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Old 09-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Clipper Prototype Sold

Looks like the original CLIPPER prototype has been sold on ebay yesterday.
It was listed as a 94 which was probably the chassis date, as the chassis s/n was listed on the sale.

Condition: UsedTitle: 1994 AIR STREAM LAND YACHT DIESEL PUSHER MOTORHOME NO RESERVE BANK REPOMileage: 70,920 milesLocation: 20 MILES SOUTH OF DALLAS TEXASVehicle InformationVehicle identification number (VIN): 1LMGTZW23SJ801554Vehicle title: Clear
FeaturesType: Motorized class ASlide outs: NoneWater capacity (gallons): 81-90Length (feet): 35Sleeping capacity: 6Air conditioners: 2Fuel type: DieselAwnings: 5Leveling jacks included?: Yes
This first unit was one of a kind and many updates and improvements were made over the limited production life of the Clipper.
The prototype had only the 230HP Cummins with no exhaust brake, probably had the small radiator also. It was not as well equipped as later production standard features.
I considered purchasing this for a project, but I have too many projects and probably not enough time.
If it had been in original condition, and had not been butchered so bad, it would have been more attractive.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
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Cool! Any idea what it went for? It's waaaaaaaaay out of my league but it is fun to look!
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Clipper, Land Yacht, Airstream, Oshkosh, Freightliner

The Clipper development was uncharted territory for Airstream in 1995. Many design changes were made over the short production life. From the engine size, expanded storage, to other options that were made standard equip as the project proceeded. The Clipper was truly a work in progress. Some of the more easily identified changes are the window style, and the style and placement of the mirrors.

This was the prototype Clipper on the Oshkosh Chassis. Note the body mount mirrors and 3 piece side window.




Picture of Whits Clipper. Note the mirrors are now located low on the pillar and the side window is still cut into 3 horizontal sections.

Below is Frank and Sues Clipper and the mirrors are mounted higher on the pillar and the window is now 2 horizontal sections. This is still the Oshkosh Chassis HD version.


Below is Masseyfarms Clipper. Now on Freightliner, (maybe the first one on Freightliner Chassis?) High mount mirrors and 2 section window.
T
The page has locked up so will have to continue later.
Dave

Below is an unidenified Clipper that may have been the one Frank and Sue purchased.
The next one was in California. Another beauty on Oshkosh Chassis.
The Next three are on Oshkosh chassis that have disappeared. Anyone know where they are now?
And the last one was repainted in California and I believe it is now in Texas.
If you have any confirmations of other units, or more pictures, please post.
AFAIK mine is the only Clipper on the Freightliner Chassis that we have found to this point. However, there should be more, as mine is an early year production.
Dave
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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And here, I was expecting to see one of these!
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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10 Years Later



I am looking at that A37 on eBay and had to put my thoughts down on paper to convince myself that what I have is far superior for my use.


1996 brought the 65th anniversary of Airstream and to celebrate this milestone, the management of the day thought they would raise the bar and enter the Heavy Class A division of Luxury Motor Home. This was a bit of a trial and error effort that, after the preproduction model in early 1995, field tests proved it was not quite what was wanted to be the representative anniversary showpiece. Engineering then upgraded the chassis specs to meet the many challenges required in this new weight class, and with some other minor design changes, production continued on a limited scale.


Each unit was truly hand built, and quality components used throughout.

Now 10 years later, and the similar unit is all about design and show, rather that practicability.

Yes, these design features sell in the showroom, but are they really practical?

Lets look and compare the 2006 Airstream Class A37 All Electric, to the 1996 Clipper.


Both are on Raised Rail Freightliner chassis with Cummins power and Allison Transmission
.

Both are within inches of being the same Length, Width, and Height.


Now the differences. This is the All Electric A37 that is currently on eBay.
2006 AIRSTREAM DIESEL 400HP A-37 ESTATE SALE 13,000 MILES 3 SLIDES ALL ELECTRIC in RVs & Campers | eBay Motors

Outside:
A37 engine air intake is below belt line, behind the drive wheel on the road side. High dirt area. -- Clipper air intake above belt line at curbside rear.
A37 is Painted and the Clipper is Gel Coat with decals.
A37 has the generator in the front. -- Clipper has generator behind rear axle close to the batteries.
A37 has 3 slides -- Clipper has none.
A37 has rear ladder -- Clipper has none.
A37 has only one electric Heat Pump on front ac and Hydro Hot. Clipper has two propane furnaces + Heat elements in both Air Conditioners.
A37 has front mount mirrors that the arms are possible head bangers -- Clipper mirrors are mounted higher.
A37 has the body mounted slightly more forward on the chassis to accommodate the bus style door. Same wb as the Clipper.
A37 is approx. 3000lbs heavier than the Clipper.
A37 tow capacity is 10000lbs -- Clipper only 5000lbs.
Fresh Water/grey/black storage is the same on both units.
A37 has approx. 1 to 2" less height in the basement than the Clipper.
A37 has a farm gate for engine access. -- Clipper is a finished louvered access that blends in with the rear contour.
A37 side window top height varies on the side. (looks like it was built by committee). -- Clipper has standard sightline for height for all side window.
A37 rear cap has a dust collector countersunk horizontal trim line that would drip down dirt. -- Clipper cap is smooth and easy to clean and polish.


Inside Cockpit:
A37 has front entrance door that blocks good visibility for sightseeing and taking pictures. -- Clipper has mid-mount door.
A37 has limited ability for navigator to locate map or laptop GPS position. -- Clipper navigator position is not disturbed with entry or exit.
A37 has the split drivers side window that can be opened for no reflection view at night. -- Clipper opening is for hand access only.
A37 has more w/s to steering wheel depth, and dash panel is more finished. -- Clipper dash left room for owner upgrades and had reasonable good access to the jungle of wiring behind dash.
A37 driver side panel is wider and is ABS construction, -- Clipper side panel was oak and had good storage below gauge cluster.
A37 has heat and vibration etc. on the front seats. - Clipper could be upgraded, but was OEM equipped with 6 way seats.


Living Area:
A37 has two tables and free standing chairs. no restraints, What do you do with the chairs? -- Clipper has free standing table and two chairs restrained by the entrance door divider.
A37 had the living room/ kitchen slide. -- Clipper has no slides. No leaks, No dust drifts, No drafts. No wind noise, No jammed mechanisms.
A37 has sofa/bed with storage. Seat belts? -- Clipper has same with seat belts.
A37 fold up snack table, has limited storage under and also rear seat pocket. -- Clipper has oak cabinet with storage.
A37 lounge chair is not secure. -- Clipper barrel chair is secure, /w seat belts for passenger travel.


Kitchen:
A37 has a small kitchen with room for one to wash and dry. -- Clipper has largest kitchen in this class of motorhome.
A37 has one sink. --Clipper has double sink.
A37 has limited drawers for storage and deep cupboards -- Clipper has plenty of drawers and cabinets.
A37 has no window in the kitchen. -- Clipper has the window directly over the sink for outside view.
A37 upper cabinets are perpendicular, creating box look and opportunity to bang head. -- Clipper upper cabinet fronts are sloped to give max. headroom.
A37 has large fridge. (at expense of pullout pantry and LPG furnace. -- Clipper has adequate fridge for two people, has storage below, and pull out pantry beside fridge.


Bath:
A37 Bath area is split with wide hallway, private toilet with wall window, (why put a window here?), shower open to hall. -- Clipper bath, toilet is private with skylight and fantastic fan.
A37 Shower only. -- Clipper garden tub and shower.
A37 Sink above cabinet (not sure who thought this up but it is not practical for me?) -- Clipper has normal sink in cabinet.
A37 Sink area and wide hallway gives large area? -- Clipper has 3 door cedar wardrobe with 6 drawers here and still plenty of room to move thru the area.
A37 Bed is EW in a slide out. -- Clipper bed in NS with no slide out.
A37 Wardrobe in located on curb wall in another slide out. no room when slides are in for access. -- Clipper has walk around bed with nightstands and closet both sides of bed.


Summary.
When I look at the A37 it sure is nice to look at. ( and that is how they sell them off the lots, as many first time buyers only look at the bling.)

If you are only going to your RV lot then this would go nicely with that storage building you put up on the lot. But if you need all this room for hallways, then you better just buy/build a beach house, with a garage for storage of all your stuff. For traveling for extended periods, one has to stop for fuel every other day. Why have a huge fridge to store something you can buy at every stop.

All electric?? How many batteries can I afford? With my Clipper, my 300W+ solar will run the Fridge, Microwave, TV and Laptops etc. all day in the sun, but as soon as the sun goes down, I better change that fridge to LPG or run the generator.

I would rather have the option of LPG with 3 way fridge, 2 or 3 way hot water tank, choice of two heating sources,(propane/electric) and I have never ran out of propane before I needed a beer run.


I think the design team has got too much power over the experienced engineering people who generally are a little more practical minded.

Mind you, you have to sell the dam thing and that first impressing is so important. Who ever bought a Caddy for practicality?


Dave
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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A37

For those that might be interested in the above eBay unit, Colonial has 60 pictures of a similar unit on their site here.
Colonial Airstream " Of New Jersey " Airstream New Inventory Updated Weekly

These are a very nice unit, but the "All Electric" on eBay is just not suitable for my own application.

Now if this was a 3 axle 44-45' with mid entry door, full length roof mounted awnings, available with no or single slide, and some other minor design changes, I'm IN!

Dave
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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I agree that the "all electric" part is silly, and huge refrigerators and dishwashers are a bit of a waste of space in an RV, but I *LOVE* the cabinetry. Always did have expensive tastes!

The cabinetry is rich-looking without being very dark (like the CCD interiors) or looking whitewashed/pickled (like the Serenity interiors) and those yacht-style pop-out latch/handle combos just make me want to hear them make an expensive "Click!"

I like the flush latches on my old Argosy, come to think of it. I need to find more reasons to like my paid-for Argosy.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #8
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Masseyfarm, since I'm on my third class A since 2007 I think I have some experience in the area of design. Design is subjective, as you've pointed out. The A37 has a lot of bling for 2007 and you can still see the European influence in today's coaches. However, in practicality I see a problem with the floor plan. (Another subjective opinion coming).

First, I want to know who thought the bus-type door was superior to a mid-entry coach? Personally, I get tired of climbing in and out past the passenger seat. I seems to waste space, too. But, for some reason, it has been decreed the "defacto" style for a DP.

Second, the rear radiator design is terrible when it comes to cooling and cleaning. I'm on my second Freightliner and still feel Freightliner is missing the mark by continuing to produce a rear radiator. Side is superior, I do believe.

Third, I know those slide outs in the rear add space while parked but it shuts off access in the bedroom when parked at WallyWorld or Flippin'J. We bought our 2000 because we wanted a newer unit with only one slide.

Fourth, back to the floor plan. The curves that abound look nice but, when it comes to getting past the kitchen to the bath, you have a narrow hallway that also curves - not a straight shot. Again, when parked overnight while making miles on a trip, that design leaves you cramped. I'd rather have more human room that sexy appeal.

Fifth, I agree with you, the double-door refrigerator/freezer is just too much. Too much weight, impractical since it's only electric, space hog in comparison to an over/under, and suitable for someone's house. But, it appeals to those looking for bling. A three-way is superior.

Sixth, the heat situation leads me to believe this unit would sell well in the south.

in comparison to our Land Yacht XC (that is somewhere around 36 feet in length) I find that the design of the kitchen eats up some space while trying to look "modern". I'm speaking of the cooktop arranged in a corner. What do you do with the space behind the cooktop that you can't reach? Nothing! A straight counter section that forms an "L" for a cabinet against the sliding wall is more practical and give more floor space when the slide it out or in. A side benefit is that you don't have to rub bodies to walk past the person doing the work in the kitchen. Nice if you don't dance.

Our other Freightliner had a Holiday Rambler body. For the same length, the HR had better basement space than the Airstream, sorry to say.

This is just an observation and not a criticism but it does seem not all the wisdom developed with the trailer was appropriate for the slab-sided motorhome crowd. I'd like to think that if AS had continued with the big box moho that things would have changed but, looking at the A37, it seems that staying with the competition seemed to win out over "form follows function" type of thinking (design follows real-world use).

I am quite impressed with your level of knowledge.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Another mid 1995 produced Land Yacht that was not yet branded a "Clipper".

This was not branded as a "Clipper" in the eBay add and is only referred to as "1995 36" Land Yacht" on the Airstream site. It bears the s/n 801472 which should put it as a early-mid 95 year production.

This is advertised as 300HP (may have been upgraded) and appears that it was similar to the "Clipper".

This is still a very early production as it still only has 3 hangers on the water tank, body mount mirrors, and 3 section side windows.

This unit has been extensively reworked, inside and out, and evidence of previous delam repairs can easily be spotted.

The unit looks good in the pictures and someone has spent a lot of time and money trying to make it their own.

I don't believe the mileage posted, and the generator has been converted to propane.

Good to see another one of this style as so few were built. I hope it finds an owner that can keep it on the road for years to come.

It is missing the OEM fender flares, has the updated production awnings, has a reworked kitchen, with a big refrigerator mounted high off the floor. (my GW would not be able to reach the top shelf without a stool?.

One would want to do a good inspection before paying the big bucks bid on this auction.

Dave
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Dave, your always a good read. I really like your input on the Clipper, its a sweet MH. Was dealing on one in Cal. a couple yrs ago, but he wanted way to much for me, and wouldn't budge on price. But it was nice.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #11
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Looks like we have found another early 1995 production of the Land Yacht 36'.
It is presently on Air Classifieds.


I will try to contact the owner for the serial number, but it is an early 1995 production unit.

This unit has considerable water damage, but appears to not have had much in the way of alterations made to it.

The front cap may have had damage at some point as the wrap around decals and Airstream Logo letters are missing.

These units had aluminium framing above the Oshkosh frame, so the repairs would probably require gutting the interior, salvage what you can, and rebuild from the outside in.

Chances are the water has also penetrated the basement framing which was welded steel tube construction. However, this is not a structural frame but is hung from the raised rail chassis and is relatively easy to repair.

If inspection showed that the floor was still solid, and the running gear was still in good shape, (it is supposed to have low mileage) it might be a candidate for a rebuild, if the price was right.

It would be a big project to resurrect to OEM condition.

Too big a job for me at this point in my life.

Dave
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
Another mid 1995 produced Land Yacht that was not yet branded a "Clipper".

This was not branded as a "Clipper" in the eBay add and is only referred to as "1995 36" Land Yacht" on the Airstream site. It bears the s/n 801472 which should put it as a early-mid 95 year production.

This is advertised as 300HP (may have been upgraded) and appears that it was similar to the "Clipper".

This is still a very early production as it still only has 3 hangers on the water tank, body mount mirrors, and 3 section side windows.

This unit has been extensively reworked, inside and out, and evidence of previous delam repairs can easily be spotted.

The unit looks good in the pictures and someone has spent a lot of time and money trying to make it their own.

I don't believe the mileage posted, and the generator has been converted to propane.

Good to see another one of this style as so few were built. I hope it finds an owner that can keep it on the road for years to come.

It is missing the OEM fender flares, has the updated production awnings, has a reworked kitchen, with a big refrigerator mounted high off the floor. (my GW would not be able to reach the top shelf without a stool?.

One would want to do a good inspection before paying the big bucks bid on this auction.

Dave
I purchased this coach for 20k two months ago, love it and done a lot of of work to get it road worthy...fyi do not buy a coach from this dealer they are terrible liars, still very love the coach and heading to Cali this weekend!
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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Welcome to the Land Yacht Club.

Hope you have many miles of enjoyment out of that unit.

These are a great motorhome if you can keep them, as all RV's, weather proof.

If I can help in any way let me know.

Post lots of pictures of your travels and updates. We like pictures.

Dave
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:02 PM   #14
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Welcome to the Land Yacht Club.

Hope you have many miles of enjoyment out of that unit.

These are a great motorhome if you can keep them, as all RV's, weather proof.

If I can help in any way let me know.

Post lots of pictures of your travels and updates. We like pictures.

Dave
I will Dave you've already been a wealth of knowledge. We are in Arizona so"weather" is not a big factor except for the heat!
Jim
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