Where to Begin?
When we first started researching how to buy an RV, our questions were so basic that it was kind of hard to find the right answers. Of course we could search used Airstreams on ebay, or try our luck finding RVs for sale on craigslist, but the info given was often biased and limited. We just needed to know the basics of what to look for!
It turns out that there are lots of resources online to help guide anyone through the process, you just have to know where to look. To save you the hassle, we’ve matched a few of our most basic questions with sites that help answer them.
Where can I find a new Airstream?
It may sound strange, but simply finding a place to see Airstream was a challenge, especially when we lived in downtown Chicago. We found two sources for finding model Airstreams we could inspect in person – Airstream Dealers and Trade Shows.
- Airstream’s Official Dealer Locator
Airstream’s list of authorized dealers – there are fewer than you might think. Plan on a drive, and check their hours. We found many were closed on Sunday.
- RV Show Locator – GoRVing.com
There’s a nice list of local RV shows buried in the cutesy GoRVing website.
What do Airstreams REALLY look like on the inside?
The glossy, staged images from Airstream.com (like the one above) are beautiful, but they don’t quiet match what you see on the lot. We find RV dealerships often have better – or at least more authentic – pictures of the Airstream interiors. If you’re looking at used Airstreams, remember that you can always ask for more images from a potential seller.
- Colonial Airstream
Huge Airstream dealer out of New Jersey. Their standard template Airstream Specs and images make researching new models a breeze.
- George M. Sutton RV
Oregon-based George M. Sutton RV has lots of new models with some really nice pictures.
How much should I pay for an Airstream?
Pricing an Airstream, new or old, can be tricky business. Neither NADA nor Kelly Blue Book provide accurate estimates for used Airstreams and dealers often quote extremely high MSRP for new models. Here are the sites and steps we used as pricing barometers.
- Airstream Classifieds
The marketplace section of Airforums.com. We searched for the closest matching model, year, and size to the one we wanted, and then compared to any we found on ebay.com.
- Price vs Condition – Vintageairstream.com
This article is the golden standard for Airstream pricing considerations. Invaluable for vintage or modified models.
What size Airstream should I get?
This one depends on so many factors – but above all else, you want to make sure you can pull it. A 25′ Airstream won’t do much for you if you can’t get it out of your driveway. So first thing’s first, you need to check the towing capacity of your towing vehicle.
- Trailer Life’s Towing Capacity Charts
Trailer Life has a compilation of ALL vehicle towing capacities, posted by year since 1999. Look for “Towing Chart” on their site.
- Towing Capacity for Dummies…sort of
It’s difficult to find a one stop shop for towing capacity info. This site seems to dodge the opinions and present facts cleanly – look for more on this topic soon from Weaselmouth.com.
That’s about it for our big ticket “for dummies” questions – how about you? What kinds of things are you looking for? Are there topics you’re having trouble finding? If so, let us know by email or comments below!