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Old 07-16-2018, 03:06 PM   #1
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
New or Used

I joined today, my question must have been asked many times but I'm sure the experts on these forums can help me a bit.
We are in process of purchasing a secondhand 2006 Airstream, well looked after and in good overall condition.
We're also looking into purchasing a brand new model at least that was the original plan.
I just can't bear the fact to pay more than double the price for new vs used, and there's hardly any differences or changes between the two, what are your thoughts?
We'll travel once or twice a month on week-ends and some public holidays.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:20 PM   #2
Rivet Master

 
2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,180
This is my experience and opinion:

Our 2007 was purchased after the original owners took one trip in it and decided it was too small. It's been in our family ever since. We have done long trips with it, up to 5 weeks in duration with few issues other than those caused by my occasional mental lapses--like forgetting to fill propane bottles while camping in very cold weather...

A used AS in good condition (the only caveat) should be fairly simple to use, has less of the 'fancy' new stuff that has been a challenge lately, and hopefully has most of the 'kinks' worked out of it.

If what you are looking to buy used is the right size for you and your family, then seriously consider going for it. Probably less hassles with maintenance, etc. The Airstreams from the 2000's era are fairly well understood and there is lots of help on the forums to fill in the blanks...
__________________
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'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:27 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
2000 25' Safari
Denver , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 211
Images: 3
Blog Entries: 16
We've been very happy with used 2000. Many of the issues were handled by Previous Owners ( PO). Definitely research the model in the forum section as you look. That will give you ideas as to typical issues, as was said before, 2000 to 2010 issues are pretty well documented and learn from others. Research .... Research and then be ready to purchase as soon as you see what you want, the good ones don't last long on the market.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
PKI
Rivet Master
 
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Currently Looking...
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,952
IMHO - used is always best ..... if you have DIY skills, can adequately assess the condition, have no problem with the patina, and if the features are acceptable to you.

The new coaches are better - ducted AC is an example. We purchased a new coach, because we wanted a warranty and because we buy new to have our scratches, our memories, our coach and our maintenance. We wished that we waited two years to get better features, but we wanted to go traveling.

We talked to a couple out of the Texas Panhandle. They had a coach that had been owned by two other WBCCI owners. It had a history and they appreciated what they were getting. However, there was a post recently about a very nice looking coach that is now being completely renovated because it had hidden leaks.

I have always considered that if you buy used, you should assume all will need repair, replacement and renovation. Then any good performance is a gift. An older coach can be longer and lighter. It can be bigger for less money. It can be a wonderful value. It can also be a horror story if you do not understand what you are getting when you plunk down the money.

Many folks suggest lightly used and almost new. What does not get discussed is why a coach is lightly used. Sometimes it's a lemon. Sometimes it is well loved by a family that is ready for an upgrade.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:22 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,412
Images: 20
You sound very focused on the value, and so, I would defiantly recommend investing in the used trailer, provided you first do a thorough inspection, even so far as asking the seller if you can spend a night in it first, so you can test every system. A test drive would also be great, to ensure all the running gear is in order. Any problems would not necessarily be a show stopper, but basis for negotiating a lower price.

Buying used has the following key advantages, as you probably know:
  • avoid the huge depreciation hit when leaving the lot
  • all the major issues from the factory have long been addressed (a huge issue!)
  • many of the camping extras and add ons have probably already been done and are included in the sale
  • SAVE $$$$$$$$$$

Note that even buyers of brand new have discovered numerous flaws, much to their dismay after dropping a chunk of change.

Of course you may also find some hidden flaws or damage in this used trailer after purchase, but almost anything can be fixed, but by buying used, you have more disposable capitol to fix it to your liking. And if you are at all handy, you can do most of it yourself. There is a huge community out here of very old airstreams with loving third and forth owners, camping in vintage style and who can help you figure out most any problem/upgrade/modification.

Worst case, if it does not work out, you can usually sell an airstream pretty quick.

Just make sure the used one, no matter how immaculate, suits your needs. A perfect trailer that is too small or too big, or lacking key features, or with too much just spoils the whole experience.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:41 PM   #6
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 15,832
Hi

When you look at the price of a used trailer vs a new one, consider that in most cases, dealers will knock about 20% off the list price of a new one.

Bob
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:13 AM   #7
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
Thanks
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:14 AM   #8
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
Thank you
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:57 PM   #9
The Aluminum Tent 3
 
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,157
I am on my third in less than three years. All three were 'lightly' used and in excellent condition. A 2013 (bought in late 2015) and two 2014s, first one bought in late 2016, second one early 2017. All bought sight unseen except for a Facetime tour and careful owner questioning. All turned out to be fine with no issues at all. First one I sold six months later for what I paid; second, I sold for more than I paid after a year and a half; third, we will see (but I bought it 'right' so should be in good shape, but I plan on sticking with this one for the long term).
Your observation that little changes over the years is astute. Ducted AC is really the biggie, if that's important to you. It wasn't to me. I also question its efficiency in really hot weather and direct sun, with the air having to travel through the poorly insulated ducts up in that hot double ceiling. Non-ducted spills ice cold air directly in to the coach. (Not trying to start a debate for ducted vs non...just my thoughts here).

Otherwise, the other changes are wheel size (you can change that), shades vs blinds (On FC line...you can change that); LED lighting in and out (you can change that!), and other little things. The reality is, you can put virtually any 2000s Airstreams next to each other, and it's hard to tell any differences, especiallly if in really nice condition. I'm regularly asked if my 2014 (put in service in 2013, so 5 years old now) is brand new.
Many will say the warranty is important. I would say, the savings buying used will pay for many repairs many times over, if ever needed. Used trailers have had a good 'shake-down' period as well--and repairs needed under warranty have been made.

My 2 cents!
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:18 PM   #10
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 15,832
Hi

I can show you several examples in the classifieds where people are asking *more* for a recent used trailer than what a dealer would sell you a new one for. Even if they come down 10%, it's still unclear if you are saving anything vs new. Be careful as you shop and don't let emotion blind you to what is and is not a good deal.

------

The ducted air in the newer trailers works *very* well and is indeed very worthwhile if you are on the tall side. I'm 6'4" and the "old style" AC ..... not a good thing ..... Indeed, we each have our own list of what works for us.

-------

For a variety of reasons, I would not recommend the "buy another one every year" approach. It does work for some. For a lot of others it turns out to be a very expensive process. How lucky do you feel ...

Bob
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:42 AM   #11
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
I am on my third in less than three years. All three were 'lightly' used and in excellent condition. A 2013 (bought in late 2015) and two 2014s, first one bought in late 2016, second one early 2017. All bought sight unseen except for a Facetime tour and careful owner questioning. All turned out to be fine with no issues at all. First one I sold six months later for what I paid; second, I sold for more than I paid after a year and a half; third, we will see (but I bought it 'right' so should be in good shape, but I plan on sticking with this one for the long term).
Your observation that little changes over the years is astute. Ducted AC is really the biggie, if that's important to you. It wasn't to me. I also question its efficiency in really hot weather and direct sun, with the air having to travel through the poorly insulated ducts up in that hot double ceiling. Non-ducted spills ice cold air directly in to the coach. (Not trying to start a debate for ducted vs non...just my thoughts here).

Otherwise, the other changes are wheel size (you can change that), shades vs blinds (On FC line...you can change that); LED lighting in and out (you can change that!), and other little things. The reality is, you can put virtually any 2000s Airstreams next to each other, and it's hard to tell any differences, especiallly if in really nice condition. I'm regularly asked if my 2014 (put in service in 2013, so 5 years old now) is brand new.
Many will say the warranty is important. I would say, the savings buying used will pay for many repairs many times over, if ever needed. Used trailers have had a good 'shake-down' period as well--and repairs needed under warranty have been made.

My 2 cents!
Thank you, I agree with the AC scenario you mentioned. Only other add-on which I really think is worth it is the back-up camera. I've asked AS for pricing, if it's too expensive I'll look into other brands.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:46 AM   #12
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

I can show you several examples in the classifieds where people are asking *more* for a recent used trailer than what a dealer would sell you a new one for. Even if they come down 10%, it's still unclear if you are saving anything vs new. Be careful as you shop and don't let emotion blind you to what is and is not a good deal.

------

The ducted air in the newer trailers works *very* well and is indeed very worthwhile if you are on the tall side. I'm 6'4" and the "old style" AC ..... not a good thing ..... Indeed, we each have our own list of what works for us.

-------

For a variety of reasons, I would not recommend the "buy another one every year" approach. It does work for some. For a lot of others it turns out to be a very expensive process. How lucky do you feel ...

Bob
Thanks for your reply. The one I'm interested in is a 2006 and still in great shape with a lot of upgrades and full service done by AS, don't think it's worth the effort in getting one that's only a year or 2 old, in that case buying new is better.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:50 AM   #13
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
You sound very focused on the value, and so, I would defiantly recommend investing in the used trailer, provided you first do a thorough inspection, even so far as asking the seller if you can spend a night in it first, so you can test every system. A test drive would also be great, to ensure all the running gear is in order. Any problems would not necessarily be a show stopper, but basis for negotiating a lower price.

Buying used has the following key advantages, as you probably know:
  • avoid the huge depreciation hit when leaving the lot
  • all the major issues from the factory have long been addressed (a huge issue!)
  • many of the camping extras and add ons have probably already been done and are included in the sale
  • SAVE $$$$$$$$$$

Note that even buyers of brand new have discovered numerous flaws, much to their dismay after dropping a chunk of change.

Of course you may also find some hidden flaws or damage in this used trailer after purchase, but almost anything can be fixed, but by buying used, you have more disposable capitol to fix it to your liking. And if you are at all handy, you can do most of it yourself. There is a huge community out here of very old airstreams with loving third and forth owners, camping in vintage style and who can help you figure out most any problem/upgrade/modification.

Worst case, if it does not work out, you can usually sell an airstream pretty quick.

Just make sure the used one, no matter how immaculate, suits your needs. A perfect trailer that is too small or too big, or lacking key features, or with too much just spoils the whole experience.
Thank you for the comments. As you mentioned all the issues would have been resolved by previous owner, that is exactly the case, upgrades have been done and services at AT with new tires etc, so we've made up our minds to purchase.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:56 AM   #14
GVZ
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
This is my experience and opinion:

Our 2007 was purchased after the original owners took one trip in it and decided it was too small. It's been in our family ever since. We have done long trips with it, up to 5 weeks in duration with few issues other than those caused by my occasional mental lapses--like forgetting to fill propane bottles while camping in very cold weather...

A used AS in good condition (the only caveat) should be fairly simple to use, has less of the 'fancy' new stuff that has been a challenge lately, and hopefully has most of the 'kinks' worked out of it.

If what you are looking to buy used is the right size for you and your family, then seriously consider going for it. Probably less hassles with maintenance, etc. The Airstreams from the 2000's era are fairly well understood and there is lots of help on the forums to fill in the blanks...
Thank you, we've decided on the used 2006 23ft, it's really nice and been upgraded attachments and also with service from AS
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