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Old 06-11-2007, 11:31 PM   #15
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1992 34' Limited
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Be CLEAR and keep looking!

Chris and family!

Thanks for your service, firstly! Seriously. That, "Thanks", is NOT said enough these days.

My sincere thanks for all of you, and your sacrifice, for us.

Secondly, not sure how long you have been looking at AS's - MoHo or trailer. If you do enough reading on these threads, there are MORE than a zillion posts about folks that looked for that RIGHT AS... more often than not the AS found the owner, not the other way around.

The key to that paradigm is to be VERY clear on needs, preferences as to floor plan/ needs/ things you DON'T want. That sentance is basic but key!!! The clearer you are, the happier you'll be when that AS finds you...!

Then go to EVERYTHING you can related to RV's and AirStreams.... and talk UP your wants/ needs, to EVERYONE.... church, work, Starbucks, etc....

List everything you have - TV, parking, abilities for rehab....

List the +'s, list the -'s.... be HONEST!!!

Once you have a VERY clear idea of what you want, then things will self-correct to "this, NOT that" and it will clarify what you consider.... then be sure to abide by the 'house building rule' (if not new) and add 20+% to the price....

Please, let me be clear!!! I am NOT trying to disuade you in the least!!!! In fact, the opposite is true. I am a dyed in the wool AS nut - my kids are SOOOO much BETTER off for all the terrific travel experiences they have had in SilverToy.... and so am I!!!

There simply is NO better camping experience out there - AirStreams ROCK!!! But be clear about what you want & need, and everyone will be the better for it.

Hope that helps. If there are questions that arise... fire away! There is simply no better group than this AS bunch!
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:23 PM   #16
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Janet, you've definitely got a good point. I'll have to make interior restoration a high priority.

Frank, my hat's off to you. I wouldn't be where I am today if guys like you with nerves of steel hadn't paved the way for me. The V22 doesn't fit any conventional ideas of what a real airplane is. But I'm pretty sure if you happened to be strolling through a field along a VR route and a flight of V22s stormed over at 200 feet and 320 mph, you'd be saying whatever that was, it was pretty awesome. The beauty of it is while flying at 250mph I can cut the throttle, convert the proprotors toward vertical and be in a zero airspeed hover for landing less in less than three miles.
I'll have to check out the Land Yacts.

Keith, I'm certainly not independantly wealthy (son of a cop), but we get by alright on my single income, and we've made some good investments over the years. My Yukon XL, with its 300hp V8 and 3.73 axles makes a fine tow vehicle, but I really want the convenience of a motorhome for the time spent on the road. My kids are 2 yrs; 6 months; and coming soon in summer 2008 (we're still planning #3). Those college costs are waaaaay on the horizon, and I've already started paying into Coverdell funds for my boys. I'm definitely not in the market for a $60k motorhome, but I think I can spend a quarter of that and get something that will suit my needs.

Silvertoy, I hear you, brother. I know the value of taking my time and tailoring the purchase to suit our lifestyle. But a big advantage I have is I'm flexible. I don't care if it's 24' or 35' if the price is right. There's a really nice 325 ending tonight on eBay that's in Illinois. I think that would have been perfect, but I haven't been researching long enough to comfortably jump into a purchase less than a week after getting this big idea in my head. As far as rehab goes, I'm pretty much up for anything. I'm a pretty normal guy on the surface, but as my wife and best friends know, I'm a complete oddball. I cut down some white oak trees in my back yard, milled them into boards with my chainsaw, planed them down, and made a queen size bed for my little boy. I also installed halogen off-road lights on the brush guard of my John Deere garden tractor to provide low-angle illumination (in addition to the stock headlights) so I could see what I missed in the turns while mowing at dusk. Those are not the kind of projects normal people do.
I think I could have a lot of fun with an old AS. I'm really excited about this.

-Chris
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:29 PM   #17
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Chris,

Thanks for your service. I am in awe of military men and women who give so much.

I inititially thought I wanted a motorhome, but went the truck and trailer route and love it. Airstreams are so easy to pull. It's nice to be able to unhook whereever you are and set up a house and have your vehicle to tool around in.

We had a GMC motorhome when I was a kit in the 1970s. I was a non-RVer for 25 years and events conspired this year. Now I am a full time Airstreamer. Love the truck and trailer combo and flexibility. Can carry a ton of stuff in my truck. Could easily handle a family of four (or more) plus lots of weight in the bed of the truck, then a full house behind me.

Bought my 73 unit for $2600. Put some money in to it and it's perfect. My 68 unit I paid less for, but it will take even more money, but easily 10k max.

At any rate good luck and have fun. If you're stuck on a motor home the GMCs are very cool.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:01 PM   #18
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Hey Marine! Old soldier here...

I have a 28' MH but wish I had bought a 310. It still has a single rear axle (two axles cost more over toll bridges), and it has a nice rear queen island bed that one can plop on. My 28' has 2 twins for my boys and a sofa couch that is too small for me. The 345's are great but too big for parking at many campgrounds that I've been to. Also heavier therefore more gas. Dual axles will cost if needed to repair. Twice as many roof AC's, and more tires to purchase along with the suspension system that goes with it. Look at a 310 and compare it to the 345. More importantly have your copilot sit at the controls and have her drive them. Most likely she will in the future! Then file a report here in triplicate and then hurry up and wait. Remember, right foot first...Hooahh!
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:03 AM   #19
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Hi, Chris - Here's a dime's worth from another old-time Naval Aviator - this one has a 31ft diesel 1984 model A/S MoHo that has become, with ten+ years of work, and real beauty that we wouldn't part with for any amount. When you find the 'right' one you'll know it - and my advice is to buy it regardless of other concerns (price, location, etc). You'll be amazed how easily it becomes one of the family. Semper Fi.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jking
my advice is to buy it regardless of other concerns (price, location, etc)..
Actually, that's one I'm not too sure about--location. I've found a few prospects around the country, one of which is in Sacramento. Any advice on the best way to go about shipping an RV? I'm guessing the best way is for me to give someone a deposit, fly out to check it out, buy it, then arrange for shipping. But I've noticed that escrow.com offers vehicle inspection services. I'm thinking if I could get one of their agents to check out the vehicle, I could make the payment via escrow.com (I pay them, they tell the seller the money is in the bank, then pay the seller when I receive the vehicle in as-advertised condition). Has anyone ever used this site or an online broker? Being in coastal NC, I can realistically travel as far as FL, TN, NY in a weekend to check something out. But there doesn't appear to be anything on the market (310, 325, 345 under $20k) in the east. Guess I'll just have to sit back and be patient, hoping the right one will show up somewhere nearby.
-Chris
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:11 PM   #21
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My own 1985 345 has just been listed for sale and is in very nice shape. I have not yet had a chance to list it on the site but here is a link to the local ad that is running (price is canadian $)
Auto Trader Canada | Truck Trader Canada | Boat Trader Canada | RV Trader Canada


I am just north of the NY border in Canada.

I recently upgraded to a mid-90's diesel pusher, but still love our 345. It is a gem that had only two prior owners, a relatively new powertrain (upgraded) and lots of interior upgrades. As with any 20 year old vehicle there are always things to do, but the chassis has had lots of attention in the last few years.

Towing your Jetta should be no problem. Flat towing that year VW is OK as long as it is a standard transmission. Our own Toad is a 2000 New Beetle with 5 speed (same basic car as your Jetta).

Good luck with your search

John
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:34 PM   #22
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John,
She's a beauty all right. Just a bit out of my price range, though.
-Chris
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:26 PM   #23
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Chris,

If you see an AS you like, you might come on to the forum and ask if there is someone in that area that would give the vehicke a look over. There are some really wonderful people on this forum that give of their time and hard-won expertice.

The best thing to do in case of a hurricane is to get out of Dodge! I live just up the coast from you, and that is what I do. Too many folks have to get macho and ride it out. MoHos and trailers like to tip over in a storm as I am sure you realize. Your problem will be that Uncle will want you to fly out and leave your family behind. Make sure the Mrs. can drive the RV. With her and the kids out of danger you can concentrate on your situation.

Traveling with kids and dogs is a bit esiser in a MoHo. You have more room for them to spread out, use the potty, etc. IMHO, it is just not safe to travel in a moving trailer.

Whatever you decide to get, have fun!!

Steve
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:09 PM   #24
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Now is the perfect time for a MoHo!

Ebay is awash in them as are other outlets as people sell because of the high price of fuel.

With where your going I would hazard that a moho is a wash considering your food and beds would now be inhouse and with a moho you can stop almost anywhere to catch some sleep. I know you'll find a good one.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marineguy
My V22 Osprey has four generators (plus two little ones), three hydraulic systems (plus the backup brake systems), three flight control computers, two 6,150hp turbine engines (plus a 300hp turbine engine to start the main engines), two mission computers, six fuel pumps, a missile warning system, a radar warning system, five transmissions, a blade-fold wing stow system, an anti-ice/de-ice system, an engine air particle separator system, an oxygen generating system, a forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) camera, and a moving digital map capable of being displayed on any of the five cockpit multi-function LCDs. -Chris
Chris, you wouldn't happen to be thinking of upgrading your future MH purchase with any of the above goodies would you

Seriously, it sounds like you know what you're looking for. We bought our 84 310 for 10k and are pleased with what we got. For the price we knew we were going to have to do some things to it but in the long run we should be better off for it. There are 5 different 345's on ebay right now. We bought ours on ebay and you do have to be careful but not every seller is out to get you.

Lots of good advice here and great people as well. Its a buyers market right now and probably will stay that way for a while.

Good luck in your search and keep us posted.

Brad
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:10 PM   #26
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The best thing to do in case of a hurricane is to get out of Dodge! I live just up the coast from you, and that is what I do. Too many folks have to get macho and ride it out. MoHos and trailers like to tip over in a storm as I am sure you realize. Your problem will be that Uncle will want you to fly out and leave your family behind. Make sure the Mrs. can drive the RV. With her and the kids out of danger you can concentrate on your situation.

Steve,
Believe me, I wouldn't try to ride out a hurricane in an RV! But once the storm passes and the power is out for a day or two, that's where I'd like to be. I haven't had to kiss the wife good-bye to fly an airplane out of harm's way yet, but that definitely won't go over well when it happens. Fortunately our Ops shop tries to schedule the single guys for those flights (getting stranded in Memphis for a few days with full per-diem isn't a bad deal if you didn't leave anyone behind in the path of the storm).

I actually found a 345 on eBay that's about 1.5 hours from my house which appears to be in fairly usable condition. I spoke to him on the phone and he recommends changing all fluids before driving it anywhere. He has the title but I'm assuming it isn't registered or inspected. But he says it drives and stops, the generator runs but needs a rebuild, all appliances work, the freshwater pump is not working but he has a replacement which he hasn't installed, the coach batteries don't charge with the on-board charger, some new tires, no dents... This should be interesting. I'm getting the impression it's in used but not abused condition. I can live with that.

Now the only question is where the heck am I going to park a 34' motorhome? I have 2/3 of an acre to play with, but I prefer to NOT advertise to burglers that "THE RV'S NOT HERE SO OBVIOUSLY WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE HOME FOR A WHILE." I'll probably keep it in storage at first. $30 a month seems to be the going rate around here.

-Chris
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:17 PM   #27
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[quote=bkahler]Chris, you wouldn't happen to be thinking of upgrading your future MH purchase with any of the above goodies would you

Brad,

I think a $250 Garmin GPS version of the digimap will be the only similarity, although what powerplant would be more appropriate for an Airstream than a pair of Rolls-Royce turbines? Do they make Z-rated tires in 19.5"?

-Chris
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marineguy
I think a $250 Garmin GPS version of the digimap will be the only similarity, although what powerplant would be more appropriate for an Airstream than a pair of Rolls-Royce turbines? Do they make Z-rated tires in 19.5"?
-Chris
Chris, finding tires might not be a problem, its the brakes that I'd worry about

Brad
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