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Old 09-09-2016, 06:44 AM   #29
Rivet Master
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 678
Well, after Caffinated was called out for being a downer in another thread.
Then this one is going the way it is, it must be in the air these days.

There are many approaches to classic ownership and use.
One that I admire, but don't attempt myself is. Total restoration.
The goal is to renew, replace, repair to original spec or better.
All of the vehicle and components.

This is a demanding, time and money consuming endeavor. And doesn't result in much camping/ traveling use. But for those that are on this path the satisfaction seems more in the accomplishments and progress with the projects.
These are the folks I'd like to purchase from, as they move on to their next project.

There are those that just use up old vehicles. Doing little maintiance, trying to get as much use/ miles out of the thing while putting as little as possible back into their coach.
They may, for a while get a some use from their rig. But it's a downward slope for it, and a steep one at that.
These are the folks id rather not buy from.

Then there is the wide range of us somewhere in the spectrum in between those extremes.

While I haven't kept close accounting of the hours or $s spent while I've owned my 345. ( this is an important practice in vintage vehicle enjoyment )
I'm pretty sure that the six to one be ratio far exceeds my balance.
Probably closer to two hrs work for one hour traveling. And this doesn't factor in the pleasure of being aboard between trips.

I have had to replace some components and do some deep repairs.
I have also lived aboard for most of the three years that I've had the coach. And driven all over the country including many trips thru Colo.that involved many high passes to be negotiated. Last summers three month trip the length of the west coast, south to north, then back down to central Calif. and back to Az. by way of Colo. over 7k miles in the coach and a couple of thousand of miles on the toad (also an oldie but goodie)during that trip.
I'm positive that the mechincal condition of my coach is better now than when I got it. I think of it as a rolling refresh. While getting a lot of use and miles with it I'm also gradually improving the overall condition of the rig and its components. And having a lot of fun in the process.

A lot of the experience of owning and using these old rigs is set up by the coach that one buys into.
Pick up one that has been sitting unloved or unused for a long time, that been stored out in the weather. For little $s. And you will certainly have your work cut out for you.
Find an actively used and cared for unit and at the age they are, you will still have a lot to do. But will also get to enjoy some pleasurable use along the way.

Before this becomes a novel, I will add that I was looking for a single rear axel unit when my 345 found me. And I'm very happy with this "queen of the fleet". Coach. Great layout inside, nice on the road.

Cheers Richard

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Old 09-09-2016, 05:32 PM   #30
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Boom Sounds's Avatar
1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 286
Images: 5
How many people?
Big picture - what are we trying to achieve? For me, in the states, I wanted the state parks, so the 300 is the better option
If there are only two of you, shoot for the 300 and the 454/4L80E.
Easier parking too

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