... enough so that we could replace the old trailer with a new one. But before we bought our Airstream, we considered many other RV options, including large class A motorhomes, slightly smaller class C motorhomes, and all the way down to smaller travel trailers. I had also been discussing my problems with other Airstreamers I had met on the road and I clearly hadn't been getting the Airstream experience I paid for. Corrosion; Rivets; Leaks; Dents; Scratches; Difficult to Find Replacement Parts; Difficult to Repair The Exterior; Poor Performance in Cold Weather; Poor Battery Performance; Combined Waste Water Tanks; High Maintenance; Floor Rot Airstreams do require more work than most RVs and camper trailers. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. This is a great thing when you own one. Let us walk you through the list of things you need to be prepared for before you sign the papers. After you’ve had to repair a few rivets you probably won’t think they are so great looking anymore. And you will have a lot more to choose from as there are a TON of RVs listed! Our sad experiences with the substance. No doubt about that. How big an Airstream can you (really) tow? Leaks. Other trailers are normally made from fiberglass which is much easier to repair and cheaper to fix. The depression hit the growing RV industry hard and of the 400 travel trailer manufacturers, the Airstream was the sole survivor. Our first travel trailer had a super tiny kitchen. I think we can all agree that they are just gorgeous. And personally, I think the older vintage models are maybe even more charming. Before we get into the details we should mention that there are a ton of different Airstream models out there. If you cannot visit a trade fair, you should at least visit a local dealer who has most of the different models available. This effectively makes the tank a black water tank only. By renting a small space at the same size of the trailer, you can make a better and more confident decision. I hope you feel better prepared now to take the big decision. Unless you take a really good care of it and apply special products to keep the rubber from rotting. Another day we will do a post about all the WONDERFUL things there are to say about these campers. The shell is made of aluminum and you can’t even walk on top of them without denting them. A leak may occur at, say a vent, it will run down between the skins and into the C channel on the floor and then emerge onto the floor at a gap in the C channel many feet away. our list with recommended products for RVers. It will give you much more space inside the camper. They have made a very durable and strong product. You will have rubber around the windows, doors etc. Next, take off the gas consumption savings from the already reduced cost. They don’t offer any expandable slides, which means you’ll pay more per square footage as you move up in trailer length. One way to get around this issue would be to install an aftermarket solution. You will be waxing your camper at least once a year. Not only this, but each dent is a threat to your rivets and a dent can lead to your Airstream leaking. The biggest reason I’d recommend an Airstream is their durability. With an Airstream, you just have to guess. Most campers last less than 15 years, while Airstreams can last much longer. Make sure you have a repair shop in the neighborhood that can fix Airstreams if you plan on buying one. It’s always important to consider how big a kitchen you need on the road. With an Airstream, they happen but are the exception rather than the rule. Some Airstreams even outlive their owners, so 15 years of great service is the very least you can expect from these trailers. The interior of an Airstream is considered to be a luxury interior and it really looks great. Now we had to sell the old camper to get a new one and this took a while. Make sure it doesn’t leak. (Probably the #1 question we get). My guess is that people having trouble with jagged edges have probably received models with minor quality control issues. Even brand-new models can have trouble with the aluminum case and it might start leaking much sooner than you would expect! This means that the floor can be left to rot for a long time before you realize it needs to be fixed. In fact, we estimate that 60 to 70 percent of all Airstreams are still on the road. Using a new building material is a departure for the company, which has spent nearly 90 years perfecting aluminum construction. There have been problems with the quality of the Airstream trailers. We really enjoyed staying in our super-tiny camper as long as we were only the two of us! However, used RVs are much cheaper, and chances are if something were going to go wrong, it already has, and the previous owner has addressed it. This makes this common problem a common benefit for some people. You don’t want a camper wall that is too hot but you don’t want a camper wall that is too cold either. If you know how to use a drill and you know how caulk works, you can mount your own solar panels and roof racks without having to worry about any unforeseen issues. Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. Then I caulked the beejeebers out of the whole thing, sealing it completely. You can see more about our experience here. Airstream puts all sorts of custom drawer slides and cabinet hardware throughout their interior. So we cannot cover all issues and considerations you will run into, but we can cover the most common issues people struggle with. And after those four years, the curve will flatten out a lot depending on how well the camper is maintained over the years. Here’s a complete step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaking roof on your RV. Drove into El Cajon and got a new jack and used a forklift to lift the trailer up, installed the new jack, besides having some brake work done and replacing a water pump that’s the only problems I ever had with it. The Airstream models have gone up in price over and over again. Metal is a great conductor of electricity. Magnesium is often used to treat roads because it can melt ice and snow. Airstream has recently come out with a Base Camp model which does have some off-road capabilities but most models do not fair well off the beaten track. If you haven’t got the money in the bank be sure to get a used model, or even better: wait till you have the money in cash! This is one of the best solutions to your power needs. Here are the most common problems with Airstream campers. Think 3-5 years ahead when choosing the size. Mind y… This was especially true for 2017 model years. This way you can still check out as many Airstreams as possible and find out exactly how each model works from floor plans to features. Unlike some travel trailers, Airstreams are pretty narrow. It’s a community that welcomes new people with open arms, from the curbside to the campsite, and once you’re a part of it, you’ll understand why calling it magic isn’t an exaggeration. Even if the Airstream doesn’t become dangerous it can cause fuses to blow and your electrical system won’t work properly. Airstream enthusiasts and anyone who finds your camper will stop to chat with you. and it just won’t last much more than a decade. Airstreams are already more expensive than most RVs and trailers. One cause of corrosion can come from magnesium. One year later, Maria got pregnant and we needed a new camper. Airstreams are beautiful when new but they aren’t quite so beautiful after they’ve been subjected to hail. Did you find wrong information or was something missing? On top of this, it can be difficult to find the window latches and you’ll have to get them from a specialty store or directly from Airstream themselves. Home Contact. NoAnd no leaks means all the components inside the trailer are more likely to last. Our goal is to share knowledge about everything Airstream related. Last year we went to a huge camping trade fair and it was really great being able to compare the different models and brands. If you’re in the market for a new Airstream then this problem won’t affect you. This is not the case with an Airstream camper! When you buy a brand-new Airstream trailer from an authorized dealer in the United States or Canada, you will get a 24 months warranty on most parts of the camper. Our first little camper had a leaking roof and it really gave us a hard time. But if you can afford to do so you will have a wonderful experience. We did some research and found lots of stories from people staying in their Airstream all winter long. For many people, the biggest question isn’t what type of camper or RV they are going to travel in. (PS: We read ALL feedback). Since we thought the trailer was in good original shape we had only planned on some minor updates. The biggest difference is the weight, length, and interior design and layout. It’s simply too expensive to make sense. Whether you need to decide which models to buy or to buy an Airstream at all. This is also true for Airstream motorhomes as they do not offer a four-wheel drive option and Mercedes isn’t exactly known for its off-road capabilities. It will do so at a later point in time when the warranty has run out. While most campers will have 100 or 110 amp batteries, Airstream typically provides 80 amp batteries. All you need is to do is to install the solar panels on top of the Airstream to get a maximum amount of exposure to the sunlight. Some brave folks have mounted lightweight solar panels onto the roof but that is probably because their batteries are dying quicker than they should. They check how much their vehicle can tow and they go out and find a camper matching exactly that number (or close). We recommend towing only 80% of the limit of the maximum capacity of your truck or SUV. We are reader supported. Most Airstream owners will tell you that it’s a 3-season trailer, but you certainly can do it. When an Airstream’s electrical wiring is run through the camper it is put through plastic junction boxes within the ribs of the Airstream so that the wiring can run properly and safely. You have to clean it and wax the exterior once in and a while. Many of the things we share below are not specific to Airstreams in particular and will apply to any RV you buy. Hi, I’m a new member to Toyota World and have a 2018 Taco SR5 V6 equipped with the factory tow package. After a year we wanted to cook more food ourselves as Maria started on a special diet. Here you can find a list of how much each model weigh. You can find a link to it at point #4 on, We would love to hear your thoughts! I looked up the 25 and 27-foot airstreams and the gross weights are 7300 and 7600 respectively so the Q7 should be up to the task. We may earn a commission when you buy through our links. The built-in air conditioner/heat pumps will not work below 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) according to the manual, and it won’t be your best option anyway. We planned to remove the carpet, make the kitchen counter a bit longer and add a dinette. Below are some of my favourites: We have looked at some prices online for new models and used models. We started out with a tiny camper which would only fit two persons. We may earn a commission when you buy through our links. 1992 Airstream Limited 34 For this reason, you’ll notice that people aren’t using their Airstreams to transport kayaks or to hold any large items on the roof. The problem with camper trailers is they stay out in the sun much of the year. We found that it will probably lose closer to 30-40% over the first four years. This also goes for other types of RVs, but especially for the Airstreams as they are not super-well insulated. Bambi, Argosy, Excella, Spokane, Interstate, Quicksilver and many more. After doing some research online we have found that people do not recommend paying for the extended warranty from the Airstream company. Note: If you like to camp up north you should prepare for power outtakes as well. Luckily, this isn’t a problem for everyone and stopping to chat with strangers can be a fun experience for many. Learn More Join the Airstream family. This is simply the best thing that ever happened to our little family. Morten teaches that on his YouTube Channel. It will need fixing and maintenance. To replace a bad rivet on your Airstream, you’ll have to drill the rivet out before you can put a new one in. How quickly do Airstreams depreciate in value? (We outlined our Airstream buying decision […] Not only this but Airstream does not provide a gauge to tell you if your batteries are getting low. It’s no fun driving behind a big truck because you cannot pass by it. Even though the Airstream has metal all around it, it still has a wooden floor. An Airstream can become scratched as easily as a car. You want to be able to accelerate your rig whenever you need to. Find info on Airstream repairs, parts, restoration & even Airstream trailers and motorhomes for sale! Again this isn’t an easy fix since you can’t access the walls as easily as you might in a camper with a wooden interior. We recommend the surge guard from Progressive Industries. Owning an Airstream in the RV world is like owning a fancy looking sportscar. You can get dents from road debris, tree branches, and any number of things that might bump into your Airstream. Why are Airstreams so expensive? Otherwise, you might only be able to camp with your kids once or twice :-). According to Dave Ramsey and a normal new car will lose 60% of its value over the first four years. The feature parade continues outside, as well, where a quartet of stabilizer jacks deploy to keep the tiny body steady, and a powered awning extends from the side to provide a shelter from sun and rain alike. One of the first things you need to consider before you might buy an Airstream trailer is the total weight. Plus a few issues that tend to surprise new owners after purchasing an Airstream. You really do pay a lot for the design here. With other brands of trailers, leaks are inevitable before long. For the vintage models, even small Airstreams can easily eat up a 35-gallon tank of LP gas per week. The shorter the Airstream, the more it costThe shortest Airstreams have been in short supply since they were new.The Airstream factory made money on the bigger Airstreams and would limit production of the short ones to 2 months in the winter.The older the The aluminum body of an Airstream can last you a lifetime. While most people are willing to pay six figures for a house and the land it’s sitting on, most people just aren’t willing to pay six figures for a camper that isn’t quite liveable in the winter. Morten teaches that on his YouTube Channel. While you’re doing all of this maintenance, your friend down the street with the ugly looking camper is already sitting at a campground relaxing. I’ve never experienced any trouble with sharp edges but some people have complained that this has been a problem for them. An Airstream isn’t built for winter camping. This is something we learned the hard way. Getting an Airstream is a big investment and they differ from other types of RVs on a lot of points. But even the newer, heavier Airstreams are considerably easier to tow than other brands of trailers. This does add to the cost but it is much cheaper than replacing a battery whose life was ended early due to too many full discharges. Interior repairs can be difficult for a few different reasons. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. It will be cheaper to just pay for the issues as they occur. It’s important that you are ready for voltage spikes on campgrounds when you connect your RV to the power outtake. Airstreams are different. When I’m out and about, the last thing I want to do is to talk to someone new. Check out the official Airstream website to see all the latest features and models. You’ll then have to seal the rivet hole properly or it will almost certainly leak. A friend of mine has a Q5, and it’s an excellent vehicle to be sure. Even with all of the issues that come with owning an Airstream, at the end of the day it is still a beautiful looking camper that many people would love to own. You need to know exactly how much you can haul behind your vehicle. We LOVE our Airstream travel trailer. When I found the floor rotted out of my Airstream in May, I took a closer look back on all the problems I've had with my brand new, built-to-last Airstream trailer. You will also need to cover the windows (at night) with Prodex insulation or something similar. The third way that you can power up your Airstreams is by harnessing the power of the sun to get free energy by utilizing some solar panels. The amount of money you pay for the extra features will probably not be a good long-term investment. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose just one! 14) Potentially Dangerous Electrical Systems, all there is to know about RV battery life here. This is one of the most common problems people have with Airstream trailers. The Airstream models are very pricey compared to the square footage you get on other types of RVs and campers. Even though the manual of your vehicle will say you can tow this or that amount of weight, it will not be fun driving uphill. But of course, it depends a lot on the specific model you get and what sort of extra features you buy. The savings you’ll make with an Airstream trailer are between … By following this rule you should have a much better driving experience and you will also have a much better gas mileage! I think most people can agree that Goldilocks had the right idea when it came to temperatures. Coincidentally, I see more 2017 models for sale than any other model year on RV Trader right now. This is a lot of money to spend on a recreational toy, for anyone in the middle-class. I’m getting ready to retire and looking at the Airstream Sport 22FB to tow with the Taco. Unfortunately, that’s not too uncommon. Everybody loves the beautiful Airstream trailers. Rivets look great on almost everything. Some paint, new upholstery and a new counter surface. That’s just part of the deal about owning one of the classics. You may be thinking, how could magnesium make its way onto my Airstream? This wasn’t really possible in that old tiny camper, which was also one of the reasons why we sold it and moved on to a bigger model. The 22FB GVWR is 4500 Lbs. This can all add significantly to the total weight of the Airstream! How do you make a living on the road? Something you don’t want while being on the road and away from friends and family who can help. A: There is a well proven saying – “All Airstreams leak”. Click the link above and type in “Airstream” like we just did here: It’s typically a lot cheaper than going through the big RV dealers and local RV rental services. Other than that we just went with it and it was totally fine. The special thing about the Airstream campers is the exterior look and finish. But be aware, that using the furnace for longer periods of time will quickly deplete the batteries. Sign up for Airstream monthly newsletters full of new product reveals, model updates, videos, blogs, and more. 4) There Were Almost Colored Airstreams "Wally Byam planned on making colored Airstreams to match the pastel schemes of the cars of the … So don’t go out and borrow money to buy a new (or pretty new) camper which will quickly depreciate in value. Some people love to cook while other peoples prefer to eat out or go for prefab food. The largest Airstream trailer & Airstream motorhome enthusiasts community online. This wouldn’t normally be a problem but remember you’ll be backing your Airstream in and out of campsites that may or may not have tree branches growing in and around them. The new lineup includes 9 different campers. An as found Vintage Airstream that is equipped with Dura-Torque axles will almost certainly need new axle(s). But what happens when your Airstream becomes damaged and these wires are no longer where they should be? (Probably the #1 question we get). And it’s not a decision the company took quickly. The first models came out in the 50’s and since then the Airstream company has continued to push out new models. With over 100 new units in stock and available, you’ll see more Airstreams in one hour than you’ll see shopping for days anywhere else! Most new RV makers put battery gauges on their battery systems so that you know how low you’re getting and you can properly maintain your battery by not running it down too low. They can be dangerous during a snowstorm. This means that you’ll never be able to just dump your tank out into a field or onto your lawn like you might have done with a simple gray water tank. A new Airstream like the one shown above, can cost over $50,000. A quick trip to the dealer or some time spend smoothing out these edges should rectify a problem like this. Who wouldn’t like to see the world with this amazing camper? So you would benefit a lot from installing a few small electric heaters in your camper. But be aware that the new trailer will depreciate quickly as any other vehicle. Not only this but Airstream has used different aluminum thicknesses on different model years. We originally planned on these items taking 2-3 months and we budgeted $2500 for the updates. Personally, we went to Oregon a couple of years ago to spend a few nights in a tiny home. We wish you the best of luck! You can use the furnace for heating (and you will probably have to). By doing so, you will increase the likelihood of a good and pleasant buying experience! This being said, if you’re looking to buy a used Airstream, it may be best to stay away from Airstreams from the year 2017. I love rivets so much that I bought myself a tool for applying rivets so that I could make DIY projects at the house with them. Magnesium Chloride is hell on Airstreams, but no longer needs to be that way. Regular polishing is needed and you have to be careful when washing your Airstream with a pressure washer as high pressures used too close to the Airstream can cause dents to form and rivets to leak. Metal can be corroded and Airstreams are made entirely out of metal. Even though Airstreams look wonderful and provide a great user experience for most people, they do have many drawbacks for you to consider. There are a lot of models to choose from. When your truck or SUV is loaded to the max limit you will have a hard time driving it unless you are drving straight out on a flat landscape. Taking a dent out of an Airstream is not an easy task and it can become quite costly. To begin with, Airstreams have a low center of gravity. 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