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Gator113 09-13-2009 02:55 PM

Intro/help.... Greetings to all of you happy campers.
Greetings to all,

I hope this finds you all in good health, successful in your endeavors and happy in life.

I retired at 53 and quickly made my way to 60. We love playing outside and traveling. My beautiful Bride and I started camping with a single one person sleeping bag and through the years (38 wonderful years so far) we worked our way through tents, larger tents, a tent trailer, a 24' box camp trailer, a 29' 5th wheel and we are now back to a tent (not much, just with young grandsons... LOL) and motels. I have learned to hate staying in motels, not to mention the cost.

Once a year, we take a 30 day road trip and travel throughout the USA. A couple of years ago we crossed the country from the west coast to Charleston, South Carolina. We danced in the Atlantic ocean and headed home, covering as many states, small towns and side roads as we could. We put over 9000 miles on one of my Harley's on that trip.... and loved every mile.

We also like to camp in our boat on the water from time to time.We live near the Straight of Juan de Fuca, in Port Angeles, Washington, so it's easy for us to do.

Due to health issues, I must modify our mode of travel. I have always admired the Airstream and it is now time for me to buy one.

I am not even a first timer, we looking for our first Airstream trailer and have been for several weeks. It's been a tough few weeks in trying to sort all of this out, but this site has certainly been very helpful.

I think we are close on deciding what we want. I absolutely love the vintage trailers, but due to health and time left on this planet, I will stick with the newer-- slightly used trailers or the new ones.

I think we want a trailer from 25' to 28'.... no smaller, no longer. I have a 2007 Tundra with nearly 400 hp that will tow 10,500 pounds.

While I might make an exception, we are thinking 2005 or newer. We like the rear bed because that allows for the entry door set up such that I can use my right hand to grab the handle to pull myself up the steps. I like either twins or the north/south queen bed. The least amount of carpet would be good for us, as we have a German Shepherd dog that I no longer go anywhere without.... they shed like no other. ;>)

We are fine without the dinette and like the couch at the front of the trailer.

I recognize that we have to be flexible and thus far, I like all of the models, but my favorite is the Classic with all of that hickory wood.

Last week we drove to the nearest dealer to check how these guys look up close... loved them!! The dealer doesn't sound like he wants to deal, so I will look around and wait for the economy to starve him into a better attitude or I will find one someplace else. I found the exact model that he priced at 84K
on the east coast for 20K less... though that's still a bit more than I want to pay, if I can get away with it. If need be, I will drive my truck across the US to bring home what I want.... I can be hardheaded and extremely focused on a target. ;>)

On the way home we found a used trailer not more that 15 minutes from our home. It was on a lot that was closed for the weekend. A 2005 25', classic, twin bed... it had tons of extras. It was as if it came off of the showroom floor....... priced at 30K.

The next morning, I was quickly pre-approved for the loan and we called the seller at 9am.... it had already been sold. It had been on the lot for 3 days and it was already gone. I quickly came to the impression that this was not going to be easy and it was going to take some time. Darn, I would have already been camping!

I just realized that I got a bit long here, so I will end this.

I would appreciate any and all tips..... or leads to find our Airstream... it's got to be out there.

Best to all,


moosetags 09-13-2009 03:05 PM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

You've found the right place for the very best Airstream information. Have a look around and ask all the questions that you want.


Gator113 09-13-2009 03:06 PM

I neglected to mention. Lot's and lot's of windows. It's a must for me.

This should allow me to feel like I'm outside even on those days that I can't be. My health issues work like this. One day I can feel great and do much, the next I may have to just hangout, so for me, the windows/windows/windows are a must.

TBRich 09-13-2009 03:07 PM

Welcome to the Forums,'s a great place with lots of knowledgeable folks eager to help when they can... Be persistent and your Airstream will find you...the 25', 27' and 28's are very popular floor plans and serve many Airstreamers very well... It sounds like you have a history of great adventures and this will only be a new chapter and a fine way to continue the trend... Keep a close eye on the classifieds here...lots of Airstreams pass through them...and good luck!

Hope to see you down the are from a beautiful part of the country...we have friends in that area and will no doubt head that way one day...on our own adventures...

Happy trails...

Gator113 09-13-2009 03:10 PM


Originally Posted by moosetags (Post 747212)
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

You've found the right place for the very best Airstream information. Have a look around and ask all the questions that you want.


Thanks. This place sure seems to have a wealth of information... and very friendly and knowledgeable folks. I think I am going to like it here.....

Now, back to the hunt.

Gator113 09-13-2009 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by TBRich (Post 747214)

Hope to see you down the are from a beautiful part of the country...we have friends in that area and will no doubt head that way one day...on our own adventures...

Happy trails...

Indeed, it is quite beautiful here. I live on 5 archers of the water view side of a mountain, at an altitude of 1000' that is located only 3 miles up from SR 101.

I own a John Deere tractor with a loader and backhoe. It takes very little effort to put in a dry camping spot up here. I already have one area parked out with hookups for a couple of friends that come to visit. I might very well put in a couple dry spots for Airstream folks to stop over at on their way through. No cost, just enjoy the view and the area.... and my 26 brown-egg laying hens. ;>)

Anyway, we will see where this all heads after I find that dream trailer. ;>)

Bird's Nest 09-13-2009 03:41 PM

Hello from Georgia;

I am a transplant from South Eastern Washington, 1985. I am still not acclimated to the humidity!

We had a similar search last February. As a child of the 60s, I fell in love with the CCDs. We were blessed to find a slightly used 2004 28' on a lot in GA. We love it. It would have been nice to buy it from an individual because in GA you do not pay sales tax on vehicles you buy privately. Is it like that in WA?

We have had great experiences buying and selling vehicles online.
Some great sites for RVs are:
RV TraderĀ® - New and Used RVs for sale on RV Trader now New and Used RV Online Classifieds. RVs for sale Online

We drove to Iowa to pick up a Winnebago Class C two years ago. Our teenage boys thought it was too dorky to be seen in. We did better on the 2nd try. They love the Airstream. We took it on a 2 1/2 week family trip out west this summer. My husband and I take it out once or twice a month. The boys are 16 and 18 so we are almost like empty nesters. We would love to fit an Airstream event in soon but we are not retired and we home school so it is hard to get one that works with the calendar.

Best wishes on your hunt. I can't wait to see what you get.


Gator113 09-13-2009 04:21 PM

Thank you, Gayle,

No, it's not like that in Washington, they will collect their ridiculous taxes regardless of where you purchased the trailer. The dealer informed me that were I to buy a new one from him, the sales tax alone would be 10%. In Spokane, it was something like 8.8%. Yet the politicians wonder why the economy is in the dump! Money that I would have put into the economy is taken and wasted by the government....grrrrr.

If you buy from a private party in Washington, you will pay taxes on what your bill of sale says, or they will charge you blue book.

loudruff 09-13-2009 04:41 PM

Be sure to keep your eye on the Classifieds here on the forums. In March this year we found a "new to us" '89 Excella 1000 29 footer. The PO had done a bunch of work on it and it looked wonderful. We are 60/61 and retired and we did not want to spend lots of time rehabing one either. We went to see it and it was a pretty thing! It is updated for us and we can get out and camp. Even though it is 20 yrs. old it does not look like it! Maybe you can find one that will fit your needs. Good luck in your search!

Gator113 09-13-2009 05:01 PM

I'm getting excited again. I just now looked at an RV Trader site and I have already found some possibilities.

A couple are bit older that I have been looking for, but from what I can see on the computer, some are looking like good prospects.

loudruff 09-13-2009 05:07 PM

The AirForums Classifieds rock! Keep your eye on them right here on this site. There are also lots of trailer inspectors here that have volunteered to go and take a look at units that may be further away. They will usually go and take a look and let you know their opinion, sometimes at a mininimal cost for their gas and mileage. We have done this a few times and taken lots of pictures as well as carrying the inspection list to evaluate the "find". And I forgot to mention that their are often rallies that you can go to and have a look at different floor plans and sizes. Everyone loves to show off their Airstream!

Alwhisman 09-13-2009 05:44 PM

Welcome! You are in the right place. I can't imagine anything I couldn't find out right here.

Good luck on your hunt for your AS. No doubt you'll find what you're looking for...


Gator113 09-13-2009 06:23 PM

Thanks for the advise. I am starting to get the impression that this AS stuff is a passion for most and it may be a fun way to meet others with the same interests.

I can assure you that us motorcycle enthusiasts (cleaned up version for "bikers") and boaters (cleaned up version of salty sailors that love the sea almost as much as their brides) are very much that way. ;>)

I am very much looking forward to joining this lifestyle.

I probably sound crazy to some, but a man who is interested in everything, is always too busy, but he is never bored. LOL

obxgal 09-13-2009 07:45 PM

Hello from Va
Hi Dan!
I have a local dealer who uses RVTrader to sell as we are a tad rural and really not a lot of population...but he told me he really does haggle a lot and come down as it's far better to have SOME sales than I would check them out.

I recently made a great deal on was July and the auction ended at noon on a Monday. which can be terrible for the seller...but I have been very ahppy with my purchase. Also, check out your local Craigslist listings as there have been two on ours this summer..both were newer models and too costly for me, but you stated that you want a newer one.

It'll be such fun when you do find it! This is a truly addicting brand! Just the beauty of hte design and the quality of hte engineering mae me feel good!

good luck!

Susan in VA

ArveeBob 09-16-2009 09:59 AM

I live here in WA as well and used to work for Great American RV n Fife.They are an Airstream dealer.Look up Gary Troger there, he is a good man and will help you with your decision.

ArveeBob 09-16-2009 10:08 AM

Oh ya I almost forgot!
If there is something you want looked at in the Pierce county area, let me know.
I am experienced in soundness evaluation and price assessment.

Gene 09-16-2009 11:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Welcome Gator. Are you still using the single sleeping bag?

We have a 2007 Tundra and have towed for almost 2 trouble free years. Check out the Airstream website for specs on various trailers. I think the limit for the Tundra is our 25' FB Safari (now called Flying Cloud), but a reasonable argument can be made for the 27' and 28'. The more expensive trailers tend to be heavier. Payload is the big issue with 1/2 ton pickups so figure that carefully. I will attach a pdf file of weights going back many years.

The 1990's trailers are much lighter and then you could consider a longer, heavier one, but finding one in good condition can be a challenge. You have to be patient. The new ones depreciate fast and have many quality control issues. Recent ones can be had cheaper and hopefully the QC problems have been solved after several years, but other things may come up. Corrosion is an issue with many newer trailers; there's a long, long thread on that. QC has spawned a lot of threads too. A 1990's trailer will probably need more work and replacement of expensive items like appliances.

I read everything I could on the Forum and a few books on RV's before we bought our Safari and that helped me be a bit more knowledgeable about what we were doing. Still, we are learning all the time. It's hard to be patient once you get aluminitis. Once you get a trailer, it's expensive if you decide you don't like it and realize you should have gotten that other one. Visit a few dealers and look over all the Airstreams and take as much time as you want. Check out whether you fit on the bed, on the toilet and whether it feels right. It can be dangerous amongst all that aluminum not to buy one of the spot, so leave the credit cars and checkbooks locked up somewhere else. RV sales are way down and deals can be found. People go all over the country to buy the right Airstream at the right price.

For used ones, there are Forum members willing to inspect and they can be found on the right side of the Forum page. Some people advertise trailers as in fine shape and when you get there they are junk. I would be wary of buying one that I'd hadn't seen even with the help of the inspector. You have to be fast to get a good one. It can be frustrating because sometimes you lose the deal if you don't have your own plane warmed up to get there faast. But, getting the right one at a good price is important.

Good luck with your quest.


Gator113 09-16-2009 05:09 PM

Bob, thank you. I will keep that in mind.

Last week we drove over to the Fife dealer and he didn't have any used trailers.

I have a whole new respect for the AS now that I have become familiar with the prices of the new one's.... ouch! We looked at a 2008 25' Classic and the sales guy wasn't going to budge off of the MSRP of a bit over $84,000. I always try to be a polite gentleman, but I lost it and laughed out loud at the guy.

Considering the present economy and the fact that he had a qualified and motivated buyer standing in front of him, I was amazed. I found the same trailer in New Jersey... slashed down to about 69K and it was a 2009. I'm starting to wonder if aluminum is edible. ;>)

So, having felt the full force of "sticker shock" and knowing that I didn't want to start selling off my other toys, (I'm old, but I'm still only 60), I decided that I must be low in the monetary food chain of life and instead of a "new" trailer, we are now committed to finding a well kept preowned AS. Heck, we gave much of our money to the government in DC and Wall Street over this past year, so were are just trying to unload some of what we have left before they come back for seconds. LOL

I might have found a good prospect at a dealership in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I'll talk about it in another post.


Gator113 09-16-2009 06:40 PM


I appreciate you taking the time to educate me. On this subject, I feel dumber than a box of rocks, but I was born persistent, so I'll get there. ;>)

I've been net shopping around the clock. I have been reading and looking at photos and video's as much as I can.

During the past 2 days. have spoken to 4 salesmen around the country. This is fun, a bit frustrating and it feels very risky to shop this way... but I'm in it to win it. I WILL have an Airstream.

I have been trying to get a handle on all of the concerns regarding weight. I think I am starting to get the drift. While we had wanted a 25' Classic at first, we have been thinking that we might need a bit more room, so I have also been looking at 27 and 28's. I won't go larger than a 28'. Most of the time, this trailer will only have to take care of my Bride, my German Shepherd dog and me. I suppose that eventually, we could have some of our 7 grandchildren along for a trip. 2 or 3 at a time of course. ;>)

While we will camp locally, it would not be out of the question for me to, at the drop of a hat, point the truck east and not turn around until I felt like going west again. ;>) A couple of years ago we did that on a Harley and we ended up crossing the country and logging over 9000 miles during that 30 day vacation. LOL

So, my truck and trailer need to be compatible... I want this to be a dance, not a fight. I would not enjoy white knuckle driving.

As it turns out, I am considering a 2005 28' Classic that's on a lot in Colorado Springs. This trailer would put me out of compliance with the 80/20 rule, instead, the math comes out to 85/15 (that's rounded up), but I "think" I am okay with that. The tongue weight for this trailer is 730 pounds. The TW rating on my Tundra is at least 750#..... I should know exactly what that number is later today.

Now I would like to find someone that might be close enough to the trailer that they would be willing to check it out for me. I have family that are in sales, so I am reminded of something President Reagan had said, "trust, but verify"

The trailer sure looks good to me over the net... pic's and video. I have already got him to come down 3K, but I still don't know if it's a good deal. I told him that if this is going to be the one, I would leave a week from this Friday and be there by the following Monday. It should only take 2 long and hard driven days to get there. When I was younger I could have done it in less than 24 hours. ;>)

So far these are the issues that I can determine from the pic's:

-There are a couple dings on a rock guard, but none on the body... no dents, no creases, no discoloration and the clear-coat is supposed to be without blemish.

-The coating has pealed off of the lower bump strip (if that's what it's called) on the door side. I think that would be easy for me to replace, but I don't know what they cost.

-There is some chipping of the leading edge of the wood on the pocket door located directly off of the kitchen. It looks easy for me to repair.

I haven't discovered any other issues. The sales guy describes the trailer as in excellent shape. He can't give me any history on the unit as they bought it at auction. It looks very clean.

I think the only upgrades are the air-conditioner/heat-pump and a fold down shelf for a TV in the bedroom. I will need to buy my own TV's.

I'm sorry that this post got so long...

Best to you,


Gator113 09-16-2009 07:38 PM

Correction, the tongue weight spec for my Tundra is 1030 pounds.

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