View Poll Results: Why did you choose one over the other: travel trailer or motorhome?
Better mpg with tow vehicle 29 17.79%
Easier to set up camp 31 19.02%
smaller vehicle available for "around the town" driving 45 27.61%
Safety 11 6.75%
Maneuverability 22 13.50%
Other 94 57.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 163. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-10-2005, 10:11 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Airstream makes motorhomes???



and I thought that was all they made
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:36 AM   #30
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Had a MH before... it got terrible mileage, was a pain to tour an area after you set up camp, was very loud and rough while driving, and expensive to maintain. It was so expensive to run that hotels started to sound like a bargain!

I tow my trailer with my company car (no gasoline, insurance, maintenance, or repair bills on the TV, and minimal on the trailer itself). It's great to arrive at a State Park, Forest Service, or NPS campsite (most sites are too small for a big MH), unhitch, and explore the area with the TV.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:40 PM   #31
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We had a Coleman popup for 2 years. We went everywhere with it and never hesitated hooking it up and going. On the last trip we had a solid week of rain on the Oregon coast and decided it was time to get a hardbody trailer.

Then we got real lucky and found a '76 25' Tradewind in good shape. We did a number of repairs in the first two years of ownership, and it was rock solid after that. We went just about everywhere with this. The biggest trip was from Washington state to Newfoundland and back with 2 Newfoundland dogs. We got into about every campground we wanted to, and we also found it comfortable enough for two month summer holidays.

Then we made a big mistake. We sold the Tradewind and got a Monaco diesel pusher. At the time with a job change that involved a lot of travel, we were going to be living out of the motorhome. We needed more space, especially storage. We wanted a generator so we could keep our dogs in an A/C environment all the time. We loved it once we were parked. We didn't like driving it and only used the Interstates. And when it was in for repairs we always felt we were at the mercy of someone else.

We sold the Monaco after 4 years of heavy use - we slept in it over 500 nights during that time. But we sold it for about half of what we paid. And now we are searching again for our ideal recreational vehicle - another 25' mid seventies Airstream.

There is a huge difference in driving a motorhome vs. pulling an Airstream trailer. We made the effort of going through TWO truck driving schools to get expert instruction. It scares me to think of all the 40' motorhome drivers out there that just moved up from their car or SUV. We towed a Durrango as our dingy and had the type of dingy hitch where backing up wasn't an option unless you wanted to do serious damage to your toad's steering. So imagine driving a 40' vehicle with a 16' toad attached and you really shouldn't be backing up. We had to be constantly alert and forever planning ahead. Many times we would detach the toad and investigate what was ahead to see if we could get through.

Then there was the regular maintenance and unscheduled repairs. These will happen a lot more with a MH than a trailer. The diesel's regular service started at $250 and went up from there. The unscheduled repairs invariably involved getting a part that wasn't in stock, so the hotel stayover always turned into a multi-day event.

Everything took more effort and $$$s. Our motorhome took all the spontaneity out of traveling. The depreciation costs were an eye opener, and it was hard to get out of any unscheduled rapair for less than $1000.

When friends give me all their reasons for why they believe a motor home is right for them, my only response is to keep the size down to as small as you can get away with and be ready for the expense, especially if you have convinced yourself to get a diesel pusher. Regarding size and maneuverability - there is no comparison with an AS 34' trailer and a 40' MH. The big AS trailer can get into places I wouldn't ever try with the big MH.

- Mike
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:06 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by JBMcG
(And I don't know what religious metaphor applies to pop-up tent campers... )

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Old 03-10-2005, 09:39 PM   #33
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I missed this thread when it started--but reading through it made me realize that I just don't get one thing... Folks talk about sleeping, cooking, using facilities etc. while driving on the road as an advantage to a motorhome. Huh? Aren't passengers required to stay buckled into seats when moving?

Mary
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:45 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by fireflyinva
I missed this thread when it started--but reading through it made me realize that I just don't get one thing... Folks talk about sleeping, cooking, using facilities etc. while driving on the road as an advantage to a motorhome. Huh? Aren't passengers required to stay buckled into seats when moving?

Mary
It depends on which state you are driving in at the time. Seat belt laws differ as to who has to wear them. I think 48 or 49 of 50 states require seat belts be used, the difference is which passengers. Some states, like California, require all passengers to be belted in, no matter where they are in the vehicle, but Florida only requires front seat passengers, and of course children under a certain age, to be belted.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:53 PM   #35
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Thanks Terry..

Thanks for trying to get ME in trouble with the Moonies and Hare Krishna's.. In 25 years of recent camping with Airstream and Nomad trailer, plus tenting and VW Westfalia camping, hardly anything is more entertaining than starting a dialogue in a campground about "the best camper type" and then sitting back and watching various religious adherents get increasingly agitated defending their "religious beliefs"... As is true on any Sunday, people are happy practicing their faith in trailers, motorhomes, tents, Vans and other combos' which work for them... Not worth an argument, and "religious conversions" do happen, but they're rare... Try to enjoy the entertainment next time such a discussion breaks out around you, and count how many minds actually are changed...

And as for people walking around in fast-moving motorhomes, using rest rooms and kitchen on the fly, (bad metaphor??), many local police officers have proven conclusively that a significant portion of the motoring public are just not inclined to always do the safe and sane behavior on the road... Our local paper ran feature on "most bizarre behavior while driving on freeway" and answers ranged from actively working breast pump to reading paperback novels to changing clothes and eating sandwich while holding drink cup.. Our area also has many shops that will re-wire LCD TV's in cars to allow driver to watch videos while driving in front seat..

I've not seen Airstream MH having a wreck, but I have seen SOB Class C do a triple roll and end-over-end flip on a freeway, and it becomes an explosion of toothpicks and aluminum sheet... Belted driver survived, though he landed after last roll in a convertible chassis, with trail of busted furniture and cushions behind him.. I wouldn't have wanted to be in the head...

John McG
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:50 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBMcG
(And I don't know what religious metaphor applies to pop-up tent campers... )
John McG
-pop up tent campers? Definitely Amish.

I chose a trailer so that I wouldn't need to pay for three power plants, regular car, moho and toad. The recent thread about the $14K engine replacement made sigh with relief - I could almost replace a tow vehicle for that! I get a bit antsy backing a 22ft trailer into a small space, a 30 or 40 ft motor home that's over 12 ft high? Stress I don't need.

I also like the fact that I CAN'T take it all with me. Most of us use 10% of the stuff we have, and that's about all you can get in the average A/S. To me Airstreaming is about community, meeting new friends, storing beautiful memories and not about saying "my RV can beat up your RV". My status symbols are a well funded retirement plan, zero debt, and a home I can thoroughly clean from one end to the other in an hour, not four days. (OK the outside is gonna take longer particularly when I Walberize, but that's not a weekly thing - and I could HIRE someone to do it without breaking the bank.

I also plan to buy a custom made welcome mat that says "Martha Stewart does NOT live here" and do away with all of the heart shaped cake pans, punch bowls other useless kitchen gadgets. And if I get in the mood to cook my world famous meatloaf (people have come to blows over the last slice) I'll do it in disposable aluminum pans.

Tin Lizzie
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:11 PM   #37
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Interesting reading this thread....

We are looking at the possibility of a MH rather than our daunting task of searching for that perfect 60's 25-27 ft trailer.

I agree there are pros and cons to both - and everyones needs and circumstances are different.

As I read through this thread I got the distinct impression that the word Motor-home = 40 ft "Bus" perception by most. Also at one end of the spectrum there is the "full timers" either in the 34ft TT's or the 34-40ft MH's each with their own issues.

How about the other end of the spectrum - not the tiny but the mid size. We have a 21ft TT and pull with a 16ft Yukon - that = 37 ft of vehicle - grant it she bends in the middle - but if in a crash she can still flip the tow vehicle.

We are not on the retirement scene yet - but are not spring chickens either so the tent scene has come and gone. But the "Wendy" house concept of TT's is very much an attraction to us. It is just plain "cute" and "fun" to have all the amenities in a compact vehicle/trailer.

The Vintage aspect is of course another huge attraction. There has been this nagging curiosity since our trip South - of what it would be like to do the same trip in a similar size Motor-home. Knowing that AS does not make the small "cute" ones anymore I started to do some searching.....okay that great article in the Airstream Life Mag really tweaked my interest and Argosy's big windows would be pretty cool on a sight seeing trip across North-America.

After some real close buy's of what we thought might be a big mistake we decided to sit back for the summer and just look at all sorts of options.

I've glanced at the class C SOB's and the price tag that comes with a new vehicle - yikes - there goes our retirement savings... Although the lease/rent to own packages look interesting.

Moving onto the consistent comment of "several drive trains" and how it would affect us. Lets see we have a 2300lb boat that gets dragged from our house three minutes up the road to the launch and back at the end of the season. We have a 1500lb capacity landscape trailer - that grant it we do use on a regular basis. But a light duty truck could handle those duties even a really small SUV - which could double as a toad behind a 24-28 MH. Then there is the commuter vehicle - the civic si coupe which could also be used as the toad. The difference in fuel costs and general maintenance from the big block engines to the smaller day runners - might put us out ahead - or at least break even.

But what I see is towing a small enclosed UT with a kewl vintage Motorcycle with side car - keep all our other neat camping things like table chairs patio mat bbq extra cases of beer and well just stuff ya need. Remember we are not young but not dead yet either - so the wind in our hair doubled up on the cycle along with custom helmets for the pooches rigged into special harnesses in the side car with an optional pope dome would be quite the adventurous in-town touring vehicle. But if we had to we could tow a vintage MG convertible in the same UT with a bit more room and a trunk for trinkets and groceries - all the while the MH holds our campsite while we are gone.

Engines sitting.....we have had a snowmobile stored properly over the summer fired up no problem every winter. We have a big V8 Cid 305 200HP engine in our little 20 ft cuddy that is now been stored for 22 winters and trust me they are long either cold or damp winters from Oct - May 8 months of the year stored outside. Again properly winterized and stored she has fired up every time over the past 8 years we have had her.

Convenience of a small MH, maneuverability only 8 feet longer than our TV but if we had a bigger TV it would cut down to about 5 feet longer - that is not much in the big scheme of things. The access to the kitchen and/or bathroom and bed for snoozing comfortably is certainly pulling my vote.

Don't tell anyone but there are people out their who get up and move around in their MH's. And what about those in your big Burbs - don't tell me you stop every-time to reach for a can of pop or juice, or sandwich, snacks or other things like pillows, blankets and the like. So unless you have 5 ft arms - you have to undo that seat belt to reach into the back seat. Have you ever hung over the head rest and hit a bump - sure does wonders for the hunger pains and full bladders

Cost for a vintage MH (Argosy) - well by the time we picked up a 60's TT and fixed her all up you are looking at about the same price for a small vintage MH - but the appealing aspect of say the Argosy - is the statement made in that article that many of them are still on the road today and very serviceable.

Having a break down - well we did once with a snowmobile trailer and sled inside the day we bought it and borrowed someone's trailer - so we were not about to leave the trailer behind - that was a whopping bill to tow both together. There is NO WAY I would leave the GT alone on the side of the road!!!! It would be gone in a flash. How often can you find a replacement tow vehicle to continue your vacation if your TV dies and needs repair - you could be stuck in the middle of know where with a 34 TT - you might be lucky and get towed to a near by trailer park - ("trailer trash" comes to mind ).

I don't have a yeh or neigh for either yet - too new at TT'ering and have not experienced a MH yet... But if you could get what you are looking for in a MH that you have in a TT and were able to get by with a small one then I would think MH's would be a neat way to take on some serious traveling and still get the "cute" camping spots that those 20-26ft TT's are privy to.

Just a bit of thinking out loud.....
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:42 AM   #38
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we find that some moving around in the MH while drinving is ok for us. I drive typically 60 or under and stick to the right lanes. If my wife goes back and makes a sandwich or two, and grabs drinks out of the fridge, that is fine for us.
As for the long term engine maintenance...I start mine up pretty much once a week in the winter months, and if possible drive it around a few miles to warm everything up. Of course here in the south I don't have snow to contend with.
I have also found that once I got my rig past all the usual problem areas I have had little or no problems at all. In the past two yrs we have only had a furnace problem and very minor air bag issues, which I think was a clogged line.
The starter and alternator r&r with heat wrap, etc I did some time back has made a great difference in our lack of trouble.
I would be comfortable driving coast to coast at this point.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:01 AM   #39
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In the end you have to weigh the pros and cons of each and then decide, do I want to pull my camper with my vehicle or pull my vehicle with my camper.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:36 AM   #40
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We've kicked around the Class A motorhome vs. the trailer issue. For us this question will only become viable at retirement time. Quite honestly a motorhome needs to be driven. For someone still working and trying to find time to get away, a trailer makes a heck of a lot more sense. Just sitting, a motorhome deteriorates faster that a trailer. A lot more mechanicals. Things need to be run, greased, lubricated, and sitting in a storage lot those things don't happen. Repairs are another matter. Figure bigger tires, brakes for starters. Gasoline powered motorhomes have very poor gas mileage and those engines seem to have a higher tendency for breakdown due to the heavy loading and high operating temperatures. You can go to diesel but then consider that all repairs now probably have to be done by a repair facility that handles large trucks. More $$.

I think all this needs to be added to your equation.

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Old 04-21-2005, 10:42 AM   #41
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Just on a few points...

How do those people mangage that have the big 40ft DP's where they fire them up to travel south - have it sit for 6 months - then fire it up and head north? I wonder what the percentage of them are hauled off their spots with a bus tow truck?

Gas Mileage just looking out our scenario - the Yukon with the GT - gets about 9-12 MPG - and from what I have read - the 24 Argosy gets about 12MPG and about 9 towing something - so that would be pretty comparable.

I don't know how the insurance is - could possibly be like our boat - seasonal. But if we decided to tow the boat south for the winter she would still be covered (have to make mods for the salt water though ).

Keeping a small MH running when not being used. The once a week does not sound all that bad - as I am lucky if that is all we use our Yukon for now. I could see my self taking it for a run into town - but not a 40footer. Peter runs into the city 4 days a week almost 300Klm per day with the little Civic.

Can you not winterize the Chevy 454 like a boat engine?? and all the rest of the moving parts would they not be similar to say a sled that you grease up to avoid moisture during the summer? or off seasons?

Needing a vehicle? with a Motor Home. Say you do the TT and TV deal - and everywhere you went you could use your bikes and the TV basically sat infront of the TT each stay - necessities are usually bought along the way. But if you had a MH and really wanted to travel around on a mini holiday - there is always the option of renting a vehicle i.e as in the case of doing the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia (park the Motor home and rent a small vehicle for touring)- which might be a lot cheaper in the long run on a trip across Canada or US. Towing a small trailer with two Mopeds/Scooters would not be unrealistic either - of course if that is your cup of tea.

Then there is the issue of set up and take down - we did a lot of little stop overs here and there - and it was getting quite a pain - and especially the social aspect you could stay hooked up the hole time for not getting anything done Lots of times we just cranked her up to releive the stress on the hitch and suspension but that left you looking for spots that 40footers use.

It is so true though - we are all different and have such different needs, likes and dislikes - no wonder there are so many products out on the market - there has to be to satisfy us all.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #42
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sure you can winterize and store the rig, just for me its easier not too, and winters are mild here. I winterize the water system anyway every year.

I get 8-9 mpg not towing on my 28 footer. I got 7-8 towing my Saturn with a/c roof air running off the generator last summer.
The options and choices are many...but as for us a 40' with Corian countertops and leather and all that maybe fine for some but is so far removed from "camping" that its not for me....
At least with the AS we easily park and set up, feel like we are somewhat closer to reality when in a campground..and stay away from the overpriced Rv resorts where the Prevosts and Newell coaches are parked. Nice for them who enjoy the feeling of home, and if I ever full time it...it might be more appealing to us.
I feel like I could go up in size at times, but not making any moves just yet. I have gotten offers to sell mine emailed to me from time to time...as they go higher one never knows, a bigger unit might be in my future.
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