It’s Okay to Want a New Airstream, But Get This Old One Instead

Buy vintage, save thousands of dollars and still get the floor space you wanted all along.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of calling an Airstream home (temporarily or not), or even merely seen them in pictures, you know it’s the Rolls-Royce of tow-behind trailers. They’re hotel suites on wheels replete with modern furnishings, accouterments and creature comforts like Bluetooth connectivity and wifi hotspots. You can’t really rough it in a modern Airstream — they’re just too damn well built and appointed. New models, which start just under $37,000, sleep two and top out at $150,000 with room for five. And if you had your sights set on the mid-sized model, prepare to drop more than $86,000. The trick here is to buy vintage, save thousands of dollars and still get the floor space you wanted all along.

This 1977 Airstream Tradewind 25′ tips the scales at a scant $19,500 – nearly $18K less than a new model – but don’t think you’re getting some beat up Winnebago from a police auction that’s done time as a backcountry chemistry lab. Almost everything on this vintage Airstream has been cleaned, replaced or updated, from the A/C, refrigerator, stove and heating system to the flooring and woodwork. The last owner even put some elbow grease on the aluminum exterior panels to bring it back to a mirror finish.

If you compare this classic to its modern 25-foot counterpart, you’re doing it all wrong. You have to look at this compared to the newest Airstream closest in price. A ’77 model won’t have Bluetooth, Wifi, solar energy stores, TVs or USB ports, but with the $17,500 you save over the 16-foot Basecamp, you can add all of those things to modernize your 25-foot Tradewind and still not have spent as much as you would have on a Basecamp.

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