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Old 07-31-2009, 10:02 PM   #1
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31 and 34 footers a thing of the past.

Hello all,

Not sure if this info has been passed along already?

Took a tour today at the mothership and Don (aka Airstream Tour Guide) informed us that the times are a changin'.

No more 31 or 34 footers or sliders but the Pan American will continue production.

Bummer.

yakman
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:57 AM   #2
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I,am not surprised at that decision. They (the trailers), have/had reached a level of such weight, that I, for one, would not feel "totally" in control, unless I was towing with a Top Kick/Kodiak, F-450/550, or an FL-70.

They are dinasoaurs,,,
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
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Airstream, I'm sure is aware, that in ten years, nobody will be producing a van/suv capable of towing a large trailer.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangebowdrie View Post
I,am not surprised at that decision. They (the trailers), have/had reached a level of such weight, that I, for one, would not feel "totally" in control, unless I was towing with a Top Kick/Kodiak, F-450/550, or an FL-70.

They are dinasoaurs,,,
Our 31" Classic tows effortlessly with our Chevy 2500 HD with Diesel. We're averaging 15 miles/gallon and hardly know we are pulling anything even through the Smokey mountains. My wife does not travel lightly so we need every square foot. Our 31 will be a vintage someday.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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Yes, I know that there are many who tow them with smaller rigs,,,and thats ok.
With the demographics, of a changing market, with more younger people wanting smaller units, to use for shorter time periods, the demand is just about gone for those big units. Add in the vastly more crowded roads, and camp areas, and the smaller tow vehicles, the numbers don't add up.
Also, the proliferation of luxury motorhomes,(at lower prices), that can tow a car has got to be affecting the sale of big trailers, not to mention the exploding use of 5th wheel toy haulers, it's easy to see Airstreams decision.
The older, more affulent people, who in years past, could afford a big trailer, and a big tow rig, have gone to MH's. They don't want to have to use a big tow vehicle as transportation, once they unhitch.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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Actually, I've never seen a 31 or 34 towed with a 450/550 or especially a topkick.

However, a 3/4 ton rig is a perfect match - not a risky exception as rangebowdrie would propose. I do, however, agree with finalcutJoe that with the way vehicles and the apartment-dwelling folks who favor small car design are going, we may not be able to replace our favored rigs.

Pat
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:39 AM   #7
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There will always be a need for large trucks in construction, farm, and other uses. How it'll be done, I don't know. Diesel is one possibility.

But electric motors can produce a lot of torque and two or more of them can drive each axle or wheel with a small internal combustion engine generating electricity after the batteries run down. The internal combustion engine can be more efficient since it runs at a constant speed. This a not a new idea, but with cheap fuel little was done about it. There are all sorts of hybrids coming out, some with the internal combustion engine powering the wheels part time and others with that engine just charging the batteries. Most, if not all, use gas and not diesel. A small constant velocity diesel engine would be more efficient I would think. And the much talked about Chevy Volt is not purely an electric car, it's a plug in hybrid. There one car proposed with two electric motors, each with 201 hp.

For whatever reason, most of these hybrids are cars and car based SUV's. Perhaps the marketing guys at the auto companies don't think the people who buy trucks will buy hybrids, but I think they are wrong. For those of us who travel a lot with a trailer, there would be a lot of appeal for a tow vehicle that has better mileage.

There was a 34' on the line when we were in JC a couple of months ago and Don said it might be the last one. They were selling so few of them it didn't make sense to stockpile the parts for them.

Gene
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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Top sellers for AS right now are the 27' and 25' FB's followed by the 19' Bambi.

I don't need the space from a 31 or 34 but they sure are nice. Ideally, a 27FB would work the best for us, be we opted for the biggest of the small in the 25.

Not to say I wouldn't spring for a 31 down the road, but at that price level, I'd certainly be looking to buy used.

cheers,

yakman
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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NO problem towing a 34' with a 3/4 ton Dodge Diesel - 6 speed.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
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They need to take a look in the past and utilize some previous ideas. My 31' is not particularly heavy. I quite often tow with an F150 with the small V-8. The max GVW on mine is ~7400# and I am usually a good 1000+ under that for the more local trips. BTW 31'.

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Old 08-01-2009, 03:42 PM   #11
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Agree, the 1970s era Sovereigns are pretty light. My '72 weighs about 4800 lbs dry and my Excursion tows it effortlessly. If Airstream wanted to they could build lighter 31 footers. The newer long bodies weigh 3-4k lbs more than my Sovereign. Not very smart.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:08 PM   #12
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Yeah,, I was not very concise in my post. The model that I was thinking of, is the 34, that had a gvw of what,,, somewhere around 10>11K?
Pretty big load, even for a 2500/250/350 type truck.
What impresses me about the Top kick/450/550 types, is the huge brakes, that, and real "truck" wheels/tires/frames.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:09 PM   #13
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AS may stop the larger trailers for now, but they will have to bring them back or die quitely as their sales are lost to other manufactuers who are still willing to build a 34,36 TT. There are too many who do not want MH's and that generation will get older, have kids, etc, and will need the 34/35/36. They may want the smaller 16,19,25's, with more economical TV now but that will change later.
In the near future diesels will be the common engine, 3/4 & larger will be converted to run on either Natural Gas/electric (NG/E) or pure Natural gas (NG). Everything is in place except for filling stations for NG.
Right now Peterbuilt, Kenworth, Freightliner, Volvo, all have in the works class 6,7,8, tactors that run on NG & NG/E, but are waiting for the market to catch up.

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Old 08-01-2009, 04:19 PM   #14
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It is a shame the 31' is going away. For now my 25' Classic suits us, but we use it for trips of a few days and up to 3 weeks. In a couple year when we retire, I certainly would think the 31' model would suit us better.

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