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Old 11-07-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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1998 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
wonder lake , Illinois
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Newbie 190 question

I am looking to buy a b190....would appreciate any advice on what to look for, avoid etc.....big question Did other manufacturers use the b190 top... like Coachmen, Falcon, other Ford conversions etc....they look very similar including the layout inside...would appreciate any feedback on these....Im sure there are people here who have forgotten more about these vehicles than I know....glad to be here and thanks
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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If I recall right, it's a falcon B on a Ford E350 tricked out by Airstream. See also B190 Enthusiasts (I think the owner of this site frequents here, too). See also rv.net as they have some discussions about the rig.

These are getting a bit long in the tooth so the usual maintenance issues need to be considered - like proper care for the fiberglass top, weather seals, polybutyl pipe and acetyl fittings with aluminum crimp versus chlorine causing leaks, gensets misinstalled (mine has an improper fuel feed and exhaust placement, for instance), user modifications, wear and tear ...

The E350, especially the older ones with the 460 engine, are rugged beasts and most of the B-190's on the market I have seen don't have all that many miles on them.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #3
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Yup, I'm here!

I'm told Airstream purchased the design from a Canadian company by the name of Okanagan or something like that. In fact, there used to be a member of the old Yahoo group (prior to the b190.com site) that had an '86 camper that was identical to the first year Airstream B190 inside but wasn't an Airstream.

As you've noticed there were plenty of other brands making similar campers to the B190s in the 90s. Most of those brands are gone now; the only two I know of that survive are Airstream (who of course survived by building OTHER campers) and Roadtrek.

The 460 seems to be a pretty reliable engine. I've heard good things about the V10 as well. Some have the 351, but those are fairly rare.

As bryanl was saying, at this point, you have to keep in mind that you're buying a 10+ year old vehicle and a 10+ year old camper, so the usual issues with each apply. Even if it wasn't used much, rubber breaks down over time, fuel sitting in the generator's carb will gum up, etc.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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1998 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
wonder lake , Illinois
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B190 351 or 460

Thanks for all the great info....I am debating between a 351 or 460...I will be towing a bass boat about 3000 lbs.....any thought to the better engine.....gas mileage wise etc......would I be straining the 351 and get worse gas mileage than 460 etc.....and what rear ends to they typically have....

Once again, thanks again.....you guys are great...
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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Definitely get the 460 or V10 if it's a newer one. You'll need the power. Also it seems that the 460 actually gets better mileage than the 351, probably because it doesn't have to work as hard.
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