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guzcaster 09-27-2014 09:08 PM

New to Forums and looking for our 1st Airstreams and advice in South Florida
We're ready to buy our first AS and wanted to get some advise in getting started.
We've been to a couple of dealers but wanted to see if going more vintage/used and renovating was a more cost effective way to go. The potential pitfalls going this route daunting and looking around renovation specialists and used options in the South Florida area seem limited.
Any recommended AS finders/renovators? Pros and cons of going new or not used beyond upfront costs.

Appreciate any advise so we can see start out AS adventure.

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n2916s 09-28-2014 08:11 AM

New units are pretty spectacularly priced but you get shiny and warranteed.

Classic means you need serious metal and/or mechanical skills and, after all is said and done, you will often have more into the trailer than you will ever be able to recoup. On the other hand, you will know every rivet, every wire, every piece of plumbing so you can and will do all your maintenance.

Recent used means someone else got all the bugs out. Appliances should be mid-life as well as the running gear. You should be able to do bearings and brakes and then go camping.

Me, I split the difference. Mine was 20 years old when I bought it. The previous owner had gotten everything working but it was ugly -- lots of dents and peeling plasticoat. Did what was necessary to make the rig presentable and then went on the road.

55000 miles and 8 years later, need to plasticoat again and the refrigerator is degrading gracefully (aren't we all?) but still on the road six months a year...

South Florida has very few Airstreams and few RV dealers of any sort. We got ours in Tallahassee from a private owner. J.D. Sanders in Alachua is an honest Airstream dealer with a solid service department. The dealership in Tampa has changed owners since I was last there so I have no idea what they are like.

Hope this helps,


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guzcaster 09-28-2014 08:30 AM

Thanks Mike
Some good advice. I don't have much mechanical know how so more recent used might with previous owner TLC be the best approach. Thanks for the heads up on the dealer a and will check into the Tampa option too. Also I'll keep checking in on the classifieds too and see if anything fits the criteria.
Any other leads welcome
Thanks again

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BoldAdventure 09-28-2014 09:55 AM

Don't bother with the one in Tampa. They are slime balls.

We didn't want to pay brand spanking new prices. I quite enjoy my savings account and would prefer to not be in debt for 30 years.

We went with a 2007 27ft FB International Signature that we bought from a private seller. If you want to avoid the work of a serious restore, and get something close to the price range of a late model used pickup, then 05-13 is going to be your bet. And as n2916s sometimes the previous owner has dealt with most of the bugs.

Our's only has one issue that I'm fixing. Other than that, the A/C was replaced two years ago, fridge was recently services, the axles where replaced in 2012, tires are a year old, etc. A lot of recent service. Still a fairly newer unit and we got it well under 40K. I didn't want to go above that. And we have what is for the most part, identical to some of the newer models as far as interior and features.

As far as stock, there are more older units for sale from private sellers. It seems that units in the 2000's are in limited supply from private sellers. You'll find dealers mostly selling 2013-14-15 units with the occasional 12 or 13 they got as a trade in. You have to spend more time looking online it seems for units in the 2000's. We bought ours in Alabama after seeing the ad posted here on this forum.

We spent lots of time though at North Trail RV in FT. Myers who is an Airstream dealer looking a Airstreams to get a feel for what we wanted.

I think we looked for about 5 months before we found ours.

Good luck in your hunt.

terryV 09-28-2014 10:19 AM

The most popular used Airstreams seem to be the small and midsized ones. That is also reflected in the price.

The bigger ones, 30' and up are not so popular, and therefore usually cost much less. I bought a 12 year old 31' Classic for much less than I could have bought a mid sized Safari of the same age or even older.

Yes, it is a little scary thinking of towing, and parking the big ones, but you get used to it pretty quick. But, when you look at all the room, storage space, and amenities that you get, and the lower price, it is well worth it.

Plus, I think that the larger Airstreams were proably owned by more experienced folks who worked their way up in size over the years, and therefore could be in better shape. (I know mine was.)

Gas mileage, whether towing a mid size or 31' Airstream will be about the same. It's the frontal area, not so much the weight, that counts. That I have proof of.

moosetags 09-28-2014 11:14 AM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Your best bet may be a used Airsteam in the five to ten year old area.

Start by checking all of the sources, Forums Classifieds, RV Trader, and Ebay. I would also recommend checking the used Airstreams with the Florida Dealers.


guzcaster 09-28-2014 05:24 PM

Great info guys. Really appreciated and gives yes a really good idea of age and type we should be looking out for.

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