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Old 03-20-2004, 08:38 PM   #1
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2004 25' Classic
Weaveville , Western North Carolina
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Question 30 ft classic

We are upsizing to a 30 ft but need input on the pros and cons of the slide and non-slide. Any input appreciated. Always keep the next horizen in your dreams!
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:41 PM   #2
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I used to be a staunch anti-slide for years, but after seeing the Airstream factory build them, I'd have to say they seem like the best one's in the industry.

Jack Canavera and his wife Patty just bought one. Check with him for his thoughts about it. PM him at jcanavera

I know that you really need to follow the directions for using it, but other than that, most of the folks that have purchased them within the last year or two being fairly pleased with them.

One thing about the slide outs to consider is weight. The slide outs tend to weigh a bit more so you'd better have a robust tow vehicle and a good hitch setup to take the additional hitch weights.
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. We have a E-350 diesel van and a Hensley Hitch. Just trying to get feedback on the livability of each.
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:53 PM   #4
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Well, looks like you have the tow vehicle and hitch in the bag then!
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:35 AM   #5
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In MY humble opinion...

We have the 34' tri-axle non-slide version. We use it for lots of three-night mid-week local trips (less than 50 miles from home) as my wife and I both work full time. We just commute from the trailer rather than the house, but it gets us away from the routine.

The space in the slide trailers is amazing, but they weigh about a thousand pounds more than the non-slide. My view is that if you're going to winter over in it, and the only travelling you do is to and from your winter site, then the slide-out is worth while.

If you travel a lot, and tow your trailer lots of miles, then the non-slide is probably the better bet as you're not paying to pull the extra thousand lbs around.

The other concern I have deals with complexity, moving parts, and weather seals. I know that A/S's slides are the best in the business, but they still have moving parts and seals that will eventually require service. Slides are relatively new to A/S. It will be interesting to see how they hold up in twenty years.

In your case, you already have the tow vehicle, so the expense of aquiring something that will tow a slide trailer isn't applicable; you only have to be concerned primarily about fuel economy. If that doesn't concern you, get the slide!

Roger
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:09 AM   #6
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Having been an RV tech, I saw too many failed and leaking slide-outs (on SOBs) to have one for myself, especially since we intend to full-time in the trailer. A slide is a hole in the side of trailer and a mechanical device. It's not if, but when, it will leak or fail.

When we took ours to Jackson Center, there were two 34' slide models in for slide problems. One was there when we arrived, and still there days later.

The slide gets you a little bit more floorspace in the middle of the trailer, but no more wall space for furniture or cabinetry. Airstream uses some of that floorspace by cocking the end of the kitchen counter out. If you have kids or dogs that need the extra floorspace to play on, that's one thing, but a wide-body trailer doesn't NEED a slide for two people to easily pass each other in the galley/dining area.

As mentioned, the slide adds a LOT of weight. As not mentioned, a large amount of that weight is on the tongue. That van better not be one of those with the extended tail, which isn't a good choice for towing a non-slide model.

And as not mentioned, all of that extra weight is on one side. This cantilevers the trailer over to one side. You'd best not forget to put the stabilizers down on firm blocking that won't sink on that side before extending the slide.

I know of no slide owners who've had their slide Airstream weighed by individual tire. It would be easy to load the slide trailer to where the front tire on the streetside is overloaded, and a truck scale isn't going to tell you that.

Slides are popular in the rest of the RV world, but this is the Airstream world where slides are the exception, not the rule. Not having a slide-out isn't going to make your trailer less valuable.

That's my opinion of them. And it's a strongly-held one as you can tell.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:07 AM   #7
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Don't hold back...

Quote:
Originally posted by RoadKingMoe
That's my opinion of them. And it's a strongly-held one as you can tell.
Don't hold back Moe... tell us what you REALLY think! You can be honest with us!

Roger
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:13 AM   #8
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My other opinion is that if you're going to spend as much as a 30 Slide costs, spend a coupla thousand more and get a 34 triple-axle, with more wall length for furniture and cabinetry, with less tongue weight, the load carried over 3 axles and 6 tires, and the braking spread amongst 6 brakes.
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:11 AM   #9
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Originally posted by RoadKingMoe


My other opinion is that if you're going to spend as much as a 30 Slide costs, spend a coupla thousand more and get a 34 triple-axle, with more wall length for furniture and cabinetry, with less tongue weight, the load carried over 3 axles and 6 tires, and the braking spread amongst 6 brakes.
Wow... my sentiments EXACTLY!!! Amazing how great minds think alike...

OUCH! I think I dislocated my shoulder... while I was patting myself on the back!!!!

Roger
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:21 AM   #10
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I'd have to agree and disagree. I agree that for the price, you could easily upsell into a tri-axle 34' and get a better bang for your buck...however, there is a width difference that some fulltimers might appreciate. When the 30' silde is out or any slide out for that matter, the width makes the area seem like a room, not a trailer.

Yes, with any particular addition of technology that cuts into the body, there is greater chance of issues. Heck, we all still buy power windows and door locks. I too had the same info on the older slide outs, but I now know 2 folks that have slide outs. One has had one for over 36 months in several different climates. No issues so far (this is an SOB unit, not an Airstream). The second is one on this fourm who I will be interested in his feedback once he gets some real world use out of it (Jack Canavera) who has a 30' Classic S/O. Of course long term, I have no data to support as yet, so issues could happen 5, 10 or 20 years out. I have no way to know. I will say based on the older slides, that issues were sometimes evident nearly right out of the gate or shortly after taking delivery.

If you plan on ever fulltiming, I might not be inclined to pass on the slide out totally. If fulltiming is not in your future, then I would totally agree that the 34' units are not that far off and do weigh less.
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:42 AM   #11
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I recently ordered a 30' Classic Ltd, non-slide, unit that should be built at the end of April (hopefully).

Along the way of deciding what unit to get, I visited several dealers. One of those dealers (name withheld to protect the guilty!) started right off by telling me about the problems he had repairing slide out units! He claimed that you shouldn't tighten up your weight distribution bars very much since that could torque the rigid Airstream's frame so the slide wouldn't slide properly. He said they have to make Airstreams very rigid, without the flex that SOB's can tolerate. He said he personally used a Titan hitch/receiver with no weight distribution bars because of this.

After considering the extra weight, the extra cost ($5,000?), and the increased potential for problems, I decided that that extra (15 sq ft?) floor space wasn't justifiable for just my wife and me.

John
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by flyfisher
After considering the extra weight, the extra cost ($5,000?), and the increased potential for problems, I decided that that extra (15 sq ft?) floor space wasn't justifiable for just my wife and me.
I, too, came to this same conclusion. And on top of that, I like the non-slide floorplan. It has a great bar and I like the tv closer. Also has row of overhead cabinets that the slide does not have. All this and no weight or relibility issues. Luv it!
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