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Old 10-25-2020, 06:38 AM   #1
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
New York , New York
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Resale value after 6-8 months / general Q's on FC

My girlfriend and I are planning to purchase a new 2021 FC 25FB new from a dealership. We're looking to use the airstream for a cross-country trip from January - June of 2021 and then will probably look to sell it as we'll both be in grad school and won't have much time to use it. We're looking at paying ~$95k - our dealer has suggested that we shouldn't have much trouble selling it for 70-80k after ~6 months of use as long as we take care of it and are willing to be a patient for a sale. Does this make sense to others?

I understand there are market conditions that no one can accurately predict, but given I don't have much experience in the Airstream resale market, I'd like to get others opinions on this. It seems like Airstream is backed up on a lot of orders through Spring of 2021 and it's probable that it will continue to be a seller's market through June. I realize that this trend will probably reverse at some point in the next 1-2 years as people who bought airstreams without much thought as to the maintenance return them, a potential recession hits, airstream ramps up capacity etc.

These forums are a bit overwhelming with all the information - been searching through as much as I can as I realize a lot of questions are asked repeatedly. That said, I had a few other thoughts if anyone has an opinion.

1) Is there a list somewhere of general add-ons that we should be considering purchasing (e.g. equalizer hitch, tire chocks, levelers etc.)

2) How important is having the back hatch open? This seems to add ~10k to the price of a new trailer - hard for me to tell how 'necessary' it is? I guess it's all preference. The idea of being able to work at the desk with the back hatch open on a pretty day is very appealing.

3) Is there a list of things we should 'inspect' or do before driving off the lot with our airstream? I'll do a thorough walkthrough of the trailer, but again with limited airstream experience - what exactly am I looking for?

4) We need to upgrade our car to be able to pull this thing. Currently debating between a Toyota Tundra and a Ford F-150. Both have towing capacities in excess of 10k so we should be set here. We don't want too large of a truck since it's going to be our daily driver after we sell the airstream and I'm not trying to drive a 3/4 ton truck through the streets of a city in the Northeast. Seems like the newer Tundras have relatively poor reviews so may be leaning towards the F150. Any thoughts here?

Thanks for any help/replies.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:16 AM   #2
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I see New York in your profile, are you purchasing from Colonial Airstream? They are a good group and will do their best to clean up any faults with the trailer before delivering it. Some dealers are better at this than others...
As to tow vehicle, this question is a little like asking who you are voting for...
I would caution you not to under buy with the tow vehicle. Many 150/1500 trucks are configured to pull a 25’ Airstream from the factory, many are not.
I would suggest that you consider not only towing rating but both GVWR and payload numbers too. I have seen far more posts by people complaining they had under spec’d their first tow vehicle than those who complain that they over spec’d it.
A properly spec’d 150/1500 is sometimes difficult to find on a dealers lot. Don’t be afraid to search online and have it delivered.
As to value at the end of the trip, I’ll leave that to someone else. I will say that if it is Patrick at Colonial who gave you that figure, he has always been accurate and honest with us on this subject.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:24 AM   #3
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For your purpose, I would look for a 1 or 2-year-old Airstream. You will not take as much of a hit on the resale, and if it is in great condition and you add more features to it, you might be able to break even.

We owned a 27' international signature. We bought it for $79,000 and sold it for $79,000. We added about $3000 in upgrades over our two-year ownership. This may not be the norm as we found a gentleman and his wife that were looking for an Airstream that had all the "bugs" worked out of it. This may be a better plan for you also.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
I see New York in your profile, are you purchasing from Colonial Airstream? They are a good group and will do their best to clean up any faults with the trailer before delivering it. Some dealers are better at this than others...
As to tow vehicle, this question is a little like asking who you are voting for...
I would caution you not to under buy with the tow vehicle. Many 150/1500 trucks are configured to pull a 25í Airstream from the factory, many are not.
I would suggest that you consider not only towing rating but both GVWR and payload numbers too. I have seen far more posts by people complaining they had under specíd their first tow vehicle than those who complain that they over specíd it.
A properly specíd 150/1500 is sometimes difficult to find on a dealers lot. Donít be afraid to search online and have it delivered.
As to value at the end of the trip, Iíll leave that to someone else. I will say that if it is Patrick at Colonial who gave you that figure, he has always been accurate and honest with us on this subject.
Thanks Bruce. I appreciate the color on colonial, I've read great things about them. We actually heard the resale idea from a couple different deals, but my experience with car sales in the past is that people will say anything to get you to buy something - it seems like airstreams are a bit different as there is more of a community aspect.

Good point on the tow vehicle probably not being on the lot as a standard - we'll have to plan ahead for that and will look to secure it in the next couple months before picking up our airstream.

I noticed that you're awaiting delivery of a Globetrotter. Can I ask why you chose the globetrotter rather than the Flying cloud? I find the plethora of choices to be a bit much, especially for a first time buyer. There seems to be so much overlap between the different models and frankly I couldn't care less about some of the features, but I get that some people do. There just seem to be less globetrotters available right now so we're going with the flying cloud. I've also read that people are complaining about the automatic shade on the globetrotter - seems like it causes issues?
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
For your purpose, I would look for a 1 or 2-year-old Airstream. You will not take as much of a hit on the resale, and if it is in great condition and you add more features to it, you might be able to break even.

We owned a 27' international signature. We bought it for $79,000 and sold it for $79,000. We added about $3000 in upgrades over our two-year ownership. This may not be the norm as we found a gentleman and his wife that were looking for an Airstream that had all the "bugs" worked out of it. This may be a better plan for you also.
Thanks for the suggestion. We were originally looking for a used model, but I couldn't find much online. It seems like there are a lot of options on this site though so we'll probably revisit. How did you go about reselling your international? Just posted it online?
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:46 AM   #6
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For 6 months of use, I would buy another brand of camper. You can get a brand new one for around the money you have projected to lose on an new AS.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captahab1 View Post
Thanks Bruce. I appreciate the color on colonial, I've read great things about them. We actually heard the resale idea from a couple different deals, but my experience with car sales in the past is that people will say anything to get you to buy something - it seems like airstreams are a bit different as there is more of a community aspect.

Good point on the tow vehicle probably not being on the lot as a standard - we'll have to plan ahead for that and will look to secure it in the next couple months before picking up our airstream.

I noticed that you're awaiting delivery of a Globetrotter. Can I ask why you chose the globetrotter rather than the Flying cloud? I find the plethora of choices to be a bit much, especially for a first time buyer. There seems to be so much overlap between the different models and frankly I couldn't care less about some of the features, but I get that some people do. There just seem to be less globetrotters available right now so we're going with the flying cloud. I've also read that people are complaining about the automatic shade on the globetrotter - seems like it causes issues?
This is our second Airstream. We have refined our desires over the past 8 years and 70,000 some odd towing miles.
As far as the Globetrotter, my wife liked the first one we stepped on and that is that!
Iím not concerned about the awning. Iím pretty capable with electrical and mechanical systems.
You would be wise to understand that Airstreamís often need a fair amount of de-bugging when they come from the factory. The world of travel trailers is quite different than what many people are expecting, especially after experiencing the renaissance the automotive industry has gon through in the past 30 plus years.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captahab1 View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. We were originally looking for a used model, but I couldn't find much online. It seems like there are a lot of options on this site though so we'll probably revisit. How did you go about reselling your international? Just posted it online?
Every RV/trailer is selling quickly now. We secured the same discount this year that we did 8 years ago. Iíd suggest that used examples are selling at an artificial high now. There is no knowing when that will change.
When we sold our 8 year old Bambi, we advertised on airstreamclassifieds.com and it was gone in about 12 hours. There were multiple buyers who wanted it.
Welcome to a sellers market.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:20 AM   #9
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Hi

You *could* easily "loose" 2X the amount of money you are thinking of. How well does that fit into your financial planning? If it still fits, then I'd say you are pretty safe. That's not to say that you will *have* to go that low on a sale, only that you *could* go that low.

Once you are done with the trailer and ready to move on, where in the country will you be? If the answer is "still close to NJ", I'd try to work out a resale deal as part of the purchase. Let Colonial clean / store / sell the beast. You *will* have a cost associated with that. You equally would have costs associated with selling it on your own.

If you sell it yourself, there is a point where the seller hands you a check and you hand them the keys. Most of the time this all works out fine. There are a few horror stories out there about bouncing checks and disappearing buyers. How much of that sort of "worry" are you willing to deal with?

Care and feeding wise, there is no way to be sure of what will happen. If you get caught out in a big hailstorm, the trailer is worth a lot less. There simply is no way to *know* if that will happen to you. Same thing with chunks of debris on the road and "pilot error" issues. Best to have pretty good insurance on the trailer ....

Bob
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:26 AM   #10
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You get what you pay for

Quote:
Originally Posted by captahab1 View Post
My girlfriend and I are planning to purchase a new 2021 FC 25FB new from a dealership. We're looking to use the airstream for a cross-country trip from January - June of 2021 and then will probably look to sell it as we'll both be in grad school and won't have much time to use it. We're looking at paying ~$95k - our dealer has suggested that we shouldn't have much trouble selling it for 70-80k after ~6 months of use as long as we take care of it and are willing to be a patient for a sale. Does this make sense to others?

I understand there are market conditions that no one can accurately predict, but given I don't have much experience in the Airstream resale market, I'd like to get others opinions on this. It seems like Airstream is backed up on a lot of orders through Spring of 2021 and it's probable that it will continue to be a seller's market through June. I realize that this trend will probably reverse at some point in the next 1-2 years as people who bought airstreams without much thought as to the maintenance return them, a potential recession hits, airstream ramps up capacity etc.

These forums are a bit overwhelming with all the information - been searching through as much as I can as I realize a lot of questions are asked repeatedly. That said, I had a few other thoughts if anyone has an opinion.

1) Is there a list somewhere of general add-ons that we should be considering purchasing (e.g. equalizer hitch, tire chocks, levelers etc.)

2) How important is having the back hatch open? This seems to add ~10k to the price of a new trailer - hard for me to tell how 'necessary' it is? I guess it's all preference. The idea of being able to work at the desk with the back hatch open on a pretty day is very appealing.

3) Is there a list of things we should 'inspect' or do before driving off the lot with our airstream? I'll do a thorough walkthrough of the trailer, but again with limited airstream experience - what exactly am I looking for?

4) We need to upgrade our car to be able to pull this thing. Currently debating between a Toyota Tundra and a Ford F-150. Both have towing capacities in excess of 10k so we should be set here. We don't want too large of a truck since it's going to be our daily driver after we sell the airstream and I'm not trying to drive a 3/4 ton truck through the streets of a city in the Northeast. Seems like the newer Tundras have relatively poor reviews so may be leaning towards the F150. Any thoughts here?

Thanks for any help/replies.
Hello Capt,

I am also from NY and have a 25' AS FC, I would not hesitate purchasing the new model you will have no issues reselling it and retaining 80% or more of its value. It will remain a sellers market for quite some time and remember these are limited supply high demand products. When your ready to sell it, there will be plenty of buyers looking for a pre owned that's under $90K.
As far as a tow vehicle if your planning on crossing the country, don't waste your time or money on a gas powered tow vehicle, you will regret it, the first long incline up or down a mountain range. I've had big V8 gas powered light duty vehicles and they don't do the job easily. Other than a flat straight run you will never feel confident in your travels. Invest in the diesel and resell it when your done, they also retain a high resale value no matter the mileage.
you'll.

Best of luck,

Dave
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:35 AM   #11
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If you're looking for a used Airstream have you checked out the Airstream Classifieds? I've had luck there. Currently selling International Serenity 23D in Florida.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:06 AM   #12
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I think you plan sounds reasonable for your goals.

We are on our third Airstream. Our first and second were damaged considerably in accidents, and each time we traded for larger. So my first piece of advice is to be well insured, especially if you know you will probably need to sell soon.

I think that any 25 airstream is a good bet. This is a very popular size and IMHO the best valued size. That being said I don't think that the hatch is worth the money for your situation, just because it raises the price enough that you shrink your pool of potential buyers. Also, the Airstream is so well designed and ventilated that having the windows all open will give you the inside/outside experience. It's like fancy-pants screen porch!!

What you will "need" depends on what kind of camping you will do. If you will be off-grid you will probably need a generator and possibly solar. If you will be where there are hookups you won't. As far as standard items, there are lots of theads about this if you search. Basically you need to be able to hitch, drive, park, unhitch, and camp safely.

As to a vehicle, my personal opinion is that either will be fine as long as you pay attention to the payload on the actual vehicle you are considering. We have a Tundra 5.7 L V8 Crew Max 4x4 and find it very suitable and comfortable for 2 adults and gear. Payload isn't awesome, but it is a very comfortable daily driver when not towing. Trucks right now are more scarce than camping equipment, so be prepared to take some time to get the proper one.

The Tundra, which is a gas V8, we have towed a 22, 25, and 27. We use an equalizer hitch. We have gone to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and the Canadian Rockies. It tows very well. We are mindful of not being overloaded, and really like the Tundra.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:16 AM   #13
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Iíd recommend you find a lightly used unit. Though a different size, we purchased an Ď08 19í Bambi in 2012 and sold it in 2016 for a $2k profit. We purchased a 2012 23D in 2016 and have no doubt that we can sell it minimally for our purchase price. It remains a sellers market.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:10 PM   #14
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In response to 1, I would get the trailer a month in advance and start to pull it around and equip it. I would take short trips before the long trip. Get used to driving next to tractor trailers, going around curves slowy, learning the limitations of parking and backing, mastering the process of hooking up and dumping, and sleeping next to inconsiderate people who want their rig to resemble airport runway lights. And presumably, you plan to boondock. How much experience do you have with running on an RV electrical system that, from the factory, isn’t designed to support boon docking? Become a mathematician; never let your batteries dip below 12.2. I have 400 watts of solar and a GZ3000, but I could use more capacity. If there were an option from Airstream for 600 watts of solar and 600ah of lithium, I would give that serious consideration. And then there’s all the little stuff like trying to find your parking spot at the campground at night where things are poorly marked. Skip the $25 dollar flashlight and get the $150 dollar one. The old saying "never buy cheap tools” will quickly come into play once you hit the road. I would get a KOA card; they make it easy for the most part. And never stop at a One Thousand Trails campground. So, where are you headed on your adventure? Get off the Interstates and get lost. @coasttocoastphotoatl
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:36 PM   #15
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2 Things:
  1. Is this the out-the-door price (including tax, prep, etc.) or the sale price? $95k for a 25-foot FC is a bit steep.
  2. I just sold a 2019 FC after 18 months for more than I paid for it new.

Your plan is solid, and if you don't damage the trailer you might not even lose what you're thinking.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:44 PM   #16
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$95k for a 2021 FC 25 FB????

I agree it is a might bit steep!!!

April of 2019 we purchased a 2019 FC 25 RBT with MSRP of $90k. We paid $71k out the door. Everything. Tax, Title, Admin Fee and the one time North Carolina $2k Road Use Tax. Times may have changed but $95k is up there. Look around for a better price.

The suggestion to buy an SOB (Some Other Brand) for your short time of use is a very good idea. IMHO
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:24 PM   #17
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1) Is there a list somewhere of general add-ons that we should be considering purchasing


You probably have found this already, but I found this page on Airstream Supplyís site helpful: https://airstreamsupplycompany.com/shop/beginners-guide/

There also lists here on the forum, have not found them yet!



3) Is there a list of things we should 'inspect' or do before driving off the lot with our airstream?


This is a basic video on things to check before taking an RV home - I found it helpful:
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:45 PM   #18
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I agree with considering SOB if it is for short term use. The one camper I would consider getting is the Lancer. You can get a truly 4 season camper; unlike Airstream. You can get them for about 1/2 the cost of an Airstream and they look like very good units. Now they don’t have the Airstream look, and they don’t have all the windows (which is what my wife really likes). But I would at least take a look at one if it is for short-term.

The reason I bought an Airstream is because my wife likes windows. I would have been happy with something else. But happy wife happy life. If my wife was going to do the camping thing I had to accommodate.

In fact now that my wife is more in tune to camping I’ve actually considered getting a Lancer, because it is a 4 season camper. I live in Wisconsin and the camping season is just too short. I’d like to start earlier and end later. But we still love our Airstream. And my wife would need to be convinced.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Perri View Post
Hello Capt,

I am also from NY and have a 25' AS FC, I would not hesitate purchasing the new model you will have no issues reselling it and retaining 80% or more of its value. It will remain a sellers market for quite some time and remember these are limited supply high demand products. When your ready to sell it, there will be plenty of buyers looking for a pre owned that's under $90K.
As far as a tow vehicle if your planning on crossing the country, don't waste your time or money on a gas powered tow vehicle, you will regret it, the first long incline up or down a mountain range. I've had big V8 gas powered light duty vehicles and they don't do the job easily. Other than a flat straight run you will never feel confident in your travels. Invest in the diesel and resell it when your done, they also retain a high resale value no matter the mileage.
you'll.

Best of luck,

Dave
This is spot on with my advice. Get the trailer and a late model used 3/4 ton diesel. Sell both when your adventure is over. This gives the very best adventure and plenty of value when you are done.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:48 PM   #20
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I would go about this a very different way.

I would buy a "Vintage" Airstream on the east coast (prices tend to be lower), use it for the six months, then sell it for more money on the west coast (prices tend to be higher).

Enjoy,
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