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Pinky65 07-03-2010 11:39 AM

Newbie: Top five things you wish you had known prior to purchase
Hi there!

Shopping for an '05 International - either 25 or 28' footer.

Can you give me some words of wisdom on things you wish you had known prior to your purchase?

Trying to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible :)

Thanks! Pinky

Blossom 09-13-2010 11:07 PM

how to overcome sticker shock

Jammer 09-14-2010 04:54 AM

1) I chased used too far before realizing that the best prices on a factory order were much lower than I thought.

2) Think carefully about twin beds, they do have advantages

3) Consider both local and nationwide dealers

4) Consider the cost of the hitching system, brake controller, tow vehicle modifications, and interior outfitting in your financial planning. You can spend $3,000 on parts if you get a ProPride hitch, a Maxbrake controller, and some wiring. You can spend $1000 on linens, Corelle, Lynx blocks, and sundries.

5) Think through your tow vehicle situation and assess any back maintenance. Many people find they have to replace their tow vehicle because it just isn't capable enough. I ended up doing a bunch of repairs to get my truck from the "snow plowing and occasional trips to the lumberyard" condition to "long trips towing 8000 pound trailer" condition.

Have fun, and good luck.

dkottum 09-14-2010 07:16 AM

Weights and capacities. In your case, the 25' and the 28' weigh almost the same (using current spec's), the 28' has a larger air conditioner and furnace.

Best use of living space. The 28' is only two feet longer than the 25', but the side dinette is more efficient, and allows a full lounge across the front. The bed is also easier to access.

Looking at used trailers, read up on corrosion and leakage problems. Right here in this forum.

Roadability/size. It must be something you can handle comfortably on your highways, or you won't go anywhere. Decide that first, then look at floor plans.

Dollars and sense. Get what you can afford to purchase, operate, and tow. The devil is not in the details, it's in the price tag.


Freeheel 09-14-2010 08:14 AM

...where to park it when not in use during the camping season?
Where and how to store it during the off season?
Any city/town bylaws against parking RVs on front streets, alleys, on your property, etc?

moosetags 09-14-2010 08:34 AM

After 700+ nights and 60,000+ miles in Lucy (2005 25FB), these are the features that we would not like to live without.

The shower separate from the rest of the bath. This is a major plus for two or more people.

The built-in black tank flush option. If you use the trailer a lot like we do, this is a must.

Two bowl kitchen sink.

craftsman 09-14-2010 08:55 AM

There"s a lot of hype surrounding Airstreams so look very very carefully at the unit you 're actually purchasing. Fit and finish seems to be issue and the finished product is all over the board. Generally the materials are good (with exceptions) but the assembly can be anything from pretty good to down right bad ,and I mean really bad. You tend to notice these small details after you've taken ownership and although some of them can be corrected through warranty repair others could require major work to correct. So after you"ve decided on the unit,go over it from top to bottom ( bring friends) before you sign those papers. We're actually pretty happy with our unit but there's a long list of small fit and finish items that drive me crazy and should have never passed any real quality control. Seems ""good enough" is good enough for Airstream. Oh and if you find any rivets or screws missing you can find plenty of them under the cabinets or floor.

rjack 09-14-2010 09:35 AM

The twin beds are a good choice as they allow the bedroom to be useable as a room...for resting, dressing, emailing, etc. (due to the walk-around space).

Kevin245 09-14-2010 10:58 AM

1. There's Never Enough Time for Camping. :(

2. They all eventually leak in some way, shape, or form.

3. Ownership can be addictive which can lead to more time here, or more trailers in the yard.

4. Plastic Flamingos are a Fashion Statement. Gotta love em.

5. That had I known I could get away with wearing flip-flops and delightfully tacky Hawaiian shirts for a week at a time I'd a bought one years ago.:lol:

boondockdad 09-14-2010 11:50 AM

The one thing I wish I’d known before buying our Airstream was-
the irresistible urge to camp once you own one.

moosetags 09-14-2010 11:59 AM

So true. We would rather be out in Lucy than at home, and we live three houses off the beach.

THEPILL 09-14-2010 12:13 PM

Upgrading to the international,..not really worth the upcharge, IMO.

I love it, just think I'd be just as happy with the flying cloud in the 25' FB.


SSChanger 09-14-2010 12:26 PM

Wish I'd known about:

1. How useful the Airstream Forums are in getting straight talk and good answers.

2. How to configure the hitch correctly for maximum stability

3. How quickly any RV can take money

4. How much I'd enjoy this--it's more fun than I thought it would be, and the whole family agrees!

ridinatlast 09-14-2010 02:30 PM

:)1) If I had known how great AS ownership was, I would have done it in my 30's or 40's.
2) When replacing an AS toilet, always order the porcelain upgrade. It is worth the extra model and be sure and get the sprayer attachment (and I am not saying that because I am a woman, my husband thinks it is cool too).
3) Check the trailer for closely for repairs done by the previous owner. Some may be done correctly, but as in our case the previous owner had no clue what he was doing and we had to redo everything he touched. It all turned out fine, but be willing to look things over carefully because not every homespun handyman knows what they are doing.
4) Study the forums and order the service manual for the model you buy. The schematics are killer and if you have an electrical problem they will save your life. You can order them at the airstream site for $60.
5) Don't sweat the small stuff - and it's all small stuff. There will always be something to fix. It is just like a house, or a Harley. If you think you are ever going to get perfect, you are probably wrong. But you are in for a great ride.

Splitrock 09-14-2010 02:55 PM

I wish I'd have know thieves are only targeting old Airstreams.

Wingeezer 09-14-2010 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by rjack (Post 894857)
The twin beds are a good choice as they allow the bedroom to be useable as a room...for resting, dressing, emailing, etc. (due to the walk-around space).

Probably true enough, but on the downside, we had twins in our last trailer and my wife always complained how difficult it was making the beds with one side against the wall.

For that reason, we specifically looked for a walk around Queen bed in the next trailer - that is what we have now and she is happier.

She did not want a queen bed with one side up against a wall.


Bonnie Disch 09-14-2010 05:53 PM

We just purchased a 2006 22' International last month, after looking at all the different AS out there this is the design that appealed to me. We found this one at a dealer in Wi. so we drove from Ky. to get it sight unseen. We spent a day going over it while the dealer made our truck tow worthy hitch, brakes all that. Have no regrets,
and have been out in it every weekend since. Love getting out of the city and away from our busy careers. When I'm not out in it, I enjoy seeing sit in my driveway as it reminds me of art. AS people are the nicest people in the world, I found this out at rest stops on our way back from Wi. Don't over-think this, just do it!

Pinky65 09-10-2011 08:46 PM

UPDATE: I never officially got back to you all to thank you properly about all the advice. I took it all to heart - every bit of it - and ended up biting the bullet and getting an Eddie Bauer. It has every single thing I wanted in an Airstream - and I get to break it in myself. And being only 46 - I hope to work myself like crazy for the next 5 years, pay it and the truck off, sell my house and get on the road for months at a time when my 50s roll around. Thanks to everybody who took the time to respond and help me with my dream :)

eubank 09-11-2011 07:46 AM

Hummm. Since we bought our vintage rig at the time before the Internet went public, we had no way of knowing that there are lots of Airstreams out there for sale. However, if we had had access to information of this kind -- and if we had had the foreknowledge that a longer rig limits access to special places in the west -- we probably would have searched for a shorter Airstream.

No regrets, though. We use the Airstream and plan to continue doing so, even with its length limitation. And once we become doggie-parents again some day, we will then remind ourselves how much nicer it is to have a longer rig.


Scott J-24 09-11-2011 08:06 AM

Everything everyone else said... But the number one question I keep asking myself is why we took so long before purchasing our Airstream. :wally:

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