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Author Topic: OT with apologies - Value of a AIRSTREAM CUTTER 35RQ  (Read 3982 times)
Tony LEE
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« on: October 12, 2009, 03:25:29 AM »

My profound apologies for asking you BusNuts to discuss a stick and staple motorhome - and I hasten to assure you that I am a proud owner of a genuine fuel-guzzling, maintenance-nightmare MCI bus - but realistically speaking, buying something like this to do a couple of 6-month tours of the US and Canada makes a lot of sense.

What I don't know is the value of these sort of machines in the US.  Asking price is US$38000 and I'm a bit concerned that this may be high given the current economic climate.

Full details are below - sorry for the capitals but that is how the advert reads. I've seen a comprehensive walkround video and it all seems to be as new as is claimed. Currently owned by an English couple.

Any advice would be very much appreciated and I home you will take notice that it is at least a diesel pusher so not too far off being a proper bus.





AIRSTREAM CUTTER 35RQ
Date First Registered:    JAN 1999
Engine Type & Size:    CAT TURBO 300 HP.
Mileage:    70240





DIESEL PUSHER, FREIGHTLINER CHASSIS, CATERPILLER 300HP ENGINE, ALISON 6 SPEED BOX, AIR RIDE SUSPENSION/BRAKES, JAYCO EXHAUST BRAKE, CRUISE CONTROL, 11 MPG (AMERICAN GALLON 3.78 LITERS) DOUBLE GLAZED WINDOWS, 2 DUCTED ROOF A/C. ONAN 7.5KW DIESEL GENERATOR, 2.5KW INVERTER, 2-130 WAT SOLAR PANELS, REES HITCH, REAR LADDER, BACK UP CAMERA, WASHER/DRIER CONNECTIONS, HIGH POWERED LEVELING JACKS, DRY CLEAN OUTSIDE STORAGE COMPARTMENTS, 5 AWNINGS, AIR HORNS, 2 LEATHER ELECTRIC POWERED SWIVELING DRIVER/PASSENGER SEATS, LEATHER RECLINER WITH TABLE/CABINET, DINETTE BOOTH AND TABLE, 19"T.V, VCR, DVD, 10 DISC CD PLAYER, DHS SOUND SYSTEM, 2 DASH FANS, DOUBLE BED SETTEE, DOUBLE SINK, 3 BURNER HOB, LARGE 2 WAY FRIDGE/FREEZER, CONVECTION MICROWAVE OVEN, SUPERB OAK CABINETS THROUGHOUT, SLIDE OUT KITCHEN STORAGE SHELVING UNIT, WATER FILTER, TILED FLOOR KITCHEN AND BATHROOM,CARPETED LOUNGE AND BEDROOM, CENTER BATHROOM WITH 2 SLIDING DOORS, NUMEROUS MIRRORS, FULL SIZE ENCLOSED SHOWER, VANITY UNITS/WASH BASIN, MARINE TOILET, 2 OAK WARDROBES, 6.2 GALLON WATER HEATER, QUEEN SIZED BED, OAK CUPBOARDS AND DRAWERS, 13" T.V., 35000 BTU FURNACE, NO SMOKERS OR PETS. THIS IS OUR OWN R.V. WHICH WE HAVE USED TO TOUR AMERICA IN LUXURY, IT IS IN ABOVE AVERAGE CONDITION THE BODYWORK SHINES BEAUTIFULLY, IT HAS BEEN FULLY SERVICED BY A RECOMMENDED SERVICE CENTER, WE HAVE LEFT IT FULLY EQUIPPED WITH BEDDING, CROCKERY, CUTLERY, POTS, PANS ALMOST NEW, OUTSIDE RECLINERS AND CARPET, STEP LADDER, CLEANING BRUSHES ETC. NUMEROUS TOOLS INCLUDING CORDLESS DRILL, BIKE RACK ON THE REAR LADDER, PLUS GENTS RACING BIKE, CATALYTIC PROPANE HEATER WHICH CONNECTS TO A QUICK RELEASE GAS FITTING IN THE KITCHEN, IDEAL FOR FREE CAMPING/BOONDOCKING, PLUS SMALL ELECTRIC HEATER FOR USE ON SITES,

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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2009, 05:49:56 AM »

The price seems a little high to me given the age and the economy but then aesthetically it appears to be in exceptionally good condition for a 10 year old RV (based on YouTube video of it and assuming the video is current). It must have been stored in a garage most of its idle time to have a finish like that.  If it is mechanically as well maintained it may be worth it.

Too me the engine condition would be the big question mark. I would definitely have a CAT qualified mechanic check it out first.  Also the tires.  Are they still the original?  If so figure on replacing them regardless of tread remaining.

Are you going to be able to come to the US to inspect it before paying or have someone you trust inspect it?



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John316
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 06:22:26 AM »

My gut level reaction is too high. However, that really doesn't mean anything Grin. RV.net might be able to help you. They deal in the SS. Their message boards often discuss this stuff.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 06:46:56 AM »

If it's the right one and you can afford it, then the price is right.  It's not out of line for a top drawer unit, particularly for an arrive and drive situation like you would have.  It's well equipped!

If it checks out when inspected by someone trustworthy, then the most you'd be overpaying is 10 or 15 percent, which in the greater scheme of your plan is a pittance.

Brian
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 08:18:04 AM »

An Airstream unit will be higher just because of the name. The main reason is because if you are to attend an Airstream caravan, you MUST be an Airstream owner & be in an Airstream. Kind of limits the market for motorhomes if you are an Airstreamer. If you don't like their rules, there are other groups to join. . . .

Anyways, I am an Airstreamer & my dad has a similar unit with the 330 cat. If the tires are the stock size, it will be so close to the tire weight limit dry, you won't be able to fill the fresh water tank without going over the GVW. The simple fix is to put higher capacity tires on it & then make the corrections to the tire inflation chart in the coach.

Dad likes his & they do hold up well - not as well as the old trailers, but loads better than most of the new stuff. They aren't perfect in their mechanical systems, but, then again, they are as good as or better than most.

It doesn't seem too far out of line pricewise - IF it is as perfect as it has been described.



I have observed that the only thing cheap about an Airstream is the owner!  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 08:24:01 AM »

Years ago Airstream made a motorhome that looked like one of their trailers made into a motorhome using their excellent aluminum construction methods.  Those original motorhomes became too expensive to make, so they made the motorhome exhibited here.  In another words, it is just another cheap sticks and staples motorhome-not the excellent aluminum motorhome Airtstream originally made.  Another point-it has no bumper! Good Luck, TomC
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Chuck Newman
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 08:40:37 AM »

If it has a CAT 3126, look out.  Lot of problems with that engine.  It stranded my twice on the Interstate in the first three weeks off the lot.  Talk to your local school bus maint supervisor.

The current worth can be found at

http://www.nadaguides.com/
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2009, 10:43:45 AM »

Years ago Airstream made a motorhome that looked like one of their trailers made into a motorhome using their excellent aluminum construction methods.  Those original motorhomes became too expensive to make, so they made the motorhome exhibited here.  In another words, it is just another cheap sticks and staples motorhome-not the excellent aluminum motorhome Airtstream originally made.  Another point-it has no bumper! Good Luck, TomC

 
The 'Classic' is the one that looks like the 'tin turd' trailers Grin & are front engined. The one you're looking at is a diesel pusher if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, it is sticks stapled & screwed together, but they do appear to be on the higher end of the quality scale than most. I saw several this weekend at my "non-rally" that shared park facilities with the local Airstream club. some were older & some were newer, but they all looked almost new inside & out (aside from the curb rash . . . .  Roll Eyes )

You might find better answers here:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/
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Tony LEE
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 12:39:28 PM »

Thanks for all that info.  

One thing you might be able to confirm as conventions probably vary from country to country. It was first registered in January 1999. Does that make it a 1999 or 1998 model for valuation purposes. Makes $8000 difference to the price - around $46k down to $38k on the NADA list. Big difference.

Quote
I have observed that the only thing cheap about an Airstream is the owner!
Sounds about my style Cheesy. Possibly better than being a broke MCI owner though - although touch wood, mine hasn't been too much of a drain other than paying the fuel bill when we fill the tank. Well, apart from the differential --- and the clutch --- and the alternator and the ...

The MH is currently in storage at LANCASTER CALIFORNIA JUST NORTH OF LOS ANGELES, so it is a bit far for me to come and have a test drive.

One other aspect some of you may know about - the current owners own it via a limited liability company registered in Montanna and another company does all the paperwork, mail forwarding etc for a fee. Is this a legitimate system for getting around the rules or is it too grey an area to take a chance with?

Thanks again for your comments and again, sorry to divert you with such a distasteful subject.

Seems as if the consensus is that I should make an offer quite a bit below the asking price. One think I am willing to allow a bit extra for is that it is a walk in, walk out deal - complete with all bedding, cooking stuff, tools etc. Doesn't sound like much but when we went through this exercise with a much smaller Class C in Germany, the cost of setting it up to live in it was quite surprising.

One thing - if I do buy it, it will give me a chance to call in on some proper bus rallies - yeh, yeh, I know I would have to park way out back - and see some nice MCIs and Eagles. Mine is a bit of a heap compared to some I see on this forum.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 12:43:01 PM by Tony LEE » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2009, 02:10:41 PM »

You need to know the model year and/or the build date.

Sometimes these high end SS stay on the lot for a couple of years when economic times are not so good, or for many other reasons. If it sat on the LA lot in the hot sun it makes a big difference in condition if it is fiberglas.

It makes me suspicious when he didn't mention the model year. Model year makes a big difference in price, just like with autos.

To me the condition is the most important thing because I keep things forever, but it you are concerned about resale trade in value you need to know these things.
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Tony LEE
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2009, 02:23:48 PM »

Good point Gus, I'll ask them for that info.
Also checking the tyre size and condition as well.
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2009, 05:01:43 PM »

I found one of the (as Kyle called it) t/t airstream motorhome in an airplane hanger, been in storage for 10 years. With the 454 chevy engine runs great (1982). It does ok for the local tractor shows and such. While I'm working on the Prevost
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Chuck Newman
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2009, 08:24:14 PM »

Tony,

Just have the owner send you the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).  It is on the manufacturing data plate, or directly next to it.  The VIN will be 17 digits long, consisting of numbers and letters.  Beginning with the first digit, count to the 10th digit.  The 10th digit denotes the official year of manufacture.  It runs from "A" denoting 1980 or 2010 as the codes roll over every 30 years.

So for example:

W = 1998 or 2028
X  = 1999 or 2029
Y  = 2000 or 2030
Z  is not used
1 through 9 denotes 2001 through 2009

The stated year on the VIN will follow the vehicle's registrations(s) throughout it's life.  It is this digit that all the DMV's use to year code a new or used vehicle, including motorcycles since 1980.

I've purchased a van and a motorhome that sat on the lot new for a year.  Even though first titled in the year of purchase, with full manufacturer warranty beginning on the date of sale, the date of manufacture (10th digit) was listed on the title and registration.  More importantly, the latter is the date used for insurance and valuation purposes.

Good luck in your quest.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 08:29:05 PM by Chuck Newman » Logged

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Tony LEE
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2009, 02:24:31 AM »

Thanks Chuck

VIN no. 4UZ6XJCA7XCF31140 so 1999.

Can't get much detail on the tyres so just have to assume they are OK
Quote
Tyre size.  22.5 inches, they are in good condition with a good depth of tread.
The gross vehicle weight is 23655 pounds, the unladen weight is 21000 pounds, it gives a good payload.

I just have to check out this Montana system where a proxy company acts as an intermediary of some sort. Probably one of those legal grey area workarounds but last thing I want is to drive all over the USA (and Canada I hope) completely oblivious to the fact that I am not legally insured. I might be able to write off the purchase price to experience, but I might run into say Tom's fabulous bus, and paying for that would break the bank
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2009, 04:50:20 AM »

I use a Montana corporation with no problems. I have also been involved in an accident with a vehicle owned by said corporation (not the bus) with no problems. There are a few shysters out there to beware of but I have had zero problems. You can email me if you want more info.

TOM
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