Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2011 34' Classic
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 9
Potential New Owner and Questions

Hello All...

Long time RV'rs, Tony and Helen here. We have full-timed for 5 years in a 35' fifth wheel and are now in a 2010 36' Tiffin Allegro RED diesel pusher.

We are concerned about the reliability and cost of service and maintenance of our Freightliner equipped chassis.

We are long time Airstream fans but felt we couldn't full-time in one. We are on the verge of never having slideouts again as they bring challenges and have been looking at the Anniversary Editions of the classic 34' temporary release Limited.

Any feedback on Airstream quality and potential issues for the 2011's would be appeciated and if you full-time in a Airstream, your thoughts would be valuable.

Also, we live in Alberta, Canada in the summer and can get hailstorms. I can't seem to get any information as to what size hail these will withstand.

We were in Jackson Center in October and were impressed. Real world owners seem to have real world issues and impressions. Don't hold back!

Thanks from potential new owners!

Tony & Helen

RV Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 12:18 PM   #2
pmclemore's Avatar

2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,369
Hello, Tony and Helen - we're glad you've found the forums.

Hail is a rarity here in the East, but I would be worried about pretty much any size of stone. That said, we have a lot of members that live in our great midwest that must face it every season. Perhaps they can give you the straight scoop.

Good luck and enjoy the search.


Somebody, please, point me to the road.

AIR 3987
wbcci 9239 (Re-enlisted 2013)
pmclemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
nswhite's Avatar
2005 30' Classic S/O
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 137
They are supposed to resist hail up to the size of a quarter. We've been thru that size and it came thru unscathed.

However, we also were thru a good size hail storm about the size of a league ball. Good size dents. We wound up replacing panels. Thank God for insurance.

Any problems we have are minor compared to the enjoyment we get of camping in one.
nswhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 12:30 PM   #4
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,379
Images: 5
Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We are not full timers, but have spent a lot of time in the Airstream (810 nights/70,000 miles) in the the last 4 years. We have a 2005 Safari 25FB, named Lucy. We have considered going to a larger Airstream, but ultimately decided that we were very happy with Lucy. If we had a bigger trailer, we would just carry around more junk than we actually need. Lucy's separate bedroom and shower layout give us the individual privacy that we need to live comfortably in a small space.

The 34 you are considering is a great trailer. The Airstream slides have a really good reputation for their long term operation without problems. They are way overbuilt, and add about 1,000# to the trailer weight, and only add about a foot. In my opinion, what you get from an Airstream SO is not worth the extra expense and weight.

As far as the hail damage goes, we have been in two separate hail storms with Lucy, one in South Dakota and one in Idaho. Both times we were scared for Lucy's safety and looked to get under cover, but none was available. Both times the hail was about Peanut M&M size, and Lucy did not sustain any discernible damage. I don't really know at what size you would be in trouble.

Lucy has had some minor issues, but nothing that was really serious. Our biggest problem was the tire issue. Last year we finally took Lucy to Jackson Center and treated her to a brand new set of 16" wheels and Michelin LT tires.

All in all, the Airstream experience has been phenomenal We are now planning to replace Lucy's tow vehicle with a one ton truck with a pop-up truck camper. We will tow Lucy to an area we want to explore, set her up as the base camp, and head out in the back country for several days at a time in the truck camper.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5786.JPG
Views:	85
Size:	202.1 KB
ID:	124296   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN5675.JPG
Views:	92
Size:	205.8 KB
ID:	124297  

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
moosetags is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 12:34 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
Colorado's Front Range is the 2nd worse place in the US for hail (Florida is first) and if I still lived there I'd certainly have a hard cover over an RV—pole barn, garage or something similar. Calgary is situated like Denver and Ft. Collins and must have similar weather with thunderstorms and hail to the east of the Rockies. Any RV, car or truck is vulnerable and hail is to be feared.

As for maintenance, RV's need a lot and Airstreams are no exception. Hunt around the Forum and you will find lots of complaints about corrosion, quality control (or lack of it), design issues and such. It will discourage you, but if you like the Airstream design, ease of towing, you may still want to buy one. People that are satisfied or have few problems are less likely to post, so the results are biased. Many will suggest a recent model gently used to save on depreciation.

Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #6
Rivet Master
TBRich's Avatar

2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,369
Images: 64
Welcome to the forums! Glad you could join us. Don't worry about folks "holding back"'ll get all the "good, bad and ugly" you could want. Ourselves, we are all "good"...and we only have 19' of Airstream to enjoy! As was mentioned there is maintenance with an RV and Airstreams are no different in that area. And there are a few "special" issues with potential hail damage, leak potential and things that come along with having an exterior aluminum skin...which all of like to keep as pristine as possible (but it ain't gonna happen if you use it!)... Airstreams do hold thier value better than most RVs and there is the whole American Icon thing and the "allure" they offer, and sense of community with fellow owners...and those are real parts of the Airstream experience... No one ever says with excitement: "Look! There goes another Jayco!" We used to have a small moho, but sold it and bought our Bambi...we have never looked back and we enjoy the AS ever so much more! We have had very little trouble with our rig and if we ever decide to get another trailer, it will no doubt be an Airstream. Can you full-time in a 34 foot? Of course you can! You will not have the space and storage you might have in your moho or a 5th wheel, but you'll really enjoy the space you do have...and you'll enjoy it in style... Our home was water damaged due to a burst pipe in the ceiling this winter, and we are now going on 3 months in our Bambi in the front yard while repairs are being made to our home. If we can do this for 3+ months in a 19', I KNOW we could full time in a 34'! Good luck with your are in the right place here on the Forums to get the information you need to make an informed decision.
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
blmitch5's Avatar

2006 19' International CCD
Olathe , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,182
Images: 1

We love our 19' Bambi and wouldn't ever dream of camping in anything other than AS. There are quirks and some minor issues but less than most brands. Hail scares me to death (Kansas City here) but the smaller hail hasn't caused any damage. I've never experienced large hail but if I do there is insurance for that.
You can use the search button to find out anything your looking for bit if you can't find an answer to a specific question please feel free to ask.
Good luck with your search.
Get involved and sign up for a Rally!
WBCCI 4973
blmitch5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
au_ee's Avatar
2007 31' Classic
Pulaski , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 261
Images: 3
We've had our Airstream for a year. We bought a 2007 used unit because the price of a unit a few years old is much better than a new one. Ours had minor issues with it when we bought it and in the past year we've been real pleased with it. In the past we've owned Motorhome, Fifth Wheel, and several popup campers. You will hear folks complain about ASs on the forum but I think you would hear similar complaints about other brands. ASs have the same appliances, electronics, etc. that are on all other RVs. The only difference is how it is constructed. I'm still sold on the design of the construction. Quality control could be better but I have had the same complaint about other RVs. Another advantage of a well maintained used unit is the first owner has already worked through most of the bugs. Anyway, if I were trying to decide whether to purchase an AS based on our current experience I would say yes.
Steve & Beth
AIR 22763
07' Classic 31, 11' Dodge 3500 Cummins
au_ee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
fmrcaptevil's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Weldon Spring , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 456
What a coincidence.......whenever I get mad at Airstream I threaten to trade it for a Tiffin class-A!
fmrcaptevil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
Rivet Master
TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,675
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Quarter Size ???????

I don't believe it would with stand quarter size hail stones. Of coarse the quarter has shrunk in size along with the dollar. So maybe today it could with stand it. More like dime size. LOL
I was wondering when they changed the description on hail stone sizes. It use to be "marble" or "golfball" or "baseball" etc.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2011, 08:07 PM   #11
Rivet Master
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
I think it was 2000 when the Denver area was hit by a very bad hailstorm—quarter sized (maybe marbles too). It did much damage to our SUV and if it does that to steel, aluminum would be much worse. Pea sized is probably ok, but anything bigger, not good.

Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2011, 09:12 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
fmrcaptevil's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Weldon Spring , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 456
Great line about hail, TG.....I can't wait to use that one!

One thing I have done to alleviate my fear of hail damage has been to pay for "replacement cost" coverage on the Airstream. It increased the premium by about $200 per year, which is well worth it (for a worrier like myself).
fmrcaptevil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2011, 09:47 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
1972 21' Globetrotter
nc , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 253
Images: 2
i owned a 86 34ft avion a few years back in the early 90s. we had a hail storm and it looked like you took a ball ping hammer and hit it about every 2ins top and end caps and a little on the sides. shreded the ac shroud and running lights. i live in the blueridge mountains.
rock60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2011, 10:13 AM   #14
Rivet Master
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I think it was 2000 when the Denver area was hit by a very bad hailstorm
Gene, it was 1990, not 2000. You'd better see a doctor about that memory problem old guy.


Gene is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1975 Tradewind project - questions! lots of them! keithmac 1970-79 Tradewind 4 03-05-2011 10:10 AM
Proud New Owner of Old Airstream EricJohansen Member Introductions 14 02-15-2011 05:39 PM
Floor Questions ranns ammee Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 15 02-05-2011 09:45 AM
65' Globetrotter towing questions - hitch ball size star kitty Hitches, Couplers & Balls 2 08-29-2010 08:49 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.