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Old 02-11-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
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Thinking about a 310 but need advice

I have a line on a 310. All I know so far is that the interior appears to be in good shape with twins in back body looks decent and that it had a new diesel motor put in before the current owner got it. He said he had to start it up with ether but it ran well after that as it had apparently been sitting. He also said the o/d was a switch which was new to him.

It has been sitting again since fall.

Guy has no specific price but was thinking in the 6 or 7 k range.

Was looking at trailers but realize I would need a tv so this may work as well as an all I. One. Really looking for one cross country run, some boondocking and a return run. May sell it after that while I continue the hunt for the 22 argosy trailer of my dreams or could keep it.

Am I crazy to consider a 30 odd year old moho? What are the typical things that would need to be addressed to make it mechanically sound? What should I be looking at in particular on this model?

Would likely wait until it gets warmer so I could test the water lines, ac and generator as well as taking it for a spin.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:59 AM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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You say 30 years old, that means 1984 model? Find out what brand Diesel engine as well as transmission.
Has generator been changed to diesel or possibly propane?

Have any photos?

There will be lots of others who'll ask more detailed questions I'm sure.

Good Luck, Derek
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhinoWW View Post
I have a line on a 310. All I know so far is that the interior appears to be in good shape with twins in back body looks decent and that it had a new diesel motor put in before the current owner got it. He said he had to start it up with ether but it ran well after that as it had apparently been sitting. He also said the o/d was a switch which was new to him.

It has been sitting again since fall.

Guy has no specific price but was thinking in the 6 or 7 k range.
Fair price if as advertised

Quote:
Was looking at trailers but realize I would need a tv so this may work as well as an all I. One. Really looking for one cross country run, some boondocking and a return run. May sell it after that while I continue the hunt for the 22 argosy trailer of my dreams or could keep it.

Am I crazy to consider a 30 odd year old moho? What are the typical things that would need to be addressed to make it mechanically sound? What should I be looking at in particular on this model?
With any older moho there is the problem of chassis maintenance. The great thing about Airstream trailers is that they can be pulled by a newer tow vehicle for which the maintenance is more manageable.

You can spend a fortune on brakes, tires, steering, and suspension on these. For some models, brake drums are no longer available, so be sure of what you have and its condition.

The chassis heating and A/C system also deserves a close look. Original systems were R-12, there are people who will work on them without converting them but it takes some asking around. Sloppy conversions to R-134a will last a few years, fine for an older car nearing end of life, but could leave you with an expensive mess on a moho.

Quote:
Would likely wait until it gets warmer so I could test the water lines, ac and generator as well as taking it for a spin.
Those items are the least of your problems.

Don't get me wrong, classic mohos are great and I'd love to have one. Just be aware of the costs.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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Whether or not you're seriously considering buying an Airstream "Classic" moho, I recommend an e-book by someone who's done just that. "How not to RV" by Jennifer Flower, PhD. It's a fun read, and the author is an AIRForums member as "Jenniflow".
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #5
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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The saying with Airstream Classic motorhome owners that has certainly held true for me..... "Purchase price is simply a down payment" lol
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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We bought a 310 sight unseen and have have since toured the country with it, coast to coast and back. Would not hesitate to do it again, and just might.

These are the significant non-gas engine related repairs that we made along the way:
New brake master cylinder and hydroboost unit. Old master failed and caused the brakes to lock up, requiring a tow.
New steering coupler, aka "rag joint", connecting steering column to steering box. Old one was worn so badly that mechanic would not test drive the vehicle until it was fixed.
New brake lines after brakes started pulling.
Rebuilt drive line (u joints, carrier bearings, cut off and replaced one worn driveshaft end, balanced the works). Still have some driveline vibration, not as bad as before.

The twin bed rear bedroom is very comfortable and cozy, but eventually we wanted to have one big bed. I removed the cabinet between the beds, got some plywood and a double mattress, and voila. If I was going to do that over again, I would just cut the cabinet down and reinstall the top at the same level as the cabinets that the twin mattresses are sitting on, giving me most of the support needed for the big mattress.

The coach systems (plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc.) are all old and will need attention after they get used and rattled around driving down the road, but that is going to be true for any old coach.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:46 PM   #7
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1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhinoWW View Post
Am I crazy to consider a 30 odd year old moho?
Yes. Be ready to drop big bucks if the coach has not been serviced. That being said, we've had Bess for over twenty years and love her dearly. I wonder about the having to spray- to -start problem problem, though. 5K would be a good offer.
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