In the search for a new Airstream, we’d been talking with Explore RV in Mesquite but I wasn’t feeling the love from them. I didn’t get a sense that anyone there really dealt with Airstreams that much and I never felt like we were getting answers to our questions. They had a good selection of models, but not any we wanted, so we asked them to check the inventory in Ft. Worth where there was another Explore USA. Ft. Worth had a Mocha Blue in a 25ft Flying Cloud, so we decided to go. The person we were supposed to ask for in Ft. Worth was possibly the most unhelpful person I’ve ever come across at a dealership. We told him who we were and what we were there to see and he basically pointed at the Airstream and left. Never asked us any questions or offered to help at all.
Then a week or so later, I called the Explore USA in Denton. John answered the phone when I called and Im so glad he did! I gave him the details about what I was looking for and he gave me a detailed list of all the 25ft and 27ft Airstreams currently on the lot, including a 27ft International in Paprika which wasn’t on the website yet. I told John we’d be there in the morning to have a look.
Saturday morning we drove up to Denton and deep down I knew we were going to love the International. We walked in, found John and he immediately walked us out to the trailers and showed us each one (I think they had 5 total). He made himself available to answer any questions we had and when he was unsure of the answers, he called over Chris, the manager to help out. Between the two of them, they gave us informed answers, were never pushy and just made us feel like we were dealing with people who knew Airstreams and cared about their customers. We both loved the 27 ft International CCD and really liked dealing with John and Chris.
But we needed a few more things…
When we sold the Weas, we threw in some extras. In fact, we through in almost every accouterment we gathered over the past year, including our Tahoe(!), the hitch, sway bars, all cables and cords – we even threw in the hoses. So, before we could hitch up and merrily drive away with our new home, we had some needs and wants – and more than just a new tow vehicle (more on that in future posts).
Thanks to the wisdom of the Airforums.com community, we went in with good info on what we should and shouldn’t negotiate. In the end, here was our list of demands.
- Hitch and sway bars- high end brand, preferably Equal-i-zer, installed
- Inverter – 600W at least
- Upgraded AC (from 13.5k to 15k BTU unit) – We’ve heard the AC in the 27FB was underpowered, and we live in Texas!
- An interior decor we could live with – preferably something neutral or fashionable. We narrowed it down to the STRATUS in the Flying Cloud and PAPRIKA in the International
Nice to Haves:
- Full Awning Package, installed
- Solar Panels and accompanying controller, installed
- Upgraded power converter – I wanted the 9200 Intelli-power from Progressive Dynamics after reading about Dreamstreamr’s success with this model.
- OceanAir pulldown shades – another Dreamstreamr recommendation, seems to come standard on International models now.
- Real oven (not convection) – Lots of people have good things to say about the convection ovens, but we loved the real propane oven in the Weas, and like the internal cooking space it provides.
- Internal under-sink inline water filter w/ faucet
- HDMI cable run from front locker to TV
- Extra AC (inverter) outlet in front locker for our media center computer and Xbox 360
- Coiled versions of our safety chains and 7pin trailer wiring – mainly for a cleaner look, but also to stop things from rattling around outside when we tow.
- Equalizer’s Sway Bracket Jacket – this is a little known invention that helps keep the creaking swaybar joints quiet on the Equal-i-zer hitch.
How Did We Do?
In the end, we couldn’t have asked for a better deal. Chris, John, and the entire crew at Explore USA in Denton did an outstanding job answering our questions and accommodating our needs. After a brief and easy negotiation, we ended up with everything on both of our lists except two things – the internal water filter and the awning package. We can install the filtered faucet anytime, and we decided to live without the extra awnings for now since the price to install would be the same regardless of doing it now vs later. We originally thought about also doing without Solar Panels, but since the “Boondocking Package” provided and installed by Airstream included the inverter and panels, we figured it was a worthwhile upgrade. Also, we see it as a Solar for Beginner’s set to ease into learning and exploring solar power before we start relying on it for all of our power needs.
As an added bonus, Explore USA in Denton also threw in extended storage in a nearby unit for the next SIX MONTHS until we’re ready to move in to the trailer next Feb!
We pick her up as soon as all the extras are installed – which should be any day now. Once we have her, we’ll have plenty more to tell you about. Come back for more info on the final walk through process, the installations, working with Explore USA in Denton, reviews of all our included and added goodies, and more as we embark on chapter two of our Airstreaming career in our new ship, from here on out known as…
the Big Weas!