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Old 10-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #21
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Bob,

Thanks for your help. This is a great idea.

John
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:37 PM   #22
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John, I would spend some time looking at Airstream dealer websites to see what prices they're advertising for 2008 models (or even some 2007s).

For instance, Colonial Airstream in NJ has an 08 International Signature 27' FB at $57,499, marked down from MSRP of $70,763.

Colonial Airstream NJ - 2008 Airstream International Signature Series 27'FB

They also have a Safari SE 27' FB - $67,644 marked down to $49,995! (I feel rather bad for someone trying to sell a used recent AS right now.)

Just some data points - not sure if it's good or bad, but there's certainly big savings to be had. Some online looking could at least give you an idea where to start. And it looks like you should start low - I'm not sure there is too much risk of insulting a dealer in this climate....

Best of luck!
Tom
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #23
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We went new and have not been dissatisfied. Have two dogs each 48# and have had no problems. Our Honda 2000i holds enough gas for 12-15 hours of use, so for dry camping, using it 3 hours per day gives us 5 days b4 refill. We don't carry around a jerry can. We like the convection/microwave because it does a great job on biscuits and meats in short order.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:35 PM   #24
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Hi Tom,

Thanks for your help. Doesn't this say a couple of things about buying new? It would seem that untitled 07's and '08s have already depreciated some, so it would be the way to go.

But I have found dealers willing to give similar discounts on '09's. If that is the case isn't it better to purchase an '09 since it will be one to two years before it reaches the depreciation level of the '07's and 08's? It appears that the dealer is taking a depreciation hit on new units as well.

John
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #25
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums, John; we're glad to have you with us.

Two years ago, we were a lot like you. We thought that we wanted to try Airstreaming, but had only tent camped with our boys quite a few years earlier. We were both 58 years old, retired, and free to travel whenever we wanted. We had found these Forums which really helped.

We decided to buy new, and shopped for a Safari 25FB because it was the smallest Airstream that had a walk around queen bed. We found a great deal on a brand new left over 2005 at the Airstream Dealer in Alachau, Florida, which also happens to be the closest Airstream dealer to us in the Panhandle. We took delivery of our beloved Lucy on June 1, 2006.

We already had a 2005 3/4 ton Suburban to use as a tow vehicle. We decided to go with the Hensley Arrow Hitch System. It is expensive, but it works the best, period. There are absolutely no anxious moments on the road due to any sway.

We dove right into RV traveling and found that we love it. Over the last two years, we have traveled in Lucy extensively. We have towed her over 40,000 miles and have spent over 320 nights in her. We have gone on a couple of trips that were over six weeks long. We have become somewhat experienced RVers in a relatively short time. As I write this post, we are camped in Lucy in Jacksonville, Florida.

Here are my major observations, opinions, and suggestions:

1. Airstream is the way to go. There is not another travel trailer even close.

2. The shorter the Airstream, the better. If we ever were to buy another Airstream, we would probably get another 25FB, but would seriously consider the new 23FB.

3. You want the built-in black tank flush, a must have.

4. You want two Fantastic Fans. We added the one in Lucy's bedroom after about a year. They are great.

5. You want the air conditioner with the heat pump and the thermostat control.

6. The Hensley works all the time; the others work most of the time. It is worth the extra money.

7. The Sewer Solution works great; The slinky sux. I found this out after about a year of camping.

8. Trailer tires are junk if you really want to travel.

9. The new quiet generators from Honda and Yamaha are great. We have a pair of Honda 2000s as they are easier on my back.

10. There is no better way to travel and see the USA than an Airstream.

Best of luck in your decision. Take your time and choose what is right for you.

Brian
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:37 PM   #26
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But I have found dealers willing to give similar discounts on '09's. If that is the case isn't it better to purchase an '09 since it will be one to two years before it reaches the depreciation level of the '07's and 08's? It appears that the dealer is taking a depreciation hit on new units as well.
If the price is the same, yeah, I'd get an 2009. Then again, I'm used to the automotive world, where those 2 more years gave them two more years to get the design "more right." At least the trailer hasn't been sitting out for 1-2 years on the lot.

I don't think its a depreciation hit that accounts for the bargaining room in 2009s. Rather, the combination of slow sales and pretty large margins forces them to do that.

But the question of depreciation and used prices is a good one. For example, my dream "small" trailer is a 20' Safari SE. I've seen a leftover 2007 marked down to $33k from $47k. Looking at used AS prices, or at least what people typically ask for them, it would probably be several years before someone would advertise their 2007 20' SE for the $33k of that new leftover. There are multiple examples of used Bambis that are listed for as much as what a new leftover costs....

In other words, bargain hard. Don't rush. Look at all of the options over various model years and prices.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:15 PM   #27
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for your comments. They are very helpful. I can understand why the shortest trailer works. I tried to get Pam (my wife) interested in a 19 foot but she could only stay in it for about 2 minutes. A mild case of claustrophobia set in and she needed to get out of the trailer. Once we hit 27 feet she seemed to be fine and we stayed in it for about an hour. Since then that seems to be the length we have settled on.

6. I did order a Hensley hitch and it arrived today. Now I have to figure out out to install it once we find our trailer.

7. "The Sewer Solution works great"; The slinky sux. I found this out after about a year of camping. ??? I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say this.

8. Are you saying we need to replace the tires that come with the Airstream right away or get something better after they wear out?

Thanks again for your insights.

John
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:35 PM   #28
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Wow Mutcth!

That sounds like a great price for a new '07. I can only imagine that for the newer trailers prices will continue to drop for a while. I don't see the economy or other travel related expenses getting better for some time.

John
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:20 AM   #29
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Yeah, it is a good price for a 2007. Still about $14k north of my max current first-trailer budget though....

John, a curious question: is there a big difference between the 25' FB and a 27' FB? You and your wife should tour both. They seem to have very similar floorplans - having been in a 25', I'd have a real hard time wanting/needing something bigger. Lovely trailer....
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:30 AM   #30
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Hi John,

I would suggest installing the Hensley yourself. Just read the instructions. Then go to the topic string on these Forums called "the Ultimate HAHA users guide". It has a lot of great info on installing and setting up the Hensley. also, the Hensley techs are very good on the phone.

The Sewer Solution is a different sewer dumping method that uses a 3/4" dump hose instead of the 3" "slinky" dump hose. It is much easier and much more pleasant to use. I would never even think about going back to the slinky. Plus, the SS dumps upgrade without lifting the hose.

As for the OEM trailer tires, I am not saying replace them immediately. What I am saying is, they have to be carefully watched. They do not last like car tires. My OEM tires started failing after about 15,000 miles. I had three blowouts on one long trip. I was really dishartened by this as I have always checked tire pressure daily while traveling. I replaced them with 10 ply Maxxis. They went 22,000 miles before the first failure. Now I am looking at new tires again. I am considering going to 16' wheels and LT tires to get more than a year out of a set of tires. We do about 20,000 miles a year on Lucy, and always travel at 65+. If you don't plan on going very far, tires are not a major factor.

Brian
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:16 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by John Geisen View Post
By the way, what is the benefit of fantastic fans/ Are they exhaust fans or similar to ceiling fans? Are we better off with a second bedroom AC unit in the bedroom? Thanks again for all your help.

John
John

If you order a trailer or have an option on a unit on a lot, definitly get two Fantastic fans installed. Many of the trailers will come with one standard non-powered roof vent and a Fantastic Fan installed at the other end of the trailer. The standard vents installed by Airstream have cheap plastic covers that breakdown very quickly from the sun's UV rays. Ours recently broke down and left the trailer and the rain came in and soak our mattress and rug while the unit was in storage. The Fantasic Fan has a better quality cover and should last a lot longer in the Florida sun. Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:58 PM   #32
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Yeah, it is a good price for a 2007. Still about $14k north of my max current first-trailer budget though....

John, a curious question: is there a big difference between the 25' FB and a 27' FB? You and your wife should tour both. They seem to have very similar floorplans - having been in a 25', I'd have a real hard time wanting/needing something bigger. Lovely trailer....
Hi Mutcth,

Is there a big difference? I don't really think so but enough of a difference that we prefer the 27'. The queen bed in a 25' runs east and west rather than north and south. At home we sleep in a king and have been told that a queen in an Airstream is quite an adjustment; so we are also considering twins. As far as other differences; there is more closet space and there appears to be a little more counter space in the kitchen including a slide out microwave. Think that may be it, though. I prefer the size of the 25' on outside but we prefer the size of the 27' on the inside.

John
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:04 PM   #33
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John

If you order a trailer or have an option on a unit on a lot, definitly get two Fantastic fans installed. Many of the trailers will come with one standard non-powered roof vent and a Fantastic Fan installed at the other end of the trailer. The standard vents installed by Airstream have cheap plastic covers that breakdown very quickly from the sun's UV rays. Ours recently broke down and left the trailer and the rain came in and soak our mattress and rug while the unit was in storage. The Fantasic Fan has a better quality cover and should last a lot longer in the Florida sun. Good luck in your search.
Thanks. That is good info to know. Can a vent be replaced with a Fantastic Fan "after" a purchase or does it need to be installed new?

John
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:09 PM   #34
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I prefer the size of the 25' on outside but we prefer the size of the 27' on the inside.
LOL! Sounds like some nice details in that 27'.

We also sleep in a king bed at home - the small beds in most trailers are somewhat frustrating. One Bambi I looked at had only one bed/dinette that was all of 40' wide. That wasn't going to work....

Tom
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:00 PM   #35
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Thanks. That is good info to know. Can a vent be replaced with a Fantastic Fan "after" a purchase or does it need to be installed new?

John
I've heard of folks having the Fantastic Fans installed by their dealers and some did them themselves. Getting power to the fan is the only issue. Regarding the 27', have your wife take a look at the location and setup of the kitchen sinks in the 27' and then at the 25' FB, I think she will like the 25' setup is a lot better.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:01 PM   #36
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Regarding the 27', have your wife take a look at the location and setup of the kitchen sinks in the 27' and then at the 25' FB, I think she will like the 25' setup is a lot better.
Hi,

The sinks are identical in the 25' and 27' International. I think you are referring to the difference between the double sink in the 25' Safari and the single round round sink of the 27' Safari? We do like that setup better but it is no longer available.

John
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:35 PM   #37
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Fantastic Vents

Hi, John. As for the Fantastic Vents, I feel that only one is enough because if I open both vents with the Fantastic vent fan on, blowing out, the air coming in the other vent is just about the same. My regular vent lid has not rotted away as some others with newer trailers stated, but the wind blowing from the rear blew mine off last week. My trailer is four years old now and a new lid cost me less than $20.00 so I feel at this time an extra $300.00 for another Fantastic Vent isn't worth it for the sake of the better lid. If my trailer was already built with two I would take it. If you want to open all of the windows and have both vents blowing out at the same time it might be better to have two Fantastic vents. As for the bed being smaller than the one in your house, picture everything in your trailer as smaller than your house and you can/will adjust. Not all, but some of us feel that the breaking point for 1/2 ton tow vehicles ends at 25' and above that we recommend a larger truck. Good Luck on your decission.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:41 PM   #38
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Well, we finally did it.

Pam and I recently purchased a 2005 International in very good condition (although I've learned that nothing is perfect). So, while we were dead set on the International 27' model year 2008 or 2009 we finally decided on a very nice used Airstream International 28' from a wonderful seller. This weekend we installed a Hensely Arrow along with the Hensley True Control and I towed a travel trailer for the first time ever! Actually, even though it rained for the first half of the trip it was a pretty easy tow and we were home after about 4 hours.

Now I have to practice all the basics; like hooking up and unhooking, where everything is located, etc. But we are extremely excited. We will be doing a little traveling this winter and then much more next year. Why didn't I think of this before reaching '62 years old?

I want to say "Thanks" to everyone for your input and assistance while we took about 3 months to find our "home on the road". I'm certain I will have more questions in the future if you don't mind putting up with a couple of Airstream "Newbies".
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:49 PM   #39
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Hey John...congratulations! Glad you have successfully made the move. Now you have a whole new wonderful journey ahead of you! Enjoy, enjoy!
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #40
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Welcome to the Forum and congratulations on your new (to you) International.

We went through some of the same questions about the 25, 27, and 28. The queen bed was not negotiable and as we are used to a king bed at home, we couldn't go much smaller. The queen, we discovered, is not a true queen—it's shorter. We also didn't like the stock mattress. We bought a 2" medium memory foam thing to go on top of the stock mattress and it's a lot more comfortable. It's also longer, and even though the end sags a bit, our feet don't go over the end. The sheets come out often at the bolttom, but it's still better. We didn't like the standard bedspread that comes on the Safari's (it weighs 300 lbs. or so and isn't that warm; we thought it something our mothers would like) so we bought a Pendleton bedspread and it looks better and is just as warm and a lot lighter.

We chose the 25' because it fits better in many campgrounds, is easier to tow and we wanted to stick with a Toyota truck (only comes in 1/2 ton), but everyone is different. We sure did like that 27' though.

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