Points to consider when looking to purchase/inspect an Airstream including a document recommended by Airstream Forum Members!


Questions to ask:

  • How many previous owners and approximate locations as well as the type of use has the trailer had (boondocking, resort/campground parking, cross country trips, etc)?

  • Is there a maintenance record? Including Tires/Axles/Bearings/Shocks as well as trailer systems and appliances?

  • What repairs have been performed and when? Including roof, windows, body/frame damage as well as interior systems and appliances.

  • Have pets and/or children been in this trailer?

  • Any known animal/insect issues inside the trailer?

  • Has the layout been changed from it's original condition at any time and how?

  • Does this trailer have a title?

  • Does the VIN match the title?

  • Are there any original manuals and are any warranties transferring?

  • What are the known issues with the trailer?

  • What type of batteries (deep cycle, AGM, sealed, etc) are in the trailer and what voltage, how are they wired (parallel or series), and age?

  • What is the condition and size of each holding tank (fresh, grey, and black)?

  • How was the trailer stored, and where does it originate?

  • What is the dry weight and hitch weight of the trailer?

  • Why is the person selling the trailer?

  • What keys are included and what do they go to?

Things that need to be demonstrated!

  • LP hooked up and a full test of all appliances that use it including water heater, refrigerator, stovetop/oven, etc.

  • Any awnings rolled out and set up for full inspection.

  • Stairs/steps pulled out and checked for structural integrity.

  • AC turned on and tested to make sure it's running/draining properly. 

  • Microwave/Convection oven and other kitchen appliances fully operational.

  • Check TV's, sound systems, WIFI, antennas, backup cameras, and any other accessory items that will be included with the trailer.

  • Have the seller hook up and turn on the fridge several hours before the inspection to see if it will actually cool or not.

  • Water hooked up, hoses attached and checked, tanks checked for obvious leaks, and tanks emptied to ensure valves/dump hoses are functioning properly.

  • Check faucets and toilet/shower/drains as well as under-cabinet sink area for any leaks.

  • Check 110 and 12V outlets.

  • If the trailer has an electric tongue jack make sure it's operating properly from both trailer and TV power.

  • Check all the light fixtures and make sure all switches, pulls, etc are functioning properly.

  • Look for water damage on walls and ceiling, under windows, around vents/skylights. 

  • Feel for soft spots in the floor especially around doors, windows, and hatches and look under the carpet and rugs in any area that seems suspect.

  • Check for visible rust around the underbelly and frame components.

  • Ensure ball hitch and hitch lock are not heavily worn and operating properly.

  • If the trailer has a furnace test it.

  • If the trailer comes with a generator ensure it is fueled and started to see if it is working properly.

  • Hook up the trailer to 7 way plug and ensure all running and brake/hazard/turn signal lights are operating.

  • Find and inspect fusebox for obvious electrical issues.

  • Check window coverings and attachment tracks, blinds, etc to ensure all are functioning properly and in good repair.

  • Inspect upholstery and note signs of wear or water damage.

Check out this awesome printable Inspection Report from Airforums and Happy Hunting!

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