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Old 10-11-2009, 09:39 AM   #1
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About to be a new owner of 31 Classic

Lots of questions!! I have negotiated a $50k price for a very clean 31Classic w/dinette, is that a fair value on my side? I am interested in a generator since I know we will be dry camping a lot. This unit has two a/c's and as a result 50amp service, what size generator should I consider and brand. Lastly, I looked the trailer over very well, checked a/c units, fridge, lighting, etc. but I failed to unfurl the canopies because the unit is garaged. A unit that is practically new as this one, should I put the owner thru taking it to a dealer for professional service guys to go over it before writing a check?

Anxious to hit the road!!
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:53 AM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

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

As far as the value of the 31 footer that you are looking at, it's hard to say without some photos and further information. For starters, what year is this unit? What is it's travel history?

You mention that you can't check the awnings, as the unit is in a garage. If the owners really wants to sell this thing, he needs to pull it out so that all features can be examined. As far as inspection goes, you have not mentioned how RV experienced you are. If you are not, I would suggest at least having an experienced RVer take a look with you.

As far as boondocking with a 50 amp travel trailer, you're looking at a larger generator than you probably want to lug around. You can boondock with a 3000 watt Honda or a pair of 2000's, but can probably not run both the air conditioners.

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Old 10-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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OOps, the year would be important, its a 2007 and I am a first time rv owner. The unit has less than 150 miles on it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Howdy and welcome aboard!

On your generator requirements....if you're NOT using the a/c, you can get by with a 2000 watt. I use a Honda EU200i with my 34 footer and it does everything just fine, except for the a/c.

Air conditioners use a lot, and you really should have something around 2600 watts to power one. They require more power to start than to run. Now, I have heard of guys putting large start capacitors in them and saying they'll run off 2000 watts just fine; as the 2000 watt is enough to power it continuously, but you need more than that to start it. With the bigger start capacitor, you store up enough to light her off and then it can run just fine on the 2000 watt. But, without doing that, you probably run the risk of not having enough startup power, which can damage the unit.

So, I would recommend you have at least 2500 watts or so available to power up one of them. If you want to run two of them, you'll need twice that.

Now, this is a whole 'nother topic, but there are quiet generators (of the inverter type) and there are not so quiet generators (like the non inverter type commonly used by contractors). If you're going to camp around other people, you're really going to want the quiet kind. If you're out in the boonies away from others, then the noisy one could work for you. You can read about those on other threads. There are many on here, just do a search. But the bottom line is that you're going to need a really big genset to power all the stuff in your rig. But if you don't need to run the a/c, you can get by just fine with a 2000 watt inverter type. Honda and Yamaha are the two biggies. Both are great. There are others out there as well that may be just fine.

As to the price....$50K is a lot of money in my book. I don't know what a 30' Classic sold for new...I know three years ago the 34 footers were bringing about $100-$110K (at least that was the sticker price) so $50K may not be too bad a price for a 30 footer. Still a lot of bread. I bought my '87 for $7200 and have probably put $5K into it. I think it's easily the equal of a new one now, at much less the price. A fellow will have to camp a lot to get $50K worth out of it. And, in five years, it'll be worth probably half that, if that. So it's something to think about. But, just like buying a new car, if it's what you want, it's in great shape, and you're going to use it, then go for it!

Even those these trailers are "The Icon," they aren't beyond issues. I would recommend you get a person who's familiar with RVs and Airstreams in particular to take a good look at it for you if you don't feel super well versed in them yourself. Even if you had to pay a person a hundred or two to look at it for you, it'd be money well spent. Or, if you could wait a week, you could comb the forums here for tips on what to look for.

I don't know if a checklist exists on here yet for inspecting a trailer. We should write one up if it doesn't exist yet. It's not that hard, and there are some key things to look at. A few would include:

Visible signs of leakage (check the roof seams, check the edges of the floor at the bottoms of the walls, check around the door, check around water appliances, windows, and vents

Check for shell to frame separation. Look at the front of the trailer where the front of the shell ties into the frame. With that few miles, there should be no problems here, but it's known to happen on newer units.

Make sure all the systems work (furnace, a/c, water heater, stove & oven, sinks, fridge, stereo, toilet, etc.)

Make sure the brakes and lights work OK (have owner hitch up to it and show you the brakes work...you can hear them when he applies the lever if it's got electric brakes....or have him pull it forward and lock them with the lever....does this trailer have disk brakes?)

These are just a few things...but if it doesn't leak, the floors not rotted, the shell is attached securely to the frame, all the brakes and lights work, all the water and LP stuff works, all the electrical stuff works, you're 90% there. Go camping and have fun!

best of luck,
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:49 AM   #5
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This may give you some ideas.

RV 2007 AIRSTREAM M-30 SLD prices, specs and options at NADAguides.com

Is this the actual trailer?

2007 Classic Ltd 30 - Airstream Trailer & Airstream Motorhome Classifieds
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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yes, that is the unit, what do you think?
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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That is basically a brand new Airstream and the price seems fair. The only downside that I can see is the 50 amp thing. Not even all campgrounds have 50 amp service. This could leave you a bit stretched on electrical power when you want to run both air conditioning units simultaneously.

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Old 10-11-2009, 11:51 AM   #8
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Ok, so the novice question is since it is a 50amp service, can a 30amp supply camp plug into my unit and does it use the same plug/cable or do I need a 30amp plug/cable. What are the issues other than not running the 2nd a/c? Does it harm any of the other appliances? How about generators, do the dual portable unit combinations allow for 50amp service if both a/c's are operating?
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
That is basically a brand new Airstream and the price seems fair. The only downside that I can see is the 50 amp thing. Not even all campgrounds have 50 amp service. This could leave you a bit stretched on electrical power when you want to run both air conditioning units simultaneously.

Brian
This brings up a very interesting question.

Since 240 volts is a much better choice to run equipment such as an AC, have they started to use 240 volt AC. If so you would be limited in your choice of campgrounds

However I doubt the industry has put that much thought into their designs.

Look to see how the electrical panel is fused. If each AC is fused on a single pole breaker they are 110 volt units and you could run one unit in a 30 amp campground with a 50/30 adapter.

Don't ever try 2 units on 30 amps you run the risk of loosing both due to low voltage
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:04 PM   #10
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IF we were in the market for a new AS, we would think that was a fine unit and fair price for it. (I will admit I am slightly biased, the hickory cabinets really are the cat's meow to me)

A 50 amp "need" is a lot for boondocking, if you want to run the AC's as you might in Texas, it will be a big power requirement, but the rest of the stuff should not be a big problem. But plenty of good advice on what to watch for above.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:19 PM   #11
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yes, that is the unit, what do you think?
If we had not bought a new trailer this summer and were still looking, I would definitely be interested in that trailer. It has the same interior color scheme as we ordered on ours. I am sure you will love it,
Ken
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:44 PM   #12
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Lots of questions!!!
hi 'barker, welcome to the forums.

how exciting, 2 b a new tube buyer!

MOST (all) of your questions have been asked and answered, several times.

GOOD answers are in the threads on EACH topic, so learn to look around, search a bit and gather from the past...

don't assume a NEW ANSWER to a common, long asked and routinely REvisited question will be CORRECT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarker View Post
I have negotiated a $50k price... is that a fair value on my side?
let's see, U have already negotiated a price and NOW want feedback on it?

are you gonna back OUT of a deal based on anonymous comments here?

there are MANY threads on pricing units, old or new and the issues of COST that go way beyond pricing...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...-se-20214.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/254548-post9.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarker View Post
I am interested in a generator since I know we will be dry camping a lot...
r u NEW to rv camping?

many folks THINK they will be boondocking a LOT and never do.

others LEARN the issues of boondocking and NEEDS of boondocking as they do it...

gensets, solar, extra fresh water, wireless connections, roadway issues, tires, provisions and so on are well covered...

UNDER EACH of those sub forums, and with great detail too.
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almost NO ONE i know who boondocks much uses the AC, much less 2 of them...

unfortunately the 2 AC models give UP 1 fantastic fan/roof vent so that issue needs to be solved.

and it can be.

it might be wise to GO CAMPING a few times and USE the trailer before jumping INTO generators...

otoh IF you wanna JUMP RIGHT IN, start with a eu2000i companion model from h'da.

these are versatile and EASY to sell IF you later figure out a better approach for YOUR needs...

or wanna buy a 2nd unit (or even a 3rd genset) and parallel them for AC use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarker View Post
... as a result 50amp service,
as i recall the 50 amp service as WIRED at the a/s factory puts the 2nd AC on it's own breaker and a dedicated line INSIDE the unit...

there are DOGBONE adapters that will allow one to connect a 50 amp marinco twistlock plug (this is what YOU have) to 30 amp service...

these 50>---<30 dogbones leave OUT (don't they?) one leg of the 50 amp wiring...

buy one.

you may use it OFTEN in rv parks without 50amp 4 prong connections...

and THIS adapter can be used when/IF you plug into a 30 amp genset (or 2 in parallel)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarker View Post
..I looked the trailer over very well...should I put the owner thru taking it to a dealer for professional service guys to go over it before writing a check?...
i'm gonna take a wild arse guess at this point you are pretty new to rvs and 'streams.

nothing WRONG with that, we all stuck a toe in the reflective aluminum water at some point...

but this is JUST LIKE buying a house or real estate.

there is a SELLER involved (the current owner) and a potential BUYER (you) who may become the next owner...

YOU need to do due diligence, because once u r the current owner, any problems are yours...

imv that means a COMPLETE INSPECTION and LIST of ISSUES.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...ist-43294.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...ist-24733.html

is there any warranty time left on this trayla?

some times buying lightly used units is nice because the ORIGINAL owner FIXED all the stuff that needed fixin from the factory...

but a PARKED/UNUSED 2 year old trailer may have ALL the original problems of brand new...

but without warranty coverage. (some parts attached to the trayla have upto 5 year warranties)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarker View Post
...before writing a check?...
what 2 do b4 writing the check....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...elp-37904.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/528020-post8.html

now on to CAMPING!


cheers
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:31 PM   #13
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Geat suggestions and on the issue of warranty, this unit comes with a 7yr extended warranty from Phoenix American Warranty that is being transferred to me by the current owner. If Phoenix is any good I will have some protection from undiscovered issues. The current owners are very forthright but they may not be aware of underlying issues so extended warranty is a good thing.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #14
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As a newbie you haven't had long exposure to 2Air's wisdom - we have and his advice is always good - tinged with some odd humor from time to time, but always useful.

2 Air conditioners make sense in TEXAS - go north and you'll rarely use more than one.

Now, boondocking. It's a 30 foot long unit. Boondocking in a 25 on narrow back roads can be a challenge... I just got back from The Wilds of Ohio, and the last five miles in I was saying to myself "OMG I wouldn't want to be doing this in a 34 Tri-axle!" You can rally with others, you can boondock on the plains, but going into hilly back country... perhaps not such a good idea.

HOWEVER sight unseen it sure sounds like a good deal. I know a couple of folks who have 13-15 foot Casitas (made in TX I believe) which are their true Hunting lodge/fishing camp/back country explorer boondocking units. (Besides covering the scratches on a fiberglass egg than an aluminum one).

Paula
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