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Old 08-11-2011, 05:49 PM   #295
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Maybe its just me....
Yesterday morning, at the request of our Guests, I took them down to show them my Airstream.
They liked it... even if they said... "Its gonna be sweet when its done!"
After that we were out on a cruise around and I suggested we went down to the local RV dealerships, that are clustered together at a place called "Travel Land", just off I5.
We spent a couple of hours looking at a bunch of them, from Campers to mega Motorhomes...
Now, I just wanted to share my thoughts/overview...

Campers, trailers... caravans, as they call them where I come from...
Nice, cheap way to camp... but towing one is a pain... You are stuck in your truck, cant use the ameneties until you stop. Been there done that..
Class C's Great Value for money.. if you can say that about a $50 to 90k Snail Shell, Tacked on a Van Cab... One we looked at was 31' and slept 10, but they left me feeling underwhelmed, and sitting in the drivers seat was no sense of occasion, nor did I feel like driving 300 miles.
Then we looked at new Class A's.
This was more like it. A sense of space, and class. Being up high, and being part of the traveling experience, rather than the "Below the Hatch, Tank Driver" feel of the Class C. Inside, amazing space, nice fixtures and fittings, and it felt classy, and well built for the $70k to $100k.
What spoiled it was the drivers view... a grafted in plastic steering wheel and Instrument pack from a van... Come on people... not even a leather trimmed wheel from a SUV?
Outside, nice paint and graffics, and good storage... but some of them were downright UGLY... a brace of piggy eyed projector headlamps in a bland front end.... Ughhh.
Of course, when we started to look at the Beaver and Holiday Ramblers, I was bowled over with the sheer sense of Class and Luxury... but for $600k... you SHOULD be!
Stunning, huge x spacious, and amazing inside and out...
But $600k.... I would be freaked out at every rock chip, dirty paw print or leaving it anywhere...

I know I am a little odd, but waking this morning and thinking about it... something struck me..
We looked at maybe 2 or 3 MILLION Dollars worth of RV's...
The sub 100k units were practical, and got the job done, but had no Charisma... as soon as you stepped out, they were as memorable as a Supermarket... In other words, you kinda remembered what was where, but little else.

I stood this morning, at my storage, and looked at my scruffy old Airstream 345, and here is how I felt...
Its long and thin, so has less space, an old chassis, engine, transmission, and is nowhere near as grand in so many ways....
Yet, it OOOZES Class, and is different, and timeless.

For less money than you loose driving one of the new $100k units off the lot, I will have something fun, usable, and practical.
I am not an attention seeker, yet its nice that people actually look at and NOTICE as you drive by!
Today, I am feeling vindicated, no matter how old or unreliable they are...

Now, where is my Toolkit.... I got stuff to fix!
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:43 PM   #296
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair
Maybe its just me....
Yesterday morning, at the request of our Guests, I took them down to show them my Airstream.
They liked it... even if they said... "Its gonna be sweet when its done!"
After that we were out on a cruise around and I suggested we went down to the local RV dealerships, that are clustered together at a place called "Travel Land", just off I5.
We spent a couple of hours looking at a bunch of them, from Campers to mega Motorhomes...
Now, I just wanted to share my thoughts/overview...

Campers, trailers... caravans, as they call them where I come from...
Nice, cheap way to camp... but towing one is a pain... You are stuck in your truck, cant use the ameneties until you stop. Been there done that..
Class C's Great Value for money.. if you can say that about a $50 to 90k Snail Shell, Tacked on a Van Cab... One we looked at was 31' and slept 10, but they left me feeling underwhelmed, and sitting in the drivers seat was no sense of occasion, nor did I feel like driving 300 miles.
Then we looked at new Class A's.
This was more like it. A sense of space, and class. Being up high, and being part of the traveling experience, rather than the "Below the Hatch, Tank Driver" feel of the Class C. Inside, amazing space, nice fixtures and fittings, and it felt classy, and well built for the $70k to $100k.
What spoiled it was the drivers view... a grafted in plastic steering wheel and Instrument pack from a van... Come on people... not even a leather trimmed wheel from a SUV?
Outside, nice paint and graffics, and good storage... but some of them were downright UGLY... a brace of piggy eyed projector headlamps in a bland front end.... Ughhh.
Of course, when we started to look at the Beaver and Holiday Ramblers, I was bowled over with the sheer sense of Class and Luxury... but for $600k... you SHOULD be!
Stunning, huge x spacious, and amazing inside and out...
But $600k.... I would be freaked out at every rock chip, dirty paw print or leaving it anywhere...

I know I am a little odd, but waking this morning and thinking about it... something struck me..
We looked at maybe 2 or 3 MILLION Dollars worth of RV's...
The sub 100k units were practical, and got the job done, but had no Charisma... as soon as you stepped out, they were as memorable as a Supermarket... In other words, you kinda remembered what was where, but little else.

I stood this morning, at my storage, and looked at my scruffy old Airstream 345, and here is how I felt...
Its long and thin, so has less space, an old chassis, engine, transmission, and is nowhere near as grand in so many ways....
Yet, it OOOZES Class, and is different, and timeless.

For less money than you loose driving one of the new $100k units off the lot, I will have something fun, usable, and practical.
I am not an attention seeker, yet its nice that people actually look at and NOTICE as you drive by!
Today, I am feeling vindicated, no matter how old or unreliable they are...

Now, where is my Toolkit.... I got stuff to fix!
About a year ago, I was up in the Redding Calif area where I'm an owner in some recreation property. I keep the Motorhome up there full time. I was outside one day I think sealing up a leak in the windshield between rain and snow storms. One of the few very affluent owners came walking by with his dog. This owner is probably the only one there with a $250k Motorhome. We all gawk with jealousy when he pulls in. He never stays long, just seems to use the property as a way point on his travels.

He stopped as he walked by and we began to chat. I mentioned the he has a beautiful rig over there. He then said, with a big smile on his face "looks like your the one with all the nice toys". He was referring to my Airstream and my Polaris RZRs ATV. We then talked for awhile about the Airstream and the ATV too of course. He was really excited about the Airstream and thought it was very cool.

Now here is a well to do guy with a beautiful $250k rig yet he was admiring the Airstream Motorhome! Wow, that made me feel pretty proud to have my Dad's motorhome and keep the tradition going.

Later on, I was chatting with another owner that knows this guy. He told me all about the troubles this guy has had with his very expensive rig. He passed through about a month earlier. On the way in, a hydraulic hose on the engine broke and well made quite a mess to say the least. He also had trouble getting one on the four slide outs to come out. When he was leaving the next day, he couldn't get one of the awnings (one over every window on the rig) to retract. He has also had plumbing issues.

Well goes to show that us Airstreamer's are not the only ones with cool rigs that have to spend lots of money on to keep them going!
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:08 PM   #297
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1972 Argosy 24
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2006
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And when camping.. how many of those $600k MHs, park rangers, fellow campers come over to talk about your 345 ?

We get ohhhs and ahhhs from them, offers of drinks and food, and many questions... makes it all entertaining.

Even when pulling in, you can notice how many together in groups will all turn and watch in silence as you pass by looking for your site.

We have lots less than $30k in our 345, but we feel like its millions.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:10 PM   #298
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,430
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Well, I know we are bias a little, but you have to remind yourself what a Classic cost when they were new... and then convert that into todays $$....
I am sure we ARE up there in the several hundred thousand mark..
Bottom line is that our Classics are still admired, and noticed!
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:54 PM   #299
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
I spend most of my time on the front porch of my home without wheels...my rig is right there in front of me, and Kendall Mountain frames the back of it...most of the tourist traffic never notices me, as they are looking at the rig...many notice me after the fact, and come back to inquire...pride is obvious in my replies...yeah, it's cosmetically challenged, but so am I...yesterday I had a fellow ask me how many were still out there...I guestimated 200-300...just a gut feeling from watching the forums...
Our original sales form shows that our rig cost $157,000 in 1989...WOW!!! nope, no slide outs, not as much storage as our previous 1968 Overlander, and a lot of working parts just waiting to fail...BUT, pull into a local Camping World or any other large RV repair place and note how many new big $s rigs are there getting their repairs...one slide out failure in a park, and yer dead in the water...I'll turn sideways walking down the hall any day...Wallyworlds, truck stops, rest areas, casinos, and any other available flat places are homing projects...Always have folks coming up to me asking about it...have had impromptu potlucks and even music fests while parked...We are so lucky...ok, someone pull this soap box...m
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #300
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,430
Images: 1
Well, its been a busy time with my sister here... Disney, Universal Studios, Beach, and Wine Tasting in Temecula!
They leave today... and the emotions are mixed... having a 7 and 3 year old girls in the house was.... Mmm... "Entertaining"
The really good bit is that after much deliberation and a week of talking to Attorneys and looking at things, they have decided to come live in California too!

A little gem happened last week... for some odd reason, DMV decided to send me my new California Title for the Airstream!!!!!
I think that is odd, because they have not verified the VIN yet, which is why they would not give it to me in the first place!
Maybe they will ask me to do that when I get the Tags when it passes smog...
Anyway... I am pleased to have it in my hand!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:46 PM   #301
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,645
Images: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Maybe its just me....
Yesterday morning, at the request of our Guests, I took them down to show them my Airstream.
They liked it... even if they said... "Its gonna be sweet when its done!"
After that we were out on a cruise around and I suggested we went down to the local RV dealerships, that are clustered together at a place called "Travel Land", just off I5.
We spent a couple of hours looking at a bunch of them, from Campers to mega Motorhomes...
Now, I just wanted to share my thoughts/overview...

Campers, trailers... caravans, as they call them where I come from...
Nice, cheap way to camp... but towing one is a pain... You are stuck in your truck, cant use the ameneties until you stop. Been there done that..
Class C's Great Value for money.. if you can say that about a $50 to 90k Snail Shell, Tacked on a Van Cab... One we looked at was 31' and slept 10, but they left me feeling underwhelmed, and sitting in the drivers seat was no sense of occasion, nor did I feel like driving 300 miles.
Then we looked at new Class A's.
This was more like it. A sense of space, and class. Being up high, and being part of the traveling experience, rather than the "Below the Hatch, Tank Driver" feel of the Class C. Inside, amazing space, nice fixtures and fittings, and it felt classy, and well built for the $70k to $100k.
What spoiled it was the drivers view... a grafted in plastic steering wheel and Instrument pack from a van... Come on people... not even a leather trimmed wheel from a SUV?
Outside, nice paint and graffics, and good storage... but some of them were downright UGLY... a brace of piggy eyed projector headlamps in a bland front end.... Ughhh.
Of course, when we started to look at the Beaver and Holiday Ramblers, I was bowled over with the sheer sense of Class and Luxury... but for $600k... you SHOULD be!
Stunning, huge x spacious, and amazing inside and out...
But $600k.... I would be freaked out at every rock chip, dirty paw print or leaving it anywhere...

I know I am a little odd, but waking this morning and thinking about it... something struck me..
We looked at maybe 2 or 3 MILLION Dollars worth of RV's...
The sub 100k units were practical, and got the job done, but had no Charisma... as soon as you stepped out, they were as memorable as a Supermarket... In other words, you kinda remembered what was where, but little else.

I stood this morning, at my storage, and looked at my scruffy old Airstream 345, and here is how I felt...
Its long and thin, so has less space, an old chassis, engine, transmission, and is nowhere near as grand in so many ways....
Yet, it OOOZES Class, and is different, and timeless.

For less money than you loose driving one of the new $100k units off the lot, I will have something fun, usable, and practical.
I am not an attention seeker, yet its nice that people actually look at and NOTICE as you drive by!
Today, I am feeling vindicated, no matter how old or unreliable they are...

Now, where is my Toolkit.... I got stuff to fix!

An Airstream has always made me stop and 'stare', no matter where I am or where it's parked. I guess I've always had 'aluminum fever'? Can hardly wait for the title transfer to take place next week. Will be a huge struggle not to drive this beast everywhere (I actually have enough room in my yard to store the Airstream) I've warned the folks at work, to be on the lookout for the silver beast on Saturdays! I'm gonna have cold beer in the fridge and will crank up the generator and A/C's for my short (1 mile) ride home.....
Already planning my first camping excursion, hoping the Florida heat will subside soon after October ends and I have a 3 day weekend.
But, back to your topic, many, many trips to the Tampa RV SuperShow, and I feel the same as you do about the Airstreams. The local dealer is ALWAYS set up as you first walk in. I will walk through many RV's (trailers and motorhomes) all day long, and as I'm walking out, will have to make one last pass through the Airstreams. The quality of an Airstream SCREAMS after going through the other makes and models. I can live without the slides and HUGE storage areas. Make mine an AIRSTREAM please.....
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #302
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
slaughters , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13
I could not agree more! My 1984 345 (THE BEAST) has class that these new RVs just do not have. If you have tools, desire, some knowledge, and are willing, it is a tinker man's dream.

Joe Gooch
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #303
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Yup, and now they are all 20 plus years old, there is more to do, on the best of them!

I will be starting this week, and priority #1 is the Genset...
Watch this space.....
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:28 PM   #304
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
Key,
Keep us posted...I need to replace the insulation around the generator, but don't have a clue...m
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #305
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Images: 1
Yes, I will be posting a full story on what I am doing and using.
I have a hand held sound meter, that will tell me the Db, so I hope I will be able to post some before and after readings!
My plan so far:
1/ Cut off the T piece with the drain plug, with my sawzall, because it is fouling the Engine mount, preventing me from unscrewing the pipe from the crankcase. That is where they leak.
2/ Replace and rework the Pipe, using PTFE sealant tape and move the drain T.
3/ Place the drain T piece on the end of the pipe, so that oil can be drained from the side of the genset when you remove the Airstream side Panel. I plan to use the Levelers to tilt the chassis to aid a full drain. I think this will be cleaner and easier.
4/ Replace the oil, and filters, replace the genset cooling shields and Airstream side panel, and take various sound readings, inside and out.
5/ Remove the genset, service, and do a compression/leakdown test, clean it, and the compartment, of oil, grime and old soundproofing.
6/ Replace, and improve the soundproofing, put the genset on slides, replace any wires or pipework allowing extra length.
7/ Add soundproofing to the Airstream door and sidepanel, and polish/repaint.
8/ Improve the compartment lighting, and assess cooling while parked, and add fans if needed. Test noise levels, and see how it worked!

That should keep me busy for a week of two!
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:31 PM   #306
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Gen repair...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Yes, I will be posting a full story on what I am doing and using.
I have a hand held sound meter, that will tell me the Db, so I hope I will be able to post some before and after readings!
My plan so far:
1/ Cut off the T piece with the drain plug, with my sawzall, because it is fouling the Engine mount, preventing me from unscrewing the pipe from the crankcase. That is where they leak.
2/ Replace and rework the Pipe, using PTFE sealant tape and move the drain T.
3/ Place the drain T piece on the end of the pipe, so that oil can be drained from the side of the genset when you remove the Airstream side Panel. I plan to use the Levelers to tilt the chassis to aid a full drain. I think this will be cleaner and easier.
4/ Replace the oil, and filters, replace the genset cooling shields and Airstream side panel, and take various sound readings, inside and out.
5/ Remove the genset, service, and do a compression/leakdown test, clean it, and the compartment, of oil, grime and old soundproofing.
6/ Replace, and improve the soundproofing, put the genset on slides, replace any wires or pipework allowing extra length.
7/ Add soundproofing to the Airstream door and sidepanel, and polish/repaint.
8/ Improve the compartment lighting, and assess cooling while parked, and add fans if needed. Test noise levels, and see how it worked!

That should keep me busy for a week of two!
Thanks Key...I will anxiously watch for your reapairs
...m
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #307
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Well here we go!
Managed to make some progress before the heat and sun got the better of me...
Here is a pic of how it was..
On the Kohler 7000, the Oil dipstick and filler tube is a mish-mash of 3/4" Iron piping threaded into the crank case... They come loose, and leak oil.. I am not the only one with this problem


I used the sawzall to cut the elbow off, hoping that I could unscrew the pipe...
This is how I left it..


Here you can see the problem...
The T piece that houses the oil drain plug fouls the engine mount...
Yes, mine is SO loose, I can turn it easily... its flopping about!



First I cut off the flange....


But still it was hitting!


Then I got butal with it...
Using my "Extra-long blade", I cut it across the only spot I had space to reach, holding it still with my wrench handle!
One of those jobs you need 3 hands to do!


Finally, I removed enough to completely unscrew it.... ITS OUT!


Here is the hole the pipe screws into... threads look ok, it will just need a good wrap of pipe tape.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:03 PM   #308
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,430
Images: 1
I need to move that wire in the last photo too!
Here is how messy the whole floor of the compartment is...
A nice mixture of oil, grit and crumbled sound proofing!


This side needs some TLC too...


I put the new oil filter on, and put the engine cover back in place for now..


As I replaced the Airfilter I noticed that the engine breathes through a hole in the lower left side of the Airfilter housing...



This means that its inhaling hot air... I think I will add some trunking to the hole, and attach it to the forward door vent to allow it to take cooler outside air.
This might also make it quieter..
Also removed the exhaust to bring home to degrease and paint

I was overheated, and decided to stop and do some other stuff, on the shaded side of the M/H!
Moving on, I removed the storage drawer behind the entrance door, and brought it home to work on in the garage, where its cooler!
The ABS top is leaking, the lock is missing the finger latch, and the bottom of the drawer is a mass of surface rust...
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