At long last...
I've gone full circle and finally bought a 25' Airstream, the rig that initially lit my RV travel fire. Looking at the date of my AS forum screen name that must have been about '07. Along the way I ended up being a fifth wheeler instead. They suited me and my travels well but it was time to try my first love.
I had taking another look at a 25 AS on the agenda, but not buying one. I was hot on the trail of my next fifth wheel, small, light, aluminum sided, quality construction (rare as hen's teeth). In my search this AS popped up about 175 miles from home. I decided to take a look and the rest is history.
The seller was a fascinating older gentleman who will turn 100 in April of '16. This was his fifth and last AS. He'd been as far as South America and Alaska in them. His favorite of all was his 34'er. Many wonderful stories and recollections came about during the trials and tribulations of transferring ownership.
The longish drive home gave me a good trial by fire and the rig lived up to any expectations I had. I sorely missed my fifth wheel during the initial hitch up and initial drive out through a rough section of road construction but the rest of the trip allayed any fears I'd developed. I'm thrilled with how easy it is to pull. I got locked up in a long period of stop and go rush hour traffic and the transmission temperature wasn't even an issue as it would have been in my heavier fifth wheels. I'm a 60 to 65 mph driver, mostly low 60s, and I was getting 15 mpg by the computer. In my bigger fifth wheel it was a consistent 10 and 13 in my smaller ones. 15 mpg thrills this broke traveler immensely.
I'm not looking forward to ripping out the carpet but I can tell I'm making no headway in my efforts with convincing my significant other that it adds character to the trailer. I was expecting significant floor rot but my ice pick testing only exposed one spot just behind the passenger side wheel well. And it looks like I'll need to hone my buck rivet skills but I'm up to the task.
I am fortunate to have a pole barn with an RV section. I'm unfortunate to have my house, a telephone pole, a pump house and fencing obstructing the access. I could never hope to work my 30' fifth wheel into the barn. My 23' fifth wheel I could get in, but it was a chore. I was unsure of just how this bumper pull 25' was going to be. It was a piece of cake. Much, much easier to back than my fifth wheels. Not that I really needed to to sold on this thing anymore but backing it with ease into the barn was the finishing touch.
Anybody want to buy a fifth wheel hitch and tail gate?