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Old 10-27-2018, 09:37 AM   #1
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Thumbs up New Purchase questions

Hi all,

Working on purchasing a new 25’ International Serenity RB. Had a couple questions I wanted to get opinions on:

1) Will most dealers sell and install a Hensley or ProPride hitch if requested, or do they typically just sell a set type of hitch they deal with?
2) Is the Airstream optional solar package worth it if we mainly plan on using campgrounds with hookups? (we plan on getting 50 amp option as well). With the 160W package I asssume it’s mainly keeping your batteries charged - if we won’t be boondocking much, or just for very brief periods, is it worth the cost (and the added weight)?
3) Does Airstream offer a more powerful inverter than the standard 1000W (maybe 2000W?). Again, with hookups not a big issue, but thought I would check.

Thanks to all! Looking forward to finally joining the club!
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:45 AM   #2
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Short answer is.....
1 No
2 No
3 No

1 Hensley and ProPride can be bought and shipped to a dealer for install it pre set up with the dealer
2 Factory solar is too expensive for what you get.
3 Airstream only offers the 1000 watt inverter.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:10 AM   #3
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I take issue with "no" answers above. Think of Alice's Restaurant; "you can get anything you want"...it's just more money from the dealer, in most cases. If money is no object and you just want to get it done up front, then dealer is my recommendation. They typically will work with you on the hitch; they want you to be happy out the door...the Solar is expensive, but it will keep your batteries charged while in transit, even though you may be using shore power most of the time. Nice to know you have that backup, and it opens up options for camping...you may find one of the great BLM sites across the US by a lake or river without hookups. You can typically get your dealer to also install most anything, including a 2000W inverter; or you might look at getting one aftermarket. Many folks go solar with the Li batteries, and don't worry about hooking up to shore power...just saying the options are there. My advice would be get the 25 with the hitch, use it for awhile, and determain if you really want the solar or need the inverter...you also did not mention the batteries....the stock batteries are Interstate...lots of issues out the door with these for many of us. If your considering a 2000W inverter, you should also consider better battery selection...my 2 cents.
We have owned 3 25's over the years. We bought a portable 80W solar pack from GoPower years ago, and it does a great job of topping off our batteries and you can take it with you....when you upgrade to your next model! Welcome to AS!
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:19 AM   #4
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My answers were based on the question.

#1 Most dealers do not sell Hensley or ProPride hitches. They will install them with some questionable ability if you order and bring or have sent to them.
#2 factory solar.... Factory installed in not worth the money. You can have better system with better components done after market for less money.
#3 the Airstream factory does not offer a larger inverter. Again you can have this done at a dealer or other place but the factory will not allow you to special order larger.

Be sure you understand that Airstream and your Airstream dealer is not the same business or person.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:16 AM   #5
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Hi

Ok:

1) A *good* dealer will happily install any safe hitch you are willing to buy and have shipped in. The quality of that install will depend a LOT on how familiar they are with this or that hitch. A dealer that has never seen a Hensley or ProPride probably is *not* one you want to deal with .... hint ....hint ...

2) Factory solar is great. Unless you are into a full DIY approach including crawling around on the roof, it's not badly priced. Keeping things charged in the odd situation is a "really good thing".

3) Airstream offers pretty much the biggest inverter you should use with the stock batteries. If you are going larger, then more batteries and much bigger wiring are needed. That's all very do-able. People spend thousands of dollars on that sort of upgrade.

Any time you move away from "stock" there is a hidden gotcha. If a setup is stock, then any Airstream dealer anywhere should be able to work on it and fix it. Indeed there totally incompetent AS dealers, that's a different topic. Parts, drawings, and procedures for the stock stuff *should* be available to any AS dealer for a repair.

Once you get into DIY, all of that comfort blanket goes away (for the DIY part). A dealer *may* be able to deal with your custom setup. Finding parts may be an issue ( = they may be able to pull a stock inverter off the shelf, my Victron ... not so much). Even digging into a DIY may not be something they want to do. If something goes wrong with your DIY, the warranty does not cover it. ( = when my "upgrade" converter puked, the LED lights that blew out came out of my pocket).

What one dealer / shop is capable of, the next guy down the road ... not so much. There are some out there that likely can build a AS from scratch. There are others that barely have a clue about how to replace a missing screw. Having / forcing an incompetent one to do something (anything ....) is not likely to end well for you. If they say no to something, don't force it, find somebody else.

Bob
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:52 AM   #6
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If you decide to get a Hensley or ProPride hitch, do NOT let the dealer install it. You can easily handle this task yourself. The dealers generally don't know what they are doing when it comes to these installations. If you do it yourself, it will be done correctly. If you let the dealer do it, it will likely be wrong.

As far as the solar and inverter issues go, I cannot be of much help as I have nebver had solar and rarely use the unverter.

Brian
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Old 10-27-2018, 12:15 PM   #7
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New Purchase questions

The real problem with any dealer installing any Hensley design hitch is that the techs do not take the time to read and follow the instructions that come with them. The tech is paid by the hour and is always in a hurry, makes assumptions, and frankly, may not care much, since he’s not driving your rig with his family aboard.

ProPride is easy to install, even at my age, and a skinny daughter helping hand tools to me. Just read and follow the directions that come with it, and call Sean Woodruff if you have questions. He’s super helpful.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:20 PM   #8
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New purchase

Started out with 1971 Minuet, went thru 3 bumper pull TT’s... then a Thor class A, now looking for Airstream.. now that Thor owns airstream scared to buy new.
From what I am seeing on all the forums the older airstreams seems to be better quality.
Thoughts?
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:25 PM   #9
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If you are purchasing a new 2019 Serenity model most come with prewired solar. On the inside A frame should be a quick connect for a mobile solar panels.
The Roof should be a Quick connect for 2 solar panels.
Keep in mind that the prewire is of small gauge and can only hold a certain solar charge.

We don't see the need for solar panels atm because we will only be camping where electrical 30/ 50 amp is provided. If we were to join a large rally that had no hook ups then we might consider. (Our 2018 CCD came with prewire)


Most AS dealers I have visited will install a proride hitch. We had ours installed day one just paid the cost. Well worth the money.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:30 PM   #10
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1) Don't know about the Henley or Propride but a good dealer should get and install what you want.

2) I would not go with the factory solar for two reasons. 1) You do not plan to boondock so it is not needed. 2) if you want solar, you can to a much better system for a lot less money.

3) You will not need any inverter if you plan to be on shore power all the time. In addition, you will not have the battery power for a larger inverter on a stock Airstream.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
if you decide to get a hensley or propride hitch, do not let the dealer install it. You can easily handle this task yourself. The dealers generally don't know what they are doing when it comes to these installations. If you do it yourself, it will be done correctly. If you let the dealer do it, it will likely be wrong.



As far as the solar and inverter issues go, i cannot be of much help as i have nebver had solar and rarely use the unverter.



Brian


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Old 10-29-2018, 09:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
The real problem with any dealer installing any Hensley design hitch is that the techs do not take the time to read and follow the instructions that come with them. The tech is paid by the hour and is always in a hurry, makes assumptions, and frankly, may not care much, since he’s not driving your rig with his family aboard.

ProPride is easy to install, even at my age, and a skinny daughter helping hand tools to me. Just read and follow the directions that come with it, and call Sean Woodruff if you have questions. He’s super helpful.
Hi

I'm not at all sure you can ever make a blanket statement about "any dealer". There are certainly dealers out there who have techs that are very familiar with the proper way to put on a Hensley or ProPride .... After doing a few of them a month for years, I'd bet they get pretty good at it.

Bob
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:53 AM   #13
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I have experience with three different Airstream dealers. None of these was competent enough to install my Hensley Arrow. I have installed mine on three different Airstreams myself in the dealers' parking lot. I also have experience with a fourth Airstream dealer who removed my Hensley in order to move the trailer. I had had to reinstall it myself before I could pull the trailer away. This was after them telling me that they could handle the trailer with a Hensley.

My experience with most Airstream Dealers is that their service department is a clown show.

Brian
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:13 AM   #14
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I saw a new 30 Classic yesterday in Buda, and the dealer told me it comes with AMG 12v batteries and solar now, standard. Said they just switched from the Interstates on that model this year....not sure which brand, but interesting extras on the Classic including the automatic leveling jacks and new Polk audio sound system...nice little extras. Have to see if I can back that down my driveway...no wait, first better check with the wife!
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