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Old 07-17-2009, 06:02 PM   #1
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1987 airstream 345

New to motorhoming. What car can I tow with this and do I dingy or use a car trailer?
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Welcome to the forums!!!
We flat tow a '95 Geo Tracker(4WD automatic)...you can online access vehicles that can be flat-towed...
The main concerns are weight and braking...weight is a concern with the existant frame and bracing...many folks have gone with added bracing welded to the current structure. Our experience with braking has been that we have to replace brakes more often(do a LOT of mountain driving)...we originally towed a 96 Nissan Maxima, but the braking system failed, the Nissan's brakes locked at 60 mph, and the Nissan became history...in the process, we managed to shed(shred) both front tires and shut down IH35 in both directions outside of Waco due to the ensuing fires created by flaming tires...good news was that the moho was unscathed, but we have opted to not use accesory braking since then. I have seen anything from Jeeps to Morris Minors to VW's towed...Thre's a guy on the forums(KLATTU) who tows a Lincoln, and has actually tag-towed a boat(see recent forums thread for impressive pics)...I would reccomend the structural reinforcement of the tow hitch. Supplemental braking is an option some folks swear by, and others(us) don't...$1200 a year in brake repair/replacement is still a small price to pay for what we get out of our 345 in lifestyle...now if we could just power it with a solar equivalent of the 454...
mike
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thank you. I'm hoping to get it back from the mechanic today. First trip planned is from Phoenix to San Diego later this week. My husband is concerned that it won't make it over the mountain pass to get there. 30 miles uphill. We will not be towing anything yet, but we will need to make a decision soon. We have a 2008 automatic Scion xD, but don't know the best way to tow it as it is not listed as dingy towable according to Motor Home Magazine.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #4
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Lincoln !!!!
It is a Eldorado...CADILLAC !!!

As Scrap says, look at your hitch, is it tied to the frame?
or just bumper?

Look here for a few photos
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...oad-53783.html
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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I will have to look when I get it back.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:22 PM   #6
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As is images

As is images
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:42 PM   #7
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Boy am I mad. Went to pick up the 345 at the mechanic's. They handed me the bill, which was more than the agreed upon price. They didn't check ANY of the items that I listed to them when I delivered it to them 3 weeks ago.

Driver/passenger ac not cold, low coolant light on, hot light on if I go over 45 and have the ac on (it was over 110 degrees today when I drove it home), gas leaked out when I was trying to fill it-so I couldn't put in more than 5 gallons and the low fuel light is on. blinds fell off when I was driving, stairs don't retract when I leave the motor home, bathroom sink door was gone, they were supposed to flush out the sewer system, spare tire is cracked, regular tires are from at least 2002-but look pretty good, lighter in driver door doesn't work, breaks squeak, did not supply exterior cover for sewage tube, did NOT detail inside as offered-not even to vacuum up their mess!, was not washed outside.

Still waiting for quote on repair or replace awning and new privacy curtains all around. Also need to find central vac system and order parts, replace water filtration filter, onan filter and oil, new cup holders as the come out with the cup and are corroded, if there are other lighters-do they work?

What they did do was install my appliances, screw back in some cabinets, replace motor mounts, replace air bags for the chassis, new gas cap, repair one light, replace zerk fitting on lower ball joint, installed an exhaust hanger, LOF and air filter, trans filter and fluid, clean and flush the water heater, new 3" dump valves, new water pump, 1 gallon of antifreeze, v-belt alternator, serpentine belt and bolt water pump.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharptalk View Post

Driver/passenger ac not cold,
low coolant light on,
This is probably the two sensor bolts in the bottle, they just need cleaning.

gas leaked out when I was trying to fill it-so I couldn't put in more than 5 gallons and the low fuel light is on. blinds fell off when I was driving, stairs don't retract when I leave the motor home, bathroom sink door was gone, they were supposed to flush out the sewer system, spare tire is cracked, regular tires are from at least 2002-but look pretty good, lighter in driver door doesn't work,
??? you have a door ?

breaks squeak, did not supply exterior cover for sewage tube, did NOT detail inside as offered-not even to vacuum up their mess!, was not washed outside.

Still waiting for quote on repair or replace awning and new privacy curtains all around. Thats going to hi-dollar

Also need to find central vac system and order parts,
$$$

replace water filtration filter, onan filter and oil,
Your Onan may not run with the low fuel light on.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:13 PM   #9
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
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Sharptalk,
Sorry to hear about your repair problems. We have a 1986 345, and have found that most of the MH repair people in our area are IDIOTS! I have since started doing most of our repair work myself.
We have had our trailer hitch beefed-up from the factory tow limit of 2000# to the now 10,000# limit. I can now tow our 7000# race trailer.
We use our 1976 Porsche 912E as our toad. At less than 2000#, the 345 does not even know it's there. Our fuel consumption is the same with or without the Porsche. I also use the NightShift tow bar. This unit has a surge type brake actuator incorporated into the bar. When I slow the MH, this applies the cars brakes the same amount.
Works great.
Your 345 looks fantastic by the way.
Rob
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:29 PM   #10
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This is probably the two sensor bolts in the bottle, they just need cleaning.
OK, I gave him the info, now lets see if he can figure it out.

??? you have a door ?


breaks squeak
He said it was "normal" for breaks to squeak on a motor home.

Still waiting for quote on repair or replace awning and new privacy curtains all around. Thats going to hi-dollar.
But if they would just get me a price! It's 21 feet long for the awning. Curtains though are a must.

Also need to find central vac system and order parts,
$$$
They couldn't even find it. Said it doesn't exist on an Airstream. I said it came with manuals for it and an alarm system. They also said that they couldn't find ANY water drinking filters. I pointed it out in the closet and reminded them that there is a drinking water tap on the kitchen sink.

replace water filtration filter, onan filter and oil,
Your Onan may not run with the low fuel light on.
True, but with the gas tank leaking, Ican't get it up past a quarter tank to check.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:37 PM   #11
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Rob,

MH repair people in our area are IDIOTS! I have since started doing most of our repair work myself.
I think I've heard that they are mostly idiots

We have had our trailer hitch beefed-up from the factory tow limit of 2000# to the now 10,000# limit. I can now tow our 7000# race trailer.
We use our 1976 Porsche 912E as our toad. At less than 2000#, the 345 does not even know it's there. Our fuel consumption is the same with or without the Porsche. I also use the NightShift tow bar. This unit has a surge type brake actuator incorporated into the bar. When I slow the MH, this applies the cars brakes the same amount.
WOW. I will need to consider that in the future. What did it cost you?

Your 345 looks fantastic by the way.
Thank you! We hope to get many years out of it. I can't wait to get inside of the thing and deck it out with our own linens and stuff.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:41 PM   #12
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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86 345

This is my second year to have my 345 and I realized that all repairs done by a shop always start at a grand. Somewhere somehow the bill is always at least one thousand $. you will learn to do small stuf yourself and you will also learn that with these old machines something is always broken or in need of attention. Thankfully my mechanic seems to be an honest fellow but his bills are always at least one K. Pete
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:58 PM   #13
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Hi Pete,
I think that once all the major stuff is done I can do some of the minor things myself, but not in 115 degree weather.

Our car mechanic is good, but I know they can't work on this.

Karen
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharptalk View Post
Also need to find central vac system and order parts,
$$$
They couldn't even find it. Said it doesn't exist on an Airstream. I said it came with manuals for it and an alarm system....
On our 310 the vacuum motor is under the floor panel of the bathroom vanity. We found it because of the hose outlet port in the hallway wall next to the vanity. If yours is in the same location the floor of the vanity is removable to provide access to the motor.

The hose outlet port should be about 1-3/4" in diameter and have a little flap that covers it. When you lift the flap and stick the hose in the motor starts running.

We managed to scrounge a complete hose assembly, the vacuum hand canister and a spare motor for ours. The filters that go in the hand canister are another problem. Susan is going to end up making some replacement filters since they are no longer available.

Brad
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