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Old 06-23-2006, 09:15 AM   #1
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Prince George , Virginia
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motorhomes

I am new to the list. I am selling my sailboat and am contemplating getting a used 1993 to 1996 Airstream motorhome. I have been trying to gather information to make the best decision I can in a purchase. Can anyone give me the manufacturing differences on these years? Are there ones to stay away from? Does anyone have a Banks turbo installed and how do you like the performance and gas mileage. Is there a problem getting parts support for suspension and camper? And finially why do I want an Airstream verses any other brand? Any help will be appreciated.

Joel.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:47 AM   #2
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Hi Joel and welcome. I'm no expert on the "newer" motorhomes, I looked at a few and decided on an older ''1979'' motorhome instead. I love mine. I've heard that some of the newer models had leak problems. This is the place to get help. Sorry I don't know more. Perhaps you should check the older Airstream Motorhomes out. Good luck on your search. joe
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:08 AM   #3
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Joel,
I have a 2000 390XL. It has a CAT 330 hp engine-great powerplant.
The older ones mostly have the small Cummins with the older technology. The chassis from around the 1996 models, and maybe even older ones, have Freightliner chassis under them, and are, for the most part very good. The parts are fairly accessible. Mileage is 8-11 mpg, with it mostly staying closer to the low side.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:32 AM   #4
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Joel,
Welcome to the forums. There are two flavors in that year range, mostly "classic" (aluminum bodied which look like large version of the trailers.) and the Land Yacht style (fiberglass bodied, square sided).

The best place on the web to find out more about both is another forum member's website: www.airstreammotorhomes.com

Everything Fred knows about is organized by type, model and year.

Regarding Banks...most motorhomes are gass puller chassis (Chevy P30) and there is not a turbo kit available from Banks. They do make a performance kit but many of us have installed headers and rebuilt or replaced the original carburators for improved performance. My 35 foot long classic get 8 when towing and 9 when not towing on a 454 power plant.

Not sure on the diesel version (both puller and pusher)

Parts on the P30 chassis are highly available (any aftermarket parts store; NAPA, PepBoys, AutoZone, etc) and inexpensive. Parts for a Spartan Chassis or CAT power plant are available from those manufacturers.

Again, depending on the type you're interested in (classic or fiberglass)...most of think that the benefits for the classic are related to how long they will last (no rust, rot, etc in the coach), how maintainable they are by DIYers and how cool they look when you pull into a campground.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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Thanks Stephen, I will check out the other web site.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:34 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. I can not answer for the newer motor homes but agree that Fred's Page is the best resource for information. As to why buy an Airstream? Which other brand other than a small group of older GMC owners have such a loyal following as Airstream? Which other brand still has so many older units on the road? Which other brand will set you apart from all the other RV's in a camp ground? I am currently a volunteer host for this month in a state park camp ground. During the past three weeks I have had to help numerous owners of other brands of trailers and motor homes with simple mechanical problems due to poor workmanship or design. You have the opportunity to buy a quality RV with a proven reputation and the added benefit is that it looks great.
Once again welcome to the forum, regardless of which Airstream you choose you will find helpful advice and encouragement here.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:36 AM   #7
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Joel, one thing is for sure you'll likely find a lot of similar storage issues moving from a floating home to a rolling one.
What kind of sail boat are you moving from? How long?
Of course most of us here are big fans of the classics. As noted the new squarestreams seam leaked at the roof and windows... look close when you inspect.
Just like sailboats...you have to kiss your share of frogs but half the fun/learning is in the hunt.
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:33 AM   #8
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Hi Chaplain Kent. I would like to add one brand in answer to your question. The Barth Motorhome has a loyal following and is a great coach, manufactured in a superior manner. I own both a 79 Barth and a 79 Airstream and love them. I'll keep the Airstream because of the design and interior setup. Check out the Barth on Barthmobile.com. joe
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:35 AM   #9
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RVlover, I was so close to buying a Barth before I found the AS. The rear door arrangement and the romance of the AS style convinced me.
The Barth was wonderful but the seller and I could not get to the bottom line at the time.
I'm happy with my choice but would not rule out a Barth if looking again.
Good call.
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Old 06-27-2006, 10:40 AM   #10
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Thanks Glen, I have a 1970 Alberg 30 located in Deltaville, va. The boat is a classic glass I have babied over the years, I figured maybe I could get my wife, dog and grandkids to go camping rather than boating. I love classics and have always had an admiration for Airstream. Even the old trailers still hold value. Joel
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlembo
Thanks Glen, I have a 1970 Alberg 30 located in Deltaville, va. The boat is a classic glass I have babied over the years, I figured maybe I could get my wife, dog and grandkids to go camping rather than boating. I love classics and have always had an admiration for Airstream. Even the old trailers still hold value. Joel
Oh, Horrors--giving up a classic Alberg for a classic Airstream!!!! You need to rethink this--. I'm working on sailing south in the winter and driving NW into the mountains in the summer, in about 2 years (see the last line for the reason why). I'd rather sail by myself for the adventure and drive in company for the fun, but I will NOT give up either!!

Rob
Ex Commodore, Chesapeake Bay Alberg OD Assn
A30 219 (1967)
Airstream 350 (1991)
3 Mercedes 300D (82, 84, 85--it takes 3 to keep 2 on the road)
2 lawn mowers
1 outboard
3 dingys,
House, Wife, 3 dogs, 2 cats.
And a bunch of other junk,
Most of it paid for!!!
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