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Old 11-06-2004, 05:50 AM   #1
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Wide body?

After 1 year of ownership, I have decided to upgrade to a wide body, or something newer anyway. I think I want to stay with 32' and even considering 34' 3-axle units.

So my questions are:

What's the best year of the wide body? Including quality-wise?

What significant changes occured between what I have and something newer, mid to late 90's?

I really do not want carpets again, is it easy to find tile flooring which was an option? Or wood floor even?

I am oriented towards full-timing, so space and insulation is essential. I was a litle disappointed with the insulation qualities of my unit, but then I have nothing to compare it to, maybe all RV/TT's are like that. Would a Limited have a higher R-value roof/etc? It's not really bad if I run the heater (often). Anyway, I realized that I want good insulation as a high priority, whether in Airstream brand or anything else. Are there any alternatives to Airstream in that respect?

Anyway, I like my A/S, but I want wide body, better insulation, same or greater length and tile floor. Greater storage space would be another bonus. I also want something without the clearcoat peeling problem.
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Old 11-06-2004, 08:34 AM   #2
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Ipso,
I know that Airstream does offer (or did in 03) and upgrade in the insulation package on certain models. I don't know if one was offered in the older units. As a general rule AS has about the same amount of insulation as most units on the market. The double pane windows were available but came with their own set of problems, namely condensation and leaking between the glass. A couple of notable exceptions are the Teton Homes and the Artic Fox by Nash. The Tetons are HEAVY! most of the ones I have seen are being pulled by F550 haulers or larger. I saw one monster that was being pulled by a Freightliner Class 7 and the GVW on the Teton was 24k#

Aaron
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:57 AM   #3
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I don't mind condensation and leaking if the R-values are raised... How do the R-values of say 97 Limited compare to same year Holiday Rambler?

I know the AS is the best looking unit on the market, but I am also looking for lots of functionality.
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:26 PM   #4
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One of the bad sides of the middle to late 90's units are clear coat problems. The EPA played havoc with Airstream's formulations and it wasn't until late '99 that Airstream finally went to prefinished Alcoa panels. Also the front kitchen models had some stability problems. As you get to the 2000+ models you start seeing more vinal in the flooring.

Some of those carpeted bathrooms are pretty shabby looking. An interesting comment from a long time Airstreamer at our last rally, "The only thing that can make a man squat is an Airstream bathroom".

Jack
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:16 AM   #5
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Some of the 2000 models also had the skin cancer problem. There was a guy at the Region 4 rally in Xenia who was quite upset with it, since the thought his trailer was past that problem.
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Old 11-07-2004, 12:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKingMoe
Some of the 2000 models also had the skin cancer problem. There was a guy at the Region 4 rally in Xenia who was quite upset with it, since the thought his trailer was past that problem.
Since the 2000 model year starts production in 1999, I think the switch to Alcoa may have come in midstream. So that sounds correct that there could have been some 2000 model year units that still had the clearcoat done at the factory.

Apparently from what I was told up in Jackson Center, that the problem was so bad that some trailers that were recoated up at JC failed again within a year.

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Old 11-07-2004, 05:18 PM   #7
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So basically, any unit from the 90's up to 2000 can be counted upon to develop clearcoat problems, if it hasn't already?

And I should figured the re-coating into my purchase price?
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
So basically, any unit from the 90's up to 2000 can be counted upon to develop clearcoat problems, if it hasn't already?

And I should figured the re-coating into my purchase price?
I don't believe it was the entire 90's decade. It probably was mid decade the problems surfaced. I guess all clear coats eventually will fail. The jury is still out on the new Alcoa finishes. So dependent upon how a trailer was stored and how the owner kept it up will determine somewhat on the life of any clearcoat.

I'm a firm believer in washing frequently and keeping the unit Walbernized. With some of the stuff in the air today including natural polution from our winged friends, you need to minimize the time it sits on the trailer.

Regards,

Jack
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