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Old 10-29-2003, 11:40 PM   #1
Rivet Master
wheel interested's Avatar
2007 23' International CCD
Lapeer , Michigan
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,049
considering first Airstream

Hi Everyone. I have only just found this forum and I think it's great to have a place to come for information.

We have been considering our first Airstream purchase. As it is the end of the year there are some good deals available. We are looking at several sizes from the 22 ccd to the 30' Classic and may even change tow vehicles. So right now I am on an information gathering mission. When we checked out three different dealers we could not help noticing that the older units looked the worse for wear on the exterior. I have been reading in the exterior restoration forum about stripping, sealers, polishes, waxes, and great expenses for labor for factory clearcoat.

My question is this, if we do choose an Airstream are we in for a lot of exterior maintainence, in time and expense? We had not considered that previously.

Also would like to pick your brain about pulling the Safari 28" with the Expedition, with our setup the trailer alone (unloaded) is about equal to full tow capacity of our car (6800) and the hitch weight is over by 400 lbs, I think. Guess that's a definite no-go. Darn!

A bit of personal history; we have had a 26' Towlight trailer for two years, a 21' for two years, a 1406 Jayco for one year, and the lowly 806 for several years, tents before that.

Thanks for your time and a cheery hello from Lapeer, Michigan!!
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Old 10-30-2003, 12:05 AM   #2
Rivet Master
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1984 31' Excella
Abernathy , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 859

The plasticoat peeling, that everyone eventually endures, does not affect the usability of the trailer.
I elected to search for a 25' Airstream, 1980 something at about the $10K range, that had been cared for sufficiently to not show neglect, but reflected some pride of ownership in routine maintenence.
In April 2002, after about an 8 month search, I ended up purchasing a 31 Excella, 1984 in Lubbock TX, within the target price. It is a 2 owner, both prior owners had no children, and the interior was perfect.
The exterior has some peeling plasticoat from the years, and some light hail particularly on the rear end cap. But, the functionality of the trailer is not impared one bit.
With new Airstreams in the middle 5 digits in price, I thought the 31' 1984 Excella was a wonderful deal.
I have had to put tires on and a new water heater, but nothing else has been a problem other than riveting the belly pan with new rivets and shoulder washers to snug it up.
You can pay $40,000 up for a newer model, or pay about $10,000 for one in the shape mine is in and have just as much fun, and worry a lot less about the first signs of any peel of plasticoat.
Eventually, if I want it to look "restored", I will have to consider polishing it. However, because the used Airstream holds it's value so well after about the 10th year, if it has been cared for, I feel I could get my money back out at almost anytime.
Just my 2 cents....
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Old 10-30-2003, 12:17 AM   #3
Rivet Master
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1979 30' Argosy
Havelock , where we park it
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,652
Thumbs up A purchase never to be regretted

Welcome the forum.. we purchased our Airstream this past June and it is a 1976 Tradewind 25'... the price of the same trailer now is $1000 more and than some.. Hope you find what you are looking for.. we looked for a year and ended up getting it 30 miles from home.. and it was advertised on the internet.. Annie
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:14 AM   #4
3 Rivet Member
1996 30' Excella
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 191
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My guess is you are looking at new trailers. If so the plastic coat is no longer used. They are now using a coating applied at the mill, and have not had any real problems with the new finish. I am not sure what year it came in but think it was around 1999. Those of us with older trailers do have problems with the clear coat but if you keep the trailer waxed twice a year it still looks good.
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