Before our trip to Oregon last week, we had a new fan and a new toilet installed at the dealer in Covington, WA. For the three hours we were there, we decided to inspect every single Airstream on the lot. What else were we going to do?
My favorite was the Sprinter Interstate Mercedes-Benz. I’d never been inside one before and I was impressed – I had no idea so much stuff could fit inside a van!
Overall, the interior looked really comfortable and it seemed to have almost as many amenities as we’ve seen in Bambis. I thought the wet bath looked similar in size to our 22ft International as well. With the couch/bed, tv, stove top burner and built in mega electric panel, it’s a really impressive touring coach!
The other model that made us go hmmmm was the new Serenity. We spent a lot of time inside thinking about the pros and cons of the 28 ft model and while we really really like it, we still love our 27ft.
The selling points on the Serenity, in our opinion, are the dedicated couch and table areas. Let’s face it, it’s a pain to put the table up and down, and it would be so awesome to have those two areas be separate and in fixed locations.
The down side is if one of us is sitting at the table, it seems we would block the tv if someone on the couch was watching.
We also like the bedroom wardrobe. Granted, you lose the panoramic bedroom windows, but in our case, less windows in the bedroom is ok — as soon as the sun comes up and the light comes in, we’re awake, so a little more darkness might be good. A huge bonus for me is the bedside magazine rack and the little cubby holes for stuff. I love that.
And finally, on a personal note, I don’t particularly like countertop/sink in our International, and would definitely like to try this out. It looks like same amount of countertop space without the protruding sink.
There was only one other layout I thought was cool — this 22ft (I’m going by memory here — I’m pretty sure it’s the 22ft). I love the little kitchen nook in the back.
The new water heater that runs on electric or propane is a great idea. And I love the dimmer switches too!
Overall, I like the improvements made to some of the 2012 models — but we still love ours.
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.
What do Airstreams REALLY look like on the inside?
Staged Shot of an International Serenity from Airstream.com
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.
Colonial Airstream – New Jersey
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.
- 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!
Back in September, we wrote about the process of finding and purchasing an upgrade from our 22′ International CCD to our new 27′ International CCD. Months later, after a few delays caused by installed upgrades and family matters, we arrive at the continuation of the saga, also know as The Pickup.
Tiffani and the Big Weaz
As usual, life finds a way to interrupt the best laid plans. On the same week we received the “come pick up your new Airstream” call from ExploreUSA, I received another call from my family that required me to return to NC for a family emergency. While there, after things settled down a bit, my dad and I took a trip to one of the coolest, most Airstream-rich RV shops i’ve been to since becoming an Airstream Owner (ok, it at least tied Randy’s shop at North Dallas RV).
I’ve read, heard, and seen photos from Jackson Center – and trust me, I’m dying to make the mecca – but if you’re ever in Winston-Salem, NC, do yourself a favor and swing by Out-of-Doors Mart if you care anything at all about Airstreaming and contributing to its history.
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.