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Old 11-08-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 955
Heading out to buy a 345, need purchase checklist!

Hi All, well my big day is coming soon, I'm flying from Hawaii to Fla. in a few days to check out and hopefully purchase a nice 345. For sell by member here Raveson.

I have been studying here for the last couple years to get up to speed, but am completely new to RVs. And to airstream motorhomes. So something of a challenge to go there and clearly ascertain the condition and possible weakness of this large complex unit.

I have been searching the archives here but have not found a. COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLIST FOR PRE PURCHASE INSPECTION. Can someone send me such a list or a link to one here?
I want to be prepared to go over the coach and systems carefully, and would like to know of any components or parts of the unit to focus on particularly closely.
I have spoken with the seller. Richard Raveson. Who some of you here know.
Any observations about this coach?
And have researched his posts here. He seems the prefect sort of owner to follow in role of user and caretaker of a nice airstream motorhome. A meticulous, hands on,active user. With an eye towards careful maintaince .

Any help or links will be appreciated, as I want to show up prepared to evaluate and step into ownership in an informed and painless process.

Thanks for any help!
Cheers Richard
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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La Ronge , Saskatchewan
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I googled it

https://www.google.com/search?noj=1&...w=1366&bih=668

..... seems like there's a shipload of them out there, some in printable form.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 955
Thanks for sending those links Punch. Lot there to work with.

I was really hoping to find a list here focused more on airstreams in particular.
And specifically 454 powered 345s. As I can see that there many owners of this model that are quite experienced with units and active here on the forum.

So I'm hoping to tap into the knowledge to find the details on this model to pay close attention to as I go through it on first inspection.

Things like steering bell ranks, sources of leaks, electric power converter, etc.
Known areas And parts that are frequent problem issues in these units.

Thanks again for any help

Cheers Richard

Ps mahalo Wxbuoy, I'll give you a call in the morning.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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I can appreciate you'd want something more directly related to the 345. But basically it is a P32 van chassis, probably still the most common chassis ever used on larger motor homes,and the generic checklists look very useful to me..... should have printed some out before buying mine!

Personally, if I bought again, I'd be looking for:
1. Any signs of chronic ingress of water into the interior (excluding condensation, which will always be present, especially on those big windshields).
2. Look along the waistline of the vehicle from front to back, to see if there is any dip after the tag axle.... that would be an immediate game ender for me, but some people do tow way too heavy, like 4000lb Jeeps for instance. AS's own recommendation is 2000lbs max (although towing on all 4 no doubt 26/2800lbs should be fine, it's the tongue weight that is most critical).
3. Rear air bags should inflate and stay up..... switch everything off after the test drive and look at those cones to see if the bags are dropping.... look between the tag tire and the duallys on each side to see. Poor air suspension is a likely sign of poor ownership.
4. Check to see the condition of the basement pullout drawers.... they should be all sound and move smoothly on their runners. Rotten drawers are likely an indication of a neglected vehicle with a lot more rot to find.
5. Look behind the front access panel between the headlights at the wiring, see if it's been chopped about a lot as problems have been chased.
6. Look for a relatively clean and leak free engine and transmission.

All of these to me are indicators of good or bad ownership, and that is the main thing you are looking for. Almost everyone claims, and even believes, themselves to be outstanding owners. Reality is often different.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2013
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That's some good tips there Punch! I'll add some of those to my list.
I do think you are right about the others lists being relevant to this unit.

Thanks Richard
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
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I have only just looked at the 345 you are going to see..... wish I could have found one like that myself. Apart from the obvious excellent condition of the MH, you have 2 very desirable additions: TBI and a Gear Vendors overdrive. Those alone are worth $6000 plus. Looks like the seats have all been replaced too. On balance it looks like a bargain at the price.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:01 AM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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I'll put this out there for all to see. I know this Airstream Classic, and it's a sweet-heart deal! Raveson has kept this motorhome in top-notch shape from day one. Let's face it, he just took it from Florida to Oregon and back for an over 6k trip!

If you take the plunge on this Airstream, you'll have many great adventures ahead.

Derek
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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A big MAHALO goes out to Derek and all here who have responded to my questions. It is great to have knowledgable confirmation for a newbie in making this big step!

The big adventure starts tomorrow with a red eye flight heading to Fla.and if all goes well I may be on my way for the first adventure by the end of the week.

Raveson, the seller is making the process seemless, offering to pick me up at the airport and let me stay in the coach for the checkout period, plus making himself available for a complete introduction to the motorhome. Fantastic aloha there!

The first leg of the journey will be a short run up to Melbourne Fla to reconnect with old sailing friends from years ago from here in the islands. Lots of help there with trip preparation and planning. Including the offer of the use of a well restored Citroin 2CV that one of the guys has had for decades. This seems to me the perfect complement to the new land yacht (I am a Retired sailor myself)
Vintage,rare, and a bit quirkie.

So with a few days there to stock up the tool chest and the pantry, My brother
( proud owner of a 30' airstream modern classic trailer). The guy who planted the airstream seed in me a couple years ago, will be joining me for a cruise up tp New Orleans area for the Thanksgiving holidays with family.

Then well fed and hopefully thoroughly acquainted with the new ride, I'll be heading solo out the long road west to northern Arizona where I'll be keeping the coach at my sister's place near Prescott. With easy access to the many wonders of that amazing area of the south west part of the country.

So, there we have it, the adventure begins, and I am so excited, and very pleased to be joining this cool supportive community of airstream lovers and caretakers.

Thanks again for the welcome and support. From helpful input here to the aloha and offers of hospitality and help along the way ( thanks Dave and Richard) I do feel like I am off to a great start of a big adventure.

Cheers Richard

PS. I still can't decide wheather to take I 20, or I 40 to cross Texas?
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:47 AM   #9
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Keep us all posted on your travels and route and put up some pics of your adventure!! All of us are just a post, txt or phone call away if you need anything.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tevake View Post
...

Then well fed and hopefully thoroughly acquainted with the new ride, I'll be heading solo out the long road west to northern Arizona where I'll be keeping the coach at my sister's place near Prescott. With easy access to the many wonders of that amazing area of the south west part of the country.......

PS. I still can't decide wheather to take I 20, or I 40 to cross Texas?
Richard,
Congratulations on your new Classic!!
Being south in New Orleans already, you could also take the I-10 route to cross Texas, just time your crossing of the Houston Area to not hit the rush hour.
If you do this trip before Dec 3rd (I am flying to Maui on dec 4th), I would like to invite you to stop in Austin, Texas. I can offer you plug in for a couple of nights and full mechanical and moral support for your journey ahead. I know every inch of these Motorhomes and spent many years having dirt fall in my eyes. It would be a small detour off your main route, but since they build a toll road off I-10 that drops you off 2 miles from my house, it would be an easy stop. From Austin, you could continue your journey via the Texas Hill Country back to I-10. This is a very pleasant, little known scenic part of Texas.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:53 PM   #11
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Richard, won't overload you at the moment, but thinking I've got a few shots of your 'new' Airstream at the Airstream Rally in Sarasota from a couple of years ago. Beautiful morning shot, quite a bit of fog in the area when taken. I'll see if I can't locate and post here.
Enjoy your Airstream!

Derek
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:02 PM   #12
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What I could find








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Old 11-17-2013, 06:51 AM   #13
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Aloha Peter, I really appreciate the kind offer of hospitality and support!
And as I am a big F 1 racing fan would like to cruise thru Austin to reconnoiter for future visits for the race.

So far keeping a schedule is challenging, so not sure if our timing will work out. I think after Thanksgiving the timing will become clearer, then I will touch in with you to coordinate

The seller and I are waiting thru the weekend for funds to arrive at his bank. Which has allowed more time for me to learn the systems and details of the coach. Take care of somei issues that cropped up in the inspection.
Oh and share a beer or two! :-)

Richard, his wife and I have really hit it off well and are enjoying the time we are sharing.
Will likely reconnect for future camping adventures together.

I'm getting the feeling that I am going to enjoy the community of air streamers and merge into the fold quite naturally. It seems a blend of the live aboard sailing/cruising world, and the vintage Porsche scene, that I have enjoyed for years. Both have supportive sharing of technical info and help and good times. Sign me up!

Hey Derek , that is the beast! Still looks good too. I'm starting to feel quite stoked and even a little proud of the new ride.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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Richard, I H 40 is perhaps more scenic, but really windy. I H 10 is a pleasant drive, relatively flat, and the most traffic will be through El Paso. Many places to park on the way, if you like to boondock, and a few parks worth the slight side ventures involved. Phoenix has the loop around(101 ?), then on north to your base. Both IH routes can get the dust storms (haboobs) that cut visibility to zero. The maiden voyage will always be the fondest memory(speed bumps and monkey wrenches included), and it sounds like yours is a great beginning...keep us posted! Mike
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