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Old 11-04-2018, 05:41 PM   #1
Rivet Master
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Inspector or dealer?

Since we've had a couple of nibbles on our Foretravel, I'm looking at the Airstreams for sale with more interest. I know there are "volunteer" inspectors (who get paid something, I assume) who are willing to check out a particular trailer and give a report. Does that report include an estimate of the cost of repairs, or is is just a list of things that need attention?

If a reputable dealer (one with a reputation like Colonial Airstream) is within, say, 100 miles of a seller, would it be reasonable to ask the seller to take the trailer to that dealer for a PPI - at my expense, of course? The dealer would obviously be able to provide an estimate of the cost for any needed work.

From what I've seen, Colonial wouldn't pad the estimate, since they already have plenty of business, but might some other dealers do so? The problem, of course, is that Airstream dealers aren't as common as Wal-Marts, and some Airstream dealers also sell other brands. How committed they are to Airstream may vary.

FWIW, I've been trying to check the inventory of Airstream dealers in the general area of our proposed travels. More than one has NO used Airstreams in inventory. I can understand not having any that are what we want, but NO used Airstreams?

Back to the original question, if you were a seller, would you be willing to take your trailer to a dealer (at my expense) or would you rather have an inspector come to you? Or does it really matter as long as I buy your trailer?
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:10 PM   #2
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Hi kb0zke: You pose a good question. I'm one of those volunteer Airstream inspectors. I've done three of them. The Air Forums inspection process involves about a 5 page checklist of what to inspect. Everything is inspected from the tires to the air conditioner, from the hitch coupler to the bumper.

The purpose of the volunteer inspection is to aid the buyer in the evaluation of the trailer before the buyer dives many miles for their own inspection. Airstreamers enjoy helping each other. It is a volunteer process and no fee is charged for the inspection. The owner of the trailer is present throughout the inspection. The process takes me about 3 hours. Both the owner and the buyer get copies of the inspection report.

The process is not an "appraisal" or a marketing activity. It is just a report on the physical condition of the trailer. The report may say things like hail damage on the rear end cap, or tires are 6 years old, or entry door isn't in perfect alignment, or moisture detected under the front window, or scratch in the closet door, or AC doesn't blow cold, or axle starting angle looks okay. Other items on the check list would be listed as okay.

There is no attempt to enhance or degrade the trailer or its asking price.
There is no attempt to estimate the cost of a repair. It is just an objective inspection report completed by a knowledgeable Airstreamer.

Hope this helps.

WBCCI #8607 VAC Region 11
KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:28 PM   #3
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No, I do not think it is reasonable to ask the seller to take the trailer in to a dealer for an inspection.

I would rather have the inspector come to me if I was selling. Other than maybe a half days labor, what is the incentive for the dealer to get involved? But it is your deal and you can always ask. Do not be surprised if the dealer that is inspecting it buys it if it is a good deal.
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