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Old 12-03-2006, 11:13 AM   #1
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1999 23' Safari
Palm Desert , California
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Need Advice - MOHO or TT

Hi my husband and I are looking at a 1998 Safari and I wondered if there is anyone on the forum who has gone from a Class A motorhome to pulling an Airstream. We currently have a 2001 33ft Winnebago and use it mostly for driving across country twice a year--we live in Ontario Canada in the summer and California in the winter. We tow a small Honda CRV and would like to go to a bigger SUV such as a Suburban or an Expedition. We have been looking at Airstreams and really like them but wonder how pulling one compares to driving a motorhome. Right now my husband does all the driving because I don't like driving the motorhome but feel I would be more comfortable driving a Suburban towing a trailer--am I kidding myself? The trailer we are looking at has a Hensley Arrow hitch which I have been researching.

Any advice would be appreciated--also anything in particular to look for when looking at a used Airstream of the late 90's era?
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hello hapitauk -- and welcome to the Forums!

You've got some real big choices before you. This thread discussed a similar moho vs trailer quandary.

What length is the Safari? Axles are happiest if the trailer has seen some occasional towing and not just sat without moving. Where is the Safari? Canada or Palm Desert? Knowing anything about towing history and exposure to salt (oceanside use? towing in cold weather?) could be helpful. A 1998 might have original tires on it -- a likely candidate for replacement even if the tread looks adequate. Hensley is the very best.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
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Just different

I had a '98 Safari 25' 6-sleeper, we loved it. (It was totalled by a truck ) It towed wonderfully, we used it many times a year, twice to Wyoming from CA. I can't comment directly on a MoHo, I have never owned one - however, I drive a fire engine and the general handling would be somewhat comparable.
In my opinion, you will do fine with whatever you get used to. They are just different, with their own characteristics.

MoHo:
Higher ride - a little harder to judge your right side distances and clearances.
Depending on the length, longer tail swing, more chance of hooking something with your bumper on a turn, smacking a tree/street sign, etc.
Have to tow a car...what's the term for those - hmm.. it escapes me.
Don't have to stop to use the facilities, raid the fridge, etc.

Trailer:
Have to hook up/unhook.
Have to learn to back up. (Not hard for most)
Can't raid the fridge or use the bathroom W/O stopping.
You can unhook and use your T/V for side trips, leaving the A/S to secure your site.

There are many more reasons, I'm sure. These are a few to get some thoughts going.
Dave
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:41 AM   #4
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Also, a shorter trailer will get you in more campgrounds than the 33' MoHo, due to length restrictions in some CGs.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:26 PM   #5
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Reading the characteristics of a MoHo reminded me of Robin Williams in the movie RV. The part where he makes a U-Turn in front of his house cracks me up!

BTW, the car behind the MoHo is a toad.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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1995 28' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hapitauk
Hi my husband and I are looking at a 1998 Safari and I wondered if there is anyone on the forum who has gone from a Class A motorhome to pulling an Airstream. We currently have a 2001 33ft Winnebago and use it mostly for driving across country twice a year--we live in Ontario Canada in the summer and California in the winter. We tow a small Honda CRV and would like to go to a bigger SUV such as a Suburban or an Expedition. We have been looking at Airstreams and really like them but wonder how pulling one compares to driving a motorhome. Right now my husband does all the driving because I don't like driving the motorhome but feel I would be more comfortable driving a Suburban towing a trailer--am I kidding myself? The trailer we are looking at has a Hensley Arrow hitch which I have been researching.

Any advice would be appreciated--also anything in particular to look for when looking at a used Airstream of the late 90's era?
Hi Hap, and welcome.

I went from a 36ft Fleetwwod Flair to my current ride, a E350 TD ford and 1995, 28 foot Classic.

I find driving the truck much easier that the motorhome and so much easier to have serviced. I can also back-up with out the worry of the towed vehicle. IMHO, I think you will find this setup easier to drive than a motorhome.


I have installed cameras at the rear of the truck ( for hitching ) and another on behind the trailer.

I made the switch almost 3 years ago and am very happy with my setup.



As to what to look for in a used AS, there are many threads on the subject, just use the serach function.


Good luck,

Michael
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:41 PM   #7
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2005 31' Classic
Castalain Springs , Tennessee
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We switched

We swithced from a 37' diesel pusher moho to the 31' AS (we call The Tin Inn) last Feb. We put on 80,000 in the 7 years we had the moho. We had never towed a trailer before but were pleasantly surprised with the transition. As already indicated, they are different but I have found the 10,000 miles we've towed The Tin Inn has been easier then the moho was to drive. The moho was 30,000lbs but the winds out west still pushed us around. So far, wind has not been a factor with the AS. The moho required a lot more maintainance then The Tin Inn does. Setting up The Tin Inn does not take much more time then setting up the moho, however you do have to do it from the outside. We actually feel more comfortable inside The Tin Inn, something about not having corners I suppose. The Tin Inn is easier to keep warm also. The only negative thing we felt during the adjustment was the lack of outside storage but you'll adjust. Size of your TV and type of hitch will be factors in an enjoyable tow. We have a Hensley and it does as promised. Another factor for us was unreliablity of the moho, so not worrying where we were going to break down next has made our traveling more enjoyable. We found the transition to be a pleasant one. A surprising factor was the amount of attention you attract with an Airstream, people like seeing them and talking about them, even non Airstreamers. We've enjoyed our travels more with The Tin Inn.
Feel free to PM if you have specific questions.
GreggH
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:46 PM   #8
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2003 25' Safari
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We went from a 23" Mallard Sprinter motorhome to an Airstream Safari 25SS with Ford F150 truck.

The motorhome:

- was very difficult to drive in windy conditions. The steering was vague, and wandered all over the road. I spent a lot of money replacing parts, tires, alignment... and never was able to get it to drive properly.
- was loud! It's non aerodynamic shape, and poor workmanship created a roar when driving... wind noise, engine noise, & road noise.
- was rough. The leaf springs in the rear were designed to carry a lot of weight, and they felt like it. The suspension was rock hard, and every bump made the contents of the camper jump.
- poor gas mileage. Our MH was older with a Ford 460 engine - it had fuel injection, but only a 3 speed transmission. It got ~8 mpg.

The trailer setup:

- is much better handling, even in the wind. We do notice buffeting from passing trucks on windy days, but have learned to leave the steering wheel still and the rig does fine. The Hensley hitch may help some here.
- is much quieter. Our F150 is as quiet as a car.
- is smooth riding. Our F150 is very comfortable even when empty, but the tongue weight of the trailer puts enough load on the truck to smooth it out even more.
- has better gas mileage, ~10-12 mpg towing.

For some psychological reason we feel that towing a car behind a motorhome seems excessive - perhaps the two engines, drivetrains, etc... We like unhitching the trailer at a campsite, and using the truck for local explorations.

Also, the hitching/unhitching process is much simpler and faster than it looks.

The trailer has less storage space than a MH, but the tow vehicle can take more stuff to partially compensate.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:29 AM   #9
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Hereís my 2 cents having towed Rvs, horse, boat & heavy machinery trailers with 7 different Suburbans & 3 different pickups since 1975. This is in the mountains around Yellowstone from 6,000 to 9,000 feet altitude.

Suburbans are the greatest, smoothest, pullingest SUV. I think they are the best highway car made! But, having owned seven in a row we, unfortunately, donít like the new body style at all and wonít buy another unless they change!. Their 350 gas engine is terrific, but underpowered trying to pull our 23Ē trailer around Wyoming and Utah. Back east maybe ok, but not over 6,000 feet altitude. From east to west youíll have your foot into it a lot just trying to keep up highway speed not to mention hills. Also now, have a 460 gasoline Ford, which has good power pulling our horse and machine trailers, but still not enough to avoid being into it lots just trying to do 55mph or better. Sorry, I still think cubic inches in talking about engines as I donít know nuffiní about leiters.

Hereís what I learned last year. I got a 2007 Dodge Ram, one ton, Maxi Cab, 5.7 liter diesel. This boy has so much power youíll forget the trailer is following you! It rides like a highway sedan. The 6-speed transmission is the catís meow Super for towing and the engine brake for going down BIG hills is worth its weight in gold! The truck & suspension is heavy enough that for the first time - EVER - I donít feel like the trailer is pushing my tow vehicle around. In other words, I feel much, no- I am, much more in control! I am getting 20 mpg highway, 14 mpg towing the RV.

Sure the big Dodge, Ford & GM diesels are gas hogs, but thatís because they are made to pull heavy loads. Where they might not make sense is as a soccer momís car, but as a pulling truck they are all wonderful. Thus, they are trucks - nothing less. In the crew or maxi cab configurations they can be as big in interior capacity as any SUV. There is much more room in our Maxi Cab than our Suburban, just not a third seat which we seldom use anyway.

Personally, there is no question in my mind that I will never tow anything of any size with anything but a big diesel! Hopefully, theyíll still make them, when we need a new one, butÖ?

The good news is the price on these bad boys is rock bottom, so if you need one go get it now!

Iíll never tow cross-country without one!

Bob
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:41 PM   #10
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1975 27' Overlander
High River , Alberta
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My wife refused to drive her parents' C-class motorhome. Drove it about a mile and pulled over. With a rear kitchen and bath, there wasn't enough weight on the front tires and it was incredibly bad to drive.

When we got the Airstream, she was uncertain but she wanted to try it. She was surprised at how easy and comfortable it was. When she tows it now, I have to keep reminding her to slow down.

I highly recommend towing an Airstream over driving a motorhome.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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2007 31' Classic
holland , Pennsylvania
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been towing trailers for pleasure since 1985.the trailer i have now,towing with a dsl excursion,hensley arrow and disc.brakes on the airstream is the easiest tow combo i have used.airstreams with there lower center of gravity make for a very enjoyable towing experience.dont expect to upgrade but if i did the 3 things i mentioned above what (dsl,hensley,disc brakes on trailer)would be a must have.i hav owned 6 trailers during this time and this is my 2nd airstream,others were sob trailers.on my end time is limited,so that when i have time to get away i want the most pleasureable time away.my truck accually rides better with the airstream in tow than when i am running solo.remember airstreams get fine tuned as the technology changes,so that generally you are getting the most advanced units available on the marketplace inmho.i do tons of research before i ever spend my hard earned money on something.
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