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Old 03-17-2015, 02:01 PM   #15
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To put it in perspective, an Airstream Interstate has exactly the same 170-inch wheelbase as a Chevrolet long-bed four-door pickup, and exactly the same overall length bumper-to-bumper. It's slightly wider than the four-wheel Chevy pickup, but not quite as wide overall as the six-wheel "dually" Chevy pickup. The only real difference in dimensions is the taller height and lower ground clearance. And between the two, the Sprinter even has a slightly tighter turning radius.

That's for the non-EXT Interstate. Obviously the Interstate EXT will be slightly longer than the pickup, but the point is, if you can drive a big pickup you can drive a big Sprinter van.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:37 PM   #16
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Tow vehicle or trailer; or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
I agree with others here.....it really depends on what you want to do.

Decide what you most want, and go from there.

Most of all.....get out there, see the country, and enjoy yourselves.


Maggie
I think Maggie very nicely summed up this thread's discussion. The most important thing is to pick something and get out there. The points made about what you can do with a Motorcoach/Class B and a trailer are well made.

What we did was first buy a Class B in 1997. This vehicle enabled us to make quick trips, visit relatives without intruding, and often visit our children while they were away at college. We find that after 3 days or so, the B starts to tire us.

Part of our plan was to get a trailer and use the two RVs together. Similar to the Space Shuttle having a Space Station to go to ! It took us until 2009 to get the trailer, but the combo has worked well. After 12 years, we were able to make trips using the B and trailer. While traveling, we can overnight in the B. Staying at Flying J stops is no problem. If we stay in the trailer, we can power up using the genset in the B. At camp, we leave the trailer at our site, and tour around in the B. It works great and also we can take motorcycles and OHV in the trailer.

I haven't heard many people talk about RVing this way, but it is very possible and costs a lot less than most Class A motorhomes.

For short duration trips, we use the B only. For long duration trips, having the trailer along makes the long trips more comfortable. It works best if you can spot the trailer in a central location and use the B to explore points of interest including overnights away from the trailer.

How to do this: here's some thoughts. 1. If you have a TV now, go with the trailer. If RVing works for you, later you can swap the TV for a B. 2. If you don't have a TV or trailer, you may want to get the B first. B's are great for quick traveling and short duration trips. It may satisfy you for years, alone. We have traveled 1000 miles in a single day in our B. You can't make that many miles towing a trailer.

Our equipment is not A/S. The B is a 1997 Coach House 192 on a Ford E250 ($38K) and the trailer is a 2006 Featherlite SURV bought new in 2009 ($21K). So our equipment purchase is $3300 per year over 18 years and that is if the remaining value is zero. However, they are still worth something, so having a TV Class B and a trailer is not so very expensive.

The expense just depends on how you work it. There are lots and lots of used Class B or Class B+ out there which would make great TVs and perhaps using one would allow you buy a new A/S or a like-new used one. I don't see any reason to have to wait 12 years like we did. In my experience, having a B and a trailer is the best solution to the RV problem.

The most important thing is to get something and then use it !
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:51 PM   #17
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For me, and this is only my opinion, but it's really no comparison.

Having walked through several Interstates at shows and dealers, I can only imagine them being an acquired taste; you have to REALLY want to travel that way to be comfortable in such a tiny cramped space. And, I realize that doing that has its own "charm" as I also own a 13ft Scamp. But, the Scamp doesn't seem NEARLY as narrow and cluttered as the Interstate...I could see using the Interstate for going on road trips with the purpose of having some comforts along for the ride; sort of a minivanish camper I suppose with a place to rest and eat. Easy to drive, easy to maneuver, easy to park. But for camping...seems you lose just a bit too much convenience, comfort, and money for not much gained compared to a regular motorhome or a trailer.

A 25ft trailer of any brand is such a huuuuuuuuuge step-up spacewise compared to an Interstate that it's hard to compare. But, any advantages to the Interstate listed above are contraindicated by a trailer. You lose all that convenience and ease of just "getting in and going somewhere quick." But, you gain the fact that you are actually "camping" in the traditional sense, much less cramped, much more comfortable...but with all the added headaches that pulling a trailer encompasses such as towing, tow vehicle issues, hitching up, parking, the whole shebang. But, for me, a 25ft Flying Cloud is a "real" Airstream in that the construction is classic Airstream built in the same factory as the trailers of yesteryear with a clear lineage and not just a van based camper with the Airstream name glued on...no offense to Interstate owners. Airstream trailers are severely expensive, but you DO get some history, style, and unique construction for that money...for Interstates you get a european van that's been turned into a camper across the street from the old Airstream factory for a HUGE premium due to the name alone. Seeing other class B campers, there seem to be much much much better values out there for better made units with TONS more room. They just don't have that Airstream logo stuck on them...if that matters to you. But it DOES matter to some people, and that's a valid point as well. Some people think it brings them "status" and think that others care about such things. Airstream has always sold a certain number of units based on that alone.

For me, I would go with the trailer no question if I wanted specifically an Airstream. If I wanted convenience for short trips and such, I'd go with a class B, but it would not be an Airstream because just a name means nothing to me. If I want an Airstream, I want the classic Airstream construction. But I DO like the idea of a small class B runaround type RV for easy quick trips without all the stress of taking a big rig out.

My 6.7 cents.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:56 PM   #18
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You guys are amazing! We are inspired! This retirement thing is going to be good. Your thoughts and suggestions are thorough, insightful and practical. We have no excuse but to do it! We'll let you know what we decide and will definitely stay connected.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:10 PM   #19
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I wrote my reply before I read 6.7. Much appreciated as well. Sometime we will share our extensive research on class B's. We have driven all the top ones (not B+'s), done detailed comparisons of features, function, etc. Our observation is that Airstream has the edge hands down on the quality of the fit and finish. The devil is in the details! We will share our worksheets sometime in case it is helpful as all your thoughts have been.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:02 PM   #20
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I concur with the people who say it's all about your personal style. For us it was the roominess and long lasting quality of an AS. Years ago I was at a conference with a world famous outdoor photographer who said that he had 1 AS, and went thru 10 Suburban TVs during the same period.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Wanderer View Post
Years ago I was at a conference with a world famous outdoor photographer who said that he had 1 AS, and went thru 10 Suburban TVs during the same period.
If the lifespan of a Suburban is only 10% of the lifespan of a one-owner Airstream trailer, that's all the more reason to buy an Interstate as a tow vehicle! Interstates are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as ten Chevy Suburbans!
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:06 PM   #22
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If we go the trailer route, the Flying Cloud 25 has a tongue weight of 835. My RR has a max tongue weight of 770. I have been told that with a weight distribution hitch I'm OK with that. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:56 AM   #23
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Tour of Airstream Dealership on 3/18/2015

Due to an electrical outage on our trailer in camp, on Choctawhatchee Bay, we needed a new electrical cord. Our neighbors, fellow Escapees Club members, recommended Dixie RV as the best place to find a replacement. www.dixierv.com

The dealership is about 20 miles away in Defuniak Springs, FL and is a new Airstream dealer. We checked with the dealership and confirmed that the cable we needed is in stock.


We had a pleasant drive to Defuniak Springs and had no trouble finding the business located adjacent to an I-10 exit. After buying the cable and some other gear, we were pleased that the dealership gives a discount to military.

The dealership reps said they have handled Airstream products for about a year. We found about a dozen Airstream trailers on the lot and a half dozen Interstate Class B.
One Interstate had belted seating positions for 9. It resembled a customized van inside and did have a bathroom onboard. Several other models of the Interstate were available. Overall, I think the dealership has a good inventory of Airstreams on hand. The web site works well and allows a visitor to quickly see what is on the lot.

If anyone is wondering why I've posted the above and what does it have to do with the topic of this thread, it is this. Dixie RV has a great looking new International 27' trailer with a posted MSRP of $78,000. Comparing the trailer to one of the Interstate Class B, a purchaser could have two new International 27' trailers for the price of one Interstate. A guessimate of the Interstate selling price is $120 to 130,000 (MSRP $158,000). There is huge amount of RV equipment available for that amount, and in some cases for much less.

























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Old 03-19-2015, 05:12 PM   #24
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Thanks to Wolf Alaska. Good observation. Although one can find a 1 or 2 year old Interstate still under warranty for under $100K, they are a lot pricier than an AS. Unless you have to buy a TV
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:08 PM   #25
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Never perfect

Remember, everything is too big on the road and too small after you arrive.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:33 PM   #26
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Just get something and get out there! We have owned both RV's and Travel Trailers...we had a Class A, CamperVan, Pop-up trailer, Casita, and 3 25' AS's....for us we like the 25' for 2 main reasons: 1) the extra room inside...and storage. 2) we don't have to pack up our "camper" each time we want to drive to town, sightsee, or go somewhere. But for gosh sakes...start your adventure! It's all good!
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