, 07:54 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2007 31' Classic
Buhl , Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 34
Acquiring and "Older" Airstream Trailer

We have owned an Airstream Trailer for many years and we have decided that we have "out grown" our precious 23 foot trailer and are looking to "upgrade" to a bigger model. While we are still looking, we are seriously considering 34 foot limited models. There are quite a few available and many look, from the pictures posted, wonderful. However, they vary in age from the 1980's to 2011 models as well as vary considerably in price. They are also located all over the United States. While we have several in mind, my question is: Is it well worthwhile to purchase an older model trailer, that has been well treated, versus a newer model. Differences in the "accessories" are often small for they are much the same but I am torn between getting one that is aging and may start to show wear or need more maintenance versus trying to obtain a newer model that wouldn't have the "years" on it and probably have less maintenance. Price differences are, often, significant. Your opinions and ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
There is no real answer to your question(s). Older things need repair or replacement, but some have been lightly used and will go a lot more time. You just never know. Axels have a known life of about 25 years. Refrigerators seem to go at 10 to 15 years, at least the ones made from about 1980 up. Furnaces become unreliable or even dangerous at about 20 years. AC units 10 to 15 years. Water heaters 10 to 15 years. (estimates, and my opinions only, of course).

So if you buy something 20 years old and things have been replaced already you may do just as well as buying a 10 year old unit which is going to need things replaced in the next 10 years or so.

Then there is interior fabrics, curtains, etc.

So, again, in my opinion, no easy answer for you.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:52 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,905
As you have observed, there is a large price difference between something that is newer and something that is older. So the challenge seems to me to be to find that perfect combination of an "older" trailer that has been well kept (stored under a roof in an arid climate, and not used until it is worn out). There are things that will age, such as axles and door, window, and vent seals, but most of these things are relatively easily/cheaply fixed.

I find that there are two kinds of RV owners--the ones that use them routinely, and the ones that hardly use them at all. You might find a 30 year old trailer that has relatively little wear on it from the previous owner, and yet has been taken care of. This is the goal, but you may have to do a lot of tire-kicking to find that combination. What you get by buying something newer is ease of purchase--the risk of a trailer that is only a few years old being in bad shape is relatively low. The risk of a trailer that 30 year old has problems is high, so you have to spend a lot more time researching, inspecting, investigating, etc., to manage that risk.

Good luck!
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