Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   Buyer Guidelines (
-   -   New or Used...I need advice (

Claysews 10-07-2015 10:59 PM

New or Used...I need advice
I have researched and looked at many airstreams. I decided on a 25, which is the largest I feel comfortable driving and parking. I will be traveling solo with 2 large dogs. I am not mechanically inclined.

I am hoping that a barely used Airstream will have all the kinks out and with something major, AAA is my friend. Also the price allows for that initial off the lot depreciation. And truth be told, if I get a little scratch on the outside , I won't feel so guilty .

My other motivation is this is my first RV. While I think I will enjoy it, I am not guaranteed bliss. Since perusing Airstream ads, there are quite a few trailers with minimal use for sale because the owners bought on a whim and not find it not to their liking.

Lastly, there are many 2006 models of all sizes . Is there a reason for that? Was 2006 a very bad year or people are dumping because they are 10 years old?

What is your advice? I would appreciate any input.

Rocinante 10-08-2015 12:09 AM

Having bought a brand new 2014 model at the end of 2013, we agree that buying a gently used model makes a ton of sense. It might be handy if you find one that still has a few more months on the warranty so you can get any remaining issues resolved before you're on your own.

Happy hunting!

Wayne&Sam 10-08-2015 06:50 AM

Buying can make sense if you can get one at the right price. When I was looking for a newer used 25' I only would have saved a couple of thousand over new. I went with new and the two year warranty.

Wingeezer 10-08-2015 07:15 AM

Bought our 2006 in 2009 following the same logic that you described, and for us it has been a good decision.

Cost a fraction of the new price, and after 6 years use and about 35,000 miles towed, we really have had very little problem with it - no major expenses other than upgraded skylights and 16" wheels - both expenses were upgrades that I chose to make and totally optional.

I would certainly go this route again.

Funny that you mentioned the "first scratch" issue - that was also a consideration for me, I would be so upset put that first scratch or dent in a trailer I had bought brand new - not to mention the first sign of filiform corrosion!!


NWGetaways 10-08-2015 07:15 AM

You said it yourself. The classifieds are full of late model Airstream's used no more than a handful of times. You could charter a jet and book an entire hotel for what those few days cost.

Don't be that person. Maybe see if you can find an Airstream rental in your area.

Also, is that new trailer smell really worth $20,000 or more to you? A well maintained barely used two or three year old could easily save you that much.

KJRitchie 10-08-2015 09:44 AM

We purchased a 1 owner preowned 2008 Classic 25fb in 2013 that was barely used. You can't tell from the outside that it its not a newer model. We purchased it at a dealer so we probably paid a little more than we should of but we couldn't travel far and wide to view preowned Airstreams.

Some mid 2000 model Airstreams may have floor rot at the rear bumper area due to improper sealing from the factory between the shell and bumper rub rail.

If you do decide on preowned take advantage of Airforum inspectors to help you check it out. Having never owned an RV there is lots to learn about maintaining and using an RV.

Have you thought about renting a towable? It may not be an Airstream but you can learn a lot about RVs by spending a long weekend with one.

Post questions about anything, we are here to help.


m.hony 10-08-2015 10:57 AM

My first trailer was used. My current trailer was new.
For a poor man new is easier. It is hard to finance a used one. So, if you are paying cash, get a used one.
It is easier for a poor man to finance a new one. He ain't got no money to pay cash for a used one.
If I could have come up with cash, I would have bought a used 34'.

B00merang 10-08-2015 11:36 AM

Can't help with the 2006 question. But if money is no problem, go new. If there is any doubt, buy as gently used as your bank account can gently take. On a more certain WILL be guaranteed bliss. Safe travels. jon

Gneiss Guy 10-08-2015 11:49 AM

We have bought two used Air Streams, a 25' and a 30', and never looked back. Both were barely used and had been stored inside. The 30', especially, I would rather have as a brand new one. The previous owner had added many up-grades, i.e., all stainless steel hatches, extra TV, automatic satellite receiver, new mattress, back-up camera, hitch and everything one would need to go camping. I'm talking dishes, bedding, cooking implements, trash cans, etc. It was two years old and used about 15 nights. The guy's circumstances had changed and he had other priorities. We had to go to Texas to get it, but have now had it for two years and it is a wonderful rig.

Our 25' was not perfect when we bought it, but we had it fixed like we wanted it when we sold it. We had taken it to Jackson Center to deal with some leaks and to the ZipDee factory for awnings all around. It was in perfect shape, but an aged parent came to live with us, so we couldn't use it anymore. As a result, some one got a beautiful trailer and an excellent price.

My advice would be to keep an eye on the AS classifieds on this site, ask questions about any you are interested in, go and see any that are within a reasonable distance, get a good idea of how much you are willing to spend and go for it. Be patient, as there will be one out there somewhere with your name on it!


dfbroussard 10-08-2015 12:05 PM

I brought a 2004 25 foot International earlier this year and can't be more pleased. I was willing to spend more but when I found this one on craigslist I had to see it. Barely used, well maintained, and ready to camp. Truthfully, I think I was lucky. I've taken it on a number of weekend trips and a couple of week long trips into the Ozarks and the east coast of Florida. Only minor somewhat expected problems that are more like maintenance issues.

I wasn't sure I would enjoy RV'ing and I didn't want to spend a ton of money to see if I would like it. I would caution you to take your time to find what you want, don't get anxious, do a very thorough inspection (get help if you can), and don't be afraid to bargain (and walk away if you have to).

pcskier 10-08-2015 12:13 PM

I just bought a 2013 used Flying Cloud 19. List on a 2016 is $62,000. Obviously, the actual purchase price would be less. Right now, mid $50s? Next year at closeout, low $50s? A new 2015 right now (MSRP $61,000 give or take) can be had for $49,000-$50,000 on closeout.

The one I bought was purchased new at the end of 2012, used TWICE, then stored in an aircraft hangar the past 2 1/2 years. I paid $40,500 for it. But essentially it's brand new, just no warranty. And virtually no difference as far as the 2013 vs. 2015 or 2016. Just a few things like ducted A/C.

One thing I learned in my search process was that the first year seems to take about a 8-10 percent hit. But then the depreciation slows dramatically after that. I have seen 2009 Flying clouds (4 years older than my 2013) listed for $39,000. The prices are very stubborn on these things. Which makes buying one a bit easier of a decision. Take care of it and it'll hold value well.

The prices can be very, very confusing and overwhelming. I wound up making up a spreadsheet of all the ones for sale, and then when the right value came up, I was able to identify it quite quickly. I sent a deposit in on the one I found within 24 hours of it coming online. And I have to drive 850 miles to get it, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm getting an essentially 'new' unit, 3 model years old but used twice and stored indoors...for $12-$15k (after dealer discount) less than a 2016. That's a 20 percent discount from new...but it really is new.

Good luck in your search!

dkottum 10-08-2015 12:14 PM

The advantage of new is you can get exactly the model and decor you want, with the exact options installed during the build, two year warranty, the latest factory design and component changes, new tires and batteries and new equipment throughout, no unknown history, less maintenance needs, and you can deal for a price well under MSRP on the Airstream and optional equipment.

So we bought new, no regrets at all. It's now four years old, but it's only four years old.

robwok 10-08-2015 12:26 PM

I'm selling a used that has been upgraded to new. well, new to 1964. ;)

(although behind the scenes, everything is new)

akjam 10-08-2015 01:58 PM

We purchased our 2012 27FB used in 2013 for a very good price and just sold it last month for the same price as we purchased it for. What we did is 1) confirm that we love Airstreams at a very low cost and 2) used that experience to decided what we really wanted for the long term. We just purchased a 2016 30 that will be perfect for us for years to come.

Bottom line, if you are a first time owner, I say buy gently used and if you got lucky with your first one, never look back. If, after you have it for awhile you find that there are certain itches and that a new one could scratch, you won't be out that off-the-lot depreciation and you can purchase exactly what you want.

Good Luck,

Foiled Again 10-08-2015 03:32 PM

Everything Akjam said... PLUS

something you said - that you wouldn't be comfortable in something bigger than a 25 footer. ERASE THAT from your brain. It's fear and it's useless, especially if you start yearning for a 27 or a 30 because your dogs are so big, and .......

First another user hear gave me a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) - find a truck driving school that has an RV course for newbies. Towing the first time is nerve wracking but once I got over the nerves with my 22' and saw a new 25' I had lust in my eyes, and then the 27' FB and then....
Well I recently bought a used Avion (vintage kin unit) that's a "10 meter" or almost 35 footer - which I towed to Franks Trailer Works to get a "property brothers renovation" and get rid of the mid 80's French Provencal decor:sick:

Size matters - but the self imposed limitation goes away pretty darn fast, and oddly the bigger they are (Airstreams!) the slower they sell and the deeper the discount is for a used one.

I generally say get the used one for the first one,

HOWEVER, there is one consideration to the contrary - Financing rates are AMAZINGLY low for people with good credit - I literally got a 2% loan on a GMC truck, and while RV's are a point or two higher, if you've got 30% cash it's a no brainer to go ahead and get new. (AKA - how can you lose?)


Bill M. 10-08-2015 04:25 PM

We have a 25 and love it for traveling. But If I were you I would look at the 27 and 28 also. They are just as easy to pull and drive as the 25 and actually are easier to back in place. And looking at them opens up the used market for you quite a bit. And the bigger trailers are a bit more pleasant in terms of the bathroom size and storage. It just seems that there are only a few 25's for sale and they are pretty popular. And yes, I like the idea of buying used. As far as not being "handy" there are some things you are just going to have to learn and deal with yourself, new or used. And I agree with the idea of not having to worry about the first dent. We have 2 older trailers and 4 different limbs have fallen on those trailers in the last 2 years. We just can not seem to get away from gravity. One was so bad I had the insurance pay part of it. The other three we just live with the big dents.

Mrjkq 10-08-2015 04:30 PM

Having purchased quite a few RV's over the last 40 years, I've learned that if you buy "right" you can sell right. However, many owners of new coaches never learned that simple philosophy & consequently when trying to sell a 2 year old they ask way to much because they paid to much. Having said that, do your homework, research online & get multiple prices from different dealers regardless of where they're located & don't except less than a 18% discount on a 25 ft. If someone sayes it can't be done then they may have paid to much. PM me if desired.

Rocinante 10-08-2015 04:37 PM

Since we're now discussing size, we'll just toss out this little tidbit: the 27FB is actually 28'1" long. It's one inch longer than the 28RB, which comes in at 28'.

To be certain of the length of a particular trailer, read the specs rather than the model number. ;) Don't let that model number fool you like we did. We're happy with our 27FB, make no mistake, but we chose it partly because we let ourselves be fooled into thinking it was a foot shorter than the 28. Haha, the joke was on us. Good thing we love our floor plan anyway!

Mrjkq 10-08-2015 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by Rocinante (Post 1694707)
Since we're now discussing size, we'll just toss out this little tidbit: the 27FB is actually 28'1" long. It's one inch longer than the 28RB, which comes in at 28'.

To be certain of the length of a particular trailer, read the specs rather than the model number. ;) Don't let that model number fool you like we did. We're happy with our 27FB, make no mistake, but we chose it partly because we let ourselves be fooled into thinking it was a foot shorter than the 28. Haha, the joke was on us. Good thing we love our floor plan anyway!

Agreed, as the 25 ft is actually 25'11".

Claysews 10-08-2015 10:17 PM

Thanks to all for your advice and buying hints. This forum is so helpful for someone just starting the Airstream life.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.