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Old 03-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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Corrales Kid's Avatar
1994 36' Classic 36
Corrales , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
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A little info please before buying a Classic...

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

I presently own an excellent GMC Motorhome which we use extensively and we understand many of the issues of an older motorhome. We want more room and have a serious crush on the Classic Airstreams. We've been looking at 345's and 350's.

We have recently found a 1994 360 Classic (haven't seen yet) but are very interested. I realize that some answers may be very subjective, but that's o.k. too.

1. In the eyes of a real Classic person, is the 360 thought of as something of a 'sell out' to the more modern design?

2. Were there any important improvements in this later design?

3. Tires. This coach will need some new tires. It currently has 8R 19.5 12 Ply Dyna Tracs. I realize that there are many opinions on tires. Are these good tires? Comfortable? Handling? Long Lasting? Do you prefer something else?

4. 50 Amp. While this model has 50 amps, I have been told that you can not run both air conditioners at the same time either on the 7kw generator or when using shore power. Living in New Mexico, we can have very hot weather and in our GMC (same genset) we often run both A/C's whether using generator or plugged in. Is this one-at-a-time issue something unique to this coach or can it be changed.

5. Any special issues I should look for?

6. Lastly, any ideas on other coaches currently available, preferably in the Southwest?

Would be happy to talk on the phone if someone would rather chat that way.

Many thanks,

Peter Rachtman
Corrales, NM

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Old 03-10-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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My classic is an 88 and is 30 amp only when connected to shore power. My generator (also 7K) puts out 50 amps and runs both ACs well. Yours should do the same. Mine being 30 amp, (are you sure the 94 is 50 amp on shore power?)it has a selector switch in one of the cabinets. When running on generator power the rear AC is always powered no matter where the selector switch is positioned. Turn the switch to front air and viola, both AC units will run. When plugged into shore power I have to choose to turn the selector switch to either front or rear air. If yours has 50 amp shore power I would say it would run both AC units at once on shore or gen power, if not I think there is a problem with it.

As for tires, I run Bridgestone R187s and think they are great tires. I will replace the current set with more Bridgestones when the time comes. I know nothing about Dyna Tracs. They might be good tires but I've never even heard of them. That's everything I can help with for now. I'm sure others will have more to add.

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Old 03-10-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 526
The fuel injected motor and overdrive transmission on the 94 is a whole new generation of drivetrain from the carburetor and TH400 transmission in our 84. It will run faster on the highway with the motor turning slower than ours, and get better gas mileage.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,374
Images: 1
Personally, I like the later updated look too, and whilst the purist might not agree, I think they got it about right.
It looks smoother and sleeker with the biggest windows, and the updated chassis, and drivetrain is a step in the right direction.
My personal choice if budget was not so much of an issue, would be a diesel pusher model.

I am not familiar with the later models, but as my 84 has a 7kw genset too, it will run both roof A/C units just fine... the 30A service will only run one tho. I see not reason why a 50A should not be capable of running both while plugged in.

I have a pair of Dyna Trac's on the front of mine I had fitted in KS before I drove it 1600 miles home. They ran smooth, tracked straight and felt fine.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #5
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1936 20' Clipper
1947 22' Liner
Curtis Wright
1989 37' Airstream 370
marshfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 695
For whatever it's worth, I'd agree with Keyair on the 360 diesel pusher. That is probably the strongest power train ever put into a Classic moho (and possibly the most fuel efficient). Personally, I don't especially like the look of the pushers with the single rear axle. They appear out of scale to me. There just seems to be too much visual mass riding on too few tires.
There is a thread titled "classic values" in which Dakota gives a pretty good assessment of his 360 pusher.
I go back and forth on the stylistic merits of the 360 versus the 345's and 350's. While the sloped nose is probably a bit better going through the wind, it was really the first step of departure from what most would consider to be the iconic Airstream design. I'd take the nostalgic retro look of the 345/350 models, or the very rare 370's, as my favorites. But to each his own.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
boca raton , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 284
Life after a GMC

Also had a 77 GMC Palmbeach before my 89 345. The GMC was probably the best riding coach produced, but as you know all to well it lacked creature comforts due to space constraints, the worst of which was the rear bed. Have had my 345 for 6+ years now and am still more then pleased with the coach. As the GMC, some parts are not available, but all in all can be fixed. Before the GMC had a 66 24' tradewind TT and got hooked on Airstream and was really happy to back with one. Both AS and GMC are built extreamly well and you will not be diappointed. It does take some time to figure out the AS build as the GMC was more like an auto , but once you become familiar with the AS all seems well again.
Replaced my Michlin tires with Goodyear 670s and were more then impressed with the ride. With inexpensive conversion, both air units will run on 30A shore power with a second lead to a 20A on the pole and both run with the gen.

If you are interested, PM me your phone number and I'm sure I can answer most of you concerns and questions.

Have spent much time in NM and will for sure retun!
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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Currently Looking...
1995 36' Classic 36
Boulder , Colorado
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 489
Images: 5
I talked to Peter today about the Classic 360. His is the the tag axle 454 powered version. I really prefer the looks of the tag and wish my pusher was a tag air ride system. The leaf spring Spartan chassis rides and handles well but I'm still looking into the possibility of converting it and controlling it with a HWH Active Air system. That Active Air System might be a nice upgrade for his potential acquisition.

There are significant weight, efficiency, and tire savings in the single axel design.

I do like the quiet ride up front with Cummins purring 30 feet behind you under a matress. I did get smacked when I pointed out that we were "sleeping" on top a 5.9 litter, turbo charged, intercooled, Cummins diesel truck engine. Guess she never read Easy Rider! ;D

Mine has a 50 amp service and runs both ac units on either the Onan or shore power.

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