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Old 09-21-2007, 10:09 PM   #1
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Talking Airstream dreams brewing in MN

Hi all; two new Streamers-to-be joining from Minnesota. My wife and I have been dreaming about starting up a semi-nomadic lifestyle for the last seven years. We finally realized that an Airstream might be just the answer!

We're planning to buy in the next year or so but with one trip to the dealership so far this week and another one planned for tomorrow, I think the only thing that will keep me from getting a 25' International is if they refuse to hook it up to my Honda Accord (nevermind the towing capacity, full Stream ahead!). Oh well, maybe that's an excuse to stop by the Chevy dealer on the way

We're both in the IT field so the hope / dream is that we'll be able to work contract jobs for 6-8 months and then travel for 4-6 months. We might even be able to work remotely for some of the year... basically, we're working away from the icky kind of full-time (8-5 in a cubicle plus commuting time) and into the right kind of full-time.

Ben (& Dawn)
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:17 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Your dream sounds good to me! Go for it! There are several good threads on what kinds of things you might think about in purchasing an Airstream... here is one I think has a lot of different things to think about:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...eam-22920.html

Good luck!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:21 AM   #3
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Ben,

I can set you up with a great Chevy/GMC dealer. Are you looking for a new tow vehicle, or one that is maybe 2-4 years old?
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:47 AM   #4
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Thank you Caddy! We've been through that thread and just about every other thread we could find from others when they've been trying to decide which model to buy. I think my brain is actually hurting a bit now; it's probably just full.

Mark,

I'd be very interested in talking to your recommended dealer. One of the thing we're really struggling with right now is what kind of vehicle to buy. I'm pretty sure that we could manage the 25' with a well-equipped 1500 but I'm leaning towards a 2500 with a Duramax just because, well, it's a 2500 with a Duramax . I'm up for used or new. I like the new body but I'm not so attached that I'd pass up on the savings of buying used.

I'm up for any recommendations on a vehicle too. The heaviest thing I've pulled before is a 20' kayak trailer that weighed in at about 100 pounds.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:11 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Forums Ben & Dawn!

There are only a few selected 1/2-tonners I would recommend for a newer (heavier) Airstream. Specs deceptively tout a large tow capacity, but 1/2-ton payload limits are hit heavily when you factor in the loaded-for-camping tongue weight of near 1000# for new 25 footers. You'll be shot in the foot if you want to put anything in the box or, heaven forbid, carry passengers! I had to trade a 1/2-tonner with a 1350# payload limit for my GMC 2500 when we bought the Safari.

The Duramax-Allison is just frosting on the cake -- until you plan on lo-o-ong distance travels. It's a champ. Mine is a late Sept '05 build LBZ engine (330 hp). That was well into the second round of mandated design changes to meet sulfur standards (currently in 3rd generation and full ULSD implementation). I drive conservatively and don't mind my mileage (18mpg @ 65mph, near 20mpg @ 55mph, 14 mpg city or while towing). I have heard mileage was better with the 300 hp LLY engines that were used through August '05. I don't know that for sure... Ask around. Visit Diesel Place - Duramax Diesel Discussion Forums. Talk it up. Best wishes in your choice!

Oh... might add that at some truckstops I still see stickers saying 200ppm LSD fuel. That's supposed to mess with the new 3rd generation engines...
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:25 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forums & to the A/S life.
Just to add a little bit of info. We have an 04 25'Safari which we towed the first year with a 1500 Dodge. While we experianced no problems, so to speak, it was apparent that for our somewhat semi full time RVing the truck just wasn't enough. We traded for an 06 (gas) 2500 GMC and REALLY love the thing. With the 4:10 axle the mileage isn't real great, but the advantage is the lugging power, the truck doesn't even break into a sweat when hitting the hills or passing and well, neither do I .

Best,
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:47 AM   #7
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Thank you WW. Yes, we shouldn't advocate diesel as the only way to do anything. It certainly is not a necessity for what Ben is looking at.

I'm not trying to be funny, Ben, but I left something off my earlier post -- the LLY 300 hp or earlier GM diesels do not lack anything in the power and towing department.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:35 PM   #8
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WW, thanks, that really does validate that I want to be into a 3/4 ton. I'm leaning towards the diesel right now for the mileage and the fact that I'm thinking we'll end up with a lot of miles on it. I'm doing good on my '06 Accord, we're only at 55k but we were averaging 45k miles a year on the car before that. I'd like to think that we'd stay in one place for a long time, but I need to balance that with the fact that we did 10k miles over two weeks each of our last two road trips.

I guess it comes down to what kind of price I can walk into a 2500 HD for... I'm thinking I don't need leather and the DVD player if I have a whole house behind me ;-) I'll go cheaper on the truck so that I can buy a few more flamingos for the yard.
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:28 PM   #9
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Ben (& Dawn),

Use gmbuypower.com to search for your truck. You can choose the exact model and combination of options you want and then search for actual dealer stock within a certain range. It will show you the window sticker and stock number for each one you find. One you find one, I would check out edmunds.com to get the "real" price to pay for the one you found. If you are only able to locate what you want at a dealer that is a little far from Eden Prairie, I would suggest you see if they have an internet sales rep (I think you can get this contact from gmbuypower also.) Then you can negotiate a price subject to inspection.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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"I'm up for any recommendations on a vehicle too. The heaviest thing I've pulled before is a 20' kayak trailer that weighed in at about 100 pounds."

if you belong to a club like costco or sams or even aaa check out the large new car discouts you'll get.
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