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Old 03-05-2009, 11:21 PM   #1
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Don Landis's Avatar
1978 28' Argosy 28
Monterey , California
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 105
New Member - Want to Buy - What to look for

I've been on the site for a few months looking at trailers. My parents showed me the country in a trailer and I'd like to do the same with my little boys. I'm interested in buying a 2000+ 19' to 25' Airstream for $15K to $20K. I know I'm daydreaming with the price, but I've got cash in a bad economy.

I have a 1999 Dodge 1500 4X4 Quadcab with a 5.9 liter V8 towing package. My question is what should I be looking for and trying to avoid with my trailer purchase?

Also, if I get a chance to buy one, what should I buy to outfit my Dodge to be able to tow the new purchase?

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Old 03-06-2009, 05:36 AM   #2
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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As with anything used, condition is the main thing. You also want a floor plan that will work with your family and is enjoyable. Many of the foorplans are really designed for two. Take into consideration the sleeping accomodations for all.

Your truck should pull any Airstream in the sizes you mention without problems, but if it is not factory equipped with the towing package, I'd at a minimum install a good transmission cooler, assuming it has an automatic.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:39 AM   #3
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Melbourne Florida , Springfield Ohio
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Hello and welcome to the forum. You will find answers here.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:52 AM   #4
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The State of , Ohio
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For your Dodge, you will need

a hitch receiver rated at least 1,000 lb tongue weight and 10,000 lb tow weight with weight distribution

an appropriately fused electric trailer brake controller

a seven-way trailer outlet with taillight, left and right turn/brake, ground, plus backup lights, trailer brake line, and 12 volt/20 amp fused charge line from battery. Because of the number of running lights on the trailer, you don't want to tap directly off the truck tail lights, but instead have the latter control a relay that controls a fused line from the battery

To go between the truck and trailer, you will need an appropriately rated weight-distributing hitch with 2-5/16" ball.

You will also want some form of sway prevention or limiting. Some weight distributing hitches incorporate that.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:53 AM   #5

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Thumbs up Welcome aboard

Patience, we know it's hard but there's one out there for you.
You've selected a very popular size, should be a good selection available, and it's a very good time to buy
Here's a couple links to help.

Good Luck!!
Obrigado, hora de descansar.

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Old 03-06-2009, 06:46 AM   #6
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Pre-owned is a great way to go. Here are some links to info both good and bad on what to be aware of and look for as you purchase a new(er) Airstream.

Just these two links alone are a few days worth of reading and a weeks worth of digesting. Though the first link says for 2009, there are links going back to 2004 and these might provide trends we've all noticed that you can look out for when looking.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:15 AM   #7
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1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
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My suggestion to you is DONT BUY ANYTHING U CANT TOUCH. Be able to drive to the unit and inspect first hand. Our 77 Overlander was listed here in the Classifieds and Also on eBay. We were able to go and inspect first hand.
Use the search feature here . I'm 99% sure Anything U want to know has been discussed at some point on this forum. Welcome to the Forums
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:38 AM   #8
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All sage advise. I would look hardest in the 25' size range if you really want to be comfortable with 4 people.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:27 PM   #9
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1978 28' Argosy 28
Monterey , California
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Wow. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do. Thank you for the help and suggestions.

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Old 03-08-2009, 12:23 AM   #10
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1963 16' Bambi
1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
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Welcome to the forums! You will find great people and great information here! Lots of good suggestions above... be sure and look at our classifieds and research both eBay and craigslist for getting an idea of what folks are selling and what they want. With the economy as it is now, you should find something road ready at a fair price! While I love vintage, if you want to get your family on the road and start enjoying your Airstream, consider a newer model that has adequate layout, electrical, and a good axle/tow package.

You might (for fun) want to check out the Vintage Airstream Archives: Vintage Airstream Photo Archives
This would be great if you happen to find a restoration that fits your needs/wants!

Monterey is a great place, spent many years there sailing on the bay...

Again, welcome to the forums. Check the rally calendar and see if there is something near you coming up ~ take a day trip and check out the trailers! Folks are always ready to show you their Airstream and talk about them! There is one coming up in a bit at Cassini Ranch along the Russian River, a bit of a drive.... but maybe "doable". Check out photos of airstreams and ask lots of questions!

Gotta warn you, however, once you love airstreams.... it is like a disease... you can't get rid of it!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My blogs: Yreka History
Siskiyou County Camping
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19', 25', airstream, towing, trailer

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