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Old 11-16-2019, 05:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Hey, I bought my current house without ever seeing anything but a video, a whole lot more money than an Airstream. I trusted an independent inspection so if you obtain a good inspection, you should be fine.
Larry
Hi

We have bought and sold a lot of homes over the years. Every single one of those had a "professional inspection" as part of the process. In some cases (when deals fell through) there were *multiple* inspections. I can't think of a single one out of those 20+ that made it past "superficial". My guess is that they came in, they needed to find five issues and when they did, that was it.

Can an inspection find a lot of things? sure they can. The issue is that they often aren't anywhere near as good as they should be.

Bob
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:50 AM   #22
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Thumbs up Airstream inspections/repair New England area

Owner of Airstream International 19 and also an owner of a licensed Auto Repair facility that has worked on RVs North of Boston. Not sure where I add our company info, but if folks need assistance in inspection of a possible unit for sale be more than happy to work with them on a complete documented analysis. Our facility has been in business 30 years.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:09 AM   #23
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BUY Local... always. There are hundreds in your area

Buy local.

If the Airstream is as good as you... think... why is it still for sale? Purchases of used are AS IS, no matter what the owner may say.

My neighbor bought a RV Bus that was 'stored in a RV Garage' and in great shape. It became a money pit as... once sold... it is AS IS. Did he learn his lesson? The sun burn on the paint was a first clue to me... it probably sat in an outdoor lot for years... and conveniently RV Garage stored at the end of its life.

Bought another, later model... trying to sell the first mistake at a RV lot.

If you have an Inspector look it over... you have, at least, a better chance of being able to tow the trailer home... without a break down on the way(?). Figuring the cost to fly to look and then driving to pick it up and return... hitch. IS your tow vehicle appropriate to tow what length of trailer. You have avoided saying anything... and yet posts are... real optimistic it will not be a lemon.

Was it used FULL Time as a home? You will smell... it immediately.

Wheel bearings and brakes and tires... are the beginning. Leaks to operation of ALL appliances... in NEW trailers and USED are a must to have inspected and tested. We looked at a number of NEW Airstreams and some we would not buy at any reduced price.

The Airforums has used Airstream advertising. Craigslist has trailers for sale, although you really need to be accompanied by a knowledgable trailer owner.

You do not mention the length, model, how many owners, year... price. Trust me, no one following this Thread is going to scoop this 'fantastic deal' from you. This trailer has already been walked through by other possible buyers.

If you do not know what your are doing... you will soon learn, like my neighbor.

It is hard enough going through a NEW trailer/RV. Why buy someone else's problem? Their reason for selling may sound like a sweet song from a Canary... but the noise of a sea gull could be your experience.

A good deal on paper is the sales pitch. The rest... you had better have a thick wallet, know what you are doing before, not after, purchase.

I am sorry if this sounds... negative. At least an Airstream Dealer may offer a short warranty... and if they don't... walk away, as well.
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:02 AM   #24
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I agree that you should go and see it in person. In my case cigarette smoke or cat dander are immediate deal breakers and not apparent in a video walk-around. The other deal breaking thing not apparent in a video is floor rot due to slow leaks. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:32 AM   #25
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I think the op checked out a while ago and since we have not heard where the Airstream is located, it does not seem she is interested in local help.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:10 PM   #26
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Last month, i contacted a person selling his 2018 GT. He stored in at the Airstream dealership in Albuquerqe, we live in Florida. I asked the dealership to eyeball it. He was familiar with the unit, one he had sold when new.
The seller and I agreed on price and my wife and I drove 1800 miles, arriving on a Wednesday night. We closed Thursday and after the walk through at the dealership, we left Friday afternoon and headed east.
Our transaction went well primarily because the dealership assured me there were no problems they were aware of. Even though we own an Airstream, thus somewhat familiar with how they operate, the dealership (for a small fee) gave us a 2 hr walk thru, set up the hitch, and sent us on our way. Their involvement made the transaction very peaceful with an absence of worry. I realize not all long distance deals work that smoothly.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:47 AM   #27
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Smile Thank you!

Hi All,

I didn't check out! Been traveling.

Thank you to all. It's so great to hear everybody's stories. It's really helpful and gives us more to think about. Definitely have an inspection lined up already, but it's helpful to hear what next steps should be based on everyone's stories. Great community on here.

Thanks to all.

Cheers,
Amanda
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:15 AM   #28
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Oh the Old House Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

We have bought and sold a lot of homes over the years. Every single one of those had a "professional inspection" as part of the process. In some cases (when deals fell through) there were *multiple* inspections. I can't think of a single one out of those 20+ that made it past "superficial". My guess is that they came in, they needed to find five issues and when they did, that was it.

Can an inspection find a lot of things? sure they can. The issue is that they often aren't anywhere near as good as they should be.

Bob
We know what you mean, actually! We inadvertently ended up with a money pit house after in person visits, the required professional inspection, as well as both an additional inspection and a structural engineer analysis that we decided to throw in for good measure. We were thorough thinking we were overdoing it with caution at the time as there was no reason to think there were hidden issues. Turns out there were band-aided issues that have kept us busy the past 5 years. That was an exceptional/non-typical buying experience that came down to bad luck, we know. The silver lining is we did learn a lot in the area of home repairs and are thankful we bought it regardless as the homes in the area are now very expensive to buy. We've also grown even closer as tough experiences will do to you! But, yeah, definitely makes one cautious with future purchases, so we are trying to be thorough with this process.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:29 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amalynne View Post
Hi,

My husband and I have been looking for an Airstream. We have visited and looked at multiple units at dealership as well as a private seller in person at this point. Now, we have found one that fits all our criteria, is at reasonable price, checks off all the boxes and we just really like it from what we can tell so far. Itís being sold by a private seller. However, itís on the other side of the country. We havenít been able to see it in person. Have any of you bought an Airstream that you werenít able to see in person first? We are thinking that if we can: 1) ask the seller if he could video chat us and walk around and show us the Airstream live and answer questions, 2) hire an inspector to inspect it if the first step goes well, and if that goes well, start the process of negotiating/purchasing. Does this sound doable? Is this crazy. Any other advice. And whatís the best way to hire an inspector that we can trust to not be partial? Is an NRVIA certification a good measure of this? Thank you in advance.
..bought ours from clear across the country...was good...drive out and inspect it and bring it home
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:30 PM   #30
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airstream horror story

Download aln listen to the podcast "This is uncomfortable" the October 31 episode entitled "Money horror stories" details how a young couple got ropped off of $20k doing this.
Forewarned is forearmed!
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:44 AM   #31
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Are you in Fuquay-Varina? We have a 2016 Classic rear queen for sale located near Littleton, NC at Lake Gaston. Close to you.

Linda
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:51 AM   #32
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We did this exact thing a few years ago: bought our 2008 International CCD sight unseen from a private party on the other side of the country. Through a twist of luck we were able to get it delivered through a different private party via uship so the first time we saw it was when it was backing into our driveway.

It was definitely a stressful experience, but through many phone calls with the seller, a lot of research, and a conversation with their local airstream dealer who had seen the unit the previous fall, we wired a stranger a pile of cash and everything worked out.

I've bought and sold cars and motorcycles sight unseen before, so I was no stranger to this method, but it was still very nerve wracking.

The key is an independent set of eyes on the unit to inspect it. Pay this person and build a report with him/her. Fully disclose the situation to both the inspector and the seller and tell them that you are trusting them completely. Do your online research (google street view, arrest records, zillow, etc) and if you get any FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) bail, run away, cut your losses and ignore your emotions. Be willing to do this at all points and you might just get the camper of a lifetime.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:46 AM   #33
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Charlotte , NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amalynne View Post
Hi,

My husband and I have been looking for an Airstream. We have visited and looked at multiple units at dealership as well as a private seller in person at this point. Now, we have found one that fits all our criteria, is at reasonable price, checks off all the boxes and we just really like it from what we can tell so far. Itís being sold by a private seller. However, itís on the other side of the country. We havenít been able to see it in person. Have any of you bought an Airstream that you werenít able to see in person first? We are thinking that if we can: 1) ask the seller if he could video chat us and walk around and show us the Airstream live and answer questions, 2) hire an inspector to inspect it if the first step goes well, and if that goes well, start the process of negotiating/purchasing. Does this sound doable? Is this crazy. Any other advice. And whatís the best way to hire an inspector that we can trust to not be partial? Is an NRVIA certification a good measure of this? Thank you in advance.
We live in NC and found one in the classifieds here on the forum in CA. It was exactly the one we wanted, so we contacted the owner and she did a walk around on Skype or Facetime (I forget which). She showed us everything including some tiny corrosion and light scratches on one side. We knew we wanted to change out the counterop and floors anyway but there was a melted place on the edge of the counter. She was honest and pointed those all out. We drove out and picked it up and pulled it back (in 14 days). A wonderful trip! We have had NO PROBLEMS for the one year we have owned it. We replaced fans, flooring and countertop (just upgrades) and just this NOV. we have a leak. We are looking for the source... but we know the Airstream did not have this the past year (this JUST happened and we suspect the kitchen sink... Working on that this weekend). We love our Airstream and got a great deal (half of new) and had a great buying experience. I'm not sure anyone who didn't REALLY know Airstreams could have done better at assessing. We studied what to check out before we arrived but we were blessed that everything worked perfectly. The owner even threw in the 800.00 hitch since she would have no longer have a need for it. We took new wheels and tires out with us and replaced the emergency brake wire before leaving CA. It was the trip of a lifetime and although we have been all over in the Airstream since, it is still our favorite trip! It can be done! (....and you may save a bundle of money!)
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #34
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I haven't read all of the responses but one thing I would add is that you may not know what you don't know. You haven't mentioned whether you have experience with Airstreams or campers in general. If not, you may not know what to look for in terms of possible issues. That would be a great reason to get someone with experience to take a look at it for you, like getting an inspector to inspect a house prior to purchase.
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:52 AM   #35
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Don't buy cross country

I am looking for a 2-3 year old 25'-27' FC.

This my first A/S and have been advised by those in the industry, and some A/S owners, to buy from the local dealer for the sole reason of service.

This is my first RV of any kind so I am one of those who don't really know what I don't know.

I have been told that A/S dealers will put you at the back of the line for any service you might need.

Anyone have experience with that?
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:59 AM   #36
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No, the line is so long at dealers that unless you have an emergency you have a long wait, regardless. I suspect it is like a car dealer, sales and service are different business units and each wants revenue. My dealer sees so many trailers for service, they cannot all be purchased there.
Larry
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:10 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Compared to the price of an Airstream, the cost of a "cheap" flight across the country is not that big a deal. Shop hard and you probably can do it for a couple hundred dollars.

Go see the trailer yourself. We've done this sort of thing a number of times. Video / pictures / second hand analysis never get the job done. You need to see it yourself.

Bob
Agree with UB: go see it before purchase....we bought our second 2008 25' Safari "twin" at a "bargan price" with winning bid on Ebay. Advertisement and pictures sounded great! It had "many upgraded features, including solar, extra large golf cart batteries, twin beds, etc" We were so excited and put money down and purchased...but had to go to Tucson to pick it up...when we got to AZ we found it had been "converted" to a twin model, from a queen (no extra outside compartments, like on a stock twin), the electrical solar/battery system was not working properly, the rock guards were all beat up which did not show up in pictures, and the inside smelled like someone had cooked bacon and fish in it for years! Also, the "included EZlift WDH" was pretty banged up and the sway bars twisted upon backing up. Looked like it had been to Alaska and back several times from AZ! I tried to fly out to see it prior, but the owner said he would not sell it till the auction was over, and was against showing it to anyone....should have been a red flag, but we were so excited to get this one with all the "features" advertised... Indeed, go see what your "getting"!
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:00 PM   #38
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Buying Across Country

My wife and I live in Dallas and last year bought a 1997 30 ft. Excella from a delightful couple in Hershey, PA. We called and talked to the couple for at least 30 minutes. We asked for, and received, additional photos. We "stalked" them on Facebook. We felt pretty good, so we set up a few additional chat sessions. Once we felt comfortable with the couple, we put a deposit down for them to hold the unit. Then, strictly for our piece of mind, I flew out and inspected the unit myself. We had the unit delivered and could not be happier. If you don't want to travel to the site, you can ask fellow Airstreamers to view it for you. At some point there is a level of trust. But, everyone has to figure that out for themselves.

IMHO, find out who the person(s) are selling the unit, make sure there isn't anything fishey about it, ask for as much detail as you can about the seller and the unit. If you still need additional piece of mind, you can put money in an earnest account. But, don't let your dream unit go because the seller doesn't live next door to you.

Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:24 PM   #39
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Last year, I bought a Texas Airstream and I’m in Michigan. I did as many here are suggesting and bought round trip tickets to check it out myself and sign the papers.

Before I did that, I asked a volunteer (not really, I paid him) here to inspect it for me. He seemed thorough in his inspection, but the transaction reminded me of the rule: you are always your own best advocate! He missed very obvious signs of floor rot that I noticed right away after arriving from the airport. I discussed it with the seller as I discovered the extent of it (after purchase). Thankfully, he was a stand-up guy who refunded a small portion of the original purchase price to go towards the repair.

All this is to say: put your own eyes on it! The $300 I spent to fly and drive to see the trailer was a drop in the bucket compared to what I could potentially have lost.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:31 PM   #40
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I sold my 2017 International on RV trader. I sold it to an out of stater in less than 24 hours. I had multiple offer and a list of people that wanted it if the out of state guy didn't take it. I also had a few tire kickers as well. Almost everyone that contacted me was from out of state. Mine was still under warranty so that was a plus to the buyer as well. All in all it was painless for me and the buyer. I think I put up over 10 pictures on RVT so everyone had a good idea of what they were getting. The man that purchased it bought it sight unseen and sent a transport company over to load it up. Would I purchase one like that? No but I would buy an airline ticket to check it out before I put down the cash.

Good luck with your purchase.
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