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Old 03-18-2006, 10:27 AM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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Questions

We've decided to make the leap (gulp!) from a trailer to a motorhome. We've pretty much decided on a 345. It's near-vintage, and I like the layout. Even though it's just my husband & I, we have/gather a lot of stuff. The twin bed layout works out well, since we both have easy access to the bathroom..
•Does anyone know if you can do a conversion on a east-west walk around queen?
•What is the max weight of a towed vehicle?
•Does anyone offer "practice driving" for that size vehicle?
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:54 AM   #2
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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What is an east-west walk around anyway? What do you mean by heighth of tow-vehicle?

We have had a 345 for around 8 years and love it. We do have the queen sized bed and I like it, but then I sleep on the aisle. You don't really need lessons to drive it as they drive pretty easy. It may be long, but you really don't notice that going down the road. Just remember to turn wider.

The big thing is to get used to being a little wider. Put the left front wheel close to the white line and go. It well feel close, but when you look in the mirror, it really isn't. Just keep the right side off the shoulder.

I told my Wife this and then got her to drive. After a few miles, I had to take over as every time she met someone on the two lane road, she SCREAMED, and my ears couldn't take it anymore.

You will love the unit in a very short time. Just make sure the shocks and tires are in good shape.
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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Okay, I mis-read the weight for heighth. My eyes are getting old and they get mad at you here if you use bold type.

We have pulled my Ford Explorer all over the country on a tow dolly. No problem. We now pull our VW Jedda Diesel on the dolly and have no problem at all. The VW weighs in at close to 4000 lbs. You tend to forget they are back there. I use the tow dolly as then I can tow any vehicle I choose. Sometimes I tow my 74 Corvette. Talk about getting looks!

A friend with a 370 uses a tow bar with no problem either.
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Tracy,
We love our 345 (owned for three years). We have the side queen floorplan and plan to convert to side bed (a U lounge really). To answer your questions:

I think the conversion can be done, but the water tank lives under the queen and might need to be re-worked when switching to twins. (I also could not agree more about getting out of bed in the queen...climbing over someone at 2:00 am is no fun).

The towing limit is really low: 2000 lbs. This is one of the major limitations of the longer AS's. We solved it by towing a 71 Beetle. (1500 lbs) but people tow a little over with Saturns and other lighter cars equipped with braking systems.

If you lived closer you'd be welcome to take mine out for a spin. But, you get used to them pretty quickly. They are lower and narrower than most motorhomes.

Cooperhawk - so funny reading your post about your wife driving the 345.
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:16 AM   #5
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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Originally Posted by swebster
Cooperhawk - so funny reading your post about your wife driving the 345.
Wasn't laughing at the time. She does drive on an inter-state once in a while now. That's if the traffic is not too haevy. I do tease her now about her screaming and she is finially able to laugh about it.

I did re-inforce my trailer hitch and extend it up the frame to give it more strength. 8 years now with not a problem towing.
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:27 PM   #6
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My 280's former owner towed a Jeep Cherokee....I am not that bold we tow a Saturn sedan, one of the preferred vehicle of motorhome owners, as it is easily flat towed.As for the driving, you will find it to be a whole lot easier that you think.
What made you move to a Moho from the trailer??
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:47 PM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Thanks!

Thanks, everyone!

Cooperhawk - I'll have to pick your brain, on how to tow more #.

Alan - We prefer the vintage, but since we'll be spending 6-9 months a year...
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperhawk
Wasn't laughing at the time. She does drive on an inter-state once in a while now. That's if the traffic is not too haevy. I do tease her now about her screaming and she is finially able to laugh about it.

I did re-inforce my trailer hitch and extend it up the frame to give it more strength. 8 years now with not a problem towing.
Cooper,

What exactly is the problem with towing heavier than the limit on your motorhome? is it the strength of the reciever? or the power of the brakes? or the tracking/wagging of the trailer at speed? Is it the length of the tail?
Why are the AS MHs rated with such a light towing capacity?

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:32 PM   #9
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Let me chime in about having the wife and or husband learn how to drive. Both of the regular occupants should be able to drive the motor home for safety sakes. Imagine if one becomes incapacitated and the other did not know how to drive. We take these things to some pretty remote places and sometimes help is not just a call away. My wife was able to learn to drive Chummy with little problem. She does complain that it is bigger than the tiny Mazda she normally drives but she does like looking down for a change. Even though I love to drive I give her the chance whenever she wants.
As to the beds, I am convinced that Wally B. had a thing about people sleeping together. This is our second AS with twins, actually we took out the twins and the beds are now in separate rooms! I imagine it depends on lifestyle but after 36 years of marriage we have shared enough bed time and one of us is always able to walk to the other. The twins have an advantage of being easier to get in and out of plus easier to make up in the morning. Both our beds double as sofas expanding the day time living area as well.
Good luck with your search.
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