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Old 11-29-2005, 08:46 PM   #15
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Lightbulb Extending Much Thanks!

WOW! The feedback is just phenomenal here! Looks like I have a little homework on my tow vehicle. I am pretty sure I can see the handwriting on the wall and it doesnít include a half-ton pick up. Anyway, as of today we are proud owners of a 1989 32í Excella Airstream. Looks like you guys/gals will be hearing quite a bit from me until I get the hang of things. This stuff is all new with the exception of pulling a trailer. I know this is going to be a real eye opener pulling this other than a 20í boat. The wife is already retired and I will be retiring on the 28th of next month. We bought this used Airstream to decide if this is what we wanted to do for a while. If everything pans out maybe a newer model later? I bought this one on E bay (item #4591979985) and from all the research and constant contact with the seller we believe we came out all right. Iím pretty sure it can still be viewed on E bay. From talking to the seller, I felt like we were dealing with a fairly honest kind of guy. I would welcome any feed back on this transaction positive or negative. We are driving from Houston to Jackson Ca in late December to pick it up and make a very leisurely trip back home. Of course I will have the laptop and with all the help here I believe it will be an uneventful maiden voyage. Thank you all so much for the fast feedback, this is amazingÖ

Don Wilkerson
Seabrook, Texas
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:53 PM   #16
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:29 PM   #17
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The 1/2 ton Chevy comes with 4.8 and 5.3 gas V8's. The 6.0 and 8.1 are available in the 3/4 ton trucks. Chevy now has a Vortec Max developing 345 HP in the 1/2 ton but you still have a 1/2 ton suspension and brakes.

The 1/2 ton will not cut the mustard with your trailer. I tow a '77 Excella 500 31' but it weighs less than 6,000 lbs. It was a dog on hills with my 5.7 engine in a '92 Z71 1/2 ton truck. On the other hand, your model weighs more because there is more real wood rather than laminated wood used in my '77 and it is longer. My advice, trade the 1/2 ton in and get a used 3/4 2500hd with Duramax diesel or 8.1 gas engine. I now tow the '77 with a '01 2500hd with 8.1 and couldn't be happier.
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:53 PM   #18
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hi don
welcome to airstreamin'

just looked at the ebay photos......looks like you got a great trailer, in excellent condition and at a very nice price. no offensive fabric/carpets, good woodwork, great floorplan and hopefully no smells. shell looks blemish free too.

if all the systems work this unit is in travel today shape.

if the brakes needed repair/replacement soon consider the disc upgrades available.

i agree you need more truck.

3/4 ton is plenty. diesel would be best power/fuel/longevity wise. but a big gaser with 4.10 rear would work too.

why not look for a near new superduty or chevy/izuzie. that way you have plenty of hauling capacity for the many goodies we like to bring.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-30-2005, 12:26 AM   #19
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I agree with 2air, it looks like you got a good deal. I towed my 29' ('89 Excella also) with my F-150 ('01, 5.3 gas) from SW Arizona to Moab, UT last year. I definitely could've used more power.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:05 AM   #20
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Iím sure a Chevy 2500 (orHD) is surely going to happen. Not sure if I am going to get this Ĺ ton swapped out before picking the trailer up in California. And thatís from Texas. There is a truck rental here in Houston that will rent a Chevy 2500HD for two weeks with 4000 free miles that is starting to look good if some kind of trade in doesnít happen. It would kind of hurt my feelings to put $1099 for the rental when that amount would look a lot better on some kind of trade in. All the information I have gathered here has persuaded me NOT to use what I have now. I feel like it has come down to more of a safety issue since its about a 100% thumbs down with all that has responded. And Iím not too dense, I do sometimes listen, although the wife will tell you different.
Thanks again,

Don
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:20 AM   #21
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Pile on?!?!

Don -

Not to pile on but I use an '01 3/4 2500 Suburban ( HD everything!) to tow my toy - SilverToy - '92 34' Classic Limited. The weight is more that SOB's of similar size but there is that.... what????? Well, it is AirStream after all!

I would difinately go to the Used Car places ( lots of trades with the Employee pricing, 0% interest, etc...) as there are bound to be loads of proper trucks for you to spend $ on. Actually know of a buddy that traded a 3/4 2500 8.1 Autoride, in on a new one - new one squeaks, heat shield rattle, sun roof blew out, trans issues, courtesy lights won't light, DVD acts up.... No wonder GM is in a jamb.... Would've bought his '01 but I already have one!

Anyway, Don, good luck on that tow home and be sure to take the correct ride with you! Congrats!

Ciao

Axel
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Old 11-30-2005, 02:07 AM   #22
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Good choice!

Congrats, Don,

Go for the 3/4 ton and you'll never regret it--regardless of the brand. After towing with a 2002 F150 with many mods I'd still recommend the 3/4 ton just for lessening the wear and tear on a smaller truck. Besides, the of a larger engine is more fun in the hills... Going over the Rockies and through Canada was tough, even with the mods on the King Ranch...

Note to F150 owners: The BEST mod I've ever made was the rear sway bar from Hellwig--they should have been stock for the ride improvement. THAT'S why people think the Airstream is in the driver's seat and not them...goodness sake's does it put you back in firm control!!!

Cheers,

IceKing02
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boaz1362
I bought this one on E bay (item #4591979985) and from all the research and constant contact with the seller we believe we came out all right. Iím pretty sure it can still be viewed on E bay. From talking to the seller, I felt like we were dealing with a fairly honest kind of guy. I would welcome any feed back on this transaction positive or negative.

Don Wilkerson
Seabrook, Texas
Don,
I looked that trailer up on ebay (item #4591979985). If the trailer lives up to the description I think you got a great buy for the price! I'm not sure I could plunk down that kind of cash without first looking it over with my own eyes, but many do. It's certainly a lot of trailer for the money. It probably would have gone for more $$$ if it had been a shorter trailer like 25'. We have a 25', but I love the layout of those 32' models. There are many posts on this web site of what to look for when you first see it to make sure it lives up to the description (stuff like floor rot, frame rust, etc.). You can search this site for those items, but if it truely has been stored inside, it should be less likely to suffer from those conditions. Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:20 AM   #24
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Just judging from the pictures, it looks like an excellant purchase to me in terms of price and condition. I have a similar unit in terms of age and condition that I wouldn't think of selling for that price.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:47 AM   #25
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I vote for the tow vehicle upgrade. Not so much for the power but for the braking. I started with a Dodge Ram 1500 with a 5.9L V8 and 410 rear. It could pull the trailer but after one panic stop (someone cut me off and then came to a sudden stop) we decided to upgrade the tow vehicle.

I know I went a little overboard on the upgrade but an airride hitch is in my near future.

-Alden
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:50 AM   #26
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Great looking trailor. We bought a 2003 2500 hd with 4 wheel drive and just love it with our 31 ft. In fact I have to look back there to be sure the trailor is there. There are great deals out there on 2 year old trucks we started looking at new ones and the prices were scary for us. The truck we found has only 21k miles on it and in new condition.
Again look into sway control and of course the brake controls. There's nothing like having sway and not enough brake power take it from someone that has been there with other trailors.


Becky
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:41 PM   #27
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Don,
I tried to be frank and straight up with you on my earlier post about going with the 3/4 ton. Some additional things I noticed when towing my '77 back from AZ., in addition to lack of power on hills, was the sidewall wobbling with load D tires I had and the whiteknuckling experience I felt every time an 18 wheeler went past me. I didn't have a sway control bar, don't like them, and I spent much of my time checking out the rearview mirror for the next big truck. As they passed I was pushed away and then sucked toward them. I was using a good Reese weight distribution system but that was not the problem. It was wheelbase of the shortbed regular cab truck, the suspension, plus the load rating of the tires. My hands were tired and I was just plain run down after a 3200 mile round trip by myself. I don't think you want to travel even a few hundred miles and worry this way. Buying my '01 2500hd took care of the problem and it has just been fine. You won't regret it, I promise.
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