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Old 07-09-2006, 09:27 AM   #1
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New classic 31' Dinette - Opinions

This is my first post to the Forum. I have been a fan of Airstreams since my first trip in one on in 1975. That was a '67 Classic, hence my screen name. I've kind of been head over heels lately for an AS getting as much reading and literature as possible. Even bought the 75th Wanderlust L.E. serial # book from AS. This year my wife and I have decided it's time to buy an AS. I think she is more excited about it than me, which i didn't think would be possible! We have settelted in on a new leftover 2005 Classic 31' Dinette with the queen. The TV we have chosen is a Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty w/ the Cummings 600 diesel engine w/auto transmission.

We are very excited and plan to make this a purchase that we will use full-time when we become empty nesters one day. In the meantime we will take along our 3 children ages 9, 7 & 4. Hence, the choice to go bigger even though I personally like the 19' -25' sizes for their nimbleness and approach to being less inside (size) and spending time outside. Though with visions of being a full-timer one day in what we buy, it seems the larger 31' is more sensible? As you can tell, I playing devil's advocate with the choices presented to us.

We also considered buying used to save some $, but it seemed buying used while saving some cash could be a roll of the dice in terms of what may needed to be done to bring it up to our liking and being fully functional for relaible road trips and site usage. I suppose I am asking if we are making the right choice, or if we should spend more time looking for a good used AS. The new one we found is discounted about 25% off the sticker price of $67k, which really appealed to us. Could we do better searching used and putting money into it, or is this an opportunity not to pass for a new AS? The vintage AS models do appeal to me, and I wouldn't mind putting the time and money into, but this Classic 31' Dinette seems too good of a deal to pass up. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Dennis
Upstate, NY
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:24 AM   #2
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Dennis--- Your reasoning ,in my opinion is right on. We purchased a 06/30' Classic this past Jan.for many of the same reasons you speaking of,{except children}. We started with an 04/16'bambie, traded for an05 25' classic then our 06/30'classic. As can be seen is would have been better to have errored on the larger size than small. Although we were able to trade up with minimal loss it no doubt would have been cheaper to have purchased a 30' to begin with. {hind sight} We plan on full timing begining this coming spring.
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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31 is none too small

I have a 31' myself, along with a Cummins powered Ram. I don't think you'll go wrong with either of them. The big Dodge will pull it like it's not back there. And a 31' Airstream is much smaller inside than, say, a 31' from Holiday Rambler. With children, you'd get real tight in a 25' real quick.

I think you're right on. Have fun with it!
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:54 PM   #4
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I've never heard anyone on this forum say they wished they had bought smaller. And I don't think I've seen anyone trade down in size. We have two kids (6 & 9) and went with a 30' to begin with. You might be able to get another percent or two off of the price, but you might not. Depends on your negotiating skills.

Good luck and welcome to the forums. You have come to the right place.
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Old 07-09-2006, 03:36 PM   #5
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Full timing?

Your plans sound great but the full timing part would make us give it more thought. We had motorhomes until this past Feb when we bought our leftover 2005 31' Classic. We stayed on the road about 8 months a year in the motorhome, 4 months was our longest trip with several 3 months too. We had a 37' diesel pusher with slideouts and always had plenty of room. We made the change for several reasons but one was we were traveling less. I know people full time in the AS but I think storage for necessities might be a problem worth reconsidering. We've found that the inside storage was a pretty even swap but the lack of any outside storage would be a problem for us, and we weren't full timers. We love our AS and have made the adjustment in space just fine. We still plan extended trips, as a matter of fact we're planning a 4 month trip to Alaska next summer, but that will be the exception not the rule. Most trips now are about 3-4 weeks at length. Would be glad to answer any questions you might have. Get more imput from people who do full time in various rv's would be our suggestion.
Good luck
Gregg Halpin
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the replies. My wife and I have firmed up our decision on going with the brand new AS Classic 31' Dinette w/ queen. We're very excited about taking delivery. Anyone ever watch the movie "The Long, Long Trailer" with Lucille Ball & Desi Arnez? LOL! That could be me! This will be my first time backing something as long as a 31'er into my driveway. I hope I do better than Desi did on his first try...
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:07 PM   #7
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Yes, but hopefully you'll have a brake controller

Poor Desi had to use a manual thing that looked like a turn signal stalk on the opposite side of the column. The one line I remember from the movie is "Trailer brakes first!!!!"
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:06 PM   #8
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I wish I had a smaller one so I can take into Glacier National park ;-)
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:50 PM   #9
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It sounds good to me

Dennis,

Based on everything I have seen on this forum, both your decision and your deal sound pretty darn good. Go do it.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:07 PM   #10
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I think you have made a good choice, one that you will enjoy now and for years to come. Welcome aboard to the Airstream way of life.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Yes, but hopefully you'll have a brake controller

Poor Desi had to use a manual thing that looked like a turn signal stalk on the opposite side of the column. The one line I remember from the movie is "Trailer brakes first!!!!"
Jim, Thankfully we will. And you're right about Desi's hand activated trailer brake control, we have the movie on DVD and I get a laugh everytime I watch it. Talk about a crude mechanisim! Anyhow, tonight we closed the deal on our TV and it wasn't the Dodge as I first thought it would be. After more comparison and a few more test drives, we ended up purchasing a 2006 Ford F-250HD Lariat 4x4 Crew Cab w/LWB. Among the many features that came with the Lariat package, I also liked the idea that Ford's tow comand system comes with the factory trailer brake control. We're one step closer to taking delivery of our AS now. All I can say his is all very exciting.

I hope to have all the pictures to share here soon.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:05 PM   #12
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Airstream with kids

This past summer, we met another AS family at a large park north of Seattle. We are empty nesters with a 31" 2011 classic that wasn't exactly cared for lovingly by the former owner.

Back to the subject, this couple had 4 teenagers. and had a TTsimilar to ours in size but maybe 15+ years old.

We were really impressed because these kids cleaned up after meals, did the laundry, etc. Every summer, they take a 5-week road trip as a family. A couple of years ago, Mom and Dad decided it was just too tight for 6 people, so they bought a truck camper for their tow vehicle. Mom and Dad get the bed in the bedroom, 2 kids sleep somewhere in the front, and the other 2 sleep in the truck camper.

This is just something to think about....

Happy travels.
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