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Old 03-30-2018, 03:44 PM   #1
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Help with purchasing an Airstream

Hello, new to the site and new to airstream. We have decided on getting an airstream but haven't decided what size etc. yet, but wanted advice on best time to purchase and what to expect during the purchase, best way to negotiate price etc. Any help for a newbie would be appreciated.

Of course we would like it right away, but willing to wait as well.

Should note, live in Canada but considering purchasing in the US (Washington) if need be.

Thanks
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:54 PM   #2
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Some helpful reading here:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f348...us-147877.html
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:57 PM   #3
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The first recommendation usually given (and I think it's the right idea) is to find an RV show with good Airstream representation or a dealer with a large inventory to visit so you can actually stand and sit and lie down in a variety of floorplans and see which one(s) feel comfortable to you. Different people have different wants and needs and are going to choose very different RVs, so you have to make a best guess for yourself.

Another option is to see if an Airstream club is going to have a big rally somewhere not too far away and have an "open house" event where people show off their trailers. That often lets you see some vintage and new units, and to see how people actually USE their trailers.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:18 PM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. You will find all the information you will need here on AirForums to acquire and use the right Airstream. Best wishes in your quest.

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Old 03-30-2018, 04:40 PM   #5
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Midtown RV in Penticton seems to be the biggest, maybe only, Airstream dealer in B.C. The listings they have on Kijiji seem to show a pretty good selection of new Airstreams for you to at least take a walk through. The Airstream website will also have all the available lengths and layouts.

Make a list of your priorities:

1) Don't think about a tow vehicle (TV) until you have chosen your trailer.

2) How many people will using the trailer (don't count kids if they are close to teenagers).

3) Prefered sleeping arrangements, queen, twins etc. A great nights sleep is paramount; your sleep maybe interrupted by trains in the middle of the night in many areas of the U.S.

4) Size of bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. I would find a suitable place to layout the sizes from the website on the ground with masking tape, as a 20' trailer isn't actually 20' inside; not even close; 20' gets real small, real fast.

5) Size of propane tanks, water tank, grey water tank and black water tank. If you plan on boondocking a lot, having bigger tanks is obviously better.

6) Amenities and accessories; convection microwave, dual A/C's, dual fans, windows, skylights, T.V, sinks, oven, etc, etc.

Going through this check list will point you in the direction of the length you want, which will be most likely longer than you expected. Once you have chosen a length and layout, then choose a TV to tow it; (please contact Andy Thompson at Can-am RV in Ontario for a list of suitable vehicles that would confortably tow whatever length of trailer you have chosen.) Also please notify Andy as to what terrain you'd be likely to encounter.

Just remember......it isn't sunny all the time when camping; so having a trailer with enough space to get away from each other and chill is a must.

As for a best time to buy an Airstream....there isn't one; they are expensive year round. You may find a better deal on a demo model that has been to a few RV shows and has some wear and tear, but that's about it. As for buying in the US......possible, but the exchange rate will add 35%.

Goodluck

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
...
As for buying in the US......possible, but the exchange rate will add 35%.
As well as everything that Tony mentions, there is a subtle difference between the electrical systems and exterior lighting as trailers sold in the Canadian market have to have a CSA sticker (for which we had to pay $600).
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:07 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. The Airstream is an excellent coach for some and a mistake for others. An AS is not a 4 season coach. If you plan to travel in temporate weather, you will do well. If you want to use it in hot summer or cold winter, you will be challenged. A bunch of panels riveted together will leak if not properly sealed. A wooden floor will rot if it is not kept dry. So, do your research, first.

Visit the Seattle dealer to physically spend some time in different coaches. That's how you pick a new one. RV showes may have enough models, but not likely.

Establish your real budget. Not the payments you can afford, but what you can spend initially and annually. The coach is $X and gear will be 10-30% more. Travel is on top of that. It is not less expensive than motels. You can use dishes and beding from home for cheep. But if you need solar, a generator, a perfect hitch, a new tow vehicle, or a storage building, the cost will build. That's part of your research.

Used trailers offer the most value and only minimal risk for the DIY owner. It is key to get a well maintained coach. They are out there. Major renovations are a trap for most, and a joy for the capable. Take care!

The more you know, the more you save. The more you can do yourself, the more you save. The smaller you can be happy using, the easier it is to access older and smaller campgrounds. The bigger you buy, the more comfortable you can be. Off road use has special concerns, including ground clearance.

Learn about tow vehicles, hitches, storage, and maintenance. Learn about warranties, repair facilities, dealers, WBCCI and campgrounds. Learn about solar, battery management, awnings and air conditioners. Learn about towing - it is not the same as solo driving.

There is an International Rally in Salem Oregon in June that you might arrange to visit on the days they allow tours of people's trailers.

Learn everything that the experts have learned over 40 years, by reading about their experiences instead of having to experience their lessons for yourself.

But most important - understand that it is not nearly as intimidating as the above might indicate. The AS trailers tow well. New vehicles are quite capable. And the forum is very helpful to new folks. We like to see the smiles on faces that come from experiencing a shiny travel trailer and the adventure of travel accross our wonderful country. Yes, Canada counts too!

Good Luck with your investigation and research. Pat
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:01 PM   #8
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Greetings from Colorado: You are getting some great advice from experienced Airstreamers. I can not improve it. We've had our 1986 Limited since 05 and have had many great adventures traveling the USA and a bit of eastern Canada. You may enjoy rallys and caravans with a potential new Airstream. They are great fun.

Airstreams can last a very long time. I agree that used trailers should be considered.

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Old 03-30-2018, 09:10 PM   #9
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Hello and Welcome!
Iím a newbie to AS and the forum myself. My 2019 Globetrotter will be delivered in June. I canít give advice on the TT itself but I can share my experience.

I agree with the feedback provided so far. In addition keep in mind where you want to travel. National Parks are limited to length of your rig and usually canít accommodate anything longer than 28í.

As for shopping and best deals, my experience is similar to buying a vehicle. Begin the bargaining process near months end and work with multiple dealerships to see who can offer you the best price.

I hope this proves helpful.
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Old 03-31-2018, 05:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lve42dy View Post

As for shopping and best deals, my experience is similar to buying a vehicle. Begin the bargaining process near months end and work with multiple dealerships to see who can offer you the best price.

I hope this proves helpful.
This would be great except for one thing........only two Airstream dealerships in B.C, and buying a trailer from a dealership near you will be better for service. Trying to get service work done on a RV is crazy hard these days with wait times of months.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
This would be great except for one thing........only two Airstream dealerships in B.C, and buying a trailer from a dealership near you will be better for service. Trying to get service work done on a RV is crazy hard these days with wait times of months.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
Hi Sidekick Tony....I donít have a local airstream dealer near me either. I was working with dealers in FL, VT and OH. I assumed a 5 Rivet rated dealer would service my rig no matter where I bought it. Thatís what I would expect of an Airstream culture. If this isnít the case, Iím disappointed in buying one. I bought AS not only for the quality but also the community and culture. So I hope my future experiences will meet my expectations and live up to the AS standards.

Respectfully, Lve42dy
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:10 AM   #12
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The Airstream dealer outside of Seattle (Covington) is a really good dealer. Large inventory of units, very patient and knowledgeable. They also have a good service department. If they don’t have the exact floor plan or color, they can bring it in from one of their other 4 locations.

Best of luck and enjoy!
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:15 AM   #13
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There is also an Airstream rally at the North Whidbey Island RV Park April 26-29th. That's pretty close to you I think, you could come down and check some out. Most people are willing to let you look around their trailers at a rally, I think - I know we would! It's closer to you than Salem if that's more convenient. I'll tell you, the BC Airstream group is one of the nicest group of people you will ever meet. As the president of Region 10 for the WBCCI, I travel to all the units in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, BC and Alberta - Sask. There are wonderful folks in all these places and the BC people were incredibly welcoming and fun and relaxed and friendly. I hope you get an Airstream! We just love ours - it has made a huge positive impact on our lives as we move into retirement. Her name is Alice and we use her year round here in the NW. Our two labs can't wait to go camping in the trailer this spring and neither can we!
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:32 AM   #14
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Welcome !

The statements above are all sound advice.

What solidified it for us was SITTING and visiting in EACH model we had "narrowed" it down to. We sat in everything from 25-30' and settled on the 28' Signature.

By doing that, you will get the "feel" of the different interiors/ models available (International, Flying Cloud etc.). Eventually size will come into play. We did not feel we needed the total 30' length after being in them.

Don't be in a rush, enjoy the search.

Dan
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:09 AM   #15
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Important info before closing deal

First, never ever pay list price on an Airstream. You can negotiate at least a 10% if not 20% discount on all models, even the 2018. (I've done it several times over the years, even getting over 20%)
Second, do not purchase extended warranty. Go with the standard factor warranty and then wing it. Every consumer agency will give you the same advice.
Third, decide on what Airstream you want, then think about it for one week, then rent one for a weekend and make sure you can tow it, feel comfortable in it etc
Finally, I did not like the Airstreams with the bed next to the head. A full width bed with the head in a different location rather than side by side is more comfortable and easier to get out of bed at night.
And decide which National Parks you want to visit. Some have restrictions and do not allow trailers longer than 24'
Good luck and enjoy
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:08 AM   #16
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Bought a 23d, too small...sold 23d and bought a Flying cloud 30 and a Ram diesel...perfect combo!
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:32 AM   #17
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selling and buying

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiedog View Post
Hello, new to the site and new to airstream. We have decided on getting an airstream but haven't decided what size etc. yet, but wanted advice on best time to purchase and what to expect during the purchase, best way to negotiate price etc. Any help for a newbie would be appreciated.

Of course we would like it right away, but willing to wait as well.

Should note, live in Canada but considering purchasing in the US (Washington) if need be.

Thanks
We live in SoCal, so i can't help with Canada laws.

We're selling our 2017 25' Flying Cloud after only 6 months. Love the trailer, but want a bigger one. We're 6 month newbies, so we're still learning.

Read the "Newbie book" from Air Stream, fun and helpful.

Some things to think about;

1. Make sure you're sold on the size and configuration. My fault on the size. I agree with one of the other responders, Don't rush into aa decision.
2. Make sure you get two 6 volt batteries in parallel, verses two 12 volt. Good for dry camping. I did and am I happy now.
3. If you buy from a private party or dealership I'd get the protection plan. A Private party's is usually transferrable.
4. Check the tire dates, make sure they're close to the trailer's build date.
5. Make sure you have the towing capacity. Get the stabilizer towing package. Check on UTube to see how it's one.

Hope some of this helps.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:54 AM   #18
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Hi we have full timed in three different Airstreams 1973 27', 1989 37' Airstream motorhome and presently 1987 31' for the past 8 years.They have been great to camp in. We camped all winter in the mtns with 2' deep snow. The furnace kept us warm and never had leak or floor problems. I don't know what kind of care of the unit the people who have these problems do. We have towed all over the USA and our first truck we traded it in with 180,000 miles. Our present truck, a 2016 Ram 2500 6.4 Hemi 4WD has 48,000 miles on it now. A good amount of these being towing miles.
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:35 PM   #19
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Bought a 23d, too small...sold 23d and bought a Flying cloud 30 and a Ram diesel...perfect combo!
The 23D is not too small. It's just not right for you. Tis the most important issue in an AS purchase that you positively must get right. Know thy self and thy needs. Trading is costly. Getting it right is golden.

When is the right time to buy? Answer, when the dealer or seller wants to sell more than you or anyone else wants to buy. It's why a sharp used buyer can make a real deal. Something that looks like it might be expensive to repair, but you know it's easy for you is a license to save big. Just don't get it wrong or it will be expensive for you too. Issue 2 on this is if you are a fix'n, you ain't a traveling or if you are, it's a really big deal. Getting a ready to go rig may be best for you. Look for sales, overstock conditions, dealer with some contingency sales working ... most important -- be patient, be willing to travel, and be willing to walk from a bad deal.

Get it right. Pat
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:09 PM   #20
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2. Make sure you get two 6 volt batteries in parallel, verses two 12 volt. Good for dry camping. I did and am I happy now.
I'm sure you meant in series, so that you have a 12V setup. Two good 12V batteries in parallel can also work well, depending on your needs and preference.
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