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Old 12-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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1974 Argosy 28
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Wauwatosa , Wisconsin
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Which classic motorhome

It may be time to move from a trailer into a motor home. I love the vintage look of the 80's and early 90's. The 290, 325, 345 etc.
I would love to hear all the pros and cons of the different models.
What engine to stay away from.
How much $$$$ I should expect to but into the mechanics.
The ride or handling.
Single axle vs tag.
And anything else you care to add.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
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If money was no object I would most like to have a 1994-1996 360 diesel pusher, but, money is an object-
These are the last years for the Classic motor home. The front is redesigned with headlights that look like from an Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais or some similar GM car.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:48 AM   #3
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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If I were shopping again, I would want one new enough to have fuel injection and an overdrive transmission. I think that change happened around '91. Not having those limits highway speed and give poor gas mileage. I would also want the rear bedroom layout vs. rear bath in the shorter models.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:24 AM   #4
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1995 36' Classic 36
Ludington , Michigan
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Which classic motorhome

We wanted the latest classic model available and looked for quite some time for the 360 diesel pusher. I think the Spartan chassis with the Cummins 5.9 and 6 speed Allison MD3060 transmission, axels, brakes, suspension, and other drivetrain components are designed to commercial vehicle specs and should be good for 500K miles with reasonable care and use.

Parts are readily available at truck supply shops with a lot of theses components still on the road in commercial vehicles.

They get better than 10 miles per gallon. We average about 12.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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1995 36' Classic 36
Ludington , Michigan
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1995 360 Classic Diesel Pusher.

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Old 12-09-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
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That's it! The most awesome motorhome in the wide world!
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:55 PM   #7
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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I have a pretty rare bird, 1982 turbo diesel with the Allison 4 speed tranny. We love it, hate it, I mean love it. The extra gear in the tranny is a real plus. Personally, I think the added maintenance and hard to find parts for the tag axle units would be too much for me. The 310 is a great size for my wife and I. But, different folks have different needs and wants so its not a right or wrong thing. I definately like the dedicated queen bed in the rear. Also, though I didnt know squat about diesels when I bought it, and still dont know much, I think a diesel is the way to go. But once again, there are pros and cons. Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:08 PM   #8
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Any of them as long as they look like a real Airstream. Can not stand the boxy looking pretenders.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Carriere , Mississippi
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Diesel if you can get it. 345/350 if you want the room. I was always a fan of the round nose ones prior to the 36. Do t get me wrong the 36 is great looking but I really like the retro look of the pre 93 models.

Classics on P30 with tag axels will have issues, but as long as you know that going in I would not shy away from them

As far as handling, they handle like 20 yr old motor homes but me, I LOVE driving it

It is an expensive hobby (disease) to have have. Prices range from 15k to 45k but are normally around 25-30. You will never find one that doesn't need time or $$. It just depends on how much time and money you have when you buy it to what you are gonna spend when you it home.

It is the path that few dare to travel and some get lost on. Now where was that trail......





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Old 12-09-2014, 04:31 PM   #10
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1974 Argosy 28
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Thanks for all the good info thus far (pros and cons). Please keep it coming.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:47 PM   #11
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
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If I had my choice, I would love to have a 31' with the rear bedroom and wrap around rear windows. I have a 280 with rear bath because that is what I inherited. I wouldn't want anything longer then a 310...no tag axle for me and the shorter length makes it a lot easier to park!

I would only want a diesel if it was a modern diesel. Don't discount the Chevy 454. It is a good engine. The turbo 475 is a strong transmission, but yes it would be awesome to have a fourth gear, but I don't understand wanting to drive 70 mph in a motorhome anyway!


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Old 12-09-2014, 08:03 PM   #12
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
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I would recommend the 360 because if you don't do it you will wish you had. It is very roomy, and has only a single rear axle. This feature means you pay the same on a toll road as a passenger car when done by axles down. Then if you decide to get a toad, you still have one less axle than you would have. I would recommend assessing too what you want in your motor home. Specifically how many people will travel with you, and how much space you think you need. The floorplan is great, minus the wasted shelf at the back, but Dakota found a great way to deal with it, and if you are pretty handy, you could likely do it too.

All of the 345's are awesome, and if it existed, I would go for a 370 with a diesel. But I always said if I could design a truck, it would be a Ford for the looks, a cummins for the engine, and an allison for the transmission. Well in the motorhome world the airstream is the looks... so I have my perfect truck in a hobby I can pursue for the family. I get 11 mpg towing our toad (weighs 2,500lbs empty, and likely 3k with all the gear), and 13-14 w/o the toad. However, I planned, researched and selected the 360, and then patiently waited for years to get it. Also recently found out there were only 27 ever made, so I would suggest grabbing it if one comes available. I know we plan to keep ours barring anything unexpected happening.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:03 AM   #13
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Thumbs up Airstream has a model to fit you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeocamperAS View Post
It may be time to move from a trailer into a motor home. I love the vintage look of the 80's and early 90's. The 290, 325, 345 etc.
I would love to hear all the pros and cons of the different models.
What engine to stay away from.
How much $$$$ I should expect to but into the mechanics.
The ride or handling.
Single axle vs tag.
And anything else you care to add.

Thanks in advance.
I have a 1986 345 and love it. It has a p30 chevy chassis with a 454 which is something I can work. With some basic wood and metal wooking skills the Airstream body and cabinetry can be worked on too. So if your a DIY guy pick one that you know how to work on.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:35 AM   #14
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1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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The small and mostly inoperable front side windows and the lack of driver/passenger doors has always been my biggest turn off in all the classics. Not a good place to be in an emergency.
No Tag and the shorter the better has been my experience. Rear twins with wrap around windows, rear bath is a pain for access, looks and privacy.
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