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Old 05-11-2011, 06:34 AM   #1
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Considering Full-Timing 34' Limited


NewB to RV scene, potential first time buyer to boot.

Considering buying new 34' Limited...welcome advice regarding full-timing in this rig?

Have heard/read past issues with water damage to floors to select AS models...any issues with new articular the 34' Limited that I may need to be aware of? No slides on the model we are considering.

Plan to tow with 2500 Diesel 4x4...was advised to install the "V" hitch. Any advice regarding hitches?

Thanks in advance,

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Old 05-11-2011, 07:12 AM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We' glad to have you with us.

An Airstream 34 footer would be more than ample for full timing. A 3/4 ton diesel truck would be sufficient for the tow duties. A quality weight distribution/sway control hitch system would be highly suggested. I am not familiar with the "V" hitch that you mention. The is a lot of information on these forums on hitch systems.


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Old 05-11-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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I'm currently towing a 34' with a Sierra 2500HD 4x4 Diesel and it tows great with the factory hitch -- on ours it is WD, has sway control built-in and works with the integrated brake controller to control sway.

It might help if you included more details regarding your truck as well as what year(s) of AS you were considering.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:35 AM   #4
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Full timing in any trailer is a different life style and you will have to adjust. Hopefully you are free to travel to the south during the winter as cold weather can be a problem with any trailer and living in it full time makes it more difficult. How well you like it will depend on who or what you are traveling with and what kinds of activities you intend to pursue. Having a cap on the truck is essential to storing your other stuff dry and safe. The height of the cap and whether you have a slide out floor are also options that should be considered.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #5
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I am not a full timer but have towed my 34 for over 150,000 miles 80% of that with a Chev 2500 4x4 diesel.

First comment if you are towing with a 6.5 diesel install an exhaust gas temperature gauge. That engine can produce exhaust temperatures above 1200 degrees and the tops of the pistons will start to melt at 1200 degrees.

Also if a GM product keep an eye on the factory hitch as they will crack where the tube goes thorough the flanges at each frame connection.

If you are using the newer D Max engine you are home free.

You might get some other idea on my web page .

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Old 05-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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I believe he is referring to the class "V" hitch receiver rating...
History doesn't repeat itself, people do!
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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Many thanks for posts...very helpful indeed.

Circling back to comments:

Considering new AS...and 2010/2011 Chevy/GMC 2500 diesel.

Will have my Harley in back of p/u during warm seasons until able to venture considerable distances away from aging parents.

Again, your counsel is greatly appreciated.


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Old 05-12-2011, 08:40 AM   #8
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We have full-timed in our 34' for several years and we love the lifestyle. We tow with a 2006 4X4 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie with the Cummins 5.9L diesel engine.

Additional gauges might include exhaust gas temperature and transmission temperature. These will be helpful in assuring engine and transmission longevity on sustained hilly regions.

A variety of good hitches exist for the 34' Airstream including Reese Dual Cam, Hensley and Pro-Pride. All these are weight-distributing. The last two virtually eliminate any sway whatsoever, but are more expensive.

I agree that a bed cap is ideal to store all your goodies (Airstreams have precious little on-board storage). We also equipped our truck bed with a drawer slide which allows easy access to everything all the way to the back of the bed.

You will love full-timing. Everyone does. Welcome aboard!!!

Would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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If you are hauling a H/D in the back of the PU then you might need a ramp to get it in and a high cap. We have a 6 year full timer in our unit that has a setup like that and it works well for him. Send me a PM and I will try to put you in touch with him.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Backroads View Post

NewB to RV scene, potential first time buyer to boot.
Welcome to RVing and to the Airstream community.

Considering buying new 34' Limited
As you're probably aware the 34' was out of production for a couple of years and there are relatively few of these units on the road. Nonetheless, people who have them, like them, and they are very similar to the 30'/31' classic in many regards. The main benefit of the extra 3' of length is that the lounge area in front is more usable and allows you to have people facing each other while conversing without crowding the galley and outside door.

You will want to consider the ProPride hitch and the Maxbrake brake controller. For towing in the mountains you might want to at least consider a disc brake upgrade although it is costly. The work can be done at the service center in Jackson Center after the trailer leaves the factory and before it is shipped to your local dealer.

Here is the list of modifications I made to my 30' classic.

Here is my general advice to people doing a factory order of a new classic, mainly about options you should consider when ordering.

...welcome advice regarding full-timing in this rig?
If you are completely new to RVing I would recommend, very strongly, that you go on a couple of trips with a friend or in a rental unit before you commit $100,000 to the lifestyle. Some people conclude fairly quickly that it's not their thing.

Airstreams are optimized for travel, not for long stays or for cargo capacity, so consider what kind of lifestyle you want and how much stuff you need. I like living in my Airstream from time to time but some people want more space.

Have heard/read past issues with water damage to floors to select AS models...any issues with new articular the 34' Limited that I may need to be aware of? No slides on the model we are considering.
Current production uses plywood floors that are not especially prone to this sort of damage, though over the course of years anything will rot if there are water leaks.

Plan to tow with 2500 Diesel 4x4...was advised to install the "V" hitch. Any advice regarding hitches?
Again look at the ProPride (or the Hensley) for weight distribution and sway control. On the truck side of things there have been a few cases where the factory GM hitches have failed with hard use. Only some years and models are affected so the details mattered. I have a 2004 2500 'burb and had weld failures on the factory hitch. I have an aftermarket hitch now that I believe is better.

If you're getting a brand new truck I believe that the current production ones have a different hitch without any known problems so you should be OK.

Ask lots of questions and tell us more about what you're doing. Who, where, what, all affect your decision and should affect the advice you receive.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:33 PM   #11
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Much as I love my 3/4 Duramax, I would want to be sure I could carry a HD in the bed plus pull the 34 footer. Not saying it is overloaded, but I would want to prove to myself that I was not overloaded once I was loaded for traveling.

Somebody, please, point me to the road.

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Old 05-12-2011, 07:01 PM   #12
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You'll love it. Plenty of trailer, plenty of TV. Go for it.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #13
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Many thanks for the replies to date...taking stock in all.

As this being only my third post, I imagine there is a more efficient procedure so I ask for your indulgence while I get snapped in.

My bride and I started our research only within last 6 months. In determining what type of RV...we have settled in on a travel trailer in part because we fully plan to be very mobile. We wanted to take first couple years slow, but still live in the AS as much as the Virginia/Georgia ex would allow. Then winterized and stored to wait out for warmer temps. We felt this would allow couple novice's to start in the shallow end of the pool.

We were (and perhaps will revisit) 30/31ft rigs. However, after looking at several 34' models (older models) we then begin to look at the new 34' Limited 25 Year Anniversary models (I believe they made 25 units). Concur with all of the aforementioned advice and counsel concerning size/expense of this particular model. And, your comments regarding camping in an AS first before buying has been put into action. We hope to be able to take advantage of fall mark downs, but are prepared to wait until spring as well (if required).

All comments regarding hitch (both on the trailer for sway control and on the truck side) was very useful, as well as the recommendations regarding options and modifications. Particularly liked the advice regarding CSA.

My contact information as follows: and would love to touch base with anyone who has similar set up (diesel 2500 towing 34' AS with HD in rear of 8' bed (with electric loading ramp).

Again, many thanks for your time and your counsel.

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