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Old 01-22-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
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Talking 1995 Airstream Land Yacht

Hi Everyone
We are off to Alaska in July. We are going to look at the Land Yacht on Saturday. It has 77,000 miles,is 33 feet , has a 454 gas engine, and is at a dealers, he says that it is in brand new condition. Can you believe a dealer??? I am so excited and am keeping my fingers crossed that it's exactly as he says it is. Asking price is 29,000 dollars. Is there anything that I should ask the dealer, what should I check for before we make the purchase. There aren't too many Airstream motorhomes around for sale.
I am very happy to have found this site and was a bit hesitant in posting in case things didn't work out with the purchase(bad karma??!!!) My brother in law has just purchased a 1984, not sure of the model. It will be so cool to have two Airstream motorhomes convoying with motorcycles sitting on their trailors behind each one heading to Alaska.

Any advice would be so very much appreciated.
Thanks
Marilu
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:59 AM   #2
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Marilu, welcome! Sorry, I don't know much about the motorhomes, but hopefully someone who does will chime in. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. I'm interested to hear more about your trip to Alaska, too!
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums and good luck with your inspection.

Look up a thread (use search function in blue bar) that contains "so you'd like to buy an Airstream three states away" or something like that and you might be able to locate a forum member near the motor home that could go with you and help you inspect it. They could point out some of the items that need minor attention (update decor) and any that might need major attention (replace defective appliances or floor rot, etc.).

Welcome again and let us know how things go. Alaska, what an adventure!
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
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Airstream is famous for its reputation, but those carbureted (?) 454 are not only gas guzzlers, but seldom last 100k in motorhomes.
Good part is, that rebuild engines are very cheap.
I would require engine compression test, or calculate future engine replacement into the price.
Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Marilu-Tom's suggestion on the search function will help the most. Our 1989 345 (34.5' long) mh has a carburated 454 and considering your traveling in a "home" the mpg is acceptable to us. 6 mpg is lowest & we've gotten as good as 8.5 depending. I think the 1995's were fuel injected, maybe tbi, either way your mpg might be better than ours. Also from alot of reading I've done in the motorhome sections of these forums quite a few people have well over 100,000 miles on their mh's and still running very strong, of course proper maintenance along the way is a big factor. Does the seller have maintenance records for the one your interested in? Airstreams & Motorcycles, how sweet it is.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:19 PM   #6
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I think probably the biggest reason the 454 might not last is that they were originally automotive engines that were meant to be driven on a really regular basis. The were up to the task for use in the motorhomes, but motorhomes often sit for months on end without being used. Cranking the engine and letting it idle for 10-15 minutes once a month, or even once a week, isn't enough to count. The engine needs to be driven on the open road to make sure the parts get properly lubricated, etc.

With 77K miles in 12 years, that averages about 6K miles/year. I don't know if that is average for a motorhome or not. It could be one or two good sized trips per year or one or two nice weekend trips per month. The first year we had our Airstream TT we towed it about 4,600 miles with the longest trip being a 4 day weekend.

Talk to the owner and find out how it has been used and how it has been maintained. I don't think I would be worried too much about the mileage unless it looks like it hasn't been cared for once you get there and see it.

Again, look for the thread I mentioned and see if you can get someone with some motorhome experience to go with you, or do as Kajtek1 suggested and have it checked out.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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Thank you so very much for your input. I will certainly keep all of this in mind. I have already talked to my husband about the compression test. This is the second time that I have heard that 454's are pigs on gas, but aren't all gas engines? I mean the big ones? Diesal is probably the way to go but huge price tags even for new ones.. I will vist the site that you have mentioned and if anyone else has any ideas, let me know..

Marilu
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:51 AM   #8
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Our motor home

Our motor is just like you were looking for. 39,000 miles, really great condition, everything works. We'll deliver cause we like Niagra falls. $23,500 and share delivery fuel expense.
(this might be duplicated cause I'm computer challenged at this site - sorry) Please get back that you saw this and I'll cover any questions you might have. nitawrn@aol.com
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:31 AM   #9
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95 Land yacht

Well, we bought it, it was everything that the seller said that it was and when we asked for his bottom price, he had to problem in dropping 5,000 dollars. Everything works. We brought our mechanic to look at it and my partners brother. Both told us that this is too good of a deal to pass up. Our mechanic said that the only thing that we may want to do is change the transmission oil, which we plan to do. Since it has been home, we have been taking it out for little drives. I too believe that it's good to take it out and drive it. Thank you for that advice. We had to replace a battery but that was all, so far. When we went to pick up our motorhome, the owner of the RV place had to turn down one very ticked off buyer in Ottawa. Appharantely, they had called 2 weeks previously asking him if he still had the motorhome, he said yes, this was before I had called about it. He said that he never heard from them again. Then the day that we had given him the deposit, these people arrive out of the blue (travelling about 8 hours to boot) to buy the motorhome. The RV business owner told them that he had sold it.. they were so angry. When he told us, you could easily see that it upset him. He was an older fellow, been in the business for years and was extremely easy to deal with. He said, "You know, you folks told me when you were coming and you followed up with it telling me exactly what time you were going to be here to look at it. I told you that I would not sell it before hand."
So, we felt that we got a great deal. It is just absolutely beautiful. Top of the line with many add-ons. Ceramic and hardwood floors and we even have central vac. The previous owners didn't have the equipment to go with it so I would strongly assume that they didn't use it. Everything works and is in excellent condition just as the seller had told us. So, if you are looking for a new or used motorhome, and you are in Ontario, I would highly recommend Airport RV in London. You will be treated with Top notch service by a very compassionate and honest business owner. Our experience was very pleasurable.
Now, the trip to Alaska. We are not only going for a vacation but it has now turned out to be a surprise wedding and honeymoon. My fiancee has asked me to marry him.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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Congratulations on your Airstream motorhome and your ENGAGEMENT! Wow, two great events at the same time. That trip to Alaska might just make a great honeymoon. Anyway, sounds like you got a great deal and a great motorhome. Enjoy and best wishes!
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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Congratulations! My wife and I bought a 2005 model last August. It is so cool. We are having a blast with it. Hope your trip to Alaska goes well. Good luck.
Bob and Nancy
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:15 AM   #12
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So, after two years of ownership and a trip to Alaska under your belt, how did things turn out with the Land Yacht?
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:52 PM   #13
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land Yacht and Alaska

The trip was fantastic and without too many problems. We had to change the hose from the fuel opening to the tank. That was a bit crazy but everyone was so helpful. We found a piece of hose that could be adapted from a heavy equipment company. It took us almost the whole day to find the hose and have it installed.
One thing that our motorhome didn't like was the drive on the Top of the World Highway (if that's what you would call it.. highway.. hmm more like a dirt path) It was the road that connected Dawson City Yukon Canada to Alaska. We could literally see the screws and bolts loosening and falling out all over the motorhome. We lost the rails holding the drawer in place in our silver ware drawers.. It was so rough. My aunt and uncle lost their back window when it imploded while travelling on that highway. We truly enjoyed our trip though. The motorhome was so very comfortable. Actually my husband and our motorhome is out in Saskatchewan. He is working out there right now. He said that it's not home but close enough and he feels very happy to have it, I just wish we were camping.

We had some work to do on it when we got back from our Alaska trip.. Getting the lime or whatever you call it off was a bit of a struggle..We had work to do on it, shocks, brakes, just maintenance.. roof needed more caulking but other than that she did very well. We love her.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #14
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Glad it was overall a good experience. Hope to see you down the road sometime.
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