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Old 10-21-2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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Question Classic 370 Moho Info

Having just acquired an '89 370LE, and seeing no one on the forum with that model, I'm very curious as to how many of this model are out there. I had heard that Airstream built only about 15, but I called them and they say they do not know how many were produced. There are enough differences with that model vs the others that it seems it would be helpful to have contact with anyone who owns, or used to own. one. The Gillig chassis, Ford 460 and C6 tranny, along with quite different height and other mechanical differences make it a little more difficult when discussing problems and seeking information peculiar to that model. Please don't get the wrong. The forum members have been invaluable in my decision to get this coach, and in helping with questions. I love this site, and the helpfulness of everyone. Having been an "Avioner" for over 22 years, I know the value of hanging together. Airstream people certainly seem to be at least as helpful as any group I've seen.

Thanks to all. Looking forward to seeing how many 370s there are, were, or might have been.

Tim
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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Rumor has it that there were only a handful made (15 - 20). AS does not release specific production numbers so no one knows for sure.

The good news about your coach is that almost everything above the floorboards uses the same equipment and construction methods as any of the AS Motorhomes.

And since the 460/C6 is a common platform in other cars, trucks and RVs you should not have any issues there.

The one thing that's a little different is the Gillig bus chassis.

There have been a few other 370 owners around the forum. Not sure who but they pop up from time to time.
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:35 PM   #3
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Thanks. I agree the Gillig is the most radical difference. My suspicions are that the differences in height, in particular, are a direct result of that chassis. I have no complaints with it, but you sort of know you may have problems when the Airstream owner's manual refers many questions to the Gillig manual, and the Gillig manual does the opposite. You have re-enforced my information that Airstream definitlely did not build very many 370s. Thanks for your time and info.

Tim
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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It is my understanding that Gillig is still in business. I think that there were several Barth Motorhomes made on the Gillig. Barthmobile.com is a great site and you may get some help there. Congrats on the acquisition of that great looking 370. Joe
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:01 PM   #5
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How many 370s

Joe,

Appreciate your congrats on my new 370. I've checked before, and Gillig is definitely still in business, making mostly passenger buses. The 370 is geared almost like they were making a bus - very low gear which limits the top speeds on the open highway to about 60 mph. The good news is that this unit is a powerful puller in the mountains and on hills. We're excited to have this coach in particular. The pictures in the photo section are exactly how it looks. Very close to new inside and out. Thanks again.

Tim
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noiva
Thanks. I agree the Gillig is the most radical difference. My suspicions are that the differences in height, in particular, are a direct result of that chassis. I have no complaints with it, but you sort of know you may have problems when the Airstream owner's manual refers many questions to the Gillig manual, and the Gillig manual does the opposite. You have re-enforced my information that Airstream definitlely did not build very many 370s. Thanks for your time and info.

Tim
Basically what you have is an Airstream built on a city bus chassis. Gillig is based in Texas, and should be able to answer most of your chassis questions. A quick note to pass along, is that the chassis is designed for city busses, and as such are geared lower, so a bus can quickly get back up to speed in city traffice. That means your engine will rev a little higher than a comparable coach with a GM chassis, so try to keep your highway speed down around 60 or less. You will get better fuel mileage running slower as well.
The contradictory manuals reminds me of when Datsun changed its name in the US to Nissan. I got a Wagner brake parts catalog that year. If you looked up "Datsun", it said "Datsun: See Nissan." When you then looked up "Nissan," it said....."Nissan: See Datsun."

On edit, I see between me starting this post, and finishing it, you made the same observation about gearing.
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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I saw a 370 at my local Airstream dealer in Ivine, CA last year.
What a fantastic RV! My wife and I actually went back to tsee it a few times, even though we never wanted a MoHo just for kicks.
One thing though, how does the chassis affect gearing? That's purely a matter of rear axle gear ratio, together with the C6, no?
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:44 PM   #8
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One thing though, how does the chassis affect gearing? That's purely a matter of rear axle gear ratio, together with the C6, no?
That is correct. Gillig chassis' use a lower geared rear axle than the GM counterparts, and getting a more roadworthy ratio may cost a small fortune. Remember, the junkyards may be full of GM motorhomes, but there are very few gas powered city busses to extract a rear axle from.
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Old 10-22-2005, 08:16 AM   #9
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I didn't mean to imply that Gillig was the cause of the low gearing. I'm assuming Airstream dictated the specs for this model since Gilling wasn't making city buses with Ford 460 engines and C6 trannies. However, I'm very sure the axle is Gillig's, since producing a higher ratio axle for so few coaches would have been cost prohibitive. The low gear is good news/bad news. Since the coach is so large and heavy, the lower gear is great in town and climbing. On the open road, as overlander63 mentioned above, I've found it best to run at around 60. Beyond that the engine is turning too fast for comfort. 460s (or 454s either) weren't designed to turn like some of the Japanese motorcycles. Ultimately, I think the combination works very well. It's not blocking other vehicles in town and climbing hills, and I've found 60 on the open to be fast enough with a large rig. There's usually plenty of space for other people to pass me when cruising the highways.

I greatly appreciate all the support you folks are providing. If you have other observations, suggestions, or comments about this rig, please feel free to post them or send me a private message. I'm thrilled with the vehicle, having been working with it for the past two years for the relative I finally got it from, and hoping to get many years of pleasure from it. Finally, I am aware of its complexity - so there's always that reservation about it. That's why I spent 1 1/2 years just making up my mind. By the way, I'm having a problem figuring out how to get the pictures I've posted on the Classic Motorhome Photo site (pages 3&4, I think) to show up under "Noiva's photos" in my profile. Only three, all interior shots, show up there. Any ideas?

Many thanks to each of you.

Tim
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:55 PM   #10
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I was sent this picture of what I believe is a 370 pulling a Caravele. This item was on eBay and is no longer current. Does anyone have further information on this work of art? What was the final bid?
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:39 PM   #11
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Kent, I don't know about final price, but it looks like the successfull bidder got a mobile home complete with its own matching mobile guest house!
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Old 10-25-2005, 05:30 PM   #12
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Colors are cool!

Tim -

Saw the photo of your 'new' 370 and love the accent trim colors. Congrats on your ride - I am sure that you "will love for very long time, Joe" er, Tim!

My SilverToy is a '92 and I have that same trim color scheme. It really looks the best of any of the AS trim sets, IMO. Am having a bit of an issue with the clearcoat peeling off the black ( above the red) and it seems I will need to re-stripe it. Bummer. Try to keep the sun off it!

Ciao

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Old 10-25-2005, 05:40 PM   #13
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Oh, one more thing...

Tim -

Forgot to ask about the length. Am I correct that the 370 denotes that the length is 37 feet +/- ? Curious since people always seem to think that vehicles this long are nightmares to move/drive/park. I've never had an issue (I think you mentioned that you had no troubles either) but then "slow and steady" have always worked for me. I do think that the 60mph upper limit might be a bit of a liability in some areas (DC/VA/MD beltway comes to mind!) as they drive like bats out of h*** there - with burger/ cell phone/ newpaper/ toothbrush/ etc.... in either or both hands.

On most open roads it would seem that 60 would be OK since the cement trucks and etc... can pass. On a 2 lane I would be a bit nervous with impatient people behind me ( see above) trying to around.

You mentioned rather high weights for your unit - hence the gearing - do you have an idea what it does weigh? What kind of weight can it pull? Any thoughts along those lines, ala the 370 with an overlander, or toy trailer on the back.

Again, Congrats!

Ciao

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Old 10-25-2005, 07:24 PM   #14
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Ciao,

Thanks for the compliments. We're in agreement about the color scheme. I can't take credit for the condition since the relative who owned it had it completely redone on the outside by Airstream in 2002. As you have experienced, the Plasti-coat on the roof is already peeling. I'm working on a way to keep it covered, but don't have that completely worked out yet. It does look like new, and the inside is just about the same. Almost no use in 16 years was very good to the inside, but not so good to the mechanical stuff. Fortunately, all that has been corrected, at least as of right now.

Specs: I've weighed it about half loaded on a truck scale, and it weighed 16,800 lbs. GVWR is 18,500 lbs so it shouldn't ever get overloaded unless I pack entirely too much stuff. Just for comparison, the 345 (next length down) has a GVWR of 16,500 lbs. It is heavy, but not noticably so. It's 36'10" long, so you are correct that it's about 37'. Airstream recommends not towing anything over 2,000 lbs. I've gotten comments from people who say not to tow anything, and some who say just to keep it reasonable. I don't have any plans to tow with it, but it did tow a large U-Haul trailer from Atlanta a few years ago with no complaints. The size is intimidating at first, but it's not difficult if you're careful. I've towed a 30' travel trailer with a Suburban for many years, and I really think it's easier to drive the Airstream. It's about 13' shorter and all one piece. I do find backing to be somewhat tricky, and I've learned to NEVER be in a hurry. The camera helps, but I still prefer a human back there if things are tight. Thanks for your questions and comments. As with all of us, I think, we're always glad to discuss and listen to information about Airstreams.

By the way, it will run over 60 without overheating, but the engine has to rev a little higher than I like. A big block like the 460 wasn't made to do high revs for long periods. I've run it 70 at times, but just long enough get out of others' way.

Tim
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