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Old 12-09-2011, 07:03 PM   #15
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Classic = Aluminum Body (looks more like Airstream trailers)
DP = Diesel Pusher

Shari
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:55 PM   #16
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Thanks for the comments. We're still looking at all sorts of options. Perhaps a bit more about us might help others to comment.

Obviously, health issues can change anyone's plans, but at this point we are both in reasonable good health. We have about two years before we really need to make any sort of decision on our FT coach. Both of us like Airstreams, although neither of us as ever slept in one, much less owned one. I'm reasonable handy, but I do know my limitations. Once we go FT, we won't have a home base to return to, so if I can't fix it in the campground, we'll have to go to a service place or have a mobile service come to us. That will be true of whatever we end up with.

The proposed budget is $50,000 for the entire package including a reserve for upgrades/repairs needed or desired. If we go with a MH, the toad will be a small car, perhaps even a Smart. If we go with a TT, the truck will probably be an F250 or 350. Whether we go with a MH/toad or truck/TT, both parts will be used.

An Airstream is the only TT we are considering, focusing on 30-34' Classic models. We're considering Foretravel Gran Villa, Newmar, Tiffin, and Wanderlodge motor homes in addition to the Airstream. The Foretravel would probably be about the same age as the Airstream MH, the Wanderlodge a few years older, and the Newmar and Tiffin a few years newer. The age range is approximately mid-80's to late 90's. DW would prefer slides, but doesn't have to have them as long as the coach is a wide body one. I'd prefer no slides, but would accept one. I'd prefer not to have a Detroit Diesel 2-stroke, but would accept it if the rest of the coach was what we want. I know, that's what most of the Wanderlodges have.

I'd really like to hear from someone who has had both a Classic DP MH and an Airstream TT.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:34 AM   #17
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I'd say that finding that DP Airstream wide-body may be your biggest hurdle. I believe they were manufactured for 3 years (1993-1996). As well, I don't think Airstream has a total production figure on any year of Airstream motorhome production, so there's really no way of knowing how many are out there.
I remember seeing a DP widebody at Bates RV (local Airstream dealer) a couple of years ago, and it was For Sale, but it was also looking pretty beat up as well.
See what you can find, go look at it, hunt down the few DP Airstream motorhome owners there are on this forum and see what they can tell you.
Good Luck, and Happy New Years! Derek
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #18
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David: Please see my post today on the moho thread. If you don't buy something before June, drive up to Sedalia at the end of June for the WBCCI international rally/convention. The dealer from Wentzville (Bill Thomas) will have some new and used trailers there. I'm on my third trailer (all purchased used) and third tow vehicle. As a retired vendor and commercial member of FMCA, I have some familiarity with the motorhomes you mention and their reputation for quality or conversely, their reputation for problems. My father had motorhomes for years and was quite happy with them. His last motorhome was a class A 31 ft. Silver Streak on a Dodge chassis. They looked like an Airstream but had a gold anodized panel on the side above the beltline. I like the tow truck/trailer combination because you won't use the motorhome to run down to the supermarket to get a loaf of bread...it's a specialized vehicle. Also, I'm reminded what a friend of mine said about his ownership experience with a BMW 7 series..."if you own a BMW, you need to be prepared to pay for repairing your BMW...BIG $$." Sometimes motorhomes can be the same way unless you are a good mechanic and RV technician. I do a lot of my own maintenance on my trailer unless it's beyond my capability. Then it goes to a shop.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #19
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Thanks for the tip! Sedalia is not all that far from here. I'll check the calendar and see what can be arranged.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:12 PM   #20
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Tami & I have been fulltiming in our '89 345 since 2007. You learn to do with less. Garage sales before you leave is a good way to make cash. We had some stuff in a storage locker back home for about 2 yrs. When we settled down in TN, we went up to NY to get the stuff. 3/4 of it we didn't miss & was sold here in TN. What a waste of money for storage all that time. In the 3 yrs we lived on the road we would donate unneeded stuff at goodwill stores & buy what was needed there as well. We have a saying; If something comes in, something goes out. This keeps you from being a pack rat. Try to buy stuff that keeps your weight down. Ex: television with built in DVD player, it can also play CD's. We have a scanner/printer & a laptop. We scan in any papers or photos we want to keep. It's easier to print up our dogs files from the vet or vehicle repair bills as needed than carry a small filing cabinet around. Bring a back up device for the computer so you don't lose anything important when it crashes. A video photo frame allows us to view a lot of the photos while only hanging 1 frame on the wall. Wall space is scarce in a MH. Buy light weight Corelle type dishes. There is a lot of storage in a MH so it's easy to get overweight. I suggest you use a scale at a truck stop to see what you weigh empty & fully packed.
We lived in the driveway of a duplex that I own with my sister for 6 weeks prior to departure. Her house sold quickly, but we weren't ready to leave yet. This helped us figure out what was needed & what didn't have to come with us. Check out this link to my winter living thread for ideas.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:49 PM   #21
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Make it comfortable! Our MH has a bed that faces east/west. We put in a standard queen size matress. We couldn't live on a little peice of foam for very long.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #22
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3 Dog Nite, all of that is good advice. We're trying to make stuff go away, but it isn't leaving fast enough to suit me. Both of us are teachers, and teachers are packrats. Add to that I'm a ham, and hams seem to always have well-equipped junque boxes, and you can begin to appreciate our problem. Oh yes, we're both librarians, and our home library is ~1000 volumes.

We've set aside a section in the garage for stuff to sell this spring, and I'm thinking that I really need to go out and clear another space because the first one is filling up. We've told the kids that all gift-giving occasions (us to them) will include some of our stuff.

One of the "issues" that we've wrestled with for Airstreams is the short mattresses that come with them. Last night I suggested that the first purchase for whatever we get for our FT coach be a new mattress for it, and my DW thought that sounded like a good idea.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:15 AM   #23
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I came across this thread after reading some of the OP's posts on other threads (and, I think, on other forums).

The proposed budget is $50,000 for the entire package including a reserve for upgrades/repairs needed or desired.

I think you just eliminated motorhomes altogether with this statement. idroba's post above pretty well nails things from the single important perspective here:

- stated budget

- limited repair skills (call it "interest")

An excellent TV and excellent TT can be sourced, updated, repaired and the tools plus equipment to keep maintenance issues at bay be placed aboard both vehicles as needed. The concerns over household or personal goods are a placeholder for investigating these machines as machines.

1] How long will the TV/TT be owned?

2] How many nights aboard?

3] How many miles in that time?

Answers to these questions will show that economy -- when understood as an average of miles-per-night -- puts a budget into perspective.

The wider range of TV's for a TT or their elimination altogether (have an RV transporter move the TT in the event of necessity) makes a workable budget stretch when necessary.

Breakdown costs on motorhomes can be game changers. Don't expect that insurance covers all costs, or that damages via towing are always obvious. The point here is that the unknowns for a particular motorhome can be a canyon in depth, but a TT/TV combo is often no more than a little old bar ditch.

Your neighbor might likely be able to help you with most TT "fixes" (to get down the road), but that won't be the case with a medium duty truck based repairs.

I spent $30k for both TT & TV (sig link) and another $10k getting it to the condition seen in the link pics. Still a ways to go. Some of our labor, a good deal that of others. Nice to have the choice. Low overall costs from any angle is the upshot.

$50k is a nice chunk of money. I'd hate to use it up all at once for the higher cost and lower utility of a motorhome.

Plus that they drive like crap.

.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Plus that they drive like crap.
Hmm, I'd say "au contraire", unless our coach is the only one that tracks smooth and tight.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:34 PM   #25
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Yours doesn't, and no, none of them do. You may have a bit more experience in knowing how to use mirrors thus are better at lane discipline (where one is inside a lane), but motorhomes are more work than they're worth when it comes to getting down the road. A trailer of the type around here and a suitable TV well set-up is the superior of any motorhome short of a $2-million Newell when it comes to ease-of-driving (driving well by a measured standard).
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