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Old 09-09-2021, 11:02 AM   #1
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2011 28' Flying Cloud
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Hello all,

My name is Barry and I currently live in Austin, Tx - homeless after we sold our home and after 5 months of searching for one in Tx, Va and SC we have given up. Inventory is low and prices are ridiculous - no value to be found.

I almost bought a 22RTB w/hatch Flying Cloud last weekend - but was turned off by the dealers sales tactics. Never get a finance price from them - it was usual car sales spell. How much can you afford monthly and we can finance for 20yrs. Ummm no. Especially when I could have bought it for cash.

so I'm looking for a vintage aluminum skinned Airstream motorhome - 240, 320 - 345 etc. There are two advertised for sale on this site - but haven't been able to get in touch with there sellers. If anyone knows of one I am all ears and will travel to look at it.

I have looked at some vintage trailers and may go that route if I can't find an RV. No matter what I am going airstream so I may need to be patient.
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Well, the bad news is that the RV/Airstream market seems to be just as crazy as the home market. Be especially cautious concerning vintage trailers. The prices have gone quite high even for trailers that need a total rebuild. Make sure you educate yourself as to what proper repairs and refurbs look like, and calibrate your expectations. There are many "full monty" threads here that describe what it takes to do a complete rebuild.

good luck!
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:52 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and keep searching you will find what you are looking for. Take your time. Get what you want.
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
Welcome to the forums!

Well, the bad news is that the RV/Airstream market seems to be just as crazy as the home market. Be especially cautious concerning vintage trailers. The prices have gone quite high even for trailers that need a total rebuild. Make sure you educate yourself as to what proper repairs and refurbs look like, and calibrate your expectations. There are many "full monty" threads here that describe what it takes to do a complete rebuild.

good luck!
I've lived the house hunting market for 5 months now and wish I hadn't sold my home honestly. I can't even look at houses now because of the lunacy. I have reached out to a few folks with listings on another site and some responded so at least a dialogue is ongoing with a few sellers. Patience is a commodity that I run out of occasionally.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:31 AM   #5
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Hi

Welcome !!

This quickly turns into a somewhat complex bunch of semi-independent questions:

1) Can you life in an AS full time? Yes, people do it. Is it something everybody can put up with? Nope. Does it work very well in colder climates ( or when there is an unexpected cold snap) ... maybe not. Do some digging and research on the plusses and minuses. One biggie is the monthly cost for a place to park your RV.

2) Can you rebuild an AS yourself? Yes, people do it. Can you do it quickly? Probably not if it's your first time doing it. Can you pay somebody else to rebuild it? Yup, but they likely are booked out to who knows when. Again research is in order.

3) Is an AS a "low cost" home? Not in most cases. The same forces that drive up home prices are impacting RV prices. You have "land cost" either way. If your job forces you to move around a lot, that would certainly impact the cost comparison. It will beat living in hotels....

4) Is owning an RV a hassle? Yup. There will always be things that break and maintenance items to do. There are more of them on the typical RV compared to the typical house. For some this is a way to keep busy. For others it is more hassle than they are willing to put up with.

5) Is a used RV (any of them) a good investment right now? Nope. The market is crazy high. Anything that is close to useful seems to be seeing quickly. This is a cyclical market. It always has been. At some point in the next couple years, used prices will plunge.

6) If you are shopping, be ready to drive a ways and do so quickly to get what you are after. If that means a 1,200 mile drive to see something you don't like when you get there ... That's always been part of buying an AS. It's even more true today. Do your research ahead of time so you can spot what you want quickly.

7) Come up with a budget. People get into buying a $5,000 AS and spending $60,000 to fix it up. At the same time, they pass up a $30,000 AS that could be fixed up for $20,000. Indeed, there might be an $80,000 option that can be used today. Is waiting a year for the rebuild worth $15,000. Only you can decide. Work this out ahead of going shopping .... Also don't take these numbers as applicable to what you wish to do. They are real numbers for some. They many not be for your plans.

8) Since you will likely drive a *long* ways to get a good used RV. You might try some other dealers. They very much are *not* all created equal. Some are indeed jerks. Folks do drive from Texas to places like New Jersey to buy an Airstream. I do not go to the closest dealer ( or even the second or third closest ) when I go out to shop.

No this is not a full list. It's also not in any way a "why not" list. It's purely meant to get you started digging into the things you need to understand before making this or that decision. Only you can decide what's right for you. The point here is to make an informed decision when you do decide.

Bob
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:57 PM   #6
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I had a small eninge fire in my 1975 Argosy 24 and it was picked up for auction in Indiana sometime around the beginning of August... so that is going to be available for cheap at some point soon (though I have no idea where)! Perfect interior. Brand new tires. I hated letting it go, but the insurance buy back was more than I wanted to spend.

I think if I were in your situation (though we don't know much about your specifics), I would be looking at AS trailers instead of an RV. Being able to unhook and drive around is a serious benefit. Owning a motorhome is a serious commitment, and it's definitely a lifestyle that requires being able to do a good bit of tinkering. If you go through the vintage motorhome threads, you'll see that most everybody there is spending a lot more time working and fixing than camping and traveling!

That said, it's super fun. Just trying to give you an idea of what you might be in for.

I think there was an Argosy for sale out here in CO recently. Prices are ridonkadonk right now, but there are still deals to be had if you know what you're looking for, where to look, and maybe get a little bit lucky.

Bob's points above are spot on, especially number 7, but that's a tough one to navigate.

If you can be patient but ready to pounce the moment you see what you're looking for, that's how you'll succeed at this game. I bought my current rig 2 hours after it was listed. The RV market is a lot like the housing market right now. Nothing lasts more than a couple days, and often things are sold before they even go to market.

When I was visiting family in Indiana in July, I actually drove around the countryside and knocked on a few farmhouse doors to inquire about rigs sitting in the tall grass. Just be careful to not get yourself shot!
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Bob for the very detailed response much appreciated. My wife and I found an as that we like in Oregon and are going there to look at and hopefully pick it up on the 4th of October. The trailer is a 2011 flying cloud. Yes trailers used are expensive but honestly that is the market we are in. I traded in my 2019 ram 1500 for a more substantial ram 2500 to be able to pull it.

My wife and I both work full time remotely and wanted a trailer with existing solar that provided sufficient wattage for our basic needs. We have been watching a lot of you tube videos of rv’rs and I can definitely tell you we are not the type that need an express machine, ice maker and air fryer. It amazes what size RVs people buy and how they kit them out. We have a lot to learn and are working to find a place in Oregon to stay for a week after we pick up the trailer. So we can work and get used to living in the trailer before beginning the 2000 mile journey back to Austin. Obviously I am going to be one of those newbies that asks a lot of questions.
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:01 PM   #8
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Keep us posted on how things go. It is not unusual to travel a long, long ways to find the trailer is not as advertised. So prepare yourselves for disappointment. There is always another one to look at somewhere. You might keep checking the market and possibly have other trailers to look at on your way there and back.

Then again, it might be a good trailer for your needs. We're hoping it is.

David
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyintx View Post
Thanks Bob for the very detailed response much appreciated. My wife and I found an as that we like in Oregon and are going there to look at and hopefully pick it up on the 4th of October. The trailer is a 2011 flying cloud. Yes trailers used are expensive but honestly that is the market we are in. I traded in my 2019 ram 1500 for a more substantial ram 2500 to be able to pull it.

My wife and I both work full time remotely and wanted a trailer with existing solar that provided sufficient wattage for our basic needs. We have been watching a lot of you tube videos of rv’rs and I can definitely tell you we are not the type that need an express machine, ice maker and air fryer. It amazes what size RVs people buy and how they kit them out. We have a lot to learn and are working to find a place in Oregon to stay for a week after we pick up the trailer. So we can work and get used to living in the trailer before beginning the 2000 mile journey back to Austin. Obviously I am going to be one of those newbies that asks a lot of questions.
Hi

Cool !!!!

I would suggest researching lithium upgrades if the trailer does not already have one. Solar is great right up to a day like we have here today. Lots of clouds and constant rain. Not going to get many solar watts today

Bob
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:40 AM   #10
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Hi David,

Question for you - we have been discouraged from buying an AS older than 10 years because of the 10yr limitations in RV parks. Have you run into this? is it as strictly enforced as we hear? It is hard for me to imagine that it is with so many vintage airstreams on the road still..
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Cool !!!!

I would suggest researching lithium upgrades if the trailer does not already have one. Solar is great right up to a day like we have here today. Lots of clouds and constant rain. Not going to get many solar watts today

Bob
Great news then it already has lithium batteries and I get the reference to the pacific NW weather. We were in Oregon last Oct for a month and enjoyed the sunshine for 3 weeks immensely - and like clockwork week 4 it rained everyday.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:02 AM   #12
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Which part of Oregon do you want to stay in for a week?
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by moodyintx View Post
Hi David,

Question for you - we have been discouraged from buying an AS older than 10 years because of the 10yr limitations in RV parks. Have you run into this? is it as strictly enforced as we hear? It is hard for me to imagine that it is with so many vintage airstreams on the road still..
The Airstream we travel in is 66 years old. There’s only been one RV park that wanted us to send pictures of our trailer when making reservations. Good luck
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyintx View Post
Hi David,

Question for you - we have been discouraged from buying an AS older than 10 years because of the 10yr limitations in RV parks. Have you run into this? is it as strictly enforced as we hear? It is hard for me to imagine that it is with so many vintage airstreams on the road still..

Our 1986 Airstream looks like a new one. If asked while making a reservation, we just say it is less than 10 years. White lie. Some high end RV parks don't want ratty looking old trailers. Airstreams have pretty much looked the same since 1969. I figure when I drive into the park and check in, they can look at our Airstream and figure it is okay, see photo. I've never been asked to verify the model year.

David
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:53 PM   #15
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moodyintx

Welcome to Airforums. Here is hoping that the Airstream you are going to look at and planning to purchase in Oregon is just what you are looking for.

My usual recommendation to Airstream shoppers is to look at lots of them so you can figure out what you really want. Then, buy the best one you can afford.

Living in Texas full time in an Airstream won’t be easy. Most folks would probably want two AC units or a cover over it to reduce the heat load.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:59 PM   #16
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Welcome, crazy time to buy. Good luck.
When making phone reservations have never been asked the year of our unit.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyintx View Post
Hi David,

Question for you - we have been discouraged from buying an AS older than 10 years because of the 10yr limitations in RV parks. Have you run into this? is it as strictly enforced as we hear? It is hard for me to imagine that it is with so many vintage airstreams on the road still..
Hi

The <0.1% of the parks / campgrounds that enforce those sort of rules on an AS aren't going to get my business even *with* an RV that is less than 10 years old.

Some have a concern about older trailers being "dumped".

The typical low cost / entry level trailer is likely to have roof or other issues by the time 10 years rolls around. Selling one with major water damage ... not so much. Even disposing of it ... not so much. Book a campsite for a night and just leave it .... problem solved ... yikes ....

If the issue is dumping the simple phrase "it's an Airstream" eliminates the concern.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:04 AM   #18
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The Airstream we travel in is 66 years old. There’s only been one RV park that wanted us to send pictures of our trailer when making reservations. Good luck
X2- the Malibu beach RV park asked for pictures on all sides before confirming my reservation because of the trailers age. I emailed some nice pictures of our rig in Yellowstone and called back to confirm. "Aren't you jealous? I asked the booking agent. "Yes" she said. "Your reservation is confirmed". - Brad
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