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Old 09-04-2016, 06:21 PM   #1
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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Smile Airstream 345 or Airstream 300LE - Both 1992

Hi Expert Airstream People.

I am currently in the process of buying an Airstream motorhome for a long trip in a few years. (the trip will be approx. 40.000 miles and go on for 18-24 month)

We have decided to get a 1992 Airstream, but we are not sure if we should go for the 300LE or the 345 with a bit extra space.

Assuming that price and condition is basically the same, how would you guys decide between the two? And why would you choose one over the other?

Looking forward to hearing your advice,
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:41 PM   #2
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No tag axle to worry about on the 300, meaning 2 less tires, brakes and no long wait for the hard to get flatbed trailer, the tag axles rigs need to be towed on. Probably get better gas mileage to boot.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:54 PM   #3
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I definitely agree with what Peter said. As much as having extra space is nice, finding parts for the tag axle is getting to be near impossible and could easily leave you stranded for weeks or more.

I sold the tag axle I salvaged from a 345 to someone that spent months looking for parts. Definitely something to consider............
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:06 PM   #4
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The 345 will be less money to buy as it has a tag (can't buy new drums) and you will have to be careful where you stay due to length.

The 300 will cost you more because it doesn't have a tag, will get into more parks, and its future residual value will always increase, especially if you transport it to Europe or the UK.

The 345 will get you looks from people that are in the know (what was he thinking); the 300 will get you (boy he's a smart cookie).

I have a 310 rear lounge turbo diesel with the vinyl clad aluminum interior walls; also known as Nirvana as far as AS moho's go. However that sneaky Mike guy does have the Allison option (the only 310 turbo diesel sold with an Allison), although he took out his rear convertible lounge????. His rig is called Olympus.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:09 PM   #5
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I love our 345, however, if we had available a 30 or 31 in the same condition I would have likely gone that route. Having just had a tag axle wheel bearing go south and ruin the spindle and hub I know I would have done it. The tag axles are available, not cheap, but you can get them, but the hubs are not. So now, I am digging into the best solution regarding the hubs and wheels. New hubs are 8 bolt, what's on it are 10. I have not yet had time to take the hub to a machine shop to mull ideas regarding repair - possibly weld and machine to spec, or machine a steel sleeve, or...... maybe nothing.

I like the space and storage on the 345. If you end up with it, I would immediately replace the tag bearings and then to be honest, I'd replace annually just as insurance. I had mine pulled, inspected and repacked but did not instruct to replace regardless of condition - I wish I would have.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:49 PM   #6
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I was being a bit cheeky with my last post.......

Just buy what is in the best condition is the smartest thing to do, especially when it comes to a 30+ year old moho that you want to drive for 40,000 miles.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHC1 View Post
...
I like the space and storage on the 345.....
The outside storage of the 345 is by far the best they came up with on the Classic MH's, especially the rear curbside large storage compartment. I don't know how they configures the exterior storage on the 92 300, but on the 280 and 310, I have always had problems storing all the camping gear. You can forget a good size grill.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:28 PM   #8
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Nonsense...be brave!

As an owner of a 1991 350LE, I feel it is my duty to add some color commentary to this subject. Clearly, my fellow Forum members have forgotten the meaning of the LE designation. Apart from adding an imperial 5 feet and some 100 pounds of Corian, half an oak tree and some 3000 pounds of America's best forged and extruded steel, the LE screams "Luxury Edition"
Waking-up in aft cabin's captain size Beautyrest surrounded by gigantic gondola windows is a treat in itself. Stroll from there into the full sized bathroom which would put any Trump apartment to shame before ambling another 6 feet or so into the dining galley area and then then after such a strenuous hike, collapsing on the electrically operated, leatherette draped sofa. Only an LE owner can enjoy such spacious luxury!
Oh yes sure, the fact that on the road it handles about as elegantly as Austin's articulated metro buses with both the brakes and steering disconnected. I scream in agony as the 454 engine hunts for a lower gear than 1st as it drags it's 16,000 pounds uncertainlytowards an upcoming 1 in 400 incline. Yes, I know that parking the 350LE is similar to berthing a large sea-going vessel blindfolded.
Ah but, as I glance rearwards from her bridge, the sight and sensation of 35 feet of pure Airstream ingenuity stretching out behind and over its much maligned but extremely necessary tag axle always fills me with pride that no 300 owner can ever imagine!
Go for it!
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:24 PM   #9
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I think Chris just out cheeked me.

As for storage on my 310; yes the grill goes under the front couch which had all dividers and table storage taken out by a PO. Yes, it can be a head scratcher how everything you pack goes back in when packing up. I have threatened to leave the wife behind if she buys anything in our travels.

Would I love another 5', nope. Another 3000+ lbs on that poor Isuzu and snail mail will move faster.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:33 PM   #10
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I call it the "Hagarstream Fanny Pack." It holds the barbeque, lawn chairs, and other odd stuff. It's not quite the extra 5' but it helps and the Isuzu doesn't even know it's back there.

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Old 09-05-2016, 10:50 PM   #11
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The one that I am considering is a 350LE from 1992. It is a beauty
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:55 PM   #12
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This is really great input. It's a really difficult decision, but since we will be traveling and living in it for 18-24 month I am thinking that the extra space will be nice. I will make sure to have some look at the tag axle (thanks a lot for that specific input) I had no idea, that it could potentially be an issue.

I guess its a question of just doing it. All in and see what happens. The worst case i selling it again and buying smaller!

Jacob
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:04 PM   #13
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Follow up question....

First of all thanks again for all the valuable feedback. its quit amazing when you are new to this world. I feel that it cant be said too much

So my question.

After reading a lot about the tag axles vs single I do see both the pro's and con's. But taking our trip into consideration.. we will be far away from the US (central- and south america)... I do see more con's than pro's.

Based on that, I am now more convinced that we should get a 300 or a 310. But I am not sure how important the age is. What do you think?

1984 vs. 1992. Are there fundamental upgrades (technically) in these years that are important or would a 1984 well kept etc. be just as good as a 1992.

Looking forward to hear your thoughts

Jacob
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:15 PM   #14
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Jacob, your tag axle logic makes sense. It's one thing to have one break while you're on I-80 in Nebraska. It's a totally different story if you break one somewhere in Mexico.

If I had the choice between an 84 310 and a 92 300 I'd go with the 92 mainly because there are 8 years less wear and tear on the chassis and the engine will be fuel injected. Just carry the right spare parts and you're good to go.

Brad
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