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Old 08-03-2015, 01:08 PM   #43
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Dan... we bought the 2015 Denali HD 3/4 ton with Duramax/Allison to tow our 30' Serenity. It is also our daily driver, but I should qualify that by saying we are retired and don't drive every day, nor do we have to commute regularly anywhere.

I perused the diesel forums for a while reading about regens and all that. I think most of the chatter involves people monkeying around with chips and all, which is not something I would do. In the end, we decided that buying new, with a good extended protection plan would be just fine. I have no worries about buying the diesel. Countless Chevy and GMC diesel truck owners (and other brands, I think) have had wonderful, long experience with their diesels. I think the people who bad mouth diesels the most are people with gas engines.

I'm confident that this diesel truck will serve us well with few, if any, problems. And in the event of problems, that's what warranties are for. And in the end, if it doesn't serve us as well as we would prefer, we can always trade it for something else at the time. No vehicle is a permanent part of your life!

We live in a warm climate area and when we drive, it is for more than 4 or 5 miles at a time, so I cannot speak to any experience with diesels in cold climate and driving only 5 miles at a time. So that's a matter beyond my knowledge.

The diesels feel more like trucks than the 1/2 gassers do, which really feel like just driving a car these days. Some may prefer the feel of one over the other. I prefer the feel of driving a truck (albeit a verry nice one!) This tempers my driving, slows me down a bit, I go easy on the throttle, don't dart in and out of lanes, begin to slow early when I see slowing traffic or a red light down the road a ways, and don't tailgate... that's my kind of driving style in the truck. This is the opposite of how most people drive cars these days, where they just can't seem to get somewhere fast enough: Jack rabbit starts, tail-gating, darting in and out of lanes constantly, waiting til the last moment to apply the brakes to stop.

I find the diesel truck very relaxing and encourages a moderated driving style, which I like!

When pulling our 30' Serenity up to Prescott this last week, we climbed from about 2400' to about 5400'. Most of it was gradual, but there were a couple of significant grades. Average MPG was a little over 13. The Duramax performed effortlessly, maintaining a very quiet and calm 1500 rpm. On the way back down those grades, I used engine braking and didn't even need to use the brakes. This truck was MADE for towing a 30' Airstream (or more!) and it was right in its element on this Airstream trip. My wife and I commented several times during the trip about how glad we were that we chose this particular truck, and Airstream.

We are early on with our truck and trailer, but very happy. In about 4000 mi. driving the Duramax, I've never been aware of a regen. It's a non-issue in my experience.

That's our experience.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:25 PM   #44
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What do you regret about your first Airstream purchase?

Regret - None really, we bought used about two months ago, did the homework so we knew what we could be in for; found one, a 75 Overlander (27') neglected but not abused so we bought it knowing it needed work. It's ready for use now. Plan on wintering in Texas and changing the axles while there.

Tow Vehicle - 1999 F250 Super Duty Diesel purchased in 2004 to tow an unknown at the time RV, which for 4 years was my daily driver (Why is that a problem? It's a diesel, virtually indestructable as long as you change the oil.) until I moved to the mountains in 2008 and traded the sports car for a 2000 RAV4 which became the new daily driver. Living slightly isolated two vehicles are nice to have in case one breaks down. Neither one has more than 140,000 miles currently.

A question perhaps for another thread is how many have a rig that's been in the family a long time? Maybe it was your parents, or an uncle etc. And related, how many years RVing? Full time or otherwise.

My first experience with vehicle camping was as a youth in 1968 in the 1966 VW bus my Father converted to a camper. He became an avid camper and owned a few RVs after that, but never an AS. I camped off and on in various pickups with various shells for years as an adult. Then from 93-96 I was a full timer. First three years in the ultimate behemoth 45' 5th wheel, then 95-96 in the 30' 5th wheel that had belonged to my parents. More recently camping in the above mentioned Ford, and even more recently the AS. The Mrs loves it.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:35 PM   #45
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that I sold it!!!
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:51 PM   #46
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Dan...

I perused the diesel forums for a while reading about regens and all that. I think most of the chatter involves people monkeying around with chips and all, which is not something I would do.

I'm inclined to agree. I'm 42 and the insights here on diesel vary greatly from some of the younger hot rod it up diesel specific forums, Cumminsforum, among others. Maybe my thoughts are based on input from listening to the wrong generation. I envision drunk shade tree mechanics treating a truck like a toy. Perhaps the inevitable mechanical issues I'm reading about are resultant from excessive tinkering.



Dan
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:54 PM   #47
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Regret - None really, we bought used about two months ago, did the homework so we knew what we could be in for; found one, a 75 Overlander (27') neglected but not abused so we bought it knowing it needed work. It's ready for use now. Plan on wintering in Texas and changing the axles while there.

Tow Vehicle - 1999 F250 Super Duty Diesel purchased in 2004 to tow an unknown at the time RV, which for 4 years was my daily driver (Why is that a problem? It's a diesel, virtually indestructable as long as you change the oil.) until I moved to the mountains in 2008 and traded the sports car for a 2000 RAV4 which became the new daily driver. Living slightly isolated two vehicles are nice to have in case one breaks down. Neither one has more than 140,000 miles currently.

A question perhaps for another thread is how many have a rig that's been in the family a long time? Maybe it was your parents, or an uncle etc. And related, how many years RVing? Full time or otherwise.

My first experience with vehicle camping was as a youth in 1968 in the 1966 VW bus my Father converted to a camper. He became an avid camper and owned a few RVs after that, but never an AS. I camped off and on in various pickups with various shells for years as an adult. Then from 93-96 I was a full timer. First three years in the ultimate behemoth 45' 5th wheel, then 95-96 in the 30' 5th wheel that had belonged to my parents. More recently camping in the above mentioned Ford, and even more recently the AS. The Mrs loves it.

Funny you mention that. My first camping memories are my parents in college at Wake Forest taking me 3 hours away to the Smoky Mtns in a VW red/white van. If only I could recreate that magic for my two kids. I'm trying.


Dan
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:05 PM   #48
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DEF Diesels

The advantage of the DEF diesels is that a lot of the EGR has been reduced, the engine combustion temperature is actually higher, thus, more power from each gallon of fuel, better fuel mileage.

Older diesels, when emissions stuff is eliminated, and exhaust freed up, get better fuel mileage, and if driven conservatively, as they should be due to transmission limitations, probably do not dump many more contaminants into the atmosphere than the emissions equipment with all its attendant problems. My problem occurred when the dealer messed with the engine, the result being about 10 mpg towing. They said they could not do anything about that, charged me a few hundred, and that was that. So, off to the expert diesel shop, where they gave me about 13-15 mpg towing.

One of the issues in free breathing diesels is when folks hammer down on the accelerator and dump too much raw fuel into the engine before the turbo can spool up. Lots of black smoke results. Driving easily reduces this greatly.

Just my opinion, not that of an expert.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:13 PM   #49
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So much depends on what type of camping you want to do, what specific items you want (like the size of fridge, sofa-bed or not, and so on)-- and how you feel about the outdoor life. Also whether your TV has a lot of storage space (like a truck with a topper on the back.)

We never felt cramped in our 16-footer-- and even less so in our 19-foot Bambi. Space is a state of mind. (We also have a medium-size dog.) We extended the length after Bambi I was killed in an accident, merely to get a dry bath and more kitchen. We like to camp in out-of-the-way more natural, western public lands campgrounds that were often built in the olden days of small rigs, and that do have serious length limits. We dislike RV "resorts" where we get boxed in by monster 5th wheels and motor homes with slide-outs.

We've spent up to 6 weeks at a pop in our As, and are planning on 8 weeks out, this coming winter.

If you're at all like us, small is beautiful. If you prefer RV parks with all the amenities, there's no reason not to go for the big trailer. If you've got children, then you'd want to go bigger than we did.

Regrets? I didn't care for the dark International décor so much-- the beige Flying Cloud is a lot lighter and brighter. But we got the first AS used, with a nice break on the price, so the dark interior was a good trade-off.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:32 PM   #50
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No regrets!
Also no regrets in buying a v10 Excursion, cheap to own, 12 mpg, and does everything a diesel does pulling a 10000 pound 34 footer!
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:23 PM   #51
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Yeah, the best purchases we made after buying the Serenity is a small ottoman. Its covered in a 'blue jean fabric'. Couldn't get leather cause Natasha has claws. She thinks it is her's.
Just go down to that Hickory Furniture market in Hickory NC, and you have many stores to choose from. You are bound to hit one you like. Its where we found this one. We were going to get one of those Bob Mitchell/Mitchell Gold ottomans, but we didn't want to see claw marks in the leather. LOL
Ottoman makes that couch a lounge.

With All the crap we store under that couch, we couldn't take it out to reconfigure the AS!

Like Dhart said > "I find the diesel truck very relaxing ,,, "

I do too. Even when not pulling the AS.
That 'Rattle, rattle, rattle' is very reassuring.

have a good one !
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:58 PM   #52
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What type of warranty work might be considered typical?
Check this thread for a list of frequently raised warranty issues: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ir-125559.html
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:47 PM   #53
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Thanks for the link

Wish I had not read it
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:03 PM   #54
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...snip...



Is there any particular advice you might give someone in our situation? Any must have factory (or otherwise) accessories or options we should get?



Anyone familiar with the Smoky Mountains, we would love any campground or more remote suggestions. We have always tent camped and have limited insights into where we might take our Airstream. Ideas anywhere in the Southeast would be equally valued.



PM any camping suggestions you don't want to share publicly.



Thanks for any insights you may share.





Dan

Rockingham,NC

Well first, congrats. Literally my only regret is not doing this sooner.

You can modify or reconfigure to your heart's content. I'd focus more on functionality you're looking for, layout, etc., and if you MUST have ocean air shades you can install on your own :-)

More advice:

1) get the AllStays app - it's a $10 app and worth it. You'll get lots of info on campgrounds you want to explore in the smokies and anywhere else in the US.

2) have an inspector go with you. You can find inspectors in the forums and/or perhaps someone in a local WBCCI chapter would be willing to help inspect the rig with you. Make sure they're seasoned and know what they're talking about. There's a checklist in the forums too - can't recall where but it's searchable.

3) I can't tell from your post whether this is your first trailer. If so (or frankly even if not) I can't recommend highly enough spending a weekend in a safe RV drivers course. Our local CDL center offered one - I'm sure you can find one locally.

4) set it up right - good hitch/sway control, trip to the CAT scales, etc. dial it in then check it annually. Plenty of threads on that topic.

5) camp camp camp. Enjoy the heck out of it. Stuff will break - it happens. If you're handy, you'll fix it. If not, you'll pay others to fix it while you're learning how to fix it :-) At the end of the day - your worst day camping is still way better than your best day in the office. :-)

Just get out there and camp.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:12 PM   #55
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Regrets on first one? That I didn't keep it! Started with a 23FB, went to 30'FB, now back to 23FB again. I know, crazy right? We have been told that before. We did enjoy the 30' but not the size and towing that beast if you can understand. The 23 is plenty for the two of us. We spend our time outside. If it's raining we snuggle.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:02 PM   #56
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I regret not asking for a lower price. The floor made me nervous, but I knew this was the Airstream I was going to buy. If I had just spent a few more minutes poking the floor under the dinette, I could of called BS and talked him down some more.
And.......you might never have gotten your particular Airstream which you knew you wanted. We like to think we know the outcome to our "alternate" decisions when, in fact, we rarely do. That sounded like Yoda!
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