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  1. #1
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    Airstream Trailers

    Anyone here own (or owned) one?
    No I donít want a sprinter van. The wife and I are debating the purchase. Be interested to hear what others experience has been. I have had a bumper pull camper for years and want to stay with the concept. I donít need a trailer to ski, I have a place to stay to ski in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho without having to winter camp. Thinking more of summer fishing destinations and long term traveling when we get semi retired.
    I want something that is long lasting, comfortable, durable and relatively maintenance free. The Airstream seem to fit the bill.
    Thoughts?



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  2. #2
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    By almost any metric, Airstream is a superior TT. Spendy, but they do everything well, include tow like a bullet.

    You're going to be looking at electric tow vehicles within the next decade.

    Alu skin is fragile and shows dings, which may be an issue if you intend to leave the hard road. You'll want the factory rock guards and a good full-width rock guard and mudflaps on your tow vehicle.

  3. #3
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    We moved from a slide-in pop-up truck camper to a small travel trailer this year. We looked at a *lot* of trailers to consider floor plans, space, overall size (and hassle of fitting the thing wherever we camped).

    Considered Airstream very very briefly: though they are pretty, they are quite expensive, and I came across reports of the riveted skin having leak issues when/if the rivets loosen. Mainly decided to pass based on the cost vs other trailers.

    The best built trailers overall, IMHO, are the fiberglass ones; we liked the Escape ones the best, especially the "21" models. A new one was going to run close to $50K though, with taxes. Dunno if something like that is of interest, or if you're looking for a larger trailer than that, since Airstream does make some quite long ones too.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by highangle View Post
    You're going to be looking at electric tow vehicles within the next decade.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nS0Fdayj8Y
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  5. #5
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    Airstream owners tend to be d-bags. Don't be an Airstream owner.

    Kidding aside, they are far superior to fiberglass TTs. Thus the general douchy-ness of their owners.

  6. #6
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    Plus you can park them under high voltage lines and not have to worry about EMF.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  7. #7
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    I looked at the Escapes but since we are looking long term and most likely extended stays (like a month or 3 at a time) they just arenít big enough for Mrs Teleee. I havenít read much about the rivet issue being a big concern, I will have to investigate a little. I do have a few friends who have airstreams and they are HUGE fans.
    Also, I am alert a d-bag so I have that going for me. I am not even going to think about the electric vehicle things yet, I prefer to bury my head in the sand.


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  8. #8
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    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  9. #9
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    We had a 22ft Airstream about 15 years ago, then switched to a Leisure Travel Van (Sprinter Van). Sold the van last week. Now looking at the Opus 15 as we want to do more remote stuff. Airstream of course is a solid choice if you can afford it, don't listen to the haters. Resale is good too.

    We are moving to the off grid camping version because for us COVID has fucked all our favorite campgrounds. To many people and unless you plan months in advance you just don't get a spot. My wife and I aren't great planners, we tend to just jump in and go last minute so getting campground spots the last two years has sucked a big one.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    If nothing made by Escape is big enough, the Casita won't work -- the biggest Casita is 17' hitch to bumper, so about 13-14' for the trailer box itself. They are nicely made though.

    The biggest Escape is a mini-5th wheel, which has a really nice floor plan IMHO. There's a 23' Escape in the works, but nothing definite on production time.

    Not hating on Airstreams at all. They are attractive, owners seem to like them, generally positive reviews as I was shopping. But quite expensive.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  11. #11
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    Yea in this case size definitely matters. I think 25 is our minimum length.


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  12. #12
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    ^^^ 25' is a pretty big investment and trailer.


    Friend (married to ER Doc) just got a brand new 30' 2x axle AS that is very nice.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  13. #13
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    25' is also where they step up the wider width vs 23' (the smallest two axle). We did extensive research when thinking about full-timing a few years back. The 25' and bigger have a lot of tongue weight, so I'd consider a 3/4 ton or larger for a tow rig.

    The build quality is definitely there, but I wouldn't buy one with a ton of off road boondocking in mind, that's where the rivet popping seems to come up. They also don't have slides, so they feel smaller inside than a lot of other trailers.

    The great resale can help to offset the cost.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Lets not make this a thread about electric tow rigs. It isn't going to be a thing in the OP's stomping grounds anytime soon.

  16. #16
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    How is the used market ? I gave my son 10K and he picked up something used that was like 28ft with a slide or 2
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
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    No idea if itís a good deal but just saw one listed in mtexpress classifieds (Ketchum). Probably means it has been garage kept and unused. I like the bambis (in laws have one thatís been back and forth to Mexico (precovid) a bunch). Shown itís miles but much less than other travel trailers

  18. #18
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    Aug 2018
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    I am selling a 1971 27í Airstream International Overlander. It has been a great trailer. We have spent at least 60 nights in it for the last 9 years.

    They tow better. The travel better. Need to pull over for lunch? The whole trailer is ready and no need to put out a tip out. Need to camp for a quick night? No worry if you arenít perfectly level for a tip out.

    With a good hitch setup you can roll into a 50MPH corner at 50; not recommended with a heavy SOB.

    We have a new one on order and will get it in December. Maybe I am a D Bag?

    Join the WBCCI and get exclusive camping at all kind of cool events. Pendleton Roundup and Sun Valley Jazz Fest accommodations are right in town.

    They still leak, not like a SOB, but still watch for leaks. A SOB will last about 7yrs and an Airstream at least 15.

    If anyone is shopping, reach out and we can connect you with someone who knows how to look for the problems.
    "Let's be careful out there."

  19. #19
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    My brother has an airstream. Compared to my well insulated van, it seems less insulated in warm and cold weather, but maybe it’s more from all the windows. Condensation control has been an issue but he lives in the wet side of the Cascades. Doesn’t take it off pavement. Aesthetically it’s nice.

    Airstream owners seem more concerned about hail damage than fiberglass trailer owners IME.

  20. #20
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    Yea going to be a while before electric is an option in the hoods we hang out in . So far it seems like the negatives are expensive (fully aware of that), not real off road worthy (donít plan on that, I have other camping methods when getting off the beaten path), they Iggy leak (having had several other campers I know they all leak eventually, my hope is they leak less), dont have slides (main reason we are looking at them, slides are a mechanical nightmare waiting to happen), not a van (yea exactly)
    What am I missing?


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    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  21. #21
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    The curved structure means overhead cabinets are much smaller or non-existent compared to a traditional trailer.

    Pre 2010 or so the interiors are ugly IMO.

  22. #22
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    We have a 2010 20ft flying cloud (Bambi). 5000lbs. My wifeís investment and she loves it. Big kitchen counters and full bath. Same length as the 1/2ton crewcab, so fits in most places including the grocery store parking lot. I would have preferred going to a 23í of that vintage as the fresh tank goes from 23gallon (6 hot water, and 17 actual tank) to 32; as it is with the 3 of us the tank is good for a long weekend. And the 23í had tiny counter realestate so no beuno for the lady. She also uses it in the driveway to isolate before and after a night shift, or after a couple COVID work scares.

    No leaks or other issues with the shell, but it is time to redo the caulking on the roof. Most of the issues are with the appliances, which are generic (mostly dometic). Had to replace the fridge control unit, the power converter, and have fiddles with the AC unit. Lots of online resources to fix that stuff, and most aftermarket electronics are an upgrade to the original specs. Otherwise bomber. Put in a 3Ē dexter axle lift so the departure angle on the rear bumper wouldnít get hung up - we take it on forestry roads to rec sites. Itís a tool, not a jewel, but I still wash and wax it often to keep the clear coat happy. Replace the tires and premium AGM batteries every 4-5yrs. And annual maintenance with the hubs and brakes. On the road right now spent a couple nights on Slocan Lk by Hills, just pulled into the fatherís place for a few days, then a few nightís camping on the way home.

    I have a soft spot for the early 70ís land yachts but they are getting dated and often require a full off-frame restoration. Google airstream forums for all kinds of info and for their classifieds section. Crazy prices right now - we could sell our Bambi for $10g more than we paid 5yrs ago.

  23. #23
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    Aug 2013
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    Airstream Trailers

    My GFís parents have an AS Caravel that weíve taken out a couple times. Donít know the year but itís newer (2015+) for sure, and sweet. If I were to have one of my own Iíd definitely opt for a larger size as itís a bit claustrophobic to me, but that might just be me being used to my own familyís 5th wheel (which is nowhere near as nice).

    The finish inside the AS is damn near luxurious. Pretty nice features. Cabinets arenít exactly spacious as has been stated but the hardware/locking mechanisms are quality. The hitch system is nice, maybe you can get a similar setup for other campers but I only have experience towing this one. I do like the ability to just pull over and sleep vs other options that may require more doing.


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  24. #24
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    Sep 2001
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    Airstream Trailers

    I have a few friends with airstreams. Very well built and tow like butter. Probably the only well built RV on the planet!

    ButÖNot great off pavement. Most models have very little clearance or departure angle, which is what makes them so easy to tow but generally not suitable for long drives on FS roads, etc. Compared to similarly priced ďoff-roadĒ trailers, AS suspension and design just isnít intended for that use case.

    If I was looking for a pure RV for designated spot camping, it would be a no brainer.
    "All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    The curved structure means overhead cabinets are much smaller or non-existent compared to a traditional trailer.

    Pre 2010 or so the interiors are ugly IMO.
    Second this comment... While it may help a bit maybe in the towing and a bit more aerodynamic with the rounded roof, you loose a good bit of storage and seems narrower when in one compared to the square boxier models of many other brands.

    Only other comment is they have been around for a long time building the same style for those that like the look and the riveted seams and construction. (of course newer models probably have had a big upgrade and improvement in the interior options and features compared to a 30 or more year old one)...

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