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Old 10-15-2015, 11:40 AM   #1
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Snoqualmie , Washington
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Hello from Washington

I don't own an airstream yet, sorry!

I've always been a car guy, especially the old Suzuki 4x4's (my website is lj10.com). We have been using a truck/slide-in camper for years, hauling rigs two at a time on a trailer behind it, but the kids are getting older and my wife isn't as much into driving on trails. We've pretty much decided to switch to a motorhome and just tow one rig, be it one of the Suzuki's or one of my other toys ('66 Datsun Roadster, '85 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE, or '13 Mercedes SLK250) on a smaller, lighter trailer.

I'm not inspired by any of the new motorhomes, and don't like the massive depreciation right after purchase, so want something older and stylish. I looked at the old GMC motorhomes from the 70's (think "Stripes"), but like the look of the old Airstreams better. I would love to find one with the diesel, but it sounds like they are pretty rare. I will insist on the panoramic rear window! I also don't want one that is terribly long, as many places we like to camp require a shorter rig.

I look forward to learning about these, and hopefully can find one I like.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
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Battle Ground , Washington
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Hi, and welcome! I was also doing a lot of research on motorhomes recently. I quite like the GMCs with the big panoramic windows in the back. I don't think AS really has anything to compete with that.
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:50 PM   #3
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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Glad to have you join us Steve. I like the sound of your fleet. Those little suzukis are really popular with the Moho crowd here in the southwest.

I traveled up the west coast this summer and came across a mother load of GMCs while wandering around Port Townsend. Found four of them in a yard as I biked around the town.

I also came to appreciate some of the early Beaver built coaches that I came across in the area. You might want to check them out if you like quality diesel pushers with some character .
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Old 10-16-2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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In regards to towing with an airstream classic, there are a couple of issues to consider. The factory spec on towing is rated at 2K lbs.
also the frames on the longer coaches is pieced together especially behind th rear axels.
There are threads here about reinforcing the frame for towing.
In preparation for towing on this summers trip with my 345, I did extensive work on the engine cooling system, made sure the brakes were working well. And did the reinforcing of the frame.

Still I would not want to be towing much more weight than the 2500 lbs of my current toad. I had seriously thought about a trailer to keep the car in better shape, but just wouldn't want to deal with the trailer in the confines of most park settings. Nor to drag the extra weight.

Some of these issues would be less a concern with a shorter/ lighter coach like you are thinking about.

I can see that using a trailer would be an advantage with a mix of vehicles to be taken along on different trips. But thought the above info would be worth looking into.

Cheers Richard
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:05 PM   #5
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I'm surprised the tow rating is only 2,000# - you can't really tow much of anything at that. My LJ's only weigh about 1300, Ms. Moneypenny (the roadster) and the Mazda are right at about 2,000, but that doesn't include any sort of trailer or dolly. I don't like the big overhang of the longer models, which is why I was looking at 26-29', and I figured I would upgrade the brakes whether towing or not, so my big concern would be the frame. A 14' aluminum enclosed trailer starts at about 1500#, so with a little storage and a safety factor, I'm figuring 5000# total. That should put the tongue weight at around 500#.

There are definitely advantages to trailering, flat towing, or using a dolly, but I've always preferred trailering. For me, a trailer is easier to back up if needed, provides the best protection and least wear on the vehicle, and provides extra storage. The only drawback for me is the extra weight, which I will have to account for.
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