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Old 11-21-2002, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question Thor made AS motorhomes

I am presently the owner of a 26ft GMC that I will sell to get a AS motorhome probably in the 1980's.
My question is, after rving for almost 18 yrs, I know some manufactures put out crap products. I belive Thor is one of these.
If I am right, please tell me what year Thor bought AS so I can look for previous years.
Anybody got any good things to say about Thor AS products?
Your help in my search for my last mh would be appreciated.
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Old 11-21-2002, 10:43 AM   #2
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I guess its a matter of opinion. I know that I inquired about Airstreams prior to buying mine and some folks called them Thorstreams and generally put them down. I bought anyway and quite honestly have no regrets. Yes I have owned a previously built Thor built trailer (Electra), and it wasn't quite up to my fit and finish standards, but that's a different plant and different materials. In some cases you get what you pay for.

If you read through the forum you will find that various years of Airstream trailers had problems. Each owner of the company has had some issues to address. To the vintage folks I'm sure they have a bias. Yea I think in some cases my grandfather's 56 Chevy was a prime piece of equipment to what I drive today.

So before you condem the Thor built Airstream, go up to the Jackson Center factory and watch them built. It gives you a lot of appreciation for the product. Ask questions of the owners of the various years. You will soon get a good idea of where the problems are and what years had specific issues. We also have a specific area that deals with motorhomes so be sure and read those postings.

Good Luck and welcome to the forum!

Regards,

Jack
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Old 11-21-2002, 11:06 AM   #3
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I think after owning a GMC motorhome, you would find the quality of the Airstream to be superior. I know the GMC owners are a large and enthusiastic group...but I do believe the only thing keeping Airstreams from having as large a following is the lack of product available.
You might inquire of GMCCoop.Com where Jim Bounds has been specializing in GMC restorations and has recently taken on Airstream resto as well. Check his website at www.gmccoop.com
( although his server was down earlier today)
The biggest physical difference of course is the Aluminum skin versus fiberglass. Both are on GM chassis, although the front wheel drive and Olds engine in the GMC are different from our Chevrolet ( or ISUZU diesel) rear wheel drive units.
I can also tell you that Airstream used solid 3/4" oak for drawers and other interior items, high quality construction in all areas.
The failure of some of the systems on our RV's is usually due to lack of maintenace by prev owners, and simply to age.
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Old 11-21-2002, 02:48 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Thor made AS motorhomes

Thanks to the 2 replies I have had so far. Please I mean no offence if either of you have a Thor product. Just what I have learned over the yrs.
I'm talking to Jim Bounds now about his taking on Airstream and will get his opinion also.
Several problems with my GMC are (in order of importance to me) is 1. can't get a queen bed in rears. Only been married 15 yrs and not ready for twin beds like we presently have. 2. The front wheel drive of the GMC leaves a lot to be desired for traction.
All the woodwork in the GMC is dovetailed (drawers) so not a problem there. 3. Could use more ground clearance.
I've always belived if any manufacture stapled the drawers, then the walls were stapled and longivity was lacking.
Anybody know what year Thor took over AS?
Their website says 1980, could that be true?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-21-2002, 04:38 PM   #5
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AIRSTREAM was Thors first purchase. in 1980 that is correct Airstream help build Thor to what it is today.
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Old 11-21-2002, 09:28 PM   #6
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I can't say much about Thor. My 1985 is well built. I have been very pleased. I have a 1985 345 with rear corner double/full. The later 325's and 345's have the east-west queens.

Just read "winner"'s threads to see how happy he is with his Thor/AS 345.

I think the ground clearance is great in my 345. No complaints there. Rear hangs out so I have to watch it. Standard for most MH's.
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Old 11-22-2002, 04:19 AM   #7
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Thumbs up 26 ft Airstream

G look at the new 26 ft landyacht, I bougth one in sept. Has a 8.1 vortec engine. I can go down the road at 75 mph with the window open and don't hear all that wind noice. The layout is fine for two poeple.
Go to my website you can get a glance
http://users3.ev1.net/~kmamedia/airstream/
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Old 11-22-2002, 06:40 AM   #8
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I think the quality of the 1974-1980's Argosy/Airstream MH's is evident in the prices they fetch compared to ANY other MH of the time period. As Alan has refered to, the prices remain high and the moderately priced units sell pretty quick.
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Old 11-22-2002, 08:38 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Thor made AS

I want to thank all of you who responded to my queries on Thor product AS.
I will be contacting Jim Bounds for more info.
By the way, my toad for my GMC is a Tracker with the plate of "Tin Can"...if we get an AS, I'll move the plate to the mother ship and get another plate for the Tracker that reads "BabyCan"
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Old 01-05-2003, 12:17 AM   #10
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Thor makes great products relatively speaking.

I have found RV products in general to be lacking in the fit and finish department. Some things I have seen look downright homemade. I have owned a pre Thor 1968 unit and I do feel it was of superior quality compared to the newer units. That trailer was solid after 30+ years. My 1990's Thor products where/are very nice but I could see where they had cut a few corners. I could also see where they had made some vast improvements. Overall I'd say the quality compared to other manufactures is on or above Par, and have no problem recommending them. Anyway, the main thing to consider when buying used is condition. The best built rigs can be reduced to junk in a matter of months.
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:19 PM   #11
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I am continually impressed with the overall quality of my 82.
ChopperBob who started this thread- decided to seek a Bluebird Wanderlodge. Not a bad choice , but quite a bit more expensive than most Airstreams of similiar vintage. I must admit I really like those as well, and maybe would "move up" someday to a 31 or 33 foot diesel Bluebird.
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:44 PM   #12
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"ChopperBob who started this thread- decided to seek a Bluebird Wanderlodge"

There appears to be a lot to like about the Wanderlodge, but one needs to remember (but frequently does not) that one will be maintaining a $300,000 - $800,000 rig. This is true regardless of the price paid on the used market. So, $400 per tire (times as many as 10!), $75 to $100 for an oil change, and so forth.

Same is true of an Airstream motorhome. These were expensive new, and parts to repair them are likewise expensive now.

There is nothing wrong with this, of course, it just seems to be something that catches people out, and leads to unnecessary frustration.

Mark
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Old 01-07-2003, 09:01 AM   #13
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you are right on that- I noticed the prices for simple maintenance on diesels at my local RV shop were way higher than for gas models. Gotta love those Wanderlodges though they look great.
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Old 01-07-2003, 10:31 AM   #14
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If you think maintenance is high price an injector pump.

John
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