Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:32 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
BEND , Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 20
34 foot Airstream, old, new, ? Why?

I'm a looker and a little anal, (a lot according to my wife), but if a person could find a 34 footer in good - great shape what are the downsides of buying it? You can't hurt my feelings so fire away!! I have no commitment, I'm so new it's scary, our intentions are longer trips to warm weather or relatives. Maybe cruise the coasts or who knows.
Does insurance relate to length of the AS or $$? Being the longfellow are there additional maintenance concerns? How about parks, nat'l and state, any problems? Unload please!! Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
call-me-al is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
nilesrob's Avatar
 
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,112
Images: 12
We've owned two 34's, and I think they are superb; tow like a dream, lots of room, not to be shallow but looks really cool as well. We now own a 27' and I have to say that have as much room as we need with it. Also, it is definitely better for national/state parks, where in some places even 27 feet is a bit long.

Depends on your priorities but I loved our 34's!
__________________

__________________
Brad
The Slowsky's
2008 Airstream 27FB International Ocean Breeze
2014 Ford F250 King Ranch 4X4 w/6.7L Diesel, Hensley Hitch
WBCCI #1271

travelwiththeslowskys.com
nilesrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Two Harbors , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by call-me-al View Post
I'm a looker and a little anal, (a lot according to my wife)...find a 34 footer in good - great shape what are the downsides of buying it?
Al...that somewhat describes me also I am quite taken by the 34'...and I think my wife would like the room...as well as the hickory cabinets in the newer units.

Couple of things you probably know...

1) MSRP $100K+

2) Not currently available for 2012...AS manufactured 25 in 2011...and my dealer said they have no plans to produce any in 2012. They had not produced for a couple (?) of years prior to 2011 "special" run of 25.

Other than that I join you in your admiration!

Tom R in Two Harbors, Mn
__________________
TomR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:00 PM   #4
TnVolGuy
 
trmiller's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Cordova , Tennessee
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 20
Images: 3
Send a message via Skype™ to trmiller
We have a 31ft Excella & love it. It's a1983 and is actually great condition. Best trailer I have
__________________
trmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
Cantrell's Avatar
 
1988 34' Limited
1960 24' Tradewind
Mt. Pleasant , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 379
Downsides:
*Storage--covered is best.
*Lot of trailer to wash and wax.
*Not everyone is comfortable pulling something that is 34' 10 1/2" long. Much less backing and manuevering around gas stations and tight campgrounds.
*You need a hoss of a tow vehicle, especially with the newer 34s.
*Less sites available at campgrounds and some parks cannot accomodate them at all.
*One 15K BTU AC is borderline in some situations. Many people have 2 air conditioners on their 34s. We do fine with one in most circumstances.
*Extra maintenance compared with a 31' or shorter is an additional axle, 2 extra brakes, 2 more sets of bearings, 2 extra tires to maintain, and about 3 more feet of aluminum.

We are a family of 4 and thoroughly enjoy our 34. We could do just fine in a smaller trailer but it is nice to have a little extra room and storage. It is my opinion that it handles better, tracks better, and is easier to back up than shorter trailers.
Hope this is helpful and a decent start.
Good luck in your investigation and searching.
__________________
Bill Cantrell
AIR 24338
TAC SC-1
__________________________________________________
Easily distracted by shiny objects.
Cantrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
TnVolGuy
 
trmiller's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Cordova , Tennessee
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 20
Images: 3
Send a message via Skype™ to trmiller
Well hit wrong button. Was saying best trailer we have ever pulled. Airstreams pull very good. We love it
__________________
trmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:18 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
jbbaldwin's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Salem , Virginia
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24
Good Evening Al,

I'm also relatively new to Airstreams. My wife and I purchased a 1991 Excella 1000 34' back in May. If you can find a 34' in good usable condition I see no downsides purchasing one.

1) Insurance - If I remember correctly I purchased full coverage insurance for around $340 a year which I didn't think was to bad.

2) I don't think there would be any additional maintenance cost besides the additional two tires need and cleaning supplies!

3) From what I have read we may have problems with a 34 footer in national forest campground. We have ours at an RV park and have not issues.

My one recommendation would be a second a/c in the bedroom. I'm hoping to do that update this fall or spring.

Good Luck on your search!

Jody

__________________
jbbaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:20 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,163
Blog Entries: 1
never pulled a 34. been on lots of caravans with them. Have seen absolutly no problems with them as far as pulling and camping. I think used 34's might be a good buy, because some people do think they are too big or whatever. The older ones do have some issues with separation at the front or back. know a couple that just went from a 28 to a 34. they say it actually seems to pull better than the 28 because it seems more stable on the 3 axles. go for it.
__________________
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
jbbaldwin's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Salem , Virginia
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24
I had actually never pulled anything when we purchased ours. I took my uncle with me how pulled it a mile from the PO's home then turned it over to me. I pulled it 100 miles home with not issues and backed it into a space first try. The next day I pulled it on to the campground over various road types (Interstate, winding country roads) with no issue. It was an actual joy to pull.

As has been stated the price of the 2011 34' model at over $100K a used one was our only option.
__________________
jbbaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Condoluminum's Avatar
 
1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,858
Images: 13
Send a message via AIM to Condoluminum
List of con's above is pretty good, but there are several key factors to run through mental spreadsheet...

1. It really does take a beefier and more expensive truck to tow.. You can get away with a half-ton Suburban or Truck under 30', but will definitely need a 3/4 ton and probably a diesel to pull the 34... That will add to the cost
2. Used ones actually depreciate more than smaller Airstreams, because the market is limited and fewer people are seeking them out.
3. Most (but no all...) State Park organizations spec max trailer lengths at 25', though they don't usually measure with a tape.. Airstream 27's can fake it, but 34 looks long enough to be disqualified.
4. Maintenance for tires, bearings, brakes, etc will be more, and risks of body damage swinging in tight spaces is higher.
5. Two air conditioners probably required in deep south our southwest, for temps over 90 degrees....
__________________
Condoluminum

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
Condoluminum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by call-me-al View Post
Does insurance relate to length of the AS or $$?
It is usually proportional to the original MSRP so for a 34' it will be somewhat higher.

Quote:
Being the longfellow are there additional maintenance concerns?
Not really other than the third axle, which increases the tire, brake, bearing, and axle costs.

Quote:
How about parks, nat'l and state, any problems? Unload please!! Thanks in advance.
I don't have a 34' but I have a 30' and have talked extensively to owners of 34's and toured their rigs.

You will need a tow vehicle that is truly large enough, which in practice means a 3/4 ton pickup, a 3/4 ton Suburban, or one of a handful of larger and now-discontinued SUVs like the Ford Excursion. You will also pretty much need a Hensley or ProPride hitch, in my opinion, although some people get by without them.

The overall length of the truck and trailer combined will pose parking problems. The extent to which this matters varies regionally and depends on the kinds of places you like. National parks pose the largest problems because they have a preponderance of small sites and tight turns. Most private campgrounds will have suitable sites. In Minnesota and the surrounding area, the state parks all have sites that are large enough although any park may have a few sites where the rig won't fit. In some cases you may find that you have to detach the tow vehicle and park it separately, which isn't a big deal.

I like my 30' and while any RV tends to seem like it is just a couple of feet too small I don't have any regrets. The 34' floorplan doesn't make as efficient use of space due to the bathroom layout and so the net benefit is just a couple more feet in the lounge area, and while that's welcome if you travel with a larger group, I don't think it's necessary.

Hope this helps.
__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 10:15 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
nilesrob's Avatar
 
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,112
Images: 12
I would agree that 3/4 ton TV is a must. The tongue weight on a 34' is substantial and you need to account for this. Even when towing with an Excursion, we beefed up the rear end to make it travel more evenly.

A second AC unit is really nice. We had one when traveling with two teenagers - or one close to teen years, and I'd have to say that was pretty cool (no pun intended). We also had a slide-out, so of course that added to square footage needing to be cooled. Did I mention we had a teenage daughter?

As for towing, absolutely a breeze. Backing up - no problem - maybe even easier that a shorter trailer (mentioned earlier).

Yes, there are increased costs - tire wear, packing wheels etc. Not to sound blaze, we didn't find that to be a particularly big issue.

For me, the only question would be about length of trailer relative to boon docking sites, national or state park sites - which are traditionally shorter in length. This is not a negative to the 34', it is just being realistic. Now this is not to say you won't be able to fit into some state/natl parks, it just means you might need to be more selective about sites.
__________________
Brad
The Slowsky's
2008 Airstream 27FB International Ocean Breeze
2014 Ford F250 King Ranch 4X4 w/6.7L Diesel, Hensley Hitch
WBCCI #1271

travelwiththeslowskys.com
nilesrob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 11:56 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Two Harbors , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 311
How does the 27'FB compare with your 34' w/o slide...on a day-to-day liviability scale? I wonder how "livable" the "lounge" seating is? Also seems a bit light on storage? Thanks...Tom R

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob View Post
I would agree that 3/4 ton TV is a must. The tongue weight on a 34' is substantial and you need to account for this. Even when towing with an Excursion, we beefed up the rear end to make it travel more evenly.

A second AC unit is really nice. We had one when traveling with two teenagers - or one close to teen years, and I'd have to say that was pretty cool (no pun intended). We also had a slide-out, so of course that added to square footage needing to be cooled. Did I mention we had a teenage daughter?

As for towing, absolutely a breeze. Backing up - no problem - maybe even easier that a shorter trailer (mentioned earlier).

Yes, there are increased costs - tire wear, packing wheels etc. Not to sound blaze, we didn't find that to be a particularly big issue.

For me, the only question would be about length of trailer relative to boon docking sites, national or state park sites - which are traditionally shorter in length. This is not a negative to the 34', it is just being realistic. Now this is not to say you won't be able to fit into some state/natl parks, it just means you might need to be more selective about sites.
__________________
TomR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 06:14 AM   #14
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
sandlapper's Avatar
 
1993 34' Excella
York , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,429
Images: 7
Can't add much to this discussion, except to vote YES to the alumiliner. We sure do love ours, and the positives far out weight any negatives. Go for it. John
__________________

__________________
John
WBCCI #3892
Region 3 , 1st VP

Go often to the house of a friend, for weeds choke the unused path........Emerson

Never pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he will just kill you........a wise old man.
sandlapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
35 foot airstream needs polishing! Skotty34 Cleaning, Stripping & Polishing 13 04-09-2012 08:53 PM
1976 Airstream Argosy RV Trailer 26 Foot, Very Good Con eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 06-15-2011 09:00 AM
1973 Vintage Airstream Safari 23 foot rare dual axle eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 06-13-2011 02:50 AM
Classic Airstream Sovereign 31 Foot Travel Trailer 1974 eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 04-19-2011 08:20 PM
1976 Airstream Argosy 24 foot travel trailer camper eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 04-17-2011 08:10 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.