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Old 04-13-2004, 10:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Craftsman
no way could you live in even a 34' with out slide outs. He says for actually living in the trailer as apposed to just traveling once in awhile, it's just to small.
It is true that the Fivers have tremendous open space with the huge massive slides that make for nice living spaces. But they are just white boxes with space. Join the A/S club!

I met a couple who are fulltiming in a 30' Classic, like mine, and they LOVE IT. They downsized from a big house. I plan to live in mine. Also there are many, many fulltimers in 34' Classics. Porky just moved out of his house and into a 34'. How's it so far Porky?
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:22 AM   #30
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Everyone has their own tolerances. I think my wife would climb the walls if given enough time. There are others who full time out of 25' units. I don't think anyone can tell you for sure. I think we will always have some type of home base (a place for stuff), even as the travel time goes up when retirement comes.

An RV is a depreciating asset unlike a home or condo. When the time comes to hang up the keys, I would hope I'd have something to go home to.

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Old 04-13-2004, 03:30 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Craftsman
Hi everyone,
I'm somewhat new to the forum and have some questions concerning living in a 30'/34' Airstream fulltime. My wife and I have been downsizing for the past couple of years, just as a way to simplify our lives a bit. We've both always loved quality and the looks of the Airstreams, and thought that this may be the solution to a house and all the work and tools that go with owning one. Tomorrow we are driving to the Delaware Airstream dealer to look at a34" with dinette slide out. What I would like to know is; isthere anyone on this forum that is actually living in their Airstream and how it is working out? I spoke with my brother today , who has recently bought a 34' fifth wheeler and move to Florida. I ran the idea by him and his response was that no way could you live in even a 34' with out slide outs. He says for actually living in the trailer as apposed to just traveling once in awhile, it's just to small. Any feedback from forum members on this topic would be of great help.
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Jack -

A year or more ago, I talked to Gary Behler, a salesman at that deaerlship. If my memory is corect, Gary told me he lived in a 34' Airstream. Gary seemed like a very nice fellow, and you may want to talk with him about it if he is still there.

By the way, we found that dealership's prices were considerably higher than elsewhere.

John
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Old 04-13-2004, 04:10 PM   #32
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Thanks for the responses. Flyfisher. I actually spoke with John when I called the Delaware dealer, and he told me that when he moved to Delaware they opted to live in the Airstream after looking at realestate prices. Tomorrow is the day we're visiting the dealer and that just happens to be his day off. I'm certainly not commiting to buying there and when considering spending that much, I'll be looking for a good price. What % can I expect to realistically pay off the sticker or Airstreams retail price? This is a seriously major purchase and lifestyle change should we deside to go for it and I don't want to leave any stone unturned.
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Old 04-13-2004, 04:40 PM   #33
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We have stayed in our 34' for two months at a time without any problems. We are heading out on the 15th of April and don't plan on being back until mid late June. You learn how to get around. Which ever one is up has to wait on the other, you don't try to pass each other in the passage ways. I hooked up a set of headphones to the tv. Sometimes my wife doesn't sleep well and watching tv helps. With the headset on it doesn't bother me.
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Old 04-13-2004, 05:11 PM   #34
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Rule of thumb on discounts is 25% off list or less, dependent upon the popularity of the specific unit, dealer overhead, and other factors. Some highly discounted sales are offset by lack of training to you the new buyer, less service, etc. I'm a big service after the sale proponent.

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Old 04-13-2004, 09:00 PM   #35
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Craftsman,
Two years ago, we were looking for a 34. We called all over the east and "found" one that was 2 model years old but was new and had never been titled. The dealer was anxious to move it. They discounted it a little over 35 per cent and gave us NADA low retail for our 98 31'. I live in NC and bought from a dealer in Florida. They even delivered it to our home for a nominal fee but there were no quick visits to the selling dealer for warranty. I made about a dozen small repairs myself (loose screws, improperly wired outlet, and etc.) There is an Airstream dealer about 100 miles from here that I could have used for warranty if absolutely necessary. If you are shopping for price go to Airstream.com and get a list of dealers and start calling. (For what its worth, at the time the Delaware dealer was way high price wise.)

As to living in the 34, I'm not sure. Like some of the other posters we've met people who live in their Airstreams and love it. We also know a bunch of people who "winter" in them for months at a time and love it. Airstreams tow better than anything on the road. So if you plan to do a lot taveling, the Airstream may be the ticket but if you're gonna spend most of your time stationary then the big 5th wheels with huge closets, lots of storage, and washer/dryers are really nice. Sounds like your doing your homework and I know you'll be happy with your decision.

Lots of luck!

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Old 04-13-2004, 10:28 PM   #36
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Keep in mind that many who've full-timed in Airstreams grew up during the Depression, and raised families in MUCH smaller houses than we have today. Many full-timers today drag around the equivalent of the early mobile homes with medium-duty trucks, and feel that if you don't have 3,000-4,000 lbs of cargo capacity, you just can't full-time. As others have said, it really depends on how attached to "stuff" you are, or whether you can adopt a more minimalist lifestyle.

We bought our 34 intending to full-time in it, but it's taking us a little longer to get started than we expected. The 34 is definitely the way to go, since you don't have to sacrifice anything to get the dinette and it's located directly across from the galley, where it can be used for additional counterspace.

The 1996 or later widebody 34s have several advantages. One is that two people, even widebodies , can pass each other in the galley area. The second is more room in the dressing area and bathroom, and the third is a queen sized bed. There's a big open floor area in the living room, and with the extra width, we don't feel the need for a slide-out.

The slide-out gets you no additional wall space for more cabinetry or storage, just additional floorspace. The price is a much heavier trailer, and especially on the 34, a huge tongue weight. I personally prefer the depth of space feeling, and the nice viewing angle of a TV on the credenza, with the couch across the front of the trailer.

Thinking small and light makes it possible. The big Kitchen-Aid mixer was replaced by a hand mixer. The giant crock pot was replaced by a 3.5qt. A 4-cup Mr Coffee replaced the 10-cup. Dinnerware and flatware for 4 replaced the same for 12. A small two-slice bagel toaster fits with all the new smaller appliances in the appliance garage. Oh yeah...a hand-operated can opener replaced the electric one. The big iron and ironing board were replaced by a Sunbean folding travel iron tucked away in one of the linen closet drawers.

Everything we need to cook is stored in the gas oven, thanks in part to a nesting pots and pans set from Camping World, which sits in a cast iron frying pan, on an AirBake cookie sheet, on a perforated pizza pan, on the oven rack. Below the rack is a pizza stone, and in the broiler are two cake pans, a pie pan and a pie crust saver. Rather than a month or more of stored food, shop weekly, and pick up incidentals mid-week. Plan meals a little better.

One arm of the couch contains a sewing machine and notions, while the other contains computer-related stuff. The small writing table will support both a notebook PC and a sometimes battery operated, tiny Canon i70 inkjet printer, and the large double fold-out table is a sewing/projects table when necessary.

Rather than bring the whole CD collection, we're ripping it into MP3 files which will fit about 10 albums on one CD-R. Some use an iPod instead.

I could go on, but you get the idea. There are MANY nooks and crannies throughout the storage to fit a little here, a little there.

Store heavy things like books, canned goods, bulk goods like flour and suger, tools, etc down low. Store light things like down jackets, linens, cereals, paper products, etc up high. Your trailer will handle much better on the road. And take things, like cereal and pasta, out of space-consuming boxes, and turn them into things that can be formed to fit in the curved back overhead cabinets.

Some full-timing Airstreamers use a truck bed with cap, or back of a Suburban or van to store off-season clothing, and other seldomly used things.

Full-timing in an Airstream is certainly doable, but it does take creativity and planning. We've gotten a lot of ideas from older folks, who've been Airstreaming many years, in the WBCCI.
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Old 04-14-2004, 12:17 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKingMoe
The slide-out gets you no additional wall space for more cabinetry or storage, just additional floorspace. The price is a much heavier trailer, and especially on the 34, a huge tongue weight. I personally prefer the depth of space feeling, and the nice viewing angle of a TV on the credenza, with the couch across the front of the trailer.
Maurice- I found this to be true also on the 30' Classic vs. 30' Classic Slide. The non-slide model actually gains a three overhead cabinets. And having the tv on the credenza (non-slide) is better than over the microwave (slide). Plus the non-slide credenza has a bar which I like. plus the discussed tongue weight issues, off balanced load issues, mechanical breakdown issues and I went with the non-slide. I am sure the "sliders" will be defending the slide with passion and it is nice to have the space. It is nice to have the choice.
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:49 AM   #38
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Thanks everyone for all the imput. I'll let you know how it goes on Saturday. We're going to spend a few days at Bethany Beach Delaware after visiting the Airstream dealer. I too lean toward the non-slide out Classic. I just like the layout better with the sofa in the front and the dinette across from the kitchen. Plus there is that extra weight as well as cost. I think it's just personal preference when it comes right down to it.
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Old 04-16-2004, 10:51 AM   #39
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Thumbs up 2004 Airstream Classic Quality/Liveabilty

Just returned from the Delaware Airstream dealer where we had a chance to look at at 30' Classic (non slide out). Wanted to see the 34' but none in stock. Being a cabinetmaker, I'm pretty critical about detail fit and finish. Well given the fact that Airstreams are somewhat of a semi-production product, (granted with a lot of hand work involved), I was pretty impressed. In the time we had to look over the interior, I really didn't discover any flaws in workmanship. Every thing seemed to fit together extreamly well. I don't think the layout could be improved upon given the space the designers had to work with. All the living spaces and storage seem to be well thought out and the result of evolution building these interiors. The cabinet work was as high quality as could be expected without custom building them. As for living in one full time, we would need the extra four feet of space that the 34' offers.I prefer the layout of the 34" Classic to the 30'. The dinette in the 34 is on the curb side and has one fixed and one opening window with the fixed oval below it. I called Airstream about having two opening widows with the ovals below them put in above the dinette. (which I think I would do). They said that the reason that they put the fixed window in to the right of the door is because in the fully opened position the door opens against this window. I like the look of two widows that open and look the same. Just have to make extra certain that it 's closed if the door is opened all the way.
The salesman was very nice and there was no pressure. The next step is to visit the factory. The 30' unit that we saw and the floor plans in the brochure show sheet goods from the entrance through the galley but the photos in the brochure picture carpeting through out. Does anyone have the carpeting? All in all,a high quality product. Very impressed.
Jack
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:17 PM   #40
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Jack -

I'm glad you were impressed with the quality of the unit you saw. My new 30' Classic Ltd is supposed to be coming off the assembly line next week.

Quite frankly, I never saw an Airstream with quality built cabinets. Most of the ones I've seen in the past looked like they cut the 45 degree angles for the corners freehand, and most had big gaps in them. In fact, that was one of my biggest concerns. I hope mine is as nice as the one you just looked at.

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Old 04-16-2004, 01:27 PM   #41
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The quality of the cabinets are about what you would find at Home depot or Lowes. Most of the work is in the face and frames. At least they are not made with wood grained contact paper on a cheap core, which is actually what some of the earlier ones seem to have installed. To do an up-grade set of cabinet work, and this includes bed frames , drawers and anything else in the coach made of wood ,would add substantially to the final cost. To be honest, I'm already thinking about building customs replacements. I would probably live with what it comes with for a few years before I considered replacing them. I don't know if it's O.K. to mention this ( if not the moderator is free to delete it) but I will be offering custom woodwork in the new magazine Airstream Life. Also has anyone had any problems with the wall coverings coming lose over time? Is it just glued on? John, I think your really going to like your new 30'. It really is better than anything out there:except if you did have it custom built, and then thats only as good as your builder.
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:28 PM   #42
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Quite frankly, I never saw an Airstream with quality built cabinets. Most of the ones I've seen in the past looked like they cut the 45 degree angles for the corners freehand, and most had big gaps in them.
Well, you haven't seen my cabinets. It's what really sets the Classic apart from the Safari. My cabinets have NO gaps whatsoever and look fantastic to me. I would be willing to bet that you will be impressed with your cabinets when your unit arrives!

I am still amazed by my unit's quality, now after eight weeks of use.
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