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Old 01-19-2005, 12:13 PM   #1
Craftsman
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2005 34' Classic purchase advice

O.K. This is now the thrid time that I'am writing this. The last two times that I tried to post this under 2005 Classic forum it didn't show up saying "no forum specified"

We've decided that we want to buy a 2005 34' Classic. I pretty much research something to death before I buy and this is no exception. I want new because I want something that I don't have to work on.( at least for awhile) We plan to vist the factory but have to work around my son and his school schedule, but will get out to see them being built. There is a small change that we have discussed with the factory and is going to require that it be ordered and built as opposed to buying from dealer inventory.We'll also discuss all of our questions with the dealer that we decide to buy from. In the mean time I still have a lot of questions that maybe forum members can help answer. We've decided on a nonslide because of the added weight, increased cost (almost $10,000 more?) and it just doesn,t really seem to add much actual floor space. I also don't like the way that it seems to be positioned much closer to the coach, eliminating the credenza. The options that we want to add are the skylights,the larger refrigator and A/C, microwave-convection, solar charging, and the generator prep. I'm undecided on the audio/video upgrade. We do want a20' flatscreen TV on the credenza in the livingroom and a 15" or 17" wall hung flat screen in the (queen)bedroom.Is this something that Airstream will handle? Does anyone know if the wiring is installed in these locations? Or do you have to order the package to get the wiring? Also where is the audio portion of the package installed?
the other option that I'm on the fence about is the Limited Package. I like the burgandy awnings and graphics and the larger propane tanks and electric jacks, but I don't see $7,869 no matter how hard I look. That would mean the flag storage caps and jackets are about $1000.00 each. What am I missing here? I know: brass lavatory& shower hardware.Where I shop you could buy some pretty nice hardware for that kind of money. You have to really wonder how Airstream arrived at this price. I wouldn't think that everything in the Limited package could add up to more than $2500. ?????? Any suggestions comments or anything you want to add is welcome. We'll only do this once so I don't want to miss anything.
Any comments or criticisms on the shoe/storage box in the new Airstream life is also welcome. It seems to be trailing in the polls. Thanks

Jack
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Old 01-19-2005, 01:05 PM   #2
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Jack,

Nice choice. The LTD upgrade I too looked at and really I agree with you I don't see $8k worth of gear. Frankly I agree fully with the larger fridge and the larger (at least 15k BTU) A/C unit.

I too balked at the slide until I saw a forum member's 30' slide. It makes the front of the coach seem like an actual room, but on the other hand, I too agree that cost and weight is something to seriously consider for that "extra" space.

In regard to the convection oven, keep in mind that it's my understanding that if you boondock (and don't have a proper generator) the convection oven will not work, whereas the conventional oven/stove combo will work regardless of shore power connected.

Regarding the TV wiring options, I don't know, but I do know that our 04 Safari had several pre-wires done. For example, subwoofer power and connections to the stereo were done, even though I didn't get the upgraded audio. I would guess that the video might be the same way, but don't quote me on that. All in all the video upgrade pkg is a fairly steep option and one that I passed on.

As for the skylights, I'm from the ranks of folks that that the few holes in the shell, the better. I will say that the skylights do let in a very generous amount of light, so it really depends on what camp you find yourself in, fewer holes less light, more holes, more light. Keep in mind that the skylights will require maint as the age.

The factory tour is really neat....if you want to take a small peek before hand, visit my site at:

www.silvertwinkie.org

After all is said, I'm sure you have already thought about or have a good tow vehicle for the 34'.
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:30 PM   #3
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Nice photos. I think the factory visit is a must before signing any papers. I've yet to stand in a 2005 34' Classic. No one anywhere close to Baltimore has one. It seems that the dealers are ordering the slides on both the 30's and 34's if they even have one. I think the Delaware dealer has a 34' slide that I may look at, but I'm really interested in the non-slide. You make a good point about the microwave/convection oven. This past year I bought a 2001 2500 4x4 Suburban with the 8.1 and 3.73 rear end in like new condition. Heavy on gas but I really like it. It should make a great tow vehicle for the 34.
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:39 PM   #4
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We did a lot of soul searching on the slideout option and decided for it based on the extra room and the potential for making the trailer more desirable for future resale. Quite honestly the extra weight wasn't much of a factor, although it did mean upgrading my receiver and hitch.

Slideouts come with power jacks as standard, at the time I didn't know that and found out at delivery time. What a delightful suprise. I agree with Eric on the value in the Limited package. At one time we were told Limited's provided an upgraded insulation which would interest me. Recent facts now prove otherwise so there is no advantage there.

With the new Vista Views, the need for skylights is minimized. I have them in my Classic and wouldn't be without them. Now if the Vista Views were available in the '04 models, I might have passed on the skylights.

The larger fridge and A/C are good choices. Don't forget to order the spare tire and wheel.

Jack
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Old 01-19-2005, 03:24 PM   #5
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Thanks Jack. The Limited package should be priced more realistically. Even if Airstream only ordered a handfull of Burgandy awnings from the supplier a year it shouldn't increase their cost much if any thing at all seeing as they supply in a rainbow of colors anyway. As for the Hickory upgrade for the cabinets; Hickory normally cost slightly less that Red Oak and the patterns and measurments would be the same. I would think that if you can build a Red Oak cabinet for a Classic, a Hickory cabinet for a Limited shouldn't pose much of a challange. You never know though, throwing a Hickory cabinet in the mix while building Oak cabinet might stump some people calling for an increase in production costs. It's such a ridiculous figure for what you get that I keep going back to it thinking that I've missed something. As for the vista view/ skylight choice, I really like light. I'm one of those people that really feel the effects of lack of light on those short Winter days.
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Old 01-19-2005, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craftsman
O.K. This is now the thrid time that I'am writing this. The last two times that I tried to post this under 2005 Classic forum it didn't show up saying "no forum specified"

We've decided that we want to buy a 2005 34' Classic. I pretty much research something to death before I buy and this is no exception. I want new because I want something that I don't have to work on.( at least for awhile) We plan to vist the factory but have to work around my son and his school schedule, but will get out to see them being built. There is a small change that we have discussed with the factory and is going to require that it be ordered and built as opposed to buying from dealer inventory.We'll also discuss all of our questions with the dealer that we decide to buy from. In the mean time I still have a lot of questions that maybe forum members can help answer. We've decided on a nonslide because of the added weight, increased cost (almost $10,000 more?) and it just doesn,t really seem to add much actual floor space. I also don't like the way that it seems to be positioned much closer to the coach, eliminating the credenza. The options that we want to add are the skylights,the larger refrigator and A/C, microwave-convection, solar charging, and the generator prep. I'm undecided on the audio/video upgrade. We do want a20' flatscreen TV on the credenza in the livingroom and a 15" or 17" wall hung flat screen in the (queen)bedroom.Is this something that Airstream will handle? Does anyone know if the wiring is installed in these locations? Or do you have to order the package to get the wiring? Also where is the audio portion of the package installed?
the other option that I'm on the fence about is the Limited Package. I like the burgandy awnings and graphics and the larger propane tanks and electric jacks, but I don't see $7,869 no matter how hard I look. That would mean the flag storage caps and jackets are about $1000.00 each. What am I missing here? I know: brass lavatory& shower hardware.Where I shop you could buy some pretty nice hardware for that kind of money. You have to really wonder how Airstream arrived at this price. I wouldn't think that everything in the Limited package could add up to more than $2500. ?????? Any suggestions comments or anything you want to add is welcome. We'll only do this once so I don't want to miss anything.
Any comments or criticisms on the shoe/storage box in the new Airstream life is also welcome. It seems to be trailing in the polls. Thanks

Jack
Jack -

Sounds like you're well on your way to a nice one! We got several of the things you mentioned in our 2004 30' Ltd., including the skylights, the 15,000btu A/C, the convection microwave and the generator prep. I think they are all good choices.

We did find out belatedly, after loosing electric at the RV park where we were staying last summer, that the external plug for the generator is one of those twist on types that we didn't have, so I then had to buy a new cable/plug for about $125 so I could use it. (Live and learn

The flat screen TV option wasn't available in 2004, but I've since gotten a quote from the factory to install just the wall mounted bracket for us in our trailer near or above the credenza. They said they'd do this for about $300 -- just the wall mount, without the TV. I understood the MSRP for this in the 2005 Classics, including a 15" Sharp Aquos TV (Model LC-15S-1U-B) is $1,500. Even if you are able to negotiate 20-25% off MSRP through a dealer, that still makes this a very pricey option with the TV.

I know that other people have hung larger flat screen TV's on their walls, so I don't know if weight was a consideration for the factory only offering a 15" one in the Classics - or at least that's the size that the factory sales guy told me several weeks ago on the phone.

We have a TV jack inside the credenza on our 30' model and inside the hanging wardrobe over one of the beds in our rear twin bed model -- I assume the wiring would be similar in the 34' 2005, but it may be better to get this info first hand from someone who knows for sure.

A couple of things about the LTD upgrade. First, it comes with hickory wood, rather than oak as I think you know. That's different wood, but not necessarily more expensive. The hickory in our trailer is really crappy -- lots of blems and knots, and a poor finish. However, I saw a 2005 LTD last week at the Tampa RV show that had really nice hickory wood in it. You can decide whether that is worth something or nothing to you.

You probably wouldn't actually get brass bathroom hardware in the LTD like Airstream's MISLEADING and DISHONEST advertising claims would make you believe - at least we didn't, and when I complained, I was told to live with it because that's the way it was with Airstream. We got only one (1) nice brass bathroom faucet, several other plastic fixtures with brass finish that was already coming off before we'd ever used them, and a chrome (silver) shower faucet (not even brass colored).

The electric corner stabilizers are really nice to have, but I don't know why you couldn't have them installed separately. These are rather expensive if you buy them at full retail, but I don't know how expensive since the ones on our trailer are designed for less weight than the ones I've seen sold separately. The flag box option is also nice to have. It's an enclosed box that runs about 6' across the underside of the trailer, mounted just behind the entrance door. We found it is the perfect place to store our outdoor carpet. (If I were ordering a new trailer from the factory without the LTD upgrade, I'd ask about having this installed separately. I'd expect to pay $200-$300 for it.)

The hats and jackets undoubedly make up the rest of the LTD's cost.

John
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Old 01-19-2005, 04:45 PM   #7
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·15,000 btu AC is a must. Should not even be an option. The 15,000 barely cools my 30’ Classic when it is in the sun.

·The audio/video option is overpriced and unnecessary. I put a 22” LCD on the credenza. I bought the small Sony DVD theater-in-a-box and installed the surround sound cube speakers up high and a sub woofer on the credenza. It doubles as my CD stereo. All for less than $3000. The TV wiring is there in the credenza.

·The Limited Pkg seems to give “limited” value for the money.

·I would not be with out my gas oven. It’s great to be able to bake normally.

·I decided against the slide for three basic reasons:
1)Very heavy hitch weight
2)Off balanced load
3)System failure- not if but when

·Skylights are a must for me. I can have all my shades and curtains closed but still enjoy a very bright interior, very especially in bathroom. Great for crowded RV parks.

·This is a slow time at the factory thus is best time of year to order. Quality goes up during these slow months.

It is so much fun to go through this process of ordering a new unit (I did it last year). Enjoy and keep us posted.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craftsman
Any comments or criticisms on the shoe/storage box in the new Airstream life is also welcome. It seems to be trailing in thepolls. Thanks Jack
Jack, be careful what you ask for.
I don't think the numbers in that poll have much if any relevance to your article. As of right now that thread has 1192 views but only 45 "votes". I bet a whole lot of people weren't even aware that there was a poll, plus we have to remember that not all forum members are Airstream Life subscribers.
I thought your article was very well written and it is certainly a handsome box. When I first glanced at the photo, 2 things popped to mind: heavy and bulky... 2 things we try to avoid in our trailers and mohos. When I actually read the article, I realized that isn't true, but first impressions are lasting and there was nothing in the photo to put the compact size of the box in perspective. That may have caused some folks to skip over the article.
Personally, I would have preferred a DIY article on a space-saving device such as the magazine rack in your advertisement on page 7. I hope you'll consider something like that for a future submission.

Will you be selling your nice Sovereign if you go ahead with the new Classic?
Best regards,
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:01 PM   #9
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What I would ask for

We purchased our 04-25 off of the dealers floor, so we didn't have the opportunity to add items. What I would suggest you ask for is a rear view camera system, or at LEAST the wiring & mounting bracket for one. I am in the process of looking for one that will mount & connect via the tow vehicle easily. Not easy when all is encased. Also I'd suggest that you may want to check the inside flooring for weak spots. How about a factory installed external wireless cell phone antenna? My knowledge regarding the cell phone is very limited, however a lot of users are telling me that they need to jury rig something near a window for better connections. Easier to do items now than later. Perhaps they could include these in your "Limited Upgrade Package " No matter what, you'll most likely find something later you wish you would have thought of, but so goes life. The secret I think is once you buy an AS, is to enjoy, enjoy.
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:22 PM   #10
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Deja Vu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
Personally, I would have preferred a DIY article on a space-saving device such as the magazine rack in your advertisement on page 7. I hope you'll consider something like that for a future submission.
Roger
There was an article on an essentially similar magazine rack in the last issue .... I wrote it.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:37 AM   #11
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Roger, thanks for your imput on the storage/shoe box. I did try to keep it as light as possible with the soild oak frame work and the 1/4" panels while trying to keep a match with the existing cabinets in the Classic.If I were making the same cabinet for say aCCD the materials would be completely different and even lighter. The Sovereign may go to my daughter. It parked at here house now and her and her husband already think it's theirs.I really like the Sovereign. I've already put alot of work into it and would hate to part with it. Also John is right , he wrote a very fine article on the magazine rack in the first issue. It's just another example of how brilliant minds think alike. I have some ideas for some light weight space saving additions for future submissions.
I like the idea of the rear view camera system.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:50 AM   #12
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Craftsman,

From my own experience, we don't seem to use the skylight in the living room all that much. I think that is because we use our unit primarily in the summer. When we open the shade for the skylight the unit gets very hot, very fast. We have the smaller air conditioner on the 30' and in very hot climates such as Las Vegas in the summer that air conditioner is absolutely inadequate. With the airconditioner on all the time we were able to get the inside temp down to about 85 during the day. I don't know how much more heat the skylight in the living area adds with the blind closed but I'm sure it sure it adds some heat.

We found the skylight in the bath area to be more usefull because the lens is opaque and the skylight is smaller in size.

I think if I were ordering a new unit today, I would forego the skylight in the living area. Just my humble opinion.

Good Luck on your decisions

Mark
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Old 01-20-2005, 08:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
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How about a factory installed external wireless cell phone antenna? Best,
That idea is a winner!

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Old 01-20-2005, 10:52 AM   #14
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Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
Craftsman,

I think if I were ordering a new unit today, I would forego the skylight in the living area. Just my humble opinion.

Mark
I bought off the lot and my 25 Classic happened to have the skylight. I seldom ever open the shade, even in the cooler months. In the summer, I can feel the additional heat with the shade closed, although the 13,500 AC is adequate for the 25. I would not order a lounge skylight if ordering new.

Additional light in the bathroom would be welcome, however.

OTOH, with the vista-view windows in the new Classics, there is little or no need for the skylight. I greatly prefre the vista-views and wish my Classic had them.
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