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A British woman who was laid off from her job two years now has a new career importing used Airstream travel trailers for customers in the United Kingdom, according to the London Daily Telegraph.
And it is the hassles related to the differences between American and European motor vehicle standards that helped create the opportunity for Sarah Jane Magee, the newspaper reported.
To Europeans, silver-bodied Airstreams are “an iconic, all-American design up there with Chevrolets and Harley-Davidsons,” according to the Daily Telegraph. “Generations of open-road enthusiasts have been seduced by the sexy design of these sleek, bullet-shaped trailers.”
But British vehicle width restrictions limit Magee to importing only used models. The narrowest 2004 Airstreams are 8 feet wide and 7 feet 6 inches is the maximum width for a towable in the U.K.
Meanwhile, there is good reason for people to be reluctant to buy a used RV sight-unseen because they could be in poor condition and in need of no-longer available parts. That’s where Magee’s service comes in. She imports the trailers, provides restoration service and runs a website offering them for sale or rent in Britain.
“The design is fantastic but they’re practical too,” she told the Daily Telegraph. “They have a full-size cooker, fridge and beds, a shower or half-bath and chemical loo, plus heating and air-conditioning. I feel you get much more for your money compared with buying a modern European caravan.”
Because of hefty importation costs, the price of the Airstreams Magee sells ranges from 9,000 to 12,000 British Pounds ($14,900 to $19,900 in U.S. currency at current exchange rates).
“But you won’t lose money,” Magee promises. “I sold my Special Cruiser for nearly twice the price I paid. Airstreams are fast becoming collectors’ items and while their value increases, you’ll really enjoy using them”