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Old 03-25-2016, 02:08 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2016 19' Flying Cloud
Morrow , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 40
Ordering a 19 Serenity in Ohio

Hello I've been lurking here for a while gaining knowledge . First want to say thanks to all the posters that give out their tips and opinions . My plan is to retire end of this year then travel with my Bulldog Dovie .

In the beginning I plan to do shake down trips to a friend's cabin in Tennessee , they have 3 hookups for LQ horse trailers they rarely use . I looked at Living Quarters horse trailers first but they are not even remotely as nice as a Airstream . Before lurking I thought I would live full time in a Airstream but now I realize that I probably would not be able to cope with the winters unless I went south . Which we are already planning to do as a group next winter to a horse camp for a month or two ....

Lastly , I am buying new from a dealer , mostly to get their loyalty for repairs. My one question now is ..... solar panels - have put on at factory on roof for $3000 or have dealer do the ground suitcase thingie I can set up to keep battery charged ???? Any opinions here ? Right now they want $60,000 for a 2017 -awnings , ground thingie solar , microwave rather than oven ( don't cook indoors when camping) Anywhere close to fair ?
Thanks , Nina
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:02 PM   #2
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Get up close and personal!

As someone who has lived fulltime in an Airstream for almost 10 years my first advice is DO NOT buy new, especially your first Airstream and especially not something as small as a 19 footer. Some people CAN live in a small unit that small, but most can't. You are in OHIO so the very first thing you want to do is go to the factory and take the tour. Friday is the best day because often they close down the week's production around noon... and you can actually go into units that are being assembled on the line.

There's also an area called the Terraport - where up to 15 or 20 units can park while waiting for service or even just passing through Jackson Center. They hang out at the HQ building drinking the free coffee and throwing a lot of money away in the store. So MINGLE & meet and wrangle an invite to tour their units.

Do a lot of hands on comparisons between units - the experience is MUCH different and MUCH better than looking at floor plans and pictures. If you're up for a trip to NJ- Colonial Airstream has a HUGE stock of new ones - and usually half a dozen nice used ones coming in or waiting for you whispering "pick me, pick me!"

Last, look for spring rallys - NOVA - Northern Ohio Virtual Unit is a fun WBCCI unit and they'd almost surely extend a welcome if you wanted to visit - plus there's Alumapalooza at the mothership where 300+ units might show up. And someone ALWAYS has one with a "for sale" sign in the window. OR go visit Penn Woods when they open next month - it's an Airstream only campground north of Pittsburgh - again there are always some units for sale by members who are aging out of traveling.

My first one was a 22 footer - in 2005 - and seeing the differences between that one and the shorter ones was what convinced me to upgrade. Of course a year later a 25 footer called my name. And now my second trailer is a 1984 10 meter Avion (that's about 35 feet long). It's a lot less expensive and easier to start bigger than to trade up two or three times.

Why not buy new? Simple. Lots of people start with a dream, and then find out they don't like RVing. Or someone breaks a hip, or gets cancer or....

There they are with an Airstream that is six months to 2 years old. Sure the warranty is gone, and so is at least $10K to $15K off of the price. Then IF you do decide to sell or upgrade in a year or two it's less expensive - and if you keep it, well you can buy lots of gas to travel!

Girl - go to the classifieds here and look thoroughly, then do the same on ebay and especially Craigslist. Dealers like to turn used units FAST so introduce yourself to several via e-mail and let them call you when they have something interesting. Just make it clear you WILL not pay for new. BTW the model year changes in MAY so the new 17's will come out then... and there are always a few units left over on any dealer's lot - new warranty but perhaps not all of the newest bells and whistles.

I like the Serenity line myself, especially nice if you get the almond (almost white) ultraleather upholstery ... which is pretty much dog proof.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:06 PM   #3
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Mind Wandered

If you live in OHIO go to the factory for anything you can't repair yourself. That IS a no-brainer. There are a few excellent dealers and repair shops but most have a lot of staff turnover so a good bit of the great service and experience that they're reputed to offer CAN go out the door as experienced people go elsewhere. I bought my last one from Colonial in NJ and would/could go there for service, but my sister lives in NE Ohio so I visit her while the Airstream gets factory coddling.

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Old 03-25-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Ninanet - Paula (Foiled Again) is always incredibly wise and spot on. I don't disagree with anything she said. And at the same time, my wife and I are among the small percentage of lucky ones who never had a trailer in our lives before stepping on a dealer's lot and finding our dream brand spankin' new trailer that spoke to us. I know I'm not the world's handiest guy so having the 2 year warranty was crucial to us. Luckily, we didn't need much done but whatever we needed was taken care of by the dealer or the factory (a GREAT trip for us - going back again soon too and can't wait).

Very very lucky and happy. There are tons of <2 year old trailers for sale for all the reasons Paula mentioned and those can be great deals. More of them than not, that's great advice. But wanted you to know some of us are just lucky as anything to snag a dream brand new trailer that is our lifetime trailer 😀

Good luck and do every thing else Paula suggested!!!
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:41 PM   #5
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Box Elder , South Dakota
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If you want to see probably everything in the Airstream line take a drive over to Colonial Airstream. Easy day drive for you. Go on Friday, stay over on Friday night, Colonial on Saturday and meet Patrick and home on Sunday. There is a good chance you can see nearly every model you would want to see.

And ditto to the factory as close as you are. No matter where you buy.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:06 PM   #6
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I strongly suggest going to Colonial Airstream which is Lakewood, NJ where they literally have every model and color combination in stock. Buying from the catalog was a huge mistake as I selected the 2013 25FB International Serenity model and the cross frame bed was a huge issue for us and the reason we traded in less than a year. Nor did the floor plan in the Airstream sales literature reflect the reality of the space around the front edge of the bed.

We traded the 25FB in on our 2014 31' Classic which will be our first and last big trailer.

We acquired a 2015 23D International Serenity (our third trailer - for access to the older Western parks where shorter units can get in and park) which has the exact same floor plan from the front edge of the bed to the back of the trailer as the 19' model. Getting the sheets on the bed is a truly frustrating experience and I need my wife's help when trying to put the fitted bottom sheet on the bed and then manhandle the top sheets and comforter.

So some hands on at a large dealer will be most beneficial. Only after deciding on the trailer should you start the search for a tow vehicle.
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:20 AM   #7
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
Morrow , Ohio
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Good stuff ! Thanks . I went and spent quite a while ( even took a nap in the 19 bed ) . Looked at many models / sizes . Sat in the 20's up to a 28 foot . Really liked some of the floor plans . But I loved the 19 Flying Cloud , To me seems perfect size . Not too small , not too big . Just right for me . Made my mind up on a FC then as I was leaving went into a 23 foot Serenity as a afterthought..... Hated all the Serenity line from the catalog and online , your correct seeing in person is very different . Love love the bright interior .
So that's how I made my choice . I want to get up there to the factory but right now 1/2 my night shift is out and I have to cover on call every night for the next 6 weeks .ugh.

I have a horse trailer I camp in now and the LQ in that is tiny so 19 seems huge to me. Most of my friends have room for my horse so I will bring my Airstream and camp lux style lol. I tow with a f250 4X4
Foiled Again , I know your right about used , but it's something that has never worked out for me . I did start out looking at eBay , ( even bid once ) in classifieds . Then the more I looked the more worried I got that I would buy someone elses problem ....I'm not in the least a handy gal so the warranty is very important to me . I hope by the 2nd year I am better at fixer ups .
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