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Old 03-17-2007, 05:02 AM   #1
Plapen
 
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Looking for owner guidance

Let me begin by saying that I am new at forums, so let me apologize in advance if I inadvertantly make a faux pas. Carol and I are fast approaching the Big R (retirement) before year-end 2007.

Our long time dream has been to own, and drive the wheels off of a Class A motorhome. We have never owned, nor really even driven a MH, unless you count one day in a 22' Class C some 30 years back.

So far, we have looked at used Blue Birds, and new Hurricanes, Georgie Boys, and a BT Cruiser. It has been exciting, but very confusing as we have absolutely no frame of reference in these matters. Therefore, we are at the mercy of the dealers-who, of course all have the best brand on the market.

If I have not put everyone to sleep yet, now for my question, "how does the Land Yacht compare with other Class A MHs in the area of mechanical reliability, safety, comfort, maintenance costs, etc., etc." Until tonight, while looking at eBay Motors, I had never even considered the Airstream because I thought it was only a trailer manufacturer.

We will be most grateful if any of the forum members would be kind enough to provide some insight into the brand and/or their own experiences with the LY. Any advice from a source where the respondent does not have a financial axe to grind will certainly, in our mind, outweigh that from dealers.

Finally, what would be the downside to buying a 2004 39' LY XL that is "new," i.e., never been registered? Is there a natural deterioration of systems, etc. from just sitting around? All of the BB owners we talked with warned us that a bus driven tended to be in better condition than one "sitting up" somewhere.

Thank you in advance for your responses.
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Old 03-17-2007, 06:37 AM   #2
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
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Plapen, welcome to the forum first.

You'll find a lot more Classic MoHo folks here but also some Land Yatch folks too. You can actually post in that forum by clicking on the forum tab up at the top left.

You can actually use the search feature for specific questions too.

My coach is a daily driver and I love it. The last of the Classic body styles was 1994 and was a diesel.

If you're planning to "drive the wheels of it" diesel would be the best option I believe.

Depending on your budget and what you intend to do once you get to where you're going .... the sky is literally the limit.... as there are some very cool Skydeck models out there too.

Early Land Yatch models had some leakage problems from the roof but I think the problems had been cured by the 03's on up.

Keep your options open and remember ... you have to kiss a lot of frogs. Often the hunt is half the fun and you sure can learn a lot about motorhomes while you search.

Check out the classifieds here for well loved units too.

Good luck with your search and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:21 AM   #3
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1990 25' Airstream 250
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[QUOTE=Plapen], Finally, what would be the downside to buying a 2004 39' LY XL that is "new," i.e., never been registered? Is there a natural deterioration of systems, etc. from just sitting around? All of the BB owners we talked with warned us that a bus driven tended to be in better condition than one "sitting up" somewhere.

Interesting question - I would not purchase a 2004 if it just sat out in the sun unattended for 3+ years but if it was cared for, had the systems run every so often, had preventive and corrective maintenance performed, and everything worked in all modes it might be a very good buy.

These big motor home are complicated and pretty much you are at the mercy of the dealer for repairs. The $100 + - rates are brutal for repairs and most dealers are overworked so to get in for a repair can take months. I agree with Glen, a older classic is the way to go if you can do a lot of your work yourself. If not, I would buy a newer Airstream trailer and a appropriate tow vehicle. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:02 AM   #4
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I haven't owned one, but my son-in-law's parents have one. It has spent more time in the shop than it did on the road. Every time they drive out here they need to stop at Jackson Center for repairs.

Airstream has stopped building them, so anything you buy will be an orphan. I've gotta think they got out of the business because they couldn't match the quality of the major players.

I'm sure there are people here who will disagree. And will be glad to sell you one.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:23 AM   #5
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1990 33' Land Yacht
Jacksonville , Florida
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We recently purchased a well-cared for 1990 33' LY (our first MH), and so far, are quite pleased with it. Still mostly on budget with modifications, upgrades and improvements (if you purchase an older coach, be prepared to spend some money on it for safety and comfort stuff).

No long camping trips yet, but the drive from Michigan to Florida went well. Taking it to PA and back in April. Will have more data by the end of April.

FYI, I saw a 1994 36' LY (gas), complete with toad on the Internet for slightly less than $50k a couple of days ago. Had it been on the market when I bought mine, I would have gone to take a look at it.

Also, from what I have seen, Airstream owners tend to take better care of their coaches -- an older Airstream, whether Classic or Land Yacht can be, for the careful shopper, a good buy. IMHO.

And, in our case, I hope my faith in the coach and its previous owner is not shaken too much in the months to come!

So, the bottom line is to be careful; be very careful. Do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions. This Forum and other RV forums can be invaluable and asking questions and soliciting advice on them can save you a lot of $grief$.

Good luck!
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33' 1990 Airstream Land Yacht: Edelbrock, Banks, Gear Vendors, MSD, Taylor wires, Super Steer bell cranks, Bilsteins, Roadmaster sway bar, Safe Steer, Pressure Pro, Crossfire, Bigfoot levelers, Rickson 7.5" rims & 245/70 R19.5 Bridgestones on steer axle.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:51 AM   #6
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Plapen--Before you buy anything do lots of research !! When it comes to Rv's there are a "Bazillion" choices. If you make the right one the first time you'll be one of the few who did. If I were looking for a used Motor home {this is personal mind you} I would look for a diesel pusher as new as possable with out a slide or at least with only one. My reasoning: from a sales point they are the least desirable and can be purchased for far less $$$ than those with the multiple slides. You can buy an older low mileage Premium coach for about the same as an entry level new gas unit and get far more service from it. ----- Our experience: Having owned everything known to man, we have become "trailer folk". Nothing wrong with MH mind you, trailers just fit our needs better. We thought at one time a MH would work but found we couldn't get by without a vehicle to drive. So towing is not eliminated if that's reasoning for a MH. Lots of other things have to be concidered , storage, maintance, insurance etc. Obviously didn't answer the Airstream MH question but hope this is of some help.---pieman
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:43 AM   #7
Plapen
 
Dallas , Texas
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Smile Looking for owner guidance

Thank you to all who have taken the time to respond to my query. This obviously is a group fully invested in their brand! Let me respond to each of you in the hope that you might further enlighten me on the various points.

Glen - I believe that the 2004 I saw on eBay Motors is a diesel, but will re-check. Our budget, like everything else about this dream is up in the air. We began thinking of a Class B (BT Cruiser) in the low $50s, and moved as high as $90M on a '90 Blue Bird-probably would have made a good run at the BB, but got scared about mechanics. I am not mechanically minded unless you count AAA! Finally, thanks for the advise on a different forum. I will be looking there shortly.

David - the 2004 is shown as an Airstream dealer in Ohio. Therefore, would assume that the coach has been maintained-remember what "assume" does for you. On repairs, as I previously stated, I am not mechnaically inclined-one of the major reasons for moving away for the Blue Birds. Their forum is a great place to visit, but it very quickly became apparent that most of the BB owners actually enjoyed working on their rigs!

Mark - your comment about an "orphan" scares me the most. Does this mean that Airstream is no longer making the LY? In your opinion, or anyone else who would like to chime in, do you think the "in-laws" was unqique with its level of mchanical problems, or them norm?

Taxman - thank you for your personal insights on a new experience. Did you have some particular motivation to buy a '90 as your first effort? Are you mechanical? Did the mechanics not scare you at all?

Mike - we do plan to research this to death-at least until late year, and then I am not sure what approach we take. I sure would like to have something to being retirement with a bang. I once had computer programmer- he and he wife in thier mid-forties-who had never owned a house. They lived in a Class C, would work for a couple of years, and then drive off into the sunset. When left my employment, for the first time, they bought a 5th wheel and new dually Ford. Unfortunately, I have lost ntrack of them and can not learn if they regret the transition from "power to pull."

For everyone, based on Mike's comments on used vs. new, all other things being equal would you personally rather have a used premium or a new Hurricane 31H. I can buy the 2007 Hurricane, fully equipped, for $66M in Dallas. Thanks again to everyone!
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:04 AM   #8
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Plapen,

Yeah, by orphan I mean they no longer make them. I don't think the in-laws experience was unique, during that time period (2002-2003?) there were lots of negative posts here and elsewhere. A lot of it was chassis/mechanical problems.
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Old 03-17-2007, 12:06 PM   #9
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1990 33' Land Yacht
Jacksonville , Florida
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Plapen,

I wanted an Airstream MH. Never seriously considered another mfg. As for the '90, it was in my price range, had low mileage and had been well cared for by the PO.

I am a "gearhead." Been messing with planes, trains and automobiles all my life, and though I am not an ASE mechanic, I can do routine maintenance kinds of things. HST, I paid Camping World to install the mods and safety upgrades to my coach. The cost of all those improvements was taken into account before I bought the coach -- i.e., it was part of the budget.

I knew going in that whatever coach I bought would get the high dollar upgrades (except the Gear vendors if the coach was already equipped with an overdrive), so that set the year/condition coach I could purchase. I am pleased to say that I am only a little over my budget at this point. With the addition of new tires and a "peace of mind" looksee at the transmission internals to ensure that it will survive our Great Road Trip beginning in August, I'll be done with what I wanted/needed to do and will be ready to hit the road!

Good luck in your search, and if I can help, please let me know.

Best Regards,

FRank
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33' 1990 Airstream Land Yacht: Edelbrock, Banks, Gear Vendors, MSD, Taylor wires, Super Steer bell cranks, Bilsteins, Roadmaster sway bar, Safe Steer, Pressure Pro, Crossfire, Bigfoot levelers, Rickson 7.5" rims & 245/70 R19.5 Bridgestones on steer axle.
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