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Old 03-12-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
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What constitutes a 'Classic'

I am sure certain models and year numbers fall into the category "Classic" but for this newcomer a brief explanation might be appreciated. Was there a point at which the classics were better or worse?

For instance, there is a 345? on ebay right now. It will probably go cheap in that it has some water damage. Was it painted originallly or could the paint be removed and have polished aluminum underneath? I know this unit has a tag axle but the overhang looks tremendous. Surely that would affect the tongue weight capacity with a toad.

This particular unit is probably way over my abilities but it points out examples of rust, body damage, glass damage, water damage, cosmetic mistakes. Are any of these issues insurmountable? Personally the rust scares me more than all the other.

Thanks for your help. I am a BlueBird Wanderlodge lurker, and I'm trying to convince myself to enlarge my horizons.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:52 AM   #2
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Stick,

A classic motorhome is one which looks like an Airstream or Argosy trailer.

Bill
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:56 AM   #3
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In MH's, classic refers to aluminum sided bodies. Construction was later changed to fiberglass. The MH was designed to have a 2000# tow capacity. The overhang plays an important part if you plan on beefing up the hitch. It acts as leverage should you start to slide. A heavrier toad will then be able to push the MH sideways. Depending on the year, you may not be able to strip & polish to a mirror finish. My 1989 can't be polished as such.

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Old 03-12-2010, 09:06 AM   #4
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In MH's, classic refers to aluminum sided bodies. Construction was later changed to fiberglass. The MH was designed to have a 2000# tow capacity. The overhang plays an important part if you plan on beefing up the hitch. It acts as leverage should you start to slide. A heavrier toad will then be able to push the MH sideways. Depending on the year, you may not be able to strip & polish to a mirror finish. My 1989 can't be polished as such.

Ricky
So were some of these guys painted originally, or were they unpainted aluminum? I don't necessarily care about the mirror polish - good old standard airstream alumnium would work for me.

Also on the tow capacity are you speaking of the total weight of the toad? I suppose a small car would fit the bill. I have a VW jetta tdi with straight shift we plan on pulling. Just trying to learn as much as I can.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
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Airstream motorhomes were NOT painted from the factory in general, however most Argosy MH's were painted. The Airstream MH's were plasti-coated (sort of a clear coat) when new.

Towing capacity is limited, however if you beef up the hitch they can tow a smaller car. We tow a 3500 lb Jeep Wrangler with our 29ft MH. Tows' fine but stopping is a little touch and go if a panic stop is required.

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Old 03-12-2010, 09:28 AM   #6
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So were some of these guys painted originally, or were they unpainted aluminum? I don't necessarily care about the mirror polish - good old standard airstream alumnium would work for me.


Also on the tow capacity are you speaking of the total weight of the toad? I suppose a small car would fit the bill. I have a VW jetta tdi with straight shift we plan on pulling. Just trying to learn as much as I can.
Classic refers to the Motorhomes built with a semi-monocoque construction used in the trailers.

The Argosy Motorhomes were painted. The Airstream Motorhomes were aluminum with clear coat. The clear coat requires maintenance and periodic refreshing. Some Airstream Motohomes have been painted by the owner (mine was painted by the PO).

2000 pounds is the total weight of the towed vehicle. The hitch can be reinforced.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #7
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Airstream motorhomes were NOT painted from the factory in general, however most Argosy MH's were painted. The Airstream MH's were plasti-coated (sort of a clear coat) when new.

Towing capacity is limited, however if you beef up the hitch they can tow a smaller car. We tow a 3500 lb Jeep Wrangler with our 29ft MH. Tows' fine but stopping is a little touch and go if a panic stop is required.

Bob
Do you have brakes on the toad? Seems like that would be a necessity, especially if the m/h does not have air brakes.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:36 AM   #8
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Stick,

A classic motorhome is one which looks like an Airstream or Argosy trailer.

Bill
I know it has been said several times, but I want to summarize the answer in one word:

"Aluminum."
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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Some years of AS MH were painted. Only 2 colors along the bottom. the rest of it was clear coat. The colors were a dark gray & blue or dark red.

Ricky
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:22 AM   #10
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Do you have brakes on the toad? Seems like that would be a necessity, especially if the m/h does not have air brakes.
My rig has 4 wheel hydraulic disc brakes.

I have the Unified Tow Brake Unified Tow Brake
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:38 PM   #11
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I have always had a toad with supplemental braking. I personally use the Brake Buddy which helps in stopping, especially in panic stops. Mandatory in many states to have supplemental braking on anything towed over 1500 #.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:28 PM   #12
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After looking at the title of this thread, I have decided a classic is an AS M/H you buy and then pour in 3-4 thousand dollars to get it up to speed. Now that's a Classic!!!
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:03 AM   #13
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Only 3-4 K...!!!???THAT"S "Classic" AND almost new-in-box...However, there is that pride of ownership that IS priceless...
The wide-trim and gray accent paints will curl, peel, blister, and fade...same for the clearcoat, but the clearcoat looks worse as it fogs and whitens, usually starts at the top curves and top, and works its way down...stripping, repainting/reclearcoating can be fairly pricey, but probably won't get any cheaper in the future.
A flat-tow toad is the best way to go, as there is no hitch weight other than the tow-bar, but reinforcement braces and supplemental braking are...well...just really smart things to do. We have had an inordinate amount of trouble with the tag axle brakes(electric), and have had trouble finding the 10"X2" drums, as most other of the P-30 Chassis genre were 10"X4"...but I digress...
mike
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:22 AM   #14
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Talking What constitutes a 'Classic'

Michael, my wife says I missed the mark by a couple of thousand dollars easy. What the heck? It's only money! Counting my labor a $.05 per hour, my 310 is easily bumping the $ 75,000 mark. Wife says I love the 310 more than her since I spend more time with the 310 than her. Hopefully, we'll be returning to Denver before too long. We have to get out of Texas before the Hail/Tornado season gets cranked up. That means soon. This week we will make the test run to Abilene, Tx to see how the Silver Hornet shakes out. Barring big problems, we plan to get back up the hill by the end of April at the outside. We may come back via our place in Cimarron,NM, to see how our cabin there faired during the winter. There may be some Brown Trout calling my name there.
Mike
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