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Old 08-01-2016, 07:33 PM   #1
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Airstream Motorhome vs Holiday Rambler (newbies need help)

My husband and I have been on a long search kicking around many options for the right first RV. We are not retired, live in FL, and will use the RV for 1-2 big trips a year and hopefully some shorter ones, too. We are now looking at Holiday Ramblers and still hanging onto the notion of an Airstream (but now motor home land yacht).

We believe we need to get the most solid older unit that is sensible. This will help us determine if we really like this form of travel while not 'losing our shirts.'

A Holiday Rambler seems more sensible to us due to the amount of units out there but I dont see a specific board for them and RV.net is not like this one

What can you tell us about Airstream Land Yachts? are there certain years in the 90s vs 2000? We have set our limit at 20,000 (and would like to be less). This will help for any unforeseen things.

Here is the link that really caught our attention. Thanks for any help you offer in advance!
http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2002...acht-118360049
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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While you are mulling over your choices, allow me a moment to address the issue of motorhome vs towable. A motorhome is a complex device with its own prime mover, transmission and generator. These are all devices that function best when used regularly -- a "couple of big trips annually" plus some shorter ones may well lead to regular trips to the RV shop.

A towable, like an Airstream trailer, has simple, relatively robust systems that are far more tolerant of extensive periods of inactivity.

Just my opinion, but I think motorhomes are best suited to full timing and towables adaptable to both full and part-timing.

Mike
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:44 PM   #3
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There's an interesting rig listed here:

http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/...-pennsylvania/

No affiliation.

Cheers,
John
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:08 PM   #4
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That IS an interesting one! New Diesel motor for that price? Not that my husband and I know what pricing on these, but if this one has good service records and no probs (leaks, other engine issues) it may be worth paying someone to look it over for us. Do you know where I would look on this board for someone that woudl be able to do that in PA?
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:13 PM   #5
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There's a lookup for inspectors on the Portal page - several in Pennsylvania.

Good luck!

John
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:20 PM   #6
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Where on this motorhome does it say it is a CUTTER?

Dave


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Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
There's an interesting rig listed here:

http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/...-pennsylvania/

No affiliation.

Cheers,
John
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiking1 View Post
My husband and I have been on a long search kicking around many options for the right first RV. We are not retired, live in FL, and will use the RV for 1-2 big trips a year and hopefully some shorter ones, too. We are now looking at Holiday Ramblers and still hanging onto the notion of an Airstream (but now motor home land yacht).

We believe we need to get the most solid older unit that is sensible. This will help us determine if we really like this form of travel while not 'losing our shirts.'

A Holiday Rambler seems more sensible to us due to the amount of units out there but I dont see a specific board for them and RV.net is not like this one

What can you tell us about Airstream Land Yachts? are there certain years in the 90s vs 2000? We have set our limit at 20,000 (and would like to be less). This will help for any unforeseen things.

Here is the link that really caught our attention. Thanks for any help you offer in advance!
http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2002...acht-118360049
Just for your interest: My parents owned two AS and on HR during my adulthood. I had more that one occasion to tow both types.
1. My parents fulltimed in their 1972 (then brand new) 34 foot AS in northern Illinois. With no special extra equipment except a large stationary LP gas tank and insulation around the supply and drain lines and a box with a light bulb for heat around the fresh-water and drain connections, they lived very comfortably for about three years. (If you don't know, it gets seriously cold there, especially at night, snow, ice, etc.)
2. It is true that the AS has much more name recognition/fame. It is also true that HR is no longer in business or so I am told.
3. I don't know if the HR would have performed as well in the winter as the AS did, but I doubt it.
4. Mom preferred the HR for layout and storage; particularly the upper storage, since the curved roof line of the AS reduces the cubit footage somewhat.
5. Having towed both, I regard the AS as superior, however, the HR probably a close second except in strong cross winds.
6. As mentioned by others, many regarded the quality of the HR to be as good or better. I have not firm opinion on that.
7. Undeniably, the AS will have the better resale value down the road, all else being equal.
Just one man's opinion. Like others, I would go with Airstream - it just has panache than no other can match, and the quality is unsurpassed, although probably equaled, occasionally.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:55 PM   #8
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We prefer the motorhome over a towable. It is nice to go done the road and have the wife make a fresh pot of coffee or air pop some popcorn. The wife likes to move around while I can sit for hours driving. It also saves on bathroom stops.
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:00 PM   #9
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I think the op was asking about mh not trailer.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:00 PM   #10
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Do you currently own a vehicle that is capable of towing a travel trailer? Plan on at least a 10% safety factor in your calculations. I started with a 2010, 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer because my minivan could easily tow it. It was a GREAT way to "test the waters" and figure out if the RV lifestyle was for me. I quickly realized that it was and, starting in 2011, I began what became a three-year search for what I would "graduate" to (a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RB HDT based Super-C Class diesel puller motorhome). I got a good price for my Casita after traveling 50,000+ miles over more than a dozen RV treks. Until you actually get some RVing experience, you really won't know for sure what is (and is not) important to you. As mentioned, a motorhome should be driven whereas a trailer tolerates non-use better. LOTS of good used candidates available (in both categories). Have you poked around on www.rvtrader.com yet? If not, you're in for an eye opening experience. Find and attend an RV Boot Camp before you buy if at all possible (the Escapees RV Club run an excellent RVBC, usually over a weekend). Not only would Boot Camp make you better and safer RVers; it will make you smarter, more educated buyers. I know you want to get started but, an RV purchase is a major expense. Don't let it be a major case of "Buyer's Remorse". Although renting RVs is crazy expensive, renting for a week or two's vacation can be a great help in helping you crystallize your needs and wants and, could help you from making an expensive mistake. You've found a good forum here. RVers tend to be incredibly helpful folks and, the Airstream community is especially wonderful. Welcome to the RVing fraternity!
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiking1 View Post
My husband and I have been on a long search kicking around many options for the right first RV. We are not retired, live in FL, and will use the RV for 1-2 big trips a year and hopefully some shorter ones, too. We are now looking at Holiday Ramblers and still hanging onto the notion of an Airstream (but now motor home land yacht).

We believe we need to get the most solid older unit that is sensible. This will help us determine if we really like this form of travel while not 'losing our shirts.'

A Holiday Rambler seems more sensible to us due to the amount of units out there but I dont see a specific board for them and RV.net is not like this one

What can you tell us about Airstream Land Yachts? are there certain years in the 90s vs 2000? We have set our limit at 20,000 (and would like to be less). This will help for any unforeseen things.

Here is the link that really caught our attention. Thanks for any help you offer in advance!
http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2002...acht-118360049
I am no expert but I think "Land Yacht" is a term Airstream used in a number of ways, maybe even as a generic term. The motor home you have in the pictures looks like a good value for the money if it is a motor home you want. You will need to have a smaller vehicle you can tow as you will not want to go shoppiing in a "mo-ho". The manufacturer will have a specification as to what weight towable the RV can carry. Don't rely entirely on what the dealer or salesman says. Check the manual or contact Airstream customer service.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:14 PM   #12
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That motor home seems like worth checking on. As for the quality, my Holiday Ramblers were at the top in quality in every way. Had travel trailers, 5th wheels and my son has an older HR motor home still in use...an 83 I think. Seems the best ones were in the 90's and before. We now have an AS classic 31 trailer and like it a lot but don't reject a nice older Holiday Rambler.
Dave
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:09 PM   #13
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We purchased our 1999 30' MH in 2015 for around $ 22M (Portland OR). They call it 30', it is more accurately 31'. It had been idle for quite a few years so knew it needed mainly replacements (belts, batteries, and the like). Only real problem was the dash a/c, with which we are still having trouble The interior was excellent, very like the one you posted. We do find the dinnette small, and not much option to make it larger. The one you looked at seems to have the same size limitation. Since then we replaced the carpet with vinyl plank, but nothing more. For a dingy (we're boaters and since AS calls this a Lady Yacht . . . . .) we have a smartfortwo (1,800#) which works very well. We did add a camera to make sure it was still there following us. With a MH you do need a dingy as it is often difficult to wheel around or park 31' of vehicle. Prior to the MH we had a very light weight KZ Sportsman Delux which trailered well with our RAV4 6 cyl., so it was a jump going from 14' to 31'. While we love the MH, to be honest as we age we will probably look next at a Class B. Only caution I'd suggest is be weary of buying new - - the QC of new vehicles is shocking as almost every blog, forum, newsletter (except those of manufacturers) can attest. Good luck, and PM me if needed.

Mike
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:39 AM   #14
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The units you are looking at may have plywood/fiberglass laminated walls. I would suggest that you research delamination. That is a condition that may be present on older fiberglass RV's. It is very expensive to repair, possibly costing more than the RV is worth.
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