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Old 06-30-2008, 04:57 PM   #29
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Unlike the Colorado bears, the Airstreams don't bite you until you take them home.

Seriously, I can't tell you much about Airstreams versus Avions save what I have read doing my background research on the Internet. I can suggest that you the more you can explain about what you need, the better folks around here seem to be able to help.

On a fundamental level, a trailer is a tool... though somewhat more complex than say a hammer. A guy can walk into a real hardware store (disappearing these days) and find a dazzling array of hammers. The more you can tell the salesperson about what you plan to do with the hammer and how much you can spend, the better chance you have of getting a hammer that suits your needs. Through the course of this thread (and with the warm and gracious reception I have received), I have told folks that my wife and I need a travel trailer for an extended "hiatus" traveling the country. After the slice of early retirement, my wife and I will resume work and mostly "weekend." We're taller than some so the AS bed and shower are a bit "squinched." We've looked at the new Airstreams and think we could make a 25' Safari work, but we're open to ideas including a restoring a vintage tin girl. Our budget is about $50,000. We're leaning towards using our Nissan Titan as a tow vehicle and we'd be reluctant to go over 25' or 6000 pounds dry weight... unless we find a 31' my wife loves and she forces me to buy a 1-ton rig.

The folks around here seem to be able to do everything except channel the ghost of Wally Byam. The more you can tell folks about who you are and how you want to use your AS, the better they can help you. So, my suggestion is to fill in the details as you can and enjoy the hospitality.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:22 PM   #30
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We're taller than some so the AS bed and shower are a bit "squinched."
Hampstead38,
My wife and I are vertically challenged and on a good day I am 5'6" and my wife is about 5'4". We are probably some of the few people that can walk in and out of an Airstream without having to duck.

The shower in our '87 is has more room than the '06. But the '06 bathroom area is larger because the throne and sink are on the road side and the shower is on the curb side. My wife loves to shower in both of them, but unless the campground showers are disgusting I usually make use of them. One less mess my wife has to clean up.

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...unless we find a 31' my wife loves and she forces me to buy a 1-ton rig..
You can pull a 31' with a 3/4 ton. Our '87 34' is actually more docile on the road than the 30'. The 30' is a slide out model with a LOT of tongue weight.

Be careful when you are looking, becasue you just may run across a 34 footer that you absolutely have to have.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:56 PM   #31
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Craig's List

Hampstead38,
I just ran through Criag's List for PA and thought you may be interested in...

2002 AIRSTREAM SAFARI 25' 6-SLEEPER "PLUS BUNK BED"

This has potential.

1985 32' Excella

This is a nice older unit, but from your previous posts it sounds like you still like to sleep with your wife (as do I). So the separate beds may be an issue. That was a big problem when we went looking for our second trailer. Finding an older Airstream with a queen bed was difficult.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:02 PM   #32
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This Avion would be pulled by our 97 Suburban K1500 (5.7L) and is 30'. We have HD trailering on it and this would be our first towing experience (save what I have done with my dad's 27' 5th wheel TT).

We need a hitch (brand?) and upgrade its 2 batteries (to get the auto level jack working, etc), heater repaired, and I believe that's it. It weighs approx 5500-5700 lbs dry and our Burb's original sticker says it's rated to pull 7500#.

Our neighbors are TT'ers, pull a 27' 5th wheel and Bass boat together with their '92 Ram diesel. This '83 Avion 30-P belongs to their daughter and they verify it's in great shape save the things I've listed. I found out about this Avion when I told my neighbor I was looking, wondered if he knew anyone selling (he sold his older SilverStreak last year but recommended I not buy it based on its age, weight vs my Suburban). They weren't necessarily selling until I asked- they indicate they will sell it b/c they don't use it much any more... maybe since 2005 while they built a home.

Thank you, any/all, for help. jwb
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:12 PM   #33
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We need a hitch (brand?)
Txbinks,
Discussing hitches here is like discussing politics, religion, or the Great Pumpkin. Everybody has their favorites. I had a Reese when I had an SOB, but when I got our first Airstream we got an Equal-i-zer hitch and I love it. If you really have the money you can look into the Hensley Arrow.

I cannot speak as to the quality of the Avions, but I have seen quite afew of them on the road and in campgrounds. The only thing that would worry me is parts availability. But if the price is right and it is well kept, like and Airstream, it should last a good long while.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:44 PM   #34
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This is a nice older unit, but from your previous posts it sounds like you still like to sleep with your wife (as do I).


I'm going to go out on a limb here, Carl, but I'm guessing what you meant is that you enjoy sleeping with your wife as much as I enjoy sleeping with my wife.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #35
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I'm going to go out on a limb here, Carl, but I'm guessing what you meant is that you enjoy sleeping with your wife as much as I enjoy sleeping with my wife.
Hampstead38,
LOL. It read ok when I proof read it, but now that I read it again it is a little, how shal we say...misleading? And yes, I meant I enjoy sleeping with MY wife.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:05 PM   #36
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I laughed out loud as well. I appreciate the links to trailers. It seems there's more going on in PA than south of the Mason-Dixon line. I don't see many travel trailers moving in Maryland.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:52 AM   #37
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The only Airstreams I see are the ones passing through. Very few are sighted on the road, here in Maryland. If you go down the shore, on 97 just after the Crownsville rt 450 exit there are two parked on a hill just in the woods. Gets me excited every time we pass them. Good luck with your search and feel free to come by.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:41 AM   #38
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We are headed down'ee ocean to see the in-laws this weekend. They live near Cambridge. It does seem odd to me that there are so few Airstreams in Maryland. This is a pretty decent state for public campgrounds and other facilities.
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:48 PM   #39
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Just want to add something: I looked at the 32' Excella pictures... the one in Bucks County. I had a couple of reactions. One... 32' feels really big to me. Two, I don't have a good sense of the Excella floor plan based on the limited photos. I'm not sure I'm interested in something that big, but out of curiousity, how do the Excella's pull? Let's say a person put in new running gear (axles, tires, brakes), is this something a person could haul around the country? Based on my continued reading, it seems like a person can get a pretty good deal on the "longish" Excellas circa 80s to 90s. I just don't know much about them... yet.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:16 PM   #40
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Just want to add something: I looked at the 32' Excella pictures... the one in Bucks County. I had a couple of reactions. One... 32' feels really big to me. Two, I don't have a good sense of the Excella floor plan based on the limited photos.


Hampstead38,
Be careful now, you are experiencing the first stages of Aluminitis, and I'm here to help.

Here are some links to help you out with the mid-1980's floor plans. When we got our '87 they had ALL the paperwork, including a 1987 product sales brochure and the specifications and floor plans for the 1987 model year. I scanned them into PDF's and they are available here...

1987 Airstream Product Brochure

1987 Airstream Product Specifications Features And Floorplans

Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
I'm not sure I'm interested in something that big, but out of curiosity, how do the Excella's pull? Let's say a person put in new running gear (axles, tires, brakes), is this something a person could haul around the country? Based on my continued reading, it seems like a person can get a pretty good deal on the "longish" Excellas circa 80s to 90s. I just don't know much about them... yet.


Hopefully you should not have to install new axles, tires, or brakes on a mid-1980's - 1990's trailer. There are however enough axle threads here to choke a horse, if you are up to the reading. The rule of thumb seems to be as long as there is at least 2 - 3 inches of tire viewable between the wheel rim and the wheel well trim, the axles should be OK. Brakes and tires are easy to replace.

At Penn Wood Airstream Park, where we keep the '87, there are lots of "snowbirds" that pull their trailers back and forth from Pennsylvania to Florida every year. And they all have 34 footers, because they are full timing. So in a word, yes, they can be hauled around the country.

My TV is pretty darned big as seen in my signature. I go at least 5 - 10 miles over the speed limit and get 18 mpg when not towing. When towing I try not to exceed 65 mph and get a steady 14 mpg. And that's hauling in PA through the PA hills. The tuck has plenty of power to tow our Airstreams. We use an Equal-i-zer hitch and love it. Easy to hook and unhook and has 4-way sway control

The 87 was purchased in Ohio and the trip was eight hours and in those eight hours of towing it home, I hardly knew it was back there, other than the drop in gas mileage. After I put the new floating floor in, we trailered it back to Ohio to P & S Trailer Services to have it stripped, polished, new decals, new lower wrap, new clearcoat, and added Zip Dee awnings on the road side and the rear. It needed none of the exterior work, I just wanted it ti look like new and be ready for the next 20 years. Then when it was finished we towed it back to Penn Wood and will tow it home at the end of the season in October. And I would have no hesitation in pulling it coast to coast, if I could only find the time.

Here is a link to some of my Airstream Life community page. You should be able to get a better picture of what a 34' looks like on the inside. Some of them were during the construction phase before I installed the floating floor. There are also some pictures of our '06 at Penn Wood and other places.

http://airstreamlife.ning.com/profile/DEITZ645

We travel with our beagle, Bailey and like I said we are by no means tall or large people and I think our 30' and 34' fits us perfect. Plus our daughter, son-in-law, and 9 month old grandson frequently join us, so the room is a must at those times. I would love a small 19' Bambi or a 25' International like the one at DJ's, but would be afraid we would get cramped after while.

Hopefully this all will give you some food for thought.

What is it Darth Vadrer said to Luke Skywaler???

"Luke, come to the dark side"
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:27 PM   #41
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It's looks like you could play basketball in your '34. If my wife and I were semi-full timing it, it would be far more tempting to go big. As it stands, we want to do this crazy 49 states in a year road trip where I'm sure there will be a great deal of wiggling around odd places. After we after to return to the salt mines, the tin girl will be mostly a weekender. This is one of the reasons I was leaning towards a 25'. It's big enough to give us some elbow room but still small enough to fit in most places we'd want to pull over.

Of course, if we managed to find a really good deal on something a bit larger than we'd prefer, the savings could go into a new 1-ton tow vehicle.... Ah, ha! You are using the Force on me! Seriously, I think our plan is to just keep bumping around tin until we find something my wife loves. If she's happy, I can find a way to make almost anything work.

The pictures look great and the floor plans are very helpful. Of course, there's nothing to say a little modification here or there...
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:33 PM   #42
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Hampstead38,
Yes some places can be pretty tight with the 34' and some times campgrounds put you out in the BIG-RIG pull throughs where the people hardly come out of their rigs. 30' is usually the maximum length for the "good" shaded sites.

Both the 30' and the 34' back up really nice and I have been in some tight sites in both of them.

Do you have any plans to visit any in person?
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