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Old 12-22-2005, 09:51 AM   #1
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Which Model/Years are best?

I am interested in a low mileage motorhome under $25K. Which model of Airstream should I look for?

I have a family of 4.
I want to be able to polish the exterior.
I want to tow my New Bug Convertible.
Interested in reliability and resell.

I have a 69 overlander trailer. I know about trailer values but haven't a clue about motorhomes.

Please share common problems, what to look for, models most desired...

Thanks
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:28 PM   #2
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any Classic AS Moho will satisfy what you are looking for.The 28 foot or larger will sleep 4, with some adaptation. They usually are mid twin beds, rear bat,with a fold out front couch and possibly a sleeper dinette. As my two kids are both teens, we sleep one on tyhe sofa and one on an air matress. The wife and i use the twins.
You can find a nice 79-mid 80's model for 16-22000 range.
If you go to a larger size ( more money as well) you will gain a rear bedroom,
and mid bath layout. The 345 was the most common model and can be quite affordable if you are willing to travel some to get one.
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Old 12-22-2005, 03:29 PM   #3
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My website shows all of the models. The dinette actually sleeps one unless you've got toddlers.

rear bedrooms are more preferred but the center twins are also nice.

Look for an 1983 or earlier if you want a shiney polish. After 1983, they changed the type of aluminum. You can shine it up but not as nice as the pre 1983.

I think the most desired unit is the 310 Diesel with rear walk around queen. The 310 gas rear-twins is pretty common. Many folks like the 310 since it is the biggest unit WITHOUT the rear tag axle.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:00 PM   #4
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I have to put in a plug for the 345, 350, and 370 models. All tag axles which helps stabilize the extra length. Mileage isn't really much, if any, different from shorter ones. Since you have children and are used to trailering already, you know that on a rainy day they don't get too long. My Suburban towing my 30' Avion is almost 50 feet long. My 370 is about 13 feet shorter, and doesn't have to bend in the middle (at least that's the hope ). The 370 is VERY rare, so that's a highly unlikely one to find used, but the 345s were very popular and sell for very affordable prices - typically. Of course, nothing wrong with a 28 footer if that meets your needs. It certainly takes less time to wash . Sometimes less is more, but it can also be true that more isn't necessarily worse.

Tim
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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If you are looking to shine the exterior look for something pre-1982. I have a 1982 which also has a combination of new and old alloy, some shines some does not. You can check out the thread on the exterior polishing: http://www.airforums.com/forum...one-16857.html to see how mine polished.
The 28' is great for 2 or 2 1/2 people but 4 might be a stretch for long trips I would go with something a little longer to gain the rear bedroom. Any one of the classics you choose will be a good choice. I look forward to have you join us as a fellow owner.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:26 PM   #6
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Just for the record, I had a 345. I had no issues driving it anywhere. After you get used to it, I bet the 345 and 28' units drive the same.

The longer units do offer lots of value. They are priced about the same as the shorter units and you get more space.
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
If you are looking to shine the exterior look for something pre-1982. I have a 1982 which also has a combination of new and old alloy, some shines some does not. You can check out the thread on the exterior polishing: http://www.airforums.com/forum...one-16857.html to see how mine polished.
The 28' is great for 2 or 2 1/2 people but 4 might be a stretch for long trips I would go with something a little longer to gain the rear bedroom. Any one of the classics you choose will be a good choice. I look forward to have you join us as a fellow owner.
Very interesting link and the pics that are with your description. Be glad you don't have a later model (like my '89 370) that was sprayed with Plasti-Coat. Stuff peels off the roof, in particular, and won't stay on more than several years unless the vehicle has its own building. Needless to say, mine doesn't . Oddly, if I just leave it alone the coach still looks great . At least the peeling doesn't ruin anything.

Tim
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:43 AM   #8
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[
(The longer units do offer lots of value. They are priced about the same as the shorter units and you get more space.[/quote]

Fred I believe the longer units are a better value right now due to the fuel costs and the perceived lower mileage, while the diesels are at a premium for the same reason. With the low profile and aerodynamic shape all of the classics should be an easy drive.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:11 PM   #9
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I would say the 345 or larger. We have a 345 so I might be a little biased, there are 4 of us and if we had anything shorter it just wouldn't do. Whatever you end up with I don't think you'll be disappointed. I've enjoyed every minute of owning the one I have. Don't get me wrong as I'm sure you know things happen with these things that'll make you want to pull your hair out. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 85/345
I would say the 345 or larger. We have a 345 so I might be a little biased, there are 4 of us and if we had anything shorter it just wouldn't do. Whatever you end up with I don't think you'll be disappointed. I've enjoyed every minute of owning the one I have. Don't get me wrong as I'm sure you know things happen with these things that'll make you want to pull your hair out. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
I have to agree. We started in 1976 with a 13' "box" trailer which I thought at the time was all we'd ever want. Next year it was a 17 1/2' box. Three years later it went to a 20'. Three more years it was a 25' Avion , and finally a 30'. Loved them all, but wouldn't trade the 30' for any of the others. Finally, I've gotten a 370 MoHo through the good graces of a family member. Wouldn't trade it for anything. For us, bigger just offers so many more options for sleeping, storing, and value. Also agree about "things happen with these things that will make you pull your hair out", but like he said, I enjoy every minute of owning such a magnificent vehicle. They're all spectacular machines, so you really can't go wrong. The problems are well worth the rewards.

Tim
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Old 12-24-2005, 12:49 PM   #11
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As you can see, this is one of those questions that you'll have to answer yourself. There are advantages to each different size and interior configuration. How close you can stand to be to your kids, how you want to use it, how long (and where)you plan on keeping it are all questions that only you can judge.
They almost all share the Chevy p30 chassis and most have the 454 gas engine so most models are related. Any well maintained unit with good rubber and appliances that work would make a great starting point! Good Hunting!
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Old 12-25-2005, 10:32 AM   #12
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my 1982 does have the plasticoat clear over the aluminum. It is in pretty good original condition, although on the roof there are a few spots of fade starting. They look ok after a fresh clean and polish but quickly fade later.
I intend to strip the front and rear caps in the Spring, and polish them up more, or paint them silver.
My clearcoat shines well, and you can sight down the side and "see" the coating. On the lower grey painted areas, I stripped the paint off and mildly polished out the aluminum.Not sure about the mix of aluminum types on the 82, but it sure seems like the whole thing would polish out with enough work.
I love the very shiny look , but I am not after a mirror shine on mine, just a nice gloss.
Suffice to say if you find a good cared for older unit of any year from 79 up you will can be happy with it.
I have been watching a nice 345 near me to see if it will go up for sale, as it doesn't seem to get much use.
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ALANSD
my 1982 does have the plasticoat clear over the aluminum. It is in pretty good original condition, although on the roof there are a few spots of fade starting. They look ok after a fresh clean and polish but quickly fade later.
I intend to strip the front and rear caps in the Spring, and polish them up more, or paint them silver.
My clearcoat shines well, and you can sight down the side and "see" the coating. On the lower grey painted areas, I stripped the paint off and mildly polished out the aluminum.Not sure about the mix of aluminum types on the 82, but it sure seems like the whole thing would polish out with enough work.
I love the very shiny look , but I am not after a mirror shine on mine, just a nice gloss.
I looked at your pictures, and I don't believe we have quite the same coating on my "89 370 as you have on your 1982. My coating is actually quite a satin look. Not that glossy at all. When my brother had it redone by Airstream in 2002, they redid the entire exterior to original. They called the coating "Plasti-Coat", and it is not shiny. The only shine areas are the painted areas with clearcoat. They are quite shiny. Perhaps we're not talking about the same coating. Mine is quite thick, and refuses to stay on the roof, but does well on all other areas. I may paint the caps eventually. Let me know how that goes if you paint yours. As I said, it is a satin finish - looks a little like satin varnish as opposed to a clearcoat type look. No problem with it coming off. I just wash and wax it, but that's quite a job on 37 feet of aluminum. Your pictures appear much more glossy than my coach does.

Tim
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