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Old 11-23-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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1948 22' Liner
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long beach , Mississippi
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Classic motor home buying advice needed

Hi guys..
After messing with pull behind airstreams for a while now, I am looking to purchase a classic motor home before next summer . I'm looking either at a 345 model or the 360 . I personally like the 360's better due to the newer looking front, but pricing is much higher though..

I'm trying right now to gather some info here...
What kind of gas mileage can I expect with either one?
I know diesels are rare, but do they really pull better?
Can I pull a vehicle behind them, and what would be the max towing weight?
Are there any specific years to stay away from ?

Thanks for any advice
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
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My 360 diesel gets a good honest 12 mpg. It's pulls well and been across the highest passes in the Rocky Mountains without a problem. I've run it at 80 but 62 seems to be its sweet spot. Haven't towed a vehicle with it yet but the towing capacity is only 2000 lbs. due to braking capacity I believe. Some day I'll have a light aluminum trailer for a 4 wheeler and 2 kayaks.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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thanks for that info so far.. the 360 diesel unfortunately will be way out of my price range.

the 2000lbs towing capacity sure is a down fall..
I was expecting that if i get a 360 gas or a 345 eitehr one with tag-axle, the towing capacity might be higher ? i also would like to be able to cruise down the interstate with about 70 to 73 constant .. not sure if you can run the classic at that speed .. what are your average rpms on a gas at that speed? mpg at almost 12 is not bad at all though
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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thanks for that info so far.. the 360 diesel unfortunately will be way out of my price range.

the 2000lbs towing capacity sure is a down fall..
I was expecting that if i get a 360 gas or a 345 eitehr one with tag-axle, the towing capacity might be higher ? i also would like to be able to cruise down the interstate with about 70 to 73 constant .. not sure if you can run the classic at that speed .. what are your average rpms on a gas at that speed? mpg at almost 12 is not bad at all though
Having driven a 280 for many years and most recently a 345, both with a 454 gas engine, I can tell you that you will not get more than 8 mpg, less at your desired highway speed. City and mountain driving will drop it to 5 or 6 or less. On newer models with fuel injection it will improve some.
The towing capacity has nothing to do with a Tag axle, only with the rating of the receiver/frame set-up.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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The 360 diesel is built on a Spartan EC 2000, 20,000 GVW chassis. Bone dry empty it tips the scales at 16,000 lbs. Add a couple thousand for fuel, water, and supplies and you have about 2,000 lbs left. Believe that is where the towing capacity was derived from.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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The 360 diesel is built on a Spartan EC 2000, 20,000 GVW chassis. Bone dry empty it tips the scales at 16,000 lbs. Add a couple thousand for fuel, water, and supplies and you have about 2,000 lbs left. Believe that is where the towing capacity was derived from.

Only the tongue weight of what you are towing is added to your GVW, not the weight of the entire towed vehicle/trailer. Otherwise there would hardly be any suitable tow vehicles for Airstream trailers..
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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What models are with the cummins 6bt diesel front diesel? Or we're those conversions?
Are they all with the same tow rating? Thanks so far for all the info
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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Fred's Archives are the place to look for the answer. I found an '89 and a '91 there that look like factory ordered 5.9L Cummins pullers: Airstream Motorhomes For Sale | Photo Archives | RV Classifieds
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