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Old 05-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
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New Forum member plans to order Classic Limited 31 Dinette

Hello to all. My name is Ken and I am located in Longmont, CO. My wife Susan and I are about to order a Classic Limited 31 D. This will be our third travel trailer. We started out in 1994 with a 15 foot Casita that we towed with a Nissan Pathfinder. In 1999 we upgraded the tow vehicle to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The next year we took a two week trip and decided we had outgrown the Casita and bought a 2000 21 foot Bigfoot. The Jeep towed the Bigfoot fairly well, but we finally tired of the frequent fuel stops. So in 2003 we traded the Jeep in on a new Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel. That solved the problems. I am retired and my wife will retire in a few years, so we have decided it is time to get something more comfortable to spend more time in.
I would like to hear from anyone with any advice about our plans.
I’m a radio amateur (Ham) and would like to hear from hams who have operated their station from an Airstream. So far my experience is with fiberglass trailers, which are nearly transparent to radio waves. So there will be a big difference having a large aluminum object near the antenna. Thanks for reading my ramblings and I am looking forward to participating in the forums.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:05 PM   #2
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New Forum member plans to order Classic Limited 31 Dinette

Greetings Ken!

Welcome to the Forums!

I am afraid that I can't be of much help regarding the new unit as my newest is a 1978. I can assure you, however, that you will have much company among Airstreamers who are also Ham Radio Operators. In fact, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International has an active Ham Operators Intra-Club. The Intra-Club offers several workshops and seminars at every International Rally. You can learn more about the RV-Service-Net that is part of WBCCI through the club's website.

I am sure that you will love your new Airstream!

Kevin
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:17 PM   #3
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On to new horizons

We moved to a new home in Washington State last year. The home has a RV parking spot, but it is a steep narrow driveway to reach it. We put our 2010 Classic 31 in an RV storage facility, but found the logistics involved not to our tastes. For nearly a full year, the trailer sat unused. So in May we sold it to someone who could put it to good use. We then started a long search to find a RV we could get up that driveway. We needed something with a high short rear overhang, so that the back would not hit the uphill driveway surface before the wheels could get started up the hill. We never could find that in a travel trailer. While searching we had an opportunity to watch a few people who use a trailer in their work try to back utility trailers, much shorter than any travel trailer we would want, up that narrow steep driveway. The results of these attempts brought us to believe a trailer was no longer a viable option. So we started looking for a small motor home. The same requirement existed for a short high rear over hang. After much searching we found that the shorter Thor motorhome models, seem to have a fair assortment of workable solutions. After more research we settled on the Four Winds 22E. We firmly believe in buying locally. However RVs in general are for some reason extremely expensive in western Washington. By driving to Utah we were able to save over $8,000 dollars. Since that's only a long days drive from here, we couldn't justify spending that much more to buy it here. We now have it in our possession. It ended up being about 20% more than we sold the Airstream for. It goes up and down the driveway just fine. There are plus and minuses in travel trailer versus motor home. However we are both looking forward to trying something new. I intend to keep hanging around here, because we have made some good friends here, and I think I learned enough from our years with the Airstream to be able to help others who are starting out.

Ken
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:30 PM   #4
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To back up a steep driveway, I go into 4 wheel drive ,low, remove the equalizer bars,and go ,if not high enough in the rear use a lower ball mount thus raising the rear of the trailer....enjoy..
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:48 PM   #5
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To back up a steep driveway, I go into 4 wheel drive ,low, remove the equalizer bars,and go ,if not high enough in the rear use a lower ball mount thus raising the rear of the trailer....enjoy..
I though about that until I discovered that the substantially curbed driveway is only 6 inches wider at its narrowest part than the width of an Airstream trailer. I have lived nearly a complete life not wishing to developed such finely honed trailer backing skills. The other thing that makes this difficult is that the street is narrow with no shoulder on one side and a narrow shoulder on the other with a utility pole on the other side directly across from the driveway.

Check this link. If it works the driveway in question is the very narrow one heading up to our shop building. The white spot across from that driveway is the utility pole. Grab the little street view guy and put him by the utility pole. You will see how steep the driveway is.


https://www.google.com/maps/@47.5514...!3m1!1e3?hl=en

P.S. If google earth was real time, you'd see the motorhome parked right in front of the shop.
Ken
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:37 AM   #6
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On the one side of the narrow drive way are some bushes that need to be gone, and you need someone to block traffic ,both directions and it can be done, if I was there I would show you, you might look around and find a driver of a truck and pup with 8 axles and he could also. I will be in Issaquah ,WA the middle of August for a wedding...
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:37 AM   #7
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On the one side of the narrow drive way are some bushes that need to be gone, and you need someone to block traffic ,both directions and it can be done, if I was there I would show you, you might look around and find a driver of a truck and pup with 8 axles and he could also. I will be in Issaquah, WA the middle of August for a wedding...
We have spoken with a couple contractors about widening the driveway some. We may do that someday just for convenience getting anything in or out of there. The steepness is the real concern. Doing anything about that would require major excavation and major disruption of existing landscaping and terrain

Backing a trailer up there can be done. I watched one guy do it with ease. However that was a 8 foot long utility trailer. However neither of us wants to spend the time learning how to do it that well. It is so much easier to get in and out of there with a 2 axle vehicle. We could easily park a travel trailer in the large area by the house, however that cannot get approval from the wifely aesthetics committee. In this instance I tend to agree with her.


For us the motorhome provides some other advantages. We have 3 cats that travel with us. They traveled in the back seat of the truck. At every rest stop we had to take them back to the trailer and let them use the litter box etc. The transfer was stressful for them and us. This way they can remain in one location. There are several other plus for us in this area. For now at least, we would not go back to a trailer even if we found one that would work.

Even with the motor home, there needs to be someone at the bottom of the hill to watch for traffic.

The people who owned this home prior to us, tried to sell it for at least a couple years, and lost interest in the extensive landscaping. The bank with the mortgage finally sold it on a short sale. We lucked out, and found the listing less than an hour after it had been posted. We would never have been able to buy it at its appraised value. We have put in a lot of time cleaning up the property. That area along the driveway has been cleaned up up a lot since google came by taking pictures.

If you want to stop by and see it while in the area, you are welcome. The driveway looks steeper in person.

Thanks for your help,

Ken
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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Definitely a tricky situation.

1.) Could you extend the driveway between the house and the outbuilding? Then open up the house driveway a few feet by reworking some of the front landscape. There looks to be just few feet difference in elevation.
2.) The approach should be wider for the shop driveway but that won't help the steepness.
Did the trailer drag tail when going up and down the driveway? If not then backing up that drive is do-able.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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Definitely a tricky situation.

1.) Could you extend the driveway between the house and the outbuilding? Then open up the house driveway a few feet by reworking some of the front landscape. There looks to be just few feet difference in elevation.
2.) The approach should be wider for the shop driveway but that won't help the steepness.
Did the trailer drag tail when going up and down the driveway? If not then backing up that drive is do-able.
The difference between the two levels is about 15 feet. I made a rough measurement and the drive way slope is about 15 degrees. The Airstream would have dragged its tail on the road a long ways if I tried to pull it up there. Backing up there would run the rear end into the driveway long before the wheels got a chance to start up there.

Ken
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:29 PM   #10
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To back up a steep driveway, I go into 4 wheel drive ,low, remove the equalizer bars,and go ,if not high enough in the rear use a lower ball mount thus raising the rear of the trailer....enjoy..
Don't they have a 22' motor home now?

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Old 07-19-2016, 02:36 PM   #11
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. . . The Airstream would have dragged its tail on the road a long ways if I tried to pull it up there. Backing up there would run the rear end into the driveway long before the wheels got a chance to start up there.

Ken
Just confirming that you have a Thor Four Winds 22E motor home now, right? What is the actual overall length? Not much longer than an extended van or full-size crew cab pickup . . . ?



PS edit looks like the overall length is 24' or 24' 6" depending on Ford vs. Chevy chassis.

https://thormotorcoach.com/fourwinds/floorplans/
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:21 PM   #12
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To the left is your house I presume. It seems to have an area that is relatively flat to the left of the garage in front of the house in front of the concrete wall. I think it would make more sense to park it there. May not look the best, but in my opinion a whole lot easier than tackling that slope. The other thought would be if you could pull in forward and then drive you TV around the shop. That way you are backing out down the slope rather than up it. I find that if I do that it is a whole lot easier. I sometimes will drive forward and park my car in the garage and drop the trailer behind on the drive. Then its a lot easier getting out than backing the trailer into its parking spot next to the garage.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:39 PM   #13
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I am confused. You are a "new member" but you list over 4,000 posts?

If you are a resident of Washington now, you will have to pay the sales tax and the license fees for your trailer that you purchased in Utah. If you saved $8K on the price you will pay most of that back in taxes.

The Classic is a magnificent trailer. I think you will be happy with it.
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:06 PM   #14
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I am confused. You are a "new member" but you list over 4,000 posts?

If you are a resident of Washington now, you will have to pay the sales tax and the license fees for your trailer that you purchased in Utah. If you saved $8K on the price you will pay most of that back in taxes.

The Classic is a magnificent trailer. I think you will be happy with it.
Check the date on Post #1.



The OP's recent Post #3 talks about selling the Airstream and getting a motor home.

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