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Old 06-14-2013, 07:13 AM   #1
New Member
vero beach , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
What model/year is best?

I'm new to Airstream and would like to know if there is a data base that lists problems with certain model/year Airstreams.
Thank you
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,064
Hi, and welcome to the forums.

I am unaware of any actual database of troubles associated with certain years, but there are unlimited anecodotes available on these forums. You aren't the first to ask the question--do a search for for terms like "trouble years, "problem models," etc., and you will find lots of discussion. In a nutshell though, every trailer built after 1969 has a design that makes them prone to floor rot, especially in the rear. The 70's era trailers are notorious for this, probably just because they have been around since the redesign. There are reports of frame failures on trailers from the early 2000's--do a search for "frame failure," and you will find some details. Also, try searching for "Quality" "workmanship" and "craftsmanship," and you will see all kinds of discussion about workmanship shortcomings throughout the history of these trailers. Also try searching for "warranty," and "Lemon," to hear the litany of troubles some owners have encountered with newer purchases.

I certainly recommend research and due-diligence, but if you get too analytical about these trailers, you'll talk yourself out of ever having one. The decision to go with an Airstream instead of some white-box trailer is a little bit "form over function," and with that "form," comes some well known potential problems. You might start your search by going to a rally and stepping inside of a few different models. You can then decide what you like and what you don't, and then when you have narrowed your search down to a particular era and model, you can delve into the details.

good luck!
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,525
im with you mettastream.

My wife and I are starting our process of looking this summer/fall...

Ive read a TON on this forum and it can be dizzying but informative.

Good luck with your research and search!
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 06-14-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,415
After looking and looking and looking I'm pretty sure you will agree that, especially in the older AS's, that they are better made than the alternatives. You don't see many 20 - 40 year old white boxes still on the road. Despite all the shortcomings, and there are many, that the AS has from right out of the factory gate to way down the road, they are better than what's out there. Newer doesn't always mean better but simply means newer and less use. An older trailer that has been cared for and protected can be the best purchase out there. Re-conditioned can be a blessing or a nightmare depending on who did it and how it was done. Read on here on the forum. You will either be scared off forever or equipped with the knowledge to go out there and be an informed buyer. Purchase wisely and you will not be disappointed. Good luck.

See ya on the road sometime.
Roger in NJ

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Old 06-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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1969 18' Caravel
Northwest , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 322
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I vote for 1993 as the best year all around, although I've never had one myself. I've had 1965, 1996, and currently a 1994. The 65 was coolest to look at of course, made long enough ago that it still looked like a piece of artwork. Love the 90's models, new enough to have most the modern amenities, plus the oak cabinets look grand in my opinion, the windows work well and are simple to use. Why do I pick 93 rather than 94? The horrible saggy foam ceiling that I believe they started in 94. I also want new enough to be modern, yet old enough that I can afford to pay property tax at the end of each year. Don't know about Florida and Alabama, but where I am here in Missouri property tax is a big factor in the decision while working on a Wal-Mart budget. Or go for the best of both worlds, buy a cool looking old trailer and modernize it like so many have done. Good Luck, and post pictures of what you end up with.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:38 AM   #6
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vero beach , Florida
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Thanks for the input. I'll keep all of it in mind as I wander around the internet trying to keep all the various possibilities in some sort of order.
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