The iconic Airstream Brand offers a unique blend of travel style, comfort, and mobility. With dozens of new models and hundreds of pre-owned models to choose from, buying an Airstream can be a thrilling, but challenging experience.
Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a newcomer to the world of RVs, these tips will help guide you through making the right purchase decision and avoiding common pitfalls along the way.
1. Determine Your Budget
Before you start shopping, know how much you're willing to spend. Airstreams are premium RVs, and their prices reflect their quality and features. Consider both new and used models to find one that fits your financial plan. Dealer's offer financing programs to qualified buyers, where as most private sales are going to be cash transactions.
2. Choose the Right Style and Size
Airstream offers a range of sizes and styles from compact model travel trailers and B-Class Vans perfect for solo travelers or couples to larger travel trailer options ideal for families. Think about the number of people traveling with you, the amount of space you need, and where you plan to take your Airstream.
3. Consider the Towing Vehicle
When selecting a travel trailer model, your towing vehicle's capacity is crucial for your comfort and safety. Ensure that your current vehicle can safely tow the Airstream model you're interested in. If not, you might need to factor in the cost of a more powerful vehicle.
4. Carefully Check the Condition
When buying a used Airstream, thoroughly inspect it for signs of wear or damage. In older models, pay special attention to the frame and floor condition. Check the functionality of all appliances and systems. Inspect all of the exterior aluminum panels for any dents or damage outside (they are easily missed in photographs) - panel replacements are expensive !
5. Consider the Amenities, Upgrades and Options
Different models come with various features and amenities that can make your Airstream experience even better for your particular needs. Some might have features like solar panels, upgraded battery systems, larger tanks, or upgraded kitchens. Decide which amenities are must-haves for you and look for models that include them.
6. Research Dealers and Private Sellers
Remember, you are buying two things - the Airstream, and the Seller. Look for reputable dealers or private sellers. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and don’t hesitate to ask sellers detailed questions about the Airstream's history. Be extra careful with private sellers that have only owned the Airstream for a short time.
7. Consider Resale Value
Airstreams are known for retaining their value - but making a careful purchase is crucial to protecting your value long term. Just like with cars, brand new product depreciates quickly compared to pre-owned units. Consider this when making your purchase, as it can be a significant advantage when you decide to sell in the future.
8. Double Check all Operating Systems
Before finalizing your pre-owned purchase, have the owner walk you through the Airstream and demonstrate all electrical systems, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and any other features to ensure everything is in good working order. If you are buying long distance, consider hiring a professional RV inspector to double check the Airstream for hidden problems.
9. Understand the Warranty
If buying new, understand the warranty details. Knowing what’s covered and for how long can provide peace of mind and save you money on future repairs. Pro Tip - Check the dealers service reviews ! A warranty is only as good as the dealer standing behind it.
10. Join the Airstream Community
Even before your purchase, consider joining the Airstream community. Facebook Groups, Forums and Clubs are a great resources for advice and experienced guidance from fellow Airstream owners. Talking to owners that have the model and stye of Airstream that you are considering can bring things to light you may not have considered.
By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect Airstream for your travel adventures. Remember, take your time, do your research, and soon you'll be exploring the world in your new home on wheels!
Airstream Hunter was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Ward Chandler to create a dedicated community to buy and sell pre-owned Airstream Travel Trailers. Today our community reaches over 100,000 people every month through our website, our Facebook Community and our Social Channels.
We offer FREE consultations to any Airstream buyer or seller to discuss the Used Airstream Market, how to sell your Airstream for top dollar, or how to find the perfect Airstream for your needs. Reach out to us today - we're ready to help.
Visit us at AirstreamHunter.com.