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Old 05-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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AKristine's Avatar
East Falmouth , Massachusetts
Join Date: Mar 2013
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When purchasing a used Airstream

Hello everyone -

My question concerns the purchase of a used Airstream and what you would do, or have done. For example, if I were to purchase...let's say a 2009 Flying Cloud, it seems to me that I should take it to the closest Airstream dealer for a check-up to identify any "under the hood" things that need attention, God knows tires perhaps, etc.

Because I am new to this, my logic has been to purchase a new Airstream with the belief that all would be OK. Clearly, however, there are many people who purchase used Airstreams and manage to do just fine.

Your thoughts and experience on this subject would be appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Old 05-15-2013, 01:08 PM   #2
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I have always bought used Airstreams. You know there may be some things that need to be done and a lot of the time the PO will tell you about it.

Even some of the brand new ones need some tweaking. It's all in what you want and how much you want to do to it. Can't go wrong either way.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Certainly, taking a used trailer to a good RV mechanic would tell you some things. But folks here have had dealers do pre-purchase inspections, only to find that they missed big issues like floor rot.

Read up on the common issues. Take a list of things to check (going through all of the systems, etc). Maybe ask for an inspector from the forum to go with you.

My experience: I had owned 2 trailers before I bought my current one, and after (too) many posts on the forum, I knew the issues. I did a pretty solid check-out when I bought my 2007. I knew some things needed fixing/updating...and there was still a surprise or two.

I'd say that if you're buying used, hang on to some $$ for unforeseen repairs. If you buy new, most folks seem to utilize the dealer and the warranty to get initial glitches fixed.

Did I do "just fine?" Given that my investment in my trailer is probably $17,500 less (including tire upgrades, solar, and various repairs) than if I bought a new 2012 model... But it was more hassle than just buying brand new.

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Prescott , Arizona
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We bought our 2004 in 2008. If I had to do it again, I would not hesitate. I am what some call an all around fix er upper, so all repairs I do. Now IF I had a whole bunch of money, a new one would be nice. The problems that have come up have been small and to me just part of owning a trailer. My only regret is not being able to tow safely a little bit bigger one with what I have (2006 QX56 Infiniti ). I really like the queen bed set up that goes in line with the trailer. Or maybe even the 25' with twin beds would be OK. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with.
Julia & Bob
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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armed with

When you are inspecting a used one, go with the "list" of things to look for and arm yourself with as much knowledge about potential "issues" as you can. You can find an inspection list on this forums site. Also, you could ask one of the inspectors that are listed here to go with you if it possible. There are many folks willing to help out with that. It usually might cost you their gas money to ask. If there are Airstreamers that live near you, and one is "handy" they might help with "issues".
I am very fortunate to have a hubby that is very handy and can do most of the work himself. He sometimes shares his time/and tools with other Airstreamers that live nearby. With dealer prices for labor going up and up, and prices for labor at the Airstream fix-it shop being $100=, it is nice to find some help on your own and learn some from this forums site.

Good luck with your search.
Larry and Lou
CP: Water/30 amp/waste dump/WIFI & Room for 2-3 units; PM us if you are headed our direction!
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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2012 28' International
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Tires, are good for 5 years so replace them. Read some of the tire threads. Have brakes and wheel bearing inspected and serviced. Batteries may be reaching the end of service life, have checked. Look for evidence of leaks or repaired damage. Have an RV tech run all the appliances and check all the tanks for leaks. Have the RV tech run all the plumbing, same for all lights, and road lights. The trailers are rather simple so you should not find very much wrong. If dealing at a dealer have him include in price also you may want to upgrade the hitch. Some of the best deals are on newer used Airstreams.
Jim N5TJZ Air# 174
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2005 Safari 25 SS Traded
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