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Old 11-26-2008, 05:58 PM   #15
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Elkmont , Alabama
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I like a motorhome. I like things that run. I would feel shorted with a TT because it doesn't have an engine. I had a horse trailer and it just sat there you couldn't go anywhere in it.

I like to drive it to get a burger now and then. I put a motorcycle on the back.

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Old 11-27-2008, 05:59 AM   #16

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Originally Posted by deltatango View Post
I had a horse trailer and it just sat there you couldn't go anywhere in it.
Don't you need a horse when you have a horse trailer....sorry I couldn't resist.

For real though, you've taken the SMART first step, consider carefully.
For us it was the "style" of camping we like to do. With the exception of the dog shows,which are usually flooded w/mh, all the areas we like to frequent, would be inaccessible with all but the smallest MH.

Good luck keep us posted.
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AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:59 AM   #17
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Burlington , Ontario
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We did a lot of soul searching on this question when we recently sold our 27' Award trailer.

After considering pretty much all options - including all classes of motorhomes, trailers, fifth wheels or getting out of RV-ing at this time, the decision seemed to be coming down to:

- new or recent Class A motorhome
- new SOB trailer
- recent model AS

All obviously have pros & cons.

We eventually rejected the motorhome approach because we mainly only use our RV for a 6 week winter trip and one or two short trips in summer, so it seemed a waste having so much $$ tied up.

Also, I cannot store an RV at our home, our storage spot is maybe 12 miles away. I figured that with a motorhome, I'd have to be going out to start it and give it a short run every couple of weeks and that woud become a pain.

We rejected the new SOB trailers because they just seemed so crummy inside and didn't seem to inspire any enthusiasm or pride of ownership.

So we bought the AS. Haven't used it yet - there than three nights when we brought it home, but really looking forward to this winter - I get enthused every time I look at it and all the more when I go inside, so it seems to have been the best choice in our case!

Obviously others would assess things quite differently.
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:02 AM   #18
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1976 25' Tradewind
. , AZ to Maine
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Depreciation/Overall Cost/Convience

It boils down to $$$$.
If we could afford both, hey, why not?
A friend of a friend has had both. He purchased the best of both worlds. When it came time to sell, the motor home was a lot more expensive and lost a greater % of value.
A fellow like me can disconnect the tow vehicle from the Airstream and go to work.
It would be more difficult and expensive to drive a MoHo to work.
Imagine parking a MoHo in D.C., San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Boston.....
"Talk is cheap, Airstreams are expensive," Wally Byam.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:34 AM   #19
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Our Isuzu gets a steady 15 mpg
When I fill up with the new low sulphur diesel my mileage goes down the hole. I try to get the old number 2 whenever I can. Otherwise, we love our MH. We tow a VW Jedda diesel with it where ever we go.
There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"


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Old 11-28-2008, 03:49 PM   #20
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another thing to consider is if you travel with pets. our children are grown but they refer to our dog as our "replacement kid". that was one big factor in our choosing a mh. the traveling comforts are shared by all of us and the times when our dog has to be alone in the mh he has all the comforts of home. now if only he could help in driving........
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:43 PM   #21
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1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Cruz , California
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No single answer

There's no clear answer, for us (Deirdre and I are in our early 50s and have been active campers and travelers since we were kids) but there have been a lot of posts here and maybe some of the information will help. We still haven't decided. A lot of it depends on how big a space you need; a self-contained MH that can fit in a parking space, like those based on a Sprinter chassis, is very appealing if you're buying new or near new. We have a 1971 Tradewind (25 ft) that we restored to good usable condition, and have towed it with a Tahoe 4x4 that I also use to do work on mountaintop radio sites. That works fine, and it's wbut it's a little dicey when the road is slippery as the trailer weighs about the same as the truck does, and it does feel like the trailer is pushing the truck around a bit on twisty roads. We wanted a little more mobility, were willing to trade off interior space, so Deirdre bought a 1983 SOB 21' Class C. The primary reason was that this enabled her to do some trips to conferences, client sites and the occasional camping trip by herself, while meeting the requirement of being able to stop and set up camp without getting out of the vehicle. The other primary requirement that tipped the scale for her to get a MH is that with more than one person, the other can be sitting at the table with a computer or some other project, that's just not practical in a car or truck (we did consider towing the AS with a Sprinter van or something like that.) For about 4 years now we've been alternating trips in one or the other. Now we've bought a 31' 1983 Turbo Diesel 310 which is getting an engine overhaul at the moment (the reason it was affordable). This still has the autonomy to just go somewhere and stop wherever, the ride is sufficiently smooth that either of us can work while the other drives. And 12-14 mpg is better that anyone would get towing something that big, even if diesel stays more expensive than gas. So over the next year I expect we'll figure out which of these rolling houses we'll keep.

I don't think we'll try to pull the Tradewind with the 310, but that might be an interesting picture. We boondock a lot, which often means that someone needs to take the tank to get water (gopher hole and a slit trench with 100 ft of 5/8 irrigation hose is surreptitiously installed in one of our favorite spots in the forest, and a macerating pump keeps it happy). So we will be getting something very small and light to tow behind the 310. The PO had a Subaru Brat which worked well for him.

Another part of the question comes down to what else you will be doing with the tow or towed vehicle, and think about whether you will be self-contained or if you need another vehicle at the campsite. I wanted something bigger and more comfortable than the small class C. I think the 310 will be close to perfect. I use the Tahoe as my daily car (although I don't drive much, living a block from my work). I considered a bigger trailer but that would really have also meant a bigger truck, and I have no need for that. The replacement for the Tahoe (to be toad by the 310) will probably be Subaru Forester and that will do everything but tow the Tradewind.

I think that *if* we had reason for a heavy tow vehicle we would probably have gotten a 4WD van with a dinette and a potty, and towed a bigger trailer with that. But the 310 is a fine beast and the system of it and a small toad works well for lots of folks. I'm sure we will have a fine time however it works out.

David Josephson
Santa Cruz CA
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:37 AM   #22
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
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With the proper funding, why not tow your Airstream TT behind you Class A of both worlds...just kidding....

We've run the gamut in RV's over the years, Tents, pop-up tent trailer, class C Moho, truck camper, and now most recently our AS TT...which for our time in life seems to be the 'best for us' fit...

We like to park the AS and go exploring with the TV...

I've often thought it would be great to have a big diesel pusher with a garage compartment in the rear that would fit one of those new, small, Smart Car's...I've seen a couple of designs like that, so you don't have to haul around a 'toad' if I could just strike oil in my back yard, I'd be set!
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:26 AM   #23
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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Motorhome means a complete drivetrain to have to maintain, and a towed yet another drivetrain. Lot's of maintenance scheduling, and, judging by what I see, original owners do little of either. The moho just sits and deteriorates. Service access is limited, and parts, supplies and, heck, just the weight of the thing make it hard to work on. A $50 fan clutch on a pickemup is a $500 part on a diesel pusher, etc.

Advantage to moho goes to family travel with 5-6 people, no question. When time for vacation is limited and long days on the road it can't be beaten. A towed vehicle or a rental at each major stop makes for ease in getting the group split up their various ways. And, as age or health become a problem in their own right, a moho seems easier to use.

Trailer was simple. Lasts decades with not too much to HAVE to do each year. Unhook, set up and we're free to travel in the TV wherever we wish. A TV that does double duty as business and personal vehicle makes it, as a choice, even easier. Plus, if a problem with either then one is not so put out as with a moho. I can change either TT or TV as things change. Storage is easier to find. I have less worries about finding a campsite where I might bog a moho on wet or soft ground. Depreciation is nothing in comparison (buying either new or used), and trailer renovation is dead-simple easy compared to moho drivetrain with re-manufactured components and electrical harness problems.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:40 PM   #24
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
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As tindiesel noted a big consideration is will you be camping? Or traveling? Mohos are great for traveling, but kind of limit the amount of exploring you can do. We can get our 25’ in pretty much any campsite, some of them pretty remote. Not the kind of place you could get a moho. With the AS, we can “camp” and “travel”…and to be honest, the AS has a certain “cache” where ever you go. We have been approached by curious campers in the backwoods of the Nation Forest when “camping” and had Folks in big Mohos chat us up while “traveling” and using RV parks. We never really thought much about “traveling” before the AS, we are campers really. But this is something that is new to us and really lets us get that much more use out of the AS…kind of nice to always have your own bed…even if you are just staying in a “parking lot” in a tourist town.
Another big consideration for us; we take along lots of toys; kayaks, porta-bote, bikes. This is NOT an easy task with a moho…where do you put kayaks?

Another consideration; many Mohos-even big ones-are set up for only 2 people...will you have guests?

As far as the economics of TT versus Moho? Let’s face it; nobody gets into this game to save money.

*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #25
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Bowie , Maryland
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I have a motorhome, after growing up with trailers, and on balance I'd prefer a trailer...except that I take my car to events and said car cannot tow a trailer. Plus I do not want to trade either of my cars for a pickup, and I don't want a fourth vehicle hanging around (three is enough). So a motorhome it is for me.

When I blew the tranny in my motorhome on a trip, I wasn't stuck. I collected the cat, cleaned out the fridge, popped in my towed car, and went home. I tow a car most places I go because I don't want to drive the motorhome everywhere - it's big, ungainly, and inefficient. Plus, I like driving my cars a LOT and want to do that when I'm on vacation.

No mechanic has ever tracked dirt into my camper. Reputable shops take steps to prevent that exact issue.

Around-town vehicle: They claim towing a car is easier than towing a camper. I don't believe it. First, I've managed to damage both of my vehicles with the tow dolly I have (Stehl); I have to use boards to load the car or the bumpers hit the tray on the dolly. I can't back up, nor can a flat-tow rig. And I get sway from the car on the dolly; the company (of course) didn't respond to my message asking for advice. If you're going to buy a dolly, don't buy a Stehl; my experience has been miserable (click the link in my sig for more info on that). Presumably people with other brands have had better experiences, though.

Personally what I'd rather do is have a full trailer for the car, which means I'd be able to back up, but of course that means more money and I'd have to find a place to park it at home. Flat-tow is another possibility, but they don't make a bracket for my usual car of choice even though it can be flat-towed, and I don't really want a bracket on the car anyway, and I don't always tow the same car. Plus dollies are cheaper once you figure in the cost of brakes.

Pets: With the motorhome, on hot days when I stop for a break, I leave my cat in the camper, generator running with the A/C going, and no problem. I'm not sure how I'd handle this with a trailer, so in that respect the motorhome wins.

Propane: I really wish I could just take the bottles to have them refilled instead of having to drive the camper to the shop. And I wish I could easily replace the propane tank like you can with a trailer, instead of having one permanently mounted.

When not towing a car: I do go on trips where I don't take the car; these are usually weekend trips where I know I won't need to go anywhere. When I do that, the motorhome is much easier to maneuver than a trailer would be.

Leveling: If you don't have leveling jacks, a motorhome can be a bitch (excuse me, but that's exactly how I feel about it) to level, if your site is off-level in both directions. Trailers are easy - level side to side using boards, then use the tongue jack to set the front-back, then drop the jacks.

Other uses: the camper is essentially useless as anything but a camper, except for possibly towing stuff. As others have pointed out, a pickup/Suburban tow vehicle is useful for many things. I frequently find myself shaking my head that I own 20 cylinders worth of engines but don't have a way to move a 4x8 sheet of plywood or something like that. (Actually in theory I could slide it in the back door, past the toilet, but I'd worry about damaging the toilet, which would end up costing far more than renting a van/pickup would've.)

Drivetrain: This is dicey. If the engine/tranny are shot in the motorhome, you're looking at replacing them (at several thousand dollars each), or you're looking at replacing the entire camper. Not really a pretty choice. Similarly, it'd be nice to have up-to-date features (such as a working dash air conditioner or a stiffer chassis) while on the road, but it's not really possible to easily upgrade the chassis of a motorhome; with a trailer it's simply a matter of replacing your TV.

Noise: You would not believe how much noise your stuff makes. Especially the stove. I'm usually pretty anal about rattles in my cars, but oddly enough it doesn't bother me in the camper, probably because I know it's not quite a car. But you will be hearing lots of noises in a motorhome. There is an upside, though - I know when I forgot to close the stove exhaust fan flap, for example.

Height: I believe motorhomes are usually taller. Mine is 10' and it's just a small one. Not usually an issue but if you have low bridges around...

Captains Chairs: They're really comfy.

Getting service: Dropping the camper off for service alone is rather difficult unless the shop doesn't mind keeping the tow dolly for me (such as during the aforementioned transmission failure). It's easy with a trailer.

Here's a summary of the general issues I encounter: my camper combines all the problems of an 18-year-old car with all the problems of an 18-year-old camper, with no way to upgrade just one or the other. My neighbor once commented that I must really love working on my camper. I responded, "I can see why you'd have that impression!" But, in all fairness, I got this at an excellent price and I knew it needed some work when I bought it. And I do enjoy working on it.

This post might make it sound like I hate the motorhome - but in fact I love my B-van, and I'm proud of it, and other than the smallish bathroom would probably keep it nearly forever, or until I have a significant other traveling with me. I was recently in a 1983 (or thereabouts) 27' class A Airstream and I really liked it. Something like that will probably be my next camper, again because of the car.

Whew. I hope that helps!
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:35 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Plus I do not want to trade either of my cars for a pickup, and I don't want a fourth vehicle hanging around (three is enough). So a motorhome it is for me.

I blew the tranny in my motorhome on a trip, Plus, I like driving my cars a LOT and want to do that when I'm on vacation.
Many of us tow Airstreams (of all sizes) with a car. No tranny issues either. What kind of cars do you own? For towing some cars are better than others.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:19 AM   #27
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
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The costs of maintaining a motorized vehicle is what keeps me from buying a motorhome. Tires, engine, brakes. Two vehicles is enough for my family. My truck and my wifes car. Travel trailer has to be in my house hold.

Brian & Adrienne
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:35 PM   #28
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Bowie , Maryland
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Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
Many of us tow Airstreams (of all sizes) with a car. No tranny issues either. What kind of cars do you own? For towing some cars are better than others.
Unibody cars. No towing there.

1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
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