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Old 09-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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need advice on what type to buy

Well starting over from scratch at age 51, almost flat broke right now but have a moderate income, just relocated to a new state. I believe, since I will have to pay cash for everthing in the near future and have to fund a vehicle, retirement and housing, that a used airstream seems practicle to me. I would like to be mobile and travel for a certain portion of the year in the near future but I know nothing about reliability/economics of an "A" class or "C" class vs pulling a trailer. I would love some advice on what is the most economical way to go. Thank you
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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Nearly everyone here has trailers so you're going to get a different point of view than if you ask at rvforum.com or someplace else where people have broader backgrounds.

In general the problem with class A/class C setups is that the running gear (engine, axles, brakes, steering, etc.) is much more expensive to maintain compared to the cost of maintaining a pickup or other suitable tow vehicle for a trailer.

There are usable Airstreams out there for $10,000 or less that are in reasonable shape but older. It helps to be handy. On the other hand most $10,000 class A and class C rigs are basket cases.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Agree with Jammer

Jammer said it right on all three points. Another consideration is that Airstreams are smaller inside than SOB's with slideouts. They aren't bulletproof either. They do decay without good regular maintenance and care. Generally you can get a 5 year old SOB (square old box/some other brand) for less than a 10 year old Airstream. The biggest issue is leaks and damage resulting from leaks. Electrical, propane water and heating systems may need work too, even in a unit that's only 5 to 10 years old.

If you're set on an Airstream, the bigger ones are generally somewhat less popular than the small ones. Go to the Classifieds tab and do some studying.

Good luck whatever you choose. Paula


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Nearly everyone here has trailers so you're going to get a different point of view than if you ask at rvforum.com or someplace else where people have broader backgrounds.

In general the problem with class A/class C setups is that the running gear (engine, axles, brakes, steering, etc.) is much more expensive to maintain compared to the cost of maintaining a pickup or other suitable tow vehicle for a trailer.

There are usable Airstreams out there for $10,000 or less that are in reasonable shape but older. It helps to be handy. On the other hand most $10,000 class A and class C rigs are basket cases.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
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Hi lmt1977 welcome to the forums and good luck with your search for the right a/s. having a m/h weather a "C" or "A" class requires a second vehicle for basic transportation unless you want to drive the m/h everywhere. If you intend to be stationary most of the year then a t/t is the way to go. Most a/s t/t can be pulled with a full size car or light duty truck. They are much more economical as daily drivers and as tow vehicles than a m/h. Yes m/h's are larger and can be outfitted with more amenities but cost a lot more to run and repair.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:11 PM   #5
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I would add to Jammer's points and say that on top of the difference in mechanical maintenance costs between a moho and a tow vehicle, in lmt1977's situation it might be more economical to have a tow vehicle as the only vehicle/daily driver. If you're starting from scratch and living in the rig, it's probably good "insurance" to be able to live in the trailer if/when the tv is in the shop, rather than needing a motel room while your moho is being subjected to the loving care of some random wrench-ape. That's slightly less of an issue if you do all your work yourself, but you still might want another vehicle while the house part of your rig is leveled and hooked up... with a trailer+tv rig, you have that by default. I suspect it's also cheaper in most states to register and insure 1 truck + 1 trailer than 1 moho + 1 towable runabout.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Hi lmt1977 welcome to the forums and good luck with your search for the right a/s. having a m/h weather a "C" or "A" class requires a second vehicle for basic transportation unless you want to drive the m/h everywhere. If you intend to be stationary most of the year then a t/t is the way to go. Most a/s t/t can be pulled with a full size car or light duty truck. They are much more economical as daily drivers and as tow vehicles than a m/h. Yes m/h's are larger and can be outfitted with more amenities but cost a lot more to run and repair.
Shhhh! With that heretical "full sized car" talk you're going to get the diesel-dually-only crowd all riled up.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:00 AM   #7
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when i see the "full size car" or "light duty truck "pulling any type of substantial trailer i make sure the wreckage is behind me and not in front of me.defensive driving skills while in tow are always the best practices.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:15 AM   #8
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seeking advice on TOW Vehicle

I am considering a Safari 16'. My current vehicle is a Hummer H3 .Should I consider a newer Tow vehicle? I would rather keep the Hummer but safety and reliability on the road is a concern now. And most importantly I am NEW,new,new to camping but "in love" with Airstreams. How difficult is it to set up at a campsite,etc. I am a single person. Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:27 AM   #9
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I am considering a Safari 16'. My current vehicle is a Hummer H3 .Should I consider a newer Tow vehicle? I would rather keep the Hummer but safety and reliability on the road is a concern now. And most importantly I am NEW,new,new to camping but "in love" with Airstreams. How difficult is it to set up at a campsite,etc. I am a single person. Thank you for your help.
Does your H3 have the V8 option? I think the base engine wouldn't be sufficient, but the V8 might work marginally.

Newness doesn't seem to be as much of an issue as capability does. How much braking capacity, transmission & engine cooling, mass, torque and wheelbase the tow vehicle has compared to the size/weight/tongue weight of the trailer, probably in that order.
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