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Old 09-08-2007, 03:26 AM   #1
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Question What happened to the 34' trailer

Hello, I just bought my 1st airstream, a 25' SS SE. What an improvement over a pretty decent 5th wheel!! I couldn't be happier. However, I have a history question. I have been told that Airstream sells 550 or so trailers per year and roughly 20 of them (4% give or take) are 34 footers. I have also been told that 10-20 years ago 34 footers were about 25% or more of sales. What happened? Did motorhomes or 5th wheels become that much better? The reason I am asking is that in 10-12 years I will be retiring and a 25 footer will be too small for my needs and I will be looking for a larger Airstream for extended trips. I know a 34 footer is expensive but its still cheaper than many really mediocre and generic motorhomes. So what happened to the 34 footers? Any thoughts?
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:51 AM   #2
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Airstream produced approximately 2200 trailers last year. 34' trailers are still being built,they have been the choice of full timers in the past. Part of the reason for the percentage change is due to production.10 years ago approximately 12-15 trailers were being built a week and now it is around 35 trailers per week.
The age of Airstream buyers has also gotten younger and they have been drawen more to Safari SE's and International series.
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Old 09-08-2007, 10:20 AM   #3
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Yes, more younger Streamer's prefer the smaller AS ........however, the larger and heavier than vintage AS require much stronger TV. The stationwagon's and sedans of the 60's and 70's were had powerful towing engines.
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:11 AM   #4
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Also consider the price. I wouldn't be too surprised if some of these units are hitting close to 100K. I know my dealer has talked about this for a few years as some of the models hit over 80K. When you get into that kind of money, there are other RV alternatives that start making you look closely.

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Old 09-08-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
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I've heard RVrs I know complain that for fulltiming the AS is too long and narrow, and they don't like the curved roof. If you're not enchanted by the AS 'cult' as they call it, you can get a boxy RV or fifth wheel with many slideouts and big picture windows and live in roomy splendor compared to even a 34' AS.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:19 PM   #6
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I love my 34 Airstream!!!
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:46 PM   #7
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I love my 34 Airstream!!!
That just means you're part of the cult
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:01 PM   #8
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We've owned 2 34's - they are terrific! Our last one had a slide out - superb. And yes they are expensive - a comparable 2008 to what we had would list north of $100K. With a decent hitch and TV, the 34' is beautiful to tow.

We opted for smaller really based on changing needs of our family - namely kids getting older and moving away. The other BIG motivator was to get rid of carpeting and move to something easier to keep clean.

Now, our new baby has not yet been born, so of course our actual experience is yet to be determined.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:17 PM   #9
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And yes they are expensive - a comparable 2008 to what we had would list north of $100K. With a decent hitch and TV, the 34' is beautiful to tow.
Yup, thats why I bought my 34' Avion - I know, I know but i'ts almost an airstream Ok..... Seriously, Paid well under 10k for something that was 40k new over 20 years ago. That must be close to 100K in 2007 dollars.....

It had a few minor issues but nothing serious. As the antique dealers say its is not old...it has a nice patina. As to the size - its perfect for my wife and I, my daughter and son in law, and their 3 year old princess, my granddaughter.

Tows on the hensley HAHA like it was not there... certainly better than the 30" tupperware SOB we had before, and with better mileage too!

34' is not big...IMHO and as per goldilocks......It's just right!

I might, just might change it for a 34' airstream - but I doubt it. Don't beat me up too much please.

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #10
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Brad we looked at alot of new white boxes in the $15,000 to$ 20,000 range and thought they looked pretty tacky and had few and small windows. We then ran into a 34 that was only 12 years old had only one owner and looked brand new. My wife decided she could live in this either full or part time and it looked "quality". We bought it for only 15,000 and plan on living in it in a year while we work camp. We are 61 years old, live in a town of 3000 people and there are three 34 footers in town owned by people our age who plan on going full timing in them. Now that we own one we seem to see 34's everywhere......
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:19 PM   #11
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I love the layout of the non-slide 34', but I just don't think I want to wrestle that around. Coming from someone who owned a 29', I think the 31' Classic is the way I'm going to go this time around. The only thing you sacrifice is a little wardrobe and living room space.

Nothing against the 34' though. My local weekend and occasional week vacation use is why I want something more compact. If I were full-timing it, it'd be the 34.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:04 PM   #12
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Avions are cool too

Rob,

I've got an '87 Avion 34-X, similar to your's. The X has the center bath on both sides of the aisle with the huge tub. It's got tons more room than my Excella 31'. it's a nice rig. And it's silver Very good suspension setup on them.

keep your Avion, and get a small Airstream to supplement it. Like a Bambi. Use it for weekends with just you and the wife and use the Avion for longer trips.

they're all cool
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #13
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I love my 34 footer

I/we own a 1990 34` limited edition and just love it. It tows just so nice with our 3/4 ton F-250. We also enjoy all of the luxuries that came with it. Leaving for southern Tesas in 5 weeks and looking foreward to the trip.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:46 PM   #14
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What happened to the 34' trailer

Thanks for the replies. As noted the 34' will be roughly 90K plus or minus 10K new and that is serious money. However 90K doesn't buy much of a motorhome or at least not anything comparable to a nice airstream. I had forgotten to ask how they pulled and everyone who has owned one remarked without prompting how nice they are to pull. I really like the idea of a triple axle with disc brakes. The only thing missing is my dream trailer (with apologies to Don Blanding's poem Vagabond House) doesn't yet exist. It would be a 34' slide out with the Hardwood cabinetry and leather of a Classic mated to a linoleum or hardwood floor with the all aluminum interior of my SE. Apparently Airstream doesn't build a 34' with the SE interior. Maybe someday, for now I am really pleased with my 25' for the 20-30 2-5 day trips I take each year going to shooting tournaments.

I'm still trying learn the fine art of maneuvering a trailer, its getting better though but I am constantly looking to park in uncomplicated places where there is an easy exit. How much more difficult is the 34' to maneuver over the smaller lighter trailers?
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